Clearly, it was a mistake. That minus 200 for a zero board in Saturday afternoon’s open pairs game. That wasn’t us. We set the other guys down two on a 4 Spade contract. We should have had plus 100.
This was some 20 minutes after the game ended. The directors had disappeared, but wait – there was Bernie Gorkin. After I explained the problem, we stepped into the directors’ room, he fired up his laptop computer and found the game.
That hand makes 2 Hearts East-West as well as 2 Spades North-South, he said. Are you sure you didn’t play it at 4 Hearts? I was sure, but at this point would there be a way to prove it? He then mentioned that in the nationals, if you found a mistake like this, it would cost $25 to fix it.
This, however, would be no problem. The other pair was dead last anyway and our improved score still wasn’t enough to overtake anyone else. Originally, we were 46.53%. Now it was 48.84%. But we needed to beat a pair at 49.77% to win red points.
We also missed by one place in the morning session Saturday, finishing with 50.27%. It made for a disappointing couple of days with Selina Volpatti, who had won gold points in the Thursday game for players with fewer than 750 master points.
We started Friday in the compact knock-outs, teamed with a couple from the Toronto area. We totally thrashed our first-round opponents, then got skunked in a three-way second round (part of that was me doubling a 4 Spade contract, then failing to take the trick that would have set). Playing pairs in the Friday afternoon side game, we had a dismal 42.01%, a fraction of a percent ahead of the two pairs who tied for last.
I have no idea what kind of point reward we got for Friday morning’s first-round knock-out win, but it had to be less than one. Unless we hit it big in the Swiss teams on Sunday, this will be one of my poorer showings in the Niagara Falls Regional.
2011, of course, was the big one, the Life Master hat trick – regular Life Master, Bronze and Silver, all at once, with a win in the knock-outs. In all, that tournament brought me 13.67 points. This year could be more like 2008, when I earned just 1.50.