Silver Point Games Start May 26
May 4, 2021
Silver Points Coming Soon, Looking at In-Person Games
Mark your calendar for special games with extra masterpoints this month: Double black points on Saturday and Sunday, May 15 & 16, and silver points May 26-30.

We're considering reopening in-person bridge games. We have no firm plans, although we are exploring the possibility of games at the YMCA in July. We miss seeing people in person; we also enjoy chatting with friends around the country in our virtual games. As to the future, there is still no decision from the American Contract Bridge League on whether virtual club games can continue after July 31.

We'd like to hear from you on in-person games. Are you likely to return? If so, what policies would make you feel safe? Do you want to continue virtual games even after we resume in-person games?

Keep reading to learn more about Frank Ward and Ned Lumpkin, who have donated countless cases of wine from their vineyards for our annual fundraisers at the YMCA.

We hope to see you soon.
--Chuck Abramo and Jo Murray
Earn Double Points
Sun Valley Bridge will host virtual games with double points on Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, as part of Grass Roots Week. Cost is $7 each, with extra funds going to support the Grand National Championships.
Silver Linings Week
We'll have special games on May 26, 27, 29 and 30 with double points, which will be silver. Cost will be $7. Silver points are usually awarded only at sectional tournaments, so this is a great time to get them without leaving home.
Ever Feel Like a Detective?
Our May focus for online lessons is "Playing Detective," or figuring out where the key missing cards are located. Please join us. Reserve your spot by emailing

  • "Playing Detective, Part 1," May 10 & 12
  • "Playing Detective, Part 2," May 17 & 19
  • "Playing Detective, Part 3," May 24 & 26
  • "Show Off Your Detective's Badge," May 31 & June 2.

Lessons on balancing will start in June. Click here for the complete online lesson schedule.
Bid This Hand
Here's a hand from a recent game that no pair bid correctly.

Can you figure it out?
Click here for the answer.

Hint: Think about a "balancing" bid, our topic for next month's online lessons.
Introducing Frank Ward (BBO: SV Frank)
Editors' note: Frank won the Ace of Clubs award for earning the most masterpoints in his category in 2020. He is shown here at the 2019 fundraiser for the Wood River Community YMCA.
When did you start playing bridge and why?
I can't really remember when I first played bridge.I do remember playing into the wee hours of the morning at the frat house in college, which is probably why I did so poorly as an undergraduate.
What do you like best about our virtual games?
I really like the virtual game and maybe like it better than at a table. It allows you to play no matter where you are. You can be on vacation or on a cruise ship or anywhere and still play. Also, it allows one to review each hand, see how the cards were played and discover the mistakes or coups that you pulled off. Of course, there is not the interaction that one experiences around a table, but I really feel that it allows one to play more and get more out of it.
Where have you lived and worked – both now and in the past?
I worked in the construction industry for my entire professional career. I first worked for a major company that had historically been a building contractor. It was the company that repaired the Pentagon followed the attack of 9/11. I was part of a team that added public works contracts, specifically bridge and other heavy structures, to its resume. After 15 years with that company, I had risen to the rank of VP. I left to start my own firm, which specialized in bridges, working in most all of the western United States. I retired in 1995 at the age of 55 and turned my company over to my employees. The company has since been acquired by a larger firm. When first starting my career, I travelled from project to project. My employer eventually set me up in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area and I remained there after starting my company.
What are you doing when you aren’t playing bridge?
My passion is skiing, and I have been competing in master's alpine racing for the past 20 years. However, after each year, I find that the number of competitors in my age group diminishes rapidly, and this past year had virtually no significant competition. Maybe post-Covid, there will be a comeback of octogenarians on the slope.
Meet Ned Lumpkin
When did you start playing bridge and why?
I dabbled at bridge as early as 1959 in the college dorm, probably out of curiosity.
What was your profession?
I began working in the construction industry in the 1960s, and started my own company in Fairbanks during the Alaska oil-boom days in 1975. I continued building schools there, as well as in Washington and Oregon, until the mid 90s.
Where have you lived - now and in the past?
I was born in Yakima, Wash., where my father's family were ranchers. During World War II, my father worked at the Hanford site (the now decommissioned nuclear production facility that manufactured plutonium for the first nuclear bomb), and we lived in the nearby Tri-Cities area. My wife, Kirsten, and I built our Seattle home in the late 80s, and we still live there.
What are your hobbies?
I play bridge in Sun Valley and in Oregon when we are at our vineyard. I have not found a satisfactory bridge venue in Seattle, so I spend four to six hours a day reading history. If I don't appear busy, Kirsten will find some chore for me.
What do you like about Sun Valley Bridge?
My biggest regret these days is that we are seldom in Ketchum because of medical issues. The bridge community there is so wonderful that it is never far from my immediate thoughts. I miss you all.
Learn More About Their Outstanding Wines
Lazy River Vineyard
Ned Lumpkin's 2005 Pinot Noir won a "Diamond of the Decade" award from the Oregon Wine Awards in 2015. Learn more at
Utopia Wine
Four of Frank Ward's Utopia's wines are listed among Oregon's "Fifty Best." Learn more at
How the Y Is Helping Children With Academic Skills Hurt by Pandemic
The YMCA is bolstering its summer programs to help students keep up their learning skills after a year with limited classroom time. You can learn more in a recent story in the Idaho Mountain Express.

Sun Valley Bridge players have donated slightly more than $4,400 to the Y this year. Donations are still being accepted. If you donate, please let the Y know you are part of the bridge group.

We appreciate our relationship with the YMCA, which has given the bridge club a home over the years. Its service to the community as a whole, particularly its youth programs during the pandemic, is outstanding.
Nick Miller
Sun Valley Bridge's Nick Miller was recently featured in a video for Higher Ground Sun Valley, which offers recreation programs to allow veterans with disabilities to enjoy outdoor activities.
Harvard on Bridge

Advice on keeping your mind in top condition from the Harvard Men's Health Watch May edition: "Take up bridge. The classic card games demands constant mental effort. You have to keep track of various sequences of numbers, remember a catalogue of bidding instructions and determine the best strategies to take tricks and play defense."
New Bridge Documentary
A new documentary, Dirty Tricks, looks at the 2015 cheating scandals in bridge.

The Guardian article discusses the online detective work that uncovered it all.
Play Bridge 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. Two cabins are left for the Aug. 22-25 retreat.

A limited number of local residents may join us for lessons, games and meals if health conditions permit.
Double Point Games May 15-16
Silver Point Games May 26-30
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, including the recent double-point charity events.