Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Regional ... ... #2

Yesterday I read through the long, long list of winners in the Regional duplicate bridge tournament just completed.

[I'd have published this earlier, but the ACBL's office in Memphis was closed due to inclement weather. Nothing like what DC has been experiencing, but .. .. .. everything seems to be 'up and running' now.]

It was fun reading. Saw some names towards the bottom of the list who should have been much closer to the top (imo) and names at the top who had no business being there. LOL

It took a while to read through the list of winners. We had a successful tournament, attendance-wise. Over 3,000 tables total. Reading through the list made me realize how many very good bridge players we have here in the Houston area. We have a Unit that is alive, vibrant, strong and moving ahead in all directions ... membership, public relations and attracting new players to the game of bridge.

From the little bit of time I spent at the tournament, I thought it went very smoothly and showed the positive results of many hours of hard work and organization by co-chairs Pat Levy and Paul Cuneo, who were ably supported by a hundred or more volunteers both before and during the tournament itself.

I was particularly impressed by the streamlined way in which the meal was served between sessions Sunday. Not only were there no lines - boxed lunches - but the sandwiches with extra-fresh bread were delicious! I felt myself starting to sag a bit afterwards, tho, - I like to take naps after I eat - but I made it through just fine.

I played in two side games on Thursday and Friday evenings with pickup partners and placed both times .. section top in the first one and second on Friday. I hadn't intended to play two sessions, but I noticed - when looking at the results online the next day, that my points for a section top would be gold if I played more than one session in the same event. Don't need any points - gold or otherwise - but I thought, "What the hey!"

There were fifteen side games all told ... five each morning, afternoon and evening (Tuesday through Saturday), and you had to play in two of the five to qualify for the overalls or get gold points if you received a section top. Unfortunately, the second fact was not made known ahead of time nor during the tournament itself unless you happened to read about it online. One of my students, who just needs gold points to qualify for Life Master status, played in only one of the sessions. She got a section top, but no gold because she didn't play in a second session. She would have adjusted her schedule accordingly had she known, I'll betcha. I didn't realize what had happened until I saw her Sunday, and by then it was too late to do anything about it.

My pickup partners did not seem to be affected by my (what appeared to be a) contagious disease, that of revoking. I wasn't the one doing the revoking. No, no, it was my regular partners! SIX revokes !!! altogether, two of which were very costly.

[For those of you non-bridge players, a revoke is the term given when you do not play a card of the suit led. For example, a diamond is led and you play a spade. If it turns out that you had a diamond and didn't play it, that is called a revoke. Where this can become very costly is that -- in addition to perhaps losing a trick or two (depending on who won the revoking trick and how many tricks were won subsequently) -- the card played (in this case a spade) remains on the table face up as a major penalty card and must be played at the first opportunity. If revoker's partner happens to get on lead, then declarer has other options. The upshot of this whole thing? Don't revoke!

Btw, a revoke is impossible when you're playing BBO ... the programming simply will not allow it. That's why, when a diamond was led (above), I asked, "No diamonds, partner?" By then, tho, it was too late. A spade had already hit the table. No trick penalties on this, but possible lead penalties, as you have already read.]

One really funny story about one of my partners' revokes. I think it was the last one of the tournament. The card inadvertently played - and therefore a major penalty card - was the deuce of hearts. It sat there on the table until partner won a trick and had to lead. Out came the offending deuce, which won the trick. I think that's hilarious! Don't recall ever hearing another revoke story quite like that one.

Well, that's all from the tournament. Had a lot of fun, as always.

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