Another day, another masterpoint
“When you’re not hot”, mother used to say, “you’re not hot.” Although this is obviously tautologically true, it’s also true in the more generic sense–when things aren’t going well, everything seems to go down the tubes at once.
Not having distinguished ourselves in pairs, Mike and I persuaded Manfred Michlmayr and Mike Schneider to play the compact KO today. We lost the first match by 8, on a hand that either I underplayed or our teammates under-defended. Opinions differ.
Somebody withdrew, and that left a round robin for the second half, which I guess was good because we only had to play against the bombastic motormouth for 6 boards instead of 12. This clown wouldn’t shut up, telling about hands from 40 years ago against great players. Manfred came back to the table complaining about the rude woman he had faced, and we realized that she was motormouth’s wife. At least we squeaked out a win against them.
Then off to dinner. Mike Schneider has an other engagement, but Linda B. had arrived so there were 4 of us, out to Tulio, a well-regarded Italian bistro a few blocks away. Manfred was late because Mike called him to give him the wrong directions. That’s just the kind of day it was.
Linda had a great dinner–braised pork over mashed potatoes.
I had what was supposedly pasta alla chitarra, which would be pasta cut into thin strips on a wire assembly. It looked more like plain old extruded spaghetti to me, and was cooked exceedingly al dente, which is polite for “not enough”. I enjoyed the pork belly and leeks that it was dressed with, though.
So now we go back to play in the loser swiss, adding Linda to the team. I get there at the last second, and rush up to buy the entry.
I walk up to Scott Campbell, a director from our area who I have known for ages, and purchase an entry. We sit down, and promptly crush our opponents.
The second round, we are playing 4 very nice ladies from Boise, and crush them too.
Then the director goes over to our teammates and says “Do you guys have a Mike Bandler on your team with 11,000 points?” They say yes, and the director mentions that we are playing in the B-C-D Swiss, with a 3000 point limit. This is not good. It explains our easy wins, though. The ladies we just beat are looking for their last 10 gold points.
The directors say that they will move us to the A/X swiss, where we belong, and graciously give us 16 victory points, 40% of average.
I am not amused. There is no sign indicating that this is an A/X type event. The director says he asked me how many points I had, and I say if he had asked me I would have told him–and besides, he knows me and doesn’t need to ask.
Eventually, some semblance of rationality prevails and we are assigned 24 victory points, or 60%. I guess this is sort of fair–maybe we’d be doing better, maybe we wouldn’t be doing as well. We aren’t leading, but we’re definitely in the hunt. There is also a problem when my LHO claims ownership of the pen, saying he stole it from a Chinese restaurant. Except it is Linda’s pen, which she stole from Bally’s Casino. Eventually he finds his pen and is apologetic for the confusion.
Since there are 5 of us, somebody has to sit out, and the last round is my turn. I wander across the street to my hotel and write this up. The team is playing match 4. Maybe we’re winning, maybe we’re losing. After this long, silly and confusing day, it doesn’ t really matter that much.
And I still love it. Winning would be better, but just being here is great.