As a player in both the morning and afternoon pairs games at Buffalo sectional tournaments, I’ve always felt a mixture of sympathy and superiority regarding those single-session players arrayed in that row of tables along the far wall of the Main-Transit Fire Department social hall in Amherst. And now, today, Friday afternoon, I was one of them, thanks to a cardiologist appointment that kept me from catching the morning game.
And our single-session crew, five tables worth, certainly felt detached from the rest of the room – the two big sections of players who were in it for the long haul. To complicate matters, our bunch had wangled six North-South seatings, which obliged director Brian Meyer to ask if anyone would volunteer to sit in the other direction. None of them would. I would have, but my partner, Eva Schmidt, normally a spry 91-year-old, begged off because of a sore leg. The upshot was that Kathy Kellogg, who has mobility issues herself, was obliged to be East-West at our table, then was seated at the sixth table with other North-Souths coming to her.
I wasn't able to locate the hand records to verify it, but we North-Souths seemed to get the better hands. We took 14 of the 25 auctions, including a 6 Heart slam that made an overtrick for a top board. Eva and I were leading the North-Souths with 59% as the game went into its final round, but then we got slam-dunked on five hands by Chuck Schorr and Sue Bergman, with Chuck guiding Sue to a 6 Spade slam, which made an overtrick. We finished second with 53%, good nevertheless for 0.94 of a silver point.