Relegated to playing pairs again, Joe Miranda and I flame out in the final rounds Thursday morning (against Selina Volpatti, yet – we make her a point winner) and again Thursday afternoon. Our record couldn’t be more dismal – 47.09% in the morning, 42% after lunch.
Evening reunites me with newfound partner Terri Downey from New Jersey and Canadian teammates Alison Burkett and Jed Drew for the second installment of compact knock outs. Jed confesses to a terrible mistake on a sure 6 Club contract, which costs us 14 International Match Points and a shot at the final round. We lose to the Martin team – four women from Cleveland – 34 to 18. Take away those 14 IMPs from them and add in our 5½ point handicap and we’d be winners.
After a brief discussion of forfeiting the consolation round and going home early, we decide to take on the Petrov team again, even though they beat us Wednesday night. This time we play Petrov’s teammates, Alex Khrakovsky and Junko Hemus.
Junko, who wears glittery makeup and has a Versace scarf across her lap, berates Alex throughout the 12 hands we play. And for good reason. He takes seven bids to one of hers. And he hands us two outrageous gifts.
First he doubles me in a 5 Diamond contract and allows me to make it (16 IMPs). On the very next hand, he jumps in with a 4 Heart bid to take away a vulnerable 3 No Trump contract from me. Since I’m holding a 20-point hand (with A-K-Q-J-8 in Hearts) opposite my partner’s weak 2 Diamond opening bid, I pounce on him with a double. He’s not vulnerable, but he wins only four tricks. That’s a minus 1,400 and another 14 IMPs.
Although the Petrov team beats us 33-31 overall, we get 2.81 IMPs for a handicap, and that makes us victorious in the consolation match. 4.85 gold points! We’re elated. Especially Terri. She now needs only half a gold point for Life Master.