Could 2017 have gotten off to a worse start? No, I’m not talking politics or the weather. I’m talking my game on Monday, Jan. 2, with Tish Schiffman, who helped me establish a new all-time personal low back in September (see Blog 904). We descended to the occasion again to kick off a new year at the tables with a 39.83%, dead last. No place to go but up.
Sure enough, Tuesday was up. Joyce Greenspan and I turned in a 46.68% game. Not last. Sixth out of eight North-Souths. Improvement continued Wednesday with Pawan Matta, who came in as a substitute when the prospective partner I had in my datebook said I wasn’t in her datebook. A marginal step forward to 47%.
Thursday the miracle of stratification smiled on me and Marietta Kalman, blessing us with 0.95 of a point, our first reward of the year. Despite a mere 48.15%, we were second in the B strat.
A drive Friday to St. Catharines, Ont., where there was even less snow than we lucky Buffalo people got Thursday outside the lake-effect storm area, brought me over the 50% boundary, although not by much. Selina Volpatti and I fashioned a 50.15% score out of a boom or bust session that yielded three 13-point absolute tops (including a victory in a 3 Hearts doubled vulnerable contract – see Blog 928-A) and two absolute bottoms. Not surprisingly, our final score was 50.15%. Better than Thursday and good enough for another miracle of stratification – fourth in the B strat (seventh overall) and 0.31 of a master point (no double points over there).Airport Bridge Club manager Bill Finkelstein lured Dottie May in to play with me in a four-table game Saturday and our play felt kind of hit-and-miss. And it was. If not for a good round against Paula Salamone and Eva Posener (9 out of a possible 12 match points), the upward trendline would have broken. Final score: 50.80%. Second in the B strat. And thanks to extra master point awards at the club: 1.23 points.