Silicon Valley Youth Bridge

Parent - Child Duplicate

January 3, 2016

The first (Grand)Parent-Child game of the new year brought out a full 11 tables for fun, friendly, yet still competitive, bridge.

This large turnout allowed Tournament Director Will Watson to offer a choice of two sections. Section A played 21 boards at a relatively fast pace, comparable to a typical open duplicate. Section B was recommended for those who were newer to duplicate, or anyone who preferred a more relaxed pace, They played 15 boards, a number more typical for our Parent-Child games.

Six tables competed in Section A, with five tables in section B. Both sections took a milk and cookies break in the middle, and still finished the tournament comfortably in under three hours. While all of the kids had played at least some duplicate bridge before, several pairs were new to the Parent-Child game, including two moms each playing duplicate bridge for the first time. Alan McWilliams, partnering his dad Floyd, won his very first fraction of a masterpoint, and immediately signed up to become an American Contract Bridge League member. Congratulations, Alan!

An unexpected pair arrived after the first round had started, and TD Will Watson worked some magic to reorganize the sections. Nobody except Will understood the movement, it seemed wild and crazy, but in the end it all went smoothly. We are lucky to have such a skilled and dedicated tournament director enthusiastic about supporting youth bridge.

It seemed a great time was had, and on their way out, many parents and children were eager to know when the next Parent-Child game would be held.

Young players play with a parent or grandparent as partner, trying to win American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) masterpoints and enjoying each other's company. Director Will Watson plans the game so that each pair would be able to meet and play against almost all the others.

Duplicate bridge is one of the few competitive activities in which people of all ages can participate as equals. Participants in the Parent-Child duplicate range from youth to seniors, but each pair has to work together to score well. Bridge is also one of the few games in which new players have the opportunity to compete against and learn from established stars.

Participants in our events range from duplicate bridge novices to experienced ACBL Life Masters to a world champion--all enjoying the company as well as the challenge of the game itself. A typical reaction was one youth's first words as he and his father left, "Can we do that again?"

Grandparents and parents looking for ways to connect with their young family members and entice them away from their iPods and their Game Boys should consider taking up bridge as a family activity. The youngsters may end up teaching them a few things, and that's a great feeling for everyone.

Bridge games at our events are American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) sanctioned awarding masterpoints (MP) to high scorers. ACBL membership is not required for our games but is strongly suggested. You can join online or at the Bridge Center on the night of an event. Adult membership is $29 for the first year and junior membership only $15 per year. Both include a monthly print magazine and registration of masterpoints (start earning towards becoming a Life Master!).