Half a point short of 1,700, I tell partner Selina Volpatti as we start playing Friday afternoon in the Bridge Centre of Niagara in St. Catharines, Ont. Sorry, she says afterward, for the horrible game. But it wasn’t so horrible after all, we discover when we call up the scores on the electronic scorekeeper. We’re fifth in our direction – 54% or 55%. How did that happen?
Well, some of our alleged bottoms weren’t so bad, like the 5 Spades doubled contract that Selina played, bumped there by me when East bid 5 Hearts after she jumped to 4 Spades over East’s 1 Heart opener. That went down one, not vulnerable, and gave us 10 out of 17 game points in this 18-table game. Should have gone down two, according to the hand records. Several went down two doubled at only 4 Spades. Or, worse yet, the opponents have no trouble making 4 Hearts vulnerable. Some made 5 Hearts.
And sometimes we just accomplished the impossible. One of our absolute tops was a 4 Spade contract that should have gone down one, but didn’t, thanks to an opening lead that brought out the Ace of Hearts, which I trumped, then got to throw off a couple losers on the King and Queen of Hearts in the dummy. Another was a 3 No Trump bid on which I took all the tricks, but it turned out two other North-Souths did the same.
What I thought was my most daring hand – a gambling 3 No Trump prompted by an eight-card Diamond suit – looked like a coup at the time, but only tied for second best. Two others bid and made 3 NT, one with an overtrick. The hand record says it should make just 2 Diamonds and 2 NT.
Our final score was 53.39%, fifth overall, for 0.36 of a master point. Alas, not enough to reach the milestone. But wait, let’s have another look at the last time I earned points, on Wednesday with Celine Murray. That was a 52.50% game, but it was for double points, so we earned 0.62. If my math is right, that’s 1,699.17 + 0.62 + 0.36 = 1,700.15! Let’s get out the champagne.