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June 29, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

Return of the Zombies

Never before (over a sixty year span) do I recall ever vacating a bridge locale before the planned checkout day. It is a gross understatement to note the world has changed drastically and in many aspects it has been reflected in the bridge atmosphere.

Most people (especially locals like ourselves with post time at 10:00 a.m.) opted for the convenience of staying at the on-site LV hotel as the rates appeared quite fair (and free parking to locals). To ‘old folks’ like ourselves, the thought of commuting for six days was far from ideal.

No specific major complaints about the administrative staff, room service, elevator convenience, etc… but I must recount my own experience.

In recent years, I’ve requested a handicapped room considering our tender ages for bathing facilities and safety access. However, this one was minus a bathtub, so I ventured into the shower which had a bench, curtain and totally level floor and drain. Somehow, unaccustomed as I am to mobile shower heads with attachments, the water came gushing out in torrents… and to quote Samuel Taylor Coleridge… “Water, Water everywhere…”. Luckily no damage or injury… just a scene reminiscent of Lake Tahoe. Fortunately a plethora of towels saved the day!

Excepting Monday, when we met an early demise, we played the next three days on six-man teams… and when sitting out routinely descended from the 18th floor followed by a tiring trek to the playing site rooting for good results. Our teammates were delightful gentlemen and we all got a kick out of beating two celebrated superstar teams in a row. However, in the third event we were in contention but finished 2nd overall in the W/Th KO Finals losing by two IMPS. I found it very frustrating as it involved an opponent’s cue bid purportedly non alertable by the the powers on high and we might have reached a better contract which may or may not have made. The opponents did nothing wrong and even if they had alerted, I would have made the identical bid. As they say… so close and yet so far! Enough belly-aching… coincidentally apropos to my next issue: Dining.

People were complaining vociferously about food price gouging. In fact, I thought someone was joshing when they stated the cost of a banana was four bucks. If so, it should be repeeled! Another negative aspect that was during crucial hours for bridge players, many of the hotel restaurants often had long lines and were enormously understaffed. This applied to both morning and evening.

At the start of the week, after unpacking, getting settled, playing and having an early dinner… we retired to our room, plopped onto the bed, activated our Sleep Apnea Machines and slept twelve straight hours. In a rush to not be late for the morning session, we hustled to the Food Court on the hotel concourse level to grab a quick breakfast. Surprise, surprise… thirty-four bucks for so-so omelettes, a piece of toast each and two cups of coffee! Akin to walking away with egg on one’s face!

We did dine at The Thai Experience three times for dinner as I adored one of their chicken dishes with peanut sauce. Bobby has always enjoyed wine with his evening meal and with so many excellent competitive restaurants in Summerlin, wine and other liquor are reasonably priced. Not so at the hotel. It was $17 the first night for a rather small portion and when we returned the following evening, they were sold out. Bobby agreed to the $21 upgrade which was good but tasted the same. It is not about money, believe me! Restaurants have to do these things to keep their heads above water.

After moving to Vegas, Bobby and I would on occasion visit the local casinos half hour before dinner and play Blackjack where we have held our own. However, quite by chance we learned of an intriguing version called Blackjack Switch and it immediately became our favorite; by coincidence it was offered at The Paris… approximately two blocks away from Bally’s and convenient to reach by an enclosed passageway between the hotels! But (and most shaggy dog stories start with ‘but’)… the area was adorned on both sides by countless stores and a variety of unusual eateries. The dining spots (whether buffets, fast foods or exclusive restaurants drew their clientele without solicitation). Unfortunately you could not walk five steps without being hustled by a specialty store ‘hawker’ who did not understand a negative nod or the words ‘No thank you!’ They did not give up until you outdistanced them.

In closing, let me add the bridge staff did all they could. However, I did have a personal gripe. Bobby was one of several asked to give a thirty-minute lecture between sessions and, as always, he was delighted to accommodate them. I was with him when approached and explained he needed a table and chair, a microphone and a chalkboard. A chalkboard is a no-brainer at a bridge lecture. The mike provided was a hand mike and much harder to use than a free standing one… but what was inexcusable was… no chalkboard or anything similar. Those in charge immediately hustled to remedy the problem but it was being used by another lecturer the floor above. The only alternative was to rent a second one from the hotel for one hundred bucks. Obviously, that was not an option and time was of the essence as well.

Since we have not attended a National in several years, it was marvelous seeing longtime friends and reminiscing about the countless fun times we shared, but I must confess I am still in the process of catching my breath and recovering from my zombie-like state — but well worth every moment of it!!!!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at June 29, 2017 03:24 AM

June 28, 2017

Bob Mackinnon

A Billionaire’s Blind Spot

Atypically on this particular morning in 1968 bright sunshine backlit the bedroom curtains of James Woolwich’s Lambeth flat where the young man lay in bed reading the Sunday papers, smoking a Turkish cigarette and drinking creamy Blue Mountain coffee. He was not alone, for in a far corner quietly sitting on a mat was a man with a shaved head wearing a black robe apparently doing nothing. We say apparently, but the man, James’ flatmate Hisashi-san, a Zen monk on leave in London to learn English, was hard at work trying to sweep from his mind the comments the other man was making concerning newspaper items he had found of interest. The frequent interruptions served as tests of the monk’s powers of mediation, and it was with some pride that the practitioner found that with time it was becoming easier and easier to forget what was being said and to return to a state of perfect indifference.

‘You know, Sensei, these American women are absolutely fabulous; I would like to get to know more of them.’

‘Maybe move to New York, James-san,’ suggested the Master.

‘No need, they are flocking here in droves this spring. Must be a migratory mating instinct of some sort.’

‘Be careful, happy woman stays at home.’

‘Look at this picture. The caption reads, “Miss Heidi Heinz, daughter of American billionaire real estate tycoon, Howard Heinz, arriving at Heathrow to join her father and promote women’s participation in the upcoming World Bridge Olympiad to be held in France where a strong representation from Great Britain is expected.”’

‘Belly interesting,’ acknowledged Sensei, successfully forgetting everything said.

James held up the newspaper for inspection. A photo showed a beautiful twentysomething woman descending the steps of a TWA Boeing 707 with her right hand raised behind her head to keep her broad brimmed hat from flying off her head at the same time revealing a nicely formed body clothed in a clinging white dress.

‘I wouldn’t mind meeting this one, in fact I think I shall.’

With a rare sense of purpose James sprang from his bed, put on his robe, went to his desk, and proceeded to write a letter. Thanks to a friendship with the Atticus columnist for the Sunday Times, James was a sometimes contributor to the social pages in matters of bridge. His contribution might be a caption reading: ‘The Hon. Leslie Townsend with Lady Rowenda Rowley who recently bid and made a grand slam at the Chelsea Bridge Charity Event.’ In his letter he requested an interview with Miss Heinz on the subject of the increasingly important role of women in the realm of international competition. He dropped in the name of Fritzi Gordon who he knew to be out of town.

Surprisingly his letter was answered in short order and he was invited to meet the lady at 8 pm on that same Wednesday in the suite at the Savoy where she and her father were staying.

‘Really, so soon,’ James remarked.

‘Not busy,’ observed Sensei.

James was met at the door by Howard Heinz himself, an after-dinner cigar protruding from between his lips. His hand shake was very firm, a test of some sort. James squeezed back. The great man was stocky of build with blue eyes and a full head of golden hair. James was reminded of Auric Goldfinger. He was best known as the owner of the Manhattan skyscraper known as The Heinz Skyreach whose tapered shape some snide critics likened to a ketchup bottle. This was unfair as they didn’t compare the Kellogg Building to a box of corn flakes. Howard was also known as a sponsor of professional bridge teams featuring himself as a playing member.

‘So you’re the bridge columnist. I expected someone more seasoned.’

‘Actually I appear on mainly on the social pages as my interests are mainly sociological.’

‘Are you a communist? You don’t look like a communist.’

‘Hardly! I’m a capitalist through and through. My South African mining shares are doing quite well, thank you, since the rioting has been stopped.’

‘Just kidding hyperbolically; you know ‘columnist’ and ‘communist’ sound the same and sometimes they are the same. Anyway, come on in. Here’s a tip: to become rich, and I mean really rich like me, you have to utilize other people’s money as well as your own. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Your letter mentioned Fritzi but she’s in Deauville with Martin Hoffman. It’s really great that these days Jews are allowed in everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jews. They’re great bridge players, really great some of them – the best. Oh, here comes my daughter. Isn’t she lovely?’

Indeed she was, much more beautiful than her photo had revealed. She was dressed in a white flowing silk pants suit featuring an unsuppressed floral design. The bright smile was as advertised, her hand, warm and soft. James had to resist the temptation to reach out to touch her long, blonde, luminous tresses that resembled a cascade of gold falling from the sky onto a multi-coloured garden filled with flowers. Her father’s monologue had carried them in to a sitting room decorated in Buckingham Palace style, strangely plush and drab at the same time. In the center was huge bridge table.

‘Isn’t that a beauty? Solid walnut – I had it brought in especially. You know, James, I admire you Brits immensely – Winston Churchill, Max Beaverbrook – they were great wartime leaders and great historians to boot. . I don’t think much of Anthony Eden. He let you down, in my opinion. What’s the point of having overwhelming military superiority if you’re caving in to Egyptians and the like? I plan someday to write the history of the United States myself starting with Andrew Jackson, a great general and a great president. You know, he was the last president to fully pay off the government’s debt and he did it without income tax.’

At that moment there appeared from the interior of the suite a quiet middle-aged man, sharp-eyed, but paunchy with unruly grey-streaked hair and stooped shoulders.

‘Mel, come in here and meet our guest, James Woolcroft. Meet the famous Mel Sanford, the greatest partner a man ever had. He could tell you some stories. We’re going off shortly to play against Reese and Flint at their club. Say, Mel, what say we take on these young kids as a sort of a warm-up rubber. How about it, James, a pound a point to make it interesting?’

Heidi protested.

‘Oh, Daddy, that’s not fair. We’ve never played together before. What if James can’t afford to play for high stakes?’

‘What do you say, James, make you nervous? If you can’t pay, we’ll take it out of my daughter’s clothing allowance.’

‘Sir, I’m sure that won’t be necessary. Even if I were to lose the rubber it would be well worth the price to have played against a world famous pair, such as yourself and Mr Sanford, not to say, to have partnered such a lovely lady as your daughter.’

‘Careful now, we don’t know you, but I can tell you’re trustworthy. Shake hands on it.’

Fortune somehow favours the bold especially those who have nothing to lose. Heidi made 3NT on the first hand after a favourable lead. As dummy James could sit and admire her frowning face at leisure. The next hand gave the opponents an opportunity to tie the rubber with a 3NT contract of their own.

 
E-W
East
N
Howard
K952
J10
KQJ52
73
 
W
Heidi
Q874
Q98652
A8
4
 
E
James
A63
K
109643
J1098
 
S
Mel
J10
A743
7
AKQ652
 
W
Heidi
N
Howard
E
James
S
Mel
Pass
1
Pass
1
Pass
1
Pass
1
Pass
2NT
Pass
3NT
All Pass
 

The auction began slowly with all four suits bid. Sanford resisted the temptation to jump to 3NT and 3 seemed inadequate. Experience had taught him that if final decisions were to be made it was best to let his employer make them, so he temporized with 2NT, assuring he would play the contract, regardless. Maybe a part score would pay off at rubber bridge by putting pressure on the vulnerable opponents to save the game. As it happened Howard had more than enough to raise to 3NT. Warned against a heart lead into declarer’s hand Heidi led a fourth highest spade through strength. When dummy came down, Sanford saw a possible 11 tricks.

From James’ side the lead of the 4 did not at first glance inspire confidence that the contract could be defeated, but closer inspection gave some hope which lay not in high card points but in distribution and timing. His long holdings in the minors would make establishment of tricks difficult there. It appeared that his partner had 6 hearts but didn’t lead them, hence they had gaps. She could have the A which would help neutralize the dummy. Putting it all together, and adding a reluctance to be left on lead later with his singleton K, James went up with the A and exited the K.

Sanford studied this card for a full minute, then folded his cards, conceding down 1.

‘What are you doing. Mel? Look at all the tricks sitting here.’

‘Good defence, Howard, there was nothing I could do,’ was all that the professional offered in explanation.

The next hand put an unexpected end to their brief rubber.

 
E-W
South
N
Howard
8654
A75
1096
AQ4
 
W
Lisa
J97
643
AK83
K63
 
E
James
AK103
J1092
Q2
J105
 
S
Mel
Q2
KQ8
J754
9872
 
W
Lisa
N
Howard
E
James
S
Mel
Pass
Pass
Pass
1
Pass
2
Dbl
All Pass
 

Expecting Howard to be well-supplied in the spade suit for his double, Mel led an informative Q, won by James with the A. A diamond to the K and a low trump to the jack gathered the Q from Mel who led a low spade expecting his partner to win the K and give him a ruff with the 8. It was not to be. James won the J in dummy and led a second heart. Howard could imagine an endplay where he would be trapped into leading a club, so he went up with the A and gave his partner a spade ruff with the high trump. A club was dutifully returned but the defence was limited to 2 clubs and 3 hearts, 2* making 2, game, set, and rubber.

‘Mel, I think my double called for a club lead,’ Howard claimed.

‘Yeah, I had a good sequence, 9-8-7. I’ll make a note of it.’ replied the professional.

‘And don’t we lead queen from king-queen doubleton?’ asked Howard.

‘Yes we do, but I had only queen-deuce. I sure wish I had had the king.’

‘Anyway, Lisa, good raise. Isn’t she wonderful; she’s learning to play like Rixi, maybe even better.’

‘Actually, Howard, it’s no tragedy if you don’t double,’ continued Mel who appeared to have had a few after dinner.

‘Mel, I gotta double.’

Heinz got out his chequebook and wrote down a large sum.

‘Well done, James…W-o-o-l-w-i-c-h… make sure I spelled it right – the oldest trick in the book. I added £10 for a taxi. Don’t stay up late, Princess, I’ll be back soon.’

Closing the door behind them, Heidi turned to James with a smile.

“Don’t believe Daddy, he’ll be out all night.’

‘Well, I guess I had better be going as well.’

‘James, what about our interview?’

‘I don’t think it’s proper for us to stay alone together in a hotel room, even if it’s in the respectable Savoy. Your father indicated as much’

 

‘Don’t I have a say?’

‘Your father thinks it could be dangerous for you.’

‘Maybe I like danger. And if I need it, the Savoy is known for its security… as well as its discretion. Let’s go into the kitchen and see if we can find some champagne. You drink champagne, don’t you? Do you have any other bad habits? Tell me about them.’

She took his hand and led him to the kitchen area where they found two empty Bollinger bottles in the tiny sink.

‘Oh, damn, Mel has drunk them both. There’s only Daddy’s beer left.’

‘We can order more.’

‘That will take time….can we wait?’

‘Maybe not.’

Heidi came to him and kissed him passionately.

‘I was thinking, I should give back this cheque.’

‘Are you kidding me? Daddy would suspect something for sure.’

‘I see what you mean,’ said James wondering where the bedrooms were located.

by Bob Mackinnon at June 28, 2017 03:00 PM

June 27, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Shane the Unblockers revelation and Declan Donplayer "I love this game"

Last Friday night I ran into Shane Maxwell a guy I taught bridge in 15 minutes one night.
Shane is an acquaintance of Declan the Donplayer. Some day they might even partner up.
Anyway back then when I taught Shane the bridge in 15 minutes some might say I exaggerate.

However it is true. Back then Shane knew everything about everything so there was nothing one could teach him. He already knew from other card games what a trick was. He also knew which side of the card was the good bit , meaning the side with the coloured symbols or faces on it. So 15 minutes later Shane played his first hand of bridge. Defending against 6NT accidently or on purpose Shane after leading Spade 10 from KQJT ... (we experienced players lead KING) ..Shane on his first hand figured TEN knocks out ACE and later I get KQJ for down some.
However the play proceeded and robot cashed many tricks and evertually I start to doubt if Shane will be a bridge player as he pitches JACK QUEEN and finally KING of SPADES ..
Finally I notice 6NT has gone down 1 as SHANES robot partner had won trick 12 with SPADE 9 and cashed a winner. Now 4 years later after playing the odd hand of bridge on his phone from time to time Shane has returned with a vengeance and now being a 26 year old ADULT who earns money every week as an electrician and who now does not know everything about everything and recently has played up to 70 hands per week on www.bridge-now.com .

So recently the odd email has arrived from Shane listing some of his 90% and 100% scores on www.bridge-now.com and pointing out Eamongall placed below him on certain boards.

So we had a conversation about bridge in pieces spread over 2.5 hours in the pub. It might have been an hour in total as Shane talks to other folk about other subjects. Remember he used to know everything about everything.
So late in the night he asked about the YOU HOLD app I had mentioned earlier in the week.
So I took out my phone and we bid a few hands and I suddenly started to realise that something was wrong with Shanes understanding of bridge.

I would have told him back at the start in that one lesson probably something about bidding 3NT to get a bonus and neglected to tell him about 4H 4S 5C 5D also for game bonuses.

Shane had taken note of the fact that if you had about 25-26 points or so that you should bid game to get a bonus.

However as Shane knew everything about everything I never got to point out about the 4H 4S 5C 5D games and stuff around this game bonus.

So the intrepid Shane was playing away thinking 3C 3D 3H 3S and 3NT all produced the game bonus as long as he had about 25 or so high card points ...

"Eamon ..you dunce you never told me .. This is a game changer for me "

I alluded to the fact that Shane knew everything about everything back then so I probably saw no need to tell me about the 4H 4S stc ... So we will see how Shane goes from now on at the bridge.

...............
Now Declan the Donplayer on the other hand had the sense to go on google and find out about Game Bonuses or else he noted that he was getting 170 when the 4H chaps were getting 620 and did something about it.. Not our Shane .. Our Shane rolled along thinking the computer was short changing him.

And he thinks I am the dunce for not telling him ..

Moral of rhe story is .. Even those who know everything about everything don't know about BRIDGE. Shane the 2nd coming will be a serious bridge player.

Never gone to a club yet or played bridge with cards in his hands.

Shane posted a 35% and 39% and 45% in his 3 visible outings to date.

45% is pretty decent for a chap who has never gone to a bridge lesson or bridge club or played with cards in his hand.

To put things in perspective legendary Howth/Regent player Conor O'Hara managed 46% this week which was far below his normal near 60% average .... and I also spot a 1.5 year local novice from Malahide Regional Bridge Club posting regular 36% scores on Bridge Now.

Several local intermediates are posting around the 50% mark and my own Declan the Donplayer posts in the early 50s these days in between drinking gambling fishing and debauchery and minding his kids and aging parents. No time for bridge .. but every time I meet him ..

"Eamon I love this game ..its so intriguing and I am really grateful you distracted me long enough to teach me"
"Eamon we need to do the CUEBIDS and the BLACKWOOD next "
"Eamon I have those transfers sorted now and I have got the STAYMAN working "




by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 27, 2017 08:23 AM

June 26, 2017

Bob Mackinnon

James, Women, and Bridge

Our story takes us to London in 1968, a the time when Harold Wilson was pulling down the shutters on the British Empire having realized that the Gnomes of Zurich had got it right all along: it is better to own a bank than to run a meat shoppe. The location is the infamous Hall of Inquiry which served as a place for officially sanctioned torture during the time of the Reformation. It is said that Thomas Cromwell’s father, a blacksmith from Putney, provided inmates with leg irons of exceptional quality: comfortable, cheap, and long-wearing. The location was taken over centuries later by The Southwark Lawn Bowling and Bridge Club. Within the seasick green walls of the cold, damp basement bridge players happily preserved the ancient traditions of accusation, inquisition, and insistence on a strict adherence to articles of faith. In the bright spectrum of first impression those of Abigail Abercrombie, an American tourist of middle age, tended more towards repugnance than delight, unaccustomed as she was to British taste in the interior decoration of public places. It was with some hope of improvement in her prospects that the widow spied a handsome young man in a blue Hardy Amies suit sitting alone at one of the tables.

Let us now introduce ourselves to this tall, lithe young man with a winning smile and an abundance of unruly sandy hair. He is James Woolwich, ‘Wooly’ to his former university chums, a regular player and a favourite of many of the old ladies of the club. A onetime student of philosophy, he was greatly influence by Aristotle, especially the wise man’s observation that nothing dulls the mind so much as regular employment. He decided that occasional studies in a variety of disciplines combined with bridge playing was a good way to develop his mind, in which pursuits he was aided and abetted by a rich uncle who allowed James to occupy his Lambeth flat while the old gentleman, reversing the current trend in immigration, pursued fulfilment in sunny Jamaica seeking something bright, brown, and beautiful….and finding it.

In his cooler, cloudier clime James was having less success with regards to fulfilment. His relationships usually got off to a good start, but petered out once the female component realized he was impervious to improvement. He looked to the Sunday newspapers for enlightenment especially with regard to curious observations such that in Cambodia the recent decrease in the water buffalo population had drastically increased the price of brides, putting them out of reach of many young framers, thereby causing an alarming rise in the rural crime rate. No mention of any bombing. It was his habit of remaining in bed on a Sunday morning drinking Blue Mountain coffee, smoking Turkish cigarettes, while going through the Sunday Times page by page seeking interesting items, un-heedful of the suggestion that it was a good time to finally tidy up (Jane), or to go for an overdue hike in the fresh air of the countryside (Alice), or make a long postponed visit to the BM (Cynthia). The girls just didn’t realize that for James this was the highlight of his week, surpassing all previous, more strenuous activities.

Then one day James went to a free, sparsely attended lecture by a Japanese Zen priest who gave out the promise of a better organized way of life. Much impressed by the monk’s quiet demeanour, James felt someone should ask a question from the floor.

‘What are your views on death, Sensei?’

‘End of cares and hardships. Death is Happy Hour with ancestors, who gather to celebrate many family duties performed… happy time for all.’

After the lecture James found Hisashi-san was staying for a year in a hostel at the end of the Northern Line learning English and perfecting his bridge playing skills. Perfect, thought James, and invited him to come stay in his Lambeth flat free of charge, lessons in English in return for lessons in Zen with a bit of housekeeping tossed in to create a balance. At a low point in that regard he committed to no female distractions for the duration, a promise he was later to regret. Hisashi bowed his appreciation of the offer. His expressionless face hid his extreme delight at the assignment of the cooking duties, for most English had never heard of seaweed and tofu soup and couldn’t even chop onions properly. There was much to learn and much to teach while gaining a regular bridge partner with qualification.

James looked up from his perusal of the yesterday’s game slips to see two women standing at the entrance, one middle aged, one not, wearing matching red outfits that would not be entirely out of place in a parade of Chelsea pensioners. The older woman was of uniform rotundity with a brightness of aspect typical of duplicate players throughout the world, whereas her stunning companion appeared be seen to be aloof and undulatory. Even at a fair distance James could assess the undulations as genuine, and the aloofness merely as a symptom of a short-sighted girl who refused to wear glasses in public – the so-called Myrna Loy look. In the twinkling of an eye James was at their side.

‘Pardon my intrusion, but you are Americans are you not?’

‘Thank God,’ replied the matron, ‘your intrusion is most welcome. I am Abigail Abercrombie from San Francisco this is my niece, Gloria. We have been we have been walking about enjoying the sights, but now my feet are killing me and I would like to sit down for a few hours and exercise the grey cells in a game a bridge. I am a Life Master, but Gloria is a novice. Do you think you could fit us in?’

“I am not the director, Heaven forbid, but I’m sure you’d be most welcome. In fact, a player of your accomplishment might consider playing with someone at your expert level. You see that man standing beside the notice board with his eyes closed – he is very good. Don’t be alarmed, he is not blind – he is probably imagining a tranquil pool with multi-coloured carp as a way of calming his mind for the upcoming contest.’

‘Oooo..I just adore short, bald men, they are so virile.’

‘Errr, well, I must warn you he is a monk on leave here in London learning to speak English.’

‘Better and better still. We learned in Italy that language is no barrier to having a good time. In these modern times everyone understands 5-card majors. But what about Gloria? She needs someone who is not too serious.’

‘Well, I have no game this evening, so I would be happy to fill in.’

‘Would you now? Wonderful. Be gentle, as she’s inexperienced.’

“Oh, Aunt Abbie, I’m no dummy, you know,’ said the niece with a most alluring pout.

James introduced them to Hisashi-san.

‘This is Mrs Abercromie from America. Like you she is a life master many times over, and I was wondering if you might be her partner for this evening. I would then play with her niece, Gloria.’

‘Ah, so’ replied the Master with a deep bow of understanding.

When the monk went to fetch convention cards, Abigail remarked that he looked extremely fit.

‘ Oh, yes, an integral part of his religious practice is to maintain himself at the peak of his mental and physical capabilities,‘ explained James, trying hard not to monitor Gloria’s rhythmic breathing. ‘Sensei has nerves of steel and muscles of iron.’

“I’ll drink to that,’ said Mrs Abercrombie cheerfully.

On the first hand Aunt Abigail reached 3NT. Gloria missed the killing lead, which would have been obvious from James’ hand, and later missed an even-more-obvious compensatory switch, so it appeared that it was going to be a long evening, not that the young man didn’t feel the longer it stretched, the better.

James found he was having difficulty getting his beautiful partner to warm to his attentions. This is often the way with goddesses – like cats they become immune to abject idolization. It was with some sense of satisfaction that James was able to lay before her as a token of his devotion a neat play on the third board of the evening.

 
Both
North
N
Gloria
KQ92
K4
A10
AQ972
 
W
Abigail
1076
J5
86532
843
 
E
Hisashi
83
Q8732
K976
106
 
S
James
AJ54
A1096
QJ
KJ5
 

Gloria had opened 1 to which James replied with as strong Baron 2NT, one of the foundations of the ACOL system. To the young goddess this signified a weak minor-suit orientated hand, 11-12 HCP, a popular treatment in Oyster Bay, Maine, whence she had emerged. Gloria signed off in 5, a puzzling development, but one fielded to perfection by the Englishman with a confident bid of 6NT. Mrs Abercrombie began the defence with a fourth highest 3 and James could see at a glance that he had missed an easy grand slam in spades, not that the crowd at the Tuesday Evening Charity Pairs would bid it lacking a 9+card fit, but the 12 tricks which were evident in a no trump contract would not suffice even for an average score.

When Americans refer to their country as The Land of the Free, they are speaking metaphorically. Generous as they may be at giving their opinions or even briefly lending their affections, they are unaccustomed to acting charitably at the bridge table, so James was disinclined to accept the offer of a free finesse. He went up with the A and ran off winners to reach a 2-card ending in dummy with 4 and T opposite AT in hand, the result being that Hisashi was happily squeezed between the red suits.

‘Golly, who would have thought it. You must have been potent,’ exclaimed Gloria. From the strange silence at the table she sensed she might become the subject of criticism.

‘He plays his cards very well, Dear. You are lucky to have him,’ explained her aunt.

Later in the game James again found himself in 6NT with 13 tricks available, this time in a diamond slam. Many played in 6 making an overtrick, but a few played in 6NT making 6 when West failed to find the killing club lead.

 
Both
East
N
Gloria
A10
AK1074
K1094
74
 
W
Snodgrass
K962
J85
8752
95
 
E
Botts
J754
Q932
J
J1083
 
S
James
Q83
6
AQ63
AKQ62
 
W
Snodgrass
N
Gloria
E
Botts
S
James
Pass
1
Pass
1
Pass
2
Pass
4
Pass
6NT

Most players can handle two rounds of bidding, but the third round brings trouble. On this auction a great deal of optimism was being expressed on both sides, so James took matters into hand with a 5-loser hand using the method of hand evaluation advocated by the great Maurice Harrison-Gray in a recent issue of Country Life.

The bearded Frederick Snodgrass led the 7 in the British style of third worst from four bad. After 2 rounds of diamonds James could see that a contract of 6 would result in 13 tricks if played probably. With shortness on his right and his club communication still intact, there might be some advantage to be had from running off the diamonds to put pressure on Howard Botts, a building inspector with whom he had often crossed swords, not always to James’ advantage. At present Botts was leering over his spectacles admiring the obviously sound structure of an oblivious Gloria. Perhaps the distraction would prove beneficial. After the diamonds were played off ending in hand, James ducked a heart to the 7.Winning the T return in hand, the young man found himself in a 7-card configuration of which he was only vaguely aware. There would be a great deal of satisfaction to be had from changing that leer to a frown, but how?

 
Both
East
N
Gloria
A10
AK104
7
 
W
Snodgrass
K962
J8
9
 
E
Botts
J
Q32
J83
 
S
James
Q83
AQ62
 

Botts had discarded 3 small spades in upward order giving an indication that Snodgrass held the guards in the spade suit, so a spade finesse in dummy might effect a squeeze in clubs, which could have been split 3-3 all along. Distrusting Botts disinterest in the spade suit James led the Q, covered by the K, pinning the J thus turning the T into a winner and the squeeze card to which Botts had no answer. Gloria was slow to realize 12 tricks in 6NT represented a very good score as many were playing in 6 making a lesser 1390 on 13 tricks.

The only West not leading a trump to cut down on the presumed ruffs in 6 was Mrs Abercrombie for whom leading trumps was an anathema. Her choice was a deceptive 9. The Reverend Forsythe, recently returned from Africa, was professionally obliged to assume that Man’s, and especially Woman’s, nature was in grievous need of restitution, but he did not, could not, accept this glum view, having been companioned for 35 years through innocence and health by the angelic Mrs Forsythe who was sitting North with a hopeful smile of encouragement on her lips. After calling for the A in dummy, he became alarmed when on the lead of a small diamond from dummy the J appeared from his fellow hierophant in the East. Without doubt this was an affliction, but afflictions are given us to be overcome. With an essential entry removed from dummy it would require a minor miracle to bring home this slam. With nothing apparently better the old fellow marked time by playing off the KQ, to get the count, cashing the AK pitching a club, and ruffing a heart to his hand to this 6-card ending.

 
Both
East
N
Margaret
10
107
K109
 
W
Abigail
K62
872
 
E
Hirashi
J74
Q
J10
 
S
Reginald
Q8
Q6
A6
 

On the play of the A Abigail had to ruff to prevent the discard of the T. Forsythe was well pleased with this development as he could overruff and lead towards his hand to promote the Q as his 12th trick. It was a great shock when the T was covered by the J, the Q and the K from the scarlet Jezebel on his left.

A trump return was won in dummy, but a heart ruff with the Q returned declarer to his hand. He played the 8, West following, and paused to reassess his chances. Could it be? Yes! His spade must have been promoted to a winning card, he was sure of it! So after passing the 8 he could take the last trick with his wife’s remaining top trump. Thank you, Lord, justice is served, thought the churchman, unaware that innocence being a condition, not a virtue, merits no reward. Scoring 1370 garnered a disappointingly meagre return given his brilliant recovery. Ah well, his experiences in Africa had taught him not to expect too much. Good health and a warm cocoa at bedtime were rewards aplenty in this world.

As a special concession to his American guests the director with rare good grace posted the scores soon after the finish. The names of A. Abercrombie and H. Hashimoto were listed at the top with a score of 68.3%. James and his friend had a few moments alone while their erstwhile partners retreated to the Ladies for emergency repairs. For James all dreams of romance had evaporated as he could not imagine himself making love to a woman, even a goddess, convulsing with hiccups.

‘Perhaps we can see the ladies to their hotel, then drop in on the way home at the Horns and Antlers for a lager and lime,’ he suggested.

‘So sorry, but Abbie-san has invited me to go to Ronnie Scott’s to listen to Ben Webster. His saasphone has rich sound like wet rice patty at planting time.’

I know what you mean, it’s earthy.’

‘ I admire her belly much – she has great Ka. You must look under the clothes to find the true person – remember that, James-san.’

‘Good point, Sensei,’ conceded James wistfully.

by Bob Mackinnon at June 26, 2017 02:59 PM

June 23, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Unit 103 - July Board of Directors' Agenda

Irrespective of season, our Unit Board members work hard for us throughout the year!

Below is the agenda that Unit 103 has scheduled for their July meeting.

Our thanks to all!

Download 7.14.2017.Unit 103 BOD Agenda

by Peg at June 23, 2017 12:03 PM

June 20, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Granite City Sectional - Results

St cloud

St. Cloud's beautiful summer Granite City Sectional has concluded; results are in!

Three players tied for top masterpoint winners:  Wendy Turk and Chris Champion of Colorado Springs, along with John Koch. Each earned 26.61 masterpoints. Well done!  

This was, however, a bit of an oddity. Wendy and Chris partnered one another in various events; John played with others. Yet at the end of the tournament, their masterpoints matched!

Carole Miner and Terry Beckman also scored over 20 masterpoints. The rest of the Granite results can be viewed here.

Our thanks to co-chairs Kory Solarz and Jean Leighton - plus our directors, caddies, other volunteers and of course - all our competitors!  Congratulations to all who placed and did well at the sectional!

by Peg at June 20, 2017 10:15 PM

Sectional in Clubs at the Edina Senior Center

We have an excellent opportunity this week for the STAC for Extra Masterpoints and Extra  FUN.
 
Tuesday, June 20 - 6:30PM
 
Thursday, June 22 - 7:00PM 
     
 
Any questions or if you need a partner, please call Judy at 952-474-3653.
 
We are expecting a big turn out.  There will be some healthy snacks!!!
 
Hope to see you at one or both games.  Tony II will be directing.

by Peg at June 20, 2017 08:50 PM

The Bridge Center of St. Paul - STAC Games & Longest Day

The Bridge Center of St Paul is running STAC games all week including Sunday late afternoon  except on Wednesday when they have a day long series of 5 18-board matchpoint games to support the Longest Day. 
 
Cost is $5 for each game.
 
Games at:
 
8am
11am
2pm
5pm
8pm
 
Free food will be available  between each session!

by Peg at June 20, 2017 08:43 PM

Eamon Galligan

Double Take

This afternoon I was having a look at the results in the European Open Bridge championships.

I looked at Open Pairs and spotted our men Hanlon and Carroll in 209th place of about 240 entrants ..
I spotted some Irish Ladies pairs mostly down the rear end of the field ..apart from Rigney Kenny.
However it is early days yet.

However when I went for a look at the Seniors ..I got this

For some reason I guess the officials wanted to make sure these older folk could see their results so
they printed out each pairs results TWICE.. Now it did not make any difference apart from indicating both Irish pairs have some work to do...but to spell it out TWICE..

If I displayed results like this in Malahide or god forgive on CBAI .. I would be laughed out of the room. This is at European level ... but of course it is a glitch in the HTML or something.
The real results printed on site are no doubt perfectly normal.

Hmmmm just went to Open Pairs ...must be my computer ... as this could not be happening

Repeated  pairs names there too .. maybe its my Microsoft Edge ..
Better by a MacBook quick




by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 20, 2017 11:44 AM

Plane Crash or Carrot disease ..Board 19 of last 16

Yesterday while reviewing the Moran Team exit from the Euro Open Teams I noted the loss of 14 imps on Board 19 in the 2nd half of the match. Given MORAN last the match by about 5 or 6 imps this was a large cause of the loss. Now I understand that the 2 way 1 club opening is flawed as its too easy for punters to get in there and interfere over 1C with no danger to themselves. However the problem is if you interfere you might solve problems for the Carrot lads.

Anyway here is the hand ..

Now out in my medium bidding club in Malahide which has many limited bidders I think they will all manage to declare in a spade contract .. but some might only reach a game contract ..
However we will forgive them that as at least they found the right strain.

I want to know how does Irelands 2nd strongest pair manage to end up declaring in 6C on a 7-0
fit. Straight away we are depending on a 3-3 break in trumps .. as we are also off the HEART ACE.
This is madness or a flaw or something went wrong or maybe Hanlon McGann were not seated North South. Even if this is so another capable pair in Carroll and Garve would be there instead.


C:\>cd gib
C:\gib>bridge -ULAscNSIT 1000
GIB Version 6.1.3, 1/4/03
Enter S hand: q98752.kj87.j82
Enter S hand: q98752.kj87.j82.
Enter N hand: AK3.3.AT.AKQ7542
Enter dealer: s
Enter vul (none, N/S, E/W, both): E/W
dealt 250 hands at time 0.02
book bid [default] P, considering P 1C-7N
prognosticate at time 0.02
complete at time 30.81; size 35
analyzed 35 deals (35 current) at 45.52 sec
P: 10.27 (prog 26.43 par 34.37)
1S: 9.88 (prog 16.43 par 34.37)
3S: 9.81 (prog 13.71 par 16.94)
2S: 9.79 (prog 31.71 par 34.37)
1H: 8.50 (prog -90.86 par 34.37)
4S: 8.18 (prog -143.14 par -69.91)
2H: 8.10 (prog -140.43 par 34.37)
1D: 8.05 (prog -107.77 par 34.37)
3H: 7.11 (prog -214.14 par 16.94)
1C: 6.77 (prog -233.71 par 34.37)
I bid P (45.55 sec)
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 11- HCP; 12- points
Enter bid for W: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 11- HCP; 12- points
dealt 250 hands at time 0.03
book bid [rule 10508] 2C, considering P 1C-7N
prognosticate at time 0.03
complete at time 23.33; size 35
analyzed 89 deals (89 current) at 69.16 sec
2C: 9.40 (prog 413.60 par 686.58)
1C: 7.79 (prog 315.84 par 686.58)
2N: 7.50 (prog 306.18 par 644.00)
5C: 7.39 (prog 280.45 par 594.00)
4N: 7.17 (prog 268.76 par 643.89)
3C: 5.83 (prog 172.98 par 686.58)
1N: 5.70 (prog 183.26 par 683.89)
4C: 5.65 (prog 163.60 par 672.88)
2S: 5.10 (prog 130.56 par 686.58)
3N: 4.68 (prog 139.00 par 570.97)
I bid 2C (69.16 sec)
That bid shows: Strong two club -- 23+ points; forcing to 2N
Enter bid for E: p
That bid shows: No suitable call --
dealt 250 hands at time 1.06
book bid [rule 12726] 2D, considering P 2D-7N
prognosticate at time 1.06
complete at time 8.17; size 35
analyzed 40 deals (40 current) at 22.03 sec
2S: 8.11 (prog 499.00 par 717.48)
2D: 7.53 (prog 419.50 par 717.48)
3S: 6.77 (prog 428.63 par 717.48)
3N: 6.34 (prog 363.00 par 631.05)
4S: 5.62 (prog 316.88 par 705.48)
2H: 5.38 (prog 323.00 par 717.48)
4H: 4.75 (prog 247.63 par 705.48)
4N: 3.21 (prog 163.00 par 425.30)
5S: 2.91 (prog 143.75 par 577.23)
6S: 2.03 (prog 125.00 par 351.60)
I bid 2S (22.05 sec)
That bid shows: Positive -- 5+ S; 11- HCP; 6+ 8421 HCP in S; 8-12 points; forcing
Enter bid for W: ?
P.P.2C.P.2S
South: 5+ S; 11- HCP; 6+ 8421 HCP in S; 8-12 points; forcing
West: 11- HCP; 12- points
North: 23+ points; forcing
East:
Enter bid for W: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 11- HCP; 12- points
dealt 0 hands at time 9.52
Trouble generating sample; generation failure set to 1
dealt 0 hands at time 15.08
Trouble generating sample; generation failure set to 2
dealt 0 hands at time 19.56
Trouble generating sample; generation failure set to 3
unable to generate useful sample; returning book bid 3C
I bid 3C (19.58 sec)
That bid shows: 5+ C; 23+ points
Enter bid for E: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 20- points
dealt 250 hands at time 2.91
book bid [rule 839] 3H, considering P 3D-7N
prognosticate at time 2.93
complete at time 6.79; size 35
analyzed 89 deals (89 current) at 27.62 sec
4S: 7.16 (prog 341.24 par 600.82)
3D: 7.04 (prog 347.08 par 631.16)
3H: 6.79 (prog 297.64 par 631.16)
3S: 5.92 (prog 280.51 par 631.16)
4H: 5.51 (prog 238.37 par 600.82)
3N: 5.35 (prog 240.73 par 582.65)
4N: 4.83 (prog 200.51 par 449.56)
5H: 4.29 (prog 184.66 par 476.10)
P: 4.02 (prog 115.39 par 110.34)
5S: 3.80 (prog 130.84 par 439.02)
I bid 4S (27.64 sec)
That bid shows: 11- HCP; strong rebiddable S; 6+ 8421 HCP in S; 8-12 points
Enter bid for W: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 11- HCP; 12- points
rule 1360 (73)
I bid 5S (-0.00 sec)
That bid shows: 5+ C; 2+ S; 23+ points
Enter bid for E: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 20- points
captained auction; returning bood bid
rule 229 (62)
I bid 6S (-0.00 sec)
That bid shows: 11- HCP; strong rebiddable S; 6+ 8421 HCP in S; 8-12 points
Enter bid for W: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 11- HCP; 12- points
rule 120 (91)
I bid P (-0.00 sec)
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 5+ C; 2+ S; 23+ points
Enter bid for E: p
That bid shows: No suitable call -- 20- points
P.P.2C.P.2S.P.3C.P.4S.P.5S.P.6S.P.P.P
Enter play for W: Enter play for W:

Even my crazy GIB robot from the late 1990s can bid 6S although it plays strong 2C opening..
but there it is in Black and White ...

I recall one time many years ago playing against Thomas Hanlon in the Regent and on making an off centre bid ...he commented ..

"Eamon you did not get that bid out of your computer .. "

Well the computer strikes back ...

.................
So what went wrong ..and can we fix it for the future ...
or did Hanlon McGann just play BASHWOOD or PUNTWOOD and presume partner had a club card. It seems absurd ....


It cost Ireland a place in the quarter final ..

Here are two auctions to reach 6 spades 


trivial for Shillelagh

1C     1S


2D etc................ 

strong GF 3+ card support for major asks major length/strength WWS+   



Mom and Pop bidding 

2C              2D

3C              3S

4NT            5D   0

5H (askQ)  6H  Qs+Kh

6S   1430

I am beaten by this development .. maybe Hanlon McGann denies a void in the bidding 
or maybe North pulled out the wrong bidding card at the end ..
It just beats me .. and my GIB program too ..
........................
Hold on to the horses ...It is slowly dawning on me that this session might have been live on 
BBO and I did not watch it .. 



Ooops I missed the live action .. Did not think to look on BBO to watch live ..

McGann wonders "Why so brutal "

Maybe it agrees spades with 4NT .. Hmmmm or maybe 6C was choice of slams..


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 20, 2017 07:49 AM

Peg Kaplan

Tom Hammond - 1934 - 2017

Tom hammond2

The best part of bridge is the people who love it ... and the saddest part is reporting when we lose one of our members. Today, I regret to report that we suddenly lost Tom Hammond this week.

Kim Hayward, Club Manager at The Bridge Center of St. Paul - and good friend of Tom's - was kind enough to write this beautiful remembrance of our good friend, competitor and marvelous teacher.  Thank you so much, Kim.

Tom hammond

Tom Hammond was one of the most active and giving Bridge players we've ever had at the Bridge Center of St Paul. He was integral in the creation of a teaching/mentoring program which, since he began in the mid-1990s, has yielded many satisfied players.
 
Tom played for many years with Ken Marier developing their system. He would always entertain requests for both lessons and entering into mentoring relationships with new players. His lesson series would sometimes be planned, or ala carte depending on the group.
 
When Tom taught he'd never want money. When students paid, he'd collect it all, go buy things for the local food shelves or homeless centers and come back to the class and report: "I was able to buy 309 toothbrushes, 216 tubes of toothpaste, 110 deodorants..." etc. He would often show up during a game with a huge box of donuts, I always noticed one was missing, so it seemed to me he wanted a donut, but thought we'd all like some too!
 
Tom was always happy to offer advice about Bridge, but also about life, with words of encouragement or a letter of recommendation. We missed him terribly every year when he and Judy would be off to California.
 
Now we will miss him every day. 
 
Kim Hayward, Club Manager
Bridge Center of St Paul

 

We also have a link to Tom's obituary here.  A Celebration of Life for Tom will be from 4 to 7 PM on Friday, June 23rd.

Our deepest condolences to Tom's wife, Judy, and all of his family.

 

 

by Peg at June 20, 2017 01:57 AM

June 19, 2017

Eamon Galligan

European Open Teams 2017

Yesterday Sunday saw the 2 Irish Ladies teams bow out of the European Ladies Teams with barely a whimper. CASADOMA from the Wicklow area managed one victory over the bottom team to end up in 27th place of 30 teams entered.
Team Hibernia on the other hand bid a slam needing 2 3-2 breaks and some handling and went down losing 13 imps and their opponents bid a dodgy slam that made and lost 16-4 .. Then they got smashed by Denmark 20-0 and that was the end of that
3 late victories restored them to their 17th place start of day position. 17th is respectable but this team know they left 8 places behind them.

Meanwhile in the Mens Teams event Team MORAN after a good pre season on the BBO under the tutorship of one Krystoff Martens entered the OPEN TEAMS with some hope. After 4 rounds MORAN lay on the average score of 40 VPS and got beaten by GILLIS 18-2 to drop them to a 42% score and 87th place of the 120 teams.
Sunday morning dawned and TEAM MORAN got out of the blocks fast with 16 VPS against a team named 1over2. Entering Round 7 in 62nd place they met a team called DACIANS from Romania ..
18 VPS followed and MORAN was up and running at the right time.
MORAN entered round 8 in 40th place and 9 VPs outside the Knockouts.

Round 8 ..MORAN got what looked to me like a good draw ...who calls their team NPC DAISY and no known NAMES on the team ....despite many bridge legends on other possible opponents nearby.
The strikers were in form and 41 imps were shot past DAISY and 19 more VPS for the total.
Up to 20th place now and beginning to enter dangerous territory. All teams up in this rarefied atmosphere can do damage.

Round 9 and MORAN drew what looks like an Italian team with one of the Race Cars on board.
Italian teams are always capable but MORAN fired out 40 imps on the first 9 boards and won the match 40-8 and another 18 VPS to rise into 9th place .. On these 4 matches MORAN had scored about 71 VPS out of 80 .. That's almost a 90% score ...

Nearly as good as Team Galligans final session in Coen Trophy 2001 .. 148 our of 150.

Round 10 required a steady match against CHATEAU ROSENOVO which seemed to be a BULGARIAN TEAM ... A 1 imp win secured  qualification for both sides.

...............
Currently TEAM MORAN play the Round of 16 and are getting the worst of it for now.
However a couple of good swings and they will be back in it.

http://db.eurobridge.org/repository/competitions/17montecatini/microsite/Results.htm

Results can be found at the above link and also running scores ..
...........
Meanwhile out in the other worlds .. The Irish Ladies Teams are learning about BAM TEAMS

TEAM HIBERIA are finding the going tough with 3VPs out of 18.
9 boards played and its 2VPs per board.

Meanwhile .. CASADOMA on 9 VPS REGENT on 8VPs and the more
experienced BANZAI have 12 VPS ....all out of 18.

TEAM BANZAI currently lies in 10th place out of 112 teams ..

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 19, 2017 09:57 AM

Peg Kaplan

Unit 178 April Minutes and June Agenda

Our thanks to Linda Brammer for sending us Unit 178's April minutes and the upcoming agenda for the Board meeting this coming Saturday.

Thanks to all for their continuing efforts for the betterment of bridge!

Download Unit 178 Minutes April 2017

Download Unit 178 Agenda 6.24.2017

by Peg at June 19, 2017 03:13 AM

June 17, 2017

Eamon Galligan

A big lesson for TEAM HIBERNIA and a column for Mr Comyn

After 9 boards of the Round 5 match against team TOP ONE in the European Open Bridge championships TEAM HIBERNIA one of the Irish Ladies teams had eked out a comfortable 19-1 imps lead and were looking good to close with nice victory.
Board 20 pictured above was placed on the table

5 clubs looks a reasonable contract and of course 3NT if one could bid that after a 3S opening looks iron clad. Nobody in the Ladies found or was allowed play 3NT .. A couple of intrepid souls in the Open Teams bid 3NT and several made 5C.

However our HIBERNIA WEST ended up declaring in 4S doubled and got smacked for 800.
I personally cannot figure how one gets into 4S as surely the most one could open with the WEST
hand would be 3S ....and even that is a stretch for a disciplined player. I think most will open 3S but its kind of a trick short in reality when you are vulnerable. So I will have to wait to hear the story.

Meanwhile in the other Ladies match our team of CASADOMA having stuck their heads over the precipice ran into some heavy fire and were trialing 46-0 as board 20 hit the table.
They came out the better of it ...with their opponents declaring 3S down 2 in one room and 4H on the 6 nil break in the other room .. CASADOMA collected 4 undertricks for 9 imps and a VP saved on the score.
Meanwhile the MORAN team also struggled on the same board 20 ,,,MORAN declared 4H against the 6-0 break on the NS side and declared 4S amazingly undoubled on the EW side.

All because of a hand that GALLIGAN would certainly ponder reducing to a weak 2 spade opening or a PASS. Its just not enough for a 3S opener no matter how big your chest is or how big you want to puff it out.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 17, 2017 06:32 PM

CASADOMA versus HIBERNIA Sat June 18th 1530

Currently we are halfway thru the 2 week European Open championships. There are 2 Irish ladies teams taking part. One is mainly from the Wicklow area and the other is most of the Irish Lady Milne team. The 2 teams are meeting at this moment in the 4th round of European Open championships.

Board 1 saw Hibernia declare in both rooms going down a trick in each contract to trail by 3-0
2H by E and 1NT by North..... a 9 card club fit East West being spurned in both rooms.

Board 2 is a 15 point opposite 8 point hand where No Trump is declared ..
Casadoma NS made 9 tricks and Hibernia played cautiously to make 7 tricks.
Casadoma declaring 3NT gained 11 imps against the 1NT of Hibernia

Board 3 saw both sides declaring 4S and 1 imp went to Hibernia ...now trailing 14-1

Board 4 saw both sides declare 1NT and 1 imp to CASADOMA now 15-1 up

Board 5 saw both sides declare 4S ..and 8/9 tricks made ..2 imps to CASADOMA ..17-1

Board 6 saw both sides go 4 OFF in a 2H contract ..flat board ..HO HUM There must be some lesson
there .. .still 17-1

Board 7 saw 3NT up 2 by CASADOMA and 4S made by HIBERNIA ...18-1

Board 8 sees HIBERNIA bid 6S and make 13 ... better than lots of pairs so far but only the direct
match matters so lets see the response ..the response is good ... CASADOMA equal the SLAM.
Many pairs missed this slam so its a decent board for both Irish sides ..

Board 9 saw CASADOMA down in 4H so prospects for HIBERNIA improve but we await
the result in the other room ...Lots of pairs losing 50 on this board ..so we wait and see.
HIBERNIA bid and make 4H in the other room and gain 10 imps ... Score 18-11

Board 10 saw CASADOMA NS bid and make 4S ..CASADOMA will win the match
but lets see by how much and 4S is made in the other room and the match ends
CASADOMA 18 HIBERNIA 11

Gilliland Whelan Newell and Cummins played for CASADOMA
Kenny Rigney Fitzgerald and Joyce played for HIBERNIA

http://www.eurobridge.org/

You can find all details of the event at the above website ...
Go to Microsite from there

Other Irish teams are MORAN in the OPEN , BANZAI and DUBEL in SENIOR








by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 17, 2017 04:06 PM

June 15, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

Las Vegas Bally’s Regional Monday, JUNE 19th SESSION TIMES CHANGED!

Although MONDAY starting time corrections were made earlier (FROM 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.) TO 1 p.m. And 7:30 p.m. — many participants are/were not aware of it.

ALL OTHER DAYS REMAIN AS ORIGINALLY ANNOUNCED.

See you there!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at June 15, 2017 02:55 PM

Peg Kaplan

A Remembrance from Up North

51
Ron DeHarpporte, Larry Oakey partner, teammate, and long time friend, shares a TGLO story that hails from Canada!

We appreciate that Minnesota Bridge has already had a wealth of remembrances and stories about Larry Oakey. Yet, TGLO was an extraordinary individual in our bridge world. And - as stories continue to be submitted to us, we believe they must be shared.

This story arrives via Ron DeHarpporte. It's from a player whose name was unfamiliar to me:  Brian Pauls of Canada.

Ron notes that Brian was one of the best bridge players with whom Larry ever played.  Indeed, Ron thinks that Larry was of the opinion that Brian was the most talented partner he'd ever had.  The famed Eric Murray told Ron that Brian was "the best player in Western Canada." And, Eric Kokish, another elite Canadian player and "Koach" to the stars shared similar sentiments.

Brian saw Ron's name in Larry's obituary; the two then renewed a friendship that had been on hold for 50 years.

Brian and Ron played on many teams together, often with Larry as a teammate and usually in Winnipeg - but on occasion, the team would travel Down South to the Gopher during the 60's. 

Brian virtually gave up bridge in the early 70's to become one of Canada's most successful attorneys. Another top Canadian player, Hersh Wolch, became an important Canadian official. Recently, however, Brian has begun to play a bit again, yet he states "not seriously." He still works as a full time, successful attorney.

Brian's TGLO story is below. We thank Brian for sending to us and Harpo for sharing it.

If you knew Oakey at all - it will put a smile on your face!


In 1967 Canada celebrated its 100th birthday. The ACBL awarded what were then still called the Summer Nationals to the city of Montreal, which at the same time was hosting Expo 67 (whence came the name of its short-lived major league baseball team) and had built a giant theme park called La Ronde.

Hersh Wolch and I drove (just the two of us) to Montreal. We were both red-blooded 27 year olds  for whom bridge was only our second favorite activity. Just leaving Ottawa, we spotted two attractive girls (late teens, early twenties, as i recollect) who were hitching rides. Naturally enough, we stopped.

They told us that they were headed to Quebec City. We told them we could only offer to drive them as far as downtown Montreal. We gave them our names and told them where we were staying ( the two of us sharing a room, of course, since we were still impoverished young lawyers)--the Queen Elizabeth Hotel and that we were playing bridge, but only in the daytime, and would love to take them out to La Ronde. Their response was that they planned to take a bus on to Quebec City, stay there a couple of days and then, maybe, call us when they returned to Montreal.

Ho hum, right.

Flash forward. Larry the Great arrives a day or two later, pleads poverty, and asks us if he can sleep on the floor in our room. Pals are pals, so we said OK. He promised not to snore.

About 5 days later, we came in to the room about 6:30 p.m. Bridge was finished for the day. Larry, it turned out, had been happily napping there until his dreams were interrupted by the annoyance of a phone call. Well, he told the female caller to forget for whatever reason she was calling. Hersh and I were not there, he told her, and he reported further to us that he got rid of her ( a true kindness, in his view) by explaining carefully that Hersh and I were much too busy playing bridge to have any free evenings.

Good old Larry! We never heard from the girls again, but are certain that they have gone on to make productive contributions to Canada's economy.

As for us, it is now the year of Canada's 150th anniversary. The Nationals ( correction, the NABCs) are back in my country but even if we decide to embark on another road trip to seek bridge stardom, I greatly doubt that the granddaughters of those girls will be out on the Trans Canada Highway hitch hiking and waiting for us to show up).

As for Hersh and myself, well the past is prologue, it is said. 50 uneventful years have passed, with nothing except wives, children, grandchildren, a few professional successes,  a few grey hairs and extra pounds. How unexciting, compared to what might have been! Ah well. Pals are forever and Larry will always remain on my list of Aces and Kings in a deck full of lesser cards.

On behalf of all the Winnipeggers who knew Larry, we would like our friends, old and new, in the Twin Cities, to be aware that we miss him too. Very much.

        Brian Pauls

by Peg at June 15, 2017 12:41 PM

June 12, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Mike Lawrence Seminar

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This past weekend, three dozen Twin City bridge players experienced a most special treat. They attended the Mike Lawrence seminar on Saturday and Sunday, affording them the opportunity to learn from one of the top players in bridge history.

 

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Mike has an extraordinary record of accomplishment.  In ACBL competition, Mike has an amazing array of championship wins and runner-ups in the toughest events on the calendar. Plus he's a three time world champion. Plus Mike played on the world reknown Dallas Aces.

 

Aces

 

And - as if that were not enough, Mike is one of the most prolific, successful and revered bridge authors. Mike has written more than 23 bridge books (with more on the way), bridge CD's, and articles of his have been published in both the ACBL Bulletin and The Bridge World.  Many, including your webmaster, found Mike's books invaluable tools to learning the game. His ability to describe not only what to do, but why you should be doing it, gives players deep insight into how to be a successful player.

 

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During the two day seminar, attendees were given the scoop on how best to respond to takeout doubles and, an age old problem:  what to do after an opponent preempts. Following lectures, players were able to go through Mike's problem hands, ask questions and gain much insight. Lunch was also enjoyed both days; those participating got to learn more about Mike and our fascinating game.

 

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In addition to his wealth of bridge wisdom, Mike brought along his lovely wife, Karen. Our thanks to Diane and Larry Henson, who were instrumental in putting together the seminar and providing hospitality to Mike and Karen while they were visiting.

 

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As you can tell from the smiles from our seminar participants, the Mike Lawrence visit was a tremendous hit. If more of our players wish that they could have attended, then perhaps Mike will grace us down the road with a repeat performance.  Here's hoping!

 

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More photos below of this fun, exciting and educational weekend!

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by Peg at June 12, 2017 11:49 PM

June 10, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Sligo Bridge Congress in progress

This weekend June 9th-11th we have the Sligo Bridge Congress under the guide of Ferghal O'Boyle aided by Diarmuid Reddan and the ever capable Sligo Congress Committee. Mairead Basquille is no doubt overseeing all.
Currently in the Congress Pairs is in progress with some of the  new kids on the block out in front after a few fences John Connolly and Stephen Barr. However the experienced English campaigner known as THE GARVE  is already hot on their tail and MacCormac McMaugh maintain an eye on proceedings from back in the pelethon. The Knights and English visitors Root Naat will also be around at the finish and maybe the Ennis Dannys might emerge from the pelethon. Long time partners Hilary and Gilda might also compete for the prizes but they have no recent form at this level.

All can watch the running scores on http://fob.ie

.................
Meanwhile on Bridge-Now here are this weeks ratings


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 10, 2017 02:52 PM

Peg Kaplan

Granite City Sectional

St cloud

Just six days from today, on Thursday, June 15th, the Granite City Sectional in St. Cloud begins. Enjoy bridge Thursday, Friday and Saturday - with Sunday free! Enjoy teams or pairs; your choice!

The flyer for Granite City can be found here; all the info about the events, schedule and places to stay if you're not a local.

Have fun in St. Cloud - and do well!

by Peg at June 10, 2017 12:44 AM

June 08, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Leading Malahide player walks into a brick wall with eyes open

Recently  I was playing some hands on Bridgez. Its a website where one can play 16 hands per day and compare with 100s of other folk of similar afflictions. This means those with time on their hands who like to play bridge.

Now my man Wolfy ..a short dude with a large mouth and a set of teeth like a wolf fish.
Well I think the image I am thinking of is a wolf fish .. I saw one on National Geographic once.
Declan the Donplayer told me he knows one that lives in Swords.

Anyway Wolfie is dealt a balanced 14 count with 5 card diamonds and chooses to open 1D... guess he has the wrong values for 1NT opening .. and his partner bids 1 Spade and its back to Wolfy who produces the amazing bid of 2D. Little Red Riding Hood in the West quietly doubles for takeout and the Wolf is porridge.

Poor Wolfy is declaring 2D doubled with a 5-0 fit and wonders what happened. Meanwhile Galligan declares 1NT doubled and emerges on the opposite side with 10 tricks ... 3 of them doubled overtricks. Funny thing Wolfy considers himself my equal or better.
The problem is this 2D second bid. It should start with a 6 card suit. That hand is some sort of 1NT
hand either a strong one or a weak one or a 14-16 one.

Another day last week I came across this hand

I had played the hand online in 6H and after seeing the Heart Jack on the first round of Hearts
I played the restricted choice line of playing for 4-1 trump break and duly made 6H for about 88% score. For some reason I had it in my mind that some established players had gone down in 4H but on searching for their results I could not find them so I guess it was my imagination. I will look some more so.


This was the hand I meant to show but I got mixed up with the previous hand ..When I played the above hand the East West robots bid 5D over my 4S contract and I decided to double that.
Getting 5D down 3 doubled I was reasonably happy but I figured 6H or 6S was making and was surprised to land the 90% score.
Therefore I looked at the results and was surprised to find two very decent players had both declared in 4S and both had gone down 3 in the contract despite double dummy claiming 12 tricks is there.
Now this story is not about knocking these 2 lads ...

Its about all those folk who look at the double dummy sheet or printout and say ..Hmmm partner floored that contract and should have done better. The truth is one should examine the full story and find out how did partner or yourself go so far away from double dummy. I was lucky on the board to get  the free money crack at doubling 5D.

Seems they both got the Diamond Ace lead and a heart switch. Winning they ruffed a heart and
tried to draw trumps ...succeeding on the 3-2 break in trumps ...
However on this day trumps were 4-1 and our 2 intrepid declarers hit the dust and lost control
of the hand. Looks like normal play as we are playing matchpoints here.

However I will let my old pal the DOS based GIB robot from back in the late 1990s have a go.
The text based GIB robot was built by a chap called Matt Ginsberg and is still a capable bridge playing program. The current version is the well known robots on Bridge Base Online

So robot declaring 4S gets DA and Heart 8 switch and goes up HA as expected.
Now GIB switches to GIBSON which is the more powerful engine and its first thought is
Heart King and after 42 seconds it duly plays the Heart King and discards the club 2.

Trick 4 is in the tank .. S2 S5 SK s4
Trick 5 ... SQ H4 ....and amazingly here the robot plays SPADE ACE ..
Trick 6 .. takes the club finesse with Queen
Trick 7 .. cashes Ace of Clubs
Trick 8 ..ruffs a diamond
Trick 9 Top Heart

and East is helpless .... 10 tricks for the GIB robot ...

I wrote this live as the robot was playing the hand ...Curently the robot is stuck in what seems
to be an endless loop ..complaining about ..
"Inconsistent change to sample  " although at same time saying ..
"Perfect line "

So that is our robot ...Some hands are worth a little extra look ..

Just to finish both BJ and Karl are rated well above me on Bridge Now ..with Karl
being in the top 3 or 4 players of the 700 regular weekly participants.

http://bridge-now.com








57 / 580.88% B.J. O'Brien Ireland CustomSouth4XXX-3A-150
57 / 580.88% Karl Cashen Ireland CustomSouth4XXX-3A
-150














by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 08, 2017 08:44 AM

June 05, 2017

Paul Gipson

Hunter Cup

The Hunter Cup is the traditional season-closing event for the East District. Sixteen teams were not sufficient for a Swiss Teams so we played three boards against everyone else. The SBU and East District always converts such events to VPs, but I prefer the EBU policy of total imps when you play fewer than five boards in a match - I think this would have changed the winner this year but not our position.

I played with LotG with juniors Ronan and Liam. Despite my rank we were eligible for the Silver prize because teams are ranked based on the second-highest player. In this case it was the Silver LotG. I think this is a good policy, since it encourages stronger players to team up with less experienced teammates and still retain a chance of a prize. However that was not my aim: we asked Ronan and Liam so that they would get some table time against reasonable opponents prior to the European Youth Teams next month.

It had been a little while since LotG played but she had no time to relax into the event as this was our first board:


Although we play 2/1, LotG sensibly responded with two hearts as she was a passed hand. As we only play simple Blackwood and continuations, I could not jump to four no trump immediately and temporised with a control-showing four clubs. When LotG cue bid the king of spades, I made a small attempt to reach the grand slam but it was very unlikely that she would have the necessary cards. With the king of hearts onside and the king of clubs dropping in two, thirteen were easy although only five pairs bid the slam.

The weak no trump showed off well on board 42:


Most went two or three down, but this was a good save against the no trump game that East-West can make. As neither East nor West has a call over this opening, it is the perfect hand for the weak no trump.

We managed to avoid this trap and were one of the two pairs to actually reach three no trump on the East-West cards because LotG opened the East hand with one club. And then showed extras!

She played safely for nine tricks, refusing a finesse for the tenth.

Overall LotG and I made too many mistakes for a good finish, missing a couple of easy games and slams. But Ronan and Liam had an excellent day and we finished 5th overall, with 175/300 VP. If we'd not missed our chances then we'd could have finished third, but the two leaders were well ahead and both on 210 VP. The result of the head to head match gave SHORT (Brian Short & Alan Goodman, Sam Punch & Stephen Peterkin) the win over CLOW (Robert Clow & Troy van-de-l'Isle, Tim McKay & Jim Hay).

We did win our entry fee back by winning the Silver prize.

Good luck to the Short team and everyone else who is now flying off, Italian strikes notwithstanding, to Montecatini for the European Open Championships later this week.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at June 05, 2017 08:42 AM

June 03, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Bridge Now ratings to May31

Gareth Bale is doing the warm up after 56 minute of the Champions League Final. Sure he should be allowed to play for a little while given he is the only eligible Welshman and the event is in Cardiff.

Meanwhile out in Westmanstown it looks like the Pat Egan powered Dublin South team has won the Inter County Fun Teams. I think this is a repeat for Dublin South as they also won last year powered by late addition Jim Mullally.

I do hear some great comments in the Bridge Clubs where I direct.
"The negative double is great because partner can decide if we want to defend the contract"
"I knew it was a singleton as we never lead doubletons against suit contracts"
"We will play the unusual 2NT and you will know it as I will use the STOP card"

Bridge Now ratings May 31 2017


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at June 03, 2017 08:45 PM

June 02, 2017

Peg Kaplan

The Flying Pig Regional - NOW From St. Paul!

Flying pig

 

Compete in the Flying Pig Regional from the comfort of the Bridge Center of St. Paul!

 

The Flying Pig Regional will be the next regional tournament participating in this electronic game with cooperation from The Common Game on Bridgebase Online.

 

When: Tuesday, June 6th 3:45pm (4:45pm ET)

2 session Gold Point Game (2 - 18 board sessions will occur back to back)

 

Where: At your local club (event will be played live at Flying Pig Regional)

Locally: Bridge Center of St Paul, 2603 Sixth Ave E, N St Paul, 55109

Cost: $26/per person for both sessions

 

Benefits: Why should you do this?

No need to travel to a regional tournament

Earn gold points at your local club

Save Money (on travel and accommodations)

 

How it works:

You need to fill out the BBO registration and submit your BBO payment. One player signs up with the $52 payment and invites partner via BBO.

Note: both you and your partner will need to fill it out.

On the day of the event, you and your partner will need to be present at the club for both sessions.

You will play via your own tablet/phone/electronic device.

(Make sure you are fully charged, have BBO ID, and are familiar with the platform)

*************************************************************************************

Please call, email or see me with questions!

Kim Hayward, Club Manager

Bridge Center of St Paul

​bridgecenterofstpaul@gmail.com

651-490-5430 w

651-271-3500 c

by Peg at June 02, 2017 11:10 PM

June 01, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Youth WILL Be Served!

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There's no doubt that the bridge world in the U.S. is an aging community. And for many of us, it's a puzzle. College was a common place for students to pick up the game. Lots of young marrieds did, too, enjoying home games as their new babies slept through set after set.

In the last decades, however, something changed. While many of us play on and on as we age, not seeing fresh faces at club games and tournaments has been a disappointment.

We are thrilled, however, at programs like Dean Matthew Bribitzer-Stull's Honors bridge classes at the University of Minnesota. And seeing students from other colleges and universities this week at the Gopher was a treat!

 

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My apologies for not having the names of these intent students who traveled to Minnetonka for regional events this past week. I hope that they know, however, how glad we were to see them!  And - we hope, too, that they will continue to play and learn and compete - as many of us have for over half a century.  

Game on!

 

by Peg at June 01, 2017 11:33 PM

Gopher Regional 2017 - Results & More


Minnetonka

 

Our second year at the lovely suburban site of Minnetonka has concluded. Everyone enjoyed another great Gopher Regional - and - so many people to thank for their year long efforts at producing such a fine tournament.  But first - results and accolades!

1a

 

721 players earned 6354 masterpoints at the Gopher. Yet, at the very top of the list, only one person surpassed the 100 masterpoint mark:  Kerry Holloway.  Kerry's almost 114 masterpoints were his personal best - not to mention quite impressive for a tournament that is not huge. Kerry played with 7 different partners and 7 different systems (!!!!) - quite the feat in and of itself. At the end of the day - four wins, two 2nds and another overall.  Wow!

Usually we see a big smile on Kerry's face. Yet, his concentration surely paid off at the Gopher to achieve such a fine performance. Lots of applause for someone who is not only one of our top players - but - one of our most popular, too.  


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Tony

Another team of players produced an impressive masterpoint total and showing. Kudos to the team of Sharon and Roger Anderson and Warren and Suzanne Cederborg. The Anderson-Cederborg contingent reached almost 95 masterpoints for the week!. And, Tony Ames was a point behind them, scoring 93.71.

The final list of masterpoints earned is here; overalls for each event can be viewed here

 

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Of course, the production of a fine tournament like the Gopher is the result of loads of diligent efforts throughout the year. A huge "thank you" to tournament Co-Chairs Patti Stuhlman and Sue Jackson; we are so lucky to have them! Mike Cassel produced a week of extensive daily Bulletins (please note all are now posted); Carol Rynders was the matchmaker for partnerships. We are grateful, too, for the many other volunteers and helpers who contributed to the regional.

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Another large "thank you" goes to Peter Wilke, DIC, and his capable directing staff.

Finally - our thanks to you, the competitors. Memorial Day week has many regionals available; we are so delighted that the Gopher was your regional of choice!

Please enjoy the photos below of some of our players as they fiercely battled at Gopher 2017!

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by Peg at June 01, 2017 06:33 PM

May 31, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Larry Oakey Memorial Pairs & Tribute

Cake 1

Cake 2

 

The day prior to the Gopher Regional, yet again a crowd of TGLO devotees descended upon the Twin City Bridge Center to remember our dear friend Larry Oakey.  We shared a pot luck lunch with yummy TGLO cakes artfully created by Jim Essex (Larry would have adored them and the rest of the spread).  And, once again, a number of people had to share remembrances and deliver accolades about TGLO - often accompanied by tears.

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Larry's close friend, Nicky Bredeson, introduced the various individuals who wished to make statements - including Larry's brother, Steve. Steve was particularly happy and moved to know of all Larry's enormous achievements, how many friends Larry had had - and - how beloved he was by a huge number of people.

 

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Then, everyone indulged in the gourmet cakes featured above - along with a wealth of items to share. If only TGLO could have joined us; he would have loved it all! 

Following glowing words and great food, the Larry Oakey Memorial Pairs were held. Winners of the event were long time friends of Larry's, Phil and Judy Schwarz, and Kerry Holloway and Liz Hughes. Barry Purrington and Harry Sapienza were just a hair behind the two tied pairs. Full results from the packed house are here.

And - then - it was time to leave, and to say goodbye.

Larry Oakey will not be walking in the front (OR rear) door of the Twin City Bridge Center again. He will not show up at one of his fine theaters to indulge in a viewing of a favored film for the 23rd time.... He will not attend a sporting event, nor help directors in need at a tournament.

Yet forever, Larry will be in the hearts and minds of all of us who knew him, loved him, benefited in a myriad of ways from him. And you can be certain of this:  Larry shall never, ever be forgotten.  

This one of a kind, brilliant, funny, generous, giving, talented man was the heart and soul of our bridge world.

Larry:  we love you.  Thanks for everything!

And now - what mattered most to Larry.... His friends, posted below the line.

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by Peg at May 31, 2017 12:53 AM

May 30, 2017

Peg Kaplan

2017-2018 North American Pairs

Philadelphia

 

Yes, it really is time to think about the North American Pairs, aiming at being a District 14 representative in Philadelphia in spring 2018 - and enjoying great competition at local, District and national levels!

Diane Henson has all the details about this excellent event! 

 

2017-2018 NAP qualifying games start June 1st at your local clubs

Play in a local qualifying game during the months of June, July, and August to qualify to play in the District Finals in October.  All games are extra point games.

District Finals will be at the Edina Senior Center in Edina, MN Oct. 7-8, 2017

Your chances of winning money to help pay for your trip to the national NAP in March 2017 in Philadelphia have been improved, courtesy of District 14. 

There will 11 winning pairs representing District 14 at the spring NABC in Philadelphia.

  •   1st Place winners receive $700 each ($1400 for the pair) plus paid entry fees at the NABC
  •   2nd Place winners receive $500 each ($1000 for the pair) plus paid entry fees at the NABC
  •   3rd Place winners receive $350 each ($700 for the pair) plus paid entry fees at the NABC
  •   4th Place winners (Division B & C only) receive $350 each ($700 for the pair) plus paid entry fees at the NABC

You only compete against others in your division:  A, B, or C. 

Gold and red points will be awarded at the District Final tournament.

Division A:  Unlimited master points, 1st-3rd place winners

Division B:  Under 2500 master points, 1st-4th place winners

Division B:  Under 500 master points & non-life master, 1st-4th place winners

The flyer for the District Finals, the Conditions of Contest, and an NAP fact sheet are below.

Download DistanceNAP2017flyer-1

Download ACBLNAPCOC2017-18

Download District14NAPCOC

Download NAPFactSheet

by Peg at May 30, 2017 05:03 PM

Paul Gipson

Scottish Cup Round 2

My team for the Scottish Cup is a little confusing. I am playing in Mike's team with Mike, but there is a second Mike in the team and a different Alex to usual so I'll have to be careful to make it clear who I am talking about.

Like most teams we had a bye in the first round and played the Elliott team yesterday. I arrived at the Melville Club in plenty of time, albeit the last of our team to arrive, expecting to find a place in the car park on a Bank Holiday Monday in the middle of the afternoon. But it was full and I had to park some distance around the corner, because the club was teeming with people.

There was another match going on, popularly known as the Ash Tray final but officially the Atholl Cup Plate final, a teaching session, and the afternoon duplicate. Apparently the latter would normally have more tables but it was a holiday. There was a real buzz about the club.

I'd never heard of our opponents, probably because they were from the 'west', and we had a comfortable win. Mike and I are still fleshing out all our agreements and there were two hands we were discussing afterwards.

Firstly the problem our opponents faced at the other table:


I think this is a tough problem, so what is your call?

Then a far simpler question of judgement and style. You are playing a fairly normal 2/1 system with a strong no trump, but constructive weak twos  in the majors (showing a 6+ suit and 9-11 points):


Your poison?

And finally the first problem as we faced it, when you've got a minimum of agreements but should have an expert partner:


Your opponents are playing minor-based Acol and a weak no trump. What are your options?

In the third round we'll face familiar faces, either the Shenkin team from Glasgow or the Hay team from Aberdeen and Falkirk.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at May 30, 2017 08:23 AM

May 28, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Fearghals Law changes overview also Bridge Now ratings May 24

Today I attended the unveiling of the changes of the bridge laws in Templogue.
Fearghal O'Boyle lifted the veil on the changes in the LAWS of Duplicate Bridge published recently.

One major point was the lack of interest of most of the attendees to rush to look up a law as Fearghal mentioned various infractions. I expect most GAA referees of club senior standard have studied their rules from front to back and feed it back to their club mates. So our TDs should be moving forward in a similar manner.

John Royds gave a fine presentation on movements and the here to fore little studied balance in Howell and Mitchel one winner movements. John also presented a history of bridge movements and
his own experience of emailing a 90 something year old bridge movements legend.

SO all directors need to become COMFORTABLE WITH THE RULEBOOK.

The big change is in LAW 29 where bids and passes out of turn are now dealt with by playing bridge rather than poker. No longer do you have to punt 3NT because your partner is silenced. The offender just replaces his bid with a comparable bid and we play bridge.

The link below from English Bridge Union details the changes for those interested
http://www.ebu.co.uk/documents/laws-and-ethics/articles/new-laws-changes.pdf

There are many helps to this

1. EBL website has some exercises
2, EBU website has many assists
3. Fearghal does a monthly page in Irish Bridge Journal

There are many other LAWS and APPEALS pages like ACBL

.................................
Meanwhile .. on http://bridge-now.com    here are the top 100 players

Igor Milevoj the recent top rating took a heavy hit this week dropping 80 points after a 58% week.


United States
jim me 
2258
Croatia
Igor Milevoj 
2195
Ireland
Karl Cashen 
2151
France
WBridge5 (Robot) 
2094
Patrick 27  2059
Belgium
Pierre DELVAULX 
2052
pietro serioi 2046
Poland
Marek.C 
2041
David Welsh  2017
MC51  2012
United Kingdom
Jim Wills 
2011
pinco pallino  2005
United States
John Horn 
1997
Ireland
pat cassidy 
1996
Poland
dr. Eddie 
1992
Italy
Terry 
1991
France
Bernard CARPENTIER 
1988
United States
Jinn 
1987
France
gilles lacroix 
1982
Kerostia 1979
Moldova, Republic of
Igor Bek 
1978
Ireland
Eamon Galligan 
1975
Netherlands
Jan Stavast 
1975
Taiwan
GrantK 
1968
Belgium
Tamara de Grady 
1965
B.J. O'Brien  1962
Moldova, Republic of
миша ройтман 
1953
Bulgaria
George Kissov 
1950
Ireland
Jeannie Fitzgerald 
1946
Ireland
Patricia A Kelly 
1942
Ireland
tom gilligan 
1939
France
Noëlle Delahaye-Levesque 
1926
Paul Johnson 1926
United Kingdom
Claude Martin 
1920
Etienne Delangre  1906
United States
Henry David 
1900
Belgium
zozo 
1899
France
Maurice Amar 
1894
Taiwan
Stanley Lin 
1890
Denmark
Jens Wamsler 
1888
France
GUIVARCH Jean François 
1882
France
Yves Costel 
1880
United Kingdom
Mr Bob 
1877
Max de Beer 1876
Graham Hazel  1875
Baile an Mhota  1866
United States
Bill Rasnick 
1855
Belgium
michel tourville 
1848
Canada
Allan McDonald 
1845
Canada
michel doyon 
1844
Italy
maxim68 
1844
Italy
Aldo Real 
1842
Alice Bayandor  1838
Italy
marcello martemucci 
1836
Tudor Trocan  1835
Franco Avezzano Comes 1833
France
Brigitte COUTHOUIS 
1833
India
Kailash Gupta 
1831
Fran Swift  1829
Belgium
Courtois Joseph 
1828
France
gerard clergeau 
1827
Faroe Islands
Art Vandalay 
1825
nahit 1824
France
Sboby 
1819
France
Catherine Dufour 
1817
Maire O'Keeffe  1816
France
Paule Amar 
1810
MargyJoy  1808
United States
Lynn High 
1806
Ireland
Michael Beirne 
1806
France
bgb37 
1806
Ireland
Tommy antonine@eircom.net 
1805
Belgium
Luc Vanderstichelen 
1805
United States
John Sawyer for Congress 
1802
France
birdy18 
1802


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 28, 2017 09:42 AM

May 27, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Bridge Now Ratings May 24th , Fearghals New Laws

Today I attended the unveiling of the changes of the bridge laws in Templogue.
Fearghal O'Boyle lifted the veil on the changes in the LAWS of Duplicate Bridge published recently.

One major point was the lack of interest of most of the attendees to rush to look up a law as Fearghal mentioned various infractions. I expect most GAA referees of club senior standard have studied their rules from front to back and feed it back to their club mates. So our TDs should be moving forward in a similar manner.

John Royds gave a fine presentation on movements and the here to fore little studied balance in Howell and Mitchel one winner movements. John also presented a history of bridge movements and
his own experience of emailing a 90 something year old bridge movements legend.

SO all directors need to become COMFORTABLE WITH THE RULEBOOK.

There are many helps to this

1. EBL website has some exercises
2, EBU website has many assists
3. Fearghal does a monthly page in Irish Bridge Journal

There are many other LAWS and APPEALS pages like ACBL

.................................
Meanwhile .. on http://bridge-now.com    here are the top 100 players

Igor Milevoj the recent top rating took a heavy hit this week dropping 80 points after a 58% week.


United States
jim me 
2258
Croatia
Igor Milevoj 
2195
Ireland
Karl Cashen 
2151
France
WBridge5 (Robot) 
2094
Patrick 27  2059 x
Belgium
Pierre DELVAULX 
2052
pietro serioi 2046
Poland
Marek.C 
2041
David Welsh  2017 x
MC51  2012 x
United Kingdom
Jim Wills 
2011
pinco pallino  2005 x
United States
John Horn 
1997
Ireland
pat cassidy 
1996
Poland
dr. Eddie 
1992
Italy
Terry 
1991
France
Bernard CARPENTIER 
1988
United States
Jinn 
1987
France
gilles lacroix 
1982
Kerostia 1979
Moldova, Republic of
Igor Bek 
1978
Ireland
Eamon Galligan 
1975
Netherlands
Jan Stavast 
1975
Taiwan
GrantK 
1968
Belgium
Tamara de Grady 
1965
B.J. O'Brien  1962 x
Moldova, Republic of
миша ройтман 
1953
Bulgaria
George Kissov 
1950
Ireland
Jeannie Fitzgerald 
1946
Ireland
Patricia A Kelly 
1942
Ireland
tom gilligan 
1939
France
Noëlle Delahaye-Levesque 
1926
Paul Johnson 1926
United Kingdom
Claude Martin 
1920
Etienne Delangre  1906 x
United States
Henry David 
1900
Belgium
zozo 
1899
France
Maurice Amar 
1894
Taiwan
Stanley Lin 
1890
Denmark
Jens Wamsler 
1888
France
GUIVARCH Jean François 
1882
France
Yves Costel 
1880
United Kingdom
Mr Bob 
1877
Max de Beer 1876
Graham Hazel  1875 x
Baile an Mhota  1866 x
United States
Bill Rasnick 
1855
Belgium
michel tourville 
1848
Canada
Allan McDonald 
1845
Canada
michel doyon 
1844
Italy
maxim68 
1844
Italy
Aldo Real 
1842
Alice Bayandor  1838 x
Italy
marcello martemucci 
1836
Tudor Trocan  1835 x
Franco Avezzano Comes 1833
France
Brigitte COUTHOUIS 
1833
India
Kailash Gupta 
1831
Fran Swift  1829 x
Belgium
Courtois Joseph 
1828
France
gerard clergeau 
1827
Faroe Islands
Art Vandalay 
1825
nahit 1824
France
Sboby 
1819
France
Catherine Dufour 
1817
Maire O'Keeffe  1816 x
France
Paule Amar 
1810
MargyJoy  1808 x
United States
Lynn High 
1806
Ireland
Michael Beirne 
1806
France
bgb37 
1806
Ireland
Tommy antonine@eircom.net 
1805
Belgium
Luc Vanderstichelen 
1805
United States
John Sawyer for Congress 
1802
France
birdy18 
1802
Netherlands
Jacques Bakker 
1799
Jean-François MARZAL  1794 x
Henry Lin  1794 x
Belgium
Thierry de Schaetzen 
1792
France
lederic15 
1789
Paul East  1788 x
France
Dan PIERRE 
1787
South Africa
Lacey Sachs 
1786
Belgium
mayaude de Bonhome 
1786
Italy
piero crescenza 
1785
United Kingdom
Roger Wade 
1784
Poland
Ed D. 
1782
Bulgaria
yordan kaloferov 
1780
France
Pierre Reynier 
1779
United States
steven howard 
1778
Rick Crowe  1777 x
John Macdonald  1775 x
France
john howlett 
1775
United States
J P 
1775
France
kux 
1775
Belgium
André Van Pelt 
1774
HMN_WPB  1772 x
Martin Keller  1771 x
France
Buddock 
1770
Stewart Stacey  1769 x

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 27, 2017 08:16 PM

May 26, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Declan the Donplayer overtakes

Many years ago I taught a guy in secondary school in Saint Patricks College Cavan how to play chess. Soon he became competitive and started to go close to beating me if I was not watching. We used to move on the 15 second hand of his watch. One day the inevitable happened and he won a game. This was almost 40 years ago and that guys name was Barry O'Reilly. He was a year older than me and a boarder in Saint Patricks College Cavan. I have never seen or come across him since he left Saint Pats. However I taught him chess from scratch and before leaving Saint Patricks College Cavan he was beating me in half our games. He was also a late developing GAA player and made the college team in his later years in Saint Pats. He was from somewhere down around Templeport or Ballyconnell I think. At this time I was travelling to Dublin as a teenager to play chess for Cavan Chess Club in the Dublin Leagues in the Ennis Shield. Bizarrely two of my opponents of those days live in the same roads as me as an adult in Swords. Arthur and Brendan Daly of POESSBA Chess Club(Eircom)

So what has this all to do with bridge. Well I have played and directed bridge for many years since my teenage chess years. As some folk will know I taught a guy called Declan the Donplayer how to play bridge in my local drinking club. Last night he came over to myself and the laptop and was spouting something about having a 20 euro bet that he would beat me one of the weeks on
http://bridge-now.com

I took this with a grain of salt as most of Declans bet provide no upside for me.
The bet will be 20 euro if I beat you one week on Bridge Now before Xmas 2017.
However there is no mention of how Eamon can win.

Anyway Eamon woke up this morning and noted the Bridge Now results had arrived.
Declan the Donplayer had been touting a 54% game this week.
Eamon knew that Eamon had struggled this week and was going to be lucky to make 57%.

With trepidation Eamon entered http://bridge-now.com and noted my score was 56.22%.

Looking at the Ireland players I had marked ...Eamon saw

2 pat cassidy 71.41%
4 Michael Beirne 70.46%
10 Karl Cashen 67.42%
21 Jeannie Fitzgerald 64.94%
38 Jester 62.24%
66 tom gilligan 59.99%
93 Dermot O'Brien 58.93%
103 M.T. Keane 58.66%
117 declan mc kenna 58.15%
141 mary mcnamara LPP 56.80%
157 Eamon Galligan 56.22%
166 Umberto Verdi 56.09%
200 barbara mccaul
54.73%













There was Declan the Donplayer sitting in 117th place 40 places ahead of Galligan.

Amazingly this chap has been once in a bridge club and never attended as much as a beginners lesson but here he is scoring 58.15% over 71 hands on a site where several very decent Irish bridge players play each week.

At least now I should be able to get some bet on with him for the weeks from now until Xmas.
He did tell me that this day would come as he is a Sherriff Street man and Sherriff Street men get what they decide they want. He reckons he is blessed as he got baptised 7 times. Apparently that's the way it was done in Sherriff Street. Every new baby produced 7 new mickey money applications.

No time for bridge ....

Fishing Drinking Gambling Looking after the elderly parents ,trying to get visits with his kids , earning a few euros from his painting and decorating gigs all come ahead of playing bridge for Declan the Donplayer.

However he always says " I love this game .. I love it "

Strangely enough I don't here many folk in the bridge clubs indicating they love the game.
Noted a quote from Thomas Bessis a French world champion who said
"I learned bridge aged 11 and I will play until my last breath"

Thanks
Eamon Galligan

..................



by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 26, 2017 08:12 AM

May 25, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Gopher Regional - Daily Bulletins

Minnetonka

Our Daily Bulletins, produced by editor Mike Cassel, are listed each day below.

Be sure to check out the Bulletins for news about the Gopher and related articles about bridge in District 14!

Enjoy!

Download Gopher Bulletin 5.23.17

Download Gopher Bulletin 5.24.17

Download Gopher Bulletin 5.25.17

Download Gopher Bulletin 5.26.17

Download Gopher Bulletin 5.27.17

Download Gopher Bulletin 5.28.17

Download 2017-GopherFinalRevised.final

by Peg at May 25, 2017 12:38 PM

May 24, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Teltscher Trophy 2017 and Bridge Now ratings

Last weekend I attended the Teltscher Trophy as vugraph co-ordinator when I eventually untangled myself from my unco-ordinated route to the La Mon Hotel. Been there about 15 times and still get lost on the way. It helps if one charges ones phone to 100% or brings a car charger.

Eventually got there at about 1400 hours on Saturday for the start of Match 5 and the scoreboard
showed Ireland romping away at the top of the field. This surprised me as England seemed to have a pretty strong team anchored by the well known Tony Forrester assisted by Norman Selway David Kendrick and John Holland. One noted England were a 5 man team and the Teltscher booklet indicated the 5th man had only taken up the game 10 years before although it also indicates a victory in the Premier League in 2008 so he must have learned very quickly.

Anyway on arrival after 4 matches one noted Ireland well in control on about 51 VPs to probably challengers Englands 34 ... In Round 5 Ireland added a 19 by dominating Scotland  to Englands 14 .against Patron so now we are like 70 plays 48. In Round 6 Ireland slipped on a Welsh banana skin while England out ran the Patron. About 7 VPs back and the gap was only 14 with 4 matches to go.
Some doubt was setting in as one player asked me if we could win this thing and wondered did we have to play England again in a direct match.

Sunday morning arrived and it was game on ... England slotted Patron for 18-2 but Ireland held steady with a 17.5 to hold their lead. 96.5 plays 82.8 so 3 matches to go and about 14 VPs in the lead.

In Round 8 we has Ireland versus England. England sent out their front 4 an intimidating collection of Forester Holland Selway and Kendrick. Against this juggernaut CBAI fielded the incredible BJ O'/Brien partered by North Dublins leading bridge teacher Ranald Milne teamed with the perennial Irish National winners Micheal and Padraig O'Brien.



So an Irish pair arrived in 3NT and the English decided to keep him honest with a double.
Its free money as not much difference between 750 and 600 in teams and the double might
put the willies on declarer. Willies it was as our intrepid declarer emerged bruised and bloody with only 6 tricks and minus 800 ...15 euro gone in a small stakes money game. 800 and the possible 750 for making. This board alone is worth 6 VPS of the overall score and as it is the direct match that is arguably 12 VPS swung on a few tricks. The other Irish pair took the insurance in 4S and dropped 300 to add to the 800.

A 16-4 loss and the top of the leaderboard was tightened .. we now had Ireland on 100 VPS playing England on 99 VPs and everyone knew who had the baton.

In Round 7 England played the PATRON and Forrester was at the helm in this 6D contract.


Fortunately for Ireland the great man failed in his quest and the Patron team were allowed a couple of VPS. Its a tough hand to make but running the diamond Queen from dummy is a good start.

Round 9 saw the chasing English side slot the Scots for 20-0 and the competitive Ireland team slotted NIBU for a  respectable 16.7 but now looked up the leaderboard to England with one match remaining. About 2 VPs behind.

Round 10 the final round was the Rex Anderson board.


Rex's Scottish opponents roared into a 6H contract and the always willing Rex led off the Spade Ace.
and Greenwood contributed the KING.
After that some strange things happened ... and one can note the yellow line above.

..............
Ireland played PATRON in the final round and the Lindsay Burns powered PATRON won the day with a 14.5 score while in the other match England slotted the Welsh for almost 20.

All information on the Senior Camrose can be found on http://fob.ie

......................................
Meanwhile this weeks Bridge Now ratings

Igor Milevoj  2270
jim me  2251
Karl Cashen  2145
Patrick 27  2101
WBridge5 (Robot)  2087
pietro serioi 2080
David Welsh  2058 x
MC51  2053 x
Pierre DELVAULX  2046
pinco pallino  2046 x
Jim Wills  2043
Eamon Galligan  2021
John Horn  2013
dr. Eddie  2004
B.J. O'Brien  2002 x
Marek.C  1999 x
Jan Stavast  1970
Terry  1969
Jinn  1966
Kerostia 1960
tom gilligan  1953
миша ройтман  1945
Etienne Delangre  1945
Bernard CARPENTIER  1944 x
George Kissov  1943
gilles lacroix  1941
Tamara de Grady  1939
Claude Martin  1938
pat cassidy  1929
Paul Johnson 1928
Patricia A Kelly  1925
GrantK  1922
Jeannie Fitzgerald  1918
Henry David  1916
Graham Hazel  1914 x
Stanley Lin  1909
Noëlle Delahaye-Levesque  1908
Baile an Mhota  1904
Jens Wamsler  1904
Igor Bek  1902
zozo  1898
Maurice Amar  1896
Yves Costel  1878
Max de Beer 1876
Alice Bayandor  1876
maxim68  1875
Tudor Trocan  1873 x
GUIVARCH Jean François  1870
Fran Swift  1866
marcello martemucci  1863
Maire O'Keeffe  1853 x
michel tourville  1851
Mr Bob  1850
Bill Rasnick  1847
MargyJoy  1845
Kailash Gupta  1844
Jacques Bakker  1834
Courtois Joseph  1834 x
Jean-François MARZAL  1831 x
Henry Lin  1831
Allan McDonald  1830 x
Aldo Real  1829
nahit 1825
Lynn High  1824
Paul East  1824 x
Paule Amar  1822
michel doyon  1819
Art Vandalay  1818
Catherine Dufour  1817
Luc Vanderstichelen  1817
Tommy antonine@eircom.net  1817
Rick Crowe  1813
John Macdonald  1811 x
HMN_WPB  1809 x
Martin Keller  1808 x
Franco Avezzano Comes 1807
Stewart Stacey  1805
Claude Gaubert  1805
Sboby  1804
UTILE 33 1802
Dan PIERRE  1800
lederic15  1799
John Sawyer for Congress  1793
CHARLIE  1793 x
conor foley  1789 x
bgb37  1787 x
gerard clergeau  1783
steven howard  1779
UTILE 06  1777
mayaude de Bonhome  1773
Thierry de Schaetzen  1773
Brigitte COUTHOUIS  1772
Roger Wade  1772
Jean Charles Brothier  1771 x
Stephen Kemper  1771
yordan kaloferov  1769
carter  1768
yanick Huvey  1768
Lacey Sachs  1768
kux  1766

X indicates a player who did not play this week.

So Galligan overtakes the incredible BJ O'Brien who was busy training for the Senior Camrose.
We decay non-players by 2% for not showing up for play.

Anyone can play on http://bridge-now.com
ITS FREE as well ...
20 boards a week to get rated









by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 24, 2017 01:11 PM

May 22, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Gopher Begins Today!

Gopher_logo

We look forward to the kick-off of Gopher Regional 2017! To those coming from near and far - welcome - and have a great time competing at this year's tournament!

 

1

 

2

With the loss of Larry Oakey, a new event has been added to honor him.  Co-Chairman Patti Stuhlman displayed the beautiful trophy that will bear the name of the first winning pair in the Larry Oakey Memorial Pairs. Thank you, Patti, for finding such a fitting trophy for TGLO, proudly shown at the Twin City Bridge Center remembrance and fundraising game for Larry Sunday.

Your blogmaster of course will be at the Gopher and has a very busy schedule! We look forward to reporting about Sunday's memorial, the end of the Minneapolis Grand Slam Club's 2016-2017 season - and, of course, the Gopher!  Just might take a bit of extra time to get everything posted....

Enjoy, everyone!  See you soon!

by Peg at May 22, 2017 06:08 PM

May 21, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Tribute to Larry Oakey

22

 

In our mind's eye, Larry Oakey will always be part of our bridge community. No, we won't find him scoring faster than a speeding bullet, winning with anyone and everyone, making wise rulings, riding over hill and dale to get to bridge or softball or the movies.... Yet his spirit, his kindness, his humor - it will never leave us.

And on Sunday, May 21st, the Twin City Bridge Center will host a lunch and unit wide tribute to our friend.

Please join us at noon for lunch and a tribute to The Great Larry Oakey.

Following, what better way to honor Larry than with an Open and 499'er Pairs Games.

See you there!  Larry will be with us in spirit!

 

by Peg at May 21, 2017 02:56 AM

May 20, 2017

Paul Gipson

Berwick Congress and AGM

I haven't been playing much bridge recently but it's still been busy.

For the first time in many years the Berwick Congress did not clash with the Spring Foursomes: I didn't play but did help run the event with Julia and Ian. I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping things moving along and I succeeded in my main task of getting the standings displayed on the rugby club's projection system, and my secondary task of posting the final results on the club's website within five minutes of the final result coming in.



We are already planning next year's congress and should soon have a date for the diary. There are tentative plans to make some minor changes to improve the congress and we hope that these will mean that it will continue to be the same friendly event and that we keep the numbers up. My recommendation is to watch the club's website for details. The congress aims to make a small profit, that is then donated to a local charity.

And then there was the club's AGM. I tried to hide myself at the back of the winners' photo:


As always there was a lot of discussion but few changes :)

The good news is that the club is still growing, we had more tables over the last year, and we are making a profit on a £1 annual membership and £2 table money.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at May 20, 2017 09:14 PM

May 19, 2017

Jannes van 't Oever

Mexican Epiphany

Hi all,

At the moment I could easily talk about ghoulish nightmares, perfecting insomnia, regret squared nay cubed, dark times for the soul, and much, much more from unhappy places. I’m sorry.

Let’s instead try to seek out some happy memories. 2017 started for me by travelling to Mexico. Almost 4 weeks of holidays: Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Mexico City and in/around Merida.

I picked up a few Spanish words which are grafted onto my soul permanently: cochinita, amorcita, gato, cerveza, taquito, carnitas and .. zapateria. Rosetta Stone will keep adding to my vocabulary, but those few first words mean the world to me.

Fabi picked me up at Cancun airport and seeing her again after a 5 month hiatus was absolutely wonderful. No more random noise in my head, no stones weighing on my chest, feeling immensely free with the Mexican sun on my face. Writing this makes me smile and glow.

Summary: drinking every Mexican artisanal beer I could get my hands on, Maya temples, snorkeling in Cozumel, dancing a little with Fabi on the streets of the Yellow City (Izamal), swimming in multiple cenotes (looking at you Il Kil), seeing flamencos, eating way too much fantastic food, finding out reggaeton isn’t too bad when you’re hanging out with friends, visiting the Frida Kahlo museum, doing an ad hoc photoshoot in front of bridge related artwork in Mexico City, tasting mescal, getting killed by the habanero in my huevos motuleños and so much more. By itself it was close to the perfect holiday, I dare say. Fabi pushed it beyond that. I can’t wait to go back.

I know you’re not here to read about my holidays, you’re here for bridge. This is me (South) and Wouter in full sync:

South
KQT4
AJT983
A65
West
North
East
South
 
 
pass
1
pass
1
pass
1
pass
21
pass
32
pass
3NT
pass
43
pass
44
pass
45
pass
4NT
pass
5NT6
pass
7
a.p.
 
  1. Game-forcing
  2. Extra length in
  3. Patterning out/control showing/extras
  4. Setting trumps
  5. Cue
  6. Two keys with a void

This was the full deal:

East Dealer
All Vul
North
A5
K943
KQ
KJT82
West
762
AJ852
762
Q4
East
J983
QT76
54
973
South
KQT4
AJT983
A65

Some extra notes, I knew Wouter had some extras or he wouldn’t have taken the 2 checkback route. Second, our generic approach is to never cue shortness in partner’s suit. After my response to his Blackwood question Wouter had no problem visualizing the 4-0-6-3 or 4-0-7-2 distribution in my hand.

West spoiled the play by leading the Ace of . On a passive (trump) lead I would have needed to find the Queen. I have an uncanny knack to lose queens, bridge or otherwise.

I leave you with a few words of wisdom: Don’t antagonize the baby barracudas.

by Jannes van 't Oever at May 19, 2017 03:49 PM

May 17, 2017

Peg Kaplan

It's Coming....

Gopher_logo

 

The Gopher Regional 2017 is only 6 days away! 

And - our first Gopher Bulletin is here!  Please see below.

Download Gopher Bulletin #1

by Peg at May 17, 2017 01:41 AM

May 15, 2017

Peg Kaplan

ONE Week from Today - GOPHER 2017!

Minnetonka

 

One of the highlights of Minnesota bridge starts a week from today! The Gopher Regional, held again at the Sheraton West in Minnetonka, begins on Monday, May 22nd at 2:30PM. We have a great venue, an excellent schedule of events and many options for dining when you are not battling away at the table.

The schedule is below. Be sure to line up your favorite partners and teammates and mark your calendar! 

We so look forward to seeing you at Gopher 2017 next week!

http://web2.acbl.org/Tournaments/Ads/2017/05/1705021.pdf

by Peg at May 15, 2017 03:13 PM

May 14, 2017

Eamon Galligan

2017 Bridge Laws , Bridge Now ratings

Folks
It seems there are to be some new bridge laws starting in Sept 2017.

1. No more tray signalling for opening leads
2. No more coughing to indicate splinters
3. The wiping of fake sweat from the brow to show ACE is now defunct.
4. Rubbing the chin is no longer allowed for showing the KING
5. You can no longer indicate possession of the QUEEN by the belly rub
6. Scratching of the lower regions to indicate JACK is now disallowed
7. The thumb tap to indicate a singleton HONOR is now defunct.
8. Horizontal leads to indicate top of nothing is no longer allowed
9. Vertical leads to indicate strength are now disallowed.
10. 4th hand raising a card to indicate power over dummy is no longer a legitimate signal.

http://www.worldbridge.org/rules-regulations/2017-laws-of-duplicate-bridge/

At the above link one can find the links to the NEW LAWS.

......................................
Week Ending May 10th Bridge Now Ratings

Croatia
Igor Milevoj 
2254
United States
jim me 
2241
Ireland
Karl Cashen 
2179
Belgium
Patrick 27 
2115
pietro serioi 2102
United Kingdom
David Welsh 
2100
Poland
MC51 
2095
pinco pallino  2088 x
Belgium
Pierre DELVAULX 
2078
France
WBridge5 (Robot) 
2068
Ireland
B.J. O'Brien 
2043
Poland
Marek.C 
2040
Ireland
Eamon Galligan 
2028
Ireland
tom gilligan 
2025
United States
John Horn 
2021
United Kingdom
Jim Wills 
2007
Italy
Terry 
1997
United States
Jinn 
1995
Poland
dr. Eddie 
1985
France
Bernard CARPENTIER 
1984
Belgium
Etienne Delangre 
1968
Paul Johnson 1953
Graham Hazel  1953 x
Netherlands
Jan Stavast 
1951
Claude Martin  1948
Bulgaria
George Kissov 
1938
France
gilles lacroix 
1935
Moldova, Republic of
Igor Bek 
1926
Kerostia 1923
Denmark
Jens Wamsler 
1916
Taiwan
GrantK 
1916
France
Noëlle Delahaye-Levesque 
1915
Moldova, Republic of
миша ройтман 
1912
Tudor Trocan  1911 x
Belgium
Tamara de Grady 
1909
Ireland
Jeannie Fitzgerald 
1899
Ireland
Patricia A Kelly 
1896
Maire O'Keeffe  1891 x
France
Yves Costel 
1891
United States
Henry David 
1887
Ireland
pat cassidy 
1885
Max de Beer 1884
Ireland
Baile an Mhota 
1876
Belgium
Courtois Joseph 
1871
France
Maurice Amar 
1870
Ireland
MargyJoy 
1870
France
Jean-François MARZAL 
1868
Belgium
michel tourville 
1868
Canada
Allan McDonald 
1867
Netherlands
Jacques Bakker 
1866
Paul East  1861 x
Belgium
zozo 
1860
France
GUIVARCH Jean François 
1859
Franco Avezzano Comes 1858
Taiwan
Stanley Lin 
1855
Italy
marcello martemucci 
1854
France
Alice Bayandor 
1850
John Macdonald  1848 x
HMN_WPB  1845 x
Martin Keller  1844 x
Italy
Aldo Real 
1838
India
Kailash Gupta 
1833
Italy
maxim68 
1833
CHARLIE  1829 x
conor foley  1826 x
Fran Swift  1824 x
France
bgb37 
1824
United Kingdom
Mr Bob 
1820
michel doyon  1819 x
nahit 1818
United Kingdom
Stewart Stacey 
1815
United States
Bill Rasnick 
1811
Belgium
Luc Vanderstichelen 
1811
Belgium
mayaude de Bonhome 
1808
Jean Charles Brothier  1807 x
France
Catherine Dufour 
1801
United States
HMN-FL 
1801
Jim Mullally  1798 x
France
Dan PIERRE 
1798
United Kingdom
Roger Wade 
1797
United States
Lynn High 
1797
David Boxley  1795 x
Bulgaria
yordan kaloferov 
1795
France
Claude Gaubert 
1794
France
Sboby 
1794
Taiwan
Henry Lin 
1790
Brigitte COUTHOUIS  1788 x
Faroe Islands
Art Vandalay 
1787
France
JEAN-LOUIS AUBINEAU 
1787
France
FLOP199 
1786
France
lederic15 
1785
tigo jean  1785 x
Ireland
United Kingdom
Tommy antonine@eircom.net 
1785
United States
John Sawyer for Congress 
1783
Paule Amar  1783 x
Mircea Kivu  1782 x
UTILE 33 1781
Carpol  1780 x
United States
Stephen Kemper 
1780
France
john howlett 
1780



Declan the Donplayer approached me last Monday and was talking about some book I lent
him about Defence. Said something about Waterstones and the price being in pounds.
Declan played 70 hands this week scoring 47.7% and holding at a rating of 1481.
Not bad for a chap who never goes to a bridge club or a lesson.

Also this week in the local pub a lad with 4200 euros worth  of body art approached me and asked
me could I teach him bridge. I said .. "Sure" .. as I proceeded to learn about Japanese body art
and monsters that will jump off the skin and protect you.


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 14, 2017 03:47 PM

Peg Kaplan

Hot Summer Nights

Calhoun.1

 

Is it too early to contemplate summer and a host of hot Friday night events? Noooooo it is not!

Steve Gaynor has all the details!

A brochure with all the details is below. Head over to the Twin City Bridge Center at 6:30PM for lots of fun and competitive bridge!

Download SUMMERNIGHTS2017

 

by Peg at May 14, 2017 02:58 AM

May 12, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

What’s in a Name?

Following the two-week 2017 Marathon Bridge Team Trials produced on BBO … when Bobby saw the final scores being posted, I overheard him humming a tune I recall from the days of that antiquated medium of radio. The melody may have been the most popular marketing advertising tool ever carried over the airwaves. It went something like…

Pepsi Cola … hits the spot;
Twelve full ounces … that a lot!
Twice as much … for a nickel, too;
Pepsi Cola … is the drink for you.

However, Bobby was thinking more in terms of the victorious Fleisher Teams’s popular recruit “Pepsi” (aka Jacek Pszcola) … a great addition to any group vying for a spot to represent one of the U.S.A. teams in Lyon.

He remarked…

“A belated Welcome to America, Pepsi! At least while I was watching BBO, it became obvious to me that players of your caliber, expertise, and continuing stability under pressure are few and far between … including what I consider the most important asset of all … high-level quality judgment!”

Good luck to all our teams in France. We are indeed proud!!!!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at May 12, 2017 04:08 PM

May 10, 2017

Linda Lee

The Thrill of A Senior Victory

The 2017 Canadian Bridge Championship was held in Winnipeg Manitoba April 29-May 7.  The competition includes events to select Canadian teams for international competition for 2017: Open, Senior and Women’s. The winners in each event playoff against the Mexican champions for the opportunity of competing in the Bridge World Championship which will be held in Lyon France in August. The Open and Women’s events began April 29 and ended May 2. Then the Seniors event began on May 3.

The Canadian Senior Team Championship (CSTC) is open to members of the Canadian Bridge Federation who are 60 or older. At the current time, I suppose it may contain a large percentage of the total membership of the CBF!  The winner’s names are engraved on The Sam Gold plaque.

The Senior winners have often been stars of Canadian bridge and this year is no exception. Each year it seems the competition gets tougher as more of the baby boomer bridge set reach 60.  Eight teams registered for the seniors and the top four qualified for the knockout phase

The final four qualifying senior teams were:

Hanna: Nader Hanna, Ron Zambonini, Jurek Czyzowicz, Dan Jacob, Michael Roche, John Rayner.

Carruthers: John Carruthers, Paul Thurston, Katie Thorpe, Joey Silver, Keith Balcombe, Marty Kirr

Turner: David Turner, Fred Lerner, John Gowdy, Michael Schoenborn

Domansky: Don Domansky, Cliff Campbell, Dave McLellan, Rollie Laframboise

Partly as a result of the hand below the Turner team won the round robin by 0.24 of a victory point…a very tiny margin which allowed them to pick from the third and fourth place teams for their opponents in the semi-final. They went with the fourth place team Hanna and let Carruthers and Domansky fight it out. Carruthers was the pre-tournament favourite and Domansky was the only team that beat Turner twice in the round robin.

The following is an account by Fred Lerner of a deal near the end of the Round Robin where the Turner team picked up a critical 12 imps.

 

 
N-S
South
N
Lerner
A852
J52
K106
862
 
W
West
Q1094
AQ9
Q2
AJ97
2
E
East
J73
K107
J5
KQ1043
 
S
Shoe
K6
8643
A98743
5
 

As told by Fred…

“I believe the auction was the same at both tables.

W
West
N
North
E
East
S
South
Pass
1NT
Pass
3NT
All Pass

I led the  2, fourth best. Shoe won the  K. Knowing that declarer had four spades he didn’t see any future returning a spade and switched to the  7. I won the  K and returned the  10 unblocking. Up Ace by the Shoe and we ran six diamond tricks, plus two spades to beat the contract four tricks for +200.”

 

At the other table on the same lead, South win the  King and returned the  6. North won and cleared the suit and declarer made four for +430. A new of +630 and 12 imps for us.

The Shoe realized that there was most likely no future in a spade return and played for the best chance to beat the contract .. surpassing his wildest dreams.

by linda at May 10, 2017 11:38 PM

Peg Kaplan

GNT District 14 GNT Finals

Both a webmaster report and a report from District 14 GNT coordinator, Mike Cassel, are now posted at our District 14 website.

Good luck to all in Toronto this July!

by Peg at May 10, 2017 09:07 PM

May 09, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Ciara Burns RIP , US Trials ,Bridge Now ratings

7 days ago about this time I wrote my previous blog and I mentioned NIBU Lady Milne Team missing arguably their strongest pair half of which was Ciara Burns. About 20 minutes later I received the shocking message that the same 45 year old Ciara Burns had suffered a health issue and passed away the previous evening... Sunday April 30th 2017.
Now I would say I knew Ciara Burns but I did not really. I did not know she was from County Down and I did not know she was from Downpatrick. I knew she had a black car (because I put NIBU computers into its boot once or twice)  and was very good bridge player. Before writing here I headed over to Ciara's  facebook page and was hit by a headlined article " In Memory of Ciara Burns" by Samantha Punch of Scotland Open Bridge team which was originally written on http://bridgewinners.com

The article below which includes a summary of an interview done by Sam describes Ciara far better than I could. After all most of it is Ciara's own words.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/in-memory-of-ciara-burns/

The only other piece I can add is when Ciara sat down at the table as an opponent one hoped her partner was John Murchan and one hoped to play well and get a good score as then one could hope for one of the famous John Murchan quotes about bridge or non-bridge as the case might be.
Like most players I only remember the good boards but I was reminded a year or so ago about a 7 clubs hand I floored at Drogheda Congress some years back ...maybe 10 or so... I asked "Ciara how do you you remember that hand "
The response was " Myself and John were your opponents but you got a trick ahead of yourself and ruffed your winner from dummy "
Another time about 10 years ago I played a practice online match against Ciara and Mary Finn and against one 4H contract declared by Ciara I got the bright idea of leading a KING from Kx ala the famous Pat Walshe. Fortunately my Kx worked far better than most of Pat Walshes as Ciara had been dealt JTx and had Axx in dummy.

....Qxxxx
Axx .. JTx
......Kx

So on the KING lead the unsuspecting Ciara ducked and the Galligan felt the feeling of something good so played another diamond and this was ducked in dummy as partner won with the QUEEN as
probably Ciara got a bad feeling. Another diamond came back and Galligan ruffed and beamed at his computer. The sound for messages was turned on ...so one heard an incoming BBO message.

Ciara had typed ... "You wee shite "

I think partner got a trump trick for one down ... otherwise we would not remember the hand.

.........................

I spoke to Ciara on Sunday April 16th 2017 outside Malahide Bridge Centre where she was playing bridge with Michael O'Kane. I had no idea it would be the last time.
.....................

http://bridge-now.com

jim me  2237
Karl Cashen  2180
Igor Milevoj  2168
Patrick 27  2131
pinco pallino  2131
pietro serioi 2096
B.J. O'Brien  2086
Pierre DELVAULX  2064
Eamon Galligan  2056
WBridge5 (Robot)  2053
David Welsh  2053
John Horn  2032
tom gilligan  2012
MC51  2010 x
dr. Eddie  1996
Graham Hazel  1992 x
Terry  1986
Marek.C  1983 x
Jim Wills  1981
Jinn  1980
Claude Martin  1950
Noëlle Delahaye-Levesque  1950
gilles lacroix  1950
Tudor Trocan  1950 x
Bernard CARPENTIER  1943 x
Jan Stavast  1940
Paul Johnson 1937
Kerostia 1936
Etienne Delangre  1936
George Kissov  1934
GrantK  1933
Maire O'Keeffe  1930
Tamara de Grady  1926
Jens Wamsler  1904
Paul East  1899 x
миша ройтман  1898
Yves Costel  1897
Maurice Amar  1897
Allan McDonald  1895
John Macdonald  1886 x
HMN_WPB  1883 x
Jean-François MARZAL  1882
Martin Keller  1882
Igor Bek  1880 x
Henry David  1879
pat cassidy  1878
Baile an Mhota  1873
Alice Bayandor  1871
michel tourville  1870
CHARLIE  1867 x
GUIVARCH Jean François  1864
conor foley  1863
Fran Swift  1861 x
Jacques Bakker  1860
michel doyon  1856
Jeannie Fitzgerald  1855
Max de Beer 1852
mayaude de Bonhome  1849
Stanley Lin  1844
Jean Charles Brothier  1844
MargyJoy  1839
marcello martemucci  1835
Jim Mullally  1834 x
David Boxley  1832 x
Patricia A Kelly  1827
Brigitte COUTHOUIS  1825
tigo jean  1822 x
Courtois Joseph  1821
Paule Amar  1820
Mircea Kivu  1818 x
FLOP199  1817
Carpol  1816
bgb37  1816
carter  1816
Henry Lin  1814
M. Hermsen  1814 x
Sboby  1813
Rick Crowe  1810
Robert Pascal  1809 x
Jeffrey Fox  1805
steven howard  1805
Mr Bob  1805 x
Ewac  1804 x
yanick Huvey  1804
James Morgan 1803
x


Above are the ratings from Bridge-Now up to last Wednesday May 03.

Declan the Donplayer dropped 10 points this week to a rating of 1470 after scoring 46% over 67 boards. 3 more hands and he would have had his 5 worst scores cut off and would have received about 49.5% average. Not too shabby for a guy who never attended a bridge class and is self taught.

"Eamon we need to talk about these transfers soon and why the computer keeps mixing up its hearts and its spades.
..................








by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 09, 2017 11:20 PM

Linda Lee

The Canadian Team Trials – Is Canada A Second Rate Country?

This is just a short diatribe. When I went to watch the Canadian Team Trials on BBO I found that there was no broadcast of the women’s event or the seniors’ event.

Now I understand we are a smallish country but really if Turkey and Morocco and Australia and lots of others can do it why can’t Canada.

As Master Point Press has never been asked to contribute I can’t imagine it is a matter of money. Are we short of volunteers? Perhaps someone can describe the problem and maybe together we can find a solution.

So why do I care? First I think that watching our players compete is a gift to all Canadian BBO bridge players. Its interesting and its fun. Yes, we can learn by watching the greats from other countries but I would like to watch my friends and also watch the future stars of Canada.

Congratulations to all our the winners who will be heading off to the World Championships. And I do appreciate all the effort put in by the organizers and especially the volunteers.

 

 

by linda at May 09, 2017 01:26 PM

May 05, 2017

Paul Gipson

The final set

Mike Bell, Paul Russell, Alex, and I played the final of the EBU Online Knockout Teams last night on Bridge Base Online. Mike was fresh from his win on Tuesday night at the EBU Schapiro Spring Foursomes, so the opportunity for his second win of the week at around 11pm.

Our opponents were the Channel Islands team of Robert Plumley, Rune Hauge, Dan McIntosh,  and Andy Hall. We've known Dan for a long time, playing both with and against him, and have faced Rune regularly, although normally with more Norwegians in his team. I don't think we'd played Rob and Andy previously. Rune and Dan also had an excellent run in the Spring Fours until they met Mike and the Allfrey team in the quarter-final: this included thrashing the team that knocked Alex and I out by one imp.

The match was over four sets of eight boards. They had seating rights in the first two and we had them in the final two. I am going to focus on the final set as I played it and the thoughts as we waited fifteen minutes for the other table to finish.

But in the first set there was only one significant swing. An aggressive pre-empt pushed our opponents too high and, trying to make the game, went down three vulnerable. Mike was a level lower and could play safely to make the partscore, meaning that we led by 18-5 IMP after the first set.

We continued to play against Andy and Rob in the second set and they soon bid a thin game to earn 11 imps. I then chose to play game in a 4-3 fit rather than a 6-1 fit, -300 against +620 to lose 14 imps, and missing a game on a finesse lost another 6 imps. But we came back with two games where the defence lost its way and then they missed a game to give us a second set score of 33-32 IMP, so we led by 14 imps at the half.

We would play the entire second half against Dan and Rune. It started poorly for us when Rune redoubled their game contract and Dan had an easy overtrick, lose 12 imps. It finished poorly when they bid an excellent slam on the final board, missed at the other table (something about using the 'wrong' key-card for the minors), but in between we picked up all the small swings and one game swing to gain another four imps and lead 78-60 IMP going into the final eight boards.

As each set was a distinct BBO match, we played boards one to eight.

The first board was disappointing.


From my seat as dummy it looked like Alex could have made the hand and, indeed, would have if Rune had more than one diamond. I suspect Alex did not expect a singleton when it had not been led (which, incidentally, would have quickly beaten the contract). So this felt like a soft score but one that could easily be replicated in the other room. So either flat or lose 10 imps!


The second board and I made a very mild slam try. I could have made a stronger try, but soft spades and just queens suggested that I kept low. Suitplay tells me that there is a 32% chance of making six tricks in spades so I made the right decision, even if GIB can make the slam!

I was fairly happy that this would be a flat board.

On the third board I thought we did well to actually bid the making game on a 20/20 hand.


So I was hopeful of a positive swing here.

Then a slam hand, the boards certainly providing a lot of scope for imps that I didn't really approve of!


Dan and Rune bid efficiently to a good slam. I certainly expected Mike and Paul to bid this with the small hope that they'd do too much, with the friendly lie of the cards. But another likely flat board was going to be good for us.

The wild boards continued to come.


I don't think my game bid was that bad and I thought we were a little unlucky to score -300, despite Alex playing the hand well. This could easily be a 5-10 imp loss and one of the hands that I'd worry about most afterwards.

Finally a reassuringly boring hand arrived ...


to be followed by a less boring hand:


The key to this hand was my expectation for Alex's non-forcing three diamonds bid. I expected very little and saw no reason to try for slam, not that this would have been easy. But it did leave me with a very simple redouble and, given the state of the match, I had no doubt that it would be left in. Alex said he was a little worried, given his light response, until he saw dummy. I hoped that this would put the match out of doubt but it was not impossible that the same could happen in the other room.

The final board of the match was not boring either:


Unsurprisingly Alex did not trust my double, made because I didn't want him bidding on. But not a great result when we could have gone positive, so further chances to lose 8 imps or so.

Now we had an agonising 15 minute wait while play finished at the other table. As no kibitzers were permitted we had no idea of the running score.

Finally the scores flashed up and we'd won the set by 30-1 imps: we'd gained two imps on board 1, gained 12 imps on board 5 when Mike made four diamonds doubled with an overtrick, lost an overtrick imp on board 6 and gained 16 imps on board 7 when Paul went down in four hearts. All the other boards were flat. Quite different from my expectations!

So in the end we won by 108-61 imps. The match was played in excellent spirit and the Plumley team had had a far tougher route to the final, but obviously we are delighted.

I guess we might have to defend the title next year :)

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at May 05, 2017 09:36 AM

May 04, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Minnesota IMP Sectional Results

7

 

A competitor who is often seen at the top of the masterpoint list yet again is there. Paul Meerschaert, with 22.71 earned, edged out second place earner, John Koch, by a couple of points. The list of masterpoints earned is here; the various events and placings can be seen here.

Having a format different than any other was intriguing. Scoring for some of the events was a challenge!

Lots of treats and lots of fun to celebrate the end of April and the arrival of spring! 

One most special treat was having Jill Flader play bridge with her mom - as she celebrated her 95th birthday! Lots of smiles and hugs for that!


6

6

 

Our thanks to tournament chair Scott Smith, partnership chair Maureen Weiman, ever able director in charge, Tony Ames, treat providers and all our players!

More shots below....

  10

 

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12

by Peg at May 04, 2017 12:49 PM

May 03, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Celebrating Larry Oakey

1

 

On April 23rd, family, bridge players, film buffs, softball coaches and many, many friends, from near and far, gathered at the Twin City Bridge Center to celebrate the life of Larry Oakey. 

3

 

And what a celebration it was! Despite grief and shock at losing Larry so suddenly, those emotions were overwhelmed by love and laughter as we remembered him. With standing room only, many shared TGLO stories - bridge experiences of triumph or disaster, Larry's devotion to girls' softball coaching and other sports, his vast knowledge and love of film -  and his omnipresent sense of humor.


40

 

40

 

A common theme throughout was Larry's constant giving. TCBC owner Teri Blu recounted the countless hours that Larry spent there, managing, helping, playing, teaching, mentoring ... anything and everything, and always doing it so very well. Ron DeHarpporte, friend of over 50 years, told tales from years gone by, regaling us with so many of the Oakster's accomplishments and the crazy stories that young bridge players perpetrated.

54

 

His film fans - and there were many - described Larry's passion for movies. And they added how, just as he did in the bridge world, Larry was constantly giving - even going through theaters to clean up and help out!

2

 

Larry's family, brothers Bill, Steve and sister-in-law Donna, told of the young Larry - and their pride and happiness in hearing of how beloved he was by so many.

46

 

In typical Bridge Center fashion, a fine buffet was enjoyed. The only flaw was that TGLO, who always relished them, was not there to partake.

As you look through the photos below, you will see loads of big smiles. This was indeed a day of joy - a celebration of a true "one of a kind" and incredible man.

Larry, thank you for being such a treasure to so many for so long. We are forever grateful for all you were. You are in our hearts forever.

2a

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DSC_0001

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by Peg at May 03, 2017 01:44 AM

May 01, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Mike Lawrence Comes to St. Louis Park!

  Lawrence

 

Mike Lawrence Seminar in St. Louis Park. 

Special Event

June 10 & 11, 2017

 

Here is your opportunity to hear from a Hall of Fame level player, author of 20+ books and top teacher!  

Mike will be giving a weekend seminar geared towards Novice to Intermediate bridge players.

Only $150 for both days

Includes lectures, notes, play and hand analysis and lunch. 

To register, complete the attached flyer  or email diane.henson@gmail.com for more information.

Sign up soon!  Limited to only 100 players; Flyer posted below

  Download MikeLawrenceflyer(2017_03_0603_06_17UTC)

by Peg at May 01, 2017 04:24 PM

Eamon Galligan

Lady Milne 2017 well at least we can make porridge

The recent Lady Milne Trophy was quite a struggle for the Ireland CBAI team. It started with a match against a normal Northern Ireland team shorn of arguably its strongest pairing Ciara Burns and Ruth Connolly. However one had it in the back of ones mind that this Northern Ireland team had a weekend coaching session with Michael Byrne from the EBU and also had been putting in some work at partnership bidding so the writing was on the wall. However one figured we could take an NIBU team lacking Ciara and Ruth.

102 imps past the goalkeeper later we had lost by 56 imps. Fitzgerald Joyce put in a steady shift on stanza 1 but got walloped on stanza 2. The other 2 pairs got bigger hidings on both stanzas so that left a total of 1.95 VPs out of 20 for their efforts.

As an exercise I played the first match against Jack and survived comfortably against the field scores on stanza1 .. However on stanza 2 I made a few loose bids and ended up below average.
However I was well ahead of the Irish pairs.



The weekend improved somewhat for Ireland but their only success was a victory over Wales by the minimum amount aided by what looks like an average plus awarded to both teams thus enabling a win for both teams.

Ireland did perform respectably against strong Scotland and England teams but lost the matches.
However one would have expected 3rd or 4th place as a minimum.
Now in fairness the Irish team were spotted playing weekly training matches with their NPC Gay Keavney but playing a match on BBO is nothing like doing the hard work of bidding practice.
I reckon 1 hour of bidding practice is worth 9 hours of BBO matches.

I am able to play these matches honestly as I did not get to see much on the weekend due to playing bridge on Friday evening and working at directing for CBAI the rest of the weekend.

All Lady Milne information and hands and results can be found on the website of Fearghal O'Boyle.
http://fob.ie

While working for CBAI at the weekend in Ballinasloe I got a welcome measurement of my ability to direct bridge competitions.

The two woman competitors in the Inter B event approached me and asked

ARE YOU FOB.IE

I must be good as Fearghal O'Boyle was in Wales at Lady Milne

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 01, 2017 10:44 AM

Declan the Donplayer hits a home run ..(bids 7NT), Bridge Now ratings

Declan the Donplayer a man who drinks locally in my area and who showed an interest in what I was doing in between my few pints on my laptop in the local community centre where I live.

He found me playing bridge online and indicated this is an interesting game can you show me the ropes. About 4 years ago I started explaining the stuff to him and sending a few links and other information on bridge.

This morning I woke up and went to play a few hands on

www.bridge-now.com

A hand came up and myself and the robot blundered into a 7NT contract. No problem as its got about 17 tricks on top .. so I managed to make the Grand Slam. However looking through the results I noted only 14 out of the 55 players bid and made 7NT. There in the middle of those 14 was Declan the Donplayer. I guess even in Declans world if you got 9 tricks and partner shows you 18 high card points ...you check they have no aces and you bid 7NT.



.........................
Meanwhile back at the www.bridge-now.com place where we play with the robots I have been tinkering with my rating system, Going to subtract a little off the inactive players each week.
Also adding a little bonus for the players who play every week.

Then will publish 10% of the weekly active players in rating

United States
jim me 
2225.305
Ireland
Karl Cashen 
2181.067
Belgium
Patrick 27 
2122.029
Croatia
Igor Milevoj 
2108.622
Belgium
Pierre DELVAULX 
2103.628
Italy
pinco pallino 
2099.258
pietro serioi 2087.887
Ireland
B.J. O'Brien 
2072.082
MC51  2051.08
France
WBridge5 (Robot) 
2044.459
Ireland
Eamon Galligan 
2039.928
Graham Hazel  2033.111
United Kingdom
David Welsh 
2031.545
Marek.C  2023.976
United States
John Horn 
2020.875
Tudor Trocan  1989.581
United States
Jinn 
1987.03
Ireland
tom gilligan 
1983.983
Bernard CARPENTIER  1982.617
France
Noëlle Delahaye-Levesque 
1972.233
Poland
dr. Eddie 
1972.182
Netherlands
Jan Stavast 
1959.104
Italy
Terry 
1943.003
United Kingdom
Claude Martin 
1940.796
Belgium
Etienne Delangre 
1940.161
Paul East  1938.148
Tamara de Grady  1934.97
Kerostia 1933.004
United Kingdom
Jim Wills 
1932.107
John Macdonald  1924.671
Bulgaria
George Kissov 
1923.441
Paul Johnson 1922.603
HMN_WPB  1921.503
Ireland
Maire O'Keeffe 
1921.094
Moldova, Republic of
Igor Bek 
1918.26
Denmark
Jens Wamsler 
1909.168
CHARLIE  1904.893
France
Jean-François MARZAL 
1903.757
France
gilles lacroix 
1902.817
Taiwan
GrantK 
1902.65
France
Alice Bayandor 
1901.634
Fran Swift  1899.156
France
jean charles brothier 
1893.715
France
Yves Costel 
1892.474
Ireland
Baile an Mhota 
1890.035
Netherlands
Jacques Bakker 
1885.411
Moldova, Republic of
миша ройтман 
1883.546
Jim Mullally  1871.66
David Boxley  1869.197
France
Maurice Amar 
1868.37
United States
Henry David 
1864.903
United States
Martin Keller 
1859.062
tigo jean  1858.796
Mircea Kivu  1855.608
M. Hermsen  1851.361
Robert Pascal  1846.16
United Kingdom
Mr Bob 
1841.968
Ewac  1841.185
France
Brigitte COUTHOUIS 
1840.768
Belgium
michel tourville 
1840.659
James Morgan 1839.424
Belgium
zozo 
1834.999
Max de Beer 1830.361
Stanley Lin  1829.721
Carpol  1827.13
France
Paule Amar 
1826.903
Poland
Ed D. 
1826.134
billy ronan  1823.533
Belgium
Thierry de Schaetzen 
1822.169
Italy
marcello martemucci 
1821.434
France
GUIVARCH Jean François 
1820.563
Ireland
MargyJoy 
1820.157
Bulgaria
yordan kaloferov 
1819.937
Anne-Michèle PALMS  1819.766
Patricia A Kelly  1812.321
Taiwan
Henry Lin 
1811.99
United States
steven howard 
1811.494
JEAN-LOUIS AUBINEAU  1810.722
Ireland
conor foley 
1810.051
Dan Roop  1808.261
Sboby  1807.045
Belgium
mayaude de Bonhome 
1806.204
France
FLOP199 
1804.689
Alvin Levy  1804.67
Jean-Claude Bastin  1804.563
annick BEHIERS  1803.438
Canada
michel doyon 
1801.239
David Smith  1800.985
Courtois Joseph  1800.255

I show all those over 1800 including those inactive
Gradually the long term inactive will drop out of the top of the list.
New players start at 1500 and a 70% week will only get you to about 1630.
So several good weeks are required to reach the top.
Currently decaying non-players by 2% a week
Active players have about 0.66% bonus added for turning up and playing
20 boards.
This week we have 32 inactive players in the published list.
13 of those will drop out if they don't play this week.
However its only for fun.

Declan the Donplayer sits on a rating of 1470 approx.



by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at May 01, 2017 10:04 AM

April 30, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

The Many Faces/Phases of Bridge (Part II)

I am beginning to understand the older one gets, how earlier recollections can be so biased.  In the early sixties, my life had been jam-packed with countless non-stop activities (particularly enraptured by bridge) and I never realized how really narrow and sheltered my life experiences were until my trip to the World Championships in 1968 to Deauville with Norman.  It was the first time I ventured off U. S. soil in over thirty years.  But, heaven knows, I surely made up for lost time.  

Because of some temporary political unrest in France at the time, Dame Fortune diverted us to London for a three day stay before crossing the English Channel and motoring down the coast to our final destination for the start of play.  I was in awe as I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace .. monuments I read about but never saw; but .. you would not believe what really captivated me … of all things …  personally seeing Winston Churchill’s bunker in which he was sheltered during the World War II air raids .. though we were told he often ventured to the rooftop to see what was happening around the city.  

Didn’t get to see much of Deauville.  Two memories: hearing the bombs from World War II still being detonated in the harbor as I kibitzed the world championships, and getting to meet Omar Sharif for the first time (although I saw more of him when I officially oversaw and publicized the touring Sharif Circus when they visited Philly a few years later).   I must add .. I never met a more modest, friendlier, non-assuming individual than Omar.

Four years following the French trip, we had a two day layover in Hawaii, took an excursion to Pearl Harbor and eventually on to our final jaunt in Taiwan for another WBF outing.  That was an eternity ago and we continued attending all the NABCs  with one or two exceptions until Norman slowed down and passed on soon after.  It was an exhilarating way of life and I savored looking  back through many photo albums which captured the highlights of those years!   I soon awakened to the reality the time had come for me to slow down, savor the memories and enjoy those so-called ‘golden years’ without long flights, endless intrusive (though necessary) security checks and frequent layovers .. spending idle hours in airports.

Surprise, surprise!  One day in the Fall of 2003, I looked up and there I was on a plane to Monaco accompanying Bobby Wolff (whom I married two months later).  He was still actively participating in countless ACBLs, International Invitational Events and more World Championships (and definitely in possession of all his marbles even now approaching 85 in October).  It was constant packing and unpacking for the first eight years of our married life. At this juncture I stopped counting .. but it included three trips to Far East (Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan), two to Italy, one each to Istanbul, The Netherlands (Veldhoven) and San Paulo!  We are now settled down, relaxed and ecstatic with an idyllic life here in Vegas .. going wherever we want .. whenever we want .. with no time guidelines.  I told Bobby the next airline venture I make (hopefully not too soon) figures to me in a brown box to Philadelphia.   However, as I am constantly reminded  ..  NEVER SAY NEVER!

Enough tripping the light fantastic.  My final chapter and verse of the Many Faces/Phases of Bridge deals with more serious matters .. the nitty-gritty of what exists today and the uncertain future of bridge in the coming years. You might need a drink or tranquilizer before reading it!!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at April 30, 2017 05:32 PM

April 29, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Gopher Regional Partnership Update

ALERT!
 
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The Partnership email that we used last year and printed on our original flyer does not work. 
Here is the correct information.
 
Looking for a partner or teammates for the Gopher Regional?

May 22-28, 2017
at the Sheraton Minneapolis West
12201 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN  55305

For partners:
 
Call Carol Rynders at 651-503-6473
or use this email:  MnStatePartners@gmail.com

Link to the Tournament Flyer: 
http://web2.acbl.org/Tournaments/Ads/2017/05/1705021.pdf

by Peg at April 29, 2017 10:56 PM

Judy Kay-Wolff

For Bridge History Buffs

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The above magazine cover from Popular Bridge came out in October, 1970 .. a few years after the contemplation of arranging the first Professional Bridge Team in the world.  By a strange coincidence, we learned that a former secretary to a Texas business tycoon had accumulated some bridge memorabilia from decades ago and wanted to find a worthy home for it.  When we learned of it, I contacted Lynda Chalk Barefield by phone and following a delightful half hour chat with my dear newly found friend, Bobby and I received a package on our doorstep.  The photo above includes six Aces, their Captain and Coach.   See if you can identify them.  More to come!!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at April 29, 2017 08:40 PM

April 28, 2017

Peg Kaplan

IMP Sectional

The IMP Sectional begins today and runs through Sunday. The event will be held at the Edina Senior Center.

Please note, however, that Sunday's schedule as noted in this link is not accurate!  Sunday times are:  11:15AM and 3PM.

I believe that this is our first IMP Tournament! Looking forward to a great turnout and a new format!

by Peg at April 28, 2017 03:08 PM

April 26, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Unit 103 - Awards Party

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We are doubly fortunate with Unit 103's Awards Party that honored 2016 Mini McKenney and Ace of Clubs achievers! Both Sandy Casey and Steve Gaynor sent run downs on this fine event - along with sets of photos, too.

As Unit 103 encompasses much of Minnesota, attendees included many in the Twin Cities, plus healthy contingents from St. Cloud, Rochester, Duluth, Morehead and other cities.

Unit 103 President recognized winners after everyone enjoyed a fine lunch. Our thanks to Warren, event coordinator Kathy Beckman, Judy Holdenbach for her efforts with feeding the masses and Kim Hayward for her fine directing of the 26 table game.

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We appreciate everyone who made this special event a success - along with our intrepid reporters for their contributions, too!

Plenty more photos below!

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by Peg at April 26, 2017 12:24 AM

April 23, 2017

Peg Kaplan

My Partner, My Friend

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Ever since Larry Oakey departed from this world on April 1st - too fitting, given his sense of humor - I've received a wealth of memories, stories, and more from so many. Thank you for sharing each one; together they craft a fine sense of the man we shall miss so much.

Yet for me, words were hard to come. How do I state what this truly unique man meant to me? How do I say it "just right"? Here it is, the day of TGLO's memorial celebration, and I am still searching with no good answers. So, like my typical bridge game, I will simply try my best, knowing what I say will be too imperfect but hoping that at least some of the time, I get it right.  Larry would understand - I sure hope.

Forty years ago, I started playing at the Bridge Center at 60th & Nicollet. From that time, bridge became an integral part of my life. My immense good fortune to not only gain an avocation that I loved - but to also be blessed with wonderful friends and incredibly fine partners.  Larry was both.

Many would agree with me that had he chosen to become a well known national expert, Larry surely had what it took to do so. He was most competitive in national events, ultimately earning 2nd place in 1978's tough Men's Board a Match Teams with Steve Garner, Dick Melson and David Lehman.

Yet, for whatever reasons, Larry chose a different path for his bridge career. Rather than compete in the high octane, pressure filled world of world class bridge, Larry played more with a variety of friends. Some had plenty of talent; others were nice people with a fraction of Larry's ability. Yet he treated all with kindness and achieved decades of fine results.

For a number of years, Larry and I were a regular partnership - in addition to good buddies. Though we had our triumphs, never could I begin to approximate Larry's level of talent and understanding. More times than I like to recall, I'd perpetrate something so catastrophically awful, I'd challenge even Larry's ability to "let it go." "Were you even trying?" was a comment I'd heard more than once. In typical fashion, however, he'd shake it off and we'd be on to the next adventure.

Two experiences stand out. The first happened at the Gopher Regional; the finals of a knock-out. My LHO opened 3S; Larry called 5H! I was about to bid 5S - when my RHO beat me to the punch. Ugh; what to do!? I had a such a great hand.... Fine heart support, the spade ace, other good values on the side. It seemed a new suit would be natural and not a cue bid ... So my choice was 6 or 7 hearts. I thought and thought - then finally decided to go for the gusto:  7 hearts.

Once I bid, the 3S bidder went into the tank. Finally, he reluctantly passed, of course Larry did - and after a momentary flicker, my RHO did, too. 

Larry often would mutter as he played. When the auction went all pass, he commented, "At least I know we're not off the ace of trump."

"Ace of trump?" I thought to myself? I don't have that card! As Larry was constantly kidding at the table, I hoped that this was one of those times...  But - it was not. My RHO wisely realized that getting an extra 100 by doubling was not worth the risk that his partner might bid 7S - so he quietly settled for his plus 100.

Our teammates returned to the table and inquired:  "Did you bid the slam?" Larry laughed, "Oh yeah, we bid it!" At the other table, Larry's counterpart bid 4H over 3S - and our opponents played it there. I could have doubled 5S, bid 6H - or even passed - and we would have won our match. Larry's brilliant bid deserved a better fate, but it did teach me a valuable lesson. When the opponents preempt and you have to guess, often the wisest guess is something middle of the road.

My other bridge story is also a tale of woe. Larry and I teamed up with Sharon Anderson and Irving Steinfeldt for a Grand National Team District final qualifying in Iowa. We didn't make the cut, so chose to play in a team game that evening.

This was an era where someone was inventing twists for the team games. One was called "Best Ball."  Both sets of partnerships would sit the same direction - each pair instructed to play differently from the other. One pair might be conservative and the other aggressive, for instance. Then, each result would be recorded, but only the superior result would "count."

For the evening team game, a different version was used - I think for the first and last time in history. The principle was the same, except for this. Instead of your better result counting, the lesser of the two was the one that was recorded. And for this event and this session, Larry and I produced what I am quite certain was the most huge game we ever had in all the years we played together.

Round after round, the opponents would sit down and we'd crush them. We'd be brilliant, they'd commit an atrocity. This seemed to go on almost every hand. And we'd sit there, looking at one another, thinking "this cannot be happening!" For with ever top board we'd achieved, we knew "It cannot count; it won't matter." The results were so out of this world, no way Sharon and Irving could match them.

Despite these two unfortunate bridge memories, most of the rest of our partnership was super. I was lucky to have a long stretch of time when I was not working. So, Larry and I would play at the Bridge Center, head to a regional or even occasionally compete at the nationals. As we drove across the plains of the Midwest, we'd ramble on about bridge hands and theory and people, stories over the years, movies and more.

I know many others have mentioned much about Larry - but it bears repeating. He was an amazing film buff, not only attending more movies than anyone I ever knew, but also going to see the ones he liked the most up to 30 times! Everyone in the Twin City film world knew Larry - and of course loved him. There's a reason the Uptown Theater put up on their marquee:  "We will miss you Larry."

Larry was amazingly talented at everything he did - and amazingly giving. If you needed it done and needed it done well - Larry was there. A frenzy of energy and lightning fast and always VWD.

And then there was Larry and his omnipresent bicycle. Some may not know that Larry never drove. Due to a lack of peripheral vision, he could not get a driver's license. So, instead, much of his transportation was self-powered. Larry road his bike prodigious distances, even up to age 77. Only an awful accident stopped him then. Occasionally, for truly far events, Larry would need a ride. I'd meet him at the Bridge Center and we'd head out to a bridge party in Prior Lake or Eagan ... Larry would always act as though I was performing some big favor. I'd always think I was only giving back a tiny fraction of what he gave to me and others.

It will be wonderful to celebrate Larry's life this afternoon at the TCBC - and incredibly tough to walk through the door and know he won't be there. I can see him in my mind's eye .... Sitting in his "cage", crammed with treats and boxes, huddled over the computer ... Walking around the room, making sure all is running smoothly. Sitting with his partners, those long, slim fingers, shuffling the cards, thinking out loud, almost always getting the best out of his partner and the game that is possible..... Pushing his bike out the door, heading to a movie or to coach softball or head to the Art Institute to volunteer...

I could go on and on some more. But I am sure, somewhere, Larry, who never wanted to be the center of attention, is already embarrassed too much.

Thank you for being there for all of us, Larry.  As the Uptown Theater said so succinctly:  Larry, we will miss you. 

 

by Peg at April 23, 2017 02:10 PM

Celebrating Larry Oakey

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Today, April 23rd, we gather at the Twin City Bridge Center to celebrate the life of Larry Oakey.

Please join us for a a memorial gathering at 4PM with a luncheon to follow.

 

by Peg at April 23, 2017 12:44 PM