Friday, January 22, 2016

Bridge Blog 877: Buffalo Winter Sectional, Day 1

“If we were playing North-South, we would have scratched,” partner Judie Bailey observed at the end of the afternoon session in the Main-Transit Fire Hall. Our 54.76% felt good, good enough to win us something, but we were East-West and five other pairs in our 10-table section, Section D, did better than that.
That score would have put us second North-South in Section D. It would have earned us points on either side of the table in 9½-table Section C (second East-West, fifth North-South). But alas, we were in fast company. The East-West winners in our section were all heavy hitters – Davis Heussler and David Colligan, Joan Rose and Chris Urbanek, Judy Graf and Mike Ryan.
At any rate, I was grateful not to repeat our wretched morning performance – 12th out of 14 North-Souths in our section with 40.98%. Plagued with horrible misfit hands, bad sacrifices and missed convention bids, it was even worse than our 42.49% tune-up game back on Monday at the Airport Bridge Club.
In the afternoon, we met many of the pairs we’d played from the other side of the table in the morning session. Once again, we were slam-dunked by Bud Seidenberg and Jay Costello, picking up a mere 6.97 match points out of a possible 51, or 13.67%. In the morning, we got 18 of a possible 50, or 36%.
Then there were our section’s East-West winners Davis Heussler and David Colligan (Colligan fresh from helping the Ralph Wilson Foundation give big bucks to local charities), who hauled in 5.16 points for finishing first in the section and second overall. Fortunately, we did not have to play them in the afternoon. They were our first opponents in the morning and got us off to a 28% start.
Near as I could tell, there were few out-of-towners. No Canadians that I noticed. Nor Rochester people.
Notable exception was a Cleveland-area pair, William Toler of Bay Village and Ann Kostel of Westlake, who zipped in, won 4.77 silver points for finishing first in the B and C strats in the morning, then zipped back onto the Thruway, not staying for the afternoon.
An even more notable exception was a Boston-area pair, Marianne Bechet and Sabrina Miles, who flew here for $66, planned to have a top-rate dinner at Tabree overnight and stick around for Saturday. They were second in the B strat and won a silver point in the morning, finished below Judie and me in the afternoon.
Moving up the afternoon game to 2:30 p.m. made going out to lunch all but impossible, since the morning session ended just a couple minutes before 2. The food option, aside from leftover morning bagels, was ice cream sundaes, not exactly a healthy choice.

I contributed to the food offerings with cookies from Sweet Temptations du Jour, nine dozen of them, which are being saved for later in the weekend. Asked if the cookies that were put out during the afternoon were the ones I brought, I checked the kitchen and found them still in their plastic wrap on a table jam-packed with cookies and other desserts. The phrase “coals to Newcastle” flashed across my mind. 

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