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Mondays

 
     No Wednesday games for now...If you would be interested in a Swiss Team Game or a Limited Pairs Game (499er, 299er, 199er, etc.) or a Limited Swiss Team Game, or any other type of game on Wednesday evenings, please speak to me (Doug) about it.  Or also please feel free to email me (dough0918@aol.com) or phone me (925:938-4493) about it (or about anything else really).  if I can sense there is enough interest in a Wednesday game to make it work, we could certainly have one.
 
       WE'LL START W/ WHAT IS BECOMING A FAMILIAR END OF THE MONTH ANNOUNCEMENT CONCERNING NEXT WEEK'S GAMES.  THOSE ON MONDAY NOVEMBER 23 AND THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26 (T'GIVING EVENING, AS IT HAPPENS, ALTHOUGH MOST ALL OF OUR TYPICAL PLANS FOR THAT DAY AND EVENING MAY HAVE LIKELY BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY ALTERED BY OUR DEAR PAL COVID-19) WILL BOTH BE PART OF ANOTHER STARDUST WEEK, MEANING BOTH WILL AWARD 2X (DOUBLE) MASTERPOINTS OF WHICH 25% WILL BE GOLD.  THIS IS ONLY A LITTLE BIT MIS-LEADING...2X (DOUBLE) ACTUALLY REFERS TO THE OLD ACBL F2F MASTERPOINT AWARD SYSTEM.  WE ACTUALLY HAVEN'T USED THAT SINCE THE BIRTH OF (THESE) VIRTUAL CLUB GAMES THIS PAST SPRING (IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19/SHELTER IN PLACE).  THE VIRTUAL FORMULA ALREADY HAD ADDED 50% TO THOSE AWARDS FROM ITS INCEPTION.  MEANING, 10 TABLE OPEN GAME, ACBL F2F SYSTEM, 1st PLACE WAS AWARDED EXACTLY 1 MASTERPOINT; SAME CONDITIONS, VIRTUAL CLUB GAME = 1.5 MASTERPOINTS.  STARDUST WEEK, SAME CONDITIONS, 2X 1.00 (OLD FWF AWARD) = 2 MASTERPOINTS.  BBO AND ACBL NEED $ TO SUSTAIN WHAT ALL THEY DO FOR US SO THEY CHARGE US AN EXTRA $5/TABLE FOR THESE GAMES.  OUR ARRANGEMENT IS, EACH PLAYER PAYS $1 EXTRA, i.e. $7 TABLE FEE, JUST FOR THESE 2 GAMES.  PIEDMONT CLUB PAYS THE 5th $ FOR EACH TABLE.  THEY ARE USUALLY WELL ATTENDED, W/ POINT AWARDS LARGER THAN USUAL.  PLEASE MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDAR IF THAT WILL HELP YOU COME PLAY...AND DO HOPE YOU CAN MAKE IT, OF COURSE.  

 
     OK, WE'RE B-A-A-A-CK W/ OUR TUESDAY SPECIAL, NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS (BLOG) OF LAST EVENING'S (AGAIN) WONDERFUL GAME.  THIS TIME WINNERS WON A BIT MORE DECISIVELY THAN RECENTLY (APPROXIMATELY A BOARD MarginOfVictory ON EACH SIDE), BUT THE RACES MAY HAVE BEEN EXCITING NONETHELESS. 

 
     TURNS OUT ALTHOUGH I STARTED OUT W/ THE BEST OF INTENTIONS, TRUTH IS I NEVER ACTUALLY FINISHED THIS TILL TODAY, FRIDAY, W/ MANY INTERRUPTIONS, SOME HELPFUL, SOME NOT.  MY APOLOGIES, BUT MY LIFE SEEMS LESS COMPLICATED GOING FORWARD SO W/ ANY LUCK THESE RECAPS WILL COME IN FAR BETTER TIME/ORDER.  MUCH APPRECIATE ANY AND ALL YOUR PATIENCE...  

 
     LILIMCB (LILI) and ARGLE89 (MARCIA) REGISTERED A MOST IMPRESSIVE WIN FROM N/S SIDE.  THE FIELD THEY BEAT ACTUALLY INCLUDED 6 PAIRS (ALL 3 STRAT A PAIRS AND ALL THE 3 OTHER STRAT B PAIRS) W/ MOSTLY CONSIDERABLY MORE MASTERPOINTS/EXPERIENCE THAN THEY HAD COMING IN.  BEAT THEM?  HECK NO, LILIMCB and ARGLE89 RATHER THOROUGHLY TROUNCED ALL OTHER PAIRS IN THIS GAME, SCORING 122.5 (AVERAGE WAS 90, SO THIS WAS 68%)  BEST SCORE IN "THE ROOM" BY 7/10 OF A FULL BOARD.  THEY ALSO TOOK 1st PLACE IN STRAT B WHICH WAS EASILY OVERWHELMED BY STRAT A AWARD.  (JOHN EI)DINGER and (DAVE) PRATT TOOK 2nd PLACE W/ 111.5 (62%), 1/10th MORE THAN A FULL BOARD MOV.  THEY WERE ALSO (AN IRRELEVANT HERE) 2nd PLACE IN STRAT B.  DEFINITE CANDIDATES FOR BEST SCREEN NAME(S) EVER, VULNRABLEV (VALERIE) and ALPETE99 (AL P) WON A TIGHT RACE FOR 3rd PLACE W/ 94 (52.22%).  WALLACE394 (MELINDA) and BSMTL (BALA/BAKA) WERE A SINGLE POINT FURTHER BACK IN 4th PLACE, SCORING 93 (51.67%).  ALSO SCRATCHING (YET ANOTHER SINGLE POINT BACK) WERE PAR36 (PAT) and LEUPHRAT (LISA) EARNING 3rd PLACE IN STRAT B W/ SCORE OF 92 (51.11%).  ALSO W/ 4 STRAT C PAIRS, WE GET THE LUXURY OF 2 SCRATCHING STRAT C PAIRS, BURTMAR (MARILYN OUR VERY OWN BOOKBINDER) and SLAMGIRL8 (KC/KATHLEEN) BEING 1st PLACE VICTORS W/ 84.5 (47%) AND LEEANE (LEE) and MDLUBIN (MIKE) TAKING 2nd PLACE IN STRAT C, SCORING 79 (44%).  7 OUT OF 11 PAIRS SCRATCHING...YES, WE'LL GLADLY TAKE THATSmile...

 
     ON TO THE RACE, WHAT THERE WAS OF A RACE, THAT IS...LILIMCB and ARGLE 89 TOOK A MINUTE OR TWO TO GET GOING...ALMOST LITERALLY...OK, LET'S SAY IT ACTUALLY TOOK THEM ABOUT 14 MINUTES TO GET GOING, ALL OF ONE ROUND.  THEY TIED FOR LAST PLACE ON BOARD #1.  BOARD #2 WASN'T MUCH BETTER AND AT THE END OF THAT FIRST ROUND THEY WERE AHEAD OF JUST 2 PAIRS.  HOWEVER THEY RIGHTED THE SHIP QUICKLY W/ 6 MATCHPOINTS (TOP WAS 10) ON BOARD #3 AND BY THE END OF THE ROUND (#2, FOLLOWING BOARD #4), THEY WERE HUMMING ALONG, ONLY 2 POINTS UNDER AVERAGE. THEY FINISHED THE FINAL 8 (OF THE 9) ROUNDS W/ NO ROUND WORSE THAN 11.5 (OUT OF A POSSIBLE 20, 57.5%).  THEY ONLY HAD 2 BOARDS UNDER AVERAGE OUT OF THOSE FINAL 16.  THEY WERE, BASICALLY RELENTLESS, INDOMITABLE, AND NON-STOP AFTER THAT FIRST ROUND. 

 
     THERE WAS A 7-WAY TIE FOR TOP ON BOARD #1 (7 MATCHPOINTS FOR EACH)...BTW, WE HAD 11 TABLES THIS EVENING; ALL BUT ONE OF THE 11 N/S PAIRS BID 4H ON BOARD #1 AND 7 OF THOSE N's THAT BID IT MADE EXACTLY THAT, 10 TRIX (+420's).  ON BOARD #2, 4 OF THOSE 7 PAIRS BID 3NT AND 3 OF THOSE N's AND 1 S MADE 10 TRIX (+630's).  SO THERE REMAINED A 4-WAY TIE FOR THE LEAD AT THE END OF ROUND 1 W/ 15 MATCHPOINTS.  THOSE PAIRS WERE VULNRABLEV and ALPETE99, BURTMAR and SLAMGIRL8, LEEANE and MDLUBIN AND ARTCPA (ARTHUR) and TGRISWOLD (TOM).  LEEANE and MDLUBIN FINALLY BURST AWAY FROM THE PACK ON BOARD #3 AND WERE ONE OF ONLY 3 PAIRS TO BID 4H (AND ALL 3 S's MADE IT, ALTHOUGH 3 OF THE 4 OTHER HEART BIDDERS WHO BID LESS THAN THAT ALSO MADE LESS THAN THAT).  BOTTOM LINE, AFTER BOARD #3, LEEANE and MDLUBIN HELD ALL TO THEMSELVES A 2.5 POINT LEAD OVER BURTMAR and SLAMGIRL8.  THAT LASTED ONLY FOR THAT BOARD, HOWEVER, AS BURTMAR and SLAMGIRL8 TURNED THE TABLES AND REVERSED THE FAVOR ON BOARD #4 BY PERMITTING THEIR OPPS TO PLAY 1NT (AND HOLDING THEM TO EXACTLY THAT, -90), AS OPPOSED TO 3 OTHER N/S PAIRS WHOSE S's BID 2S AND WENT SET A TRICK (-100) OR ALL THE OTHER N/S PAIRS WHO LET THEIR OPPS PLAY 1NT BUT ALSO LET THEM MAKE AN UPTRICK OR MORE (4 -120's, AND ALSO A -150 AND A -180).  THIS WAS WORTH 9 MATCHPOINTS FOR BURTMAR and SLAMGIRL8 AND LEFT THEM ENJOYING A 3 POINT LEAD 30.5-27.5 OVER LEEANE and MDLUBIN.  THIS LASTED FOR ANOTHER BOARD, BUT THEN ON BOARD #6 WE HAD OUR NEXT TO LAST LEAD CHANGE.  VULNRABLEV and ALPETE99 SCORED A PURE TOP WHEN THEIR OPPS FOUND THEMSELVES IN A DIFFICULT 2NT CONTRACT AND GOOD DEFENSE REWARDED -3 = +300.  THIS WAS WORTH A 1 POINT LEAD OVER WALLACE394 and BSMTL ON A CROWDED LEADERBOARD THAT NOW READ: 37.5, 36.5, 35.5, 33, 32.5, 29.5, 29...5 PAIRS W/IN 5 POINTS OF EACH OTHER AND 2 MORE ONLY 8 AND 8.5 RESPECTIVELY (LESS THAN A BOARD EACH) BEHIND THE LEADERS.  THIS LEAD HAD SHRUNK TO 0.5 POINTS 2 BOARDS LATER (END OF ROUND #4) WHEN LEADERBOARD READ: 50.5, 50, 47.5, 46, 45.5, 44, 6 PAIRS W/IN 6.5 POINTS OF EACH OTHER.  BUT BY BOARD #9, LILIMCB and ARGLE89 HAD TRULY CAUGHT FIRE AND SCORED A PURE TOP BY SETTING THEIR OPPS 2 TRIX (+200) IN AN EMINENTLY REASONABLE 2S CONTRACT THAT NO ONE ELSE "FOUND".  THIS GAVE THEM THEIR FIRST LEAD 60-54 (OVER VULNRABLEV and ALPETE99).  TO THIS POINT, 4 DIFFERENT PAIRS HAD HELD THE LEAD, BUT THAT PORTION OF THE GAME WAS NOW INDEED OVER.  LILIMCB and ARGLE89 WOULD MAINTAIN THEIR LEAD UNTOUCHED OVER THE REMAING 5 ROUNDS (10 BOARDS, MORE THAN HALF THE GAME).  THIS WAS THE MIDDLE OF A GREAT 6 BOARD RUN FOR THEM ON #s 6-11: 9, 10, 7.5, 10, 8.5, 8.5.  THAT WOULD BE 53.5 POINTS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 60, 89%.  THEIR OTHER PURE TOP IN THAT RUN WAS ON BOARD #7 WHERE THEY WERE IN 4S AND LILIMCB WAS THE ONLY ONE OF 7 DECLARERS IN SPADES TO MAKE 10 TRIX (ON A CROSS-RUFF AGAINST A 4-1 TRUMP BREAK).  SO W/ A ROUND OF 10 AND 8.5 (93%) ON BOARD #'s 9 AND 10, THEY BALLOONED THEIR LEAD TO 13.5 POINTS.  LEADERBOARD AT THAT POINT WAS: 68.5, 55, 55, 54.5, 53.  THEY HAD AN 11.5 POINT (57.5%) ROUND #6 AND STILL LED BY 8 (80-72) OVER MELINDA and BALA WHO'D HAD A 17 POINT ROUND (85%).  ANOTHER 11.5 ROUND #7 HAD SEEN THEIR LEAD SHRINK TO 5 (91.5-86.5) NOW OVER DINGER and PRATT WHO'D PUT UP AN 18.5 POINT ROUND THEMSELVES.  THIS INCLUDED A PURE TOP ON BOARD #13 WHEN THEY BID A REALLY AGGRESSIVE 4S (2 OTHER N's THAT WERE UP THAT HIGH COULDN'T BRING IT HOME, BUT DINGER DID).  AT THIS POINT EVEN  MELINDA and  BALA, IN 3rd PLACE AT 76 POINTS WEREN'T W/IN 10 POINTS OF 2nd PLACE OR 15 POINTS OF 1st.  A 3-WAY TIE FOR TOP ON BOARD #15, ONE OF 3 N/S PAIRS WHOSE OPPS BID UP TO 4H AND WENT -2 = -100 GAVE LILI and MARCIA 9 MORE MATCHPOINTS AND A 16 POINT (80%) ROUND #8, ELIMINATING FROM ANY POSSIBLE SOLE 1st PLACE VICTORY ALL EXCEPT DINGER and PRATT WHO WERE ALMOST A FULL BOARD BEHIND (107.5-98.5) W/ ONLY 2 TO GO.  LILI and MARCIA ONLY SCORED AN AVERAGE (5) ON BOARD #17 TO REDUCE THEIR LEAD TO 5.5 POINTS...BUT THEY SLAMMED THE DOOR W/ EMPHATIC FINALITY W/ A (PERFECT) 10 ON BOARD #18...OPPS TRIED 4S AND LILI, HOLDING AQTXX IN TRUMPS TOOK THE HAMMER TO THAT ONE AND CAME UP +800 FOR HER TROUBLES.  6 OTHER W's BID 4S, BUT 4 OF THOSE N's COULDN'T FIND THEIR RED CARD AND THE 2 OTHERS THAT DID WEREN'T ABLE TO SET IT AS MANY AS 4.

 
     IN THE END, IF ONE THROWS OUT THEIR SUB-PAR FIRST ROUND, THEY PILED UP 118 MATCHPOINTS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 160 OVER THOSE FINAL 16 BOARDS, A REMARKABLY LONG STRETCH OF 74% PLAY.  GAME, SET, AND MATCH, TH'X FOR COMING, HAVE A GREAT REST OF THE EVENING, AND PLEASE, DON'T FERGIT TO TIP YOUR EXCELLENT WAIT-STAFF AND...TO BE SURE...PLEASE ALSO DRIVE HOME SAFELY. 

 
     MOVING ON, WE'RE THRILLED (OF COURSE) TO NOTE THAT STRATS B AND C PLAYERS DOMINATED E/W RANKINGS THIS EVENING, MUCH AS LILIMCB and ARGLE89 DOMINATED THE ENTIRE N/S FIELD.  ONLY DOWNSIDE (CERTAINLY W/ E/W SIDE) IS THAT WHEN ALL THE TOP RANKS ARE INHABITED BY STRATS B AND C PLAYERS (AS WAS TRUE IN THIS GAME), THE TOTAL # OF PLAYERS WHO SCRATCHED WILL BE CLOSE TO OR AT THE MINIMUM (40% OF THE FIELD, OR IN THIS CASE, ONLY 4 PAIRS).  BUT THAT IS COMPENSATED BY THE AWARDS FOR SUCH PLAYERS BEING SO MUCH LARGER THAN ANY THEY WOULD HAVE EVER RECEIVED FOR SIMILARLY GOOD PERFORMANCES IN ANY LIMITED GAME.  

 
     SYEDFAN (FURQAN NAEEM) and MALMENDE (MALCOLM) TOOK 1st PLACE HONORS E/W BY SCORING 115.5 (64%).  THEY WERE ALSO 1st PLACE IN STRAT B BUT NO MATTER AS 1st PLACE AWARD IN STRAT A WILL ALWAYS TRUMPLaughing ANY OTHER.  SYEDFAN HAS BEEN SCHEDULED TO PLAY HERE BEFORE (TWICE, I THINK), BUT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME HE'S ACTUALLY MADE IT...AND SO A HEARY WELCOME FIRST-TIMER (W/ US) SYEDFANSmileKARENINA39 (KAREN) and JERRYC0AK (JERRY CA) WERE A NICE, EASY 2nd PLACE AND, AGAIN, AS HAS BEEN CONSISTENT W/ THEM, WAY OUTPERFORMED EXPECTATIONS, GIVEN THEIR POSITION SUCH THAT ONLY 1 OTHER PAIR IN THIS FIELD HAD FEWER MASTERPOINTS/EXPERIENCE THAN THEY.  THEIR SCORE WAS 106.5 (59%) MAKING FOR AN MOV OF 9/10 OF A FULL BOARD.  THEY ALSO WERE 2nd IN STRAT B, 1st IN STRAT C, NONE OF WHICH MATTERED (IN TERMS OF POINT AWARDS) AS (I WILL STOP SAYING IT NOW) WILL ALSO BE TRUE FOR THE OTHER 2 SCRATCHING PAIRS IN THIS GAME.  PUROSP (SARLA) and AJHANSELL (AMY) TOOK 3rd PLACE (ALSO 3rd IN STRAT B) W/ 100.5 (56%).  LULUTEAK (MARILYN T) and WOODMANSF (JEFF) COMPLETED THE TOTAL SWEEP OF E/W SCRATCHES AND AWARDS BY STRATS B AND C PLAYERS W/ THEIR 4th PLACE FINISH AND SCORE OF 92.5 (51%).  LET'S POINT OUT THAT THEIR (RESPECTIVE) AWARDS FOR THESE HIGH FINISHES WERE 2.20, 1.55, 1.11 AND 0.77 POINTS, AGAIN, DWARFING MIGHTILY ANY THEY WOULD HAVE EVER RECEIVED FOR SIMILAR PERFORMANCE IN A LIMITED GAME, ESP. GIVEN HOW MUCH SMALLER ANY LIMITED GAME WOULD HAVE BEEN.  SO INTERESTING (NOT SURE WE'VE EVER WITNESSED THIS BEFORE) THAT THE HIGHEST FINISH OF ANY STRAT A PLAYER IN THIS FIELD ON THIS EVENING WAS 6th PLACE.  NO DISRESPECT AT ALL TO ANY OF THE 4 STRAT A PAIRS IN THIS FIELD...JUST ONE RARE EVENING WHERE THIS IS HOW IT HAPPENED TO WORK OUT...ALL 8 OF THE STRAT A PLAYERS IN THIS FIELD ARE FINE AND MOST ACCOMPLISHED PLAYERS.  THEY ALSO HAVE HAD THEIR DAYS/EVENINGS IN THE SUN AND WON MANY EVENTS (OTHERWISE THEY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CLASSIFIED AS STRAT A PLAYERS FOR THIS ONE).  BUT ON THIS ONE EVEING, OUT OF THESE ASSEMBLED 11 PAIRS, THE STRAT A's FINISHED 6th, 8th, 9th and 11th.  QUITE AN EVENING FOR THE LOWER STRAT FOLKS!!! 

 
     NOW ON TO THE CHASE WHERE WE SEE THAT ONLY 4 DIFFERENT E/W PAIRS EVER HELD THE LEAD AND ACTUALLY SEYEDFAN and MALMENDE's PATH TO VICTORY WAS REMARKABLY SIMILAR TO THE ONE TRACKED BY LILIMCB and ARGLE89, IF NOT QUITE SO HIGH SCORING.  THE ONLY MAJOR NOTICEABLE DISSIMILARITY BETWEEN THEM WAS THAT THE E/W WINNERS ACTUALLY DID JOIN A 3-WAY TIE FOR TOP ON BOARD #1, W/ NMORTON123 (NANCY) and WTBYCT (PAUL) AND FRANKIEF (FRANKIE) and LIP77 (PAUL).  THEY WERE THE ONLY 3 PAIRS TO SET THEIR OPPS AT 4H CONTRACT THAT WAS PLAYED AT ALL BUT ONE OF THE 11 TABLES, WORTH 9 POINTS FOR EACH.  THIS WAS PART OF A WONDERFULLY FABULOUS START BY FRANKIEF and LIP77, WHO IT MUST BE NOTED HERE, HAVE FAR FEWER MASTERPOINTS/EXPERIENCE THAN ANY OTHER PAIR IN THE GAME (NOT JUST ANY OF THE OTHER E/W PAIRS).  THAT THEY COMPETE AT THIS LEVEL AS WELL AS THEY DO IS VERY ENCOURAGING AND WHY I REPEAT THAT THIS IS A GREAT YOUNG PAIR FOR WHOM I'M PREDICTING FAR MORE RAPID ADVANCEMENT IN THE GAME THAN MOST.  THEY FOLLOWED THAT UP W/ A PERFECT 10 SCORE (PURE TOP) ON BOARD #2 WHEN THEY FOUND A BARE FIT IN A 2H CONTRACT THAT THEIR OPPS LET THEM PLAY (N/S DECLARED AT EVERY OTHER TABLE) AND IT ONLY WENT -2 = -100 WHEN THE OTHER N/S PAIRS ALL SCORED BETTER BY MAKING THEIR CONTRACTS, HALF IN GAME, HALF NOT.  THIS 9, 10 START ON ROUND #1 (19 OUT OF 2O POSSIBLE MATCHPOINTS) GOT THEM OUT OF THE GATE IN AN EXCELLENT, MAGNIFICENT FASHION W/ A 3.5 POINT LEAD AHEAD OF NMORTON123 and WTBYCT.  THE LATTER SCORED THEIR OWN PERFECT 10 ON BOARD #3, MANAGING TO SET THEIR OPPS 2 TRIX IN 4H, THE ONLY E/W PAIR TO GO PLUS ON THIS BOARD.  BUT FRANKIEF and LIP77 FOUGHT HARD TO PROTECT THEIR LEAD AND DID SO BY GETTING INTO THE AUCTION, HELPING CAUSE THEIR OPPS TO WIND UP IN DMNDS, RATHER THAN HTS, GARNERING 8 MORE MATCHPOINTS, ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN THEIR LEAD AT 27-25.5.  HOWEVER THEY DID HAVE TO SURRENDER IT ON BOARD #4 WHEN I'M GUESSING THEY HAD A SLIGHT BIDDING MISUNDERSTANDING (OR MISCLICK?).  WHEN THE DUST HAD SETTLED, THE 3 POINT SWING SENT THAT 1.5 LEAD RIGHT BACK TO NMORTON123 and WTBYCT.  BOARD #5 BROUGHT THE LEAD BACK TO FRANKIE and PAUL FOR A 4th AND FINAL BOARD WHEN THEIR OPPS LET THEM PLAY 2S AND PAUL MANAGED TO NEGOTIATE AN AWFUL TRUMP SITUATION THE BEST HE COULD TO HOLD IT TO -2 AND 7.5 MORE MATCHPOINTS, RESTORING TO THEM THE MEASLEST, SLIMMEST POSSIBLE LEAD (0.5 POINTS) OVER NOW NEXT CLOSEST PAIR MERCEDESB (LO-IE/LOIS) and JSCOTT0327 (JIM).  THE LEADERBOARD WAS NOW AS CROWDED AS COULD BE: 34.5, 34, 33.5, 33, 31.  PROBLEM FOR ALL THE OTHER PAIRS PROVED TO BE THAT PAIR W/ 33.5, WHICH HAPPENED TO BE SEYDFAN and MALMENDE WHOSE OPPS KEPT BIDDING ON BOARD #6 UNTIL FURQAN PULLED OUT THE RED CARD ONCE THE AUCTION REACHED 4S AND 800 (AND A PURE TOP) LATER, HE AND MALCOLM HAD 43.5 POINTS AND WERE NOW LOOKING DOWN AT THE REST OF A LEADERBOARD WHICH READ: 39, 37.5, 37, 36.5, AS ALL THE OTHER LEADERS HAD HAD ROUGH TIMES W/ BOARD #6.  THEY HAD GRABBED THE LEAD A BIT SOONER THAN HAD LILI and MARCIA, BUT UNLIKE THEM, THEY WOULD GIVE IT UP TWICE MORE, BUT ONLY FOR ONE BOARD EACH TIME.  THEY WOUND UP HOLDING THE LEAD FOR 11 BOARDS (NOT ALL CONSECUTIVLY) AND SHARING IT ON A 12th.  THEY MANAGED TO HANG ON TO IT THROUGH ROUND #4, EMERGING W/ A 2.5 POINT ADVANTAGE, 53-50.5, OVER NANCY and PAUL.  MEANTIME SARLA and AMY HAD BEGUN AN AMAZING, REMARKABLE RUN OF 3 CONSECUTIVE PURE TOP (10 POINT) BOARDS!...BEGINNING W/ BOARD #7 WHEN THEY FOUND THEMSELVES X'ed IN 4H, WHICH AMY ABLY BROUGHT HOME W/ AN UPTRICK NO LESS, WHEREAS N BOUGHT THE CONTRACT FOR 4S AT 6 OTHER TABLES (AND FOR 3S AT A 7th), ONLY 1 OF THEM MAKING, BUT EVEN DOWN HOWEVER MANY WAS STILL NOWHERE NEARLY AS REWARDING FOR E/W AS WAS 4H, X'ed MAKING AN UPTRICK.  ON BOARD #8, THIS TIME IT WAS SARLA, THE ONLY ONE TO MAKE A 10th TRICK IN SPADES, WHICH WAS ALSO THE STRAIN OF EVERY OTHER CONTRACT AT ALL BUT ONE OTHER TABLE.  THEY'D FINISHED ROUND #3 WELL BEHIND THE OTHER LEADING PAIRS, IN FACT 2 POINTS UNDER AVERAGE W/ 28, BUT THIS PERFECT ROUND BROUGHT THEM TO 48, STILL ONLY IN 4th PLACE BUT NOW TRAILING ONLY THE OTHER 2 PAIRS MENTIONED ABOVE AND ALSO LO-IE and JIM W/ 49.5.  THEN CAME THEIR 3rd CONSECUTIVE PURE TOP (ON BOARD #9) WHEN THEIR OPPS TRIED SO HARD TO GET A 7th TRICK DECLARING 1NT, THEY WOUND UP GOING -3 INSTEAD.  THIS PUSHED THEM INTO THEIR ONE AND ONLY LEAD W/ 58, AHEAD OF FURQAN and MALCOLM W/ 56.  NANCY and PAUL REMAINED IN THE HUNT W/ 53.5, BUT ALL THE OTHERS HAD BEGUN TO DROP BY THE WAYSIDE.  SARLA and AMY SCORED A 7 ON BOARD #10 BUT FURQAN and MALCOLM TIED FOR A TOP (9.5) BY MANAGING TO SET 4H, WHICH WAS JUST ENOUGH TO RETAKE THE LEAD FROM SARLA and AMY 65.5-65.  BUT WHILE BOTH OF THOSE PAIRS LANGUISHED ON BOARD #11, HERE CAME NANCY and PAUL W/ ONE MORE PUSH, A 3-WAY TIE FOR TOP (9 POINTS) WHEN ALL THOSE N/S OPPS GOT TOO AMBITIOUS AND INTO DOOMED 3NT CONTRACTS.  THIS BROUGHT THEM BACK INTO THEIR FINAL LEAD W/ 70.5 POINTS.  IT WAS ALSO THE FINAL TIME FURQAN and MALCOLM, NOW W/ 67, WERE OUT OF THE LEAD.  SARLA and AMY REMAINED AT 65.  BOARD #12 WAS SERENDIPITOUS WHEN ONLY ONE S FELT THEY COULD BID THEIR HEARTS, SO WHEN N's OTHERWISE FIGURED OUT TO LEAD A HEART, W WAS ONLY ABLE TO MAKE 12 TRIX, BUT WHEN N's LED SOMETHING ELSE (ALMOST 50/50) 13 TRIX WERE EASY.  NANCY and PAUL SUFFERED THE MISFORTUNE TO HAVE HTS BE THE ONLY UNBID SUIT IN THEIR AUCTION, SO RBSMITH637 (ROSEANNE) FOUND THAT LEAD TO PARTNER JKOSEL (JANICE)'s ACE.  EACH OF THE OTHER TWO CONTENDING PAIRS WERE MORE FORTUNATE TO HAVE HAD SPADES BE THE ONLY SUIT BID IN THEIR AUCTIONS, AND THEIR OPPS THUS WERE NOT LED TO THE HEART LEAD AND WEREN'T ABLE TO FIND IT ON THEIR OWN.  FURQAN and MALCOLM 74, NANCY and PAUL 73, SARLA and AMY 72.  THE LATTER HAD AN AWFUL ROUND #7, NOT AT ALL ENTIRELY OF THEIR OWN MAKING, TO PRETTY MUCH FALL OUT OF THE RUNNING.  THE LEADERS ADDED 3.5 POINTS TO THEIR LEAD, NOW STANDING AT 5.5.  BUT KARENINA39 and JERRYCOAK WHO'D LANGUISHED UNDER AVERAGE FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE GAME WERE SUDDENLY MAKING A SURGE.  STARTING W/ BOARD #6, THEY'D HAD NO ROUNDS UNDER AVERAGE (AND ONLY ONE SUCH BOARD, EVEN THAT BEING 4.5).  THEIR 92.5 POINTS OUT OF A POSSIBLE 130 ON THOSE FINAL 13 BOARDS WAS A 71% CLIP.  ON BOARD #16 THEY SCORED A PERFECT 10 WHEN THEIR OPPS LET THEM PLAY 2S (AND JERRY MADE IT) ON A BOARD WHEN MOST N/S's WERE IN A COLD 4H.  HEADING FOR THE FINAL ROUND FURQAN and MALCOLM STOOD AT 97, KAREN and JERRY AT 91.5.  WINNING WAS BARELY MATHEMATICALLY CONCEIVABLE FOR 2 OTHER PAIRS, ONLY SLIGHTLY MORE CONCEIVABLE FOR 3 OTHERS, NONE W/IN 10 POINTS OF THE LEADERS W/ ONLY 20 POINTS REMAINING TO BE HAD.  ALL OF THOSE 5 PAIRS WERE QUICKLY ELIMINATED ON BOARD #17 WHEN FURQAD MADE AN UPTRICK AT 5D, Xed FOR A PURE TOP.  ALTHOUGH KAREN and JERRY NEVER GOT ANYWHERE NEAR THE WINNING 5D BID, THEY DID MANAGE TO SET 4S 2 TRIX FOR 8 MATCHPOINTS TO STAY BARELY ALIVE, BEHIND 107-99.5 W/ ONLY 10 POINTS STILL AVAILABLE.  BUT THE WINNERS MORE THAN PUT THE WIN ON ICE W/ 8 MATCHPOINTS ON THAT FINAL BOARD AND THE 7 POINTS EARNED BY THEIR CLOSE COMPETITORS WOULDN'T HAVE QUITE BEEN ENOUGH TO WIN IN ANY CASE.  AND THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY ALL...SHE...WROTE!!!                 
 
     DATABASE BREAKDOWN OF OUR FIELDS FOR THIS GAME REVEALS A HEALTHY MIX OF 8 499er-QUALIFIED PAIRS, 10 OPEN PAIRS, AND 4 PAIRS W/ ONE PLAYER FROM EACH CATEGORY. 

 
     CONGRATS (AGAIN) TO ALL WHO SCRATCHED AND THANKS TO ALL WHO CAME...ER, WHO PARTICIPATED.  PROBABLY AT LEAST SOME OTHERS OF YOU (INCLUDING MELINDA, I'M GUESSING, BUT ALSO CERTAINLY MYSELF) ENJOYED THE ENTIRE EVENING IN OUR JAMMIES.  NEXT GAMES NOW THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26 (T'GIVING), THEN AGAIN NEXT MONDAY NOVEMBER 30.  ALL GAMES STARTING AT 7:10 pm.  DO HOPE TO SEE AS MANY OF Y'ALL AS CAN MAKE IT THEN...TILL THEN...  

 
     ...HOPEFULLY YOU'LL REMEMBER WHERE TO FIND RESULTS FROM GAMES NOWADAYS...IN CASE YOU WEREN'T SURE, SIMPLY TYPE, THEN CLICK ON live.acbl.org, ENTER SPECIFICALLY New Piedmont Bridge Center IN THE View Club Results SEARCH BAR, CLICK AND VOILA!  ALL GAMES, VIRTUAL AND NOT, LISTED IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER W/ MOST RECENT AT THE TIPPY TOP.  (USUALLY TAKES 15 MINUTES TO HALF AN HOUR AFTER MOST OF OUR GAMES TILL THEY'VE BEEN BROUGHT IN TO THIS SITE, BUT IT ALL GETS THERE.)   

 
     ALSO SOME OF YOU MAY NOT YET HAVE DISCOVERED THAT ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN F2F (FACE2FACE) GAMES AND THOSE OF THE CURRENT VIRTUAL STYLE...IS THAT IN THE FORMER, WE ALERTED OUR PARTNER'S CALLS AND PLAYS AND THEY ALERTED OURS.  IN OUR CURRENT (VIRTUAL) INCARNATION, THAT PROCEDURE IS TOTALLY REVERSED AND, AS SUCH, MIRRORS WHAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN TRUE (CAUSE IT'S SLIGHTLY BETTER, WHENEVER POSSIBLE) IN THE FINAL SEVERAL ROUNDS AND DAYS OF MOST OF THE TOP-LEVEL NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL EVENTS PRETTY MUCH WORLD-WIDE.  OF COURSE VIRTUAL STYLE MAKES THIS EASY...THE KEY PART BEING, WHEN YOU ALERT YOUR OWN BID (OR TRANSFER, OR ANNOUNCEMENT), BOTH OPPONENTS CAN SEE THAT, AND EVEN ASK YOU ABOUT IT IF THEY WISH, YET PARTNER SEES (AND OBVIOUSLY HEARS) NONE OF THIS...AND VICE VERSA, WHEN PARTNER ALERTS THEIR OWN CALLS OR PLAYS.  ADVANTAGE BEING, OPPONENTS ALWAYS GETS TO SEE AT LEAST THE BIDDER OR PLAYER'S VERSION OF WHAT THEIR AGREEMENT IS (AND PARTNER IS NONE THE WISER)...SAVES LOTS OF ARGUMENTS AND BEEFS AND WRANGLING...

 
     LEAVING UP WHAT IS BELOW FOR AWHILE, JUST IN CASE ANYONE VISITS HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE ADVENT OF THE NEW (VIRTUAL) FORMAT FOR OUR GAMES.  DON'T WORRY, I PROMISE I'LL TAKE IT DOWN EVENTUALLY, BUT WANT TO MAKE SURE IT'S AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WHO MAY STILL NEED IT...

 
     HERE'S SOMETHING NEW, LYNN JUST SENT...TUTORIAL:

 
                                                                                                             https://www.acbl.org/bbotutorials/

 
     another little bit jim scott thought i'd forgotten to put in earlier...but i just looked and found it...it is there near the bottom of this column, but i suppose it's worth mentioning again here...which is that in order to play in any (including ours, which costs $6) virtual (piedmont) acbl club games (or any game on bbo which costs money, some do, some don't), one needs to purchase bb$s (bridge base dollars).  there is a tab for this (says exactly that, "bb$") in the upper right part of the web-site.  you can buy 'em via credit card (immediate) or check (have to go through snail-mail and wait)...
 
     THESE GAMES ARE RUN PRIMARILY FOR PLAYERS WHO'VE PLAYED (AND WON AT LEAST SOME MASTERPOINTS) W/ US IN  PIEDMONT AT ANY POINT IN EITHER 2020 OR 2019.  EXCEPTIONS TO THIS MAY BE ADDED LATER.  FOR NOW, I DO KNOW YOU NEED TO SIGN UP W/ BBO (bridgebase.com) WHICH, I'VE FOUND, IS BEST WAY TO LOG ONTO THEM.  SIGNING UP IS FREE (PICK A SCREEN NAME AND PASSWORD).  REGISTRATION FOR EACH PARTICULAR GAME (THEY ARE CALLED "TOURNAMENTS" BY BBO) BEGINS ONLY AT APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS BEFORE (AND CONTINUES UP UNTIL A FEW MINUTES BEFORE) GAME TIME. THIS MEANS STARTING @ AROUND 5:10 pm ON MONDAY.  YOU'LL NEED TO CLICK ON VIRTUAL CLUBS, THEN ON VIRTUAL ACBL CLUBS.  YOU CAN FIND OUR SPECIFIC GAME UNDER SOME VERSION OR ABBREVIATION OF "PIEDMONT" AND/OR OUR CLUB USER NAME WHICH IS:

 
                                                                       VACB214114.

 
     WE'RE GOING TO PLAY 18 BOARDS, ALL ONE SECTION (OPEN, BUT STRATIFIED) FOR NOW.  IF YOU'RE NOT CLEAR ON YOUR PLAYER #, ASK ME AND I CAN FIND IT FOR YOU...OTHERWISE IF YOU GET THAT WRONG, YOU'LL BE PUT IN STRAT A.  PLANNING FOR 499er SECTION TO BE ADDED LATER.  3 BOARD ROUNDS W/ TIME CLOCK SET AT 21 MINUTES FOR EACH ROUND.  IF BOARDS AREN'T FINISHED, SYSTEM SENDS US ON TO THE NEXT ROUND ANYWAY AND WE DO OUR BEST TO AWARD SCORES BASED ON EFFORT TO PLAY UP TO TEMPO.  PARTNERSHIP OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE, EITHER THROUGH ME OR ON THE GAME SITE, ONCE IT IS SET UP.  

 
     AS MELINDA SAID, "WE GET TO PLAY IN OUR JAMMIES"...THAT PLUS W/ NO DRIVING OR PARKING ISSUES, NO MOVEMENT OF BOARDS OR PEOPLE AND SCORING BEING DONE FOR US BY THE EVER WATCHFUL COMPUTER WE SHOULD FINISH OUR BOARDS (AND BE HOME, YES, POSSIBLY IN OUR JAMMIES) IN 2 HOURS OR SO, GIVE OR TAKE...THAT'S THE MODEL SUGGESTED FOR NOW, COULD BE REVISED LATER.

 
     COST IS $5/PERSON.  FOR THOSE UNFAMILIAIR W/ BBO SO FAR, BB$ CAN BE PURCHASED FOR THAT PURPOSE ON THE HOME/LOG-IN SCREEN.  AND OF COURSE I'D SUGGEST YOU GIVE IT A WHIRL W/ ONE OF THEIR "FREE" (BUT FACELESS STRANGERS AND/OR "ROBOTS" FOR PARTNER AND OPPONENTS) OPTIONS...JUST TO BECOME FAMILIAR W/ THE PROCESS. 

 
     ANY QUESTIONS? PLEASE, RUN 'EM BY ME...EMAIL: dough0918@aol.com AS PER USUAL.  DO HOPE TO "SEE" Y'ALL THURSDAY NIGHTSmile. 

  


Thursdays      

 
Yes, the new evening for our 2nd (virtual) weekly game now. 

     GREETINGS AGAIN EARLY SATURDAY MORNING LITTLE MORE THAN 24 HOURS AFTER OUR T'GIVING EVENING GAME.  6 HEARTY PAIRS LEFT THE TURKEY BEHIND TO COME PLAY; WE MIGHT HAVE HAD A COUPLE MORE BUT ONE PLAYER LOST TRACK OF TIME AND BY THE TIME THE REALIZATION SET IN, THE GAME HAD ALREADY STARTED AND IT WAS TOO LATE...SOFTWARE WON'T PERMIT DIRECTORS TO ADD A TABLE ONCE THE GAME HAS BEGUN.  OF COURSE IF WE HAVE AN ODD # OF PAIRS ORIGINALLY (HENCE LOOKING AT A SIT OUT) WE CAN GET A LATE PAIR IN THE GAME AS SUBS, IF WE HAVEN'T ALREADY FOUND SOME.  BUT IT'S A RARE DRAWBACK OF VIRTUAL (COMPARED TO F2F WHERE ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS THROW UP ONE MORE TABLE, 4 CHAIRS AND A SET OF BOARDS ON THE TABLE (YES, AND BID BOXES, TABLE MARKER AND EITHER TRAVELLERS AND PENCILS OR ELECTRONIC SCORING DEVICE) IF WE WANT TO ACCOMODATE A LATE PAIR, WHICH WE ALMOST ALWAYS WERE HAPPY TO DO.  AND WE MIGHT HAVE HAD THAT ODD # HAD YET ANOTHER PAIR STAYED.  THEY WERE FROM CANADA BUT ORIGINALLY WANTED TO PLAY W/ US WHEN THEY FOUND OUR GAME WAS AWARDING GOLD POINTS...BUT WE ALWAYS HAVE AT LEAST A FEW FOLKS REGISTERING IN THOSE LAST FEW MINUTES BETWEEN 7 PM AND 7:10 PM START TIME.  THE CANADIAN PAIR LOOKED AT OUR 2 OR 3 PAIRS REGISTERED AT 7:00, THOUGHT WE WOULDN'T HAVE ENOUGH FOR A GAME SO SIGNED UP FOR SOME (NON-GOLD OFFERING) SPEEDBALL NONSENSE AND THEN WISHED THEY'D BEEN A BIT MORE PATIENT.  HAD THEY STAYED TO PLAY W/ US INSTEAD, WE WOULD HAVE HAD AN ODD # OF PAIRS (7) AND PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SQUEEZE IN OUR 2-MINUTE-LATE-ARRIVING PAIR BEFORE I'D FOUND OTHER SUBS, TO GIVE US A 4th TABLE...BUT THE 3 TABLE GAME WORKED FINE...FIRST CHANCE WE'VE HAD TO RUN ONE (NOT THAT I'M HOPING WE HAVE MORE).  HOWEVER RATHER THAN HAVE A REVENGE MOVEMENT (W/ 6 ROUNDS OF 3 BOARDS EACH, WHERE EVERYONE PLAYS THE PAIR AGAINST WHOM THEY STARTED A 2nd TIME IN THAT 6th ROUND) WE GOT TO TRY OUT A 5 ROUND GAME, 4 BOARDS/ROUND, THUS EVERY PAIR PLAYS EVERY OTHER PAIR ONCE AND ONCE ONLY (MUCH FAIRER GAME)...BUT IT NECESSITATES 20 BOARDS...ON A HOLIDAY WEEK END WHERE ANY WORKING FOLKS WOULD MOST LIKELY NOT HAVE TO GET UP EARLY FRIDAY MORNING, I FIGURED NO ONE WOULD MUCH MIND IF WE FINISHED AT 9:15 OR EVEN 9:20, AS OPPOSED TO OUR USUAL 9:05 OR 9:10.  NO ONE SAID A WORD ABOUT IT AND, PLAYING 4 BOARDS/ROUND INSTEAD OF OUR USUAL 3 OR 2, FOLKS PLAYED AT A PACE ALLOWING MOST TO SHAVE A MINUTE OR TWO AT LEAST OFF EACH ROUND, SO I THINK WE DID FINISH RIGHT AROUND 9:10 AFTER ALL.  THE GOOD NEWS IS DUE TO THE WAY THE STRATS WORKED OUT, 4 OF OUR 6 PAIRS ACTUALLY SCRATCHED.  WE ARE NEVER GUARANTEED TO HAVE MORE THAN 40% "RATE OF SCRATCHING", WHICH IN THIS CASE, .4 x 6 PAIRS = 2.4 PAIRS, ROUNDED DOWN MEANING HAD STRATS B AND C PAIRS COME IN 1st AND 2nd PLACES, THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONLY 2 PAIRS TO HAVE SCRATCHED (BEEN AWARDED MASTER POINTS).  WE GOT LUCKY (IF ONE LOOKS AT IT THAT WAY, THAT A STRAT A PAIR AND A STRAT B PAIR TIED FOR 2nd/3rd PLACE.  AN AWARD ALSO HAD TO GO TO THE WINNER (A STRAT B PAIR) AND THERE STILL HAD TO BE ONE LEFT FOR THE HIGHER SCORING STRAT C PAIR.  VOILA, 4 OF 6. 

 
     OH, NAMES?  YOU WANT NAMES?  SURE. Smile  ELTRING (SUE ELTRINGHAM) and DAVIDGEARY (DAVID) WERE DECLARED WINNERS ("WINNER, WINNER, TURKEY DINNER" SEEMS APPROPRIATE FOR THIS GAME).  THEY SCORED 25 (20 WAS AVERAGE, SO THIS WAS 62.5%).  THEY ALSO WON STRAT B, WHICH WAS WORTH NOTHING IN THIS CASE.  THE 2nd/3rd PLACE TIE INCLUDED W&J, WMJ999 (WINNIE) and LAMORINDA (JERRY CH) AND G_NIEMI (GUNNAR) and SIDNEYMAR  (SIDNEY).  WELCOME FIRST-TIMER GUNNARSmile TO PIEDMONT VIRTUAL, ALTHOUGH HE'S CERTAINLY NO STRANGER TO US AT PIEDMONT F2F OR F2F IN GENERAL.  EACH OF THOSE PAIRS SCORED 22 (55%).  MarginOfVictory WAS 1.5 BOARDS.  ALSO SCRATCHING WERE RBSMITH637 (ROSEANNE) and JKOSEL (JANICE) WHOSE SCORE OF 17 (43%) EARNED THEM 1st PLACE IN STRAT C.  LET'S SEE HOW OUR "PATH TO VICTORY" LOOKS IN A (THIS) 3 TABLE GAME. 

 
     WELL, THIS ONE WAS PRETTY DARN STRAIGHTFORWARD.  SUE and DAVID PRETTY MUCH HAD IT THEIR WAY FROM START TO FINISH.  THEY HAD THE OUTRIGHT LEAD ON 17 BOARDS AND SHARED IT ON 1 OTHER.  W&J HAD IT FOR 1 OUTRIGHT AND ALSO WERE THE OTHER HALF OF THE SHARE.  OTHERWISE, ONLY ARGLE89 (MARCIA) and PUROSP (SARLA) EVER HELD IT AT ALL, AND THAT WAS JUST ONCE, AFTER, AS IT TURNS OUT, BOARD #1.  THERE WERE ONLY 3 LEAD CHANGES OVER THE COURSE OF THE EVENING. 

 
     AS WAS THE LEADERBOARD ITSELF FOR PRETTY MUCH THE REST OF THE GAME, BOARD #1 WAS INCREDIBLY STRAIGHT FORWARD.  ARGLE89 and PUROSP APPARENTLY BID IT PERFECTLY: UNINTERRUPTED, 1D-2NT-P.  AT THE OTHER 2 TABLES IT WENT 1D-3NT (S OVERVALUING AND PUSHING JUST A TAD) AND 1D-2NT-3NT (N DOING EVEN A TAD MORE OF SAME).  2 OPENING LEADERS CHOSE 4th BEST SPADE FROM Jxxx (4-3-3-3 SHAPE), THE 3rd CHOSE 9 OF DMNDS FROM 986.  LINES OF PLAY VARIED A BID, BUT NONE OF IT MATTERED.  8 TRIX WERE ALL THERE EVER WERE, NO MATTER WHAT, 1 SPD AND HT EACH, 4 DMNDS, 2 CLUBS.  FROM N/S PERSPECTIVE ARGLE89 and PUROSP EARNED A PURE TOP (2 MATCH POINTS) FOR GOING PLUS, HAVING STOPPED AT 2 LEVEL.  FROM E/W PERSPECTIVE, W&J AND RBSMITH637 and JKOSEL TIED FOR TOP (1.5 EACH) FOR SETTING THE OVERBIDDERS 1 TRICK EACH.  SINCE IT'S A ONE-WINNER GAME (ALL 6 PAIRS IN THE SAME FIELD), ARGLE89 and PUROSP EARNED SOLE LEADERSHIP AFTER BOARD #1.  AS TAME, BASIC AND ROUTINE AS BOARD #1 PROVED TO BE, BOARD #2 WAS COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE.  THE 3 AUCTIONS WERE AS DIFFERENT AS COULD BE, LEADING TO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LINES OF PLAY AND RESULTS.  N/S SUE and DAVID EARNED THEIR FIRST OF 3 CONSECUTIVE PURE TOPS, SITTING QUIETLY WHILE THEIR OPPS CHOSE, AS IT TURNED OUT, NOT TO BID A COLD HEART GAME.  E/W GUNNAR and SIDNEY, AFTER HAVING LAID THE GROUND-WORK FOR IT, NEVER LATER APPEARED MUCH INTERESTED IN THEIR COLD HEART GAME, BUT THAT PROVED JUST AS WELL FOR THEM WHEN THEIR OPPS TRIED 4S AND SIDNEY, HOLDING AJ9xx IN THE SUIT TOOK A RED-CARD TO IT AND CAME UP ROSES +1100 LATER.  THIS WAS THE SHARED TIE FOR THE LEAD, SUE and DAVID W/ W&J, KIND OF MARCHING IN PLACE, EACH W/ 2.5 AT THIS POINT...BUT THEN THE 6 PAIRS SCORES SPLAYED OUT (LEADERBOARD) WERE A RATHER INCONCLUSIVE (TO THIS POINT) 2.5, 2.5, 2, 2, 1.5, 1.5.  BOARD #3 HELPED BREAK THE TIE AND SENT THE ENTIRE LEADERBOARD IN THE NEARLY EXACT SAME DIRECTION IT WAS TO GO FOR MOSTLY THE ENTIRETY OF THE REST OF THE GAME.  NOT ONLY WERE THE LEADERS MOSTLY THE SAME THROUGHOUT, MOST OF THE OTHER PAIRS HELD ABOUT THEIR SAME RELATIVE POSITIONS TO EACH OTHER AS THEY DID AT THE END OF THIS BOARD.  SUE and DAVID EARNED THEIR 2nd CONSECUTIVE PURE TOP BY BIDDING SENSIBLY, RESTING IN 3NT, THEN SUE USED (AS IT HAPPENED) A FAVORABLE (4th BEST) HT LEAD TO MAKE 12 TRIX, OFF THE A, K OF DMNDS.  THE OTHER 2 N/S's COULDN'T CONTAIN THEMSELVES AND BID TO 6NT AND NEITHER COULD CONVERT IT (ALTHOUGH ONE MIGHT HAVE, HAVING RECEIVED THE SAME FAVORABLE LEAD, BUT GOT ENTRIES ALL TANGLED UP...AS THOUGH NONE OF THE REST OF US HAVE EVER DONE THATSurprised)...THE 3rd CONSECUTIVE PURE TOP (ON BOARD #4) CAME ABOUT ON ANOTHER HELTER-SKELTER MIX OF VERY DIFFERENT CONTRACTS.  SUE CHOSE TO OPEN 1NT IN 4th SEAT, IN SPITE OF HER 5 CD HT SUIT, KQxxx.  DAVID TRANSFERRED HER INTO 2S AND SHE MANAGED HER TRUMPS WELL (WHEN THEY BROKE BADLY 5-1) TO BRING IT HOME.  SO W/ ROUND #1 (OF 5) IN THE BOOKS, SUE and DAVID HAD 6.5, GUNNAR and SIDNEY 5.5,  W&J 5, THE OTHER 3 PAIRS HAVING 3, 2.5, AND 1.5.  ON ROUND #2 GUNNAR and SIDNEY DROPPED 0.5 POINT TO EACH OF THE OTHER 2 CONTENDING PAIRS, COLLECTING ONLY 4 POINTS (OUT A POSSIBLE 8) LEAVING THE LEADERBOARD NOW AT 11, 9.5, 9.5.  2 OF THE OTHER 3 PAIRS SIMILARLY EACH SCORED 3.5 POINTS BUT SCOOTCAT (ANNE) and BRADLEYKOM (BRAD) SCORED 4, BREAKING EVEN AGAINST GUNNAR and SIDNEY.  ROUND #3 WAS SIMILARLY UNMOVING AS N/S WON THE BATTLE AT ONE TABLE 4.5-3.5, E/W WON THE BATTLE BY THE SAME SCORE AT ANOTHER TABLE AND OF COURSE THERE WAS A 4-4 DRAW AT THE 3rd TABLE.  SUE and DAVID's LEAD WAS DOWN TO 1 POINT, NOW OVER W&J WHO HAD CRAWLED 0.5 POINT PAST GUNNAR and SIDNEY, 15, 14, 13.5.  THE OTHER 3 PAIRS HAD REALLY LOST ONLY MINIMAL GROUND TO THE 3 LEADERS ON ROUND #3 AND IN THEORY WERE STILL IN THE HUNT, ONE PAIR W/IN 4.5 POINTS OF THE LEAD, THE OTHER TWO ONLY 5.5 POINTS W/ STILL 16 MORE POINTS AVAILABLE TO ALL PAIRS. 

 
     ROUND #4 SAW SOME MOVEMENT.  WHILE SUE and DAVID BATTLED SCOOT and BRAD TO A 4-4 DRAW, ROSEANNE and JANICE FASHIONED A 6-2 WIN DURING THE ROUND TO NOT ONLY TAKE CONTROL OF THE STRAT C CONTEST, BUT ALSO PULL INTO AT LEAST A TEMPORARY TIE FOR 3rd W/ GUNNAR and SIDNEY @ 15.5 EACH, ONLY 4.5 OFF THE LEAD BUT NOW W/ ONLY 8 POINTS REMAINING AVAILABLE.  MEANWHILE W&J ALSO WON THEIR ROUND 6-2 TO ACTUALLY WREST THE LEAD FROM SUE and DAVID ON THE ROUND'S LAST BOARD (#16).  ON THE FIRST BOARD OF THE ROUND (#13), DECLARING 3NT, SIDNEY TOOK A SAFETY PLAY AGAINST THE OPENING LEADER'S PARTNER (WHO HAD LED A DMND) AND IT WAS OH, SO RIGHT, AS HE EVENTUALLY GOT 4 OF 5 POSSIBLE TRIX FROM THAT SUIT, EVEN AGAINST THE BAD 4-1 BREAK ON HIS WAY TO 11 TRIX AND A PURE TOP.  HOWEVER THAT WAS THE END OF THAT AS W&J TOOK 3 PURE TOPS ON THE REMAINING BOARDS IN THAT ROUND.  ON BOARD #14 WMJ999 (WINNIE) HAD ALL THE HIGH CARDS (ENTRIES) SO SHE KNEW TO GET HER RATTY CLUBS (JT9xx) IN THE AUCTION (AND WAS THE ONLY W WHO DID AND IT WAS SO SUCCESSFUL) AS WHEN LAMORINDA (JERRY) WAS ON LEAD AGAINST 3NT HE LED HIS Q (FROM Qx) IN THE SUIT WHICH EVENTUALLY LED TO A 3 TRICK SET.  ON BOARD #15 W&J's AGGRESSIVE BIDDING GOT THEM ALL THE WAY TO 3S (ON A 4-3 FIT) AND WINNIE's CAREFUL PLAY HELD IT TO -2 = -100 VS. THE OTHER 2 TABLES WHERE SOUTH WAS PERMITTED TO PLAY 2H (MAKING) GIVING W&J's COMPETING E/W PAIRS -110's.  BOARD #16 ALLOWED THEM TO TAKE A TEMPORARY LEAD FROM SUE and DAVID, 20-19.  AGAIN IT WAS GOOD BIDDING, ALLOWING THEM TO GET OUT IN 3C, WHEN ONE OF THE OTHER PAIRS WAS TOO HIGH TO MAKE IN 5C AND THE OTHER PAIR WAS ONLY ABLE TO MAKE 7 TRIX (IN 2C, FOR -1) WHEREAS WINNIE WAS ABLE TO AVOID THE PITFALLS OF PLAY AND MANAGED HER 9 TRIX TO BE THE ONLY DECLARER TO GO PLUS (110) ON THE BOARD. 

 
     IN THE 5th AND FINAL ROUND THE 2 LEADING PAIRS MET HEAD TO HEAD AND SUE and DAVID JUMPED RIGHT TO WORK W/ PURE TOPS (AND 0'S FOR THEIR CLOSEST COMPETITORS) ON THE FIRST 2 BOARDS.  BOARD #17 SAW THE SAME AUCTION AT ALL 3 TABLES, ENDING W/ 2S BY E.  IT WAS ALL ABOUT GUESSING THE TRUMP Q AND DECLARER AT SUE and DAVID's TABLE GUESSED WRONG; 8 TRICKS THERE FOR -110 (FOR N/S, SUE and DAVID).  AT THE OTHER 2 TABLES, DECLARER GUESSED RIGHT; 9 TRIX FOR -140 FOR THOSE N/S's.  ON BOARD #18 SUE and DAVID GOT TO 3C, WHICH THEY WERE GOING TO MAKE, BUT WERE OUTBID AT 3D AND WHEN THOSE BROKE BADLY, 4-1, DECLARER WAS IN A WORLD OF HURT AND WOUND UP -4 = +200.  AT THAT POINT SUE and DAVID HAD 23, W&J 20, GUNNAR and SIDNEY 19.  WHEN SUE and DAVID EARNED 1 POINT ON BOARD #19 BY MAKING 3D WHEN ANOTHER DECLARER WENT -1 IN 3D, THAT MEANT THEIR OPPS (W&J) ALSO EARNED (ONLY) 1 POINT AND CLINCHED IT FOR SUE and DAVID.  THEY HAD 24, W&J 21 AND EVEN GUNNAR and SIDNEY's TOP ON THE BOARD WHEN THEY'D BOTH BID AGGRESSIVELY TO 3NT AND SIDNEY MANAGED TO MAKE IT, LEFT THEM ALSO W/ 21.  3 POINT LEAD OVER BOTH OF THE CLOSEST PAIRS W/ ONLY 2 POINTS REMAINING IN PLAY.  TRULY LEFT FULL MEANING FOR "WINNER, WINNER, TURKEY DINNER"Smile...   

 
     ALL 6 PAIRS CONSISTED ONLY OF OPEN PLAYERS IN THIS GAME.  STILL SOME EASY STRAT B AND STRAT C MASTERPOINTS AWAITING MORE 499er-QUALIFED PLAYERS IN FIELDS SUCH AS THESE.  DO HOPE SOME OF YOU RETURN TO DIP YOUR TOES IN THESE DECEPTIVELY NEGOTIABLE WATERS.  

 
     THANX, AS ALWAYS, TO ALL WHO CAME TONIGHT, CONGRATS TO THOSE WHO PLAYED WELL ENOUGH AND HAD ENOUGH OF LADY'S LUCK TO HAVE SCRATCHED AND WE'LL LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING AS MANY OF YOU WHO CAN MAKE IT TO US MONDAY EVENING (NOVEMBER 30), ALSO NEXT THURSDAY (DECEMBER really? 3)...TILL THEN...

 
     W/ THAT, WE'LL ADD, AGAIN, HOW THRILLED WE ALL ARE W/ THE GROWTH OF THESE THURSDAY EVENING GAMES (NOT TO MENTION CONTINUED STRENGTH OF OUR BENCHMARK MONDAY EVENING ONES).  THANKS MUCH TO ALLSmile...WE'RE NOW LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK'S GAMES.  PLEASE CONTINUE TO STAY STRONG AND HEALTHY OK?...
 
     WHAT FOLLOWS HERE IS ACTUALLY LEFT OVER FROM NOW QUITE A WHILE BACK, BUT W/ NOTHING BETTER TO DO W/ THE SPACE, SOMEHOW IT FEELS RIGHT TO LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS AS SOME SORT OF BRIDGE BETWEEN OUR FORMER PIEDMONT "LIVE" (FACE2FACE) LOCATION AND THIS "BRAVE NEW (VIRTUAL) WORLD" IN WHICH WE, FOR BETTAH OR FOR WORSER, NOW FIND OURSELVESSmile...

 
     3 MORE SHOUT OUTS ARE CERTAINLY MERITED HERE.  FIRST TO (MARILYN) OUR VERY OWN BOOKBINDER AND HUBBY, MAROONED FOR 9 MORE DAYS AT TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, DUE TO POTENTIAL EXPOSURE TO THE C-VIRUS, WHILE TRAVELLING ALTHOUGH THERE SEEMS TO BE NO EVIDENCE THAT THEY ACTUALLY CONTRACTED IT.  REPORTS ARE THAT THIS IS NO FUN AND VERY PRISON-LIKE, ALTHOUGH DAUGHTER SOMEHOW MANAGED TO MAIL COMPUTERS AND A FEW OTHER ESSENTIALS TO THEM--THIS REPORTED BY PARTNER KC (KATHLEEN). 

 
     2nd TO DOC (COURTENAY) WHO NEVER SHOWED, AS EXPECTED, FOR OUR NEXT TO LAST GAME (MARCH 2) DUE TO HAVING FALLEN IN THE STREET W/ A BLOOD PRESSURE ISSUE.  LUCKILY HE WAS RESCUED BY A PASSERBY, THEY GOT HIM IN AN AMBULANCE TO A HOSPITAL AND, A WEEK LATER, SUNDAY BEFORE YESTERDAY, I TALKED TO HIM ON THE PHONE WHILE HE WAS AWAITING SON EVAN WHO WAS ON THE WAY TO PICK HIM UP TO BRING HIM HOME.  HIS PARTNER OTHER DOC (ANDY) REPORTED HAVING TALKED TO HIM A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO AND HE IS DOING OK, BUT NOT ABLE TO GO OUT OR DRIVE FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER MONTH OR SO NOW...ALL OUR BEST FOR SPEEDY RECOVERY...  

 
     ALSO, ADD ONE CHEERY NOTE IN THIS OTHERWISE VIRTUAL BLIZZARD OF BAD BRIDGE NEWS, MOST SPURRED OF COURSE BY THE FAR WORSE NEWS OF THE C-VIRUS, i.e. EVERY OTHER CLUB KNOWN (BY ME) IN THE AREA HAS NOW SHUT DOWN, EITHER VOLUNTARILY OR BECAUSE LANDLORD HAS REQUIRED THIS (AS IN OUR CASE, ALTHOUGH, I MIGHT HAVE FOUND A PATH TO DOING SO MYSELF, HAD PIEDMONT NOT DONE IT FOR US).  ALSO IT DOESN'T LOOK AS THOUGH ANY TOURNAMENTS WILL HAPPEN ANY TIME SOON, PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE.  (AND NOW FOR THE ACTUAL CHEERY NOTE) IN THE LAST KNOWN GAME TO OCCUR, A GAME IN A SMALL, QUITE RUSTIC CLUB HOUSE IN A LOVELY PARK IN A NICE AREA OF EL CERRITO ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON, OUR VERY OWN MARCIA MATTON and OUR LONG-TIME AND RECENTLY, BUT APPARENTLY NO LONGER, VERY OWN SARLA PUROHIT TOOK 1st PLACE W/ A 61% GAME IN A FIELD OF MOSTLY MORE EXPERIENCED (AND HIGHER MASTER POINT HOLDING) PLAYERS.  WELL DONE, KIDS...WAY TO GO OUT W/ A BANG.

     WE'LL CONCLUDE FOR NOW W/, AS ALWAYS OF COURSE, THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO CAME TO PLAY ON THE ABOVE DISCUSSED EVENING, SEEMINGLY AGES AGO, BUT IN REALITY, BARELY A WEEK AGO NOW.  AND CONGRATS TO THOSE WHO PLAYED WELL ENOUGH (AND/OR HAD ENOUGH OF LADY'S LUCK) TO SCRATCH...WELL DONE.  I FINISH TYPING THIS AND ABOUT TO "PUBLISH TO WEB" MONDAY MORNING (HAVING DONE MY VERY BEST TO TRY TO COMFORT AND HELP RELAX, VIA PHONE, DARLING DAUGHTER KELLY, CURRENTLY UNDERGOING EVEN MORE THAN HER USUAL ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS, SITTING IN HER DORM AT MILLS COLLEGE IN EAST OAKLAND, FURIOUS AND SAD THAT HER CLASSES HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO ON-LINE AND, OF COURSE, NOT KNOWING WHAT TO MAKE OF CURRENT CLIMATE AND EVENTS--AS IS TRUE FOR ALL OF US, AS I TRY TO REASSURE HER.  ALSO HAVING FALLEN ASLEEP AMID TRYING TO DO ALL THIS PLUS KEEP UP W/ REPORTS FROM ESTEEMED D.(IANE)B.(ARTON)-P.(AINE), MY LONG-TIME FRIEND, BOSS AT TOURNAMENTS, AND MENTOR...ON VARIOUS (ALMOST ENTIRELY AWFUL) MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT REPORTS FROM, AROUND, AND ABOUT THE BRIDGE WORLD, IT IS NOW MID-MONDAY MORNING.  MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING Y'ALL A.S.A.P., ESPECIALLY FOR WHENEVER BRIDGE RETURNS TO US ALL.  ANNIE, THE ONLY ONE OF YOU I'M AT ALL LIKELY TO SEE ANY TIME SOON, DO HOPE TO SEE YOU IN EITHER THE STORE OR PARKING LOT OF W.F.--WHERE I'LL BE HEADING THE SECOND I PUT THIS TRUSTY LAP-TOP TO SOME WELL-DESERVED "SLEEP"--SO LONG AS THEY MAY (PLEASE GODDESSES) STAY OPEN (AND HAVE ANY FOOD THAT I AND ALL OF US WILL CERTAINLY NEED).  

     SO, TO ALL OF YOU THEN, TILL SOON, W/ ANY LUCK...STAY STRONG AND HEALTHY FOLKS AND PLEASE STAY TUNED HERE FOR RANDOM FURTHER REPORTS, I PROMISE, INCLUDING, SOONER, RATHER THAN LATER IF WE GET LUCKY, A REPORT OF AT LEAST SOME RETURN TO ALL OUR FAVORITE PAST-TIME.  PLEASE CONTINUE TO EAT AND SLEEP OFTEN AND WELL...