Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bridge Blog 781: Syracuse Regional, Part I

          Plan One didn’t work. Judie Bailey and I came to play a team game, knock-outs, at the Burt Garrell Syracuse Regional Tournament and we get knocked out in the first round by a team of Canadians from Kingston, Ont.
This despite the fact that we picked up our own set of teammates from Canada, from Ottawa, well, near Ottawa. Terry Prout, who had a buxom lady tattooed on his left arm, and Joan Dunbar seem to hold their own. And so do we, except for those two hands where we should have held the opponents to a draw, but instead lose 24 International Match Points. In our 24-board head-to-head contest, our margin of defeat is 25.
One of those hands is entirely my fault. Judie opens 1 No Trump and I’ve got a 16-point hand with Ace-King-Queen-fifth of Clubs, four crummy Hearts, the Ace and a low Diamond and the Queen-Jack of Spades. I bid 2 Clubs, Stayman, asking for her major suit. She bids 2 Spades. I go right to 3 No Trump and we play it there, making three overtricks. At the other table, the bidding is 1 NT, 4 NT, 6 NT.
On the very next hand, we're killed by a pre-empt. West opens 3 Diamonds and I can’t bid, despite having an opening hand that’s 4-4 in the major suits. Judie doubles and I jump to 4 Hearts. Mistake. I should have cue-bid 4 Diamonds to ask for her best major. She has two Hearts, two Diamonds, four Spades and five Clubs. At the other table, there's no pre-empt and it makes 4 Spades.
After dinner, we come back to play pairs in the evening side game, a 16-table contest marked by frigid air conditioning, two identical boards (thanks to a foul-up by the dealing machine) and an overflow supply of people from Ottawa.
We start out against a couple members of the hospitality committee – Kathy Landon and Sandy Stockton – who tell us that the 100 sandwiches they set out in the hospitality room at 6 p.m. were gone in 20 minutes. We tie for a top on the first board we play against them, then tie for a bottom on the second one, when emboldened by a big hand with two Ace-King holdings, I double Sandy’s 4 Spade bid. Having a 10-Spade fit and a singleton in one of my Ace-King suits, she makes it. Had I not doubled, we would have been 5 match points better.
Though we have a good game, 5 match points aren’t enough to give us master points. Our 51.41% is 10th among the 16 East-Wests. There are a lot of pairs in the 50s. First in B is 58.85%. First overall is 59.49%. Against our afternoon teammates, who were playing North-South, we took 19 of a possible 30 match points. They also finish out of the money at 50.26%.
On the way out, Judie picks up a flyer headlined: “Fast Results comes to the Syracuse Regional.” It asks: “Would you rather go have a bite to eat than stand around waiting for your results for the pair’s (sic) game just completed? No more! You can now retrieve all of the information via the Internet."
And so I have at http://bridgefinesse.com/fastresults/D4. There’s even a provision for winners to post pictures of themselves.

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