Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bridge Blog 727: Unitary

Foolish me for not lining up a partner for the annual Unit 116 meeting and game Sunday. When I called Kathy Pollock and told her of my shortcoming, she said Ted Kahn needed someone and, not having played with Ted in two or three years, I figured it would be a good chance to get reacquainted, even though someone told me he opened four-card major suits.
Ted put that rumor to rest when I brought it up. He doesn’t open four-card majors. In fact, he plays a pretty basic game and I was quite comfortable playing it with him. In our opening round against Joan Rose and her husband, she noted that Ted might have picked up an extra trick here or there when he was declarer, but otherwise he was fine. In fact, I tripped him up a couple times myself, the worst being a bad weak 2 Diamond bid that encouraged him to head for 3 No Trump, down four vulnerable (it made 3 Diamonds instead).
On other hands, though, I did my best to bring us up. In successive rounds, I beat doubles against us – once when Paul Zittel’s son-in-law let Paul’s take-out double ride at 1 Heart vulnerable (two overtricks, plus 560, second best board behind a plus 800, the details of which are fearsome to contemplate) and then when Paula Kotowski and John Kirsits doubled my 5 Heart bid after a competitive auction and failed to get the third trick they should have gotten. That was plus 650, an absolute top.
We finished with the bridge equivalent of a gentleman’s C – 48.78%. In the C strat, that would have earned us a gentlemanly fraction of a point, but we were in the B strat and well short of the lowest B pair that scratched. They had 52.19%, earning a whopping 0.23 of a point.
Meanwhile, the lunch was terrific. Catered by Charlie the Butcher, it featured a green salad, potato salad, pickles and tons and tons of beef on weck, so much that the crowd didn’t finish it off even though they had a chance to nibble at it all afternoon.
In the business meeting, Sue Neubecker noted that our $13 tickets for the event were paying for the meal, not the bridge game. This was after a treasurer’s report that showed a $426.15 profit for the unit during the past 12 months, allowing the unit to maintain a balance of about $10,000, and a question from Paul Libby wondering why the unit needed to carry such a big balance.
Joan Rose, having a long memory and having been treasurer for 14 years, knew exactly why. They lost more than $4,000 once when a snowstorm kept everyone away from a sectional tournament. Two setbacks like that in one year and somebody would have to make things up out of their own pocket, she said.

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