ACBL Update: In an effort to increase membership, there will be an ACBL offer for FREE membership coming in the near future.
Without an ACBL membership, you are not getting credit for the masterpoints that you may be winning… Sorry
In addition, ACBL is also working on more special games – that offer more gold/silver masterpoints. In the future, we will even be able to play
Team events – Swiss Teams and Knockouts.
International Challenge Match: On Tuesday, August 25, at 2:00 PM, FFBC will participate in a bridge match versus St Albans Bridge Club (England). Each of our teams will play 12 or 16 boards (Knockout style- Victory Point Scale) against a comparable level team from the St Albans Club. Our teams have been formed and we are awaiting further information from St Alban’s. I am hoping that us non-players will be able to “kibitz” one or more of the matches.
St Albans described their approach as: “The point is not the winning, but rather having fun in these difficult times, and we aim to cover all levels of bridge ability in a match rather than simply choosing the best players. The lower teams are normally quite weak / near beginners.” I share their approach/attitude completely and this should be great fun.
Sue Kuder Memorial Service: Many of you received my email re: Sue Kuder’s passing from cancer on 7/22. (Picture attached).
Her Memorial Service will be held online on August 15 at 11:00 AM via Zoom. (Details attached)
Her cancer was only detected at a very late stage. Sue was a wonderful person and I will miss her so.
Sue played with us on Thursday mornings (mostly), and we will fondly remember her kind and pleasant manner.
Important: Labor Day, Monday, September 7 – Yes, there will be the usual BBO Game at 12:30 PM.
Upcoming Bridge Lessons: Our popular teachers are ready – It’s time to improve your bridge skills.
Bridge Classes with Elizabeth Gompels (Online):
LEARN BRIDGE - Online
8 Tuesday evenings, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Sept 22 – Nov 17 (no class 11/03)
Over eight weeks, you will learn how to play Bridge, including the basics of Bidding, Play, Scoring, and Bridge Conventions. Online classes include hands-on learning, guided demonstrations, group discussions, and lots of bridge hands to practice techniques. All very fun and highly interactive!
For details and to register: visit www.arlingtoncomunityed.org
Play Bridge, BIDDING REFRESHER
4 Friday mornings, 9:30 - 11:30 AM, Sept 22 - Oct 13
Topics will include Opening & Responding, Overcalls & Takeout Doubles, Stayman & Jacoby Transfers and Strong 2C & Blackwood.
Play Bridge, DEFENSE
4 Friday mornings, 9:30 - 11:30 AM, Oct 20 - Nov 17 (no class 11/03)
Topics will include Carding/Signals, Opening Leads, Discards and Partnership Cooperation.
Come join us online to practice and Play Bridge while increasing your confidence and deepening your understanding of the game. You will “sit” at an online table with classmates, bid and play a series of prepared deals to practice the techniques presented. Get your questions answered and receive help in real-time. The atmosphere will be fun, friendly and relaxed. Take either mini-course or sign up for both. Appropriate for Beginner course graduates and players returning to the game who would like to brush-up their skills. For more details and to register: visit www.arlingtoncommunityed.org
Bridge Classes with Kim Gilman (Online): (See attached .pdf file for complete details, or go to http://www.bridgewithkim.com/ )
Classes for Advanced Beginners & Up:
“Dazzling Defense!” -- 10:00-11:50 AM, Tue. & Fri. mornings, four weeks, 8 classes: Sept. 22, 25, 29, Oct. 2, 6, 9, 13, 16
“Defense, Part 2” -- 10:00-11:50 AM, Tue. & Fri. mornings, four weeks, 8 classes: Oct. 20, 23, 27, 30, Nov. 3, 6, 10, 13
“Demon Declarers!” -- 7:00-8:50 PM, Mon. & Wed. evenings, four weeks, 8 classes: Sept. 14, 16, 21, 23, 30, Oct. 5, 7, 12
“Bidding in Competitive Auctions” -- 7:00-8:50 PM, Tues. & Thurs. evenings, five weeks, 10 classes: Oct. 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29, Nov. 3, 5, 10, 12
"Popular Conventions” -- 1:00 - 2:50 PM, Mon. & Wed. afternoons, four weeks, 8 classes: Oct 19, 21, 26, 28, Nov. 2, 4, 9, 11
Special Saturday Morning “Learning Games” -- 9:30-11:30, Kim’s Learning Games — with Co-Teacher, Elizabeth Gompels
Dates: Oct. 10 ($5 intro). Series of five classes: Oct. 17, 24, 31, Nov. 7, 14.
Classes for Intermediate Players & Up:
“Fiendish Declarers” -- 10:00-11:50 AM, Eight weeks, Monday and Wednesday mornings
Option of Mondays only, or Monday + Wednesday
Monday dates: Sept. 14, 21, Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9; Wednesday dates: Sept. 16, 23, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 11
“Defense, Part 2 for Intermediates” -- 10:00-11:50 AM, Tue. & Fri. mornings, four weeks, 8 classes: Oct. 20, 23, 27, 30, Nov. 3, 6, 10, 13
Classes with Zach Grossack, (Grand Life Master):
Tentative plans for Zach's upcoming classes: 3:30 - 5:15 PM, Thursday afternoons,
Series 1: September 10, 17, 24 “Modern Preemptive Bidding”;
Series 2: October 8, 15, 22 “Zach’s Tips for Tops”
First, the good news. Congratulations to 5 players have achieved the rank of Life Master since March.
Unfortunately, the cakes will have to wait until we meet again.
Georgia Mcguire, Winchester
Ronnie Fuchs, Cambridge
Pam Jerskey, Wellesley
Ron Williams, Wellesley
Perry Miller, Cambridge
Warning about BB$: If you use the BBO “app” on your cell phone to purchase BB$, a surcharge of 20 % will be added to your purchase.
Avoid this surcharge by buying BB$ at bridgebase.com. Note: Mass Sales Tax does apply to all BB$ purchases.
In addition, Capital One Visa is refusing to process payments to BBO. The reason is that they consider BBO to be a gambling site.
For other useful BBO information, see attached document.
Fantastic Bridge Lessons in July
Special Bridge Classes: Learning Games with Kim Gilman and Zach Grossack
A note from Kim: After a successful trial run in June, my online "Learning Games" will be back in July.
In these classes you will play hands in a BBO tournament, but we go over each hand on Zoom after you play, so you learn as you go.
Before the game begins, we'll give you some tips and strategies for success — and you'll practice right away during the game!
To register for either of these series, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
For Advanced Beginners and Up ♦︎
Saturday mornings 9:30-11:30 AM, July 11, 18, 25
It's a Bidder's Game!
These lessons, taught by Kim, will include instruction on what to do when the other side opens: whether to step into the auction, and how to use the "Double" card.
I'll give you the latest rules on Overcalls and Takeout Doubles. Advance registration and payment for the 3-part series is required. Cost will be $45, plus $5 on BBO for each game.
For intermediate and advanced players ♠︎
Tuesday afternoons 3:00-5:00 PM, July 7, 14, 21
Declare These Hands with Zach
Multi-time national champion Zach Grossack is known as one of the best declarers in the bridge world.
Would you like to know how he plans his strategy for making 90% of his contracts…with overtricks?
Before the tournament, you'll hear Zach present useful bridge techniques on Zoom.
The tournament hands will be set up for you to practice the lesson. Between rounds, Zach will comment on how he would play each one.
You'll have a chance to ask questions, and receive his write-ups after the class. Cost will be $45 paid in advance, plus $5 on BBO for each game.
Partners are needed for the Learning Games; you can bring your own, or find one at the Partnership Desk. We guarantee a partner!
…and Lessons For New Players:
2020 BRIDGE CLASSES
Teacher: Elizabeth Gompels
Arlington Community Education registration is open for online courses and activities.
New Summer Term...
This six-week series moves beyond the basics of the game with an emphasis on “Declarer Play” and “Improving your Bridge-Thinking” skills.
Each session will be hands-on with ample opportunities to practice new techniques and play bridge.
Appropriate for players who completed LEARN BRIDGE or any introductory Bridge course.
6 Tuesdays, July 7, 14, 21, 28, August 4 & 11
Evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Registration opened on June 15.
For more information, visit www.arlingtoncommunityed.org or call 781-316-3568.
Questions? Please contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to all of you for supporting our efforts.
Cell: (339) 223-6484
The News about Silver Masterpoints:
All BBO Games within ACBL Virtual Club will award Silver Masterpoints at 3 Times the usual rate starting next week (from March 25 thru 31). This is a great opportunity for players working toward the Lifemaster level. The ACBL is helping you and helping themselves – financially. The ACBL fee for these games is significantly higher and I have to pass this cost on to you, the players. All FFBC BBO games next week will cost $ 9.00 per player, up from our current player fee of $ 7.00.
Monday, 12:30 PM, 18 boards, 3 boards per round, 7 minutes per board, “OPEN”
Tuesday, 7:00 PM, 18 boards, 3 boards per round, 7 minutes per board, “OPEN”
Wednesday 7:15 PM -- for Winchester DBC.
Thursday, 9:30 AM, 12 boards, 3 boards per round, 9 minutes per board, “Restricted”,
must be Skill Level = Novice or Beginner
Thursday, 12:30 PM, 18 boards, 3 boards per round, 7 minutes per board, “OPEN”
Friday, 12:30 PM, 18 boards, 3 boards per round, 7 minutes per board, “OPEN”
Names for BBO Please: If you believe in the spirit of FFBC, please modify your BBO Profiles and add/change your “Real Name” to something your friends can recognize. You can put your entire name or just “Nancy H”. You can think of it as wearing your name badge at St Camillus.
Complaints About Other Players: I heard more complaints today than I have ever heard in one game – please stop. I have had it. I have finally lost my patience. None of you are the 2nd coming of Oswald Jacoby. If you are, you should not be playing in this bridge game. This bridge game is for human beings that play bridge and make mistakes. Every single one of us is learning what it means to play bridge on the BBO website. Some of us learn quickly and some of us don’t, but we are all trying to improve – even the Directors.
So what happened today?
“I want my score adjusted. The opponents were too slow and we couldn’t finish a board. We didn’t call the Director, but that shouldn’t matter”.
“I asked the opponents the meaning of a bid, but they wouldn’t answer (or maybe they didn’t know how to answer). I never got the information I asked for. It delayed the playing of the hand, so that I didn’t get to finish the hand. I want my score adjusted.”
“We kept telling the player to play a card. She said my keyboard is frozen. We told her to logout/login. By the time the table was finally told that the reason she couldn’t play a card was that she was dummy, they had wasted a lot of time. Her partner was the declarer.”
“Both sides were slow playing the first 2 boards. Time expired and the third board was taken away after the first trick had been played. I am positive that I would have made my 5 Club Contract, and I want my score adjusted.
Please read and understand the following:
To call the Director, there is a blue box in the top left corner with 3 white bars. Click on the box, call director and type in opponent is not answering my question. The director will come to the table and resolve. I want all my players to call the director for any irregularity. We don’t want players making their own rulings at the table – especially when they complain about it later.
To inquire about a bid: you can click on the bid in question, then type “What is your agreement about this bid?”.
The opponent’s response will go to you alone. If there is a problem at this point, call the Director.
Please do not type any explanations/alerts to Table Chat, where your partner can see.
Doing so risks the receiving of an adjusted score - if “damage to opponents” is found from the
“unauthorized info” being passed in the Table Chat.
Alert your bids: If opponents have special agreements and they properly Alert them, you will see the bid with an explanation on the top right of your green table area. Note: the partner does not see the explanation, but you and your partner do see the explanation. If you need further information, click on the bid as in the paragraph above. Note: Failure to Alert a “special agreement” can result in an adjusted score that will benefit the injured parties. But ACBL has determined that bids higher than 3 NT do not require “Alerts” - because it is better to ask for explanations of these bids at the end of the auction. You can still ask questions about any specific bid, especially if you are considering to make a bid.
Slow Play: If you encounter a “slow player”, be kind because they may be new to BBO. If you feel there will be a “time problem”
by the end of the round, please call the Director. If you don’t call the Director, don’t complain about it later. The Director will now be aware of the problem, and will probably monitor the table. If you are consistently a “slow player” over more than 1 table, the Director has the duty to penalize you for “Slow Play” and points can be taken away from you. “Slow Play” is penalized at physical clubs in the same way.
Free Bridge Lesson, Mark Your Calendars:
Saturday, June 6, 9:15 - 10:00 AM
National Champion, Kevin Wilson of Knoxville, TN was scheduled to visit our club a few weeks ago to teach an all-day seminar. He is looking forward to rescheduling that seminar once our club is open again. Meanwhile, he has generously offered a FREE ONLINE LESSON on "Fitting Honors" for our players on June 6th. Kevin is an excellent teacher; don't miss this!
Fitting Honors: Learn how to re-evaluate and upgrade your hand if your honor cards fit well with partner. Reach games and slams others don't reach…or stay out of bad ones others might bid and go down! It all depends on WHERE your points are!
To connect to this lesson:
Log in in to BBO and add grypho as a friend (that's Kevin).
Here's how: Find the People tab, at the bottom or right of your screen, and click on it. Then at the bottom there is a place to Add a Friend. Type grypho in the blank line, and then click Add Friend.
At 9:00 AM on June 6th, grypho (Kevin) will open a teaching table on BBO. To get to the table, again go to your People tab, click on his BBO name, and then a pop-up box will appear. From that pop-up box click Join in the upper right. You will be instantly taken to the Lesson! You must be on the BBO home page (NOT in the Casual section) or the "Join" button will not be an option. If you don't see it, logout and then log back on and then click on grypho.
This will be a voice presentation so you will need to have speakers, so turn them on before it begins. This is also intended as a discussion so you are welcome to ask questions and participate! If you have any questions before class, e-mail Kim Gilman at email@example.com.
Thank you for joining us to play bridge online, and in numbers exceeding our previous table counts. Although I cannot see you, I recognize each and every one of you by name (I am learning your BBO usernames too!). It means a lot to me to see the Family Friendly Bridge community come together.
We have to face it, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the future of bridge clubs forever.
Although we don’t know when, I believe bridge clubs will reopen and improvements to our playing area will be required to insure the safety of every player.
I have been discussing this situation with the club’s directors and your Player Committee.
The group consensus was that the club must be prepared for the future, and the possible changes that will be required.
To have the funds needed for the changes, Family Friendly Bridge Club will increase the fee for playing in our BBO games.
Effective on Monday, May 18, the fee for playing in an Open FFBC game on BBO will increase from $ 5.00 to $ 7.00.
Note: This is a temporary change. Fee will go back to $ 5.00 when we have sufficient funds for these renovations.
This $ 2.00 increase will be set aside as a separate fund to be monitored and controlled by the Player Committee.
This money will be used to pay for all necessary improvements to the club’s playing area in the lower church.
We need to be able to totally sanitize all of our areas. The bathrooms will be remodeled – new floors, stalls, lighting, etc.
Similar improvements would be made to the kitchen area and to what I call the playing area.
The church has said that it is willing to let the renovations happen, but they don’t have any funds to pay for building improvements at this time.
I don’t know when we will be back at St Camillus, but I’m confident it will happen someday.
I’d like us to come back to a better physical facility and we will.
Thank you for your support.
Cell: (339) 223-6484
Regarding our games on BBO:
The usual peak online attendance for BBO was 20,000 to 25,000 players before the pandemic.
Last Friday afternoon, attendance was between 50,000 and 55,000 players, and this is the new “normal”.
BBO is investigating new equipment to handle all of this new activity, but they are having problems with lost internet connections, etc.
If you lose your connection, please log back in again. BBO will bring you back to your table.
If your keyboard seems frozen, this can be a momentary problem that the servers are very busy.
What should you do? Send a “Chat” to your table that “Keyboard is Stuck”, and wait at least 30 seconds.
You can also “Call for the Director”, so they are aware also. You should be reluctant to “logout/login” – it will take longer.
Last Friday, the game/tournament was delayed over 7 minutes…. Waiting for at least 10 missing players to “log back in”.
I won’t delay the game/tournament in the future. It is your responsibility to be online and waiting when game time arrives.
If you are late logging in, the game will start without you and your BB$ will NOT be charged.
From now on, I’m expecting all of the players in a game to be online at least 15 minutes before game time.
If your partner is not online, our wonderful directors will probably notify you – so you can call them.
Other BBO Stuff:
To save playing time and computer resources, “Claim” when it is reasonable – instead of playing it all the way out.
Please fill in your name in your BBO profile. It is more fun for all to know who is playing. Use “David A”, etc
Check your ACBL number – else you won’t get the masterpoints that you win. Click “ACBL World” on 1st screen – then “Update…” at bottom of screen.
If a board is taken away because time expired, it will be adjusted to the most likely final result – NOT always average. It will only be average if we can’t determine a result.
Bridge Lessons are being offered:
Teacher: Elizabeth Gompels
LEARN BRIDGE is being offered starting Tuesday, April 28. Please freely share the details and registration link with anyone who may be interested.
These beginner bridge lessons are part of Arlington Community Education. You can register online for these courses and other activities.
8 Tuesdays, April 28 to June 16
Section 1: Mornings, 10:00 - 12 noon
Section 2: Evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
To register online the link is: https://ace.asapconnected.com/#CourseID=221234
Any Questions? Please contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher: Kim Gilman
Kim is working to set up online group lessons through Zoom and BBO.
If you would be interested, please send Kim an e-mail letting her know whether you'd like to participate, and what you'd like to see covered.
Write to email@example.com.
Remembering Mort Speck:
The passing of Mort Speck brought back some pleasant memories from those that knew him best:
I could not sleep last night (Thu, 4/23) and my head was everywhere. Mort popped into my thoughts and I was wondering how he was doing.
He was such a nice man. I’m glad he went peacefully. From Wendy Jarrett.
I remember playing with Mort. In fact, I quote him all the time. The instance I quote him from came from a time he was playing with Wendy Jarrett as his partner and he bid their side up to game and then put down a less than stellar dummy. When Wendy teasingly questioned his judgement he said "I know you like a challenge!" I loved that line and use it all the time when I do the same to my partner. From Kathy Leafquist
This is sad news.. I have known Mort for 40+ years with deep fondness. He was cute at bridge...his famous word for taking time to plan play of the hand was “ reconnoiter.” He was the only partner that I’ve played with to reach a grand slam and we made it! I’m relieved to hear that he died peacefully and at home. From Merry Ray
I had the privilege of driving Mort home sometimes after our bridge games in Arlington. Although Mort’s memory was not good it was patently clear from our conversations that Mort was a gentleman and an all-around classy guy. Just a terrible sense of loss. From Carolyn Bittetti
I wish goood health to everyone during these trying times.
Cell: (339) 223-6484