The Thursday, January 31, Island Bridge Club (IBC) game was a wide-open scoring free-for-all. Barbara Besse and partner Bob Iadicicco scored a stunning victory with a 70.83 percent average game. The second-place finishers — Barbara Silk and Nancy Neil — had a 57.81 percent average game and in third place Bea Phear and Cecily Greenaway scored a 53.65 percent game.
Twenty-two players were on hand.
On Tuesday, January 29, at the Martha’s Vineyard Bridge Club (MVBC), Barbara Besse and partner Bea Phear took first place with a 61.57 percent average game. In second place, David Donald and Michel Riel scored a 54.63 percent average game and the team of Nancy and Dan Cabot were third-place finishers with a 53.70 percent average game. Five tables were in play.
Tips for better play
At a recent afternoon social game of bridge the conversation turned, as it often does, to taking the plunge and tackling duplicate bridge. Myra Stark suggested that a few tips would help.
Life Master, and Island Bridge Club director Ed Russell offers the following insights.
“The primary focus of the game in social bridge is the social aspect. In duplicate, the people have come to play bridge — many are seriously into how to squeeze one more trick out of a hand and if another couple at the table is engaging in small talk, this can be distracting.
“The scoring is different. Contract bridge allows a carry-over from one hand to the next in points toward game; your vulnerability is determined by whether or not you have made an earlier game. In duplicate, each hand is scored separately and vulnerability is set for the board ahead of time.
“In social bridge the cards are dealt again and again over the course of the night and to some degree the winner is determined by who gets the best cards. In duplicate, the cards are dealt once at the beginning of the night and, although luck does come into play, those who play most skillfully generally come out the winner. Although you play a hand against another pair, you are scored by how well you did compared to all others who played the hand.
“There is an unwritten rule in social bridge that you don’t take away a hand that obviously belongs to the other team. In duplicate, you must be willing and prepared to go down in a sacrifice to score well.
“In social bridge, there are often times when the group wants to discuss a hand after it is played. This makes the game a lot of fun and helps newer players improve their skills. In duplicate, this is highly frowned upon because it increases the noise level, slows down play and may — if the conversation is overheard — give someone at another table an advantage when his or her turn to play the hand comes around.
“So far these have been differences, but it is important to remember the similarities: People ‘play’ bridge.
“It is supposed to be fun, and those are your opponents at the table not your enemies. All the pros in the room were new once. It takes a while to learn the ropes, but Martha’s Vineyard is blessed with a number of great bridge players who are more than willing to help anyone learn and enjoy this wonderful game of bridge.”
The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) sanctions three duplicate bridge clubs on Martha’s Vineyard, although it is not necessary to belong to the ACBL in order to join these duplicate competitions.
The MVBC game is held on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm at the Stone Church in Vineyard Haven. Admission is $4. Contact Sue at 508-693-9396 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in finding an available partner.
The IBC game is held Thursday evenings at 7 pm at the Howes House in West Tisbury. Players needing a partner are urged to contact Gerry at 508-693-2889 or email@example.com by noon on Wednesday for assistance. Admission is $5.
The Edgartown Bridge Club (EBC) meets on Monday afternoons at 12:30 pm at the Edgartown Yacht Club. Players need to come with a partner, and admission is $6. Novice players wishing to be matched up with an experienced player need to contact Gail Farrish at 508-627-5476.