Three Generations of Life Masters

I come from a long line of bridge players. My grandparents (Reva and Joe Silver from Topeka, KS) and my mother (Carolyn) were avid players. One of my first memories of the game is when my mother and grandparents needed a 4th to practice. They sat me down at the kitchen table and handed me 13 cards. I was instructed on sorting my hand into suits, the rank order of honor cards and counting my high card points. After I completed this task, they would follow with a series of questions. How many aces do you have, how many kings, and so on. After I answered their questions, and added my HCP correctly, they would all shout out my appropriate bid, “bid 1NT.” I also have vivid memories of their loud heated conversations when they returned home from the bridge club. I assume they were discussing what they had done well, but it mostly sounded like what they did wrong. At that time, bridge was a huge turn off and I had no interested in learning a game where everyone was arguing all of the time. At age 45, some of my friends decided to take bridge lessons. I was finally ready to learn with my peers. I took a few lessons and got the bug! I am an engineer and found the game to be very mathematical which was right up my alley. Like many bridge players, I become obsessed with the game and hungry to learn as much as possible and play as often as I could. As soon as my mother found out I started taking lessons, she quickly took me under her wing. We played good ole’ fashion Standard American with standard carding. We were very successful. I remember my first duplicate game we played. My mother sat me down and gave me a crash course on how to use a bidding box. I remember how nervous I was when I had my first director call against me. My mother gave me a kind look from across the table that calmed me that everything will be okay. I have very fond memories of the first club game we won. My mother took me to the recap sheet and showed me that we had a #1 next to our names and said “you are now a junior master.” I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about. I attained my Life Master and Bronze Life Master concurrently in 2010. My mother was so proud of my accomplishment and threw a party for me at the club. My mother and I played until she passed away in 2017. I still have people at the club tell me how jealous they were that I got to play with my mother and what a nice partnership we had. After my mother died, I began to play with a lot of my bridge friends. I started to play 2/1 and adding new and fun conventions to my repertoire. I also began traveling to many out of state tournaments and my bridge success continued. I have served on several committees for the Denver unit. In 2018, I was asked to join the Denver Regional Pro/Am committee. I assisted in the recruitment of novice players and help with administrative work. When the pandemic hit, I initiated the idea to run the 2020 Denver Rocky Mountain Regional PRO/AM as an online. At the same time, the owner of our local bridge club asked my partner and myself if we could start teaching lessons online. We worked to develop and teach our Quick Bridge program online for free. We are now teaching this program at the club and have written a bridge workbook we hope to publish in the future. I also teach and mentor newer players as well, this includes a group of women that I have been teaching once a week for the last three years. Teaching and mentoring have been the most rewarding part of my bridge journey. The bridge club is my second home. I owe my success to all of my partners; I could not have attained my sapphire life master without them.