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Brand New at Bridge!

by Kathy O'Connell, Thousand Oaks, California, USA
[formerly from Cleveland, Ohio, USA]


Here's the picture: 1986, myself and another absolute rank beginner gather up all our courage and show up at the "open game" - not just ANY open game, but the Wednesday night open game, which is the strongest our local club had to offer! We'd tried the "novice game" on Thursday nights, but decided that we'd learn more from the REALLY good players!

The Director did her best to cajole us into returning the next night for novice night - but we said "No - our minds are made up - we WANT to play with the big boys!" :-) So, they reluctantly assigned us an east/west entry.

We managed to find our way to the proper table number and sat to play. Of course we didn't know what hit us, or have the slightest idea what to do. After surviving the first two boards (I wouldn't go so far as to say we'd "played" them), we got up and milled around with the other players who were stretching, getting coffee, visiting, etc.

I said to Sandy "Hey, let's go over there and play at Ted's table!" He was a friendly face after all; and so we did. Soon someone came and told us we were in the wrong place, so we got up and tried another table. Wrong again. After our third aborted attempt, and wondering WHY on earth all these people didn't want US at their table (after all, didn't everyone simply take turns???), the Director was summoned. She asked, in complete frustration, "Kathy, where on earth did you come from???" To which, I very dejectedly replied ... "Cleveland!"

As you might imagine, the entire place broke into great peals of laughter! After the laugher died down (none too quickly), it was explained to us that there was more than simply taking turns playing everyone, that there was actually a "pattern" to be followed. <grin>

There is SO much to learn in bridge - and we all have to start somewhere!

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