The District 17 Bridge Buzz focuses on district, national news and online events and provides you with links to access the details.  Catch the next Buzz in January 2021. Stay safe and may the holidays bring you joy.

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Over 22,976 gold and red masterpoints were earned by 7,692 participants during the ACBL's fourth regionally-rated online event. Fall into Bridge, held Thursday, October 15 through Sunday, October 18, offered both one- and two-session pair events for players of all levels. Video mini-lessons (30 minutes or less) by top bridge celebrities were posted daily. Daily Bulletins were posted to BridgeFeed.
The global pandemic has not stopped a group of women from Denver, CO to do all they can to promote the great game of bridge. Elly Larson, owner, the Denver Metro Bridge Studio, is sponsoring FREE online bridge lessons for youth and new-playing adults. Elly approached Shelbie Bastiaans and Sheryl Siegel to teach a short six-week introductory class to youth and any new player that would be interested in learning bridge. This course, now called Denver Metro Quick Bridge, was intended as a way to give back to our bridge community and to say thank you to our players in Unit 361. It is primarily targeted toward children and grandchildren of our membership. Shelbie and Sheryl were also instrumental in the inception, planning and coordination of the first ever virtual Denver Rocky Mountain PRO/AM.
The lessons focus on the basic bridge principles of counting points, estimating tricks, no-trump vs. suits, bidding and simple play. Sheryl and Shelbie developed a fun and colorful Powerpoint presentation for each of the six lessons. Classes are being taught via Zoom followed by play on Bridge Base Online (BBO) to reinforce the lesson and principles of each week. Each student received an introductory package that included a basic bridge book, two decks of cards and a pizza punch card. The books were generously donated by the family of Norma Sands. If the students participate in all six lessons, Elly will send each a large pizza delivered to the door. 
Currently, Shelbie and Sheryl are teaching four (4) groups during the week with students from around the country, including New York, Missouri, Utah and Colorado. Most of the students are grandchildren of our members. Denver Metro Quick Bridge has been very well received by the students, parents and grandparents. Family members are always welcome to join in on the Zoom lesson to kibbitz. 
"Computer games, TV and cell phones tend to occupy our youth, so it is exciting to see the students grasp the basic principles of bridge quickly and look forward to their weekly lessons," said Sheryl.
Want to learn more about this innovative program? Email Elly Larson:
ACBL members receive masterpoints® for winning and placing in club games and tournaments as they strive to advance through the ranks. There are 16 ranks, from Junior Master (5 masterpoints) to Grand Life Master (10,000 masterpoints plus a victory in an eligible North American Bridge Championship).
Dick Bryant and Kathy Feeney never take for granted how fortunate they are to have each other as consistent partners.
Our bridge adventure began in August 2012 at the Summit County Senior Center, Frisco, CO. Dick and I signed up for a beginner class so that we could play social bridge with friends. Having enjoyed it, we took a followup class a year later. As our interest grew, we furthered our learning using online tools. Dick developed a custom flashcard deck using a software program he designed. We also started playing on our computers with a PC program called JackBridge
In Tucson, we were introduced to duplicate bridge at Mike's Play and Learn Charity Bridge. There we earned our very first master points in March of 2014, followed by our first silver points at the Tucson Spring Sectional a month later. We were hooked! 
Over the years we’ve made wonderful friends playing at Maggie’s Bridge Club, Frisco, CO and at Tucson Charity Bridge Club, Inc., Northwest Tucson Bridge Club and Adobe Bridge Club, Tucson, AZ.
In 2016, we earned our first gold points playing in a Swiss team match at the Land of Enchantment Regional, Albuquerque, NM.
Kathy Feeney
Before the pandemic shut down face-to-face bridge in March, we were on a mission traveling to sectional, regional and national tournaments whenever possible and visiting and playing at local clubs in Sedona, Prescott and Lakeside, AZ. A highlight was celebrating our 2019 anniversary on a bridge cruise down the east coast of Mexico and Central America, featuring our favorite instructor, Robert Todd. In the meantime, BBO has wonderfully filled the gap for regular pairs play.  
While our results don’t always show it, we’re pretty disciplined about our study and review of play. Besides regular review of our flash cards and playing together with the Jack-Bridge program, we review all matches using Bridge Solver Online --a fabulous tool!
As serious as all this might sound, we’re committed to keeping our play fun and to not taking it too seriously. A big thank you to all our friends and mentors along the way who have helped and encouraged us!
Given that our favorite form of play is knockouts and Swiss teams, we eagerly look forward to the day when we can all play safely together in person. 
In addition to playing bridge, Dick is the webmaster for Tucson Charity Bridge Club, Inc. where he and Kathy are now volunteer directors of an online game.
In May 2020, ACBL Management disseminated information regarding club reopenings. At that time, clubs were informed of the following: (a) the consensus recommendations of health authorities were (and still are) that people should not yet stop sheltering in place at home, let up on social distancing and wearing masks around others when not at home; (b) widespread testing and contact tracing should be in place in your locality before reopening a bridge club is contemplated; and (c) the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 should be falling for two weeks before any type of group activities should resume – indeed, to be prudent, not until well after these numbers have fallen. Since that time, the situation has not improved. In fact, over the past week in the United States there have been over 400,000 new coronavirus cases, meaning that the predicted fall wave is underway. The Midwestern and Rocky Mountain states are struggling to control major outbreaks and cases are rising in over 30 states (source: New York Times). It is for these reasons that the ACBL continues to believe that it is too soon for resuming activities such as face-to-face duplicate bridge, particularly since people over age 55 continue to have more frequent complications, hospitalizations and a higher death rate than other age groups.
The ACBL is aware that some bridge clubs have resumed operations and others are planning to do so. We are encouraged by the reported safety measures that clubs have implemented.
For the most part, clubs appear to be following the ACBL recommended operational guidelines and best practices for the reopening of bridge clubs. Bridge clubs, other than Unit-owned clubs, are private businesses and, accordingly, the guidelines were strongly recommended for such clubs (they were mandatory for Unit-owned clubs). Established restrictions and mandates that have been set by your local and state government continue to supersede any guidelines distributed by ACBL. If your state or local government has restrictions for mass gatherings (or prohibits gathering over a certain number of people, such as 10 persons), you should not resume bridge play at your club. The ACBL continues to strongly recommend that you err on the side of extreme caution in your decision to reopen given that our membership population faces an increased risk from COVID-19.
For those who are considering reopening, we are repeating the guidelines that we previously published.
Introducing ACBL’s Guest Membership option – a FREE way for players and students to try the benefits of ACBL membership.
With a Guest Membership, a player can:
  • Play in any club or tournament game
  • Earn up to 20 masterpoints®
  • Read online editions of the Bridge Bulletin
  • Receive ACBL Live and Live for Clubs results emails
Guest Memberships last for 120 days and are only available to brand-new members (no previous or current members). Masterpoints will be filed as unrecorded and become permanent upon joining with a full membership.
Invite your friends and family to join the ACBL community by simply copying and pasting the link below into an email. 
When guest members sign up, they will create a username and password, fill out contact information and provide basic details. They will receive a confirmation email the next business day.
The email will have a link to their very own guest member profile page where they will find their member number, masterpoint count (shown the day after playing) and links to key benefits and resources. 
Help us grow our community of bridge lovers and spread the word about ACBL Guest Memberships!

For more information on District 17 activities go to d17acbl.org