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Welcome back to Canada to all the Snow Birds from Florida and California!  From all reports it was a successful migration this year. lol

 
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Welcome to Barrie Bridge
2nd Richest Man in the World
2nd Richest Man in the World

Funny how we don't need all his money to partake in his favourite activites.  We are richer than we think!

39th Friendship Day Tournament

Thank you to all who attended the double session swiss team silver point event this past weekend.  Everyone had fun and the club raised a healthy sum as part of its fundraising activities.  Special thanks to Greg Cole for Directing the game, the church ladies group for the lunch, our sponsor Susan Caroline (Sales Representative of Royal LePage 705-796-3389) for providing healthy snacks and Mary Ellen and Evelyn for coordinating the event.  The winners of 39th Friendship Day event were Julie Berdock, Leigh Ives, Tom Kinnear and Michael Kenny.  Well done!

Kids Bridge Tournament in Toronto

Codrington Elementary Public School sent 44 kids down to the Toronto Sheridan Hotel by City Hall for a Bridge Tournament run by Flo Belford and the ACBL on April 10th.  The kids just started playing bridge at school last fall and have been recieving in-class instuction, one fifty minute period per week, from John LaMarre and Judy McKay of the Barrie Bridge Association.  Grades 4 through 8 participating.  We had a second place finish and two third place finishes and the kids got to take home some hardware.  The school is thrilled with this pilot program and the results so far.  They are also thankful for the $300 donation from our Bridge Club to help defray transportation costs to the tournament.

There were over 500 kids participating in this tournament from grades 4 through 12 and a 15 year old young woman "Keynote Speaker" named Olivia Laufer who addressed the crowd.  A copy of her speech is as follows.  There is lots to learn from this speech which underlines the importance of having a bridge club for kids and a place for them to play with each other and not just adults.

Keynote Address by Olivia Laufer

When I tell someone that I’m a bridge player, there are a few responses that I might get. The most common one is the,“Oh yeah, bridge, my grandmother plays bridge”.  Tons of people that I talk to haven’t even heard of it at all. Some people will say something along the lines of, as my friend Serena lovingly put, “Hah, nerrrrrrd”. This goes to show that part of the reason why Bridge isn’t played by as many people as it could be is that people don’t know about it and those who do think that it is just a game for senior citizens. But judging by those of us in this room, that doesn’t seem to always be the case. And it shouldn’t be. 

I learned this wonderful game from my parents. At the time, however, I did not think of it as wonderful. I was void of any love for the game that I now adore. The thing is, I didn’t have the heart to tell my parents that…..I hated it. Both of them are avid bridge players, in fact, they met at a bridge club so if it weren’t for bridge, I wouldn’t be alive. So I went along with it - smiling through gritted teeth, trying to deal with the hand that I was dealt although I didn’t think that I was suited for the game.

I was seven when I started playing bridge and I did not have the self control at all to be able to sit down for a full-length, three hour, game. This was part of the reason why I couldn’t enjoy it. Looking back on it, I think that another contributing factor was the fact that I didn’t have any other kids to play with because I didn’t learn bridge at school, I learned from my parents.

Every time I went to a bridge game, I was absolutely terrified. Eventually, as I got better at the game, I started to enjoy it more. A few years ago, I met my bridge partner, Albena, while we were both at a bridge tournament in Ottawa. That was a huge turning point for me, I actually enjoy playing bridge with Albena and we have worlds of fun, even when we lose. The only teeny tiny problem is that Albena lives more than 300 km away, in North Bay, which is why she can’t be here today. Oh well. We made do. We travel to tournaments together, play bridge online and sometimes Albena will come to Toronto for a weekend just so that we can play bridge (and also because the malls in Toronto are much nicer, obviously). 

At first we were pretty bad but as we played together more often we gradually developed a solid partnership and a solid friendship. Last summer, we had the privilege to be able to travel to Italy to represent our country at the International Kid’s Bridge tournament competing on the under 15 Canadian team. It was magical, being able to meet all these different people from different countries all linked by the language of bridge and I got this spiffy lil’ jacket. If I, a girl who once hated bridge, can make the international bridge team than perhaps you too can follow suit. 

I intend to keep playing bridge for a very, very long time. I owe bridge my life, one of my best friends, a trip to Italy, many diverse experiences, much happiness and way, way, way too many oversized, incredibly ugly bridge shirts. Choosing to stick with bridge has been the winning play. Maybe, one day, when we are older, we will all be kings and queens of bridge. 

 

Kids Bridge Tournament in Toronto
ICON for City of Barrie

The Spirit Catcher on Barrie's Waterfront 

 

ICON for City of Barrie
A BRIDGE TOO FAR?

A RECENT STORY FROM BRIDGE IN THAILAND

A Bridge player at a recent competition at Polo Club in Bangkok. There are about 40 Bridge competitions each year in Thailand. The game of bridge has made unlikely headlines.

Ten days ago policemen and soldiers as well as local government officials in Pattaya raided a Jomtien & Pattaya Bridge Club get-together, arresting 32 foreign bridge players on gambling charges. Police reported finding a computer and score sheets at the scene, but no money, leading them to suspect that the players were transferring money online. The foreigners were held for over 12 hours, and were only released on 5,000 Baht bail each when the president of the Contract Bridge League of Thailand, Chodchoy Sophonpanich, personally visited Pattaya police to verify that bridge is, in fact, an internationally-recognised sport, and is even protected under Thai law.

Despite the interventions, the local authorities still insisted on laying charges on the foreigners for violating the 1943 Playing Cards Act which prohibits the possession of over 120 playing cards not produced by the Excise Department. Perhaps unknown to the officer, bridge is considered a complex tactical game, and not a simple gambling device, played ardently by people around the world as a recreational activity, as well as more seriously. In Thailand, there are regular bridge tournaments joined by hundreds of players. “Bridge was actually first introduced to Thailand by King Rama VI,” said Jaturong Sasibuth, an instructor from the Contract Bridge Club of Thailand.

According to Jaturong, the then-crown prince, Mongkut had learned the game during his days studying abroad in Britain. Impressed by the depth of strategy and logic involved, he introduced the game to his friends as well as the aristocrats of 1900s Thailand. Later, the game’s popularity spread to the nation’s newly established universities. “In truth, bridge’s existence in Thailand predates many popular spectator sports like football or basketball. Universities were offering scholarships for skilled bridge players even before Thai people knew about football,” said Jaturong. The Contract Bridge Club of Thailand is an official organisation in charge of holding up to 10 official bridge competitions a year, and has been in existence since the 1940s. Today, the club is also responsible for supervising independently-organised competitions from various partnered organisations, with nearly 40 competitions held each year in Thailand (including the club’s own events). “Legally speaking, public bridge competitions need to be sanctioned by the club first, like the one in Pattaya, which has been a member of the club for over a decade.

It’s not illegal to play bridge in the confines of your own home, however,” he said. Bridge is generally played with two or four players, with players sitting opposite from each other belonging to the same team. The game is divided into two different phases: the bidding and play phases, and is completed in 13 rounds. The bidding phase — to be overtly simplistic — involves each player taking turns bidding on a “contract”, which determines how many rounds of the play phase a player must win out of 13 in order to win points. Once a contract is established, the game proceeds to the play stage, which involves each player playing one card from their hand that corresponds to the suit played by the first player. The ultimate winner of each match is decided when the 13 rounds are over. Unlike popular household card games like slave or poker, bridge is classified more as a board game than a card game, as there are many other peripheral items required to play the game, such as bidding cards and score calculators. The bidding cards in particular are an essential part of the game, as they don’t only function as indicators of the victory conditions, but also as tools of communication, bluffing and strategy.

“All advanced bridge players adhere to a certain system of bidding or ‘language’, in order to communicate information with their teammates on the table, with different bidding cards meaning different things,” said Jaturong. “This is where the elements of logic and strategy come in. Players can use these cards as a question, request or — if they happen to know their opponents’ ‘language’ — even as tools for bluffing their opponents into making the wrong move. In serious competitive games, the players will even be separated from their teammates by a shutter, thus leaving the bidding cards as the only means of devising plans or strategies.” If all this sounds impossibly complicated to you, you’re not alone. According to Jaturong, teaching someone the intricacies of bridge usually takes months at least, and even then, it can take years for someone to truly grasp all the different bidding languages, most of which are still being continually refined today. In fact, the depth of strategy and logical thinking required to become a decent bridge player has qualified the game to even be taught as a fulltime course in many universities. “Chulalongkorn University offers an elective bridge class for our students,” said Asst Prof Dr Patarasinee Patarakosol, a mathematics professor from Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of science. The university most recently won two gold medals. “Even after five months of full-length courses, however, very few students can actually be considered good bridge players. Bridge requires a depth of strategic and logical thinking that is quite advanced, and only the best and brightest students are ever chosen to be bridge players. If you look at the most prominent bridge players in the world, almost all of them have professional backgrounds in engineering, medicine or science,” she said.

According to Dr Patarasinee, who also acts as the adviser for the university’s bridge and board games club, high-level bridge players tend to start learning the game at a very young age — as young as seven or eight. The difficulty of the game, however, means that even the youth level competitions of the sport rarely ever feature players under 25 years of age. “At its core, bridge is a game about probability and communication. Players use the rules of statistics to try to guess which cards their opponents hold, all the while using the bidding cards to communicate and devise plans and bluffs with their teammate,” she said. “It is a game that requires a depth of understanding rarely seen in other games, and is an excellent exercise in logical thinking.”

TRICKS AND POINTS

 

How Many Points for a NT Game?

My partner and I were discussing why I was not making my recent contracts in No Trump.  It couldn't be my play of the hand (LOL).  So I checked on-line and found this informative article on when the hand should make in NT.

Source:www.bridgebears.com  Ralph Welton on December 24, 2010

in Bridge Bidding Theory

How many points does it take to make a game contract in no trump – 3NT?

That depends on how you count points. Let’s start by looking at high card points only, with the common 4-3-2-1 point valuations. There are 40 points in the deck and thirteen tricks to every hand. So, on average, it takes 3 points to win a trick.

Based on this, one would expect 11 tricks from 33 points, leaving two tricks for the opponentsʼ 7 points. But a general guideline for slam bidding says that 12 tricks, and not 11, can be won with 33 points.

Similarly, to win nine tricks (3NT), one would predict 9 x 3 = 27 points, leaving four tricks for the opponentsʼ 13 points. 27 is indeed the old-fashioned guideline, but itʼs long outdated. Today, many believe a good 24 gives adequate play for 3N, leaving the opponents with only 4 tricks for their 16 points.

Precision uses 8 points as a minimum game force facing a big club of 16 (16 + 8 = 24). Some precision players allow the bidding to die at 2N when both opener and responder have lackluster balanced minimums, though they are quick to upgrade their hands and continue to 3N if the hand has additional value. A five card suit or a suit KT9x might be judged enough additional value to bid 3N on 24 hcp.

Here is a table comparing tricks won as declarer to total hcp in the partnership.

high card points

15

18

21

24

27

30

33

3 points per trick equals…

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

tricks actually won

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

The “tricks actually won” shown in this table will not be won on each and every hand. Thirty-three point slams frequently do go set, as do 24 point 3N contracts. But on average, the point totals given provide good play for the number of tricks listed as “tricks actually won”.

So, why is it that most players use a target of 25 or 26 points for bidding game? The answer takes us back to my original statement — it depends on how you count points. There are schemes for adding points for long suits, for short suits, and for fits — leading to point totals greater than the raw-hcp total. If you use one of these methods, then you will indeed want to have more than 24 total points for 3N.

The main trouble with this add-extra-points method is that it’s not the same for NT as it is for suits. Some theorists have devised separate methods for fit bidding and NT bidding. That’s OK if you can accurately judge when to use your NT method and when to use your suit method. For example, you’re thinking of raising partner’s diamond suit. Should you use your suit-oriented evaluation method, promoting for ruffing values and again for extra trumps, or your NT evaluation method, counting only hcp? Are you psychic enough to know when partner might be considering 3N? If not, you have to guess which method to use.

To avoid this problem, I suggest always using the NT method (hcp without distributional promotion) at least when 3N is possible final contract.

Computer simulations suggest a 24 point 3N contract is only about 50-50 to go plus. But is there a way to predict when the 24 pointers rate to succeed and when they rate to fail? It would be nice to only bid the ones that have good play for 9 tricks.

It turns out that the answer is yes. If you deduct a point for 4333 shape, and deduct a point for honors without small cards in the suit (unless partner has bid the suit), and if partner does the same, you will devalue exactly the hands that rate to play poorly in 3N.

Bidders often resist devaluing their hands, not wishing to pass when they might have bid, but discipline yourself in your counting, then bid aggressively to 24 point games. Here’s an example:

♠ K J
♥ A T 8 6
♦ Q J 7
♣ A J 9 2
This hand is worth 16 hcp minus one for the devalued spade KJ (subtract a point for honors with no small cards in the suit). If you open a standard 15-17 1N, and partner invites with 2N, you should decline.

♠ K J 6
♥ A T 8
♦ Q J 7
♣ A J 9 2
Move one of your small hearts into the spade suit, and the KJ pull full weight. But then you have 4333 shape, which is also a deduction, so you still decline.

♠ K J 8 6
♥ A T
♦ Q J 7
♣ A J 9 2
Move both of your small hearts into the spade suit, and you have no deductions. So you can accept, expecting to be in a 24 point game that is better than 50-50.

In addition to deducting for honors without a small card in the suit and deducting for 4333 shape, you should also deduct for holding 4 cards in a minor suit that partner has shown (see my post about what a fit is worth ). It may seem perverse to deduct for a fit when you’ve always been told that having a fit is a good thing, but that’s only true when evaluating your hand for play in the trump suit.

 

Click for the Members Only section
Results
Tue 23rd May 2017
open pairs
Director: Bob Bell
Mon 22nd May 2017
open pairs
Director: Leigh Ives
Wed 17th May 2017
open pairs
Director: Paul Campbell
Tue 16th May 2017
open pairs
Director: Susan Bracken
Mon 15th May 2017
open pairs
Director: John Lamarre
Sat 13th May 2017
Friendship Day 2 Session Swiss Team
Director: Greg Coles
Wed 10th May 2017
STaC - open pairs
Director: John Lamarre
Wed 10th May 2017
STaC - open pairs
Director: Leigh Ives
Tue 9th May 2017
STaC - open pairs
Director: John Lamarre
Mon 8th May 2017
Monday Afternoon Session
Director: Paul Campbell
Calendar
Wed 24th May 2017
99er pairs
7 pm
Director: Maggie
Wed 24th May 2017
open pairs
7pm
Mon 29th May 2017
299er pairs - club championship
1pm
Mon 29th May 2017
open pairs - club championship
1pm
Tue 30th May 2017
open pairs
1pm
Wed 31st May 2017
49er pairs
7 pm
Director: Maggie
Wed 31st May 2017
open pairs
7pm
Mon 5th Jun 2017
299er pairs
1pm
Mon 5th Jun 2017
open pairs
1pm
Tue 6th Jun 2017
Swiss Team Club Championship
1pm
70+% Game

Contratulations to the McFarlane's (Paul and Margaret) for an amazing 76.5% game Wednesday evening April the 5th.  Highest score this year!  Beat that anyone.

Guaranteed Partner Program

The title says it all!  No partner, no problem.  There will be a partner guaranteed for you at every seession offered. NEW

New Life Masters

Congratualtions to Susan Bracken and Jan Gilewicz for achieving their Sliver Life Masters and to Christine Blake for achieving her Bronze Life Masters.  Also to Evelyn Caroline, Hugh Cleland, Judy DesRoches and Ruth Eidt for achieving their Life Masters. Well done all!

Welcome from Barrie Bridge Association

The Barrie Bridge Association (BBA) would like to extend a warm welcome to all local and visiting duplicate bridge players to the Barrie area.  We meet at Central United Church in Barrie, Ontario, at 54 Ross Street, L4N-1G3, at the corner of Ross and Toronto streets. Google Map We have games every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and occaisonal Sundays.   

The BBA is an ACBL-sanctioned club that offers duplicate bridge games for a variety of skill levels, and a beginner game with a lesson each week.  Please see the Calendar for upcoming scheduled games.

Please come out for an enjoyable afternoon or evening of bridge, and bring a friend!  Weather Gas Prices

Click for the Members Only section
Results
Tue 23rd May 2017
open pairs
Director: Bob Bell
Mon 22nd May 2017
open pairs
Director: Leigh Ives
Wed 17th May 2017
open pairs
Director: Paul Campbell
Tue 16th May 2017
open pairs
Director: Susan Bracken
Mon 15th May 2017
open pairs
Director: John Lamarre
Sat 13th May 2017
Friendship Day 2 Session Swiss Team
Director: Greg Coles
Wed 10th May 2017
STaC - open pairs
Director: John Lamarre
Wed 10th May 2017
STaC - open pairs
Director: Leigh Ives
Tue 9th May 2017
STaC - open pairs
Director: John Lamarre
Mon 8th May 2017
Monday Afternoon Session
Director: Paul Campbell
Calendar
Wed 24th May 2017
99er pairs
7 pm
Director: Maggie
Wed 24th May 2017
open pairs
7pm
Mon 29th May 2017
299er pairs - club championship
1pm
Mon 29th May 2017
open pairs - club championship
1pm
Tue 30th May 2017
open pairs
1pm
Wed 31st May 2017
49er pairs
7 pm
Director: Maggie
Wed 31st May 2017
open pairs
7pm
Mon 5th Jun 2017
299er pairs
1pm
Mon 5th Jun 2017
open pairs
1pm
Tue 6th Jun 2017
Swiss Team Club Championship
1pm
70+% Game

Contratulations to the McFarlane's (Paul and Margaret) for an amazing 76.5% game Wednesday evening April the 5th.  Highest score this year!  Beat that anyone.

Guaranteed Partner Program

The title says it all!  No partner, no problem.  There will be a partner guaranteed for you at every seession offered. NEW

New Life Masters

Congratualtions to Susan Bracken and Jan Gilewicz for achieving their Sliver Life Masters and to Christine Blake for achieving her Bronze Life Masters.  Also to Evelyn Caroline, Hugh Cleland, Judy DesRoches and Ruth Eidt for achieving their Life Masters. Well done all!

Welcome from Barrie Bridge Association

The Barrie Bridge Association (BBA) would like to extend a warm welcome to all local and visiting duplicate bridge players to the Barrie area.  We meet at Central United Church in Barrie, Ontario, at 54 Ross Street, L4N-1G3, at the corner of Ross and Toronto streets. Google Map We have games every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and occaisonal Sundays.   

The BBA is an ACBL-sanctioned club that offers duplicate bridge games for a variety of skill levels, and a beginner game with a lesson each week.  Please see the Calendar for upcoming scheduled games.

Please come out for an enjoyable afternoon or evening of bridge, and bring a friend!  Weather Gas Prices