Ray Lee

Better, but not enough better

Day 3 started very well with a big win against Guadaloupe – it looked as though we were finally going to pick up some momentum, with two more tailenders to play the same day.  But a funny thing happened on the way to the scoring table.

First we played South Africa, expecting another decent win.  I was sitting in the press room next to Pony Nehmert, a long-time stalwart of the German ladies team.  I was bemoaning the flat boards as push after push came through.  She was looking at the results from Germany- New Zealand on the same set, with double digit swings on almost every deal. ‘You just have to have imagination,’ she said.  ‘No such thing as a flat set of boards!’

With the score 6-5 against us, and only a couple of play, I complained to Pony again about the fact that we weren’t going to pick up the VP’s I wanted against a weak team.  ‘Oh no,’ she said, ‘the South Africans aren’t weak.  What they are is rubber bridge players.  So if the hands are complex, they will get into trouble.  But they’ll bid their games and slams, and when they play them, they’ll make them.’  She was right, and we had to be content with a small win on a very low-scoring set.

Surely our last match, against tailenders Jordan, would turn out better.  For a while it went as planned.  We were simply outplaying them, an IMP here and an IMP there, building a 10-IMP lead by the half.  Then disaster struck – at both tables.  See Linda’s blog for the full deal, but after a lazy automatic bid, our East-West pair had collected only 500 into their slam.  Even worse, at the other table, the Jordanians bid on to a 40% grand, and with 2-2 trumps it rolled home.  A couple of boards later, a misjudgment at the 5-level cost another 10 IMPs, and the match was over.

We are still only 23 VP’s out of a qualifying spot, and have yet to play man y of the teams above us, so our fate is in our own hands.  Realistically, though, this is a very difficult scale on which to catch up once you start falling behind.  We need to start winning matches.

There’s no doubt that we have not been lucky so far.  But my experience is that good players make their own luck, and it is when you are not playing up to par that everything seems to go against you.


Jonathan FergusonOctober 3rd, 2007 at 10:33 pm

Try anchoring your strongest pair, Francine and Julie, and you will start winning more and might even make the quarters.

RayOctober 3rd, 2007 at 10:36 pm

Trust me, I’m considering everything. However, tjhere are issues relating to health and stamina that dop not leave me with a completely free hand. BTW, don’t be so quick to assume which pair is playing best — Butler scores can be misleading. In R11, Francine and Julie had a big plus on the Butler, because their opponents missed three slams against them. Also, Butler scores have to be read in context of which pair or team you were playing against.

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