Congratulate Our First-Time Gold Point Winners
April 13, 2021
Double Points, Double Fun
We'll have four special games this week, all offering double points in support of ACBL Charity Week. Special games will offer silver points next month, May 26-30.

But first, your directors have a request. Please keep an eye on the clock. In past games, our directors often added time when people did not finish a board within the allotted period. Unfortunately, a few people have taken advantage of this, delaying the game and inconveniencing everyone else.

Going forward, there will be no extra time with the possible exception of Internet failures affecting a significant number of players. The computer will assign an adjusted score for unfinished boards when possible. Otherwise, both sides will receive an “average.” If we find that the same people are frequently getting averages, the only alternative will be to assume that they are at fault and assign an “average minus” to them. We hope that everyone will cooperate so that we can avoid this. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming games, and hope the new policy will make an even better experience for everyone.

Later in this e-newsletter, we'll tell you more about a newer player, Deborah Sagues. Long-time player Joan Belshin was recently featured in her local newspaper.

Finally, join us in congratulating all who won gold points last month.
--Chuck Abramo and Jo Murray
Earn Double Points
Sun Valley Bridge will host four special virtual games with double points this week. Cost is $7 each, with extra funds going to ACBL charities.

Games will be at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14; Friday, April 16; Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18. All who place will receive double black points. We'll have games with silver points the week of May 26.
Don't Play Reverses?
Do You Play Rebids?
We love Larry Cohen's statement on reverses: "Saying I don't play reverses is like saying I don't play rebids by opener."

So if you're having trouble with reverses, next week is your chance to learn. Here are some upcoming lessons:

  • "Revisiting Reverses," April 19 and 21
  • "Watch Out for the Opponents, Part 1," April 26 & 28
  • "Watch Out for the Opponents, Part 2," May 3 & 5
  • "Playing Detective, Part 1," May 10 & 12
  • "Playing Detective, Part 2," May 17 & 19

Click here for the complete online lesson schedule.
Avoiding Slow Play
Ever feel like a tortoise? Slow play most often is a sign of failing to plan before playing to the first trick.

If you take 30 to 40 seconds to make your plan, the rest of the board will go much faster.

Ruby Life Master and former bridge teacher Fran Maughan Meyers puts it this way: "If you don't plan at the start, you'll stop and take even more time in the middle. It's much more effective if you take the time in the beginning."

Ever been in a hopeless contract and don't know how to play it? An expert once said, "as quickly as possible." It applies both in truth and in jest. Why waste time that might be better used when you get to the next hand?
Introducing Deborah
Sagues (BBO: DLSagues)
When did you start playing bridge and why?
I started playing bridge about 10 years ago when a neighbor in our tiny town got 12 of us together and hired a teacher for a few months of weekly lessons. We had been playing Monday afternoons ever since, occasionally taking lessons together to improve our play but mostly just having fun playing. That routine fell apart when the pandemic started and I looked for games on BBO. A friend introduced me to Jo Murray and that has led to lots of bridge, which has provided an oasis of calm and pleasure during the pandemic.
What do you like best about our virtual games?
Playing with new partners and making new friends. The ease of playing from home. More opportunities for regular and competitive play. I love playing duplicate and learning more about the game. Virtual play does lack the charm of sitting at a real table with actual humans. But I also enjoy practicing in ACBL games on BBO and have formed some close partnerships with robots. At least they all explain their bids!
Where have you lived – both now and in the past?
I grew up in Los Angeles. After a lot of moving around for school and work, I settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and married my husband, Paul, in 1984. We met when he moved in next door to me in Berkeley, where I
attended law school and he got his master's in mechanical engineering. I like to say that I married the boy next door.
What is your profession?
I practiced law in New York, Paris and San Francisco and then joined a tech company as general counsel and later chief administrative officer.
What are you doing when you aren’t playing bridge?
Working, hiking with our chocolate lab Charlie Dog, working out, playing the piano, reading, pandemic binge-watching streaming videos, thinking about future activities such as a remodel and travel and what life changes might carry forward when the pandemic is over.
Anything else?
Best thing about this pandemic has been slowing down, simplifying my life and participating in the Sun Valley Bridge Club. I'm looking forward to visiting Sun Valley this summer and meeting the people behind the BBO names.
Meet Joan Belshin
(BBO: WasCurly)
Did you know that Joan Belshin's career counseling practice was featured in What Color Is Your Parachute? The classic on choosing a career was named by Time magazine as one of the All-Time 100 Best Nonfiction Books.

Her husband, Lee, although an insurance executive and real estate investor by profession, is the author of three books on health. One of them, The Complete Prostrate Book, has been translated into Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

The couple is featured in a recent article in Sun Senior News.
Congratulations to Stardust Week
Gold Point Winners
Congratulations to our seven players who won their first gold points in the recent Stardust Week games. Linda Nicholson, left in the photo, won her very first masterpoint in April, 2018.

In the middle column, top to bottom, are Mitzi Miller, Kathe & Edwin Williamson and Betty Brannan Berger. At right are Judy Hyde, top, and Ursula Kennedy. Mitzi and Betty, our friends from Panama, were featured in last August's e-newsletter.

Others winning gold were Chuck Abramo, Judith Baer, Penny Bess, Joan Belshin, Stephanie Campbell, Jim Churchill, Valerie Diamond, Deanne Drake, Karen & Dennis Dunn, Judy Fisher, Lynne & Stephen Heidel, Ruth Ingram, Barbie John, Allen Jones, Margaret King, Susan Larson, Pamela Mann, Robert Meyers, Jo Murray, Thomas Noyes, Linda Parsons, Margo Peck, Elaine Phillips, Judith Powell, Susan Potts, Melissa Reis, Carol Ritter, Charlotte Riviera, Merrily Smith, Mikal & Lynn Thomsen, Christiane Turner, Lauren Wagner, Frank Ward and Barbara Williams.
Thank You, Ursula
We thank Ursula Kennedy, shown with her 1st masterpoint cake, for her kind words about Sun Valley Bridge:

"I truly enjoy your tournaments. You have established a friendly vibe. I love the mixture of people who are newer and taking lessons to improve their game playing alongside some of the sharks out there.

"Sun Valley bridge welcomed me when I had never played a duplicate game in my life. I will always cherish how Jo and Chuck personally made me feel at home and a valued member of the club."
Clues from The Bidding
Consider these clues - and learn more in the upcoming lessons on "Playing Detective."

  • When a player leads a card in a suit that neither he nor his partner bid, ask yourself if it is likely to be a singleton.

  • A player who leads a low card does not have touching honors.

  • If the opening lead against a notrump contract is a 2, that player usually has exactly 4 cards in the suit.
3 Spots Left at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch
Join us for four days and three nights of bridge lessons, duplicate games with masterpoints, gourmet meals, fun and fellowship in the spectacular setting of the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch this summer. The June retreat is sold out. One lodge room and two cabins are left for the Aug. 22-25 retreat. We will offer day passes for lessons, games, lunch and dinner if health conditions permit.
Double Point Games April 14-18
Every Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Every Friday, 3 p.m.
Every Sunday, 3 p.m.
Masterpoint Winners
Click here to see who placed in recent games.