Letter from a Player

New Junior Master - never set foot in an actual bridge club

August, 2020
By Karen

Dear Carlos,

Thank you for your congratulatory note!

In this period of the pandemic and all that it entails... learning and playing bridge has been a singular bright spot.

I began learning bridge with my husband at his suggestion, in a once a week class in the Continuing Ed program at Scarsdale High School last year. With all of my other activities and passions – I am an avid tennis player, was also learning golf, am President of my condominium, and serve on the Executive Committee of a $15 million nonprofit – my progress with bridge was slow. Unlike my husband, I was not a card player so even the most basic things – following suit, using trumps as wild cards, learning the order of the four suits, counting 4–3–2–1 for the honors – had to be learned.

Last June of 2019, we traveled to Iceland on Backroads – and made a number of new friends. Two of them, from Oakland, became close. We played bridge with them a couple times on the trip and I was completely lost, and frustrated.

Fast forward a year. Another long–time friend of ours had been known to be playing bridge since childhood with her parents while growing up. I reached out and she directed me to BBO. Then I reached out to our area's renowned instructor – Sylwia McNamara. I began taking beginner classes weekly, and then Sylwia encouraged me to try the 99'er tournaments. I went from zero to approximately six MP in about 2–3 months.

Also: my friend from Oakland CA takes the weekly classes from Sylwia. My friend has played for years. But she said she has never had an instructor half as good as Sylwia!

I've never set foot in an actual bridge club. I have only ever played duplicate bridge on BBO!

And that's my story.



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