Squeezing The Dummy

Friday, July 01, 2005

San Antonio: Part 3

Morning Knockouts: Today was the first session of the morning knockouts. This is an event that goes on for four morning sessions (beginning at 9:00) instead of being played continuously. I was playing with Greg Hinze on a team with Ira Hessel, Alex Kolesnik, Nagy Kamel, and Derrell Childs. Greg is one of my favorite partners and it was exciting to play with him. We sat out the first set since I had to give a lecture for the novice/intermediates, but came in during the second set. We were in a round robin and came in down 14 and down 1. The team we came in down 14 against was pretty weak. After beating them 500 in 1 doubled, we kept pouring it on. At one point I held: 4 J8632 T82 A652. RHO started with 1, LHO bid 2 and partner Xed. RHO bid 4 and I had to decide what to bid. As we were favorable, and the opponents seemed likely to take the push I tried 5. RHO did take the push, and got Xed by partner. The contract was cold but she went down 1. We knew we had made up the margin plus another 20 most likely. We played a strong team in the second match and had the worst of it. The boards were fairly flat but they missed a good game that went down, and we bid a close game that might have been made but didn't. Predictably we lost the second match by about 10, and won the first match by about 30. It seems to be a trend, but we advanced with a 1-1 record.

Swiss Session 1: After the morning KOs was a one day swiss. I was playing with Patty again as well as Vinh Tran and Ed Groner. The format in Texas swiss team events is 6 matches on a VP 30 scale. I really don't like this format as it seems to randomize things the most, but there's not much I can do about it. We lost to a decent team from Austin in the first round by 2 imps. In the second match we got a good draw and scored a near blitz. We didn't really have anything to do, but the opponents just played poorly. An example would be RHO transferring and passing opposite partners 1N opener. RHO had 9 points and 5 hearts and missed a cold game. This big win was not earned, it was handed to us. In the third match we lost to another good team by 8 imps. There was one swing board where our teammates bid a vul game, down 2, and our opponents stopped in 2. That was lose 9, and the match. Again, there were few decisions or swing boards, and after 3 matches we were a little over average. This was surprising given that we were 1-2.

Swiss Session 2: I was determined to do well in the second session. We started out with another set that had very few swings. We got the best of this one and won by 6 imps. In the second match we played an experienced team that I have known for a long time. There were finally some swings and we seemed to be getting the better of it. Although we had no sure hands where we won imps, we had quite a few plus positions. Plus positions are boards that can only be good or a push. If you have enough of these, some will convert into imps. One of our plus positions was actually a lose 12. We found a good save against the opponents 5 contract and managed to go down 1. At the other table the save was found but our teammates let it in. Oops. Despite this we won by 21 and were in the hunt. We were fourth with one round to go, and although first was unlikely a win would probably get us second. This was no easy task as the team we faced included one of the greatest in the world, Mark Lair. We had a flat set except for partner letting in a red game. This was partially due to fatigue and partially playing too fast in order to keep up with the tempo. Everyone else at the table was extremely fast, and I should have slowed down the tempo in order to be a good partner. I was pretty sure we lost this match, and our partners did not have a good set either so we got blitzed. There was an amusing hand where I was in 1N making one. My hand was: T9 QT62 QT86 AQ7. Partner opened 1 and I responded 1. Partner bid 1 and I chose to just bid 1N. After the best lead and a misguess I was held to 1. At the other table Mark bid 2N with my hand and made FOUR in 3N. The defense didn't get off to the best start and Mark played perfectly thereafter, go figure. I think after getting blitzed we missed the overalls. This was a disappointing finish but you can't win 'em all.

Midnight KOs: I played on a six man team in the midnight KOs (which started at 10:30). My teammates were Darlene Riely, Nancy and Steve Kornegay, and Patty Lozano and Jeff Ford. We brought the Kornegays in as ringers since we were challenged by Alan Copeland to form a team that could beat his. The Kornegays are excellent players and it showed in the matches that Darlene and I were in. They were awesome. I thought we had lost both times but they always had a +50 card it seemed like. We met Alan's team in the final and pulled off the win. The whole point was pride, so it was very nice to beat him in the final.

Sorry, not a lot of hands but I'm tired from the four session day. Four session days are really not recommended.

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