Friday, June 23, 2017

Bridge Blog 959: STaC and back

Two games a day for the six days of the Sectional Tournament at the Clubs (STaC) last week pretty much assured that regular players at the Airport Bridge Club would figure prominently in the final standings.
Nevertheless, our leading contender, Nancy Wolstoncroft, is way back in 12th place with her 16.14 points. Tied at the top with more than twice as many points are Stephanie and Robert Alexander of Mentor, Ohio. They won 33.81.
What Buffalo has is an ample supply of second-tier finishers. After Nancy comes her frequent partner, Alan Greer, with 14.77 (16th), and Denise Slattery, 14.52 (17th). A little further back in the double digits are Jerry Geiger, 11.28 (25th); Judi Marshall, 11.13 (26th); Ken Meier, 11.04 (29th); and Jay Levy, 10.82 (30th). I’m down in 58th place with 8.07.  In all, 1,061 players earned points.
I’m not sure why, but the post-STaC week began with a big head of steam. Partnerless on Monday and Tuesday, I’m paired both days with Carolyn Siracuse, a very good player but somewhat scattered at times.
On Monday, I arrive late and we don’t even consult on conventions. It doesn’t matter. We cruise to a 61.32% game, first in our direction, second overall, 2.19 master points. Tuesday we get to go over the basics before play begins and we diminish accordingly. This time we’re 55.08%, third in our direction, 0.50 of a point.
Wednesday is The Longest Day, the summer solstice and the occasion for the ACBL to celebrate by encouraging marathon games to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The Airport Bridge Club schedules three games, beginning at 10 a.m. Because I have to be at work in the 4 o’clock hour, I get to play only the first two of them with June Feuerstein.
To fit three of them in between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., they’re short games, but director Bill Finkelstein insures they’re long enough to award extra points. For June and me, that turns out to be a bonanza. In the morning, we’re second in the B strat in our direction, earning 0.67 of a point. In the game that begins shortly after noon, we romp to 62.50%, first in our direction, second overall, for 1.31 points.
The hot streak ends Thursday with a 48.21% game with Dottie May, but bubbles up again on Friday with Denise Slattery, finishing with 54.17%, second North-South, fourth overall, for 1.05 point. No game Saturday so I can help Monica and her bicycle get back home from the University at Buffalo after the Ride for Roswell, but it’s been a full week anyway – 5.72 points.
Add that to the 4.01 from early in the month and the 8.07 from STaC Week and June starts to look like it might bust 20 points. And it's about time! That still leaves me short of my goal – shooting for 15 points per month, I should have 90 by midyear and I’ll only have about 80 – but nevertheless it’s a big step ahead. 

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