Going into the last round, the relevant section of the standings in our group looked like this:
3. Siwik BT 129
4. Belgium 128
5. Rumelhart 120
The schedule makers were wise in our group as we got to play Belgium in the last match in what looked like a play-in match. Chatting with my friend Kevin Fay before the match, he told me that this is what I want – to be playing in the last match with the qualification on the line. And, he was exactly right. I want to be playing when it is important.
In the match with Belgium, the cards were running in the direction that Morrie and I were sitting. As the match went on, there wasn’t anything very significant going on, but I could feel that we were doing well. We were bidding our good games and staying out of the bad games. And, playing the odds was working. The good games were making, the bad games weren’t. The big blow came here:
|♠ AQ10x||♠ J|
|♥ xx||♥ KQ10xx|
|♦ Kxx||♦ AQJ10xxx|
|♣ 9xxx||♣ —-|
When the ♥A turned out to the onside third, there was nothing to the play. At the other table, the bidding proceeded the same up through 3♥, when my hand chose to follow up with 3N over that. Not knowing about the primary diamond support, that table signed off in 5♦ for an eleven IMP gain for us. Diamond slams seem to be a recurring theme for Morrie and me and this just adds to the list.
So, while we were beating Belgium, the Siwik team was playing the Cayne team and getting beaten pretty badly. When we rushed down from the playing room to the scoring screens, this is what we saw:
3. Rumelhart 141
4. Belgium 137
5. Siwik 136
So we are on to the round of 64, where we will play one of the teams considered to be among those with a chance at the title – the Lou Ann O’Rourke team. This is a sponsored team, so it is likely that the sponsor will play the first two sets and then let the pros take over for the last half. A likely path to victory in this match will be for us to build up a lead in the first half against the sponsor and then hold on against the pros. You can watch the scores by going to Bridge Winners and clicking on the “Live Running Scores” link.