- We are not the only ones to lose a first set heavily in the Vanderbilt, even the best can do it. The Diamond team outscored the O'Rourke team by 73-5 imps in the first set of their quarter-final yesterday. The O'Rourke team, the original #16 seed, had assumed the top seeding after beating the holders in the previous round, so presumably are not mugs.
- Allan Falk's team, who were the first team to beat us in the Vandy, continue their great run in the tournament. Playing four-hand, the original #47 seed eliminated Jacobs (#7) to reach the semifinals. Down going into the last set, the slams all went their way and rode their luck to victory. George Jacobs had the unenviable job of commentating on BBO vugraph as he watched his team slip to defeat - but he was as gracious as always.
- In today's bulletin Steve Robinson has commented on the strength of the knock-out bracket that we were also in. He made the same comment as me about the Vanderbilt seeds, so he may be a reader. Unfortunately Steve forgot to mention that we were the only team to beat the winners, captained by Ron Pachtmann, in the event!
- The tightest match of the event so far was the Amoils vs Cayne in the round of 16. It was tied until the very last bid of the match - Sementa failing to find the grand slam sacrifice, bid by Grue at the other table, to put the match into extra boards; to be fair the tempo of the auction was very different and it was a lot easier for Grue to see that the sacrifice was right and, I thought, almost impossible for Sementa. It can be a tough game.
- Samantha has started approaching lots of random people asking for their email addresses. She says work may force her to make a couple of US trips next year and she'd like to co-ordinate them with some good bridge, but one has to wonder.
- The free food after play has been a lot better than most nationals we've been to. Not that we've needed food at 11pm, but all the free coffee vouchers that are handed out during the sessions have been used.
- For the main teams this is the last event of the current "sponsorship" cycle. The rich sponsors typically hire their professionals for a two years as this coincides with the US trials season, so in July the line up for many of the teams will change. Much has already been settled, with the biggest move being Levin-Weinstein going to the Nickell team and replacing Hamman-Zia and the most shocking change being the splitting up of Martel and Stansby. But we've been more interested in what the other Brits are doing, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait until Philadelphia to find out more.
- Brian Senior has been here for the week but has stopped talking to us. In fact he has been unable to speak since Leeds lost 7-3 at home to Forest on Tuesday.
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Some snippets from Memphis: