Today's Bridge: The semi-great Bridge tournament began today in style, although there was a bit of confusion over the terms of the tournament. Mike hadn't been told (or had forgotten) the 15-second discussion cap, although it was Dan himself who came closest to violating that. ^_^ (He set that rule when he accepted the challenge.) Apparently, he was also confused about how the scoring would work... it's five rubbers, with the total aggregate score to determine the winner. As it stands, the first rubber hasn't ended yet (plenty of sets), but we're both vulnerable, we each have a leg (they've got 80 points and we have 60), and we're up by 1030. Yes, you read that right, unless you misread the 1030. In big part, that was due to some of Dan's infamous bidding-up strategy, and not all of those were the "at least I don't have to play it" bids, because he did have to play quite a few. One noticeable example saw Mike open 1D, Paul overcall 2C, Dan support with 2D, I bid 2H (I had Q-x-x of spades, A-Q-10-x-x of hearts, two little diamonds, and Q-x-x of clubs), and I think Mike passed that one. Paul bid 2S (the unbid suit, naturally), and Dan went up to 3D. (Or did Mike bid 3D, Paul 3S, and Dan 4D? Seems rather strange that Mike would put in a diamond bid, though.) I believe I passed that one, and Paul doubled the contract out of general principle. Dummy had K-J-7 of hearts and five diamonds to the jack, as well as the ace of clubs and a few little spades. So that gave me three heart tricks as long as I didn't lead hearts. I took the first trick and led a low spade, hoping that Paul had the ace and could lead me another heart, but Mike took it and pulled trump, which chagrined Paul... he had led a SINGLETON heart. I could have led back for the ruff, but that would not have changed things at all. He had a few more high cards, and when Mike had to lead another heart eventually, I got my two good ones and we ended up setting them a few tricks. Of course, Paul and I had our own mistakes... I opened the bidding twice, each time with a 1NT. My first hand had 17 points and three spades to the king, I think, and Paul responded 3S. We had a 90-point partial at the time, so I took that to be slam invitational and naturally bid 4NT. He bid 5C even though he had an ace, knowing that he'd misbid (he had eight points and five spades, with a short side suit that brought the hand to 10 points with the spade fit), and I left it at 5S doubled. Amazingly, he held it to off one. My big mistake was in not doubling Dan's final contract... I had S A-K H A-x-x D K-Q-x-x C Q-x-x-x, so I opened 1NT, and this time Paul correctly bid 2S. (BTW, he informed me that the proper bid in the first case was 2C Stayman, and when I respond 2D to deny a four-card major, he bids his 2S, and I can either bid 2NT to his 3NT or 3S to his 4S.) Dan jumped in with 3C, I bid 3D, and it passed to Dan's 3H. I should have doubled if I wasn't going to bid again, but I didn't. Turns out that 4D might not have worked so well, since there were four diamonds to the ace on the board and Dan had a singleton, so I'm glad I didn't bid, but after we set them by three, I wish I'd doubled. I naturally led out my ace-king and then threw a low diamond, waiting to see whether Dan would take the finesse and give my partner the jack that he so likely had (he'd passed my diamond bid). Dan took with the ace, then led the board's lone jack of spades to Paul's queen, and I sluffed. Then Paul led me a spade, knowing that I could top the board's 8-6-4 of hearts. Indeed I could... with the ace. I led the king of diamonds, which got ruffed, and then Dan did some stuff that I forget. Probably a crossruff. I ended up blocking in diamonds, preventing Paul from claiming his good 7 once the trump had run out. If I'd jettisoned the queen (since the jack in his hand could cover the board's 10), we'd have set them by four. But oh well. 1030 is a pretty significant lead.
More prereaders have jumped on the MGT chapter project, so I have some work to do on that tomorrow. Amazingly, the biggest breakthrough was that I need to develop the first character more... this is something I was going to avoid doing because I don't want people to get too attached to the wrong characters. But I like it. It's just evil enough to be written by me. Also, I need to make the death of the fern more dramatic. ^_^ Like I said tonight in IRC, "Brigadoon does things to Marin that I didn't think could happen to young girls in stories I didn't write." Well, Kanashii no Imi is a completely different level... but I put that by itself, outside of consideration. That's just sick yet very good.
Work-wise, got some good work in on ADCP and traced my race condition to a rather fundamental problem that was actually up for fixing years ago, but was closed because it was integral to the program's operation. Well, damned if I'm going to let that stop me. I prefer to fix problems at their source rather than just patching the symptoms and leaving hundreds of unnecessary messages flying around the system. It may or may not fix my race condition, but since I already patched that symptom, I'm not worried about whether it's a fix-all or just helpful. There's a new race condition now, and I start all over again on Monday. With more money in my bank account, of course. Gotta spend some of that this weekend. Wild Act 5, perhaps? Even at Sam Goody's prices? Or maybe I'll order that from animenation as well. Depends on how I make out at the store tomorrow.
It is my eternal quest in writing to make people fall in love with the characters who will be first to die or suffer greatly. Ain't I a complete bastard? Actually, no, I'm not, but I'm definitely sadistic. In writing.