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All comments by Brendan Byrne
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One issue with bridge in the U.S. is the lack of recognition.

Was the USA’s 2017 Bermuda Bowl win covered in any major newspapers?

I could not find any coverage, but I did not spend much time looking.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul media (specifically the Star Tribune) has written many good articles about bridge. They had an excellent article about Bjorgvin Kristinsson last year.

A different article from 2009 even devoted three paragraphs to me.

Wesley So lives in suburban Minneapolis, is the 8th ranked chess player in the world, and was as high as 2nd earlier in the year. So has deservedly received a lot of local media attention.

This is not intended as a slight as chess or So, as he seems like an awesome guy.

I have no evidence that Joe Grue has every been mentioned for his bridge success in the Minneapolis-St. Paul media. I hope someone has some evidence to the contrary, (Joe was a world champion before I started playing and following bridge).

Hopefully Peggy Kaplan or other local bridge players can comment on whether the local media was contacted. Unfortunately, sometimes the timing just doesn’t work out.
Sept. 29
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There are 73 members who are 29.
Dec. 27, 2016
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My last year as a junior was 2013.

The ACBL is lucky that young people want to play bridge, and I believe the ACBL needs to do basically anything reasonable to attract more juniors and under 40 people to play bridge. Free memberships for youth and juniors would be ideal.

The one question I have is would there be anyway for juniors to receive a paper copy of the bulletin? Would they have to pay the full adult membership price, or would they not be able to receive the bulletin under any circumstances?

I remember enjoying reading the bulletin as a newer player, and reading the bulletin online is not the same.

The Young Chelsea Bridge Club sounds like a great place for younger bridge players. I know the club I played at when I started in high school always allowed me to play for free or for $2.50.
Sept. 8, 2016
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I do encounter situations like this too often, and it is a complete joke.

I understand a very new and raw player not knowing it, but it was something I learned as a brand new duplicate bridge player.

It takes like 10 seconds to explain why a player needs to keep their scorecard private, and it should be obvious.
July 11, 2016
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I don't understand why players ask/are allowed to ask for a review of the bidding.

The bidding cards were just on the table, and paying attention and memorization are important aspects of bridge.

Also, it is possible no one at the table remembers the bidding. It cannot even be conclusively proved that the review of the bidding will be accurate.
June 21, 2016
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It is awesome to read about how successful this program has been.

One of the many reasons to get bridge in the schools is to make bridge a more diverse activity.

I feel that meeting during the school day is key to the success of a school bridge club. I don't think my high school's bridge club would have worked well after school for a variety of reasons.
June 10, 2016
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This is slightly off topic, but I did not feel it warranted starting a new thread.

I played in the gold rush pairs in this tournament, and I was surprised at how often opponents would do little to nothing to try to keep their scoresheet private. Sometimes players would put the scoresheet face up on the table to write the contract/results down, or just leave the scoresheet face up on the table.

I don't expect players to be perfect, and I don't care if players don't follow a lot of the etiquette rules, but I thought this was egregious, and obviously unfair if players see the results of boards they have yet to play.

This was one of the first things I learned when I started playing duplicate along with things like how to use bidding boxes, north-south versus east-west, not talking to opponents about boards you have played, and that they have yet to play, etc.

Is this something that is not as prominently taught anymore? Do players just not care? I make sure to angle/conceal my scorecard when I write the scores in.
May 30, 2016
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In case anyone needs/wants any extra motivation for donating.

I get the impression that a lot of the SIVY players are in a similar situation to me 12 years ago.

When I was 16, I attended the World Junior Individual Championship and the World Junior Camp in New York.

A member of the local bridge club gave me an unsolicited 150 dollar check, and the local unit (Unit 103) spent at least 400 dollars, although it might have been closer to 1,000 dollars to help cover expenses.

One of the best things about this opportunity was the chance to be around so many expert and world class players.

I had an opportunity to play a 6 board team match where my partner was Kevin Dwyer, and my opponents were Joe Grue and John Kranyak.

It was memorable at the time, but even more so now with the success those three have had since 2004.

I hope some the SIVY players have a similar experience.
May 5, 2016
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I hope that Mr. Monzingo will apologize/clarify/retract his statement about bridge being a “senior game.”

If the ACBL wants to get more younger players to join, a comment like that from the President is not going to help.

The U.S. has an incredible group of under 40 players, which makes that comment even more puzzling.
May 2, 2016
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I could go into more detail, but I was also disappointed to read the portion of the letter that referred to bridge as a “senior game.”

The top U.S. team from each of the past three Bermuda Bowls consisted of 18 players (5 of whom played two of three years, and only 3 were older than 37).

I am concerned that a comment like that it could unnecessarily turn a younger player away from the game. Bridge can already be pretty discouraging as is.
May 1, 2016
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Having a teacher at a school who knows how to play and teach bridge is extremely helpful, but even then there are challenges. Will the teacher be able to get approval from the administration? Will the teacher be able to find students?
March 30, 2016
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My experience with directors and other bridge players has been mostly positive. I have never had an issue with a specific ruling at the table by a director.

The local unit and a member of the bridge club helped pay for me to go to New York for bridge.

I feel there was a missed opportunity what that group of high school students, although I never met them, and don't know anything not mentioned in the article.

It would be good if all youth and juniors could play for half price or less at tournaments.

I feel that it is really important to get kids playing as teenagers or earlier, and try to develop some superstars.
March 27, 2016
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I realize this is from several months ago, but I wanted to offer some insight on a few non obvious reason why some players, (particularly juniors leave the game).

I am 28 years old, and recently came back from a 6 year break from face to face bridge.

To be clear, the majority of my experiences in bridge have been positive.



One of the reasons I lost interest in face to face bridge was an interaction with a club director who is also a tournament director.

I don't remember the exact exchange, but the club director made a negative, sarcastic comment about my age. He made it clear he was joking, but it really left with a sour taste.

It was also the last time I played with or saw my partner that day, as he passed away three years later.

This incident was not the sole or primary reason I took a break as I had not been playing much for several years, but I was very displeased with how I was treated.

In 2008, there was an article in a local paper about some high schoolers who learned bridge, and showed up to a club game. According to the article, “When we arrived, the guy at the door said, ‘Boys, we don’t have pingpong here,”

That same high schooler said, “Some were frustrated because we're self-taught and didn't know the etiquette,”

Two thoughts:

It is disappointing that the guy at the door was so flippant.

It is disappointing that there was not a better system in place to offer more guidance to novice players on how duplicate games work.

As far as I know, none of these players continued with bridge after high school.

The last issue is that it would be good if the ACBL had a better policy about junior discounts at tournaments. Specifically, listing a junior discount on the flyer, and the director(s) having an instant and accurate answer when asked how much the junior discount is would be helpful.

March 26, 2016
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I agree about the peer group thing.

When I was in high school, I had my fellow club members as partners, and the advisor as a guide and potential partner.

As previously mentioned, my fellow club members have stopped playing. One of my former and favorite I/N partners has over 3,000 masterpoints, and some of my former partners have passed away.

I haven't made much of a push to find any new partners, or reconnect with my former partners.


March 20, 2016
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I agree with you that this is extremely difficult to get a bridge club, especially a sustainable one, started with an “outsider”.

I feel it is difficult for a school to dislike the idea of a bridge club, but it is too difficult to get students interested.

I know that there are some players in Minnesota that would likely enjoy mentoring and working with a high school or college bridge club, but there is not enough demand among students.

Students who are successful in bridge tend to be involved in things like academic team, math team chess team, robotics, etc. so maybe recruiting from there can help.

The one thing that has not been emphasized as much as maybe it should be is the financial aspect of bridge.

Reduced or free entries to club games and tournaments.

Free/reduced travel (my New York experience).

Free games on BBO.

Access to world class players. I had an opportunity to play two hands each with Benito Garozzo and Bob Hamman when I was a junior.

At bridge camp, I played a six board team match with Kevin Dwyer, and against Joe Grue and John Kranyak.

The fact that bridge players tend to be on the wealthy side.

The fact that one can make a living off of bridge. Outside of being a bridge pro, there are opportunities become a teacher, director, author, etc.

I don't know how much those suggestions will help. It is an uphill battle.
March 20, 2016
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To follow up on Nat's post.

I would personally not consider my school an “elite” prep school, although I do agree with the rest of your post.

Private, independent schools do have some inherent advantages as you described, and that might have been the reason the club was successful.

I am not sure if it was your or someone else who mentioned this somewhere, but having a supportive faculty member is obviously extremely important.
March 20, 2016
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I will consider getting in touch with the advisor.
March 20, 2016
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Tuition was $16,460 in 2005-2006.
March 20, 2016
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