As mentioned in the last post, Jordan Tessarolo, Ryley Breiddal, Jan Soutar and Marc Furnemont are down in Atlanta as the team representing District 19 (British Columbia / Washington State) at the Grand National Teams Championships, and they are doing very well.
Marc has sent us an update on their progress (Sunday morning, July 29). Read it below:
On Friday, we played a team from Jacksonville, Florida. Things started rather slowly, with our team losing by 13 in the first quarter but gaining back 1 before the dinner break. Jim McAvoy, texted me these words of encouragement: “Your opponents are one disaster away from losing”. Well, our team certainly cranked things up in the evening, played pretty good bridge, and won the last two sets by a combined total of 59 points. What a birthday present for Jordan 😉
After that, having exceeded our realistic expectations for the tournament and having celebrated a wee bit (couldn’t fall asleep in until after 3 AM), we had to go back for “one last day”, knowing that whatever happened in the semis, we would have good memories and stories to tell.
The team we faced on Saturday was from Oregon and, just like the day before, we trailed by 15 after the first set. Then Ryley and I bid a very nice slam and pushed to a game that our opponents didn’t find, and those two boards gave us a 2nd quarter win by 25 and a 10 point lead at the break. The fist set of the evening finished on a high / low note. Ryley and I had a misunderstanding in the auction but somehow survived. YES ! win by 12 and a more comfortable lead before the final set. Not so fast ! The other team calls the Director, points out that, because of the (unintentionally) incorrect information we gave them during the auction, the score should be adjusted. The ruling came back half an hour later, in favour of the opponents, and, just like that, our lead had evaporated. I had a hard time re-focusing after that, and tried to not think about the complexities of the (fair) ruling. We were down by 12 with just 3 boards to go when fireworks started. I doubled a 6 diamond slam holding only the ace of clubs and 4 tiny trumps, but Ryley had bid and, surely, surely, he had “stuff”. After an uninspired lead that almost gave the opponents a chance to make it, they finished down 3, while Jordan and Jan “stole” a heart contract at their table. On the penultimate board, in spite of our normally aggressive bidding, Ryley and I stopped in 4 spades (making 5) while the other table bid 6, going down 1. All of a sudden, with one board to go, after playing for almost 9 hours, we were leading by 2 tiny points. That last board was all about defence, as both teams were in the same contract. Ryley and I found the perfect defence to beat the contract, while Jordan was able to induce the other team to make a mistake on defense and make his contract. Win by 14 and an UNBELIEVABLE trip to the Final against a young team from California …