December 30, 2011: Putting together a fine 70% game, the Davidson Academy pair of Jesicca Fuchs and Sarah Macharg rolled to a win in the first interscholastic duplicate bridge tournament held Friday December 30th at the Grand Sierra Resort. Aggressive play was their secret for success as they bid game whenever they thought their point count was even close to the number needed normally to score enough tricks to win the game bonus. David Weinberg, teacher at Davidson stated that he was confident this pair would do very well as they have learned to listen to each other as they bid the hand. Reno Youth Bridge Managing Director Bud Brewer reported that there were eleven tables in the bidding game and five tables in the Mini Bridge Tournament. All this took place right in the middle of the American Contract Bridge League’s Mid Winter Regional Tournament that traditionally takes place at this time of year. Decked out in their brand new black game jerseys, the players provided an interesting contrast to the normally grey haired bodies that attend such big time bridge tournaments. Reno Youth Bridge president, Kathy Lane was unable to be a part of the tournament this year so there was some considerable confusion at the start but with the help of many of those teachers that are coaching the Middle school teams and other volunteers, the game went on. Following a representative number but less than normal boards of play the students lined up for a group picture after which they began to serpentine up to the mezzanine where lunch was served, a little late but in time to satisfy most hunger pangs of the students. Reno Youth
Bridge, Inc. also sponsored a Mini Bridge Tournament at the same time as this Youth Tourney and five tables of enthusiastic school team members played a representative number of Boards thus determining the overall winner to be Andreya Russell and Kaleigha Valdez from Shaw Middle School. Shaw’s Bridge Team is coached by the couple of Dane and Kelly Nott both of whom are certified teachers in the math department at Shaw. Their program is growing very rapidly and the after school activity for bridge has registered over 25 students this year versus only 8 last year.
Finishing second in the Youth Pairs event was the partnership of Henry Weisberg and Matt McKinley of Billinghurst Middle school, in third place were Harley DeGuzman and Owen McClung of High Desert Montessori Charter School. In second place in the Mini Bridge Tourney, were Hayden Davis and Nielsen Gage of Depoali Middle School, followed by Kitt Dylan and Joe Hogan of Shaw Middle School located up in Spanish Sprngs area. The next major tournament to be held by Reno Youth Bridge is scheduled to take place on April 21, 2012 at the Nugget Hotel in Sparks. It is at this tournament that the RYB Silver Cup is contested in a team game with the winning team taking possession it for the following year
About eighty of the 200 middle school students registered in the Reno Youth Bridge teaching program this year posed for a picture following their highly competitive play in the Premier Reno Youth Bridge Youth Tournament December 30th. Several Reno Youth Bridge classes are expanding each month as students are telling their friends just how much fun this game is. For the first time in the four year history of Reno Youth Bridge teaching program, Pine Middle School, one of Washoe County’s fourteen middle schools, is teaching bridge as a part of their math curriculum. Students elect to take this course as a part of the school’s program to bring reality to mathematics that students can relate to. Suzanne Walsh, the faculty member teaching this course, is a bridge player and appreciates the value of how the game helps students with critical thinking and inferential reasoning. Students split the semester between bridge and cribbage, both games played with a deck of 52 playing cards and players can express variable values for progressing in the game. With 4 days a week of learning and playing the game, Pine students will have quite an edge over those students in one hour a week after school activity classes. Reno Youth Bridge Directors are hoping that this program will spread to the other middle schools and the game will become just like any interscholastic sport played among the County’s school system.