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How to Win at Pairs--sort of...

When you are utterly dreadful at teams and even worse at pairs [Like Rex and me] you need a little extra help from the Bridge Gods, specifically the movement itself.

We played yesterday in an Open Pairs at the Reston regional where you could play 2 of the three sessions offered.  We played morning and afternoon.

In our first session, we scored 55% despite making quite a number of moronic errors. Largely, this was because the movement and placement allowed us to miss the two best pairs sitting in the other direction.  We were quite fortunate to end up with about 1.3 gold points, and as we all know, that luck tends to even out.  Except for today.

In the afternoon, we were doing even worse.  After a first round that I estimated either 0% or lower, I looked over my shoulder and  noticed that a few tables away, we were going to play against a decent player by the name of Jeff Meckstroth. Perhaps you have heard of him.

So we get to the table before Meckstroth and then hear the magic words: "Next round East West skip a table!" Rex of course was  sorely disappointed not to get three clear zeroes, but earlier in the day he also thought he had lost the 2 club card in his bidding box despite having bid 2 clubs with it twice in the previous 3 hands.  

So we ended up with a 49% afternoon despite being truly out of focus and inept, and winning somehow 2.45 gold points for our 52.5% combined day.

Meckstroth had a snappy 69.7% session and likely would have had 3 100% boards against us. In the same movement, the other pair that we missed was Jonathan Steinberg and Alex Hudson.  Remember that for later.

Then to cap off the day, by not playing in the evening session, we moved up in the B flight standings to end up with over 3 gold points.  At the rate Rex and I are not playing, we should be Diamond Life Masters by the end of the weekend.

Meckstroth and his partner James Gleick finished second in the event of 45 tables, and Steinberg and Hudson finished third.  By missing us, it probably cost them 8 1/2 gold points.  Don't worry Jeff, you are a promising player and I am sure you will make Life Master soon!

With the expected drop of many percent in our score, I think skipping these two tables in the afternoon saved us about 1.7 gold points. I think we get zero for the day if we had had a tougher morning draw as well.  It seems likely our score would have been low enough that Rex and I would have to return some points to the ACBL.  Which is an interesting idea now that I think of it.

So if you want to scratch in a difficult pairs event, make sure you "bribe" the entry seller to sit in the right seats....

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