Buy Me or Another Teacher to Support Young Bridge Players

This is the second year of the ACBL Educational Foundation’s Spark! auction which benefits Junior bridge programs across North America. You can bid on an amazing array of world champions, bridge celebrities, authors and legends. (Paraphrased from a terrific article on Bridge Winners – )

If you want to have a personal lesson with me, click this link to bid for it:

Or this one to play with me in the special game on July 15:

There are many other wonderful teachers and players that you can bid on to contribute to the funding of junior bridge!

The US Team Trials are on again

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May is the month for the team trials and the action is on at LoveBridge again. Click here for the article at the USBF explaining how to watch. Impact-Site-Verification: d4edb8c0-160b-4a59-a509-1c2706aeb502

I often write up interesting hands from this event, as do others, at – try this one:

No this is not that hand but another interesting one I wrote up. Click it to get to the current running scores.

June is for Charity: Buy a Pro!

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Every June, Bridge players support  research for Alzheimers with games and auctions to play with pros. Other bridge charities also run in June. If you want a playing lesson with me, there are two ways you can buy that,

My home unit in San Diego runs a longest day auction in which I participate. The details are here:

Another way to buy me or another pro in a  June auction is at SPARK which benefits the ACBL Educational Foundation with an emphasis on younger players. To quote the auction site at

  “The ACBLEF Youth “Spark!” Fund has been established to address an audience traditionally hard to engage: Juniors ages 17 – 31. From this fund, ACBLEF will provide grants to increase opportunities for young adults to learn/play bridge competitively or socially, expand existing programs, and help develop new ones to promote this wonderful game.”

Here is that link to buy a BBO game with me

or with my honey

Thanks for your support!

May is the Month for USA Team Trials

This year there are four different events for which teams are being chosen. Spector was chosen in last years trials to be the USA1 Open team, so this year only one more Open team will be chosen. However two Mixed Teams, two Women’s teams, and two Senior Teams will win the right to represent the USA in the World Championships in Morocco starting August 20.

The platform used is click here for my previous post on how to navigate that site. A few new pointers are that when you look at the scorecard for a team, you can click on the board number to see what all the teams did on that board. In the example below, clicking on the blue boxed number above the scores will take you to the scorecard for that segment.

Also note that when you click on the flashing icon it takes you to a page where you have to click again on usbf1 or usbf2 to be taken to the twitch platform with the actual vugraph.

This year, I will be playing in the Mixed Team trials and I will also occasionally do vugraph commentary on the next events. Have fun watching!

Double Dummy Movie on TV and some Bridge Podcasts

The very enjoyable bridge movie, Double Dummy, about the travails of the USA 2012 under 21 bridge team, is scheduled to be aired on some PBS stations on January 17. Presumably passport members can stream it on demand as it came on earlier in some locales. PBS had this to say about this new shorter cut of the movie, “the film follows the USA 1 Under 21 team to China as they battle it out at the World Youth Team Championships the most prestigious event in junior bridge. DOUBLE DUMMY bridges the generation gap and explores the game of bridge and its growing popularity with younger generations.”

The filmmaker, who made that film, national champion John McAllister, also has a podcast called the Setting Trick, where he has interviewed many of the stars of Bridge like Bob Hamman, Joe Grue, Andrew Robson, the Rimstedt twins, Ron Smith, Jeff Meckstroth, Bart Bramley, and lots more. Recently he even interviewed me and that should be published soon!

Another more sociable Bridge podcast is called Sorry Partner and can also be found online and at Apple Podcasts. I particularly enjoyed the interview of young star, Emma Kolesnik.

Watching the Team Trials Vugraph

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UPDATE 20-May-2022: This article is still useful for how to watch the current 2022 Open team trial, although it is only the Open event. Also please click here to fill out my survey if you are watching.

One of the best ways to improve your bridge game is to watch experts playing. These days with so much online play, that is easy to do from the comfort of your home.

Currently the United States Bridge Federation (USBF) is running trials for various teams to represent us in the World Championships next year in Italy. They are using a platform called Love Bridge which allows live play with tablets in separate rooms. In these team matches, South and West from opposing teams are each in one room with the Norths and Easts in another. The idea is to prevent cheating which has ravaged the game. You can read more about cheating in the Times article mentioned on Bridge Winners (a social media platform for tournament Bridge players) – click here for that article

One match is shown on vugraph each day which you can find by clicking on VUGRAPH on the top left of the Love Bridge homepage on a PC (get the menu from the 3 lines on a tablet). Then you see a page like the image below. The computer terminal icon will be flashing when there is vugraph with live commentary.

Alternately you can click on an event to see the bracket sheet for that event and then on any score to get to the results listed for each board. Once on a results sheet, you can click on the blue arrow in a box to see that actual hand which will look like the following:

Click the big black diamond at the bottom (shown with my red arrow) to see the play. There are two days left in these trials, but you can still review the older hands. Apologies for not blogging about this sooner.

End of an Era

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The final issue of D17 ScoreCard is online. It includes our 2020 suggestions for Bridge books to give for Christmas. More importantly perhaps, it includes an index to past articles which I have updated to include December’s issue and put in the downloads section here Invalid download ID..

In coming months, I plan to add more of our basic lesson articles to this site and maybe even create an E-book. Our columns are no available on the District 17 web site, Only the PDF versions of past issues of the online ScoreCard are available at

Some history: ten years ago, my late husband Steve and I took on the task of editing the print newsletter for District 17 of the ACBL. This publication was an insert in the Western Conference monthly mailed out paper. We were able to do this with much help from Bonnie Bagley and a style sheet from Ken Monzingo. Steve had a talent for editing plus experience from back in Law School and my experience came from creating web sites.

In the Spring of 2018, the publication changed to bi-monthly and online only. Now my graphics arts abilities finally came into play. I really enjoyed putting this new format together using the Nxtbook Media platform. Sadly COVID has ended our run because District 17 no longer has any income from bridge tournaments and so can no longer spend the money to produce that slick online magazine.

Bridge in the Time of Coronavirus

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Unless you have four players in the same house, you may think you cannot play bridge while sheltering in place but not so… There are places to play online – two of them are Bridge Base Online (BBO) and Okbridge.

On BBO you can play with robots, with strangers, with your regular partner or in tournaments! Some duplicate bridge clubs are even open for business online. I am not familiar with Okbridge but it claims it also has ACBL tournaments.

screen shot from the support your club page at the ACBL web site

Click here for the tutorial videos at the ACBL to help you get started at BBO.

If you miss going up to to the players at your club and saying “you hold” (giving them a hand and an auction and asking what they do), never fear you can set up a poll at Bridge Winners and get plenty of opinions. You can discuss any and all bridge topics there as well. Yes it’s social media for bridge players!

However I personally like doing bridge problems by myself. Bridge Today has made all their quizzes free this Spring. My favorites are the card combinations.

One of my favorite combinations, shown to me in 1973 by Bob Cohen on the DEC bridge team.

Another thing I enjoy doing is the Bridge Master interactive play problems; you can find them in the practice area at BBO. The suits never break well, so try to figure out how to make the hand anyway.

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Bridge Today

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Today we have the pleasure of a guest post from world champion and acclaimed bridge author and teacher Mathew Granovetter. I have been helping him update his website, Bridge Today, a great site for learning more about the game of bridge.

Matt Granvetter (photo by Peg Kaplan)

The Kabbalah Approach to Bridge
by Matthew Granovetter

Here is an excerpt from a new book I’m writing about my life, where I’ve had to mix my religion and bridge career to make both work. I’ve run into many unusual and funny situations.

Two Worlds
It seems like I live in two different worlds at the same time. One is my profession, the game of bridge. The other is my religious affiliation, Chabad Lubavitch. It appears that the two worlds could not be farther apart. One is a game played with a deck of cards, while the other is a daily commitment to the Bible and G-d’s laws for the Jewish people.

Nevertheless, I have come to mix the two, not always in a good way. For example, often while praying, I lose focus because my mind is thinking about a bridge hand I misplayed last night. “Oy, how could I have been so stupid.”

Sometimes while I’m dummy at the bridge table, I start reading from a book of psalms and pull the wrong card. “I called a spade not a heart!” says partner.

During the World Mixed Pairs championships in Verona, Italy, on the very last hand I became dummy. I still had a few psalms to finish for my daily quota, so I picked up my book and started reading quietly. My partner made the contract and we won the championship. Afterwards a woman from France came over and said, “Monsieur Granovetter, I do wish my partner would pray for me when I declare the hand.”

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My Basics Articles for District 17

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My Basics articles for District 17 are no longer online but most of them have been republished on this site.

You also may occasionally attend my talks on these same or more advanced subjects at Regionals. Did you know there are more detailed handouts in my downloads section which include problems to solve? The answers are there too

I particularly liked the Counting articles which feature this hand, quoted below. These will be republished here soon. meanwhile many of my articles appear in my monthly column for District 22‘s newsletter called D22Connections.

John Kranyak of Las Vegas, Nevada, playing on the Fireman team, USA2, used counting in the semi-finals of the recent world championships in India. On the first board of the final set he was declaring a spade game. He needed to lose only one trick in a side suit with this combination:   K1086 opposite Q53. The normal play, taken at the other table, is to play to the ten, hoping the jack is onside.

Kranyak opted to count out the hand first, so he played off all his side winners. He was confident that the player in front of the king who had overcalled vulnerable at the two level held the ace. He also knew that the overcaller had six clubs, one spade, and at least three hearts. His judgement from the opponents’ carding was that hearts were four-four, which left only two diamonds in the overcaller’s hand. He backed that judgement by playing to the king and then ducking to the doubleton ace on the way back.  He won ten imps for his fine play.

I give permission for any and all bridge teachers to use my published materials as long as they credit me and give the URL of this site.