“Let’s all move please! Finish your hands and move for the next round.”
That was not good to hear. I had just started the hand and it was time to move. It was a 3 No Trump contract and I only saw five tricks. Where was I going to find four more?
Bridge players were beginning to move around the room. East-west pairs were moving to their next tables. The chatting, the rustling of score sheets and the squeaking of Styrofoam coffee cups was distracting. And to make matters worse, our east-west replacements were standing impatiently by our table waiting for us to finish.
...I need to set up my diamond suit....
“It’s time to move!” the director once again bellowed.
I was starting to sweat, the cards sticking to my hands. The pressure was building until my eyeballs felt like they were going to shoot out of my head. What did Noel say?...Take your losses early?...
“Can we please have boards 23 and 24 so we can get started?” asked the next table. East-west replacements were now tapping their feet fretfully, one of them crunching loudly on Chex-Mix.
...I needed to hurry it up.
...if I duck the ace and lose a trick the rest of my diamonds should be good...but the opponents have to lead a club for me to get back in... and...they...do! Cashing in my four tricks, I make the contract! Whew!
I was still shaking when I stumbled over to the next table with nary a moment to collect myself before the next hand started.
Driving home from the Club I thought, how can a mere game be so high-pressure and stressful? I am worn out, beat, exhausted...and next week I get to do it all again! Yea!