Toronto, day 2
Not having qualified for the LM pairs, Mike and I played the A/X regionally rated event today.
The day started out with confusion, because Mike told me that all the regional events would be at the Sheraton, so I made the long, hot, uphill trek to Queen Street. Just as I was entering, Mike called me and mentioned that the A/X pairs were in the Royal York, the same hotel where all the national events are, so I had to hike back there. It’s tough to start the day after a forced march that would exhaust a French Foreign Legionnaire.
The first session wasn’t much good, but we made up for it in the second one–except for my inability to take tricks on defense. I slipped about three of them. Some days you just can’t count to 13.
I can’t tell you exactly how well we did, because in the middle of the last round the computer crashed, and the directors were having great difficulty getting the scores back–indeed, they ended up passing out pick up slips to try and re-create the entire movement. Which will work, if they don’t find that some tables had finished and the players were gone. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.
Bridge tournaments always generate interesting stories, so here are two for today:
Paul McDaniel doesn’t like to fly. So he takes the train to all the NABC’s, which explains why he wasn’t in Honolulu. Getting to Toronto turned into an adventure: the train suffered a brake failure in a tunnel in Colfax, leaving California. They had to stop to fix it, and that put them behind schedule, which disrupts the entire system and ends up making them even later. He got into Chicago 11 hours late, and there was no train that would get him to Toronto by game time. You might think that this would be the time to break down and take the hour and a half flight, but Paul is a man of principle–he managed a bus through Toledo, Detroit and Windsor, but he got to the big city and made the game on time.
Cole Powell doesn’t mind flying, so there he was at 37,000 feet when someone on his flight had an allergic reaction, and a doctor on board said he needed to be in the hospital NOW. This necessitated an emergency stop in Detroit–things move quickly in these cases. Cole said they were on the ground in 10 minutes. Not a real problem (except for the guy who got sick), but at least a bit of excitement on the trip.
I’ll wrap up with this photo–the Royal York is an old fashioned palace of a hotel. I peeked in an empty room this evening, and found this masterpiece of design and painting. We play in so many bland rooms, created by corporate planning departments to be inoffensive and utilitarian, it’s a real treat to see what can be done with imagination and craftsmanship.