With Michael Berkowitz at Fall 2021 Austin Bridge Nationals

After partners had to cancel, I paid to play in Nail Pairs with Michael Berkowitz, son of David and Lisa Berkowitz, a clear and friendly teacher, a member of the board of the Educational Foundation. With a 63.86% game in the second session, we qualified for the finals and earned 7. 27 Platinum points. One highlight was this squeeze at 3N for an overtrick for a tie for top. (See below; actual bidding was 1N 3N. Double dummy makes just 3N.) East led the H6 and then overtook his partner’s Q to return a third Heart to my Ace. After three rounds of Clubs ending in my hand, I advanced the S10, East failing to cover, to isolate the Spade menace to East who was also guarding the Hearts. In the end position I was on the board with SA7 and D2, with HA5 and DA in my hand. East could not guard both suits and had actually chosen to unguard the Hearts, so I played the Aces of Spades and Hearts and won the last trick with the H5 in my hand.

Enjoyed the rest of the week with Herman Xiao, from the pre-tournament partnership desk. The last day I played with Bill Golush, also from the pre-tournament partnership desk, whom I ran into. On one board he was the only one to bid (and make) 7H (doubled). The bidding: 2N P 3D 5C P P 6H P 7H P P x. After all that bidding, with my extras and the Club Ace behind North, I had no trouble raising to 7, and Bill had no trouble finessing North for the Club King and South for the Heart Queen.

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