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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.