When They're Not at the Bridge Table
September 2020
We first met Corey Powell (BBO: CalGrad199) and Mike Bastedo (BBO: Bastedo) in 2010 before either one of us had become a life master.

Jo was in San Francisco for a weekend sectional with Judy Baer (BBO: JBSFO.) Jo was on the verge of becoming a life master, and warned potential teammates for the four-person Sunday Swiss game that they would have to play in the open section.

Judy knew Corey, who has a passion for the statistical analysis that is so useful in bridge, both by aptitude and training. Corey, Judy and Jo's other teammate had a total of less than 100 masterpoints. They were so good that the team placed in the open section.

So when Chuck needed a fraction of a gold point to become a life master, who did we call? Corey and Mike, and they met us at the Reno regional in 2011.

Corey and Mike moved to Michigan and we lost touch until the pandemic, Corey spotted us on BBO and invited us to a casual online game.

We'll tell you more about them and Joanne Nino (BBO: JoJoMD2014), another member of our virtual community. Please introduce yourself the next time you see them in an online game or lesson.
--Jo & Chuck
Transfer to a Minor Suit Or Not?
You partner opens 1 NT. You have a 6-card minor. What do you do?
With 0-7 High Card Points
  • Responder should bid 2 spades, asking opener to bid 3 clubs.
  • Responder will pass if he has 6 clubs.
  • Responder will bid 3 diamonds to sign off in diamonds if he has 6 diamonds and a maximum of 7 high card points. Opener is expected to pass.
With 8-9 High Card Points
  • If responder has 8-9 points and a 6-card minor, he will jump to 3 diamonds or 3 clubs. Opener can then decide whether to bid 3NT or play in part-score in clubs or diamonds.
We'll talk more about these agreements in upcoming online lessons.
Bid This Hand
No one in a recent virtual game bid this hand correctly.
Can you?
Click here for the answer.
Sign Up Now for Online Lessons
We're continuing our schedule of group online classes on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Private lessons are available at any time.
Check out these topics in the coming weeks:
  • Minor Suit Transfers - Is Your Bid Strong or Weak?
  • Handling Interference After 2-Club Openings and Blackwood
  • When to Lead Trump
  • Making a Plan for Defenders
  • Choosing Your Discards
  • Leads in the Middle of the Hand
A complete schedule is here. You can register for a class by sending an email to jo@sunvalleybridge.com.
Why Gold?
Several players asked us to explain gold points after the "Stardust Week" games that awarded gold points to the top virtual club players.

A certain number of gold, red and silver points are required to become a life master. The colored points previously have been available almost exclusively at sectional, regional and national tournaments. Gold are the hardest to earn.

Congratulations to our gold point winners: Suzanne Donavan, Nancy Donavan, Judy Fisher, Charlotte Riviera, Judith Powell, Elaine Phillips, Ildiko Butler, Christiane Turner, Suzanne Finney, Lucinda Fabian, Fran Maughan, Ronald Bloom, Patricia Zebrowski, Roland Wolfram, Susan Passovoy, Claudie Goldstein, Elaine Pollock, Sylvia Miller, Stephanie Campbell, Margo Peck, Mollie Campbell, Joan Belshin, Judith Threshie, Isabelle Montupet, Jill Pollock, Thomas Noyes, Judith Baer, Lauren Wagner, Robert Meyers, Pamela Mann, Marty Carnevale, Greg Wilson, Beverly Fraser, Chuck Abramo, Jo Murray, Judy Hyde, Barbie John, Janet Meister, and Marty Carnevale.
"Pandemic" Special Continues
Marty Bergen's "pandemic special" on audiovisual lessons continues for Sun Valley Bridge Club players.

Click here for more details; click here to order. Several players have purchased all 50 lessons!
Meet Players in Our Virtual Games:
JoJoMD2014, CalGrad199, Bastedo
Joanne Nino: Helping Child Health Around the World
Joanne Nino, M.D., started learning bridge in 2014 when "My friends were never available because they were always playing bridge. I was invited to Mexico if I would learn."

Joanne is a physician at the Stanford University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has often traveled as a member of a global team of physicians called GOMOMS. The team teaches physicians, medical residents and students how to improve maternal and child health in poor countries with limited or no resources.
5 Hours on a Stretcher
"After the major earthquake in Nepal in 2015 we drove to the Himalayas to assess the remote birthing centers and to teach new procedures. We were driving on hastily made dirt roads while experiencing aftershocks as high as 6.0. After the mission was over, my husband and I went trekking. I was asked to do a house call in a smoky hut. There was an elderly man with pneumonia. The sherpas carried him down to the nearest village in a stretcher five hours away," she said.

Joanne and her husband have three children. The oldest son works in high tech start-ups, the second son is the new GM of the SF Giants baseball team and their daughter is completing her graduate studies at Oxford University. Scott's job as GM started this last November. "It has been a crazy first year for him," she said. "He says he feels like he is an expert in COVID-19 testing with a hobby in baseball."

"I want to thank Jo for being such a fantastic teacher. I have been able to continue my work while fitting in her online lessons," she added. And we want to thank Joanne for being such an outstanding student, as well as her work to help others around the world.
Recent Focus on Poor Areas
In Rural United States
Joanne has been to Central America (all countries except Panama), Nepal, China, India, and Africa. "We recently focused on poor rural areas in the US. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we had plans to visit several native American reservations. Sadly, the US maternal mortality rate has increased dramatically in these locations," she said.
Photo at top of newsletter: Dr. Joanne Nino with patients.
Reconnecting During the Pandemic
Corey Powell (BBO: CalGrad199) and Mike Bastedo (BBO: Bastedo) met at the Quick Tricks Bridge Club in San Francisco. But Corey was so focused on his cards that he doesn't remember meeting Mike until Mike reintroduced himself when they were pitted against each other at a double tennis match the next day.

Mike, a professor at the University of Michigan, was a visiting professor at Stanford University at the time. The two began playing bridge together and then married. Corey is now a statistician at the University.

The pair represented District 12 in Division C at the 2013 Grand National Teams in Atlanta and made it to the quarterfinals. Corey and Klaus Brondum represented District 12 in Division C at the North American Pairs in 2015.

"Mike and I love games and have competitive streaks," Corey said. "I really enjoy the intellectual challenge of trying to figure out what is in everyone's hand based on the bidding and play. I just attained Bronze Life Master this year. Mike can't play as much unfortunately because of work commitments."

Indeed, you may come across Mike's name because of his work. We've seen him quoted in The New York Times on several occasions because of his expertise on the college admissions process.

Photo: Mike Bastedo, left, and Corey Powell in Maui, site of their last pre-pandemic "live" game.
Read These Important Notes on Virtual Games
  • Register early: Please sign up as soon after 1 p.m. as you can. If you wait until the last-minute and encounter any problems, the director may not have time to help you. We've had several people miss games because they waited until after 2:30 to register. Be sure you are logged onto BBO using this URL: www.bridgebase.com/v3/

  • Self-alert your bids. The alert procedure on BBO is exactly opposite of the procedure in in-person games.Use the procedures outlined in our July e-newsletter. DO NOT enter any explanations in the "chat" box on your screen.
  • Need a partner? You can play with a robot for free if it will eliminate a sit-out. Details also are in our July e-newsletter.
  • Inviting a visitor? The ACBL limits the number of visitors, defined as people who did not play in our physical game in recent months. If you would like to partner with a visitor, please give us at least 24 hours' notice as directors need to take several steps before visitors can register. We require visitors to list their real names in their BBO profiles, and we encourage everyone else to do the same.
Wednesdays, 3 p.m.
Fridays, 3 p.m.
Please register by 2:30 p.m.
Masterpoint Winners
Check here to see who placed in August and September.