Smaller than usual turnout for Swiss teams Sunday at the Spring Sectional. I could tell by all the empty spaces in the parking lot at the Main-Transit Fire Hall. 18 tables. Small enough to reduce the point payout in the game.
Once again this is Dupli-Swiss with pre-dealt hands. Not only does it provide hand records, but it eliminates the need for caddies, since all the teams sit in pods of four tables and pass the boards around.
I rather like this game, but it turns out not to be popular. One of the better local players vowed she would not play Dupli-Swiss again because of the potential for cheating, since players in pods can overhear discussion of hands at adjacent tables. (Indeed, a neighboring table calls us on this breach of decorum while we're playing with the guy who set it all up and warned us about it, David Hemmer.)
Betty Metz further notes that a table’s worth of players from Jamestown and Olean decided not to come when they heard it was Dupli-Swiss. Furthermore, David Hemmer apparently won’t be available to set up Dupli-Swiss hands for the next sectional in September. I’d heard that setting up the hands was arduous, but David says it took him less than three hours with help from his sons, who were eager to earn a couple bucks putting cards into the dealing machine.
Still, I like this arrangement. It always helps to have hand records to assess what you should have done. What’s more, it seems more fair to have everyone playing the same boards instead of the pot-luck hands when every pair of teams shuffles them independently.
On the other hand, Sunday’s deals were seriously unsatisfying and didn’t allow for any of the swashbuckling play that I love to indulge in. Partner Anne Watkins didn’t take a bid until the third round. I went without playing a contract for two rounds later in the session. Mismatches abounded.