Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bridge Blog 884: Buffalo Spring Sectional

        I just got a call from my Monday partner. She didn’t see me in the Main-Transit Fire Hall Friday or Saturday and she was wondering if I’m OK. I am, I assured her (as I assured several folks at the tournament during the Swiss team finale on Sunday, when I finally showed up), but I had to accompany Monica to Roswell Park Cancer Institute on Friday to talk with a breast cancer surgeon. And Saturday? Well, she guilt-tripped me into canceling out.
        That was just as well. It would have been hard to justify spending another day (or two) playing as poorly as Judie Bailey and I did on Sunday in our return engagement with Bob Sommerstein and Larry Abate. In the first two rounds, which we lost by margins of 34-1 and 37-16 International Match Points, we stumbled repeatedly into disastrous 3 No Trump contracts.
        Happily, we emerged from our funk to capture the next two rounds – defeating the father-genius 10-year-old son pair and our good friends Betty Metz and Helen Panza. We enhanced our victorious spirits during the lunch break with thoughts of how we could still take home extra master points by winning the last three rounds.
        That dream faded quickly. We might have beaten the Chip Kean-Jim McClure team if they hadn’t beaten Judie on a 3 NT contract that their teammates were able to consummate with an overtrick. Nothing, however, could have turned the tide in a 36-0 drubbing at the hands of the Kozower-Kaprove team. And our teammates zigged on slams in the final round when they should have zagged, overbidding to slam on one hand that wouldn’t make it, underbidding on the one that would – setting us back 24 IMPs in a game we lost 28-17.
        Nevertheless, this day of Swiss team play wasn’t a total loss. Our two winning rounds were worth 0.29 of a silver point apiece.
        Random notes: Betty Metz announced in her welcoming remarks that this was a record-tying turnout for Swiss teams – 25 foursomes. Winners, best as I could determine, were a group of out-of-towners.

        Director Brian Meyer, setting a time after which he would not allow players to begin a new hand, got the game over by 5 p.m. by maintaining 50-minute rounds (although tables were being folded up all round Judie and me as we finished a dismally slow final round against Jan and Carl Hasselback). Brian also broke in yet another family member as a caddie – his 11-year-old son, Jackson. 

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