Silicon Valley Youth Bridge

Parent - Child Duplicate

September 21, 2014

A record 8 tables attended, 15 "Parent-Child" pairs, and one "fill-in pair" of two dads, whose respective kids couldn't make it this time. The age range of the kids was 7-17.

A first-time pair was mother and son, Yael Pritch Knaan and Guy Knaan. Ten-year old Guy taught himself to play bridge over the summer, using the free Learn to Play Bridge software available at His mom found Silicon Valley Youth Bridge via an online search, and Guy has become a regular at SiVY Bridge events this September. He's also been teaching his mom, who has been cramming the past couple of weeks, just so that she could play with Guy in this event!

Another first-time pair was Dave Wheeler and grandson Cameron Wheeler. Dave is a longtime Palo Alto Bridge club member - as was his father, Gersh. Cameron is a FIDE Master in chess, and just started learning bridge this past summer at SiVY's summer bridge camp. Cameron is a freshman at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, where he will be attending the newly formed MVHS bridge club.

Violet Tivol was declarer in 3H contract and claimed the rest of the tricks with five cards remaining. Though the opponents trumps had been drawn, it wasn't an obvious case of all winners in Violet's hand, so declarer was politely asked to please explain how she was going to play. Seven-year old Violet answered confidently "It's a crossruff" and the claim was readily accepted. Violet won her first masterpoints and applied for ACBL membership right after the game.

Players enjoyed milk and cookies, along with time to relax and socialize, during a halftime break. Quite a few pairs stayed around after the game to pore over the hand records, and discuss their results.

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 $28 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!).