High school buddies win national bridge title


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/05/2022 (393 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I learned how to play bridge when I was attending Dakota Collegiate. On weekends, we watched our school teams play on Friday nights and hung out with friends on Saturdays. One of our favourite activities was playing cards… namely, bridge. There is something about the game that is so appealing – the challenge, the probabilities, the social aspect.

Over the years, three of my high school friends and I have continued to play bridge together, usually on our annual “fishing” trips. Over the past two years, however, our bridge-playing really flourished online. A year ago, we decided to compete in this year’s Canadian Bridge Championships, which were to be held in Saskatoon but eventually became a virtual tournament, so for an entire year we played together online, practising and discussing our strategies. It was still fun and we were also improving.

Flight C of the Canadian National Team Championship was held over two long days. from morning into the evenings. We lost our first two games but kept playing better and better, edging ourselves into the playoff rounds in our last round-robin game. It was draining and challenging.

Pictured here on one of their “fishing” trips are the new CNTC-Flight C Canadian bridge champions (from left): John Hindle, Brian Macri, Jeff Gosman and Dave West.
Pictured here on one of their “fishing” trips are the new CNTC-Flight C Canadian bridge champions (from left): John Hindle, Brian Macri, Jeff Gosman and Dave West.

When all was said and done, after over a hundred hands and a lot of ups and downs, the computer announced our team – Dave West, Brian Macri, Jeff Gosman and myself — had won by one point! (One international match point, or IMP, in the scoring system we were using.)

I actually stared at my computer screen, trying to determine if this was for real. I imagine I would feel the same way if I ever saw my lottery numbers had just won the big prize – it would be hard to believe.

We have had a few days to recover as I write this and I asked the boys how they felt about the accomplishment.

The first word Brian used was “unbelievable!”

“We started slow and I was worried about letting you guys down,” he said. “But we played better and better as the tournament progressed.”

Dave had his own unique take: “I was up and down at the beginning but had a chat with myself and said ‘You can only do your best.’”

I guess our best was good enough, Dave!

He also is convinced that wearing his Canada T-shirt for two days was what really sealed the victory. Jeff wore a Canada shirt as well but he had a second one for day two. Dave just wore the same shirt (not that any of us are superstitious).

My long-time bridge partner, Jeff, was philosophical, as he often is: “I’m still in shock but this is a gratifying feeling. To do this with my high school buddies is what makes it so special.”

Yes, four high school friends who primarily play bridge for fun are actually Canadian champions.

What a feeling!

If you are interested in information about bridge, visit www.bridgemanitoba.org

John Hindle

John Hindle
Community Correspondent — St. Vital

John Hindle is a community correspondent for St. Vital. Email him at john@johnhindle.com

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