Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bridge Blog 968: TWTWTW Aug. 7 to Aug. 12

Monday: Art Matthies and I salvage a shred of pride with a 50.46% and a sliver of a master point – 0.69. Two top boards – a double on an opponent's ill-advised 4 Diamond bid, down three; and a nicely executed 3 Club contract by Art. Two bottoms – a down-three sacrifice by me that goes down four instead and a 3 No Trump contract by the opponents which we can't figure out how to crack.
Tuesday: Not much luck with Usha Khurana. 47.10%. Mistakes by both of us. At least we're not last.
Wednesday: June Feuerstein and I have our usual loopy good time and manage to finish second East-West in a low-percentage six-table game. Our 53.75% is worth 1.27 points.
Thursday: No partner so club manager Bill Finkelstein offers me on Wednesday to the first available player who speaks up. That would be Eva Schmidt, a nonagenarian marvel and Holocaust survivor. We come in fourth North-South with 51.94% and earn 0.69 of a point.
Friday: Canadian partner unavailable, so no trip to St. Catharines. Myra Razik accepts Bill Finkelstein's general offer this time and we have a 50.84% game, third in B East-West, 0.75 of a point.

Saturday: Will my end-of-the-week date with the current August master point leader, Denise Slattery, depress her or lift me up? The latter. One of my best games of the year, in fact. 
When the results are posted, we're tied with Alan Greer and Nancy Wolstoncroft at the top with 65%. Then Shirley Cassety finds an incorrect score. Not the first time she gets a correction that bumps me back. 
Alan and Nancy stay at 65%, Denise and I drop to 64.17%, second overall, but still first in the B strat for 2.25 points. For the week: 6.65 points. For the month so far: 7.98. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bridge Blog 967: Goodbye to July

         Club points for the year, through July 31: 85.32, up 19.70 since June. I've passed David Millward, who was out of action all month, and moved ahead to second place in the Ace of Clubs race (club play only) among Ruby Life Masters (1,500 to 2,500 points) in Unit 116 (Buffalo only).                    Here's the Top 10: Mike Silverman, 120.13 (also first among all players in the unit); me, 85.32 (sixth overall); David Millward, 81.37 (tenth); Ken Meier, 80.72 (12th); Fred Yellen, 63.23 (22nd); Allen Beroza, 61.15 (25th); Gene Finton, 52.63 (29th); Dorothy May, 45.15 (38th); Chuck Schorr, 27.94 (77th); and Art Morth, 27.20 (82nd).
         Among all Unit 116 players in the Ace of Clubs race, the Top 10 looks like this: Mike Silverman still on top, 120.13; Jerry Geiger moving up from fifth to second, 99.71; Liz Clark, 98.16; Mike Ryan (ninth to fourth), 87.74; Meg Klamp, 87.30; me, 85.32; Judi Marshall, 81.64; John Ziemer, 81.59; Denise Slattery, 81.42; David Millward, 81.37. And let's add these folks nipping at our heels – Martin Pieterse, 81.08; Ken Meier, 80.72; Ron Henrikson, 80.28; and Sharon Benz, 78.91.
         Overall points for the year, as of July 31: 103.39. I've broken through the century mark and almost reached my 15-point-per-month goal. Here again I move up a notch in the Mini-McKenney race (all points earned everywhere) to third place among Ruby Life Masters in Unit 116, past inactive David Millward. 
         Here's how the leaders look: Ken Meier, 171.07 (sixth among all Unit 116 players, down from fourth); Mike Silverman, 125.58 (12th overall, up from 16th), me, 103.39 (22nd, up from 25th); David Millward, 95.63 (27th); Fred Yellen, 90.99 (28th); Allen Beroza, 86 even (33rd); then a big step down to Gene Finton, 59.65 (50th); Dorothy May, 50.69 (61st); Art Morth, 38.70 (78th) and Bill Rushmore, 30.36 (101st).
        Two of the Unit 116 Mini-McKenney leaders have broken through the 200 point mark. Here they are: Davis Heussler, 215.15; Mike Ryan, 200.12; John and Martha Welte, both with 196.91; Jay Levy, 174.02; Ken Meier, 171.07; John Ziemer, 148.58; Linda Burroughsford, 147.19; Christy Kellogg, 138.25; Bert Hargeshimer, 134.87; Liz Clark, 131.13; Mike Silverman, 125.58.
         District 5 (Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh) Ace of Clubs. Ruby Life Masters. I’m third in my division, up from fifth, and 17th overall, up from 28th. We Buffalo players have four of the top five spots, starting with Mike Silverman at 120.13. He's fourth among all District 5 Mini-McKenney players.
         Second is Allen Selling of Erie, Pa.; 87.50 (14th overall); me, 85.32 (17th); David Millward, 81.37 (23rd); Ken Meier, 80.72 (25th); Susan Konig of Bridgeville,Pa., 78.33 (31st); Chantal Whitney of Bratenahl, Ohio, 78.16 (32nd); Patrick Slaven of Mogadore, Ohio, 69.01 (49th); Doris Kirsch of East Springfield, Pa., 66.98 (57th); Fred Yellen, 63.23 (64th); and Allen Beroza, 61.15 (70th).
         District 5 Ace of Clubs overall. Here the leader continues to be Robert Alexander of Mentor, Ohio, with 136.44; followed by Arlene Port of Pittsburgh, 122.97; Stephanie Alexander of Mentor, 120.60; Mike Silverman, 120.13; Patricia Katz of Pittsburgh, 104.66; Richard Katz of North Versailles, Pa., 103.09; Asim Ulke of Monroeville, Pa., 101.99; Jerry Geiger, 99.71; Barbara Belardi of Pittsburgh, 98.28; and Liz Clark, 98.16.
         District 5 Mini-McKenney. Ruby Life Masters.  Sue Lan Ma of Kirtland Hills, Ohio, continues on top by a wide margin. She’s got 507.18. First in the division and first in the district overall. The rest of the Top 10: Craig Biddle of Pittsburgh, 335.34 (seventh overall); William Lindgren of Slippery Rock, Pa., 191.10 (23rd); Ken Meier, 171.07 (33rd); Russell Sheldon of Pittsburgh, 132.81 (51st); Mike Silverman, 125.58 (59th); Charles Ladiha of Vermillion, Ohio, 125.25 (60th); Jean Picone of Pittsburgh, 111.38 (78th); Jayne Stahr of Stow, Ohio, 107.30 (86th); and me! 103.39 (up from 15th, also 94th overall, up from 109th).  
         District 5 Mini-McKenney overall. Sue Lan Ma, 507.18; Reanette Frobouck still second, but only advancing about 15 points to  438.32; Kathleen and Don Sulgrove of Twinsburg, Ohio, 376.62 and 372.06, respectively; with Craig Biddle of Pittsburgh coming between them with 284.66. Then Bernie Greenspan of Beachwood, Ohio, moves up to fifth with 362.90; followed by Philip Goulding of Wexford, Pa., 347.76; Craig Biddle of Pittsburgh, 335.34; Robert and Stephanie Alexander of Mentor, Ohio, 315.27 and 299.43; and Brian Ellis of Beachwood, 263.61.

Nationwide. Ace of Clubs. Ruby Life Masters. Thomas Roberg, Raleigh, N.C., 202.79; Dennis Harris, Corvallis, Ore., 193.43; Gary Waldron, Laguna Beach, Calif., 192.53; Ben Franz, Edgewood, N.M., 191.02; Mohan Bali, Columbia, S.C., 188.84. Mike Silverman is 76th. I just missed the list last month, now I'm 320th. David Millward is tied for 386th. Ken Meier is 394th. The list cuts off at 75.82.
Nationwide. Ace of Clubs overall. Top three are repeaters. Bella Ionis-Sorren, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 378.82; Bill Kulbersh, Atlanta, 377.21; Kay Schulle, Purchase, N.Y., 332.12; Sheila Gabay of Newton, Mass., 306.15; Irva Neyhart of Corvallis, Ore, 303.71. No Unit 116 players here and only Robert Alexander from District 5. He's 356th. The list cuts off at 126.20.  
Nationwide. Mini-McKenney. Ruby Life Masters. Here it's Gillian Miniter of New York City, 681.05; Sudhakar Divakaruni of Scottsdale, Ariz., 570.12; District 5's Sue Lan Ma, 507.18; Jeff Edelstein of Riverview, Fla., 427.03; and Layne Noble of Ottawa, Ont., 410.41. Unit 116's Ken Meier is 181st. Mike Silverman is 473rd. The list stops at 123.96.

Nationwide. Mini-McKenney overall. Now there are 27 players with 1,000 points or more. Leader is still Chris Compton of Dallas, 1,812.91; then it's Kevin Dwyer of Melbourne, Fla., 1,563.46; Mike Passell of Plano, Texas, 1,557.61; Jeff Meckstroth of Clearwater Beach, Fla., 1,472.94; and Greg Hinze of San Antonio, Texas, 1,436.35. Former Buffalonian Joel Wooldridge is 20th with 1,106.32. Sue Lan Ma is 133rd. Reanette Frobouck is 193rd. Eight District 5 players make the list before the it ends at 301.84. 

Bridge Blog 966: TWTWTW: July 31 - Aug. 5

Monday: Three top boards, four bottom boards, but Art Matthies and I manage to rise above the 50% mark. 51.53%, to be exact. Fourth North-South. 0.93 of a master point is not enough to break the 20-point mark for the month, but it's close.
Tuesday: I neglect to tell club manager Bill Finkelstein that I don't have a partner until 9 a.m. I think he pairs me with novice Ted May as punishment. He also makes us the bumping pair in a 9½ table game. But I stick to a basic game with Ted, don't take too many chances and we bring it home at 53.25%. First in B. 1.33 points. Only August points this week.
Meanwhile, on Board 12, I pick up what may be my worst hand ever. An ultra Yarborough.
Spades: 7-3; Hearts: 8-6-2; Diamonds: 8-6-4-2; Clubs: 8-4-3-2. 
(The odds of picking up a Yarborough turn out to be pretty slim [see the mathematical formula for it here]. One in which the highest card is an 8 must be even more rarified.) 
Ted, on the other hand, has a 19-pointer. He bids the opponents up to 3 Spades, they go down one, it's an average board.
Wednesday: June Feuerstein and I always have a good time, but we don't always have a good game. 43.92%. Almost, but not quite, last.
Thursday: Like my partnership with Art Matthies, my games with Marietta Kalman never quite live up to their potential. This time we come close to 50%, but fall short at 48.38%.
Friday: A change of pace over at the Bridge Centre of Niagara in St. Catharines, Ont., at the start of their civic holiday weekend. Sometimes Selina Volpatti and I are up, sometimes we're down. This time we take the bid on 17 of the 26 hands, but we go down on 13 of them and most of the scores are on the opponents' side of the line. We finish 15th out of 17 North-Souths with 44.59%.
Worst moment: An ill-advised 3 Heart bid where I go down 5 vulnerable and should have gone down 2, according to the hand record. Miraculously, it's not a bottom board. Three other pairs went to 4 Hearts, got doubled. Two of them went down 3, one went down 6. Best moment: Doubling the opponents' 4 Spade bid and seeing them go down 4 vulnerable. That one was a top. We needed more of those. 
In retrospect, a downer kind of week. I'll need better real soon to reach that 15-point-per-month goal.