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 Wednesdays
 
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.
 
      RESULTS FROM TONIGHT'S GAME (MAY 13), POSTED HERE (ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE) @11:30 pm.  NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS (BLOG) FROM THIS GAME NOW FOLLOW BELOW...BEING WRITTEN EARLY SUNDAY EVENING, THE NIGHT BEFORE OUR NEXT GAME. 

 
     IN THE 499er GAME, I PREVAILED UPON HELENE and JOHN  TO SIT N/S AND THEY WERE KIND ENOUGH TO OBLIGE US ALL (TO MAKE THE STRATS MORE EQUAL) BY DOING SO...AND THEY, COINCIDENTALLY SO, HAD ANOTHER BIG GAME AND WON YET AGAIN.  OVER THE PAST 4 WEEKS, THEY HAVE ACCUMULATED 3 1st PLACE FINISHES AND ONE 2nd PLACE.  IN THAT STRETCH THEY RACKED UP A 70% GAME AND 2 OTHERS THAT WERE BETTER THAN 60%ers.  THIS TIME THEY SCORED 52 (AVERAGE WAS 40) SO THIS TRANSLATED TO 65%, YET AGAIN (2nd TIME IN THOSE 4 WEEKS) THE BIGGEST %AGE SCORE IN THE ROOM.  WELL DONE (AGAIN), FOLKS.  KAREN and JERRY HAD A FINE GAME AS WELL, SCORING 47 (59%, GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN ON MANY NIGHTS, JUST NOT THIS ONE) TO EARN 2nd PLACE, JUST NOSING OUT MARILYN T. and JEFF BY ONE MATCH-POINT FOR THIS AWARD; W/ ONLY 2  STRAT A PLACES AWARDED (W/ 6 TABLES) AND MARILYN T. and JEFF BEING STRAT A PLAYERS, DUE, BY COMPARISON, TO THEIR HIGH # OF MASTER-POINTS, THEY WERE INELIGIBLE FOR ANY STRAT B OR STRAT C AWARDS; IT IS DEFINITELY UNUSUAL TO SEE A SCORE AS HIGH AS THEIRS (57.5%), WHICH DOESN'T EVEN SCRATCH FOR THEIR EFFORTS ON A GIVEN EVENING, AS IN THIS ONE.  MarginOfVictory FOR THE WINNERS WAS 1 1/4 BOARDS. 

 
     E/W: THERE WAS A TIE HERE FOR 1st/2nd PLACE BETWEEN JANIS and CONNIE, ALSO DRM (MAROLYN) and RICHARD, EACH OF WHOM POSTED FINE SCORES OF 48.5 (61%).  AS ALWAYS, MANY THANKS TO CONNIE FOR COMING TO FILL IN TO AVOID HAVING THE GAME RUN A BIT LESS SMOOTHLY OR EFFICIENTLY W/ THE DIRECTOR HAVING TO PLAY (OR, WORSE, HAVING ONE OTHER PLAYER NOT GETTING TO PLAY AT ALL AND THUS ALSO CREATING A CONCOMITANT SIT-OUT).  2 OTHER PAIRS SCRATCHED STRAT B AWARDS, INCLUDING ROHAN and KEN WHOSE 46.5 (58%) EARNED THEM 1st PLACE IN STRAT B, ALSO MARILYN (OUR VERY OWN) BOOKBINDER and KC (KATHLEEN) WHO TOOK 2nd IN STRAT B W/ A SCORE OF 34.5 (43%).  WELL DONE ALL!  ALSO, GOOD TO WELCOME BACK ELAINE and ARNITASmile WHO'D BEEN VISITING FAMILY AND UNABLE TO PLAY W/ US FOR THE PREVIOUS MONTH OR SO. 

 
     IN THE OPEN GAME 3 PAIRS RAN AWAY FROM THE FIELD AND YET A 4th ALSO MANAGED TO SCRATCH.  WINNERS WERE GLENN and GISH WHO SCORED 45 (AVERAGE WAS 36, SO THIS WAS 62.5%).  THIS WAS ENOUGH TO FEND OFF THE HARD-CHARGING DOCs (COURTENAY and ANDY), THE LATTER IN HIS FIRST GAME BACK SINCE VISITING W/ HIS (BRIDGE-PLAYING) FATHER ON THE EAST COAST (FLORIDA I THINK?).  THEY FINISHED 2nd W/ A SCORE OF 43 (60%).  SO THIS MOV WAS 2 POINTS (OR 2/3 OF A BOARD).  IN 3rd (AN EVEN SMALLER MARGIN OF 1.5 POINTS BEHIND THE 2nd PLACE FINISHERS) STOOD STRAT C PAIR MARCIA and LILI W/ 41.5 (58%).  THIS IS ALWAYS A NICE THING WHEN THIS PAIR (OR ANY STRAT C PAIR, W/ SO MANY FEWER MASTER POINTS AND SO MUCH LESS EXPERIENCE THAN, IN THIS CASE, ALL BUT ONE OTHER PAIR IN THE GAME) RISES UP AND PLAYS ON A PAR W/ THOSE OTHER PAIRS AND SCRATCHES OUT MASTER POINTS, IN FACT CONSIDERABLY MORE THAN THEY COULD POSSIBLY HAVE WON IN THE 499er GAME (NOT INCLUDING ANY CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, WHICH OF COURSE AWARD EXTRA MASTER POINTS).  ALSO SCRATCHING HERE WERE FIRST-TIME PARTNERSHIP LISA and PRAKASH, THE LATTER OF WHOM USED TO PLAY W/ US (MANY YEARS AGO) ALL THE TIME, UNTIL FAMILY AND WORK CONSIDERATIONS MADE THAT SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR HIM.  THEY GOT IN A 2nd PLACE FINISH IN STRAT C W/ A SCORE OF 33 (46%).  WELL DONE, AGAIN, TO ALL. 

 
     NO FIRST-TIMERS TONIGHT BUT 8 PLAYERS OUT OF 40 IN THE GAME (AN EXACT, NICE ROUND 20%) CAME TO PLAY W/ US FROM OUTSIDE ALAMEDA COUNTY (ALL CONTRA COSTANS, AS IT HAPPENED).  AS ALWAYS WE'RE ALWAYS HAPPY TO SEE ALL OF THEM...

 
     SO TIME NOW TO SAY THANKS TO ALL WHO SHOWED UP TO PLAY AND CONGRATS, AGAIN, TO ALL WHO SCRATCHED.  DO HOPE, AS ALWAYS, TO SEE AS MANY OF YOU AS ARE ABLE TO PLAY TOMORROW NIGHT.  TILL THEN...


Fridays
 
 If you need to phone Doug at Vet's Bldg. (playing site), you can use 510:652-2587 (no voicemail, so it works only after about 7:10 pm--on game nights).  
 
NO FRIDAY GAMES FOR NOW... 
  
     SCORES FROM TONIGHT'S (MAY 20) GAME ARE POSTED IN THE FAR LEFT COLUMN, AS USUAL, AND THEY WERE PUT UP @ 11:15 pm.  NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS (BLOG) WILL APPEAR BELOW AT SOME POINT LATER IN THE WEEK.  IN THE MEANTIME, WE'LL LEAVE THE BLOG FROM 2 WEEKS AGO BELOW...FOR LACK OF ANYTHING BETTER TO DO W/ THE SPACE.  THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE. 

 
     IN THE MEANTIME, LET'S MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS, WE WILL BE OPEN NEXT MONDAY NIGHT, MEMORIAL DAY (MAY 27), SO WE'LL CELEBRATE BY HAVING A GAMESmile,  SO COME ON DOWN.  

 
     JUST TO SHARE A BIT FROM YESTERDAY'S CELEBRATION IN OAKLAND OF RUSS RECTOR's LIFE, WHICH APPARENTLY ENDED (WE FINALLY ARE ABLE TO PIECE TOGETHER) 4 WEEKS AGO NOW TO THE DAY, THE DAY AFTER HE DROVE BACK FROM PLAYING W/ LONG-TIME PIEDMONT-GAME PARTNER ALDEN SPROWLES IN A GAME OR THREE HALFWAY BETWEEN WHERE ALDEN AND HIS WIFE HAD MOVED 4+ YEARS AGO (NORTHERNMOST CALI) AND HERE.  HAPPENED TO HAVE BEEN THE DAY BEFORE RUSS HAD SCHEDULED A GAME W/ US (DAVEY C. WAS TO HAVE BEEN HIS PARTNER) AND 2 DAYS BEFORE A GAME SCHEDULED W/ COLE POWELL, A WONDERFUL FELLOW FOR WHOM I HAVE LONG HAD THE UTMOST RESPECT, WHO, DURING A LONG PERIOD IN THE PAST, PLAYED W/ US AS MUCH AS ANYONE.  SO THOSE 2 GAMES, SADLY, NEVER HAPPENED. 

 
     I FOUND IT INTERESTING THAT, IN A PACKED HALL, ONE OF THE MANY SPEAKERS, SHIRLEY LARSEN BEVILLE ASKED ALL OF US WHO WERE HER FELLOW BRIDGE PLAYERS TO STAND, SO THAT THE MANY MEMBERS OF RUSS's HUGE FAMILY AND MANY OF HIS FORMER CO-WORKERS COULD SEE HOW INVOLVED HE WAS W/ BRIDGE, IN CASE THEY HADN'T ALREADY KNOWN.  TURNED OUT WE MADE UP, IN MY JUDGMENT, CLOSE TO HALF OF THE ATTENDEES.  MARY HELEN LEVINE ALSO SPOKE MOST ELOQUENTLY AS DID ALDEN, WHO'D MADE THE LONG DRIVE DOWN SO AS TO BE THERE.  BUT OF COURSE HEARING FROM THE MANY FAMILY MEMBERS AND FORMER CO-WORKERS WHO SPOKE WAS ALSO VERY ENLIGHTENING TO THOSE OF US WHO HADN'T KNOWN MUCH ABOUT HIS LIFE OUTSIDE OF WHEN HE PLAYED W/ AND AGAINST US.  RIP RUSS(SKI)...
 
     WE STRETCHED THE POINT LIMITS OF THE LIMITED GAME A BIT FOR THIS ONE NIGHT, CALLING IT A 649er GAME TO ACCOMODATE A COUPLE OF FIRST-TIMERS, CHERYL SPRAY, VISITING (FROM COLORADO) HER GROWN SON, WHO APPARENTLY HAD JUST MOVED HERE TO EL CERRITO FROM ELSEWHERE.  CHERYL HERSELF HAD JUST FEW ENOUGH POINTS TO FIT UNDER THAT LIMIT, BUT HER SON MARTY PLACE HAD NEVER PLAYED DUPLICATE BEFORE, ALTHOUGH APPARENTLY HAS PLAYED HIS SHARE OF (RUBBER, I SUPPOSE) BRIDGE, AS HE SEEMED TO QUITE HOLD HIS OWN.  I ADJUSTED THE POINT LIMIT SO THAT THEY WOULD BE QUALIFIED FOR POINTS IN CASE THEY WERE ABLE TO SCRATCH.  THEY JUST MISSED THAT BUT IT WAS NICE TO MEET THEM AND CHERYL's HOPE WAS THAT MARTY WOULD ENJOY IT ENOUGH TO COME BACK TO US TO HELP HIM GET COMFORTABLE IN HIS NEW ENVIRONMENT.  WE HOPE SO TOO. 

 
     N/S WINNERS IN AN EXTREMELY CLOSE CONTEST WERE PEGGY and GAY WHO SCORED A 74.5 (AVERAGE ON THIS NIGHT WAS 63, SO THEY WEIGHED IN AT 59.13%).  THEY BEAT BY A SINGLE POINT KAREN and JERRY WHOSE 73.5 (58.33%) WAS ACTUALLY BARELY GOOD ENOUGH FOR 2nd PLACE.  BARELY AS IN THE MEASLE HALF-POINT BY WHICH THEY EDGED OUT 3rd PLACERS BC (BONNIE) and BILL, SCRATCHING FOR THE 2nd CONSECUTIVE (IN A ROW) WEEK AS A RELATIVELY NEW PARTNERSHIP.  THEIR 73 WAS 57.94%.  THE  MarginOfVictory (BETWEEN 1st AND 2nd PLACE) WAS A SKIMPY 1/6 OF A BOARD.  WHEW!...CLOSE CALL.  ALSO SCRATCHING WERE A VERY LOYAL PLAYER (AND A SWEETIE) WHO HASN'T MISSED A GAME W/ US SINCE HER FIRST ONE, NOW MORE THAN 3 MONTHS AGO, HELEN WREN (THIS, I DO BELIEVE, BEING HER FIRST SCRATCH W/ US, AS SHE'S LEARNING THE INS AND OUTS OF THE GAME) and FITTINGLY ENOUGH, ANOTHER VERY LOYAL PLAYER (OVER A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME) AND ALSO A SWEETIE, TO BE SURE, JANIS, THIS NOT BEING, BY A LONG-SHOT, HER FIRST RODEO OF SCRATCHING W/ US.  WELL DONE!! 

 
     E/W, YET ANOTHER IN A FAST-GROWING LIST OF FINE PERFORMANCES (LAST WEEK NOTED AS ON OUR WATCH LIST OF, WELL, PLAYERS TO BE WATCHED AS THEY WIN AND SCRATCH MORE AND MORE FREQUENTLY AS THEY PATIENTLY LEARN THE INS AND OUTS OF THE GAME) FROM, YUP, IF YOU GUESSED HELENE and JOHN YOU GOT IT!  (YOU KNOW, I THINK I CAN SAFELY DROP THE "V." I TYPICALLY AMEND TO HIS NAME...DUH, PERHAPS I HAVE FINALLY NOTICED THAT EVEN THOUGH JOHN IS HARDLY A RARE NAME, I DON'T THINK WE'LL CONFUSE THIS ONE W/ ANY OF THE OTHER JOHNs, NONE OF WHOM ACTUALLY PLAY IN OUR GAMES, AT LEAST NOT NOW, NOT IN A WHILE (ALTHOUGH THERE HAS BEEN A JON, WHO SPELLS IT JUST THAT WAY AND WHO WE MISS, WHILE WAITING TO SEE IF HE'LL EVER COME BACK TO PLAY W/ US AGAIN FROM OHIO).  IN ANY CASE HELENE and JOHN PLAYED WELL ENOUGH TO DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM EVEN THEIR CLOSEST COMPETITORS BY 11 MATCH POINTS, AN MOV OF JUST UNDER 2 FULL BOARDS.  THEY SCORED 76.5 (60.71%).  BY COMPAISON, THE 6 OTHER E/W PAIRS, TOP TO BOTTOM, WERE SEPARATED BY ONLY ONE MEASLE HALF-POINT MORE THAN THAT (11.5 MATCH POINTS).  BEST OF THOSE, ABLE TO TAKE HOME 2nd PLACE AWARD, WERE THE RELIABLE DRM (MAROLYN) and RICHARD WHO SCORED (SIMPLE ARITHMETIC, EH HOLMES?) 65.5 (52%).  CLOSE AND ONLY ANOTHER SINGLE POINT FURTHER BACK, GAINING THEM THE 3rd PLACE AWARD, WERE MAXINE and ERIC, SCORING 64.5 (51%). 


 
     ON TO THE OPEN GAME WHERE GISH WAS RELIEVED OF THE SLUG WHO'D BEEN DRAGGING HIM DOWN THE PREVIOUS 2 WEEKS AND ACTUALLY CAME UP W/ SOMEONE W/ WHOM HE COULD WIN, TOM McGUIRE.  THEY PUT UP THE BEST (PERCENTAGE) SCORE IN THE ROOM, 44 (AVERAGE WAS 36 SO THIS CAME OUT TO 61.11%).  2nd WERE GLENN and HIS PARTNER (THOUGH NOT HIS USUAL ONE) WHO SCORED 42.5 (59%).  A TIE FOR 3rd/4th PLACE ENSUED, ENJOYED BY ANNE and SIDNEY WHO ALONG W/ LO-IE (LOIS) and (A) DOC (THE COURTENAY ONE; THE ANDY BRAND HAS BEEN HEARD AND RUMORED TO BE BACK W/ US THIS COMING WEEK--TOMORROW EVENING).  THESE TWO (TIED) PAIRS EACH SCORED 39.5 (55%).  ALSO SCRATCHING WERE JULIE and HANK WHOSE SCORE OF 35 (49%) NAILED DOWN 1st PLACE IN STRAT C FOR THEM. 


 
     ALREADY HAVE MADE MENTION OF THE FIRST-TIMERS WE ENJOYED TONIGHT; ALSO GOOD TO SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE NETHERLANDS VISITOR (FOR THE PAST YEAR, BUT LIKELY LEAVING US SOON) YOLANDA, ALSO DONNA ROLLE, AS WELL AS YOLANDA's PARTNER JAMES (BOND, YES JAMES BOND). WE HADN'T SEEN EITHER OF THE LATTER TWO, IN MORE THAN A YEAR FOR EACH OF THEM.  SO WE MUCH ENJOYED SEEING ALL OF THEM AGAIN. 

 
     AND FINALLY, ON TO THE COUNTY COUNT...8 CONTRA COSTANS PLUS CHERYL, OUR VISITING COLORADAN (HER SON BEING ONE OF THE CONTRA COSTANS), SO 9 TOTAL OUT OF 44 PLAYERS, JUST MORE THAN 20% CAME FROM OUTSIDE ALAMEDA COUNTY TO PLAY W/ US AND WE THANK YOU ALL FOR DOING SO.

 
     AND, AS ALWAYS THANKS TO ALL OF YOU CAME TO PLAY AND CONGRATS TO THOSE WHO PLAYED WELL ENOUGH (AND/OR HAD ENOUGH OF LADY'S LUCK) TO SCRATCH TONIGHT...WELL DONE.  MUCH LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING Y'ALL WHO CAN MAKE IT TO PLAY W/ US TOMORROW NIGHT.  TILL THEN...