I was introduced to bridge in college and was fortunate to work for a company which had several players. We would play socially during lunch hour. One of these guys and i began to play duplicate at a local community center. All of this was over 40 years ago when Goren was Standard American. Marriage, kids, and work pressures happened and i stopped playing bridge in the early 80’s.

Four years ago, my wife and i moved to The Villages after i retired. One of my golf buddies told me that he had started playing bridge after not playing for a couple of decades and told me about The Villages Duplicate Bridge Club. Unfortunately, he already had a partner. A few weeks later, i saw a posting on our community newsletter from someone looking for a partner to play bridge. I answered the posting and we began to play in The Villages Duplicate Bridge Club’s newcomer game.

I had to learn what is now Standard American but this was made easier because before each newcomer game, one of the experts from the Club provided a lesson on various aspects of the game. My new partner, Sue Williams, and i played most Monday evenings and began to accumulate master points. It should be noted here that i was able to reactivate my old ACBL number even though it was inactive since the early 80’s. This was accomplished by a phone call to ACBL headquarters where i talked with a very helpful lady. She was not able to find me on the current data base but had someone look me on the older computer system. A couple of hours later she called me back and told me what my number was. I then reactivated my membership for three years.

The Villages Duplicate Bridge Club runs many games during the week, some open and some limited to beginner or intermediate players. I was able to find another partner for another evening and we began to play on Thursday evenings. Then the virus hit and all games at the club were suspended. I got a call from my golf buddy, Bill Behr who told me that the Club was beginning daily games on Bridge Base Online and asked if i wanted to partner with him. Of course, i was very happy to give it try. We have played almost daily and have really enjoyed the experience. Had it not been for BBO, i am sure that it would have taken much longer to reach my new status since i am playing much more than i had been in the past few months. The other advantage of BBO is that my partner and i can play even when we are in different cities as happened when Bill went to St. Louis and will happen over the summer when i return to Ohio.

The Villages Duplicate Bridge Club is a fantastic organization. They do all the work to organize venues throughout the community which is spread over a large geographic area. Lessons are offered on various aspects of the game during the week over the course of the entire year. All of the supplies are maintained in great shape in the various venues. The individual game directors are outstanding in their ability to keep things running smoothly, staying on time and having results available shortly after completion of play. I can’t say enough good things about The Villages Duplicate Bridge Club.

As for District 9 support, i am not certain how you can improve because i don’t see much of how you support The Villages Club. But whatever you are doing to make their job easier, keep doing it.

Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

Dave Fries