1.30 AM, Saturday the 15th of August. Lotan Fisher runs out of the appeal committee room and screams loudly as he passes me in the hall. I look into the appeal committee room and see two guys that I really like; Allan Graves and Richie Schwartz. They are spaced out after a long day and a long night. Allan scratches his head and can’t believe that we just lost 2 IMPs on the appeal to lose the match by 1 IMP. When the chairman of the committee, Joel Wooldridge, is asked how the appeal could turn out this way, this is some of his response: “We tend to believe people.”
Losing small is the worst to me. Because even if you have played a terrific day of bridge you could still have nipped it if you just played a little bit better. Espen and I had a good day against Lauria-Versace (three sets) and Cayne-Seamon (one set, which was very pleasant and with Jimmy playing really wel). Still Espen and I could have done a couple of things better, and Espen was really disappointed with himself not having seen the squeeze in 5 clubs on board 28 where Jimmy found a good defense. Except that we were almost card perfect (the way I look at bridge) so it was a good day at the office. Except for losing.
I wasn’t able to sleep until 5 AM and woke up again at 7 AM. I decided to go onto my computer to have a look at what had happened at the other table (Allan and Richie played set 2 and set 3 against Fisher-Schwartz, while Huub Bertens and Dan Korbel played the Israelis in the last quarter).
I went to Allan and Richie’s BBO table for the second segment in the match, and to me it didn’t seem like they were on top of their game. They were handing away too many tricks in declarer play and defense, but luckily there weren’t too many crucial hands. Then I looked at the third segment in the match (same table) and saw this hand (Board 2, Closed room):
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What would you lead with the North hand?
It’s not the most challenging lead, and I would guess 99 out of 100 experts would lead the jack or ten of hearts depending on the honour lead agreements. Ron Schwartz led a club, which I still haven’t found any other expert to do. If partner had heart honour, I would say that Ron was number 57 in that line of 100 experts and just made a creative lead. When partner turns out to have two small hearts I get suspicious.