SpadeHeart 
ACBL Unit 146
 DiamondClub
Privacy/Usage Policies

Privacy Policy

Terms of Use

Release 2.19p
Recent Updates
Board Minutes
Oct 19, 2021 09:32 EDT
Home Page
Oct 18, 2021 14:46 EDT
News and Notes
Oct 12, 2021 03:09 EDT
Weekly Games
Oct 5, 2021 11:31 EDT
0 0 0 0 0 0
Pages viewed in 2021
Interviews
 
 
  New Silver Life Master May 2021

Linda Mathias

1.   How long have you been playing bridge?  

I don’t really know; I have had several starts and stops.    I think I started playing duplicate bridge about 2006.    I’m a competitive person and I seemed to get a lot of poor hands playing party bridge; that motivated me to search out duplicate bridge because I would be competing against people playing the same hands.

2.  What helped you develop your bridge expertise?  

I think taking lessons and reading books helps a lot; Judy Bates was an excellent teacher and I used to attend all her lessons before she moved away. 

3.  What advice do you have for new bridge players? 

I recommend reviewing your game with your partner using printed hand records available at the club or finding them online if you use BBO.  It helps to highlight errors and miscommunications with your partner so you can both improve.   When you find a hand you need help understanding, ask one of the better players in the club for their advice.

4.   What are some of the things you enjoy most about bridge?  

Besides getting good scores, making new friends and occasionally even hooking up with an old friend you lost contact with.

5.   What effect does playing virtual bridge have on your game?  

It has been a blessing during Covid by keeping up skills or even trying out new conventions.    It also allowed me to earn silver status before face-to-face bridge restarted.

  New Saphire Life Master Feb 2021
..... see less

Peter Haglich

1. How long have you been playing bridge?

When I was getting ready for my interview with Admiral Rickover for the Navy Nuclear Program we were coached to answer questions like this with a number (25 years) instead of an answer that required him to derive your intended answer (since the mid 1990s).  This piece would be very short if I did that!  The first trick taking game I learned was Hearts when I was in 6th grade. ..........

..... see more
  New Life Master - Dec 2020

JoAnn Olson

My parents taught my younger sister and me to play bridge when I was in college.  When I was home for a weekend, it was much more fun playing bridge than studying.  The following years, I alternated playing occasional social bridge with long stretches (years) of not playing.  When the Suffolk duplicate game started a few years ago, I began participating.

When I started playing duplicate, I was still in the old Goren bridge mode.  Listening to experienced duplicate players discuss their game and taking a beginners’ bridge class opened my eyes to new ways of bidding and playing.  Articles in the monthly Bridge Bulletin and the daily bridge column in the Virginian-Pilot have also helped to expand my knowledge.

Duplicate can be intimidating to new bridge players, but each mistake is a learning experience.  My best advice is, Just Play.  I make mistakes every time I play, but I really like the game, so I keep at it and try to do better.

I enjoy the camaraderie of the game, as you are in contact with pleasant partners and opponents (mostly), and I enjoy the challenge.  Each hand is a puzzle that you and your partner try to work out to the best solution.

During the past several months of the Covid 19 pandemic, Bridge Base Online has been a lifesaver.  What would we have done without these games to help pass the time?  Having said that, I am looking forward to face-to-face duplicate once again and attending tournaments.  What’s not to like about seeing friends, playing bridge all day, going to a nice restaurant in the evening, staying overnight in the conference hotel, and starting all over again the next day?  My idea of a fun time.

  New Bronze Life Master - Nov 2020
New Bronze Life Master - Nov 2020

Doc Holliday

 1. How long have you been playing bridge?

In the Fall of 1981, I embarked on a foreign assignment to King Abdul Aziz Naval Basein Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia as Legal Counsel of HBH Company, a Joint Venture of HughesAircraft, The Bendix Corporation, and Holmes & Narver, Inc. HBH had won a U.S. Navyforeign military sales contract to augment the Saudi Navy by training them how to run a Navy.Soon after my arrival, I discovered an expatriate duplicate bridge game was held on the base3 nights weekly. These games interested me because I was adept at card games. Having played Bid Whist and Pinochle in college, it was an easy transition to bridge. So, I partneredwith my wife at the time competing in these competitive games against very skilled playersfrom several countries, including the U.K., Australia, India, and the U.S.

 

2. What helped you develop your bridge expertise?

As a latchkey, only child in a single parent household, I had lots of free time during mymiddle school years. So, I invented sports games – football and basketball -- including teamand player names, leagues, standings and world championships. What I discovered is that there is always a point -a formula if you will -to winning any game. Therefore, to besuccessful, one has to find that point and execute it every time the game is played.

With that background, I started to tackle the game of bridge in Saudi Arabia. I purchased and studied all the instructive books on bridge I could find. I wouldn't say Iconquered all aspects of duplicate bridge at that time but I certainly got my feet wet andachieved a modicum of success. We continued to play in these games until we transferred to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1983. I returned to the U.S. In 1984.

I did not play bridge again until early 2008 after I retired. I started playing in the “fun”games directed by Miles Levy at the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church on 19th Street. In 2014, Suzanne Patrick and I decided to embark on a serious journey by joining ACBL Unit146 where we can win something besides giggles. So, I began to devote countless hours inthe study of all aspects of bridge by reading/studying books, querying experts, evaluatinghands played, and playing with and competing against higher level players.

 

3. What advice do you have for new bridge players?

a. In choosing a partner, pick someone you like. A partnership is like a marriage (without benefits). You will spend a lot of time together. You have to be able to give andreceive constructive criticism without getting your feelings hurt.

b. Your partner and you must make critical analysis of hands played to learn frommistakes and to prevent their recurrence.

c. Pick an expert that your partner and you will use as your default resource orauthority in developing your system and resolving disputes. There are zillions of opinions out there on almost every aspect of bridge. You don't need that confusion. Keep it simple.

d. Don't get bogged down in conventions. I refer you to Larry Cohen's Article: https://www.larryco.com/bridge-articles/read-this-first-what-should-we-play.

e. However, there's one convention I recommend: it's called Critical Thinking. Ask yourself lots of Why questions: “Why did he lead X instead of Y?” Then answer them. Inferences, especially negative inferences can be very revealing. I refer to you two pieces by Mike Lawrence: Judgment At Bridge (1st ed. 1976), and How To Read Opponents' Cards (1st ed. 1973). The books are still in print. I purchased the latter piece in Saudi Arabia in 1983. Couldn't work my way through it then, but it has become my bridge bible now. The former was referred to me by Jim Day, one of my partners in Miles Levy games. That book helped me launch my rebirth in bridge.

  New Life Master - Oct 2020
New Life Master - Oct 2020

June Cartledge

How long have you been playing bridge?

I completed the beginners bridge lessons taught by Shary Schlain and began playing duplicate bridge about three years ago.  My motivation, after I retired, was to find a pastime that would keep my brain active.  My mother always enjoyed bridge so I decided to give it a try. 

What helped you develop your bridge expertise?

Right after I started playing in the Non-Life Master games, Joe Siqueira began a 2/1 bridge class.  I barely remembered any of the bidding conventions from the beginners course and had no idea what 2/1 was.  I thought I needed all the help I could get so I started going to the 2/1 sessions.  While I was probably the most clueless student in attendance, I thoroughly enjoyed the class.  I made sure to attend all the courses Joe has taught since and feel that has been the fundamental reason my bridge game has improved.

What advice do you have for new bridge players?

I encourage all beginning bridge players to first and foremost enjoy playing the game and have a good time.  Also, it helps to attend classes, read books and ask questions.  While it can be a humbling experience, where possible play with or against more advanced players.

What are some of the things you enjoy most about bridge?

While I appreciate the endless mental challenges associated with playing bridge, the most enjoyable aspect of playing bridge is the people – the friendships I have made and the interesting people I have met.

  New Regional Master - Sept 2020
New Regional Master - Sept 2020

   Deborah Line

I have played bridge since high school, but have been playing competitive bridge for the past six years.

The game has offered me chances to make new friendships, travel to places that I never dreamed I would see, and has kept the brain in working condition.

Thanks for your games during this trying time and thanks for all that you do.

  New Silver Life Master - Aug 2020
New Silver Life Master - Aug 2020
..... see less

   Carolyn Riegle

Lynn Deas was my classmate in med school in 1975.  She taught me and two other students to play. ..........

..... see more
  Platinum Life Master - July 2020

Muh-Sha Crawford is a Platinum Life Master with over 15,000 masterpoints.  Muh-Sha was on Barry Crane’s 2019 Top 500 List.  This is the annual competition for the most masterpoints earned in that year. 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
I started playing bridge in 1981 at the Washington Bridge League when I lived in the DC area.  I left the bridge world in 1995.  After spending 18 years raising two daughters, I returned to Bridge Base Online (BBO) from 2014-2016 to sharpen my very rusty skills.  The robot game is not a perfect field, but it did help me tremendously to see the new horizon of end play, squeeze, deceptive, counting and spots below 10.  Always count as declarer and defender, pay attention to 10s, 9s, and 8s, because these cards do take a lot of tricks. In 2017, I went back to competing with real people at the Sectional, Regional and National levels.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
I learned from my own mistakes.  Sometimes I have to repeat my mistakes many times before I learn from them.  Also, I learn from other player’s mistakes, in every other hand there is an end play or squeeze. I watch good players when they play.  They always spend a few minutes at trick one or two to study the hands, counting and strategizing what to do next. You cannot get lazy at the table, you must push a bit harder to get a good result, just like everything we do in life.  I still practice every day on BBO to keep up my game.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?
Focus on the game, remember what has been played and keep on counting. It is so easy to have your mind wonder off and forget what has been played. Slow down, look and think for three seconds before pulling out a card or bidding.  At trick one, count your winners and losers. Try for an average + board, not top or bottom. Take your tricks as declarer and defender and hope for a bonus board.  Do not get frustrated when you have bad boards, in this game you fight to the very end. Never give up, it is such a great feeling when you climb up from the bottom.  It is also a bidder’s game, especially when you are not vulnerable, the three and five levels are the most difficult levels to bid or not to bid.  My rule at the five level, is I only bid when I have a fit with my partner, have distribution hands and when I am not vulnerable.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
Bridge is a fascinating game for the mind. You can improve your memory, sharpen your tactical skills, foresee at trick one what end results may be depending on how you and your partner handle the hand. There is interaction with very interesting people. This is also a partnership game, some days you are in sync with your partner, some days you are not. But always TRUST your partner because your partner is doing their best to communicate with you.  We all make mistakes, the one who makes the fewest mistakes wins this game.

  New Regional Master - June 2020

Congratulations to Steve Rose for reaching the Regional Master rank.  Steve has been playing duplicate bridge for about two years.

I have been playing duplicate bridge for about two years now, averaging about three times a month.  My steady partner, Penny Brown, who encouraged me to move from party bridge to duplicate, is now locked behind
the walls of Westminster-Canterbury. It seems doubtful we will be able to resume our face-to-face partnership for at least a year, if ever.   I am aware of the BBO option, which now assumes growing importance in a bridge community of senior citizens dodging Covid19, but unfortunately BBO does not adequately scratch whatever social itch impels me to seek out face-to-face bridge games.  A personal regret, because BBO is likely to be the modus vivendi for the foreseeable future.

Growing up, my favorite game was chess.  I relish the purity of chess, but games often balance on a knife edge and take a long time to complete.  Bridge is similar to chess in that both arise from acquired skills in pattern recognition.  But bridge has an advantage in that the little hits of dopamine and disappointment occur at a much faster rate, and there is an inherent messiness in bridge that makes it both richer and less austere than chess.

Although pacing is different, bridge and chess share certain tactics.  One example is zugzwang – the obligation to make a move, when one would rather sit tight.  In bridge, this can occur when declarer becomes aware of an unfinessable king behind his A-Q tenace.  A possible remedy is to strip the hand, throw in the king holder on trick 11 and force defender to lead away from the king into the tenace.  There are other chess tactics – the fork, X-ray attack, overloaded defender, passed pawn, sacrifice, etc. – that also have analogs in bridge techniques. 

I am more comfortable with words than numbers.  That said, I think the most underrated skill in bridge is counting – to see the hand as a whole and figure out what cards each defender is likely to hold based on an integration of bidding clues, discovery plays, and statistics.  A goal in the coming year is to strengthen this aspect of my game, in parallel with better mastery of basic conventions that support a 2/1 approach. 

Our bridge center is blessed with an array of excellent teachers and mentors.  I participated in Shari Shain’s beginners’ class and admire her patience and skill in bringing new players to the light.  Joe Sequeira does the same remarkable service for a devoted band of intermediate students, augmented by directors who conduct the occasionally raucous mini-lessons before NLM sessions.  My pairs mentor is Nancy Lowry, whose knowledge of the game, integrity and gracious steeliness are known to all.  Even when I make a goofy, off-the-wall bid, her demeanor never changes at the table.   We synchronize well, although I have probably endowed her with a gray hair or two since becoming her student.

  New Gold Life Master - May 2020

Congratulations to Maureen Brines for reaching the Gold Life Master rank.  A Gold Life Master has 2,500 points of which at least 500 are silver/red/gold/platinum points.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
Many members can remember when I first started playing in 2008 when I met my bridge addict husband.  Practice, Partnerships, and Playing up. These three things helped me to achieve Gold Life Master status.  

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
The tools provided on the ACBL website learning section were helpful in teaching me the basics.  I would practice daily using computer software (Learn to Play Bridge I & II).  The partnership with my husband is my greatest strength.  I owe much of my success to him and his determination to build a strong partnership with me. During evenings and weekends my husband and I would practice prepared boards of our system at our long-time friend’s house, Jennifer Christman, with many different club members.  I was very blessed to have a strong local club of supporters that wanted me to succeed.  

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?
- Never stop trying to improve
Continuously learn using a variety of tools (private lessons, group lessons, computer software, consult with experts, study text)
Play with advanced members
Find a good mentor to give you feedback and squash any bad habits
Play in advanced games occasionally
Have fun traveling to Sectionals, Regionals, Nationals

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
Playing in topflight events at ACBL Nationals, Regionals, and Sectionals with my favorite partner has been enjoyable and rewarding over the past 12 years.  Building friendships with players, directors, volunteers, board members, and caddies from around the world has been an exciting journey achieving Gold Life Master status.  I fondly remember my first National event in Washington DC 2009 playing against professional bridge players and winning platinum points with Wrus Kristiansen and Bob Pfeiffer.  I was hooked! 
Bridge is such a great game.  It builds such strong relationships locally, regionally, and nationally.  I am so honored to be a member of this great club!

  New Regional Master - Apr 2020

Congratulations to Bill Kilchenman for reaching the Regional Master rank.  Bill plays in the NLM games on Mondays and Fridays.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
 I started playing bridge in high school, over 55+ years ago.   I have played on and off since then.  Back in that era, it was strictly social or rubber bridge by Goren.
 
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?
Since I have always lived in rural areas of the country, there was never any exposure to the duplicate game.  About four years ago, after returning from spending the summer in rural Michigan, I decided I wanted to try this "duplicate" game.  I contacted the ACBL to find a game in this area and ended up at the Bridge Center.  And what a learning curve that turned out to be, as I thought I was a reasonably good player… I soon realized how little I really knew about the game! 

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
Playing with many different partners and asking lots of questions over the years helped this learning process, but it is ongoing.  Every time I play, I seem to learn something new. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
I think playing bridge helps keep the brain fresh and helps in slowing down the aging process.  Since I consider myself to be a very competitive person, the competitive nature of this game is what really appeals to me.

  New Sapphire Life Master - Mar 2020

Congratulations to Richard de Paulo for reaching the Sapphire Life Master rank.  A Sapphire Life Master has 3,500 points of which at least 700 are silver/red/gold/platinum points.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I’ve been playing bridge since 1973 in college at ODU.  Fifty years minus twenty great years raising my children.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
Soliciting advice and paying for high level bridge lessons.  Playing with good players helps a lot.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?
Make friends with good players and ask them questions.  Read bridge books on defense and play of hands.  As you gain strength and experience pay for tutoring from good players to reach a high level.  Go to tournaments and try not to be afraid of playing against better players.  It’s a game of probability, luck, and judgement as well as defense and playing hands.  Remember, bridge in the long run is just a game, albeit, a very addictive and high-level game. Have fun.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
I really enjoy playing high-level bridge in knockouts against the best players and teams and winning (or losing).  Surprisingly, I’m not a fan of matchpoints; it makes you do what you should never do but have to.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS?
Better players should strive to help and encourage beginning and intermediate players. Novice and intermediate players should always seek new ways to bid and compete, but remember, the game is a partnership not a single player. BE NICE LIKE BUTCH LIEBLER.

  New Ruby Life Master - Feb 2020

Congratulations to Nancy Cook for reaching the Ruby Life Master rank. A Ruby Life Master has 1,500 points of which at least 300 are silver/red/gold/platinum.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I started playing bridge after I was married and my husband was in Submarine School.  We moved every couple of years and bridge was a way to meet new people.  We played party bridge and I did not play too often.  Sometimes it was more about helping each other and exchanging recipes than playing bridge.  Several years ago, I took bridge lessons at Kempsville Recreation Center with June Myers.  She encouraged me to get into duplicate bridge.  I found it scary at first and not as much fun as party bridge, but once I started getting used to duplicate bridge, I found it more interesting and challenging and I am happy I stuck with duplicate bridge.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
I am still trying to develop my bridge expertise.  The understanding that I have developed was due to taking lessons, reading books and articles, asking questions of people who know bridge, and by trial and many errors at the bridge table.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?
I would advise people to have fun and not worry if you make a mistake.  Even if you do not score any points on a particular day, there is always something that you learned or something that you did well, so concentrate on that.  Bridge is fun no matter the level of play. Do not worry if you are not one of the top players in the room.  Everyone was inexperienced at one time.  Enjoy the game and do your best. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
I like the people.  Bridge players have and have had interesting lives.  I like the challenge of bridge.  The hands are always unique and it is interesting to try to figure out how to play them.  Also, each hand requires you to bid in a way that your partner understands and that can be tricky at times.  Bridge is hard and that is what keeps me coming back.  Finally, I like to help new players.  Many people have helped me and are still helping. I like to pay it forward.

  New Gold Life Master - Jan 2020

Congratulations to Jim Vroom for reaching the Gold Life Master rank.  A Gold Life Master has 2,500 points of which at least 500 are silver/red/gold/platinum points.  Jim also directs Wednesday's game at the Bridge Center.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I first got interested in bridge as an early teenager watching my parent’s neighborhood party bridge games. I picked up enough to even fill in a few times. I really got hooked on the game when I met my future wife, Susie, and we went to the same college. We played together as much as possible. Some of my profs thought I was majoring in bridge. I joined ACBL right out of college in 1964. I married my favorite bridge partner in 1965 and we played as much duplicate as I could squeeze in during my 24-year Navy career followed by my 12 years of high school teaching. When I fully retired in 2000, I really got into the game playing three or four times a week.

 

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?

I’m not sure I really have bridge expertise or that many people are truly an expert. We keep playing, learning, and hopefully improving. I learned virtually everything I know about bridge from Susie. She was close to an expert and a great teacher. We spent a lot of time going over the hands after playing a game. That really helps in not making the same mistakes over again.

 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?

First and foremost, I would tell new players to remember that bridge is a game and have fun at it. Relax and enjoy yourself and you’ll play better. Don’t get discouraged when you make a mistake, we all do it. Don’t let it affect the next hands you are playing. Play of the hand, both as declarer and defender, is what determines your results. Most of us can get to the proper contract with any system we play. It’s making that extra trick or not allowing your opponents to make an extra trick that makes the difference. Again, and most important, have fun.

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?

That’s an easy one. The friendships I have developed at the bridge table is by far what I enjoy most about bridge. Bridge players are a unique community that care about each other and help each other whenever possible. When Susie died in 2013 it was my bridge friends, along with my family, that helped me through the tough times. I also enjoy the mental challenge of the game. Something different every game. I really do think that bridge helps us maintain our mental sharpness.

  New Sapphire Master Dec 2019

Congratulations to Doris Jordan for reaching the Sapphire Life Master rank. A Sapphire Life Master has 3,500 points of which at least 700 are silver/red/gold/platinum and at least 350 are gold/platinum.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
My first duplicate game was at the old Monticello Hotel which was torn down in the 70's.  The winner’s names were published in the paper and you only got to play north/south when you won. It was a different game in that there was no Zero Tolerance. This led to lots of expressed angst and volatile outbreaks.  There was always evening entertainment after the session. In fact, at a DC National they had a 15-piece orchestra. From then on there were no more "lady’s” games for me and I played sporadically until I retired.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
Regarding the question about the development of my bridge expertise, I am not being modest in saying that I have no expertise, only experience.  Studying my errors as well as those of the opponents helps me in planning my own game.  Reading and teaching and studying advanced systems generously shared by our best players have been the tools for my development.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?
My main advice to new bridge players and to myself is FOCUS.  Yes, you are to relax and enjoy the game, but when you make some ridiculous mistake, i.e., when you know better and goof, you feel bad and there goes the enjoyment. It’s hard to forgive oneself, but that, too, is important.  Pick up and carry on but try to remember to focus.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
It’s been said a lot, but the friendships which I have made while playing this complicated game are the best "take away" for me.  Of course, I enjoy adding points to my record and executing a squeeze, but in the end the great folks with their diverse backgrounds coupled with the brain challenge are the drawing CARDS.

  New Ruby Master Nov 2019

Congratulations to Dick Hartman for reaching the Ruby Life Master rank.  Dick runs a bridge game in Suffolk.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
I saw an ad in the paper in San Mateo, California in the summer of 1965.  The ad offered lessons in bridge and I responded to it.  My parents had played party bridge.  This ad stimulated my curiosity and so I began.  I stumbled along for the last year of my shore duty playing whenever I could get to the club.  My duties in the Navy carried me forward and it wasn’t until 1986 or so that I began to play in Unit 146.  In 1995, my wife Dorothy and I became regular duplicate players.  


WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
I dispute the question.  When I graduated from college the speaker said, “never let anyone call you an expert.  Ex is from the Latin meaning former or previous. And a spurt is a drip under pressure.”

Accumulating 1,500 masterpoints is about persistence and perseverance in the face of adversity rather than expertise.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS? 
When I play with a new partner, after we discuss some agreements, I point out that everyone will make about a hundred mistakes over the course of the session.  If we have 13 tables, that’s 52 players and, that’s 5200 mistakes.  I tell my partner that I am forgiving them for any mistakes they think they might make and, if they think they made a mistake, don’t tell me about it.  All they will do is distract me from trying to prevent my mistakes.  Be kind to your partner and yourself.  Back in 1965 we didn’t have bidding boxes.  We had ash trays.  Sometimes the dummy would come down and the declarer would look despairingly at it and then say to their partner, “That was a stupid bid.”  (no Zero-Tolerance back then) and everyone would light a cigarette.  Be kind to your partner.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
The thing that is most interesting to me, is how my hand changes in valuation, bid or call by bid or call during the auction.  It is a stimulating exercise to re-evaluate my hand and decide how to use the information gained to my side’s advantage. 

  New Ruby Life Master Jan 2019
New Ruby Life Master Jan 2019

Congratulations to Joe Siqueira for reaching Ruby Life Master status.   A Ruby Life Master has 1,500 points of which at least 300 are silver/red/gold/platinum.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I started by watching my dad play party bridge.  At age 14, I began playing the Goren system in India.  We did not have any books or Internet to help us learn.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?

After a 25 year hiatus, Pete Haglich encouraged me to join the club.  For the first few years, I played with anyone who was willing to play with a novice.  Eventually, I had great partners who helped me develop my game.  Judy Clark, Joe Olivier, Pete and Iris have all contributed to my development.  They have been patient and endured through my mistakes and sometimes convoluted thought processes.  In addition, the better players were always willing to help.  Jennifer Christman was our "go to person" whenever we had a question.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?

Enjoy the game and try to learn one thing from each session.  Do not worry about points.  Always treat your partner well at the bridge table.  They are the only person in the room who is on your side.  Have a "go to person."

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?

I enjoy the social aspect of the game and that is why I do not play online.  I also enjoy the challenge of each hand whether it is defense or play of the hand. 

  New Sectional Master Sept 2019

Congratulations to Curtis Lumsden for attaining Sectional Master rank.  Curtis plays on Mondays and Fridays in the non-life master game.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
I started in college because it was a convenient way to kill time between classes. There were always a couple of tables going at any time. After college I didn’t play much until later.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?
We were building a house in1978 and were introduced to the couple who were building a house next to ours. We became friends and were invited to join them to play bridge. This was a social duplicate bridge group that had formed several years earlier. This group still plays together twice a month even though we have lost many of the original members.

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
I read a lot of bridge columns and books, but the best advice I always hear is “It’s only a game”.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
I really enjoy the people. I have actually renewed several acquaintances from long ago.

  New Diamond Master Aug 2019

Congratulations to Tracy Brines for reaching Diamond Life Master status.  A Diamond Life Master has 5,000 points of which at least 1,000 are silver/red/gold/platinum.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
I started playing bridge in college about 25 years ago; I have been playing semi-seriously for about 15-20 years now.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?
My game improved by playing against good competition and with good partners.  

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?
Ask players better than you to play sometime - you'd be surprised how many will say yes.  Also, I have found that worrying about myself rather than what the opponents may or may not be doing helps to me concentrate and stay focused.  Early on, I would worry that the opponents were trying to steal the contract or would play perfectly against me -- I stopped worrying about this and my results improved.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
I really enjoy the people.  I have been blessed with several good partnerships - Anne Duty from about 2001 until 2009, then Maureen from 2009+; I have played with Howard for about three years as well.  It has been great with all my moving around, every time we moved, I would find a bridge center and instantly know a bunch of people - bridge players are the same everywhere!

  New Junior Master July 2019

Congratulations to Jerry Baker for attaining Junior Master rank.  Jerry is a new duplicate bridge player and plays in the Monday non-life master game.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE AND HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?

I have played party bridge on and off for the last 30 plus years. I wanted to get back into playing bridge, so I visited the Bridge Center on Euclid Road and was informed that Shary Schlain conducts a class on duplicate bridge. I knew nothing about duplicate bridge and Shary did an outstanding job bringing me into the world of duplicate. I met my future partner, Dean Osborne, in the class and now have been playing for a little over a year. I thoroughly enjoy being his partner and we have learned a lot together and continue to improve.

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
Enjoy the game and be friendly. Concentrate on the basics of bridge and try to slowly learn a little more at a time.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE? 
I have always thought that I need to exercise my body and my mind. I exercise physically and I use bridge to exercise my mind. It teaches me to stay focused while maintaining a friendly attitude as I continue to gain more experience. There are many great players, too many to list, that have helped me improve my game and I am very glad I am a part of this unit. I really enjoy the help that Beth Brown has given me and the lessons she teaches each Monday. She is a great asset to the bridge club and I thank her for that.  

  New Junior Master June 2019

Congratulations to Dean Osborne for attaining Junior Master rank.  Dean is a new bridge player and plays in the Monday non-life master game.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
I’ve been playing just over a year following weekly bridge lessons taught by Shary Schlain.  The training sessions were excellent, providing a great basic understanding of bridge.  Even more important, I met my bridge partner, Jerry Baker, during the training.  Jerry understands the game well and has helped improve my play significantly.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?
Bridge was suggested to me by a close friend, June Cartledge, a frequent player at the Center.  June identified many reasons she enjoys bridge including intellectual simulation and the opportunities to meet new people with shared interests.  I quickly found these reasons to be correct and rarely miss a chance to play.

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
As a beginner, the best advice received is to stick to the fundamentals.  Understanding and successfully employing the numerous bridge conventions at times can be overwhelming but focusing on the basics allows my partner and I to be competitive while we learn new conventions.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
Several things immediately come to mind.  First, bridge truly exercises mental capabilities something everyone benefits from.  Second, the game allows opportunities to improve play as more experience is gained.  From a beginner’s perspective, the opportunities to learn appear to be nearly limitless so the game will remain challenging as long as played.  Additionally, bridge facilitates social interaction with other players.  I have met so many friendly people in the past year.  I look follow to seeing my “competitors” each time I arrive at the Center.  I must add that I particularly enjoy my interactions each Monday morning with Beth Brown, our Bridge Director. She is so warm and happy to share her knowledge of bridge.

  New Club Master May 2019

Congratulations to Linda Taylor for reaching Club Master rank.  Linda plays bridge primarily at the Princess Anne Country Club or in the Monday NLM game.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE AND HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE?

I started playing this amazing game at 15 and continued, sporadically, until my third son was born, and I turned 30. My hiatus continued until three years ago, when I decided to use my brain in a new way: Spanish or Bridge? Choosing bridge, I took a six-session class over six weeks, reading two Audrey Grant books for beginners. I was hooked and overwhelmed.

 WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?

Besides my brain being challenged, I have been delighted meeting new people on the same journey. For me, the most difficult aspect has been not getting frustrated with my slow progress. Being a golfer, reader (book club assignments), gardener, traveler, grandmother..., I'm always behind in finding the time to read about and play bridge.  But I keep reminding myself to keep this challenge in perspective: Bridge is a wonderful game. Let's have fun!

  New Sectional Master Apr 2019

Congratulations to Pat Kennedy for reaching Sectional Master rank.  Pat plays primarily with her husband Bayard in the NLM games.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?
I started playing party bridge in the 70's.  Due to higher priorities of family and my job I gave it up.  I did not play again until I retired and moved down to Virginia Beach in 2014.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?
I saw the advertisement in the Virginia Beach Beacon for friendly bridge lessons at the Bridge Center on Euclid Road.  I attended the lessons on Saturday mornings and got hooked.

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
The best advice I received was play the game, have fun but remember it's only a game.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
What I enjoy most about the game of duplicate bridge is the challenge of the game, traveling to Regional/Sectional games, and the new friendships I've made.

  New Sectional Master Mar 2019

Congratulations to Charlotte Field for attaining Sectional Master rank.  Charlotte plays in the Monday NLM game with her regular partner Faye Brown.  
 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I am not a lifetime bridge player...but I am a lifetime card player.  In my home in New England, we grew up playing all variations of poker…not for money but for chores!  Losers always had to wash dishes or sweep floors.  I learned early on that losing is no fun. That is why bridge is so hard for me…I’m a regular loser at cards!  I started playing bridge when my husband was in the military...I didn’t know any rules…mostly I just was the necessary fourth player…held my cards...and followed suit!
 

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?

Playing cards has always been fun for me, and with retirement, I finally had time to play...but no one to play with...I saw the Bridge Club advertisement in the paper and called Beth Brown.  Beth made playing bridge possible...she made it fun...she made it happen!  She is a true “ambassador” for the game of bridge and the Bridge Club. 
 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE? 

It’s a cliché, but a true one, that the people make the game fun even as you’re trying to steal the bid from them, set them, and get the “best board”.  The name Bridge is a misnomer; it should be called War (remember the part about losing is no fun)! Truly, the people playing the game at my regular Monday morning session are the best. I enjoy their intellect, humor, spirit...and kindness.  My partner, Faye Brown, has all these attributes...and tolerance...for all my mistakes and mystery bids!
 

It’s been great fun and I plan to keep playing, as long as I can count!

  New Club Master Feb 2019

Congratulations to Lewie Gayton for attaining Club Master status.  Although Lewie has only been playing at the Bridge Center since the spring, he has been a bridge player for quite a while.
 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I have been associated with bridge since I was a child as my mother was a party bridge player and she taught me the basics of Goren.  In college I played a lot of Hearts.  After marriage I played party bridge and have played in a neighborhood couples party bridge group for 30 years.  About ten years ago I began to play bridge online at Bridge Base Online (BBO).   About five years ago I played bridge for one winter at the Bridge Center.  After I decided I wanted to play duplicate last spring, Bob Low introduced me to my present partner Rick Baxter.  We enjoy playing together.
 

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?

My game really developed when I started playing on BBO.  I have taken lessons and play online daily.  On BBO I have met some wonderful people and teachers who have taught me to really enjoy the game.
 

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?

best advice that has helped me the most is just to enjoy the game.  Remember it is just a game.  Don’t worry about points or whether you make or are defeated in a contract.  Just have fun, enjoy your friends.
 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?

The thing I enjoy about bridge is there is always something to learn.  No two bridge hands are exactly the same.  The most important part of bridge is not the game itself but the interesting people you meet and play with.  Just ENJOY every game, the people you meet and have FUN.
 

  New Advanced NABC Master Oct 2019

Congratulations to Gail Hurst for achieving Advanced NABC Master rank.  An Advanced NABC Master has 300 points this includes at least 50 silver and 50 red/gold/platinum of which at least 25 are gold/platinum.  Gail plays bridge several days a week. 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

I have been playing bridge for almost 50 years, duplicate, about seven years.

 

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED PLAYING DUPLICATE BRIDGE?
My friend Flo (McDaniel) first proposed the idea of playing duplicate and encouraged my first attempts.  It was love at first deal.

 

WHAT ADVICE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
The best advice has been to practice and memorize, and to do this with the best teacher available.

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?
Meeting new people and making new friends, all the while enjoying friendly competition, are some of the things I most enjoy about the bridge group.

  New Sapphire Life Master Dec 2018

Congratulations to Nancy Lowry for reaching Sapphire Life Master status!  A Sapphire Life Master has 3,500 points of which at least 700 are silver/red/gold/platinum and at least 350 are gold/platinum.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

At my first job out of college I was introduced to bridge.  Three of my co-workers wanted to play bridge at lunchtime, but they needed a fourth, so they recruited me.  They taught me the bare basics, I got a book on contract bridge and the seeds of my addiction were planted.  We played for the two years I worked, until my husband’s Navy career took us elsewhere.  Fourteen years later, I returned to bridge as a means of getting out of the house and back into the company of adults.  At the time, the rec centers offered lessons on bridge and I thought it would be a good idea to start from the beginning.  After we took several of the courses, one of my classmates persuaded me to try the non-sanctioned duplicate games that were also held at the rec centers.  Everyone was so nice that I was hooked before I realized that their welcoming attitude stemmed from the undisputed fact that they were in for several top boards whenever we arrived at their table.  I happily played there as often as I could for eleven years until I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the ACBL in 2005.  I was sure I wasn’t ready, since I was still a raw novice, but it was the right thing to do.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR BRIDGE EXPERTISE?

I was fortunate that several of the rec center players I knew, who had joined ACBL ahead of me, mentored me by playing with me and pointing me in the right direction to find even better players who were willing to play with a relative beginner.  When I joined, there were no novice club games, so I had to play with and against better players.  When I made mistakes, I was usually punished, but it helped me see that I had made a mistake, which is the first step to improvement.  I found that, when I asked, the more experienced players were generous with their advice.  No one is born knowing how to play bridge; we all stand on the shoulders of stronger players who have helped us along the way.  In 2012 I reached the point where I recognized that, if I wanted to continue to be competitive, I needed professional help.  That’s when I began working with Mark Dahl, a Grand Life Master from Richmond.  Working and playing with him everywhere from club games to the Nationals has pushed me well beyond my comfort zone, but that’s what it took for me to improve.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?

Bridge is a wonderful, addictive and frequently frustrating game.  It can be played for so many reasons, all of which are legitimate.  For some, it’s a pleasant way to spend several hours with a bunch of interesting, bright, sociable people.  For others, it’s a civilized, sanctioned form of warfare.  I find it to be both of those, but what I enjoy most is that each hand is a puzzle, to be solved with the use of a very restricted language – bidding – and inferences drawn from what was said, or not said.  As the hand is played, more information is disclosed.  If I’m attentive and correctly process all that information, it’s possible to figure out the puzzle before the hand is over.

  New Diamond Life Master Nov 2018

A monthly listing of new members and new bridge rank levels has been added to the “News and Notes” portion of the website.  In addition, each month one of the bridge players on the list will be interviewed.  This month Bob Pfeiffer graciously agreed to be the first interviewee.  Bob recently reached Diamond Life Master status .  That’s 5,000 points – quite an accomplishment!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING BRIDGE?

Started in 1960 and played during my last two years of college. Stopped for 15 years due to work and family. Started tournament play about 1990 with Bob Hendricks.

WHAT HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLAY?

Group bridge lessons given by Jim Murphy and many enjoyable partners over the years.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEW BRIDGE PLAYERS?

Two guidelines
1.  Play to enjoy the game
2. Winning is very important but second to guideline one

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BRIDGE?

The many nuances. For example: Going down in four spades with Jennifer in Florida, after making NO bidding or playing errors and everyone else in the room making four spades, We were down after play to third trick. Pro was on lead.
 OR
Bidding to 6NT with Tracy Brines in a platinum event only to double the pair that won the two-day event on the following auction: 

  TRACY   BOB
N E S W
2D* 3NT 4S 5C
P 6C 6S P
P 6NT P P
7S *    

 

 *only alert bid “Flannery type hand”