“My Luck’s Not In Tonight.”
It was not an uncertain sound by any means, but nor was it much of a preparation for battle, which made it a gospel trumpet for the other players, even for Kenyon, who lost eighty-seven freakin’ points and won a measly three, yet did not finish bottom of the pile for the evening. He did, however, break the record for the lowest score so far this year on the Grand Accumulated Points Table (-327).
Despite last week’s reversal of fortunes for Noda, he has been threatening to break through to the top of the table for some time, and in tonight’s session he threatened again in the first game and appeared to be on a charge when he won the second game with +44 points.
However, David, who had taken the first despite the distractions of the yakimeshi, also managed to finish in the black for the second. The game went quite quickly and Jaime still had his Yakitori left on the table when it finished.
Noda’s attack was halted in the third, with David finishing top and Jaime enjoying his evening’s positive result by finishing “second and in the black” on +1.
Hide joined the session at the start of the fourth game at a time when nobody had won or lost an awful lot. Hide, whose form resembles that of Spain in the World Cup, playing with skill and threatening much, tore into his first (our fourth) game and ripped up the evening’s form book. Suddenly David, who had been in the top spot mainly by avoiding punishment, was suddenly hit in three successive hands by Hide.
The fourth game was probably the most intense of the evening even though we had agreed to play with all five players in, which means that two players are “out” of each hand and the players rotate in and out of the game by successively changing seats. We have not done that for a while as five-player games can be protracted, and the non-participants sometimes have to wait a long time to re-enter the fray. Concentration usually suffers too, and that may have affected Jaime, who found his barque once again waylaid and bearing the brunt of the punishment. Kenyon, who is apt to concentrate most when others are distracted, weathered the storm and tacked his way along Costa Zero until a friendly chance enabled him to brace the yards and run for anchor. David beached his vessel just a short space from the harbour. He had lost his top sail reef tackle but had furled the rest of the gear in good time and suffered no structural damage. Noda had taken longer to take in his main sail and had lost a mast. Jaime was lost at sea.
In the final game Kenyon’s vessel was waylaid by two lesser storms, an English gale and a Japanese typhoon, which also blew out Hide’s storm and confined Jaime to Davy Jones’ locker.
David +17, +14, +27, -3, +58 = +113
Hide –, –, –, +83, -7 = +76
Noda -5, +44, -11, -22, +29 = +35
Kenyon –, -19, -17, +3, -51 = -84
Jaime -12, -39,* +1, -61, -29 = -140