Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bridge Blog 856: Buffalo Regional Day 1

Not that anything horrible happened on Tuesday, the first day of the Buffalo Spooktacular Regional Tournament, but there was a succession of little frustrations, the kind that tell you that now that you know about them, you’ll do something different tomorrow.
First of all, I vow not to forestall taking tricks so much in Wednesday’s knock-out competition, even in the No Trump games. On more than one occasion Tuesday, I held back from taking Aces in hopes of capturing extra tricks, then went to bed with them.
There’s not much I can do, however, about our teammates not bidding up to game on hands when our opponents do. That was the key to our defeat at the hands of the team from Guelph in the morning round of the knock-outs. We led them by 28 International Match Points at the break after 12 hands, then gave our lead away 10 IMPs at a time when our adversaries nailed game bids and our teammates stopped short. How badly did they beat us in the second half? 59-12. 
So Elaine Kurasiewicz and Usha Khurana didn’t want to be teammates with me and Joe Miranda again in the single session Swiss team game in the afternoon. They opted for pairs instead and, given the situation, so did we. Joe and I, playing what seemed like dismal cards East-West, finished  right at 50%, eighth out of 15 pairs. No points for us. Usha and Elaine, who sat North-South, came in third overall at 62.82%. They got 1.93 points.
Meanwhile, my plan was to run home during break between morning and afternoon sessions, feed the cat, bring in the mail, turn on the lights, then stay downtown when the afternoon games finished to catch up on a few things at the office.

But I also didn’t want to pay for parking in the ramp at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and the desk with the free parking passes wasn’t going to open until 2. I opted instead to take a hike through windy Niagara Square to a restaurant I’ve wanted to try – Osteria 166, the Italian bistro opposite the convention center on Franklin Street – and discovered that it’s Restaurant Week again. I went for the $20.15 lunch special – appetizer (pasta fagiole), main course (chicken lasagna) and a dessert (fried dough with Nutella and a wonderful raspberry compote) that turned out to be the best part of the meal. 

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