How much did I look forward to the return of the Rochester Regional Tournament, just an hour or so away down the Thruway? Ever since they announced the dates nearly two years ago.
During the tournament’s first revival in Rochester in 2015, I was facing cancer surgery in a few weeks and only managed to make it to the RIT Inn and Conference Center in Henrietta for two days. Very valuable days as it turned out, since partner Judie Bailey and I hooked up with a hot pair from Central New York and won our knock-out game.
This year, family matters have intervened. A tombstone unveiling on the last day of the tournament Sunday. A drive to New York City two days before that. A week of work to do in advance so I can take time off from my newspaper gig. Top that off with that miserable cold that’s been going around, which twice forced me back to bed in the middle of the afternoon. Propped up with decongestants all week, I wouldn’t have been able to keep my head up in Rochester.
It was hard enough here in Buffalo. I brought my foggy brain and runny nose to the Airport Bridge Club on Monday and discovered partner Carolyn Siracuse to be among the missing. Didn’t answer her phone. Didn’t see her all week so don’t know what happened to her.
Club manager Bill Finkelstein called in a sub – a very good sub, Tom Koralewski, departing next week for the next stage in his retirement in Indianapolis – and it turned out to be one of my best games all year. Our 63.89% tied us for second overall and brought in 1.44 points.
I was still in a fog Tuesday with Usha Khurana, but we had what felt like one of our better games. Not spectacular, but 51.85%, third North-South, 0.70 of a point.
Wednesday’s turnout at the club was so sparse that we would up playing home-style pairs – two tables, three rounds, 10 boards a round. I have one of my rare games with Chuck Schorr, who’s a seasoned player. I fully expect that we’ll blow away this diminished field, but we wind up in a three-way tie for top. Not very rewarding, but any fraction of a master point, even this 0.30, adds up.
Thursday found me partnerless once again. Thrown together with the agreeable Burt Freiman, a newbie who makes his fair share of mistakes, we steered ourselves to 50.30%, good enough for second in the B strat North-South and 0.86 of a point. How miserable a week is it if it yields up 3.30 points?