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Phoenix Nationals, Days 3-6: KO, pairs, mini-Blue Ribbon

At Nationals it was difficult to find the time to sleep, play AND write. So even though I'm back now, I feel compelled to finish my Nationals report, while the memories are still relatively fresh. I will do so in two parts. This relatively short (and boring) post covers the events between the LM Pairs and the NA Swiss, and part two (and perhaps three) will cover the NA Swiss and wrapup.

As I mentioned earlier, our Womens’ BAM team fell apart when one of our teammates had a family emergency and was unable to attend. As a result, my parnter and I wound up playing in a KO with a pickup pair and getting knocked out in our first match. We had a so-so showing in the evening one-session BAM. The next day we played in an A/X regional pairs event and did slightly above average. All in all a somewhat disappointing two days.

On Tuesday, I was back to playing with Kevin for the remainder of the tournament, Kevin and I entering the Mini-Blue Ribbon Pairs. After our success in the LM Pairs I was game for playing in the big event, but after discussion we opted to stay where we were. We pre-entered online on Bridge Winners, and I suspect that as part of testing the feature I must have selected “Requires a stationary table” and forgot to change it, because we were assigned a N/S each session, which was nice because I didn't have to schlep all my stuff! (I guess this compensated four our quadruple E-W in the LM Pairs!)

We had an average first session, finishing a smidge below 50%. In the evening we played really well, finishing 1st NS with a 62.01%. We sailed into day 2 in 32nd place. After suffering a horrible night’s sleep, we still managed to pull off a 56.44% in the first session of Day 2, moving us up to 20th place. We were feeling pretty good about our chances, perhaps a little too good! After dinner, the lack of sleep took its toll, and we had the worst game we've had in a long long time. We made all the wrong decisions, and the opponents did all the right things against us. I suspect that we were also getting pretty discouraged by bad results as the game went on, and it might have affected our play later in the session. We ended up with a 39% (!) which dropped us out of the running completely… we were both very disappointed. Interestingly enough, because of our two nice sessions, we ended up with 10.47 points, more than some of the lower placings received.

Kevin took the next day off to rest, and I agreed to play with some friends in a relatively low-level compact KO, partnering with a friend I hadn’t played with in a while. I was exhausted, and the whole team didn’t perform very well. We lost our first match, and won our second one handily. At that point I decided enough was enough, and I bowed out for the rest of the day to rest, which was a good thing. It was nice to have a night off to recuperate, which brings us to Friday, the start of the North America Swiss. Stay tuned….

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