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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.

 
     NEXT GAME WILL BE THURSDAY EVENING (JULY 9).  DO (OF COURSE) HOPE TO SEE ALL THAT CAN MAKE IT...THEN BACK AGAIN, OF COURSE, NEXT MONDAY EVENING (JULY 13), BOTH/ALL GAMES SAME TIME (7:10 pm) ALWAYS!!! 

 
     OK, HI AGAIN, CURRENTLY WEDNESDAY MORNING AS I TYPE THE BLOG FOR MONDAY EVENING GAME OF APPROXIMATELY 36 HOURS AGO NOW (JULY 6).  AND WE DEFINITELY BROADENED OUR PERSPECTIVE W/ THIS ONE.  MANY THINGS IN LIFE...AND OF COURSE IN BRIDGE...GO IN CYCLES...IT IS BEST, I'M LEARNING, TO STAY AWARE OF THIS, AS WHAT SEEMS LIKE IS A NEW, CURRENT TREND THAT IS HAPPENING, FREQUENTLY IS NOT NECESSARILY SO...MERELY...YES, RATHER PART OF A CYCLE.  THIS IS NO MORE EASILY FOUND THAN IN RESULTS OF SEVERAL OF OUR MOST RECENT (PIEDMONT...VIRTUAL, YES, NO LONGER F2F) GAMES, BOTH MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS. 

 
     I HAVE BEEN TRUMPETING LOUDLY (AND I DON'T MEAN INCORRECTLY) BOTH THE PARTICIPATION AND THE PROWESS OF SOME OF OUR LESS EXPERIENCED PLAYERS, i.e. SOME OF OUR 499ers.  THEY HAD BEEN FOR A WHILE NOW, NOT ONLY POPULATING OUR TWO OPEN GAMES QUITE STRONGLY, IN FACT USUALLY OUTNUMBERING NON-499er (OPEN) PLAYERS ON MONDAYS, BUT ALSO BEATING THEM AND SCORING WELL IN A SURPRISINGLY POSITIVE (TO ME...MAYBE EVEN TO THEMSELVES) DEVELOPMENT.  IT SEEMED TO ME A TREND TO WHICH WE COULD LOOK FORWARD CONTINUING FOR WHO KNEW HOW LONG.  HOWEVER ON THIS EVENING, THAT "TREND" TOOK A BIT OF A RIGHT-WARD TURN AND PROVED, AT LEAST FOR THIS ONE EVENING, TO BE MERELY PART OF A "CYCLE" INSTEAD.  FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE PAST MONTH THERE WERE AS MANY OPEN PLAYERS IN THE GAME AS 499ers.  AND THOSE OPEN PLAYERS, POSSIBLY PARTLY AS A RESULT OF THEIR GREATER PARTICIPATION ON THIS EVENING THAN RECENTLY, ALSO DOMINATED THE SCORING AND THE UPPER RANKINGS MORE SO THAN HAD BEEN THE CASE RECENTLY...ONLY 3 PAIRS OF 499ers SCRATCHED (HAD WE HAD 2 SEPARATE GAMES, LIKELY ONLY 1 MORE PAIR WOULD HAVE DONE SO); BUT, AS WE'VE NOTICED AND NOTED RECENTLY, THOSE THAT DID SCRATCH ALL EARNED FAR MORE MASTERPOINTS FOR THEIR EFFORTS THAN THEY WOULD HAVE DONE HAD WE HELD SEPARATE GAMES, AS WE USED TO DO IN F2F IN ACTUAL PIEDMONT.  THIS ALSO WOULD HAVE HELD TRUE FOR SCRATCHING OPEN PLAYERS, ALTHOUGH LESS DRAMATICALLY SO THAN W/ 499ers WHO SCRATCHED.

 
     O...K....WE'LL JUST HAVE TO WAIT, OBSERVE, AND SEE HOW THIS PLAYS OUT IN UPCOMING GAMES...MERE CYCLE OR POSSIBLY NEW TREND??? 

 
     SO, AS FOR THE BRASS TACKS OF ALL THIS, CHECKING OUT N/S RESULTS, WE FIND A FAIRLY STANDARD SET OF SCORES, DISTRIBUTIONS OF GOOD GAMES/BAD GAMES, THE EVENING'S WINNERS BEING FREQUENT ONES HERE, DAVID and  GLENN WHO SCORED 110 (AVERAGE WAS 90, SO 61%).  IN FACT ALL 8 OF THE PAIRS WHO EARNED STRAT A AWARDS THIS EVENING WERE NON-499er (OPEN) PLAYERS, UNUSUAL HERE, TO SAY THE LEAST.  IN 2nd PLACE WERE (JOHN EI)DINGER and (DAVE) PRATT WHOSE SCORE WAS 106 (59%), MAKING FOR A MarginOfVictory OF 40% OF A BOARD.  THE WINNERS HAD A BIG SWING GO THEIR WAY ON BOARD #15, STRETCHING WHAT HAD BEEN THEIR 4.5 POINT LEAD TO 11.  A PUSH (TIE) ON BOARD #16 HAD THEM LOOKING GOOD ENTERING THE LAST ROUND UNTIL A BIG SWING OF 7 POINTS WENT THE OTHER WAY ON BOARD #17, SLICING THEIR LEAD BACK TO ONLY 4 POINTS, BUT THE FINAL BOARD WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY FLAT, LEAVING THE MARGIN UNCHANGED.  RETURNING TO THE MEDAL STAND, THIS TIME IN 3rd PLACE WERE PRAKASH and GISH W/ SCORE OF 103 (57.22%).  IN 4th PLACE WERE JULIE and HANK WHO SCORED AN EVEN 100 (55.56%).  IN FACT ALL OF THESE PAIRS ARE MORE THAN PASSING ACQUAINTANCES OF GOOD SCORES AND SCRATCHES...THEY'RE ALL QUITE FAMILIAR W/ SAME.  ALSO SCRATCHING WERE PEGGY and GAY WHO WERE IN 5th PLACE, BUT STRAT A ONLY PAID 4 PLACES OUT OF 11 PAIRS.  NOT THAT THAT WOULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT THEM, HOWEVER, AS THEY WERE ALSO IN 1st PLACE IN STRAT B, WHICH PAID ALMOST DOUBLE THE MASTERPOINTS FOR THAT AWARD THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN SO FOR ANY STRAT A AWARD FOR WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN LINE.  THEIR SCORE 90.5, WAS A TAD OVER 50% AND A FINE SHOWING AGAINST THIS TOUGH BUNCH.  ROUNDING OUT THE LIST OF N/S SCRATCHERS WERE OUR PAL, ACTUALLY JUST ABOUT EVERYONE'S PAL, HIGHLY POPULAR MELINDA and PETE WHOSE SCORE OF 84 (47%) QUALIFIED THEM FOR THE 2nd PLACE AWARD IN STRAT B, THE AWARD FOR WHICH WAS LARGER THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE 1st PLACE AWARD IN STRAT C, FOR WHICH THEIR SCORE ALSO QUALIFIED THEM.  WELL DONE ALL. 

 
     ON A SIDE NOTE (NOT REALLY SO "SIDE" THOUGH) OF COURSE IT IS SAD THAT MELINDA HAS DECIDED TO MOVE BACK TO THE MIDWEST WHERE SHE (AND I) GREW UP, REMARKABLY ENOUGH, BARELY 10 MILES OR SO FROM EACH OTHER.  ALTHOUGH WE PASSED THROUGH THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL, I AM CONSIDERABLY OLDER THAN SHE, SO WE NEVER HAD OCCASION TO MEET UNTIL, HERE WE BOTH WOUND UP, BAY AREA BRIDGE PLAYERS.  SHE IS CURRENTLY DRIVING AT LEAST SOME OF HER STUFF ON A LONG, INTENTIONALLY MEANDERING TRIP, STARTING ORIGINALLY HEADING SOUTH TOWARD LA, BUT SUDDENLY FINDING OUT THAT THE CLOSING DATE ON HER NEW HOUSE IS, WELL, I THINK TODAY, WEDNESDAY, HOPEFULLY SHE CAN WORK THAT OUT AND STILL GET IT.  IN THEORY SHE WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY W/ US (LONG LIVE VIRTUAL BRIDGE, VIRTUAL EVERYTHING WHERE THERE ARE NO LONGER GEOGRAPHICAL CHALLENGES TO ALMOST SO MANY MORE THINGS Smile).

 
     HEADING TO THE E/W SIDE OF THE LEDGER WE FIND UNFAMILIAR NAMES ATOP THE LEADERBOARD HERE...UNFAMILIAR IN THAT THEY WERE OUR SUBSTITE PAIR, DRAFTED, SEPARATELY, QUITE UNBEKNOWST TO EACH OTHER, OFF THE PILE OF (LITERALLY WORLD-WIDE) VOLUNTEERS FOR THAT GIG RIGHT AT GAME TIME WHEN WE FOUND A (TEMPORARY) HALF-TABLE IN OUR MOVEMENT.  SCREEN-NAME HOLDER 4445's PROFILE REVEALED ONE NAME ONLY, YAN, AN EXTREMELY KIND, GENTLE, AND POLITE PERSON, ABOUT WHOM ALL WE WERE ABLE TO ASCERTAIN LITTLE ELSE OTHER THAN THEIR HOME COUNTRY SINGAPORE.  WHEN I "CHAT"TED TO THEM TO ASK IF THEY WERE ACTUALLY THERE OR NOT, POSSIBLY HERE INSTEAD, THEY REPLIED THAT THEY WERE CURRENTLY IN HONG KONG.  THIS ALL CAME UP BECAUSE EARLY IN THE GAME, YAN BEGGED ME TO NOT "REPLACE" THEM, WHICH I FOUND A BIT STRANGE, SO I ASKED IF THEY HAD CONNECTIVITY PROBLEMS, TO WHICH CAME BACK THE REPLY "SOMETIMES".  I REASSURED THEM THAT I DID NOT HAVE A QUICK TRIGGER FINGER AS FAR AS REPLACING FOLKS, THAT I TYPICALLY GAVE THEM AMPLE (POSSIBLY TOO AMPLE) AMOUNTS OF TIME TO LOG OFF, LOG BACK ON AND GET REESTABLISHED AND THERE WAS NO NEED TO WORRY.  AND TRULY YAN DID LOSE CONNECTIVITY W/ US A FEW TIMES DURING THE EVENING, BUT EVEN BEFORE I COULD HAVE REPLACED THEM, EVEN HAD I WANTED TO, WHICH I DIDN'T, THERE THEY WERE, RIGHT BACK ON IN LITERALLY A VERY FEW SECONDS.  YAN WAS PAIRED W/ MARIAN5566 WHO RESEARCH DISCOVERED WAS A MAN (PRETTY SURE FROM PICTURE ON PROFILE WHICH ALSO REVEALED TWO GRADE-SCHOOLISH LOOKING YOUNG, PRESUMABLY, SONS) NAMED MARIAN KOSIOR FROM PENTICTON B.C. JUST NORTH OF THE BORDER NEAR THE WEST COAST OF CANADA, HOLDER OF ALL OF 899 MASTERPOINTS.  WELL THESE 2 COMPLETE STRANGERS TO EACH OTHER ABSOLETELY SMOKED ALMOST THE ENTIREY OF REST OF THE FIELD, YES, BEST SCORE IN THE ROOM, BEATING ALL BUT ONE OTHER PAIR BY AT LEAST A FULL BOARD, W/ A SCORE OF 120 (EXACTLY 66.66...%).  THAT ONE PAIR?  WELL THAT WOULD BE THE 2nd PLACERS THIS DIRECTION, WURAT (ERIC) and BLAIR, BY THE STAGGERING SUM (MOV) OF PRECISELY OUR OL' FRIEND, THAT MEASLE 1/2 MATCHPOINT, MEANING 2nd PLACERS SCORED 119.5 (66.39%).  THE WINNERS ACTUALLY WERE SAILING ALONG JUST UNDER 72% AFTER 12 BOARDS, BUT AT THAT POINT HELD ONLY A 1 POINT LEAD OVER THEIR ONLY TRUE COMPETITORS, THE EVENTUAL 2nd PLACERS.  THEY EVEN MOMENTARILY GAVE UP THEIR LEAD ON BOARD #14 LOSING A 2 POINT SWING TO FALL BEHIND BY A POINT, BUT GAINED A HUGE A 9.5 POINT SWING (JUST SHORT OF A FULL BOARD) ON BOARD #15, WHICH PROVIDED THE WINNING MARGIN (BARELY) BY STAYING QUIETLY "IN THE BOAT" AND SETTING OPPONENTS 2 TRIX VULNERABLE (+200, TIE FOR TOP), WHILE THEIR COMPETITORS TOOK WHAT PROVED ULTIMATELY AN ENTIRELY PHANTOM SAVE, -2, DOUBLED, (-300, PURE BOTTOM).  THIS STRETCHED THEIR LEAD BACK OUT TO 8.5 POINTS BUT THEY STILL HAD TO STAVE OFF A TOUGH RUSH TO THE FINISH LINE, GIVING BACK 6 POINTS ON BOARD #16 AND 2 MORE ON BOARD #17, THUS PROVIDING THE FINAL MARGIN WHEN THE NEARLY FLAT BOARD #18 PROVED A PUSH FOR THE TWO OF THEM.  ANNE and SIDNEY PUT IN THEIR USUAL WORKPERSON-LIKE PERFORMANCE TO GRAB 3rd PLACE W/ A SCORE OF 107.5 (60%).  DONNA and DAVEY C. (DAVE) WERE 4th, SCORING 96.5 (54%).  ALSO SCRATCHING WERE THE PAIR THAT, ALONG W/ ONE OTHER OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD, MOST CONSISTENTLY OUTPERFORMS THEIR EXPERIENCE AND THEIR MASTERPOINTS, ARTHUR and TOM WHOSE SCORE OF 84 (47%) GAINED THEM 1st PLACE IN STRAT(S) B (AND C).  SARLA and AMY PICKED UP THE FINAL SCRATCH, TAKING 2nd PLACE IN STRAT B W/ A SCORE OF 80.5 (45%).  ALSO A "WELL DONE, GOOD JOB" TO THESE E/W PAIRS.     

 
     DATABASE OF OUR FIELD THIS EVENING REVEALS 10 PAIRS OF 499ers, 9 PAIRS OF OPEN PLAYERS, 2 PAIRS W/ ONE OF EACH AND 1 PAIR W/ 1 OPEN PLAYER, THE OTHER "UNKNOWN".  IF YAN WERE TO SOMEHOW PROVE TO BE EQUIVALENTLY BEYOND 499er STATUS, THAT WOULD MAKE THE NUMBERS OF 499er AND OPEN PLAYERS IN THE GAME EXACTLY EQUAL.  

 
     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) ENJOYING THE ENTIRE EVENING IN OUR JAMMIES.  NEXT GAMES TOMORROW, THURSDAY JULY 9, THEN AGAIN NEXT MONDAY JULY 13.  ALL GAMES STARTING AT 7:10 pm.  DO HOPE TO SEE AS MANY OF Y'ALL AS CAN MAKE IT...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) game each week now.  


      GREETINGS ALL.  ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL THURSDAY EVENING GAME (JULY 92 DAYS AGO, AS WE TYPE THIS LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON) IN THE BOOKS.  HOPING TO SEE AS MANY OF YOU AS CAN MAKE IT TO PLAY W/ US A BIT MORE THAN 48 HOURS FROM NOW, MONDAY EVENING (JULY 13), THEN AGAIN NEXT THURSDAY (JULY 16).  BUT NOW ON TO NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS, OUR NOW TWICE-WEEKLY BLOG, ON THIS SOLITARY PAGE WE ARE PRIVILEGED TO ENJOY, ABOUT OUR GAMES. 

 
     ON THIS EVENING WE AGAIN TIED OUR ALL TIME THURSDAY EVENING HIGH OF 7 TABLES; WE HAVE NOW HAD 10 THURSDAY EVENING GAMES, IN ORDER FROM THE FIRST, MAY 7 THROUGH THE MOST RECENT: 4,4,5,5,7,7,6,6,6, AND NOW 7 TABLES.  THANKS, AS ALWAYS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT. 

 
     N/S SIDE WAS EXTREMELY CLOSE AT THE TOP, BUT, AGAIN SEEMINGLY MADE THE CASE AGAINST DIVIDING EITHER OF THESE 2 GAMES WE RUN INTO 2 SEPARATE SECTIONS (OPEN AND 499er) AS USED TO BE THE CASE IN F2F IN ACTUAL PIEDMONT.  REASON BEING, 5 OF THE 7 PAIRS IN THIS DIRECTION SCRATCHED (A NICE, HIGH PERCENTAGE) AND ALL RECEIVED MASTER POINT AWARDS HIGHER THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CASE W/ ANY 2-SECTION ALIGNMENT.  NONETHELESS I AM CONSIDERING (NOW THAT I THINK I AM ALMOST PROPERLY PREPARED FOR IT) OPENING AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE 299er GAME, ALSO CONSIDERING WHAT DAY AND TIME IT MIGHT BE BEST HELD; ANYONE WHO MIGHT WISH TO SUGGEST PREFERENCES, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LET ME KNOW; EMAIL ADDRESS AND PHONE # (VOICE MAIL IS FINE) ARE ABOVE THE MONDAY EVENING COLUMN TO THE LEFT OF THIS ONE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAGE.  NO TEXT PLEASE (HOMEY DON'T PLAY DATTongue out).  THE ONLY DOWNSIDE I FEAR FROM STARTING SEPARATE 299er GAME WOULD BE LOSS OF ATTENDANCE AT OUR 2 CURRENT GAMES WHICH MIGHT BE EQUAL OR ALMOST SO TO HOWEVER MANY CHOSE TO PLAY IN 299ers INSTEAD, THUS MAKING EITHER OR BOTH OF THOSE CURRENT GAMES LESS THAN THEY ARE NOW. 

 
     BACK TO THE PRESENT, N/S WINNERS ON THIS EVENING WERE SCOOTCAT (ANNE) and MARK M. WITH A SCORE THAT CERTAINLY COULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT AND BEATEN (BUT WASN'T), 64.5 (AVERAGE WAS 54, SO THIS WAS JUST UNDER 60% BUT ROUNDED UP TO THAT BENCHMARK FIGURE).  CLOSE ENOUGH TO HAVE CAUGHT THEM (BUT DIDN'T) WERE 2nd PLACE FINISHERS DOC (ANDY) and GLENN WHO WERE 2 POINTS BACK W/ 62.5 (58%).  MarginOfVictory WAS 1/3 OF A BOARD.  YET ONLY A SINGLE POINT FURTHER BACK IN 3rd PLACE WERE TEAM KOGAN, PATTI and MARK SCORING 61.5 (57%).  THEY ALSO FINISHED IN 1st PLACE IN STRAT B, BUT THE AWARD FOR 3rd IN STRAT A WAS SLIGHTLY HIGHER.  EXAMINING THE RACE TO THE FINISH AMONG THESE 3 PAIRS, IT WASN'T ALL THAT VOLATILE AND NOTHING CHANGED MUCH OVER THE FINAL 2 ROUNDS (6 BOARDS).  AFTER THE FIRST 4 ROUNDS (12 BOARDS) THE EVENTUAL WINNERS HELD 1.5 AND 1 POINT LEADS, RESPECTIVELY OVER THE ABOVE 2 PAIRS,THEIR 2 CLOSEST PURSUERS.  THEY STRETCHED THOSE LEADS DURING ROUND 5 TO 3.5 AND 8 POINTS RESPECTIVELY, NOT HELPFUL DEVELOPMENTS FOR PATTI and MARK.  BUT THEY DID CLOSE W/ A RUSH IN THE LAST ROUND, PICKING ON A TOUGH PAIR BMAC (BONNIE) and SIDNEY TO THE TUNE OF 12.5 MATCH POINTS (OUT OF A POSSIBLE 18), GAINING BACK 3.5 POINTS ON DOC and GLENN AND 5 ON SCOOT and MARK M., JUST NOT QUITE ENOUGH TO CATCH EITHER. 

 
     FOCUSING IN ON THE TOP TWO PAIRS AND THAT LAST ROUND, SCOOT and MARK M. HAD TO FACE RED-HOT BLAIR and DAVID, BUT DOC and GLENN HAD NO CUPCAKES FOR OPPONENTS EITHER, 3rd PLACE/STRAT A PAIR GISH and PRAKASH.  THE 3.5 POINT LEAD CREPT UP TO 5.5 AFTER BOARD #16 (IN FACT PROVIDING PRECISELY THE FINAL WINNING MARGIN), WHEN THE LEADERS BID TO 2D, -2 = -100, AND THEIR CLOSEST PURSUERS SETTLED FOR DEFENDING 1NT, +2 = -120.  BOARD #17 WAS A PUSH, AS EACH SAW THEIR OPPONENTS GET TO A GAME THAT MOST OTHERS DID NOT, -420's, MAKING THAT 5 1/2 POINT LEAD ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERCOME W/ ONLY 6 POINTS AVAILABLE ON THE FINAL (OR ANY SINGLE) BOARD; THAT PROVED THE CASE WHEN THE WINNERS WATCHED THEIR OPPS. BID TO AND MAKE A GAME, WHILE THEIR PURSUERS' OPPS STOPPED SHORT OF THE GAME, JUSTIFIED WHEN THEY MADE A TRICK FEWER THAN AT THE OTHER TABLE.  THAT 3.5 POINT SWING REDUCED THE LEAD TO ITS FINAL MARGIN.  ALSO SCRATCHING WERE LISA and AMY WHO TOOK 2nd PLACE IN STRAT B W/ A SCORE OF 52 (48%), ALSO BERT and MIKE WHO FINISHED 1st IN STRAT C, SCORING 49 (45%).  WELL DONE ALL. 

 
     MOVING NOW TO E/W SIDE, THIS ONE WAS A TOTAL CAKEWALK, NOT CLOSE AT ALL.  BLAIR and DAVID EASILY PUT AWAY, NOT JUST THE REST OF THE E/W FIELD, BUT NO ONE IN THE N/S FIELD WAS EVEN CLOSE TO THEM EITHER.  THEY SCORED 76 (A WHOPPING 70.37%).  CLOSEST TO THEM HERE WERE 2nd PLACE FINISHERS (ALSO 1st IN STRAT B) MERCEDESB (LO-IE) and ARGLE89 (MARCIA) WHOSE MORE THAN RESPECTABLE 62 (57%) STILL WAS 2 1/3 BOARDS IN ARREARS OF THE WINNERS (MOV).  EVEN THE N/S WINNERS WERE BARELY W/IN 2 FULL BOARDS BEHIND BLAIR and DAVID IN THE RACE FOR BEST SCORE IN THE ROOM...WHICH REALLY WAS NO RACE AT ALL.  THEY STARTED W/ 15 MATCHPOINTS (OUT OF A POSSIBLE 18) IN THE FIRST ROUND AGAINST THE EVENTUAL 2nd PLACE N/S PAIR.  THAT'S A SIZZLING 83% START.  THEY ALSO HAD A 17 POINT 3rd ROUND (94%) AND THEIR 4 OTHER ROUNDS WERE ALL ABOVE AVERAGE.  AFTER THAT BLISTERING FIRST HALF START (3 ROUNDS), THEY WERE AT 81% AND CRUISED FROM THERE, NEVER LOOKING BACK.  THEY WERE SO FAR AHEAD ENTERING THE LAST ROUND THAT EVEN HAD THEY HAD 3 ZEROS FOR THAT ROUND, ONLY MERCEDES and ARGLE WERE W/IN THE NECESSARY MARGIN OF A PERFECT (18 POINT) ROUND TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HAVE CAUGHT THEM AND THEY WOULD HAVE NEEDED A 13.5 POINT (75%) ROUND JUST TO HAVE TIED THEM.  ON BOARD #16 M and A DID NARROW THE GAP TO 9.5 POINTS BUT NOW W/ JUST 12 POINTS AVAILABLE TO THEM.  WHICHEVER OF THE 2 PAIRS FIRST FINISHED BOARD #17 AND HAD THEIR RESULT FROM IT RECORDED ENDED ALL HOPE FOR M and A AND CLINCHED IT FOR B and D WHO AT THAT POINT WOULD HAVE BEEN FAR ENOUGH AHEAD THAT EVEN PERFECT RESULTS FROM M and A AFTER THAT WOULD HAVE LEFT THEM SHORT.  THOUGH MERCEDES and ARGLE FINISHED 14 POINTS BEHIND THE WINNERS, THEY WERE STILL ANOTHER 10 POINTS AHEAD OF THE 3rd PLACE PAIR GISH and PRAKASH WHO SCORED 52 (48%).  THE NEXT 3 PAIRS BEHIND THEM WERE SUDDENLY BUNCHED QUITE TIGHTLY W/ THEM, RESPECTIVELY, 0.5, 2, AND 3 POINTS FURTHER BACK.  ONLY ONE OF THOSE OTHER 3 SCRATCHED...BEING KARENINA39 (KAREN) and JERRYCOAK (JERRY) WHO EARNED 2nd PLACE IN STRAT B, ALSO 1st PLACE IN STRAT C, BUT THE FORMER AWARD WAS SLIGHTLY GREATER THAN THE LATTER; THIER SCORE WAS 50 (46%).   

 
     TALLY ON THE GATHERED ASSEMBLAGE REVEALS 4 OPEN PAIRS AND 3 499er-QUALIFYING PAIRS IN EACH DIRECTION.   

 
     AS ALWAYS, THANX 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 (JULY 13), ALSO NEXT THURSDAY (JULY 16) AS CAN DO SO.  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 A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, 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...