Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bridge Blog 771: World class

Has the World Wide Bridge Contest lost its mojo in Buffalo? The first part of it certainly did on Friday night, June 6. The Airport Bridge Club could only muster a Howell movement, which doesn’t register in the international tally, so I’m told. At the Bridge Center of Buffalo, there weren’t even enough players to make a game. Hey, I missed it, too. My other half had been away all week. Breaking away for bridge would have been grounds for something drastic.
Part two on Saturday afternoon was better. The Bridge Center had a Howell game. At the Airport Club, where I played, there were six tables, enough to be official. I pretty much sank my chances on the first hand we played, Board 1, when I was doubled on a sacrifice bid and went down five. Minus 1,100. It was a bottom board at the club and almost a bottom around the world. Out of a possible 3,746 match points, it earned just 39.1. Actually, there were 18 pairs who also got minus 1,100 and 11 pairs who did worse – nine with minus 1,400 and one each at minus 1,700 and minus 2,000.
Partner Marietta Kalman and I rallied, however. One of our top boards, Board 18, a doubled contract that yielded a plus 800, was a top board at the club and as close to a universal top as you’ll see. It earned 3,694.9 match points – a score matched by 32 others and bettered by only one at 1,000, eight at 1,100 and one at 1,400.
In the end, we had a 55.42% game at the club, fourth overall, earning 1.13 master points, half red. Tallied against the rest of the world, however, we fell back to 51.37% and were 1,776th out of 4,164 pairs in 233 clubs in 26 countries. The winning pair, with 74.62%, was from Greece. Master player Jeff Meckstroth, who played in St. Petersburg, Fla., was first at his club with 65.16%, but was 186th in the world, with an adjusted score of 61.80%.

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