Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Bridge Blog 706: Busting the tape

        If 1,600 master points was a finish line in a race, the final few feet seemed to take forever last week. With only a little more than half a point to go, I stumbled through a succession of games that ranged from slightly inadequate to just plain awful – a 44.21% Wednesday with Celine Murray, 48.81% Thursday with Marietta Kalman and a fun-filled fiasco on Friday with Nadine Stein, where a computer snafu resulted in three changes in the final scores. Ours went from 38% to 44% before settling in a little above 41%. No matter what, it was always dead last.
       Still tasting defeat, I reckoned that the Swiss team game on Sunday would generate the requisite fractions of a point, went to the Airport Bridge Club without a partner and was paired with my Wednesday counterpart, Celine.
It was not Celine’s finest day – at one point, she responded to my 1 No Trump opener with a 3 Spade bid. Our opponents questioned it and I just shrugged. “Are we playing transfers?” she asked later. Being at the top of my No Trump opener, I pushed the bid up to 3 NT and went down one. She had only five Spades in her hand, I had two. It should have played at 2 Spades and we would have made exactly 2 Spades. It lost us that round.
In the morning half of the Swiss, we won one round, tied one, which did not add up to half a master point, only 0.29. The afternoon was better – two rounds won, tied for top of the C teams, for better than a point, 1.20 in fact.
Having broken the 1,600 barrier, the master points now are flooding in. With Marilyn Sultz on Monday, in a game marked by numerous slams on both sides, we finished at 52.84%. Doesn’t sound like much, but we were second in our direction, earning 1.42 points, half red, this being triple-point North American Pairs qualifier games all month long at the Airport Bridge Club. Tuesday with Barbara Sadkin was even better – a free-bidding 58.11%, just short of first in B in our direction in an 11-table game. This one was worth 1.90 points.

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