If you see this woman with the fabulous smile, then be sure to tell her "thank you." We have forty dozen reasons to do so; exactly the number of chocolate chip cookies Sue Shorter baked at home for our hospitality room!
Prior to the official start of the Gopher Regional 2013, a most special event was held. From Atlanta, bridge teacher extraordinaire, Patty Tucker, came to present her "Learn Bridge in A Day" seminar.
From all reports, it was an enormous success! One hundred new bridge players attended! Participants ranged from "never played bridge before" to "played some party bridge long ago" to "a little bit of duplicate experience."
Throughout the day, comments about Patty and her instruction could be heard. "This is great!" "I'm learning so much," and "this is lots of fun" translate to a most successful venture.
Our community plans follow up, including further lessons and free plays. We hope that these attendees will continue to learn more about bridge and be as fascinated with it as our long time players are. Joining the ACBL to get all the perks that come with membership would be a plus, too.
Please give a big thanks to Patty to coming to the Twin Cities with her fine seminar - and to all the table helps and other volunteers who contributed to this special occasion!
Minnesota Bridge has yet one more loss to report. Joyce Olson died suddenly on May 12th, after a long battle with heart disease. A memorial service will be held this coming Thursday. Details can be found at her obituary.
Bill Voedisch was kind enough to share these memories of Joyce, his long time friend and fellow bridge lover.
Patty Tucker's seminar, "Learn Bridge in A Day" is scheduled for Monday, May 20th. If you are interested in teaching bridge, having friends learn - or if you are someone who currently doesn't play but would love to do so - then be sure to attend Patty's seminar.
Then, Monday evening is the kick-off for the Gopher Regional. Co-chairmen Patti Stuhlman and Sue Jackson have a marvelous week of bridge, lectures, hospitality and more scheduled for us. If you need assistance finding partners or teammates, then Rebecca Connolly and her partnership desk can be of service.
At times in life, we get swept away by optimism and irrational exuberance. Even at the bridge table, we are not immune from this phenomenon.
Today, John Koch presents us with a hand where the auction took just such a flight of fancy. The good news is that the cards were most favorable for declarer - and he was blessed with enough skill to take advantage. Once again, John shows us how to bring home a tough contract and garner all the matchpoints.
On that latter point, please note. Had declarer taken 12 tricks in game rather than slam - he would not have lost a single matchpoint for his efforts!
This past year has been a difficult one for our bridge community. Too many of our players have left us - and today, we are saddened to announce that one more has departed: Jerry Lee.
For many years, Jerry Lee was one of Minnesota's leading lights. Not only was Jerry in the winning circle frequently, he also was a strong mentor of upcoming players. Indeed, one of those players, Joe Grue, is now a household name in the international bridge world. Jerry played a key role in Joe's development - plus other top players in our community.
I tried to look up Jerry's current masterpoint total. Unfortunately, however, as he was no longer able to play bridge in recent years, his record is not listed at ACBL. Nevertheless, in 2009, the last year for which there is a record, Jerry had earned over 10,000 lifetime masterpoints - one of only 3 players in our state to have done so.
Jerry's obituary can be found here. And, some remembrances from friends of Jerry's can be found below. Our thanks to Joe Gruem Bob Balderson and Sue Grue for sharing their friendships with Jerry with us.
Most experienced bridge players know how to use some form of key card to inquire about aces, along with the king and queen of trump. Yet when it comes to declaring, no one has yet devised a method to determine where a key queen resides within the opponents' hands!
This week in Koch's Korner, John features a hand that your editor played recently. I took risks both in the auction and the play - and they paid off for me.
Please note, however, that often luck plays a role at the table. Had the queen of diamonds been in the wrong spot - or, had the heart suit been distributed a bit differently, this story would have had quite a different ending.
Many years ago, I kibitzed Howie Weinstein in a team trials match. Howie bid an aggressive 3NT, and failed when a jack was not where he needed it to be. Edgar Kaplan wrote up Howie's choice of calls in the Bridge World and was not complimentary. Had the jack cooperated, though, we likely would have read that Howie's bold move paid big dividends.
Thanks to John for writing up a successful tale of boldness - and thanks to that diamond queen for contributing!
The Bridge Center of St. Paul will participate in the partnership between the ACBL and the Alzheimer's Association to raise funds for Alzheimer's research. On the longest day of the year - June 21st - the ACBL is encouraging clubs to play bridge from sunrise to sunset.
We would like to invite everyone to join us in this effort! A continental breakfast will be served at 5:25AM; our first game will start at 6AM. We plan to have bridge until 10PM. Free food will be available the entire day.
Additionally, we are conducting a silent auction. Please check the day's schedule and stay tuned for a list of available auction items!
Longest Day Schedule
5:25AM Doors open for continental breakfast and lots of coffee
6:00AM Session 1 - Open Game
10:00AM Session 2 - Open Game and 199er Game
2:00PM Session 3 - Open Game, Chat Bridge and 49er Game
5:30PM Dinner and Lesson
6:30PM Session 4 - Open Game and 299er (if table counts warrant)
Bridge is clearly a game of skill. If it were not, then we wouldn't see the same names continually at or near the top.
Yet, part of the fascination of our game is that it can be impacted by some measure of luck. Sometimes, we are graced with a helpful lead or break. Other times, the opponents give us nothing. Then, we must calculate how to create our own luck.
John Koch presents us with such a hand today. When you are dealt lemons, you make lemonade!
Sharon Anderson, District 14 Director, earned over 767 masterpoints last year during her term as President of the ACBL!
Bridge players love their games - and love to celebrate, too! This coming Saturday, May 4th, you can enjoy all of the above.
At the Twin City Bridge Center, come and play in the afternoon game at 1PM. Afterwards, a complimentary dinner will be served at 5:30PM. Following dinner, Unit 178 will present Ace of Clubs and MiniMcKenney awards for 2012. The evening game at 7PM is the cap to a great day of bridge and presentations!
Whether you earned 5 masterpoints or 500 in 2012 - we hope that you will join this festive bridge celebration!
Minnesotans have enjoyed a few long awaited spring days.... Sunshine, warmth and with it walks around lakes and the shedding of winter coats.
But - that does not mean that we don't think ahead about bridge events down the road!
Come September, not only will our weather begin to cool down from the dog days of summer - the Autumn Harvest Sectional in New Brighton will be here! September 19-21, enjoy pair and team games at the Community Center.
We don't wish to rush anyone from our spring or summer. We do, however, want everyone to enjoy our fall bridge festivities!
Tomorrow is the start of the the Special Sectional in New Brighton - along with the Saturday/Sunday competition for the District 14 GNT Finals.
Both events should be challenging and fun. And - for those who win their flights in GNT, the bonus of a trip to the Summer NABC in Atlanta, a chance to compete against peers from around the ACBL - and a subsidized trip!