Friday, January 29, 2016

Bridge Blog 880: Buffalo Winter Sectional Wrap-up

Saleh Fetouh ruled once again during the three-day session in the Main-Transit Fire Hall. 27.01 points, which he collected mostly with the help of the No. 2 scorer, David Hemmer, who had 24.44.
       How did they do it? By winning both pairs games on Friday, for starters. The morning edition was worth 8.48 points. The afternoon added another 6.88. Most of the rest – 9.08 – came from the first-place finish in the Sunday Swiss team game.
       Other top finishers: Bud Seidenberg (a Saleh Swiss teammate), 15.97; Jay Costello (second in Swiss), 15.32; Chris Urbanek (the other Saleh Swiss teammate), 14.84; Torontonians Vera Carpenter and Rashid Khan (first in both Saturday pairs games), 14.67; Fred Yellen, 14.37; Donna Steffan (second in Swiss), 13.74; John and Martha Welte, 11.63.
       Me? Tied for 65 th with Teresa Fraas almost halfway down the list of 137 players with 3.22 points.
       Total table count was 136, with 23 Swiss teams. Last year’s Buffalo Winter Sectional had 156 tables, with 23 Swiss teams, and much worse weather. In 2014, when the tournament was the first weekend after New Year’s, table count was 132, and again with 23 Swiss teams.
       Random thoughts: Director Alex Bealles’ style was reminiscent of a security guard in a department store. Called to our table when I bid out of turn, he pulled me aside, looked at my hand, then forbid my partner from bidding after the opponents accepted my inadequate bid. It was a bad hand for us. Could he have ruled differently? I dunno. I was expecting something less draconian. Later in the weekend, I saw him pull other violators away from tables for similar chats. His gruff instructions and announcements were security-guard like, too.  
       My contributions to the cookie overload will live on. I believe it was Tova Reinhorn who told me that they would freeze the boxes full they didn’t open and bring them out for the Spring Sectional in April.

       The Main-Transit Fire Hall once again was frigid. The front vestibule isn’t heated and gets a new blast of cold air every time one of the smokers ducks outside. As a result, the social hall gets chilled every time somebody opens a door to go to the washrooms and the folks in charge don’t want to turn up the heat. Next time, I’m bringing an extra sweater. 

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