May 26th, 2024

Bridge tourney a success

By Steffanie Costigan - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on May 2, 2024.

Lethbridge Bridge Club recently held a week-long regional tournament of duplicate bridge card game on with 428.5 tables played by competitors from near and far.
The tournament ran April 8-14.
Five American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) members at the tournament earned their ACBL Life Masters status, one of them being local resident Mary May. Players from Seattle, Billings, Winnipeg, Grand Prairie and Saskatoon came to the tournament to participate.
“It was wonderful… This was relatively a small one, but for Lethbridge, it’s been our biggest one that we’ve had. That’s 428 tables of bridge so all together that’s four people playing at one table. And we did that for a total of 428 times over the seven days, said regional tournament chair Dianne King recently.
“And a total of 2,657 red and gold master points were given out to the winners. And just to give you a sense of how much that is, I’ve been playing for 15 years, and I only have about 550 gold points,” said King recently.
Area players comprised 243 competitors while 173 players traveled from elsewhere to participate
“According to Tourism Lethbridge, the economic impact to the City of Lethbridge was $340,200. Eleven restaurants offered a 10 per cent discount to players who raved about the quality and quantity of food they enjoyed.
“Players took time before and after games to walk our scenic city pathways and tour the city and surrounding county, complimenting us on our beautiful city,” said King.
“Fifty two cards are dealt to four people. We have a north and a south playing against an east and a left. The north and south are a team, and the east and west are a team. Everybody that came to the bridge tournaments for the most part came with a partner,” said King.
“There were 35 teams, for example, on a given day, and we would all play the same cards. We put them into a board. And once we played those cards, they get put back in the board and they go to the next table of four people. And those four people play them and try and do better than the first table.”
Lethbridge Bridge Club offers beginners lesson for duplicate bridge starting in September. Interested community members can sign up for the beginner lessons by becoming a Lethbridge Bridge Club member at https://sites.google.com/site/lethbridgebridgeclub#:~:text=Membership%20fee%20is%20%2410%20per,.club%40gmail.com.
King said most of the local players are retired individuals and there are benefits for younger players to get involved.
“We really would love to see younger people coming out and playing bridge because for the most part, it’s retired people that play… It keeps your mind active and how exciting it is because you never can really master it. It’s a lifelong challenge. So, I think that would be a lifelong challenge and reward,” she said.

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