Monday, June 20, 2016

Bridge Blog 895: Longest and Strongest

        All those double sessions last week at the Airport Bridge Club during STaC Week (Sectional Tournament at the Clubs) proved to be a good warmup for the summer solstice marathon – The Longest Day.
        Conceived as a dawn to dusk (or longer) card-playing extravaganza to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s devolved into something more modest because, let’s face it, most bridge players, no matter how fanatic, can’t keep focused for 15 or 16 hours. I recall those early attempts at holding a succession of games all day at the Airport Bridge Club, which petered out as players headed home exhausted late in the afternoon.
        Now I think the Airport Club has got it about right. Club manager Bill Finkelstein scheduled three extra-point games – 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. – and made them shorter, since the ACBL gives sanctions for games with as few as 12 boards on The Longest Day. (For those who wanted even more, there was an evening game of standard length over at the Bridge Center of Buffalo.)
The 10 a.m. game played 15 boards, three boards a round. The other two were 14 boards, two boards a round. The games moved well, the breaks for refreshments and lunch were appreciated and attendance was good – 6 tables at 10 a.m., 10 tables at noon, 7 tables at 2 p.m.

        The shortened game certainly agreed with me and partner Marilyn Sultz. Our Longest Day was an outstanding day. We were second North-South in the 10 a.m. session with 56.67%, earning 0.98 of a master point. Noon was better yet – first East-West and part of a three-way tie for first overall with 60.12%, collecting 1.91 points. We completed the hat trick at 2 p.m. with a 62.40% game, first East-West, second overall, 2.19 points. Wish they all could be Longest Days.

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