Sally Sparrow

Let the games begin!

Was too tired last night to blog! But I’ve had a great week in Chicago. And as I prepare to leave today, the NABC is off to a roaring start. I got to play yesterday in a 0-5 game, it was free all day for novice players. I was ready to put my name in at the partnership desk, when my Mum ran into a young man in the elevator. His name was Shawn and he was looking for a partner. He’d only started playing bridge in April, so had no points yet. He was here with his 10-year-old daughter, Ella, who was playing in the junior division. She did very well and was playing with people up to 19 years old. He showed me this photo of her playing:

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She placed second against people twice her size! She had started playing in school, and he started playing because of her. What a great story! I should have taken a picture of Shawn and I. Sorry.

I won’t go into too many details about the game itself because there were no real standout hands. Let me just say that I was pretty nervous about playing with someone I didn’t know. But once it all started I felt right at home. Our first opponents were young people too! (Well, by young, I mean turning 40 like us…) We all remarked how nice it was to play with people our age. I was able to show them a few things, like how to use the machines and how to keep their score on the scorecard. No one had even played in a club before. Next time I’ll challenge myself more and play in a higher division, but this was a good start.

After playing my mind was full of bridge. So I didn’t do much else last night, other than stop by the book selling booth to chat to the booksellers. But because the games were on, there was no one to sell books to! I did get to run around and search for bridge experts. I got to meet Boye Brogeland to do some business for the publisher. He was very cool (and good-looking!). It was exciting for me because I’d worked on his book, Bridge at the Edge, which was full of exciting hands and stories of his experiences at top-level championships. He told me they’d not had a good result earlier that day. But when I ran into him again later on, they had done well. As we learned from Zia yesterday, it’s all about the last hand. Make it a good one and you’ll come out of it with a good feeling. Good luck to all the players!

It’s my last morning in Chicago, so we’re off to the art gallery. Then packing up and off to the airport! I’d be sad, but I know I’ll be back again. It’s a great city.

This post needs at least one more picture, so here’s my favourite so far, from the boat as we ended the tour.

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