I cannot believe that I am submitting another blog to my district bridge bulletin! In early June 2020, I wrote an article after receiving recognition for reaching the “Junior Master” level, and now, just a few months later, I am being honored in achieving “Club Master!”
I attribute this early success to playing a tremendous amount of online bridge, as well as reading the Philadelphia Inquirer bridge column, devouring books and taking lessons through the South Jersey Bridge Club. Along with my “new buddy” (partner John O’Rourke), we are playing three times a week and sometimes more (only when our wives permit us)!
John and I recently celebrated the 6th month anniversary of our first game. Due to COVID-19, we only physically met each other for the first time in August! Since then, our wives have joined us for two lovely in person dinners, and the four of us have aspirations, when health conditions permit, of spending a quiet evening having dinner and playing bridge.
As I strive to get more sophisticated in my bridge play, I recognize my glaring weaknesses (play of the hand, especially in NT), but of course, I need to play more hands to get better and build my confidence. Of note, I recently was exposed to some crazy conventions such as DONT, Cappelletti, New Minor Forcing, Game Suit Help Try and Inverted Minors. It is so satisfying when you can put these new strategies to use and actually make the contract or steal a bid!
On a more somber note, is it really going to be safe to return to our bridge club and resume activities “just like the good old days?” I truly am concerned that this day is still beyond our collective reach. In the meantime, John and I will continue our quest for the next milestone and enjoy the satisfaction of a “job well done!” Albeit remote, I am grateful that we are all able to come together and celebrate each other’s victories.