England’s bridge expert Sandra Landy, once wrote “In club play, women always outnumber men in afternoon and evening play but men always predominate in serious competitive play.”
Well, this well-known English bridge expert got it dead wrong on BOTE’s hugely successful Soup & Sandwich Celebratory Game on Monday, as four woman did indeed ‘predominate’ in all aspects of the game, winning both sections handily. To make this performance even more remarkable, they accomplished their feat in the largest Open Pairs event we have run in more than three years.
As any experienced player will tell you, there are more than a few reasons why a large field is hard to negotiate. More pairs result in more variable scores, especially on the marginal hands, so no great bid or expert play is guaranteed to be justly rewarded. Also, very good results (tops) are as scarce as feathers on a fish, as some of your better scores are sure to be matched or erased by both the lucky and the unlucky collateral damage. Just imagine? You finally sort a nice hand, bid to perfection, and get a favourable lead; you go on to guess every finesse right and execute a Clash Squeeze to make two overtricks in 3 NT! Later you find three pairs took the sacrifice, in five of a minor doubled, going down for an international phone number. Bye-bye those gilt-edge match points. It can get worse as some irascible gamblers, who feel their game is sub-par late in the session may throw caution to the wind and ‘start shooting’ trying to steal a few tops, as they feel they have nothing to lose, really! These long shots will certainly not duplicate the ‘normal curve’. - those difficult distributional hands played earlier, when caution & care were the guiding cerebral factors.
WELL IF THAT JUST DON’T TAKE THE CAKE
And back to those dominant women...
Leading the pack, North-South, with an impressive 63.07%, was no real surprise, as Mary Lou Martin and Deirdre Davis, collectively and individually, have as many wins over the years as any other pairs or players. Their consistency at the table is to be admired, and perhaps often envied. But the great scoop of Monday afternoon was what happened over on the East-West side.
“CHAMPIONS KEEP PLAYING UNTIL THEY GET IT RIGHT!” - Billie Jean King
The best news of the day, (other than the fabulous hospitality served up by Susan, Judith and the catering Elves) was some huge changes in latitude. To win big in a large field you need to bid accurately, defend miserly, and declare astutely. With eight or nine ‘A’ pairs prowling the room, there won’t be many gifts up for grabs, so you will have to earn every one of your averages and somehow manage to mine a few tops.
All the World Loves M&M's.
Well, that is just what Mary and Michelle managed to materialize through a gruelling 24 board match, ending up with a Section Top score of 60.61%. What makes this accomplishment all the more remarkable is that M & M are fairly new to duplicate at BOTE and they flat out won C, B, & A, completely. We are so proud of your dogged determination and it will be lots of fun to watch you grow your game.
Congratulations to all who played and or placed on Monday, it was a wonderful social gathering, a compelling set of boards and great to see so many old friends having fun together again.