You haven’t been writing in your bridge blog, someone says to me prior to the start of play Friday in the Buffalo Spring Sectional. Well, I tell them, there’s nothing much worth writing about. I’ve scarcely racked up any master points lately, maybe three or so for the month so far. At times like this, the most eloquent comment is no comment at all.
Besides, what can you really say about a seemingly endless slog through games in 35% to 50% range, except to murmur a prayer for deliverance through a miracle of stratification. There are no such miracles on opening day of the sectional.
Not that I’m expecting lightning to strike with Celine Murray as my partner. She’s been my accomplice in a lot of those 35% to 50% games and we have a couple more of them Friday – 44.34% in the morning, next to last North-South in our section, and 45.32% in the afternoon. Our very first hand of the day is an omen of bad things to come.
We start out on Board 28 against two of the top players in the room – Bill Rushmore and Dian Petrov, proprietor of Bridge Club Meridian. We’re vulnerable. They’re not. West (Dian) is dealer. He passes. So do I with this hand:
Spades: K-7-4; Hearts: A-8-5; Diamonds: Q-8-3; Clubs: J-9-5-3.
Bill Rushmore also passes and Celine opens 1 Club in the fourth seat. Dian passes again. I look at my 10 high card points, my flat distribution, my lack of a four-card major suit, and bid 1 No Trump. And that’s where we play it. Celine has this hand:
Spades: J-8-3-2; Hearts: Q-4; Diamonds: A-9-7; Clubs: A-7-6-4.
Should she have bid at all, I wonder as I cover the opening Heart lead with dummy’s Queen. I take Dian’s King with my Ace and that turns out to be one of only four tricks that I wind up winning. Minus 300. Almost certainly a bottom board. (In the end, it gives us 3½ out of a possible 17 game points.)
According to the hand record, it’s an East-West hand all the way, routinely making 3 Hearts or 2 No Trump. Here are the other two hands:
Spades: A-10; Hearts: 9-7-6-3-2; Diamonds: J-10-5-2; Clubs: K-10.
Spades: Q-9-6-5; Hearts: K-J-10; Diamonds: A-9-7; Clubs: Q-8-2.
Attendance is light compared to the winter sectional – 19½ tables in the morning, about the same in the afternoon. Some of the players are down at the big regional tournament in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Director this time is local – Brian Meyer, looking slimmed down and almost saintly with his white shirt, moustache, beard and ponytail. He seems to field a larger number of director calls than usual. Don’t know if he’s responsible for printing out the hand records for the games, but for some reason they’re in short supply. I go hunting belatedly for one for the afternoon session and there’s none to be found.
|Brian Meyer hands an entry form to Dotty May|