♠♥♦♣ Planet Bridge

bridge blogs from the planet

March 25, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Let 'Em Eat Cake!

Cake

 

 
We appreciate people in the bridge world for a variety of reasons. Some we admire as fine experts; some excellent partners.  Others serve in administrative positions and some very giving volunteers.
 
For the Monday night bridge crowd at the Twin City Bridge Center, Jim Essex is a superstar.  Why?  Because is hobby is decorate cake baking! 
 
Competitors recently were treated to this fabulous looking and tasting creation.  The grand slam of desserts!
 

 

by Peg at March 25, 2017 02:51 PM

March 23, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Spring is Coming Sectional Photos

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Sorry about the glitch with our website. Sharing photos of the many people who came, played, conquered and had a blast at the sectional!

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by Peg at March 23, 2017 04:18 PM

March 22, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Rochester Non-Life Master Sectional

Rochester

This Saturday, our players with 0-500 masterpoints (non-Life Masters) are welcome to compete in Rochester's NLM Sectional.  Two sessions available to win silver points!

Details for the tournament are below.

http://tournaments.acbl.org/schedule.php?tourid=32986

by Peg at March 22, 2017 09:00 PM

Unit 103 - January 2017 Board Minutes

Thanks to Unit 103 for all their efforts! Updates for all as to the minutes from the Board's most recent January meeting below.

Download Unit 103 Board Minutes.January28 2017

by Peg at March 22, 2017 07:54 PM

Eamon Galligan

The robot endplay avoidance play

Good afternoon folks ...

One of these days I will figure out Twitch and make some bridge videos ..
I have a nice new Army style haircut

However for now its plain text and pictures ..

Today I was declaring 1NT on http://bridge-now.com and this happened




So I cashed 2 more winning clubs and when I played the HEART 5 the robot rose with the
HEART QUEEN and gave me the HEART JACK on trick 13 .. I don't know why this
happened.


I have seen this thing happen before with www.bridge-now.com

However I have not seen it on the Wbridge5 offline program
I did not test this file on Wbridge5 but I will save the pbn

..................................................
http://bridge-now.com is still a fine place to play bridge and you don't need a partner.

Zoom to 150% size if you cannot see the pictures ..





by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at March 22, 2017 05:08 PM

March 21, 2017

Paul Gipson

Pivot problems

The Atholl Cup is the East District Pivot Teams of Four Championship and last night Alan, Anne, Brian, and I played the semifinal against Iain Sime's team. The match was played over thirty boards, ten with each partner. Last night our captain, Alan, had a new plan for line-ups, perhaps influenced by the fact that we'd never led after the first set when playing our 'strongest' pairings first. I'm not sure it made much difference.

Pivot teams gives you the opportunity to torture your partner with sequences that you've never even discussed with your regular partner, and I was right there with Alan on the first set.


I was West, of course. What do you think my two no trump shows?

A few boards later Alan was in the hot seat again:


You are supposed to ignore the fact that I am sitting opposite you and presume it is an expert who has some idea what the system is. Or, failing that, what he thinks 'expert standard' is. Still, it is your call?

After a fair bit of carnage at both tables, we'd established a comfortable 29-27 imps lead after ten boards.

I played the second set with Brian but most of the action happened at the other table. Brian spent most of the set complaining that I wasn't bidding at all, but I'm sure that secretly he was not worried about this at all.

I wasn't very happy on one board where John took a pessimistic view of his hand:


Naturally John was right as, even with Simon holding the ace of diamonds and jack of hearts, nine tricks were the limit although it did take a 6-0 trump break to hold it to this. I expected a swing out as Anne and Alan got to game. Fortunately the defence went wrong and, somehow, Anne made an overtrick for a big gain.

But this was not sufficient for us to hold the lead as Sime went into the final ten boards leading 52-44 imps.

For the last set both teams had their most established partnerships. Actually each team had precisely one established partnership and they would be played each other, with no-one really knowing what was going on at the other table.

I was soon faced with a difficult decision:


Anne and I were playing fairly standard 2/1, better minor. Your call?

I made a thin three no trump on a favourable lead and then we missed this good slam: our auction was a little agricultural but not easy to see how to get there, and we were pleased that Iain and John missed it in the other room.


Despite conceding two doubled games in the set, we emerged victorious by 73-68 imps.

We will play Smith in the final.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at March 21, 2017 01:28 PM

March 19, 2017

Paul Gipson

Not pretty, but still a win

Alex and I did not impress in the quarter-final of the EBU Online Knockout, but fortunately we had excellent teammates as Mike and Paul were able to cover most of the rubbish we produced as we won by 47 imps. The semifinal should be played next month.

On the first board we missed an opportunity when a misdefence let through a game; then we bid a thin game that was doubled and down two; and then I went down two in another vulnerable game. However we got all these imps back on the next board when we bid to a making game and Mike's strong no trump won the auction in the other room.

Then, perhaps, a slightly fortunate swing.


Both East-West pairs did well not to sacrifice and our defence was very obvious. In the other room, Paul had doubled with the South hand and so Mike played five hearts. My hand had only pre-empted to three spades, so it was more difficult for East to find the killing defence and two top spades meant a big swing to us.

Then another game swing when Mike played a hand better, albeit on a slightly more revealing auction. The match was really decided over the next four boards when we scored 8, 7, 8, and 5 imps through slightly better judgement. This was the scariest:


It was not difficult to find the trump lead and careful defence was sufficient after that. Mike bid three clubs directly over 1NT and played there, making ten tricks for 8 imps.

This meant a 62-16 imps lead at half-time.

The second half started as poorly as the first, letting through a doubled game and going down in a game that they made in the other room. Then an opponent went for -1400 against a vulnerable game to give us some points back and, on the final board, I made a slam when they failed to take their ace at trick one allowing me to misguess the queen that was vital at the other table. It was a surprise, and big relief, to win the set 35-34 imps and 'cruise' into the semifinal.

Meanwhile one of Mike's regular partners has been showing how to play the game at the Spring Nationals in Kansas City. David Gold, playing with David Bakhshi, had a tremendous run in the Vanderbilt, reaching the final before meeting the Nickell machine. Disappointingly they lost comfortably after Nickell had a big second set, but congratulations to both teams on a great week. The Davids were playing with Ritchie Schwartz, Daniel Korbel, and Norwegians Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at March 19, 2017 06:48 PM

March 17, 2017

Eamon Galligan

The Fitzwilliam Pre-empter

Last night while directing in Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club bridge game I was drafted in to play as one mans partner failed to show. Now everyone in Dublin apart from one  knew this woman was on vacation in Morocco so she was unlikely to show up.

However our steely eyed man turned up in Fitzwilliam and set his steely left eye on me. Eamon sure you will play with me ... I got the go ahead from the boss so we played.

Now I am often pressed into service in this club as players often double book or their partner is sick but generally it is an accident and I don't want to send a chap or lady home without a game.
I just make myself available to help out and generally play a nice soft game but if an opponent puts it out there then a little more attention is paid.

So board 5 came along halfway thru our set at table 2 against Mr K and Ms W.
I am dealt a fine hand comprising of  82.. AKQJ73.. K7.. KQ9 in SHDC order ...
so I have 6 fine hearts and am getting my 1 Heart opening ready.

However partner is dealer and it goes PASS to Mr K who ponders a little .. so looks like I am not going to get to open 1Heart. ..

Mr K reaches into the bidding side of the bidding box and to my surprise places 3H opening bid on the table .... Well if Mr K has 7 card Hearts my hand is not going to go as well as expected and as it is
normal to pass when the opponents bid your best suit I quickly placed the PASS card on the table.

I suspect 90% of players will hmmm or haw for a while and give the game away or hope that opener looks down and indicates a mistaken bid. However the bidding continued with PASS PASS despite my hope for a double on the way out.

Declarer used up 2 small hearts early on and when I got back on lead after playing ACE of HEARTS and partner followed ..it was now a claimer as declarer was down to 4 trumps versus my AKQJxx..
so he was done like Seabiscuit ...

3H minus 5 ..was top score on the night ..



Now the Dealing machine was by no means finished with us lads yet

A lady was dealt AJT6 .. KQ986432 ... VOID and T ..

So 8 hearts and 4 spades and a singleton club.

Being dealer she opens 1H and her pard responds 2 Spades over the intervening 2 club overcall.

So 1H 2C 2S ...and our hero bids STOP 4H after some long thought ..

After the Ace of Clubs opening lead she received AJ7 of trumps in the dummy ..

Now the 2S bid normally shows 5 plus spades but our hero was happy enough to make same
tricks as 4S+2 ..

Now I don't agree with 2S bid or 4H bid ...
The 4H bid is more acceptable if partner can only have 4 card spades ...but anyone I know will have 5 or 6 spades for the 2S bid ....but I live in a parallel world ..


Another hand brought up one of my favourites ...the downgrade

I was dealer and was dealt a flat 12 count with 4333 distribution ... For many years especially in teams I have passed these type of hands as they are only worth about 10.5 hcp.
So last night I duly PASSED as dealer and vulnerable and the opps sailed into 3NT via a probable bidding misunderstanding ..

Opponent wondered at all the other kids declaring 1NT from the WEST hand going minus ..


On the above hand I launched the auction with a normal 2H weak opening bid .. Partner rose that to 6H and I mentioned his lack of Blackwood probably meant he owned all the aces ..

The point of mentioning this hand was that 4 pairs of 7 in total remained at the game level.
Seems my picture grab lopped off last two scores on each occasion ..

Anyway 13 tricks in hearts was easy with assistance of my CQ and DK ...

And there was more

Some fine shape here .. Our opps bid to 6D so we doubled that and I blew a trick for about the 5th
time in the night. Most of them did not matter but when my opponent on the bridgemate
forgot the DOUBLE .. This undertrick cost me a few matchpoints ...

However not to worry ...

Anyway my final exhibit from the Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club last night is

This hand saw us locate the 4-4 spade fit like normal people and later locate the 5-0 trump break which was dooming the contract. Playing manfully I managed to gather in 9 tricks and was surprised to find this was a poor score. Amazingly 3 declarers has found their way to 3NT and all made it despite the 5 club tricks for starters against them... BIZARRE ...

All the above boards turned up in a 21 board set that I dealt on the Fitzwilliam dealing machine before the game. Lots of distribution last night ...

Unfortunately the printer was out of ink so the players were unable to admire the great hands that
were dealt ..

Thanks
Eamon Galligan

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at March 17, 2017 03:49 PM

March 13, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Gonzaga versus Nickell or David versus Goliath

This afternoon in Kansas City the all conquering Irish junior bridge squad finally take on something they won't be able to chew. Winning the Peggy Bayer in 2016 was an enormous achievement and placing 2nd (missing their top player)  to a decent English squad in the Junior Camrose was good.

However John Donnolly versus Eric Rodwell and Michael Connolly versus Jeff Meckstroth.
or Arran Bolger versus Steve Weinstein or Stephen Barr versus Bobby Levin. Then in the 2nd quarter it could be Dan Varley and Nathan Doyle tacking Katz and Nickell.

In the 2nd round Irish Juniors will play the winners of RUBIN and BAKER. two teams filled with World Class players and in the last 16 it will probably be a STREET team backboned by French and Canadian internationals.

Don't get me wrong these young lads can play and they are certainly by far the youngest Irish lads to make it as far as the US Nationals. I was well into my 30s and living in USA when I first went to a US National. My 2nd time was facilitated by a friend Matthew Haag who lived 1 mile from the venue in San Francisco.

Thomas Hanlon and his Silver Team were quite shocked to find they were seeded 28th or so on their first visit despite waving their European Silver medals around. I heard a well known US international player say to some of our lads ... " I HEAR YOU GUYS WON MEDALS ... WAS USA PLAYING IN THAT COMPETITION" The capitals were intended. MR HAMMAN is quite loud.

So our post teens from Gonzaga might be in for an experience. Some of them were a little green after the Junior Camrose banquet. However its all a learning experience ..

I need to go and fill in my Bracket. Its a free competition on www.bridgewinners.com

Its a nice day in Swords. I dunno if there is any vugraph today but it will likely be some closer matches like seeds 28-36 type matches.

I notice Irish Junior player has tipped his Irish Junior team to win all the way to the final and then lose to Lavazza. Perhaps he made a mistake on the final round or the first round.

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at March 13, 2017 01:10 PM

March 12, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

Turning Another Page

Even as a young child, after the fairy tale stage, I couldn’t sit still long enough to relax and read a good book. I was always a “shaker and a doer” (akin to ants in one’s pants). I was never an ’avid reader” even back in college. Just plowed through the subject textbook before a final and survived on what was once a good memory. In fact, the last book I read thoroughly (I am ashamed to confess) was “God’s Little Acre” (the Erskine Caldwell hit from the forties). I even recall its hiding place. Coming home from high school in the late forties, with my mind in the clouds, I walked into a slowly moving trolley car, broke my knee, ended up in the hospital with a plaster cast up to my thigh. However, it served its purpose… a place to hide the book from my mother.

As I grew up and was dazzled by the attractive bridge world, my interests traveled to higher plains. I was so enchanted, I became engulfed in the many challenges it presented and eventually met and married the late Norman Kay, whom many of you old timers will remember. With him, I roamed the world to a host of international championships, got to see many distant locales I otherwise never would have visited .. and the most enjoyable part of the trips both abroad and on U. S. soil was meeting so many delightful bridge personalities — famous players and other mere bridge mortals like myself. I loved the game but never took it seriously and one of my failings was lack of bridge education (because among other things), I never, bothered reading educational renditions as they reached the public. Suddenly, in 2007 (then remarried to Bobby), we were recommended to Ray and Linda Lee, famous for Master Point Press. The draft of what I later named “The Lone Wolff” was discovered high upon a dusty shelf In his Dallas apartment. Bobby had stopped at Chapter 18 and called it quits. On my way back to Philly I read it on the flight, called Bobby from the airport when I arrived home and yelled “No way!  We are gonna finish it together!” It took a few years but with Ray’s sensational guidance, it hit the shelves in 2008 and was a tremendous hit. It was then I realized what opportunities of enjoyment I had missed with my stubborn attitude toward reading.

Another unique and charming gentleman with whom I crossed paths several decades ago was the famous syndicated writer, Frank Stewart, who took over Freddy Sheinwold’s byline newspaper column upon his death. Mind you… he just finished his twenty-fourth book (this one self-published) although two were through MPP .. “Becoming a Bridge Expert” (2001) and “Frank Stewart’s Bridge Club” (2004). It is called “Keys to Winning Bridge” and just hit the press. Because Bobby was honored to write the Foreword, we received an early copy.  I confiscated it on arrival and he has not actually had a chance to read the final release yet as I am still so captivated by Frank’s presentation and determined to read more. It is a book for all seasons. If you want more information, contact me here.

As you can now see, I have been cultivated into a ‘reader’… but bridge only.  Oh, what I missed.  It is never too late! 

by Judy Kay-Wolff at March 12, 2017 05:00 PM

March 11, 2017

Peg Kaplan

New Faces at The Table

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Not only was it exciting to have a great turnout for the Spring is Coming Sectional, it was also a thrill to see new players at the tournament. And - they were under 65! :)

Two pairs of young men had a great time. I asked them how long they had been playing; "A few years online" was the response.

Here's to more and more "face to face" bridge for them and years of competing!

 

by Peg at March 11, 2017 02:02 PM

March 10, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Gopher Regional - Not Too Late!

The Wednesday pairs game at the Gopher Regional will honor John Westrom. His friend wants everyone to know how much they appreciate him as a great guy and great player. 

You, too, can recognize someone special by naming a game.
 
For information, contact Sue Jackson (sjackson@smumn.ed)

by Peg at March 10, 2017 12:01 AM

March 09, 2017

Eamon Galligan

A random hand dealt in Malahide on Feb

On Monday February 20th Derek Howe pointed out a hand to me from that mornings Duplicate.
He claimed the Double Dummy indicated 11 tricks were always COLD.

So I examined the hand casually while preparing for that evenings Duplicate event.
I direct bridge some nights so this was one of those nights.
At first glance I could not see any way past 10 tricks. Diamond Queen is the opening lead and the
contract is say 5H or 4H looking for an overtrick.
We will leave it at that for now to allow some people time to examine it .
I gave the hand to 10 of the strongest Malahide bridge players but got no joy there.
.................................................
On Tuesday night I was partnering Declan the Donplayer in a  2 euro a corner best of 3 DON game.
We won the first 3 games comfortably and that meant we were 6 euro to the good each.
In the 4th game we were going well and suddenly Declan started anti cheating. He gave the opponents points instead of taking points off them. Later he said "Eamon it would not be fair to send them home 8 euro down each... Better to let them win a game and take 4 euro home and they will come back for more games thinking Declan Donplayer is a nice chap"

................................
Last night in Malahide we ran a handicap game based on CBAI grades.
Regional Master or higher handicapped 8% and 2% drops per grade after that.
The 2 partners handicaps are added together to get the pair handicap.
It seemed to go alright with no complaints yet.
................................
Now I have to go to Lidl for the grub and a few bottles of vino.





by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at March 09, 2017 12:32 PM

March 08, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Spring is Coming Sectional Results

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Our Spring is Coming Sectional produced an excellent turnout on Friday through Sunday. When the last board was played, a player we often see meeting with great success was at the top of the masterpoint list.  John Koch. Playing with a variety of partners, John amassed 27.3 masterpoints. Other competitors who earned 20 or more points included Robert Schacter, Paul Meerschaert, Kerry Holloway and Harry Sapienza.  The full list of points earned is here.  And results from each event can be viewed here.

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Kerry Holloway dragged along his partner (yours truly) for an impressive feat in the Friday afternoon game. We managed to score over 77%!  That rare combination of welcome gifts from opponents, some racing luck and making lemonade out of lemons did the trick for us.

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Our thanks to hosts Terry and Chip Blu for hosting the tournament, along with Kim Hayward, working hard to direct a fine weekend of bridge.

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One fellow - a fixture of bridge in Minnesota for many decades - and "Mr Bridge" in just about every way one can imagine, TGLO, The Great Larry Oakey was present, of course.  TGLO was under the weather this weekend, though, so please join me in offering your best wishes to Larry to feel better soon.  

And now - lots and lots of smiling faces!  Thanks to all of you for attending and enjoying our favorite game!

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Please note that we have many photos from the weekend. But, for some reason, we cannot post them properly now.  Check back later.  We hope to have them here soon!























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by Peg at March 08, 2017 02:50 PM

Eamon Galligan

Ireland Open win Camrose 2017

Last weekend Ireland Open Team of Mark Moran Rory Boland Hugh McGann Thomas Hanlon John Carroll and Thomas Garvey completed the acquisition of the Camrose Trophy 2017.

As I was otherwise involved between running the bridgemates at the aforementioned Hospice event and then heading off to Dungarvan to attend Christy Moore at the Park Hotel on Saturday night the 2017 Camrose 2nd weekend slipped my mind. It was only on Sunday morning I kind of recalled that somewhere on the mainland Camrose Weekend 2 was taking place.

A quick visit to Bridgebase Online and to Scotland Bridge Union via the always informational English Bridge Union website at http://www.ebu.co.uk/

and I was set. A quick perusal of http://www.camrosebridge.com/ and I quickly gathered in the
information that it was Irelands Camrose to lose as they had already gathered in almost 50 of the available 60 VPS including a 15-5 victory over England their only challengers. So it was just required to survive against a decent SBU team (who took the match 14-6) and a probable comfortable victory against the weaker Scotland team. In the end an 11-9 victory was secured against Scotland.

Meanwhile back in Galliganville he can play all the boards as he has seen very little of the event.


Match 1 Garvey and Carroll started with a big run of imps it appears according to my version of the game. After playing 8 boards in Jack I had managed to gather in 12 imps against the field but the intrepid (not sure what that word  means ) duo had gathered in 26 imps versus Northern Ireland leading to the above positions as extracted from the Jack program.

I will continue playing and see how I do but its unlikely I will catch up on those lads.
Mind you their opponents Greenwood and Anderson are no pushovers but Carroll and Garvey
seem to be back in form.
........................
Meanwhile the GM rings up and makes enquiries about how to use Dealer4 as he is directing in Fitzwilliam tomorrow night. GM is a powerful tournament director and has no need to leave the computer as one bellow from the big lad and all East Wests move quickly. However this morning we managed to download and use the Dealer4 software and he did not SHOUT at me once.
Things are looking up.

So later I will play some more hands on Jack but first I have to complete my 70 hands on
http://bridge-now.com  ... The weekly ratings are gone but maybe I will devise my own rating system shortly. A fine website indeed where folk can play 0-300 hands a week and get instant matchpoints.






by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at March 08, 2017 01:33 PM

The Hospice Charity fights back

Last week in Malahide Regional Bridge Club , my home club a charity bridge game was organised. It was connected to Maureen Meade who passed away earlier this year. Known on BBO as donabate which was also her most recent home she last appeared on Bridge Base Online around December 23rd 2016.. Maureen was a capable player and represented Ireland in the Lady Milne in 2004 or maybe it was 2005 in Manchester. Ireland finished 2nd that year which is as good as we have ever finished in the recent past. On the Friday night when the bridge started one Welsh pair was still enroute to the venue. Now Maureen and her partner Nuala were making their debut in this match and were placed in the closed room. As people who have attended Camrose or Lady Milne matches will know the Closed Room is off limits to all bar the players in the room and the directors and organisers.

So with the match being staged in England the officials were English and nobody thought of the 2 debutants sitting in the closed room awaiting their fate. As any bridge player will know stepping up a level above your grade is seriously nerve wracking and here 2 folk were making their international debut and there was no one to help them. Its possible they did not even know if they could go to the loo. You can but you need a director to escort you so you won't see or hear anything about hands on the way to or fro. These days it is easier as bridge matches are often held in hotel business centres or converted hotel rooms so most rooms have their own loo. However back in the day it could be 2 tables in the closed room and no loo. Myself and BJ O'Brien were with the team but we had no access to the closed room or any knowledge that the Welsh team were even missing for quite a while.
Anyway all got worked out but the ladies survived that ordeal.

Next morning saw Ireland play Scotland and our intrepid duo sat down to face the well known Liz McGowan a monumental Scottish bridge institution.

Liz McGowan    I played my first Lady Milne in 1977, and this will be my 31st appearance, with my 9th partner. I have won 8 times, and would like to reach double figures, but I'm running out of time.…. Prior to 2000 Liz, I was a member of the British Women‟s team, picked up silver medals at the 1988 and ‟92 Olympiads and gold at the Europeans in ‟97 and „99.  I also won the 1996 World Mixed Teams with Heather Dhondy when the two were eliminated from the Venice Cup and, while drowning their sorrows in the bar, “chatted up” the Icelandic men who had suffered the same fate in the Bermuda Bowl.  My daily column in „The Scotsman‟ has recently been axed, so I'm looking for something else to do. I live in Edinburgh with husband Ian, and two daughters, and much loved grand-daughter. 

So Liz is pretty good at the bridge ...as can be seen above.

Anyway the first hand saw our intrepid pair wheel out the Gerber much to the amusement of our NPC BJ O'Brien and they end up in what seems to be a no play small slam.

However as BJ congratulated Brian Short on a good start for Scotland , Galligan watched as Liz cashed an ace and then played the card that tightened the squeeze. Galligan tugged on BJs suit sleeve and excitedly said SQUEEZE is coming .. but BJ brushed me aside and continued the congratulations.
Meanwhile Maureen continued playing cards from the top and a 3-3 break in clubs happened and the final club exerted the pressure and the Scottish NPC and his friend BJ suddenly realised the squeeze was materializing and Ireland were getting 12 imps or so ..

The old Clyde Love works again ..

After the match was over I asked about the slam and Maureen said .." I guess they threw away the wrong cards" .. Anyway the match progressed and Ireland won by about 10 imps all because of that slam.

..................
Meanwhile back at Malahide last Friday ..we had 3 sections of bridge and several people offering help and no great communication between them.

Section 1 was an 11 table Mitchel but somehow after the section started the 2 pairs at table 6 ejected and went off to another section.
Section 2 was a 13 table Mitchel and the cards were layed out and play had commenced and then suddenly a previously empty table (it was empty when I gave out the boards) grew 4 occupants waving their hands in the air saying we have no boards ..
Section 3 was a 12 table with Novice and Inter Bs and that section rolled along fine.

In Section 2 I rolled back the boards and added in a 14th table and all seemed well except some bridgemates were saying sitout. Someone or maybe me had started up the section on the computer but neglected to say add 20 to the table number for EAST WEST so some bridgemates complained about SITOUT round 2 ..and so on .. Eventually I figured out what had happened and reset the movement.
However some scores were already in and I did not notice it was 1 versus 15 instead of 1 versus 21
and 2 versus 16 instead of 2 versus 22 and much later I saw some pairs had the wrong total as the pair numbers were wrong in the bridge scoring program. Anyway I solved that by editing the BWS file and all was eventually well...

Meanwhile in Section 1 an organiser found a pair to play at table 6 and all was well you would think.
Well the pair sitting out decided they would be North South instead of the normal EW and it was a while before that knowledge made its way back to me ... However knowledge is power and I was soon able to sort out the movement and the SITOUT merrily made its way around the room.
Meanwhile I spotted the missing  pair was performing well in the event being placed as high as 2nd at one stage after 6 rounds ...Hmmmm ...Whats wrecking my head now ..

Finally I recalled some mention of entering Round 1 scores as PASSES .. and of course at that stage
the famous MISSING PAIR were presumed present and correct so the passes entered on the bridgemate in as real scores .. and the Missing pair was heading for a prize...according to the TV.
However Galligan got in there and sorted it and the MISSING PAIR became a sitout.

So be careful with those bridgemates and the moving players ..

Maureen as a bridge director never crossed over into bridgemate territory as far as I know.

.............
The final news of the night announced 4300 euros for Hospice and more coming ...

Hospice looked after Maureen Meade and she paid them back in spades ..

Thanks to all who supported and played in the event ..






 

by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at March 08, 2017 11:41 AM

March 06, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Unit 178 - Charity Game

Charity

 
Unit 178 is willing to hold a charity game and fundraiser for a worthwhile, local organization. We invite Unit 178 members to propose a charity as this year's recipient.
 
Your proposal should include your name, name of a 501c(3) qualified charity, a brief explanation of the worthiness of the charity, the willingness of charity representatives to attend the event, and your willingness to chair the event with the board as your committee.
 
Submit proposals to Linda Brammer (linda.brammer@yahoo.com).
 
Thank you!

 

by Peg at March 06, 2017 09:58 PM

Minnesota Top 100 - 2016

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Philosopher Heraclitus said, "The only thing that is constant is change."  Right he was.

For the year ending in 2016, we see changes in Minnesota's masterpoint landscape. We now have six Minnesotans who have earned over 10,000 points!  In order are:


Peg Kaplan                15414

Terry Beckman           11363

Sharon Anderson       11044

John Koch                  10577

Peder Langsetmo       10287

Larry Oakey                10021    

And rounding out our top 10 masterpoint holders in Minnesota are:  Jack Rhatigan, 9586, Paul Meerschaert, 9236, Bob Balderson, 9175 and Cindy Balderson, 8908.

Earning a spot on the top 100 for 2016 demanded a masterpoint total of at least 2410.

Our congratulations to everyone on the list! Here's to continued success to all our players in 2017.  May the "masterpoint force" be with you! 

Download Minnesota100for2016

 

 

by Peg at March 06, 2017 02:58 AM

March 01, 2017

Peg Kaplan

A Feel for the Game - Honors Bridge at U of MN

1

2

 

The Bridge Experience Honors classes at the U of Minnesota continue on - with great success. During my most recent visit, Professor Eric Hendrickson gave a rousing lecture to intrigued participants.

3 - Copy
3 - Copy

 

Some students sported smiles as they listened and participated.

7
7

 

From the expressions of others, the complexity and challenge of the game is evident.

10

 

University Honors Program Director Matthew Bribitzer-Stull offered additional perspective, along with Professors Paul Gutterman and Leon Hsu.

5

 

At the table instruction, too, from Professor Bribitzer-Stull.

  6
6

 

Bridge is the greatest mind game - and yet - the most challenging. Kudos to our instructors and honors students for giving it their all!

Below, Matthew Bribitzer-Stull shares a rundown of recent events during our classes. So thrilling to see students grasp more and more of this deep and fascinating game!

Good session last Monday! Many of you seem to be picking things up, making connections, and starting to get a feel for the game. We hope to continue spending quite a bit of time playing (including some "off-road" hands that you just shuffle and deal, rather than using the pre-set hands all the time). We're also hoping to finish teaching you rubber bridge scoring to make it easier to play and keep score in the dorm.

 

Next week: For next Monday, be sure to read Defense, Chapters 1 and 2, doing all the exercises possible. Some of this material will already be familiar to you.

 

Links: Some links you might be interested to explore:

 

The American Contract Bridge League ($5 student memberships, including 12 months of the excellent, full-color Bulletin periodical) and lots of online information.

 

Bridge Winners, a forum for discussion, learning, and bridge resources of all kinds. Some of the best players in the country contribute regularly, as do rank beginners. You can pose problems, start polls, start a forum, read what others have had to say, and store convention cards you make with various partners (a great feature—more on that in later weeks).

 

Last week Highlights: Finally, for those who didn't stay past 7:30 last Monday, we hand some exciting hands come up. Zeyu made Three Hearts Redoubled! (The contract would have failed, but one of the defenders led out an unsupported Ace, giving declarer an extra trick.) Zeyu also played a Four No-Trump Contract and made an excellent finesse play in diamonds.

 

And, Morgan made Three No-Trump on the hand below (suits are listed in rank order from top to bottom: spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs). Neither diamonds nor spades divided 3–3, but excellent declarer play, including finessing the Jack of Hearts garnered her an overtrick! Brava!

 

                North (dummy)

                       KQJx

                        xx

                       Axxx

                        Qxx

 

                South (Morgan, declarer)

                          763

                          KJx

                          KQx

                          AKxx

 

 

 

by Peg at March 01, 2017 03:06 PM

Paul Gipson

Cup cleaner needed?

Following last night's result, Janet, Ros, LotG, and I have retained the Scott Cup, the club's team championship.

The Scott Cup, donated by the owner of the hotel where the club met forty years ago, is played over seven evenings with the best four positions to count. Our three wins (plus a second and third place) mean that we cannot be overtaken with two evenings remaining. Technically Christine's team could tie with us by winning the last two evenings, but our better fifth result means that we'd win the tiebreaker.

Of course our intention is to win at least one of the remaining evenings to repeat last year's perfect result of four wins.

Scoring up last night was a dream and it took so long that they packed up the computer before we could check the result. Janet and Ros, like so often, came back saying they'd made a few mistakes. We had too, but none of this showed in the scoring. Whenever one pair had a poor score the other had done even better, or we'd been a little lucky: for example LotG overbid on one board and we went down in five spades, but I pointed out that game should not make and Janet and Ros duly beat the game by two (!) for a small gain. In the end we only lost imps on one board, and Janet revoked on that (and she is still apologising profusely). And the plus column was pretty full as we racked up 100 imps in just 22 boards.

Janet and Ros started well, bidding these hands to slam on the first board:


A very simple sequence because Ros was able to take control of the auction with her minor suit controls.

Four of the twelve tables saw a slam bid and it is more difficult if East does not make a jump rebid. Our opponents missed the slam when West jumped to two spades. I think many club players get intimidated by strong hands and this was a case where going slower is best - you should only really make a strong jump response if you have (a) a strong single-suited hand or (b) a good suit with primary support for partner and a strong hand. With strong two-suited hands without a fit, go slowly initially and give yourselves space to find the best fit. Her mistake was compounded by East bidding four spades directly with a hand that is too strong - this jump should be weak, in context, because you are in a game forcing auction. If you want to play in spades with such a hand, just make a simple raise.

Two boards later, LotG and I did better than our traditional close rivals:


The key was my bid over two spades. I was confident that LotG would know I had a very strong hand when I bid three hearts, so there was no need to jump to four hearts like my opponent did in a similar position. This enabled us to find the better game and it was worth 10 imps when hearts broke 5-2 and that game failed. With the ace of clubs onside, as expected, you can make six diamonds but LotG played safely to make her game. No other pair found the diamond game.

We were the only North-South pair to get a positive score on board 19, as both pairs did exceptionally well to reach the par contract:


As it happens, with LotG playing five hearts it is going to make because East has no entry to give a club ruff, so Dave did very well to bid on and I had an easy diamond lead to beat five spades. One other pair also bid to five hearts, albeit by North, but unfortunately misplayed it after a spade lead to go down but they were still rewarded with 11 imps when their team mates played in the spade game. Janet and Ros also played in four spades and we gained 13 imps.

So the conundrum is that now we are going to get the magnificent trophy back, is is necessary to really clean it?

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at March 01, 2017 09:55 AM

February 28, 2017

Paul Gipson

Camrose weekend

The second weekend of the 2017 Camrose Trophy will be held in Edinburgh from this Friday to Sunday.

I will be there as the official scorer, which basically means chasing after the non-playing captains who are chasing after their players to find out who is incapable of entering the correct contract and result on the bridgemates. It may come as a surprise to many that top bridge players, of whom some will be at the event, can think about a hand for twenty-five minutes and still not know how many tricks they took at the end of it.

The website for the weekend is now live. It contains the schedule, teams and system cards, preliminary results (#alternativefacts), and venue details. It will provide live results and current standings throughout the weekend and all six tables will be broadcast on BBO vugraph.

There is no vugraph room at the venue but kibitzers will be welcome to sit in the Open Room, on the shoulders of giants. Or giantesses. So if you want to hear howling, shrieks, and lots of fish calling then come along to the Holiday Inn in west Edinburgh. The zoo is next door, but we expect the players to be louder.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at February 28, 2017 10:48 AM

February 27, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

Back at The Plaza…

Thanks deservedly go out to the practical enthusiastic foresight of Chicago/Las Vegas resident/commuter Angie Clark who was in huge part responsible for the tremendous success of our Sectional. Not only was she unstoppable. She enlisted hard workers to cover all the bases she could not physically handle herself. Superwoman can do only so much.

As much fun as I have had at the Sectionals in LV since we moved here in 2005, never thought I would ever see the day where I noted so many unfamiliar out-of-towners who motored or flew in for the five day Sectional at The Plaza located at The Fremont Experience in downtown LV. The Plaza was once the site of the record breaking tournaments run in many earlier decades by Martha Beecher and Grace Matthews. Sadly when they were replaced, it was never the same! However, the trend is finally turning in the right direction.

In 2017 the rates negotiated were soooooo cheap, it was frightening until the guests entered the remodeled hotel and suites and were overwhelmed with their bargain rates! If you played at any of the specified gambling games on the ground level (mattered not which they were) for a specified short length of time .. your ten dollar daily parking tickets were validated PAID. The eateries especially to grab a snack between sessions were fantastic and cheap. Bobby and I ate at The Pizza place each day and still found time to play before afternoon game time.

Our playing space was superb .. good as I ever witnessed .. with more than adequate lighting. Add to that nearby restrooms and lots of fattening tempting chocolate goodies and mints.

By the way (even at our ages), it’s never too late to change. Bobby and I realized it was so tiring to commute (though it was not far from our home in Summerlin) and it took no convincing on either side to stay at The Plaza for the next Sectional. The price will be right!

Though the turnout exceeded Angie’s expectations .. there was another treat in store:

Despite the marvelous throngs at the tables, the two Tournament Directors (KEN HORWEDEL and BRANDON SHEUMAKER) did an incredible job of handling the crowd, keeping the tournament going at a good pace and posting the scores promptly.

By the way, every fact and detail on the Sectional will be presented in written form to the BoD at their meeting this coming Wednesday. I am certain it will be available to the public.

Angie proved .. never give up. Bridge is definitely on the rise here in Vegas!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at February 27, 2017 02:38 AM

February 26, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Spring is Coming Sectional - March 3-5

  Spring

 

We escaped "Snowpalooza" in the metro area this past weekend. Perhaps spring is not so far off, after all!

Spring is coming quite soon, however, to our bridge world! Starting this coming Friday, enjoy multiple sessions of sectional bridge at the Twin Cities Bridge Center. 

The schedule is here. Grab your favorite partners - then aim to have fun and win silver points at our harbinger of spring tourney!

by Peg at February 26, 2017 12:28 PM

February 25, 2017

Paul Gipson

EBU Online Knockout second round

I didn't know our opponents for the second round match but our team changed as Sarah stepped in to replace Paul when he got delayed by the stormy weather. I was also down south but despite witnessing some downed trees was able to make it on time.

The action started straight away:


Not a difficult slam to bid and it was a flat board. The only big swing in the first half occurred on the third board of the match:


So what is your choice?

It is fair to say that we got this wrong at both tables to lose 12 imps. But we had gained a game swing and some partscores to lead by 22-17 imps at the half.

Mike and Sarah made an immediate contribution in the second half:


This was worth 11 imps and a great start to the second half. We continued to build on this, even though it took a little while for us to bid a slam ourselves:


The key to the slam was Alex's decision to break the spade transfer with a minimum (14-16) 1NT and only three-card support, but he liked his strong controls. At the other table, perhaps over a weak no trump, they were in game so we gained 12 imps.

There were not many partscores and Mike thought we'd had an unusual route to game on this hand:


It is our system to open one club with my distribution but I could have shown a weak no trump rather than raising spades. Unfortunately the diamonds were unfavourable but I escaped for one down.

The good news though was that this sequence kept the opponents quiet. Mike and Sarah managed to bid the North-South cards to five clubs, which meant +12 imps when it was doubled and made.

We won the second half by 46 imps for a comfortable win. We play Lawrence next month in the quarter-final.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at February 25, 2017 06:24 PM

February 24, 2017

Ray Lee

David Silver (1935 – 2017)

David SilverI’m sad to announce that David Silver passed away on February 23, 2017, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was a man of wide-ranging interests who will be remembered by many students from his forty-year career teaching literature at Seneca College in Toronto. He was a collector of rare books and first editions, and loved poking through flea markets and used book stores for undiscovered treasures. He enjoyed squash and tennis, and after retirement took the opportunity to travel widely. He had a quick and ready wit, and could never resist an apposite one-liner, even in social situations where the habit occasionally came back to haunt him.

However, his life-long passion was bridge, which he played at an expert level and in which he achieved many tournament successes. In typical self-deprecating fashion, he claimed to have partnered every great player of his generation – once. David’s own writings reflected both his love for bridge and his knowledge of literature. His five published books featured his alter ego, ‘Professor Silver’, in humorous pastiches of everything from Sherlock Holmes and Joseph Conrad to The Maltese Falcon and Douglas Coupland, all somehow made plausible in a bridge setting.

His readers often had difficulty distinguishing between the Silver of fiction and the man himself, and he told me of many occasions on his travels where he had been addressed as ‘Professor Silver’ and asked to play, or to solve some abstruse problem.

For the past few months, he had been working on a sixth book, which unfortunately will now never see the light of day.

-Ray Lee

 

 

by Ray Lee at February 24, 2017 03:06 PM

February 22, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Unit 103 Celebrates a New Silver Life Master!

Adele

 
Unit 103 is excited about their newest Silver Life Master!  Bravo, Adele!
 
One of our "super senior" bridge players, Adele Boettner, became a Silver Life Master on Monday, February at the Bridge Center of St. Paul.   Adele was playing with her partner, Greg Stromath, and needed .61 to reach her goal.  As the results were published, they had earned 1 full point.  
 
Adele says she and Greg started playing after noticing how curious he was about the game.  He liked to ask how people got to a certain contract or inquire about conventions they used.  Adele asked him one day, "Would you like to play sometime?"  A great partnership was formed after Greg was able to change his day off so he and Adele could play in the Monday game.
 
Adele does not remember when she started playing duplicate -  but she reports it seems like "forever".  She played social bridge many years before turning into a duplicate player.  Adele felt she never got many points, so learning to play good defense made the game less boring and more rewarding then social bridge. 
 
Unlike most of us who anxiously track our points on our path to become a Life Master, Adele did not know she had attained this goal until a director at a tournament in Des Moines came up and congratulated her.  She said at the time, she did not keep track of points or their colors.
 
After accepted congratulations from everyone, Adele said her next goal was to help Greg become a Life Master.
 
We love seeing Adele's smiling face at the Bridge Center of St. Paul. We sure don't think she will be retiring from bridge in the near future!
 

 

by Peg at February 22, 2017 12:59 PM

February 21, 2017

Eamon Galligan

The Junior Camrose lads play DON

Last weekend I went to the Junior Camrose and Peggy Bayer competitions in City North which is probably in County Meath or Louth. Maybe it just hangs inside the Dublin borders.

Anyway I spotted some of the English and Welsh juniors playing an intense game of cards which turned out to be called Directors revenge. It was bridge except that each player was allowed to revoke once without penalty (I am not sure if dummy was allowed a revoke )
After that game they moved onto a similarly intensive game of hearts ..the 4 players were Toby and Jon from England and Jason and Johnny from Wales. I quickly noticed Jason regularly having a peek into Johnnys hand and thus he was able to keep ahead of the game. However it was all good clean fun.

I suggested that I would teach them a game after the HEARTS game ended. All happily agreed so as the HEARTS neared the end I layed out the rules for DON as they continued playing.

1. Same as HEARTS in principle as in 4 players get 13 cards and you must follow suit.
2. Point scoring cards are NINES and FIVES so you want to win tricks containing 9s and 5s
3. Also AKQJ of trumps count as 4321 points
4. Trump NINE and FIVE count DOUBLE so 18 and 10
5. Trumps are selected by rota and each player has a turn picking trumps as each new hand starts.
6. First to pick trumps is the chap holding the DIAMOND 2 ...and after that it rotates.clockwise.
7. 13 tricks are played but we only count the 80 points listed above.

Last night I told Declan the Donplayer about these young English lads who picked up and understood
DON in about 2 minutes. Declan the Donplayer said .."Eamon I have been playing DON over 40 years and I still don't fully get it and you are telling me that 4 random young lads got the game in minutes ... NOT POSSIBLE" " If you said they played 20 hands of DON and got a little then maybe

Whats more is Jason He ...a young Welsh Junior Camrose player came over to the table I was at during the closing dinner and said ..."Eamon that was a great game you taught us last night ..We will
definitely be giving that a run again soon ...

My main point here is that young people in Ireland don't tend to play card games like WHIST or HEARTS or DON or  any other follow suit games anymore. Thus its hard for people as adults to learn bridge. A man was running bridge lessons in my local community centre and Declan the Donplayer filled in one night when one player was missing. Afterwards he came upstairs and he said "Eamon those people don't even understand the concept of a trick. They have to learn cards and then learn bridge. "

I recall learning WHIST as a youngster and then GERMAN WHIST for 2 players when we did not have 4. Then when this chap I knew called Miles Podmore showed up in NIHE(now UL) and started teaching us bridge in the stables (NIHE students coffee place) I was able to grasp the game quickly and was hooked from then on. My first book was ALL ABOUT ACOL by Rhoda Lederer I think.
The tattered remains might still survive in my attic but I am not sure.

All results of Junior Camrose and Peggy Bayer trophies can be found at

http://fob.ie

One guy playing at the weekend went by the name Captain 1400 ...which reminds me of our own
Monsoiur Septieme Cent otherwise known as John Phelan after he collected a 1700 point penalty from a well known Dublin bridge player.

Thanks
Eamon Galligan



by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at February 21, 2017 02:46 PM

February 19, 2017

Paul Gipson

Junior antics

I've spent most of the weekend watching and commentating on the Junior Camrose Trophy, held this year in Ireland. It is fair to say that I've seen some good bridge, some poor bridge, and some unbelievable bridge.

Most of the good bridge came from the England team who dominated the U26 event, as can be seen in the final table:

PosTeamVP
1England149.57
2Scotland123.07
3Ireland117.48
4Wales
74.58
5Northern Ireland
55.30

The best match that I saw was the first one, when Scotland beat England by 9-5 imps. At that point I expect Scotland thought that there were in with a chance of winning the event, but it was the high point of their performance. After this they became inconsistent and made too many unforced errors to challenge England.

In the Peggy Bayer Trophy (U21), England were even more dominant.

PosTeamVP
1England177.79
2CBAI
65.64
3Ireland
64.76
4Scotland
51.81

All four teams were in states of transition but the experience and training of the England pairs was clear. The challenge for everyone else is to make this a competitive event next year.

All the results are available on fob.ie and you can see some of the play in the BBO Vugraph archive. Some of it will be be unsuitable for children and one bidding sequence even silenced Liz McGowan on commentary.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at February 19, 2017 08:32 PM

February 17, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

To be Forewarned is to be Forearmed!

Here in the States (as well as elsewhere), there is continual chatter about declining interest in our once majestic game .. particularly Contract Bridge, which came upon the scene in 1927. As with most issues, everyone can cite reasons for declining participation. The most popular explanations seem to be an aging population as people are dying off .. with not enough interest generated by the younger set. I have done some research that I would like to share with you though that is far from the whole story.

After checking reliable sources, it appears that life expectancy is longer NOW than ever before (excepting rare circumstances). Perhaps we can attribute it to incredible medical science, research, surgeries, procedures and therapy. Times are changing. Old age is not that much of a factor lessening bridge attendance than as in physical enterprises. However, with the advent of modern technology in countless spheres .. consider the following! The younger set has witnessed so much that has evolved in past decades. Consider the addiction to TV, Taped shows, Internet, Kindle, Cell Phones, DVD’s (buy/rent), Movies, Soap Operas, Theatres, Operas, Traveling Headliners and the beat goes on! In fact, why go to a duplicate, tournament or NABC when you can play on BBO in the comfort of your robe .. at your own home .. and at convenient times that suit your personal schedule. Besides, the price is right! I am not condemning BBO .. far from it! It is very popular .. and why not? Just pointing out the tacks in the road. The public wants to know why bridge attendance is faltering with less and less youth taking up the game. Perhaps the above is only a fraction of the realistic reasons.

I think you may be surprised at my major primary suspicion. Let me acquaint you with the introduction of bridge to the younger set which actually was considered (but delayed) about a decade later in Asia. My husband and Bob Hamman were invited to Beijing by the late James Ortiz-Patino (Founder of the World Bridge Federation) to play opposite himself and his obviously enthusiastic partner, Deng Xioaping, the then-reigning Leader of the People’s Republic of China. That was in 1985. In 1993 Bobby (who was then President of the WBF) returned with a specific goal in mind. He was accompanied by Jeff Polisner (then Legal Counsel for the WBF) and another WBF Representative, Patrick Choy, who had since relocated in Singapore. The WBF trio met with a hierarchy of Chinese officials regarding earlier discussions about the positive aspects of the game of bridge. Their historical conference was held at The Great Hall of the People located in the legendary Tian’anmen Square. The primary purpose of the WBF visit: Introducing bridge OFFICIALLY by sanctioning it to be taught in the schools of China. After addressing Bobby …. “Mr Wolff: Exactly what can we do to help promote bridge?” — Bobby responded “Introduce and authorize the teaching of bridge into your school system.” The Chinese dignitaries discussed all the promising possibilities, opportunities and eventual results, excused themselves briefly, returned, extended their hands to Bobby, Jeff and Patrick and agreed “DONE DEAL!” MISSION ACCOMPLISHED .. or so they thought.

When Bobby returned to Aspen a short time later to attend the WBF Management Meeting, he presided, and proudly explained arrangements had been made and mutually agreed upon .. so that Audrey Grant (and her husband, David Lindop) would sojourn to China to “teach the teachers” how to teach bridge to the students. That included bringing notes, books, lesson materials, etc. … leaving the proverbial “no stone (or no card) unturned.” Shockingly, there was much resistance because many in attendance chirped in and wanted to join the entourage. Thus, their great intentions were thwarted even longer; however, the project finally got off the ground turning it over to the Chinese teachers who must have done one helluva a job as TODAY there are over 200,000,000 children learning and playing bridge in China. That is NOT A MISPRINT … OVER 200,000,000 IN CHINA … in addition to the eleven other European nations who had already officially introduced it into their school curricula earlier.

Just bear in mind. The collective membership here is around 170,000 total members. Compare that 200,000,000 school children in China alone (and add that to the other eleven countries who proudly adopted the educational school programs before that time). Lack of official bridge school involvement here is very discouraging .. so let’s face the facts and work on a solution:

Instead of concentrating on special local events and games and, of course the lure of more masterpoints, perhaps the ACBL administration should dedicate their time, interest and financial support (via ultra-qualified bridge leaders) toward investigating and hiring experienced teaching professionals to organize the same type of educational program the two hundred million Chinese youngsters have enjoyed the benefit of .. and are enabling them to make their way into the beautiful realm of bridge .. and eventually some of our newbies may become the budding bridge stars of the future.

Forgive my bluntness .. but the TIME IS NOW for a major turnabout to prevent the most incredible mind game in the world from losing stature. China and Europe have striven to teach and preserve the game and hopefully are enroute to protecting its continuance and popularity for centuries to come. Not so in the Western Hemisphere where little has seriously been done on a major scale to indoctrinate bridge into our school systems .. to prevent it from continuing to fall from grace and eventually vanish.

Bridge in the States and neighboring areas needs immediate resuscitation (long overdue) and that is OUR responsibility! The foresight taken by China and Europe seems like a rational approach. Otherwise, just sit back, do nothing and watch bridge fade into its likely fate of extinction.

by Judy Kay-Wolff at February 17, 2017 03:23 PM

February 16, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Junior Camrose and Sharkbridge

This weekend in City North near Gormanstown in County Meath we host the Junior Camrose and Peggy Bayer Home Internationals Junior bridge.

Teams from NIBU CBAI Scotland Wales and  England will participate.

More information can be found on the Bridge Great Britian website

http://www.bridgegreatbritain.org/

Also Fearghal O'Boyle will have running scores once he wins his regular argument with the IT controls in City North.

www.fob.ie

...................
Meanwhile a new bridge program/software has appeared. I don't know much about it but I played my
first daily tournament early this morning and did ok ... Tourney is scored in matchpoints but also shows your imps score too.

The program name is SHARKBRIDGE ... Canadian I think ..

I understand it has versions for MAC TABLET PHONE and PC.

I was using the PC version ...A 16 board daily tournament ...

However I think there might be some add ons to extract some hard cash from your purses to
support the project. ... Looks like a good program ...
As usual one South human and 3 robots ..

Google Sharkbridge ..

http://download.emabridge.com/SharkBridgeWindows/

There is a Windows version above ...

...............................
However I am still happy to recommend http://bridge-now.com

Also www.bridgebase.com  has all one could wish for including human bridge players.

...............
I have played with some novice and intermediate players recently ... Most seem to play by rules or rota or what some elder lemon told them ... They don't seem to think at all. Its like in a phone answering service company where I understand they have scripts for telling the caller how to sort out the problem....

Paddy said ... THIRD HAND HIGH
Paddy said ... DONT PREMPT UNLESS YOU HAVE 7 cards
PAT said ... IT CAN BE LIGHT OPENING BID in 3rd or 4th seat ..

Lots of new players are gathering up a set of rules by which one plays bridge ..

The old irish cardplayer is gone ...the one that played whist and don for 30 years before finding the
MOTHERLODE ..


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at February 16, 2017 05:45 PM

February 14, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Unit 103 Awards Banquet

  Trophy

Attend Unit 103's Awards Banquet and celebrate the 2016 winners

of Unit 103 Ace of Clubs and Mini- McKenney!

 

WHEN:          Saturday, April 22, 2017

                     1PM                                

 

WHERE:        St. Paul Bridge Center

                         2603 – 6th Avenue East

                               North St. Paul, MN   55109

                        Phone:  651-490-5430

 

Congratulations to all Unit 103 players that did well in 2016!

We look forward to recognizing and celebrating their success.

 

All players are welcome to a complimentary lunch starting at 1:00.

 

 Immediately following will be the Awards presentations and a special Bridge game. 

Players who are 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their category will play free.

$6 entry for others.

 

Please join us in this fun day!  Everyone is welcome!

 

RSVP by April 12th to 651-490-5430.  We look forward to seeing you!

by Peg at February 14, 2017 10:59 PM

February 12, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Game On!

5

 

A month ago, MN Bridge reported that the U of MN would start having bridge classes for honor students. Now, the game is on!

Your webmaster traveled to the West Bank to see for herself how the lessons were coming along. Delighted to report that all systems are go! 

6

 

At the front of the room, Professor Matthew Bribitzer-Stull, Director of the Honors Program and Associate Dean, leads a lively discussion about the values of honor cards. Getting their bridge feet wet, students offer thoughts on aces and spaces.

8

 

Other U of MN professors assist as students wade into our fascinating yet confounding game. How do we capture tricks? What bids are to be made when? Which hands are great - and which not? Professor Hsu, below, advises.

2

 

As I walk through the room, I remember my own fascination and concurrent bewilderment with this marvelous game as my bridge education began. I hope that many of these students take on the bridge challenge, leading to a lifetime of excitement, mental sport - plus an entire world of bridge playing friends.

16

17

14

What does it all mean? How does it work? 

Never ever do you master bridge completely - yet learning continues forever - along with the fun!  

We will be reporting more on our bridge adventure at the U of MN!  Stay tuned, everyone!

by Peg at February 12, 2017 02:12 PM

February 07, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Wexford Congress Camrose2 etc

Last weekend Wexford held its annual bridge congress at Whites Hotel. The Congress Committee down there operate a tight show and in 3-4 years directing down there I have not seen anything break from a committee point of view.
Even when the Sinn Fein Ard Dheis showed up on the same weekend and managed to take the large function room (presumably above committee done a deal) nothing changed. By all accounts a small well functioning committee. I cannot name them as I don't know all their names exactly.

This year they added a new item or else their region did.

http://bridgewebs.com/cbaisoutheasternregion

All Wexford Congress results are posted on this site.

Two Malahide members won the 2nd session of the Intermediate Pairs ..
74 pairs took part which is a large event and anyone who got a prize out of this worked hard for it.

We had 31 pairs in the Congress Pairs won by Katherine Lennon and Derek Crosbie despite a major Dublin player insisting they should be 2nd seeds in my 3 grouped seeding approach before the start.
I personally as director ranked the pairs as 1 2 or 3 in strength and spread them across the 3 fields equally. Generally any pair containing a trials player or international was deemed a 1.

..............................................
Meanwhile up North in NIBU land there seems to be some discussion going on regarding the selection of NIBU Camrose Team for the 2nd weekend.
Currently Bridge Great Britian lists a team containing 4th 5th and 7th places on the trials but
the grapevine indicates that the original team will take their seats for battle.

NIBU perennially place 5th or 6th and recently some years they might manage 5th and 6th if they
are final weekend hosts. The problem is once the trials are over and probably before they don't do any training. Anderson Greenwood play tough matches on BBO almost daily so they are putting in the bridge gym work as such.

Top Irish pair Mesbur and Fitzgibbon are still doing bidding practice every week maybe 2-3 hours despite being a 40 year bridge partnership. The Irish Open team can be seen doing BBO practice matches with some Polish opponents and world class coach Krystoff Martens is involved in this exercise too.

I understand Michael Byrne from Manchester has visited or will visit NIBU to provide some training.
Michael has also turned up in Dublin to make up the 8 for a training weekend with the Irish Open Team some years back.

I don't know all the details of the NIBU team discussion but it is possible the selection committee dropped the first weekend team and later a more muscular committee over wrote that decision.

.........................
Meanwhile last night a lady approached me in Malahide asking what was the meaning of something about ethics in the Sunday Independent last Sunday in Mr Comyn's column. I have not seen the article so I don't know what it was about. I might find out if I can find a house that bought the Indo last Sunday. One used to be able to read the Sunday Indo in Maurice Quinns on a Tuesday.

..................
John Cunningham a former Mullingar area bridge man passed away last weekend. John was already losing his sight by the time I got to be an opponent and that's over 20 years ago. I think he had also cut down his bridge playing by then too. However I recall having a few discussions as bridge technology developed in the early 2000s connected with Mullingar Bridge Centre....probably about  dealing machine or hand records or some such item. It was long before bridgemates surfaced.
John was a top player but I only saw the end of his playing career. Rest in peace.




by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at February 07, 2017 02:08 PM

February 04, 2017

Peg Kaplan

The MGSC's Grand Evening!

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If you are in Minnesota and want to play in the state's most challenging club game, then the Minneapolis Grand Slam Club is for you. Now in its 79th season, the MGSC is a super place to compete, irrespective of experience.

One of the big reasons for this is our people. We have great folks who love our game, work hard at it, volunteer at the club and elsewhere - and are friendly and welcoming. One of those people who surely would be a contender for Best in Show in all these aspects is a guy who today is celebrating his 70th birthday:  Kerry Holloway.

Last night, as Mike Cassel, another fine player and volunteer, was preparing lots of goodies for our GNT Fundraiser Super Bowl evening, Kerry's marvelous wife Cara was preparing for a surprise! She dropped off a huge & very yummy birthday cake with Kerry's partner for the evening (yours truly) to surprise Kerry on his Big Birthday.  

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Kerry was indeed duly surprised and delighted!  And all of us enjoyed the treats and birthday cake - along with another excellent evening of bridge.

If you happen to be reading this and you are not a bridge player, then please note that we would love for you to learn our game! Not only is it THE greatest mind game out there - it is filled with loads of really superb people who forge friendships for decades - just as important as the bridge partnerships they cherish. 

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Happy BIG birthday to someone I met forty years ago, already an expert then when I was a newcomer.  Whether playing with a novice, seasoned player or someone top flight, Kerry is kind, a tough competitor and supportive in every way.

Thanks to all who played Friday night!  We love our bridge community and are happy to share lots more photos of the people who are as wonderful as the game itself.

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by Peg at February 04, 2017 11:58 PM

Judy Kay-Wolff

A Game By Any Other Name…

The beginning of our beloved game came about in the 1800’s with Bridge Whist — continuing until it was converted in 1904 to Auction Bridge and continued that way until Harold Vanderbilt was credited when he brilliantly converted “Auction” into “Contract” Bridge while on a cruise in 1927. Then along came Eli Culbertson, Milton Work, Charles Goren and others who helped pioneer the game as we know it today. Since then Contract Bridge has appeared in many forms, including social at-home games. The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) was created (in 1936) and The WBF (World Bridge Federation) at the urging and support of James Ortiz-Patino was formed in 1958 and under its auspices hosted many world championships/olympiads. Competition comes in all forms and shapes: individuals, pairs, teams … and more. Name your poison and pay your entry fee. At the duplicate clubs, the majority of events are focused on daily pairs with an occasional Special Club Championship (with an additional charge and extra masterpoints ala ACBL).

Judging from what we see locally here in Vegas, most play because of their love and enjoyment of the game enabled by leisure time. We also have Sectionals and Regionals. This Month (February 20th-24th), our Sectional will be held at The Plaza (which was the popular downtown site for the record breaking attendance of the 80’s and 90’s). I am pleased to add .. the advanced reservations are quite sizeable with nearly three weeks to go. All games (even at the neighborhood club level) allow the players to be ranked within their peers… new, intermediate and more experienced — depending upon their level of play). Obviously, it varies from social bridge all the way to the top .. National and International Competition where many high- level experts from both here and abroad compete … something like a Game for All Seasons. Bridge has shaped my life phenomenally beyond description (blessing me with both Norman and Bobby) and thus the necessity to express my concerns for the future distresses me!

Because of modern day technology, much has changed! I refer specifically to the current fabulous facilities employed to detect and document stealthy cheating (at all levels) with research and scientific methods not available previously. Early on .. perhaps sixty or so years ago, some adventuresome pairs illegally exchanged information and when discovered and corroborated .. some were booted out of our game .. many never to be seen or heard from again. Others paid a shorter period of penance .. but later resurfaced. However, with more experienced, clever, culprits (both nationally and internationally), it continued to thrive and is in the active stage of being proven and soon (I pray) to be stopped. I cannot go into the details myself, as I am not qualified to offer up proof .. but many top players (in 1963 when I came on the scene) KNEW and would have staked their lives on the undeserved wins of certain “glorious” teams (and pairs) whose names always appeared as No. 1. Many are familiar with the details after reading The Lone Wolff, but hold on to your seats .. there is more in the offing.

Since I truly believe the issue of deliberate underhanded, stealthy action is in the process of being squelched, we are exerting our efforts toward a new concern. On another site, most of you may have read about a second try (which failed over two decades ago) at introducing into universal bridge a proposed new contrived bidding system in conjunction with the striving for use of ‘Ferts.’ Yes, it is aptly nicknamed for the word ‘fertilizer’ which needs no elaboration. Just read between the drops. It is what it is! No doubt, most competitions are subject to change — and certainly favored .. IF in the interest of improvement (v. complicated bidding methods of confusion). Those of us old timers are appreciative and captivated by the majestic level to which bridge has ascended. However, there exist strong attempts to totally renovate our long-used methods of bidding where ‘this’ means ‘that’ and ‘that’ means ‘this.” If allowed (and we pray not), the game will go to hell in a hand basket — bearing no resemblance to what, for decades, we have proudly known as Bridge.

The most destructive element of this attempt at wreaking havoc on our long used, improved and rather simplistic bidding structure involves confusing techniques. Besides resembling a Halloween scene as it is very deceptive, it will cause contestants to play against trumped-up intentionally concocted bidding systems, slow down the game indescribably by unfamiliarity with the newly arriving chicanery, and force longtime players enamored by their favorite pastime to change their own bidding and defense to cope with it. And, how about all the extra time needed for those relatively in the dark who cause a delay of game. Certainly, they should not be penalized. With the revival of this second attempt to allow ‘ferts’ to infiltrate the system, I fear we will lose many avid players .. either giving it up or returning to relaxing mama-papa social coffee klatches. Is this attempted bridge revolution what you want? I didn’t think so!

Should (by some very dark and distant miracle) ‘Ferts’ and their accompanying ramifications officially ever sadly see the light of day … our once-great game’s replacement should be re-named GARBRIDGE!!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at February 04, 2017 10:51 PM

February 03, 2017

Paul Gipson

SBU Winter Foursomes

Numbers were disappointing at this year's Winter Foursomes, despite a welcome number of teams from England and Wales boosting the numbers. I think the fact that it is the toughest open weekend in Scotland frightens some away, but it really is the best place to gain experience.

So twenty-one teams lined up on Friday evening, with a mix of 32-board head-to-head matches and two by 16-board match triples. I was playing with Alex, Mike Ash, and Chris Chambers.

I'd been asked a couple of weeks ago how I'd seed the teams, probably because the organisers had struggled with the English players last year. I gave my view on this, especially as I knew the English teams pretty well, so I was partly responsible for the carnage in the first round.

John Matheson and I were also partly responsible as we coach the juniors, as VALENTINE (Ronan Valentine, Liam O'Brien, Damien Murray, Matthew Robb) beat the #3 seeds STEEL (Les Steel, John Matheson, Brian Short, Alan Goodman) in a 32-board head-to-head match. John had been particularly impressed with Ronan and Liam's system and their knowledge of it in their coaching sessions, but said that he expected that his team would significantly outplay the juniors in defence and declarer play. But he, and Les, both said that they fully deserved to win, playing the cards well and defending better than their illustrious opponents on some key hands.

Just as shocking was the PERKINS (Anne Perkins, Mike Baron, David Briggs, David King) defeat of multiple winners and #2 seeds SANDERS, again over 32 boards. Less shocking was the demise of #5 seed SIME, who had a tough triad and lost to the English/Welsh STEVENSON team. Sime had another junior, Gints Freimanis, on his team as a last minute substitute and he played with Douglas Piper - quite a daunting task for Gints but a great opportunity to play a big event with a top player and, as a junior coach, I'm grateful to Iain and Douglas for giving him the opportunity.

Another junior, Glen Falconer, had been called up as a late substitute in the SMITH team and again will have benefited enormously from the weekend, so thanks to Harry and Bob for giving him the opportunity.

We also struggled in our triad. We had a big win against the SMITH team but lost by 14 imps to the TAYLOR team - luckily for use SMITH beat TAYLOR by a margin sufficient for us to win the triad on total imps (+17) from SMITH (+3).

On Saturday morning we played the STEVENSON team who had beaten SIME. It started very well when Alex and I doubled Liz in a partscore to get +800, but they got two big swings and we were 16-18 imps after eight boards. In the second half things went our way as we won the set 19-9 imps to remain undefeated.

By this time the #8 seeds, DUNCAN, had beaten #1 OUTRED, the defending champions, so we faced Sandy in the pool of the last four undefeated teams. #6 COOPER and #7 SYMONS were the other undefeated teams.

It was a wild first set but, thanks to a poor grand slam failing, we led by 30-25 imps after eight boards. I'm not really sure what happened in the second half, save that Mike was very apologetic before we scored up and the final score was 11-57 over the eight boards. We'd lost our first life.

Now in the once-defeated pool and with no room for mistakes, we faced STEPHENS and his team of ex-juniors. It was a very tight match and we were relieved to emerge the winners 28-26 imps. There were plenty of opportunities for both sides to win and even more to tie the match to force extra boards!

STEEL exited the event at this stage as they were beaten heavily by COOPER, mainly due to four game swings in the first half. Meanwhile DUNCAN continued their winning way, beating SYMONS to be the last undefeated team. This earned them the choice of quarter-final opponent, so they selected SHENKIN, and the other matches were drawn to avoid rematches where possible. We would play SYMONS and COOPER would play STEVENSON.

We got off to a good start against SYMONS, gaining a lead in the first 12 boards of 51-16 imps. This was mainly good play, but Alex and I bid an atrocious slam that made for 11 imps. The second half was just what we ordered, a quiet but tough set that we won 12-7 imps, mainly due to (fairly) good bridge all around.

DUNCAN beat SHENKIN to remain undefeated and get a bye into the final. COOPER won on the final board against STEVENSON and we'd face them in the semifinal on Sunday morning.

The COOPER team featured Chris Cooper and Andrew Murphy, our Premier League team mates, and Frazer Morgan and Ed Jones, two very talented young players but not a regular partnership.  Both 12-board sets felt very tight at our table; Alex and I thought we had cards with a little upside, but not such that we felt comfortable. As it happened, we out-partscored them in the first half to establish a comfortable 32-2 imps lead. When Alex and I had an excellent auction to a grand slam on the first board of the second half, and then made two overtricks in a doubled game, the match felt it was over. I tried to make it more interesting by miscounting my key cards, so we bid a grand slam on a failing finesse but eventually held on comfortable to win 59-27 imps.

Unfortunately, as there was an undefeated team and only one semifinal, Cooper was now out of the event. Even worse, no prize money for third place and flights booked for 8pm. So they did what any set of sport fans would do - go to the Lowland League match between East Stirlingshire and Spartans FC. Murph gave live text updates on Facebook as Spartans ran out 4-1 winners. Five goals, one red card, scotch pie was £1.60 and a Bovril £1.20 - clearly not the Premier League!

The final was over 32 boards, two sixteen board sets. The first set was very tight and mostly well played, at least at our table. We stayed out of a slam for the correct reasons, but a transfer bid meant that we could have safely bid and made it; at the other table they bid it from the wrong side when they were warned not to, and so that made the half-time score 19-10 imps. Alex and I had a fair second half but we finished about 4 boards before the others: we'd made 10 tricks in major part-scores twice, but they looked unlikely games to bid and the defence would have chances to beat them if they did; we'd bid a distributional hand to a small slam and thought for some time about bidding what was a making grand, but didn't. So there was downside in our card and I was not confident about victory. But Mike and Chris were as we had all the big swings in the set and won with a final score of 70-25 imps.

This was a first win in the event for Alex, Chris, and I but the second for Mike. Although we had our luck at times you need that in this event and I think we were deserving winners.

Elsewhere, the VALENTINE team had a great run on Saturday and almost made the quarter-finals of the main event, losing to SHENKIN by just 6 imps. Then they had to face the OUTRED team for a place in the Consolation Final and put up a good fight: most impressive was they did not give up when 30 imps down at the half and it was a close second set. Brian Senior said he was impressed with them. They would finish the top Bronze team in Sunday's Swiss.

The Consolation Final was the toughest in recent memory: OUTRED, SANDERS, STEEL, SYMONS, SMITH, SHENKIN, STEVENSON. Obviously it helps if your team captain starts with an ess. STEEL romped away, winning the event by 29 VP from SANDERS.

Overall it was a very well run event by Gus Macdonald and Anne Perkins. The Melville Club is an excellent venue with good hospitality and attractive rates at the hotel next door. The entry fee is very good value, we got 160 boards for £40 each, and although I'd like to see prize money for third I can understand that they need to balance the budget. But if we can get more teams to play, then I'm sure that'll come.

I hope to see more teams there next January!

I'll post some of the more interesting hands over the next few days.

I forgot to say congratulations to Sandy Duncan, Jim Hay, Paul Barton, and Jun Nakamaru-Pinder on reaching the final undefeated. We lost the final having done that and I know that John Matheson thinks it is a curse. Perhaps he is right!

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at February 03, 2017 01:00 PM

Decisions at the Winter Fours

When you play 160 boards over a weekend you will have a few decisions to make. These are some that I and others faced.

From the final:


What is your call now?

And from the second half:


Your call?

Man or mouse or just sane? Possibly not a problem for everyone from the semifinal:


Anyone tempted to bid?

A wild hand from the quarter-final:


Partner's cue bid shows 5-5 in the majors with at least 8 HCP (an Italian concept of showing 5-5 hands in competition). What is your plan?

From Round 4:


Your call?

And from Round 3:


Your call?

Finally, from the triad on Friday evening:


Your partner opens a weak no-trump. Are you worth a move?

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at February 03, 2017 01:00 PM

Finals hands

The big swing in the first half of the final of the Winter Foursomes was this hand:


I knew that we were missing the ace of hearts and I expected that we'd have a spade loser before I could establish the hearts. Of course even on a spade lead there are significant chances in the club suit to dispose of my loser, but it wasn't easy to see this at the table and the queen of spades was a surprise in dummy.

In the other room Mike did not make a spade overcall but did double a spade cue bid. With the clubs offside, even Deep Finesse cannot make the slam from the North seat on the marked spade lead. Was this a lucky swing or good bridge?

In the second half, I was faced with a tough decision:


So I didn't know Alex's spades. With three key-cards for diamonds and three small spades, he might well bid like this, but if he has shorter spades then I can probably ruff them out but a trump lead will not be helpful.

Eventually I passed and missed an easy grand slam. But fortunately they had a key-card accident in the other room so we gained a slam swing.

In our quarter-final, we had to cope with a minor brilliancy from Miro Dragic:


Having found a way to discover his partner had clubs, Miro led and continued diamonds to beat the slam. This deserved a swing, but his team mates were trying to get back some imps and were in the grand slam for a flat board.

Finally a question, how bad is this slam?


My bidding might look wild, but I was fixed over three diamonds. I had no way to agree spades and force. I could have cue bid four diamonds and then bid four or five) spades over four hearts, but ace king to five spades is sufficient for slam or ace to five in both suits: of course ace-king to five hearts is less interesting! But I went for the bold and reckless option, thinking that the opponents may sacrifice some of the time.

I was very lucky to find such a favourable layout and I comfortably made the slam. Naturally I apologised quickly, but took the imps!

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at February 03, 2017 01:00 PM

Peg Kaplan

From Here to Eternity

Eternity

A new year for bridge - and - Steve Gaynor has provided us with a new schedule for almost all of eternity!

Our thanks to Steve for helping us know what fabulous games are lurking throughout our state - along with other events that Minnesotans would love.

From the start of 2017 and on - posted below.  Thank you, Steve!

Download SCHEDULE

by Peg at February 03, 2017 01:54 AM

January 31, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Winter Sectional Results

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A great venue at the Maplewood Community Center provided a fine weekend of tournament bridge! Our thanks to tournament chair Keith Thompson, DIC Kim Hayward and all our able volunteers for the Winter Sectional.

At the top of the masterpoint list for the weekend, we find Kerry Holloway. Known for not only his excellent play, but also his ability to partner a wide variety of players and achieve great results, this weekend was no different. Kerry earned an impressive 30.5 masterpoints with his partners! The overall masterpoint list is here; results from each event here.

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And as we near Valentine's Day, a sweet treat. For many of us, partnering our partner in life can be a significant challenge AT the table. Yet, some of us handle it magnificently!

Love is in the air - and in these smiles.

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More shots of sectional fun below!

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by Peg at January 31, 2017 03:24 PM

January 28, 2017

Peg Kaplan

"Nobody's Any Good at This Game"

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While the Winter Sectional at the Maplewood Community Center continues on this weekend, a fine article for all our competitors to enjoy.

We sometimes think that elite players are bridge gods and can do no wrong. Sometimes, they do indeed perform miracles at the table!

Yet, as Fred Gitelman (one of the founders of BridgeBase Online) highlights, even the experts sometimes make errors - and sometimes bad ones!

Fred recalls one time approaching Michael Rosenberg, whom he had just watched make a play that had not turned out well. and asking him why he had made the error. Michael smiled at him. ‘Don’t you get it yet. Fred?’ he asked. ‘Nobody’s any good at this game; it’s just that the top players are less bad than the rest.’

Have a great time this weekend at our Winter Sectional.  And remember that no one at all ever plays perfectly! If something goes wrong at the table, then forget about it and move on to the next hand.  

That's what the experts do!

 

by Peg at January 28, 2017 01:52 PM

January 27, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Camrose Weekend 1 2017 and Schools Bridge

Camrose Weekend 1 took place from January 6th to 8th in Coventry. Scotland fielded 2 teams as they are the hosts of the Final Weekend.

Ireland won their first 2 matches against Wales and Northern Ireland gathering in almost
39 VPS out of 40. Then SBU punched them for 5.5. The Irish team responded with a 20-0
hammering of the struggling Scotland team.

Meanwhile England had built up a decent total of about 65.6 VPS to lead Ireland by about a VP going into the final matchup.

One hand apparently provided the highlight of the Ireland England match when Tony Forrester apparently flicked the Club King on the table under John Carrolls Ace. However there has been
some word that the Club King was placed facedown on the table for many seconds before being turned over for Carroll to see. However this is 2nd hand information so unverified.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/the-forrester-chops-down-another-irish-tree/

Results and standings can be found on EBU website

http://www.ebu.co.uk/results/554

Meanwhile there are whiffs of brownish smoke emanating from the Vatican that the first weekend team from the NIBU have been retired as Camrose players for the foreseeable future.
Maybe Eamon can offer them some space in the bidding gym. A few memberships are still available.

................................
Last weekend Eamon Galligan assisted by Thomas "Teaboy" MacCormac ran the Irish Schools
Pairs championship in http://malahideregionalbridgeclub.com/who for the last 5 years have made their facilities available to the Schools Bridge group at a nominal fee. I don't know if the nominal fee is ever collected. However these young players really enjoy their day.
Players come from Laurel Hill Dundalk Belfast Dublin and Kilkenny.


Results can be found on Thomas MacCormac bridge site


by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at January 27, 2017 10:36 PM

Bob Mackinnon

Sherlock Holmes Plays Bridge

In My Fair Lady Professor Henry Higgins asks his companion, Colonel Pickering, ‘why can’t a woman be more like a man?’ The colonel doesn’t come up with a clear answer. In the 21st century we are facing the question turned around: ‘why can’t a man be more like a woman?’, and we are finding he can, although not yet reaching the status of an interchangeable piece in the post-industrial machinery. Some men still fall in love with their baby-sitter.

We can’t imagine Sherlock Holmes, back in the Victorian era, asking Watson the same question. Watson might reply, ‘Really, Holmes! Why this sudden interest?’ Previously his friend had shown no more interest in a woman than in a discarded cigar butt. Indeed, he had never written of a woman, ‘close examination can uncover many interesting details.’ Holmes is a realist and an admirer of Petrarch who famously noted, ‘rarely do great virtue and great beauty dwell together’. For some this provides an incentive for interaction, but for Holmes it is an excuse for not getting involved.

At one time clever Anglo-Saxon schoolboys made Sherlock Holmes their hero. When they were old enough to take up bridge seriously, they strove to adopt his analytic methodology to the play of the cards. The atmosphere at the table was in the Victorian model of civility and comportment. There are still remnants of that era about. Many fine (male) bridge players, like Sherlock Holmes, enjoy solving puzzles more than they value human companionship. Holmes does not hate Mankind, rather he views people, women in particular, as the necessary providers of problems. One cannot play bridge without a partner and opponents. His strong sense of justice is tempered by circumstances. In The Boscombe Valley Mystery he lets a murderer go free in order that a beautiful, blue-eyed daughter might have a better chance at happiness, happiness being defined as a marriage to a poor but handsome chap who had been living in sin with a disreputable barmaid. (Watson should check him over.) Perhaps in the mind of the great detective this was to be a punishment for her distractive beauty, not a reward.

Holmes brings his cold objectivity to the bridge table. Recently at my local club word was received that a club member had gone to the hospital seriously ill. A Get Well card was being circulated for signature. One of the players at the table, a Holmes-type, said, ‘He should have quit smoking years ago’. I thought, true enough, but you never write ‘I told you so’ on a sympathy card. This got me to thinking about other greeting cards on which a middle-aged misanthrope should refrain from putting his true feelings in writing.

A Misanthrope’s Greeting Cards

Have a Nice Trip! Beware of strangers offering assistance.

Congratulations on your Engagement! Honeymoons are short – so get a head-start.

It’s a Girl! Enjoy the next 12 years.

It’s a Boy! Boys will be boys. Hope he’s not the exception.

Congratulation on Your Promotion! A nice surprise!

Sorry! I would like to apologize, but facts remain facts.

I Heard of Your Divorce Only five years for manslaughter, but alimony for life.

Happy Retirement! Wise decision and none too soon.

Congratulations on your Re-Marriage It’s a good bet when you’ve nothing to lose.

Have a Nice Cruise! The Pyramids are beautiful in the moonlight, but don’t go there.

Get Well Soon Defy the odds! You always have against me.

Happy 70th I thought you were much older. Enjoy your overtime.

 

The Sudden End of a Rubber

Now we come to Dr Watson, who portrays himself as a conscientious mediocrity, but who carries a revolver and, if the need arises, is not averse to shooting someone overcome by strong passions. His life is devoted to completing tasks, whereas Holmes’ life is devoted to starting adventures. As Watson looks back he regrets he wasn’t more like his quixotic friend. The truth is, Holmes couldn’t have tolerated Watson if the doctor had shown more initiative. He had to be reliably predictable without disturbing the thought processes. There are bridge partnerships like that. Here they are at the bridge table, as described by Watson looking back in his old age.

One evening, while awaiting certain developments in the East End, Holmes and I dropped in at the Aurelian Club near the Moorgate Street Station (where it still stands) to pass the time with a few rubbers of bridge. He was not a favourite there, partly because of his aloof air of superiority, but largely for the inordinate time he spent making decisions during the play of part-scores that appeared to others to be of no great consequence. Yet these were the problems that most engaged his mind, with his cards face down on the table before him, eyes closed and fingers pressed tightly against his noble brow. On one occasion an impatient opponent was heard to mutter, ‘for God’s sake, Man’, for which transgression he was immediately expelled. Later Holmes had the man reinstated and he himself paid the membership fee, which, although befittingly modest, was a significant sum for the fellow who had come on hard times due to excessive drinking. It came to light later that he had helped Holmes in writing his memorandum on strong liquors, a task that may have contributed to his medical condition.

On the occasion of which I write our opponents were two gentlemen of quite varying aspect, South being a slim, nervous, young man with a thin charcoal pencil moustache on his upper lip, North, a red-faced, portly gentleman with mutton chops and an air of self-importance that often comes with successful middle age. It was getting late in the rubber after an inordinate number of part-scores when this hand finally brought the affair to its swift and satisfactory conclusion.

W
Watson
A9
J
QY976
A9864
 
E
Holmes
K864
KQ5
AKJ3
K2
Watson
Holmes
1
1
2
6
All Pass
 

The auction was brief, the play, quick. Holmes won the Q lead with the K in his hand, drew trumps in 3 rounds, took two rounds of clubs ending in dummy, and led the J. The beefy gentleman pounced on it with his ace like a hungry hound on a bloody bone. Holmes ruffed the Q return and claimed explaining he could ruff this club, and throw two clubs on the established KQ. The young man slumped dejectedly in his chair while the clergyman hurried to the exit without ever thinking of settling up.

The next morning over breakfast I questioned Holmes on his line of play.

‘I was wondering, Holmes, why you didn’t play on hearts immediately. It seems safer.’

‘Ah, Watson, you again demonstrate that at bridge even success has its critics. I admit I may have been too greatly influenced by our opponents’ behaviour.’

‘I noticed nothing untoward.’

The young bank clerk on my left hesitated briefly after our 1 – 1 start. He is the type who enters auctions cheaply without material justification. Did you notice the threadbare condition of his shirt cuffs? While he was considering such a rash move, his partner, an honest clergyman of Nonconformist persuasion, drew out his pocket watch, anxious not to be late for his evening prayer session scheduled to begin in 18 minutes time. That marked him with a flat hand of little interest. For such people, failure becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.’

‘This is unlike you, Holmes. You are always insisting on evidence based on facts.’

‘Very well, I shall explain. The division of sides of the opponent’s cards was 7=9=4=6. The lead indicted a robust spade suit. On the third round of trumps, South let go what appeared to him to be a worthless club. He felt he must keep guards in both majors. The rest was elementary. If he had the A and returned a safe spade to dummy’s A, I could ruff the clubs good and return to dummy to enjoy them.’

‘But I had opened light in first seat. How could you know you couldn’t make 13 tricks?’

‘I know your tendencies, Watson. Dinner time was upon us, nevertheless, I would expect no less than 2 aces and 9 minor suit cards. The young man’s hesitation pointed to potential bad breaks, so I decided to put an end to it, if for no other reason than not to inconvenience our clergyman’s parishioners.’

‘You might have done that by bidding 3NT and be done with it.’

‘That would be unsporting. No, at least slam presented me with a one-trick problem.’

‘It all depended on the clubs sitting 3-3. If they weren’t, holding up the ace would have presented difficulties. The opponents aren’t always so reliable.’

‘Well observed, old fellow. If our RHO were a Moriarity, he would be capable of withholding his ace in order to create a problem in communication, and I may have regretted not giving the situation more thought, especially after he had taken out his watch in such an obvious manner. However, if we can’t trust our bankers and our clergyman, where would we be? ‘

‘Quite so. Concerning that young gentleman…’

‘Watson, I am willing to wager we’ll not be seeing that particular young person again. Now let’s take up our instruments and try to give justice to a theme by Herr Pachebel.’

by Bob Mackinnon at January 27, 2017 01:50 PM

January 25, 2017

Peg Kaplan

2017 Winter Tournament - Jan 27-Jan 29

Winter

 

Just two days until winter fun in St. Paul!  Starting Friday, January 27 at 9:30AM, head to the Maplewood Community Center for the start of the Winter Sectional Tournament. Every day features new and challenging events, along with coffee and treats.  

During Sunday's morning and afternoon sessions, lunch will be served.

The schedule and all the details about our great sectional are here.  Grab your favorite partners and head to the Maplewood Community Center this weekend for the bridge event of the month!

by Peg at January 25, 2017 01:18 PM

Paul Gipson

EBU Online Knockout

Once again Alex and I are playing with Mike and Paul in the EBU Online Knockout and last night was the first round. We were playing well-known opponents to us, Malcolm, Ed, Steve, and Andy.

Mike and Paul earned the first two big swings with two excellent slam efforts:




Neither of these slams were bid in our room, but unfortunately Alex and I gave back all these imps on the next two boards. Two normal leads let games through, although one of them I could still have defeated if I had not suffered from BBO blindness and ruffed partner's trick.

There were no further big swings and we finished the first half with a small deficit, 29-31 IMP.

The second half started slowly and then everything went our way. However Mike might not have thought so after board 4:


Doubling a minor game with two aces is a reasonable proposition and normally only costs four or five imps if you are wrong, but here Paul selected the 'safe' trump lead and it meant a doubled overtrick and -950.

But Paul had got the big decision on the hand right, not that he was probably expecting a big decision with his holding. In our room, I opened the West hand with three clubs, and Alex raised to five clubs after North's spade overcall: once again North doubled, but this time South pulled it to five spades. Alex doubled and we extracted the maximum to win 4 imps on the board.

A couple of hands later Mike played a game contract better than our opponent to win a game swing and then an interesting judgement hand:


The key to this swing was West's second call. If South had passed, then I think one spade is right when you have such poor hearts although this could go very wrong if North rebids three clubs. But with South showing four spades, the question is whether to simply raise or show a good raise. I asked LotG and she said the decision was whether to raise or pass, a strong raise was not in the picture.

Obviously I think passing is too much, but I agreed with her that this is not close to a strong raise and when the auction confirmed that Alex had a singleton spade I was very happy with my decision. When Andy failed to lead his singleton king of trumps (!), Alex had a fairly easy route to make the contract.

In the other room West showed a strong raise and East naturally bid game. Solid defence beat this by two tricks for an 8 imp swing. I then made a doubled game, unbid in the other room, and Paul finished the second half rout with a better final decision:


The auction was the same in the other room until three diamonds was passed.

In the end we won comfortably by 76-42 IMP. The second round will be played some time in February.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 25, 2017 11:46 AM

January 23, 2017

Paul Gipson

A simple show-up squeeze

A lot of intermediate players shudder when they hear the term squeeze - they know that this is a term for an exotic play that experts have mastered but they haven't and probably never will.

But some of them can be the easiest plays in the world, if only you listen to the auction and watch the cards. I came across this one today and it could not be easier.


If you press Next in the hand diagram you will see the lead and can make your plan.

First count your tricks. You have two spades, two hearts, the ace of diamonds, and five clubs assuming that they break. You can ruff a heart in dummy, but that is one of your five club tricks. You can run the lead around to your queen for an eleventh trick, assuming that the lead is not a singleton. So it looks like you will need the spade finesse and divine the diamond position to make the contract.

Let's try to reconstruct some of the hand from the auction. West has made a vulnerable weak jump overcall opposite a passed partner. Few are going to do this without a good suit, so I think we can expect West to have most of the hearts given we have the ace and king of the suit. At a minimum, we expect West would expect a heart lead to be a safe lead almost regardless of his holding.

So it is less likely that he has made an aggressive lead in another suit, hence I think his lead might well be a singleton. So it is safest to rise with the ace of diamonds, draw trumps, and eventually from dummy lead towards the queen of diamonds.

Following this line we discover that West did have a singleton jack of diamonds and two clubs.

So now we can surmise that West has six or seven hearts with three minor cards. Click Next on the above diagram a few times to get to the current position. We cannot afford to lose another trick and the contract seems to rest on the spade finesse. Can you see anything better?

The key is that we don't have to ruff our third heart. If we keep it, then West has to keep a higher heart too. So if we play off the top two hearts and two trumps, then we will know the heart layout and the distribution of the complete hand. We will reach the following position with the lead in dummy:


Now, we don't know who holds the queen of spades, but when East showed up with two hearts we knew that his distribution was 2272 and West was dealt four spades and six hearts.

So the odds heavily favour West holding the queen of spades originally but there is no need to finesse him for it. Just play the last trump from dummy! East will pitch a diamond, I can pitch the three of spades, and what does West pitch?

If he throws the queen of hearts, then my nine is established and all the rest are mine. If he discards a low spade, then I know the remaining spades are 2-2 and by cashing the ace first, and then the king, the jack will be a winner. How simple is that?

What could go wrong? Well, suppose East only followed to the first heart trick and showed out on the second. Then we'd know that the spades were 3-3 initially. But we would follow the same line which would force West down to a doubleton spade. So when we cash the ace of spades and lead towards the king, then if West followed small then we'd go down, since we'd know that East had the guarded queen remaining.

If you see this line at trick one, then you might consider what you can do when West has seven hearts. It is unlikely to cost by cashing the top hearts to find out the layout, after drawing trumps. But if the hearts are 7-1, then you need to decide who to play for the queen of spades - a 50% chance as they'll be 3-3 when the trumps are 2-2.

So the best line is almost certainly to draw trumps and cash the top two hearts. Then assume West has a singleton diamond and play for the hand with the longer spades to have the queen. When this is West, play the show-up squeeze as shown above. When it is East, you can squeeze him in spade and diamonds, threatening to endplay him with the king of diamonds .. but this is a lot more complicated and left as an exercise for the reader (just suppose West is 2713 distribution)!

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 23, 2017 04:59 PM

January 21, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Toronto

Mike Cassel, our GNT Coordinator, has shared an information sheet about our May District 14 Finals this year in Mason City, IA.

Lots of great information from Mike about the event. A fabulous opportunity to compete against your peers at the Summer NABC in Toronto!

Take a look below at the event.  Hope to see many of you in Mason City - and - winning teams in Toronto!

Download GNTpromo16-17

by Peg at January 21, 2017 01:59 PM

January 16, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Eddie Kantar - 2017 Lazard Sportsmanship Award Recipient

  Eddie K

Minnesota may not be one of the more populous states in the U.S.  Yet, we have produced quite a number of super stars in the bridge world.  

One of those very accomplished stars is Eddie Kantar.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Eddie began to play at age 11, continuing with both competition and teaching at the University of Minnesota. He has had quite the illustrious career.

Not only has Eddie twice won the famed Bermuda Bowl, he also has many North American Championships to his credit, along with Grand Master status in the WBF and Grand Life Master status in the ACBL. In addition, Eddie is one of the most revered and prolific bridge writers around. His biography has more details.

Twenty years ago, Eddie was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame. Much more about his accomplishments in so many aspects of our game are heralded in his HOF write up.

Now, yet another honor has been bestowed upon Eddie.  The 2017 Lazard Sportsmanship Award has named Eddie as their recipient. As an "icon of the game" and a competitor who has been "a beacon of integrity and sportsmanship for decades," the committee selectors chose Eddie for their award.

Bridgewinners has posted a lovely detailed explanation of the award - and why Eddie is so deserving of this title.

Congratulations to Eddie, who joins fellow "from Minnesota but now in California" Howie Weinstein as a Lazard Sportsmanship Award winner!  We are bursting with pride for you both!

by Peg at January 16, 2017 09:09 PM

Unit 178 - February 4th BOD Agenda

For those interested in what Unit 178's Board of Directors are focusing on - their agenda for February 4th below.

Our thanks to the Board for their diligent service!

Download AgendaFeb4

by Peg at January 16, 2017 06:32 PM

January 14, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Back to the Future! - Bridge at U of M!

  U MN

 

Many of us "old timers" learned bridge when we were in college. Yet for some years, the number of students getting turned on to The Greatest Mind Game Ever dwindled. Now, however, a fine roster of U of MN professors are going to alter that trajectory!

Matthew Bribitzer-Stull, along with colleagues Paul Gutterman, Eric Hendrickson, Leon Hsu, Nita Kevans, Glen Meeden and Harry Sapienza will soon be teaching bridge at U of MN!  Approximately 48 Honors students will learn how to play bridge on Monday evenings, from 5:30-7:00PM in the Honors dorm. If they so wish, students will be encouraged to stay for another hour of play, from 7:00-8:00PM. 

Education will go well beyond rote explanation of rules. Faculty will also include discussion of the thinking skills that bridge develops, including enhanced memory, concentration, analytic thinking, contingency planning, communication and more. 

Bridge at the Honors dorm starts Monday, January 23rd, through May, 1st. A tournament will be held on the final date!  Students are encouraged to join the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and to continue their bridge education at local bridge clubs, such as the Twin Cities Bridge Center and The Bridge Center of St. Paul. We hope that students will also continue their education with further lessons.

U of MN students have a fabulous opportunity to learn the game with a fine array of bridge teachers!  We hope that many take advantage of these exceptional sessions!

Thanks to Minnesota Bridge Education for supporting this effort by providing teaching and playing supplies.

by Peg at January 14, 2017 02:01 PM

January 12, 2017

Judy Kay-Wolff

Exciting News from Las Vegas

Take advantage of the upcoming Unit 373 Glitter Gulch Sectional rates at the newly renovated Plaza in the traditionally celebrated area known as The Fremont Experience. I have been in touch with Chairlady Extraordinaire, Angie Clark, who served as Hospitality Chairperson for the last two Chicago NABCs. I’ve gleaned the following from her which I want to share with you:

The playing site is conveniently located and has fresh new carpeting where they have installed an additional bank of can lights to the already-existing adequate light system to make a very well-lit attractive playing area which is almost adjacent to the restrooms. There are restaurants and coffee shops in the Plaza as well as numerous dining facilities and other casinos just steps away.

The dates of our tournament are Monday through Friday (February 20-24th). The Starting Times are 10 & 3. The room rates (including resort fee and tax):  MONDAY ($54.25); TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY ($44.25).  Be sure to make your hotel reservation by January 30th USING OUR RESERVATION CODE:  SPACBL! (The card fees per session are $12 per person/$15 for non-ACBL members). The popular starting times of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. allow our players to enjoy relaxing meals in incredibly exciting surroundings.

The bridge schedule encompasses: PAIR GAMES: Two Sessions Every Day with an exciting BAROMETER PAIRS on Thursday; KNOCKOUTS Monday through Wednesday… with SWISS TEAMS available for those knocked out early. The tourney closes on Friday with a two-session STRATIFIED SWISS TEAMS and PAIR GAMES as well. Our 0-299ers have games every day at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. No section top prizes will be provided; however, trophies for I/Ns have been arranged. Check out our Unit 373 site for more specific details.

With the expected success of the February Sectional, we can ensure many more events at this location in the future. We look forward to your joining us at The Plaza.

More details to follow!

by Judy Kay-Wolff at January 12, 2017 03:55 PM

January 09, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Three Cheers for Rochester!

 

Rochester-skyline-2

 


Bridge lessons at the Rochester Bridge Club have been quite successful in bringing new players into the club.

Recently, 14 of their bridge students have joined the ACBL and are playing regularly, some even competing for the Ace of Clubs award in their category!  Hats off to Sue Greenberg and her team for these achievements!

An additional note is that Minnesota Bridge Education has supported the cause by helping to pay entry fees as the new players try out duplicate games.

by Peg at January 09, 2017 11:34 PM

MN Bridge Education

Learn bridge

MN Bridge Education is a charity whose goal is to support developing bridge players in Minnesota.   We support bridge teachers, students, and clubs by providing funds for lessons, supplies, and duplicate games for new players.

As a recognized charity, donations are tax deductible. So far our funds have come from individual donations, memorial gifts, and bridge charity games. We also have been included in at least one person’s estate planning. Please contact Sue Jackson (sjackson@smumn.edu) with questions. 

We now have a link to this on the left of the website.  Keep an eye out for news about this resource to help promote more bridge players in our state!

And, articles of incorporation are below.

Download MNBridgeEducation

by Peg at January 09, 2017 03:01 PM

January 08, 2017

Paul Gipson

Behind the sofa

I suspect most Scottish supporters spent the weekend watching BBO vugraph in 'Doctor Who mode' as the horror show unveiled. Realistically it was not much better for the English supporters, who expected their team to run riot and finish the weekend with an unassailable lead. The final table reads:

RankTeamVP
1Ireland76.52
2England73.80
3Wales53.48
4SBU40.98
5Northern Ireland32.95
6Scotland20.27

Scotland started well by beating the SBU team, but then disintegrated for the rest of the weekend. The SBU team were demolished by England but then had an excellent win against Ireland and should have beaten Wales in the final match to finish above them.

I'm glad I'm not a Scottish selector because it seems clear that changes are needed but it is not as if there are plenty of alternatives ready and waiting to come in. Only Ash-Bayer, who were unavailable this weekend, look certain to come into the Scotland team and arguments could made to drop all three pairs! Typically the selectors do not make such wholesale changes, mainly due to lack of options, so perhaps just a single change.

For the SBU team, I expect they'll keep the two most experienced partnerships. Although they both had their ups and downs, at least they looked competitive most of the time. The third pair looked under-prepared and did not fill viewers with confidence; I suspect this will be more fatal to their chances of playing the next weekend than their butler score.

The England team had two poor matches, failing to comprehensively beat Northern Ireland and then losing the decisive final match to Ireland. They've left the Hinden team much to do in Edinburgh in March.

The full results are available on the EBU website.

Hopefully the SBU will put on a better vugraph show in Edinburgh. Only four tables were available most of this weekend and, occasionally, just three. I suspect this was a new venue and the internet coverage poorly understood; and I was told that they did not have enough operators on the Friday evening. The Edinburgh venue has been used often and there is already a standby list of operators.

by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 08, 2017 09:49 PM

January 06, 2017

Eamon Galligan

Camrose 2017

This evening at around 1900 the annual Camrose Bridge Party starts. I think it should be on Bridgebase Online for all to see.

After a little research I discovered it takes place in Coventry so all should be well for our viewing pleasure. EBU usually put on a good show but in some countries the vugraph operators can be brand new and take some time to get up to speed. However EBU are almost as good as Paul Porteus.

The usual teams will play with Scotland having two teams in action. That probably means all the players in Scotland that can follow suit. Les Steele does not follow suit these days and Victor is probably retired to the Over 50s Telscher bash and some other good Scots players emigrated to USA and England. No sign of Derek Saunders this year. I guess Biff does not play bridge anymore and maybe Liz has retired. I think SBU team will outrun Scotland. Have not seen Jim Hay togging out for a while so maybe match fitness could be a problem.

I have not noticed much movement of the Northern Ireland team since they completed the trials but with Peter Pigot teaching regularly up there in one of the clubs maybe they took the opportunity to get some coaching. The NIBU team is backboned by Ciara Burns and John Murchan along with Grier McKenzie and Hastings Campbell.  NIBU also include honorary players Greenwood and Anderson.
Anderson is quite a good player having gathered about 110 caps for Northern Ireland. He also made a recent appearance in the Seniors Bermuda Bowl in India reaching the quarter final.

The CBAI team of Carroll Garvey Moran Boland Hanlon and McGann will have a shot and I saw them in the bridge gym recently. However Boland has a pulled hamstring in his left arm so could have trouble front loading. Thomas Hanlon has developed into a fine player these days so if he is on form there could be a CBAI win.

Wales have put out an intelligent team this year but no sign of the monster pair of Tedd and Salisbury. He is a nice man that Salisbury chap. I saw that pair do a 3.14 imp set and then some captain sat them out ... I don't understand captains that sitout pairs who are on a hot run.

1/2 England Ireland
3 SBU
4 Wales
5 Scotland
and distant 6th will be Northern Ireland ...

However maybe those NIBU folk will prove me wrong ..




by Eamon Galligan (noreply@blogger.com) at January 06, 2017 02:05 PM

Peg Kaplan

November Minutes - Unit 178 Board Meeting

Today, we present Linda Brammer's minutes for Unit 178's November Board of Directors meeting.  Please see below.

Thank you Linda and thank you Unit 178 Board Members!

Download Nov19MeetingMinutes. Unit 178

by Peg at January 06, 2017 02:00 PM

Unit 103 - Agenda for January Board of Directors Meeting

Elaine Mulcahy is busy at it again!  Now we have Unit 103's January agenda for their Board of Directors meeting.  Posted below!

Download January28,2017Agenda.Unit 103

by Peg at January 06, 2017 12:18 AM

Unit 103 - Board of Directors - 2017

Secretary Elaine Mulcahy from the 103 Board of Directors has sent me an updated list for this year's roster.  Please see below.

Our thanks to Elaine and all the other fine people in Unit 103 who contribute to our bridge world!

Download Roster2017. Unit 103 BOD

by Peg at January 06, 2017 12:16 AM

January 05, 2017

Paul Gipson

Camrose First Weekend

This weekend is the first of the Camrose Trophy and will see intense competition between the open teams of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. As host of the second weekend in March, Scotland will send two teams to Coventry, the second being known as the SBU team, and everyone will play a 32-board match against the others.

England have dominated the Camrose Trophy recently, winning four of the last five. They are expected to dominate again and, realistically, I think only Ireland have thoughts of competing with them over the two weekends.

England will be represented by: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Tony Forrester & David Bakhshi; Mike Bell & David Gold; with NPC: Martin Jones.

The Scotland team is Alex Adamson & Mike McGinley, Paul Barton & Jun Nakamaru-Pinder, and Sandy Duncan & Jim Hay with Mike Ash as NPC.

The SBU team is Sam Punch & Stephen Peterkin, Iain Sime & John Matheson, and Frazer Morgan & Phil Stephens with Anne Symons as NPC.

There will be a friendly rivalry between the two Scotland teams and it will be interesting to see them play each other on Friday evening. The SBU team has significantly more experienced partnerships, so I would not be surprised to see them come out on top at the end of the two weekends. But, on the other hand, experience has done little to help Scottish teams in the past and I'm sure this first match will be an intense battle.

All the matches will be covered on BBO Vugraph (schedule) and I will be commentating some of the time. Good luck to all those competing.

Results, regulations, teams, player photos from last century, etc


by Paul Gipson (noreply@blogger.com) at January 05, 2017 06:09 PM

January 01, 2017

Peg Kaplan

Minnesota Bridge Education Referrals

Help Minnesota Bridge Education earn money during the tax season!

 

If you are a new client of H & R Block, then tell the H&R office that you visit that you were referred to them by the Minnesota Bridge Education.  

A $20 referral fee will then be donated to Minnesota Bridge Education.

Thank you!

And yes; it is that simple!

 

by Peg at January 01, 2017 03:00 PM