The Islandsbc online Bridge Club continues to thrive – now a year and a half old and is still gaining new members.
The COVID position continues to hamper the ability of clubs to go back to Face to Face games writes Colin Pearson. The Monday club attempted to start twice at Sammy’s in July and again in August but the COVID restrictions meant they had to stop. Janice Harper, Chairman of the Monday Club advises that there will be an attempt to restart a three Table game at a member’s house sometime in October. In the meantime a lunchtime get together is planned for 7th October at Benoz Restaurant in Alagadi.
The position for the Friday Karsiyaka club is much simpler – Lalitha Scott reports that a restart of the full club is unlikely for a month or two. Like the Monday club there is some informal “kitchen” bridge taking place.
In some better news Anthony Armstrong reports that the Wednesday Club re-started on Wednesday, 22nd September and is playing at Ozzie’s Bar and Restaurant, between Lapta and Karsiyaka.
Given all this, online bridge will go on for most of the next quarter but from October it will be organised on a much simpler basis with players not having to pre-book but just turn up on the day. Phil Conkie will be taking over from Colin in organising the tournaments.
This quarter we again ask some of our members to reminisce on how they came to play bridge. Elizabeth Coeshall tells us about growing up as an Essex girl whilst Derek and Darcey Matter show us that age and family are no barrier when playing bridge.
My connection to Cyprus is from holidaying with my cousin Dot three times a year for several years now. Through Dot, I met Conni Richardson who introduced me to the North Cyprus Bridge Club.
So a little about me. I am a child of the 50s born to parents residing in Twickenham. Within three years I became an Essex girl in which county I have lived the majority of my life.
My career took me to Chatham in Kent for almost ten years in the 80s and 90s. I returned to working in London for two years in 1995, at which point I decided I was never working as an employee ever again.
It helps to be able to count when playing Bridge.
In 1997, I started my self-employment career in Braintree, where I located my chartered accountancy practice. This was meant to be semi-retirement, but I was a bit of a workaholic and so threw myself into it with gusto. It was in this practice that I fully trained three school leavers to become accountants and provided work experience to local school children. One of the latter didn’t make it to the second day after typing numbers into an excel spreadsheet without decimal points!
I retired in 2016, and have not looked back. My original intention was to die at my desk, but I decided that I could embrace phase three after all.
Cards as light relief
Growing up, in the evenings on Sundays and Christmas we always played cards. It was mainly Solo, after we got tired of Whist. For light relief, we would play three card Brag. My annoying older brother invariably would bid a penny blind. The stakes were never high.
After a brief encounter playing bridge at lunchtime in school for about six months, I decided once retired that I would take up bridge properly. My brother also encouraged me as he plays regularly with two groups. My intention was initially to have lessons but there was nobody locally when I became interested. Introduced by a fellow Trustee of our local village hall, I joined U3A Tiptree Bridge club which plays in Little Braxted. It is a friendly club and some of the experienced players help others out playing on other tables. Once the pandemic hit, a few of us started to play via BBO.
It was Colin Pearson who first introduced me to BBO and I very much enjoy playing in the weekly tournaments. This has been a godsend during lockdown.
DEREK MATTER AND HIS GRANDDAUGHTER DARCEY TAYLOR MATTER
It was with interest that I read the recent article published in Cyprus Today and Cyprusscene. In particular the Hussein Cenktaş story of how he, his family and friends started with the game here in the TRNC and in the UK. Also his desire to bring young people into the game. Both of these parts of his story touched a nerve with me. My secret nickname for Hussein is “King of No Trumps”. He and his partners are always formidable opponents.
I was also exposed to a game of cards at an early age, for me it was playing with my Grandmother in Switzerland. The game was “Jass”, very similar but also very different to Bridge. It involves bidding, partnerships, strategy, bluff and numeracy skills.
There are notable differences between the two games including playing anti-clockwise and using different suits. There is much more banter, whilst Bridge can be quite serious. Sadly I did not become reacquainted with these card games until 2007 on our move to Cyprus.
How did we end up here in Cyprus?
Our family’s first passion has always been sailing. Whilst on a visit here I ended up repairing an old sailing boat. This subsequently led to our move here and the start of a sailing school at Sardunya Bay, Lapta. A dream was realised to introduce sailing to young people here in the TRNC.
During this time I was also reintroduced to Bridge at the Karsiyaka Bridge Club. I recall that on my first visit I was so nervous that my left hand (which was holding the cards) was actually shaking. My hands do not shake any more but I am still learning, every single time I play the game.
Nearly two hundred youngsters learned to sail with us at Sardunya. I am pleased to say that some of these kids are now the new champions of the TRNC.
I am grateful to the various people that have had the patience to help me with the game. Now it is my turn to introduce this fabulous game to young and old alike.
Soon we were all playing Bridge, family and friends, at every spare opportunity. After dinner, after sailing, during a break from skiing
All of these activities require, skill, understanding, teamwork and tactics.
My Saturday Bridge partner, Granddaughter Darcey
My name is Darcey and I am 12 years old. I started playing Bridge on a family holiday in Cyprus at the age of eight. My Granddad taught me and my siblings. He also taught us how to sail and ski. From then on we would play every time they were here in England and when we were in Cyprus.
When playing together in person it would normally be my brother or sister and my Grandmother . On ski holidays it would be really nice as after a full day skiing we would eat dinner and then have a nice game of cards.
I really enjoy playing online Bridge on a Saturday mornings as I get a chance to play with my Granddad and I really like the connection we have.