May 31, 2023

The Face to Face (F2F) bridge club continues to meet every Monday at the Korineum Golf Club and is currently running successfully with 5 tables writes Colin Pearson. The Islandsbc online bridge club continues to hold tournaments on Fridays and Saturdays with at least three and often 4 tables present. We have been able to admit more players from the TRNC recently which suggests that all three tournaments will continue for the foreseeable future. Far from online bridge withering on the vine after COVID it now seems to be the preferred choice for many of our bridge players. It has come as a pleasant surprise to some of the bridge newcomers arriving in the TRNC that the online bridge club is free to all those who have links to the TRNC.

We are planning a special event for Thursday 18 May 2023 when we hope to get as many of the online and F2F bridge players for a Swiss Teams event to be held at the Korineum Golf Club. More details will appear in future quarterly newsletters but so far, we have some 32 players signed up for the competition which will be a chance for those who have left the TRNC to meet up with old friends.

This quarter we focus on two quite different bridge players – John Ingham who has been playing both online and duplicate bridge for a number of years and who recently won the Monthly League title in September for the first time with his partner Elisabeth. Our second player is a relative newcomer Jane McVey who has only recently discovered the joys of playing bridge.

John Ingham

I first started playing Bridge when I joined The Bridge Club at school in 1969 and was taught the Culbertson System. This was a natural progression from playing 4 handed whist at home with family & friends.

A few years later I moved through work from Cornwall to Bristol at the age of 20 and found gentleman’s lodgings in Clifton. Once the landlords discovered that I played Bridge, I was coerced into playing every Sunday afternoon and was introduced to the ACOL system.

This turned out not to be a bad experience, as we were invited to play in their parlour and at halftime the maid would bring in an array of triangular sandwiches, fruit cake & China Tea. My landlords The Shipman’s were very competitive and at the ripe old age of 80 plus, Mr Shipman usually ended up in 3 No Trumps and had a ledger in which he recorded every single game and score going back over 40 years.

After a few years girls, politics, travel & cooking became more appealing than playing Bridge. I did not play Bridge for the next 35 years when family and career took central stage.

I sold my Insurance Business in 2014, retired and moved to North Cyprus in 2016. It was inevitable that I should move here as my uncle was a teacher in Nicosia between 1969-73, my cousin Ruth met her husband in Kyrenia & now lives in Durham, North Carolina. My partner Fatos Karayalcin was born in Limassol and whose family all moved to Kyrenia in 1974. Over the years I have made lots of visits to North Cyprus and fell in love with the charms, excitement & vibrancy of the country.

Once I moved here, I wanted to make new friends, so I joined Salsa Classes, The Gardeners Forum, Quiz Nights, and expat events and I finally discovered that there was a local Bridge Club. I tentatively attended my first meeting and was partnered up with a lovely lady Enid. She was very patient and brought me back up to speed with ACOL after 35 years.

I found that the Bridge Group is very friendly and caters for all standards and that I have made lots of new friends and above all it is great fun.

Jane McVey

I have been a latecomer to the game of bridge, having taken it up since retirement from my career as a Human Resources Director in the NHS. My father had been a bridge player – and I remember him describing his time on a journey on a troop ship out to the Far East at the end of the Second World War, when he spent many happy hours playing bridge every day and playing jazz every night. He had tried to teach me when I was a child but whilst I enjoyed basic card play, I could never get the hang of bidding – and arguably still can’t!

When I retired a few years ago, I was casting around for something interesting and enjoyable to do when I chanced upon a group run through the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Bedford where I live, offering a bit of tuition in bridge. I went along and they very patiently taught me the basics.  My aunt had lived in London and played social bridge regularly, so I felt I was carrying on a family tradition and was sure that my father would be pleased that I was at last taking up something that he had enjoyed.

I remembered that a previous colleague of mine, Colin Pearson, was a bridge player, and also a good teacher/ trainer.  When he started the online bridge group in Cyprus, he invited me to take part, and whilst I was very nervous at first, it gave me an excellent opportunity to get feedback on my play and therefore to improve much more quickly than if I had just been going to a class.

My enthusiasm for bridge has developed in leaps and bounds, and a result of playing online with the group in Cyprus, I have joined bridge groups in my local area, and that has led to me making more friends.  Not only that, but I have also discovered that bridge opens gateways to travel across the world.

I have been on two bridge holidays this year – to Tenerife and France – and plan a few more. I am pleased to be coming to North Cyprus next May and will hopefully be able to meet many of the people I only know by their code names on Bridge Base Online (BBO). I enjoy online bridge, especially on cold winter days, but playing face to face as part of a group is more satisfying.

This Autumn I am starting an advanced class as there is so much still to learn.  I find the intellectual challenge of the game endlessly fascinating and would never have predicted that I would spend so much of my retirement playing bridge!

Jane on a recent Bridge holiday

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