Silicon Valley Youth Bridge

About our Pizza Parties

Young bridge players enjoy challenging competition and good food at the monthly Silicon Valley Youth (SiVY) Bridge party.

Aspiring bridge players ages 10-25 are welcome – as long as they know just a little bit about bridge and want to learn more.

Upon arrival the kids play casually and enjoy snacks. After pizza is served many players enter a mini-tournament while others keep playing for fun. Brand new players are taught the basics of the game, learning as they play.

The pairs in the mini-tournament practice skills in bidding as well as play. Prizes are awarded to the winners.

Volunteers are available to help the kids who play for fun.

Near the end of each party, dessert is served, while tournament winners are announced and prizes are awarded

The SiVY monthly events are held to provide kids from our after school classes a chance to meet aspiring players from other schools and organizations. They are also a great way for kids who have learned from adult family to play bridge with other young people.

October 22, 2016

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Our October pizza party took place at West Valley College in Saratoga as part of the Unit 507 ACBL Sectional tournament. Forty-four SiVY youth players attended. Thirty-seven competed in one or both sessions of the tournament and joined the pizza party between sessions, while seven played informal bridge at the pizza party, without playing in the Sectional.

After the pizza party, many youth players participated in a special Newcomers Game, being held for the first time at this tournament. This shorter duplicate was open to all ages with 0-20 Masterpoints, and it proved extremely popular. Results

Highlights from the Newcomers game

Nine tables participated in this game, which included of 9 youth pairs, 3 Parent-Child Pairs and 5 “older” pairs. One pair consisted of a parent, Hongbin Liu, who had not played duplicate bridge since his own high school days in China, filling in with a current high school student, Sawyer Anderson. Hongbin's own son already had a partner.

Carey Chang and Jerry Xia were first of all the youth pairs, and first in their strat. This put Carey, who played bridge for the first time at our April 2016 pizza party, over 5 masterpoints to become a junior master. Congratulation to Carey, who asked (half-jokingly) if he would still be allowed to play with his dad, since Victor Chang still has under 5 masterpoints.

Deirdre Lyell played in her first duplicate, with her more experienced 11-year old daughter, Olivia Schireson. Deirdre, who joined the ACBL at the end of the game, said "I felt like I was learning with each hand. I still have a lot to learn but I am starting to understand better why my husband and daughter are obsessed with bridge." Olivia added, "It was fun to be able to teach my mom something, and really cool that she won masterpoints in her first tournament."

Most players in the event had less than 1 masterpoint!

Other highlights of the day

David Zheng won the 21-table Open Pairs with mentor Li-Chung Chen! Results

Now a Lynbrook HS freshman, David started learning bridge in winter of 2015, when he, his brother, and his parents, all attended a Casual Friday and were taught the fundamentals of the game. A few months later, David had read every bridge book he could get his hands on, and started playing in open duplicates. His family couldn’t keep up with him, and SiVY mentor Lynn Bartz became his frequent partner.

Li-Chung has mentored Arthur Zhou in the past, and agreed to play with David on Saturday, when Arthur was busy with soccer. According to Li-Chung, “David played well. He bid aggressively at the right times and had solid card play. He took his time on difficult decisions and usually took winning actions. Multiple opponents remarked that they know him from club games and like him.”

2016 Youth NABC winners Kevin Huang and Brent Xiao played the open morning side game, and placed first overall out of 19 pairs, with over 63%. They were applauded when their Youth NABC victory was announced to the tournament by Unit 507 President Ray Yuenger.

Kevin and Brent then attended the SiVY Youth party, where they ate pizza, played socially with friends, and were congratulated on their YNABC win. They both stood up to thank SiVY and District 21 for supporting them, and they encouraged the youths in attendance to keep playing bridge and to try to attend the YNABC in Toronto next summer. Then they drew the raffle for bridge related prizes, which youth players had entered by answering a short quiz.

See page 32 of the October ACBL Bulletin for more about Kevin and Brent's YNABC win, and the success of other D21 youth players at that same event.

Twins Natalie and Nathan Huang, both freshmen at Los Altos HS, earned a section top in the Silver Rush pairs. Nathan and Natalie have been playing bridge about two years, and have recently started getting more serious about the game.

Lucas Johnston and Michael Xu, both middle school students, and very much newcomers, had other commitments for the afternoon, so couldn’t join the Newcomers game at 3:30. Not willing to miss out on duplicate bridge, they were the lone youth pair in the morning 299er game. They were unfazed by playing against adults, who enjoyed having them in the game.

Vir and Vaayu Saini have played casually at several SiVY pizza parties, and enjoyed more of the same at this one. Now their mom is planning to sign them up for bridge classes, and is considering joining them!

Many thanks to Unit 507 for hosting the party, and to all the volunteers who helped out.

The bridge games at our parties 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 $29 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!).