Letter from a Player

New Junior Master started playing bridge competitively in 1955!

October, 2020
By Marty Cohen

Oh, it does feel good to have just become a Junior Master. I started playing bridge competitively in 1955 and now, already, I'm a Junior Master ! At this rate I'll become a Life Master about the same time that Pluto completes ten more orbits around the Sun.

Actually what happened is that when I moved to Ft. Worth, Texas in 1955 I got into the midst of a duplicate bridge vortex, playing several times a week, most weeks (even once playing against the team of Oswald and Jim Jacoby, who came over from Dallas to play in one of our tournaments). It's definitely more prestigious to get a bottom when playing against a world–renown expert than one of my local C mates. I did earn a few master points back then but, since I didn't play duplicate between 1957 and 2019, they're who–knows–where.

I was also a chess player aways back, and when I retired from paid employment one of the first things I did was to renew my membership in the U.S. Chess Federation (or whatever it's called). You know, I didn't play one game ! I just got real busy with my "projects", endeavors that I enjoy but didn't have the time to do while working for a living. Ok, what restarted my bridge engine ? I live in New Jersey, an hour's train ride to Penn Station in New York City, and I have a daughter living in NYC who, not too long ago, got into duplicate bridge there. In order to increase our father–daughter time we arranged to play duplicate in NYC about once a month. This quickly became a delightful activity, and stimulated me to restore my bridge chops, somewhat. Alas, Covid19 put the kibosh on that, so that now we play most Mondays on Bridgebase. We don't get the face to face time, but we have a nice phone call after the session where we mostly talk about our mistakes, in addition to general chatting. I recall that competitive bridge players and whitewater canoeists share the same adage: "don't play/paddle with your wife as your partner", but bridge has definitely improved our father–daughter bonding.

Marty Cohen (aka Jersey2020)


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