OK, so she has done it again. Kitty Sauls, who makes excuses when she wins and acts like it was just a fluke, has finished first overall once again with Shelby Bizzell. The two tore it up with a 61-percent game last Thursday. Congratulations, ladies, and Kitty, put a lid on your humility.
Poor Sterling Jarrett had a terrible time directing last Thursday. She had to both direct and set the game up in the computer, and then Billy Bizzell wanted her to play North and handle the bidding machine. She balked at that.
She put the E/W sit out in as N/S so the scores would not go into the computer right. We had to resort to hand scoring, which no one has done in a long time. And had forgotten how to do.
Then the clock died and batteries had to be replaced. But Sterling handled it all with her usual grace and sense of humor and all ended well.
Monday was birthday Monday, so players sang to the Haverkamps, Bill Allgaier and Mickie Braswell, whose actual birthday is April 1. She said it was a real April Fool’s surprise for her dad when he returned from fishing to find that he was the father of not one, but two, babies.
Players enjoyed an unusually delicious cake with grass and bunnies. Many ate a piece early, so they could sneak another piece later.
Shelby Bizzell said that a director should have as many pieces of cake as he wanted. Tommy Franklin took her at her word. And Gary Partin always eats at least two pieces, his and that of his partner, Betsy Harrold.
The most interesting hand Monday was Board 7. South opened one no-trump, promising a balanced hand with 15-17 points. West passed at my table, but at some tables, came in with a bid of three spades, putting a real kink into the bidding.
Anyway, I was holding six diamonds to the ace, nine, eight, etc; three clubs to the king; and four hearts to the ace/ queen. What in the world to do?
I settled on two clubs, asking for a four-card major and thinking we might have a fit in hearts. He answered two diamonds, denying a four-card major.
So now what? I bid four no-trump, asking for key cards, the king of diamonds and the aces. He decided to go straight to six no-trump, since I was showing lots of points.
But since he had no four-card major and I had no spades, I realized that was not a good bid. The only recourse I had was to bid seven diamonds, a risky bid, not knowing what his diamonds looked like. But since he did not have four hearts or four spades, he had to have some length in the minor suits.
East, holding the ace of spades, doubled. Then she led the ace. I put down my hand. South trumped the ace of spades, drew trumps (he had five to the king, queen.) And then he claimed all the rest of the tricks. He had tricks on top of tricks.
A grand slam, doubled and vulnerable. Score of more than 2,000 points. That was a good board and one to remember. And we landed in the right contract by accident.
As the saying goes, “Sometimes it is better to be lucky than to be good.”
Plan to attend the Greenville sectional tournament next weekend. It begins Friday and ends Sunday. Our own Madelyn Percise is playing Saturday, so we can look forward to seeing her.
Thursday’s scores: N/S first, Sterling Jarrett and Barbara Ann Vinson; second, Dayle Pond and Tempie Pierce; third, Bill Allgaier and Pat Keim.
E/W first, Shelby Bizzell and Kitty Sauls; second, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto; third, Joe Exum and Tommy Franklin.
Monday’s winners: first, Sue Wilson and Sterling Jarrett; second, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; third, Sherry Owens and Shelby Bizzell; fourth, Charlotte Maxwell and Debbie Gray; fifth, Doris Baddour and Lib Braswell. C — second, Maureen Prys and Sharon Stanley.