Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Bridge Blog 909: Buffalo Regional Day 1

Love those round robins. Our team (partner Joe Miranda plus Usha Khurana and Elaine Kurasiewicz) is in three-way competition in the Bracketed Knock Outs team game as the tournament gets under way Tuesday morning and the prospects are good. Two of the three teams get to advance. And there are only five teams overall in the bracket.
We beat them both in the first round of 24 boards. We’re 22-0 and 26-18 (in International Match Points) against the Dorothy May team (Ron Henrikson, Joe Rooney and Bill Boardman), which gets eliminated. We squeak past the Sandy Scheff team (Christine Malarkey, Barbara Sadkin and Paul Kotowski), 0-17 and 23-5. They also beat the May team. We get to play them again in the afternoon.
It’s another round robin after lunch, another 24 boards. Despite a mishap or two, we outpoint the Scheff team, 22-15 and 2-1. We also might have beaten the Barbara Landree team (Betty Metz, Gay Simpson and Paul Zittel) if partner Joe Miranda had taken more care in bidding one of the hands and let the contract settle somewhere other than 6 Hearts, which went down one. That costs us 11 IMPs in the first round of six hands. We lose it, 12-1, and our 8-7 margin in the second round falls far short of making it up.
The Landree team also beats the Scheff team, eliminating them. So we get to face them again, head-to-head, in the evening finals. Win or lose, however, we get what we came for – gold points.
We build up a stupendous margin during the first 12 hands, winning 31-0 and 20-9. That inspires Betty Metz to take competitive risks against Joe and me in the 12-board finale, encouraged by a string of wildly distributive hands. Doesn’t work. We win, 14-10 and 43-19. As champs, we collect 6.28 master points. Gold ones.
This, however, is a pittance next to what the winning team takes home in the expert bracket. A team of heavy hitters from Ohio – Fleur Howard, Philip Becker and Hope and Brian Ellis – defeat Buffalonians Jerry Geiger and John Ziemer (plus a couple guys from Ithaca) in the final round to pick up 25.21 points. Consolation prize for Jerry and John isn’t so shabby either – 17.65 points. 
Just got the daily bulletin online, which has pix of everybody and all the results. Here's the link. 

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