Just after the morning half of Tuesday’s double session started at the Airport Bridge Club, manager/director Bill Finkelstein comes to our table and announces there won’t be any results this day because the computer is broken. That’s because, he adds, it lists me in first place in the November master point race.
Well, needless to say, the club’s computer is working just fine, but has November really been that good?
Guess it has. On the eve of the midway point, I have 9.24 points. That’s better than the Weltes, John and Martha, who have been winning a lot and who both have 8.75. It’s better than two other heavy hitters – Judi Marshall, who has 7.38, and Jerry Geiger, who has 6.70.
What a difference a new page on the calendar makes. In all of October, I earned just 7.12 points at the Airport Club and wound up in 22nd place on the list.
Tuesday morning pads that lead. The nearest master point contenders aren’t playing and partner Marilyn Sultz and I are first overall with 60.08%. But because this is a game that didn’t award double or triple points, we earn only 0.60 of one.
Judi and Jerry weare present, however, for the afternoon game, which offers the big-point bonus. They play together and are the overall winners, harvesting 3.19 points. That's enough to shoot both of them past me, since Marilyn and I finish one position short of the winners’ circle with a 49.54% game.
But wait a minute … What about Board 14? We’re credited with a score of 150, good for only 0.5 of a match point out of a possible 5. But on my scorecard, as West, I bid and made 3 No Trump. That’s 400. (The hand records say it should make 4 NT.) I point this out to the director, but the other players involved have already left, and I can’t corroborate it. He says he’ll check with them. If I'm upheld, that would boost us to 51.62% and fourth overall. And it would be just enough to keep me in the lead. We'll see.
Meanwhile, Judi misunderstood the starting time for the afternoon game and arrived just as Jerry and a substitute partner were preparing to bid their first hand. In practically any other club, somebody would be turned away, but not here.
In an impressive display of quick thinking, director Bill Finkelstein immediately called in another substitute player and changed the game from a six-table Mitchell to a 13-pair arrangement, with just a two-board sit-out for every pair.