Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

An afternoon at the local bridge club

  • Print

Now that I can no longer deny being a senior citizen, I’ve very tentatively started looking into all the activities that are available for "us."


One of these is bridge; the Free Press has a weekly listing of the clubs that operate in town, at all levels of skill and interest. So I gave it a gander.


Eliminated right off the bat were the duplicate clubs. I have just 1/10 of a master point and totally lack the dedication, skill, and ferocity needed to enjoy playing at that level, but there are lots of others listed.


Now I haven’t played regularly for years, so, among other things, my bidding is decades out of date. I thought it best to try one of the clubs that proclaim playing for pleasure. There are a couple in my neighbourhood so I called up the lady in charge and took myself to the Glenwood Community Club at the appointed time.


Bridge, as a game, is much the same as it always has been. Suits, counting points, honest bids, "psychs", remembering what you’ve bid, and grinding your teeth as the opposition endlessly and effortlessly bids and makes games and slams while you count yourself lucky to be able to cash the ace of trumps — all are the same.


What has changed is the procedure by which you actually communicate your bids (apologies to regular players, to whom this is all old hat). There are these cue-cards you use now: you pick a numbered card and the suit, and present them; or pass in disgust, as usual.


The rationale is that doing it this way eliminates all the visual and audible cues you used to use to pass other information to your partner — such as the cheating "convention" that "no bid" means 11 points.


It worked, sort of, and I imagine that in serious games with ‘directors’ it works well. But at this level there are ways to subvert it: several times one person bid and then went "Oh damn! I goofed" and slipped in an explanation which didn’t EXPLICITLY say what she meant but was easily deducible.


Being new I didn’t want to kick up a fuss but I was surprised that nobody else did. But, apart from leading once from my hand instead of the board, I did OK and quite enjoyed myself.
I decided, though, that I wasn’t quite ready for this as regular amusement.


Several of the people were VERY senior citizens and most of the others were pretty sedentary beings. Bridge is an excellent social activity and a great way of keeping your head in gear - but these folk aren’t my demographic — yet!

Peter Lacey is a community correspondent for St. Vital.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

This Just In Twitter bird

Readers‘ Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

Make your choice in the Canstar Community News‘ Best of Winnipeg Readers‘ Choice Awards

Vote Now

Poll

Do you think cameras should be allowed in Manitoba courtrooms?

View Results

View Related Story