Friday, September 27, 2013

Bridge Blog 712: Unhinged

           The Buffalo Fall Sectional Tournament started Friday and, for the first time in years, I missed it. My arrangements for the sectional have been in great disarray all month. At first I was going to play with Wednesday partner Celine Murray in both sessions on the first day. Then a friend invited me to her 65 th birthday party on what I thought at first was Saturday, but then turned out to be Friday. And not just a party, but a sit-down dinner at 6 p.m., well before the afternoon session ended. So I told Celine I’d just do the morning. And then I decided to hook up with Canadian partner Selina Volpatti and play over in St. Catharines instead.

          They had 18 tables at the St. Catharines club – I wonder if they had that many at the sectional – and it was an extra-point International Fund game, to boot. Selina and I bid our heads off, as we prefer, and I wound up as declarer in 15 of the 26 hands. For all that, however, we finished at 50.79%, less than a percentage point behind the sixth place pair North-South in the B strat, which would have earned us a third of a master point.

          I know exactly the hand that made the difference. I was declarer at 3 Diamonds vulnerable and I was going to make it on the nose. But then, instead of putting a King of Clubs on top of Norman St. Denis’ Queen, I played low. Why? It was so stupid, a total brain lapse. Had I kept my wits about me, that hand would have given us 11 game points instead of 3.5 and we would have been tied for fifth in B.

          My sectional plans are in disarray for Saturday, too. Originally, I was going to give it a pass. Then Cleveland Fleming asked me to play. Then Celine Murray wanted to make up for not playing with me on Friday. And then my teacher friend wanted me to help her at a poetry gig in Niagara Falls at 6 p.m. The upshot – I’m playing the morning session with Celine.

          The Swiss teams Sunday have been even more fouled up. Originally, I spoke with Usha Khurana about playing. Then she got Joe Miranda as a partner and I accepted an invitation from Eva Schmidt to fill out the team. But that was a couple months ago. I didn’t write it down. I totally forgot about it. So I asked Selina to play with me. Then Paula Kotowski and Barb Pieterse were looking for another pair to fill out their team. Fine, I said.

          That little house of cards quickly collapsed earlier this week. Selina said she was going to play with her buddy Adrian Figliotti instead. Then, just as I was looking for a replacement for Selina, Eva reminded me of our previous arrangement. Paula was not at all happy, despite my profound apologies. I am such a screw-up.

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