Silicon Valley Youth Bridge

May 19, 2013

Eager boys and girls arrived at the Bridge Center on Sunday, May 19 to enjoy good friends, good fun, good games and good eats. There were almost 40 children, teenagers and young adults, from 10 years though college age, with a variety of experience at card games. Most played some form of bridge with some of the brand new players learning Whist. The Pizza, Party, Play Bridge event was also the unveiling of the new Silicon Valley Youth Bridge (SiVY Bridge) organization, an all-volunteer group founded by world-champion bridge player Debbie Rosenberg.

After an introduction, emcee Frank Smoot challenged the group with bridge trivia questions. Once a player gave the correct answer, he or she needed to catch the prize deck of cards, tossed by one of the helpers. While the players enjoyed pizza, the program continued with a bridge video compiled by Vinita Gupta, a Bridge Base Online demonstration by Jason Rosenfeld, who helped kids create accounts to play online with their new friends, a discussion of Junior Bridge by Debbie Rosenberg and Sam Lichtenstein and a bridge word scramble puzzle, created by Randy Ryals with raffle prizes drawn from those with correct answers. The winners Michael Hu, Amanda Kerlee and Olivia d’Arezzo chose either Bridge for Dummies, donated and autographed by Edwin Kantar or an electronic catchphrase game. By answering a special trivia question, Sam Lichtenstein won a $25 credit donated by Bridge Winners to their E-store.

After the pizza, the card games resumed with a helper at each table to give advice and encouragement. The partnerships made an effort to earn the two $10 Spotify Music gift cards awarded for winning all 13 tricks. None accomplished this, so the bridge partnership of Carmel Baharav and Ling-ling Zhang won by collecting 12 tricks. At departure, there were ACBL hats and pencils for all.

Mayeul Carrot & Samantha Levy, 11 and Olivia d’Arezzo, 12, play a hand of bridge with bridge teacher and ex-Stanford student Chris Chung.

Chloe Scocimara, 13, is deep in concentration while Nathan Huang, 10, looks on. As tournament chess players, Nathan and his twin sister Natalie are both strategic thinkers, and are now giving their Dad’s favorite hobby a try.

Getting into the spirit of the game are Cornelius Duffie, 13, Ari and Sophia Jacob, 10 and 11, and William Chen, 14. Three of these kids, like many of the attendees, have grandparents or parents who play, while William learned at the Stanford Splash class.

Even though our event was for 10+ year olds, Rory Xiao, 9, tagged along with his older brother and he fit right in!

We said it would be FUN!

SiVY Bridge hopes the success of this initial event will inspire signups for its first fall after school program for 4th through 8th graders. The program will be a series of classes based on the ACBL’s School Bridge program and free of charge to both schools and students. If you know a school that would be interested, please make an introduction.