Matt & Sarah win Year-end Final

RYB Year-end Pairs Championships.


May 20, 2017: When a school student learns how to learn, they discover that in almost any endeavor they try, they become competitively and relatively more competent.  Over the past nine years, it has been a pleasure for many of the American Contract Bridge League members of Unit 473 to work with intellectually curious Washoe County School District’s middle school and high school students teaching them to learn and play the game of Contract Bridge. This opportunity was done through an after-school activity and intramural competition program sponsored by Reno Youth Bridge, Inc.  Why Bridge you ask?  Bridge is a partnership trick taking card game in which the 52 cards are dealt equally among four players.  At the card table, players sitting in the North-South position are partners competing against players sitting in the East -West position.  Each pair then attempts to win the most points on each hand relative to those partnerships playing the same hands sitting in their same direction at other tables.  An auction begins each hand and will determine the pair who bids to win the highest number of tricks thereby contracting to win a specific minimum number of tricks and the right to name a suit which will be the trump suit or if they wish, no-trump suit in the contract.  During the period 2008 to 2017, several thousand students have joined one or more of the 15 Middle and High School Bridge classes each year to see just what the game of bridge was all about.  Classes have varied in size from 8 students to over 200 students one year, 2014 bridge class, at McQueen High School under the leadership of Susan Vaughn, a highly regarded English teacher at the school.


On May 20th, Reno Youth Bridge, Inc. held its 2017 Year-end Intramural Duplicate Contract Bridge Championships at the Reno Bridge Center.  The winning Partnership pair was that of Matt Oakley and Sarah Macharg, two students at the Davidson Academy located on the University of Nevada at Reno’s campus here in downtown  Reno.  Matt and Sarah have been learning and playing the game of bridge in the RYB program for 7 of the 9 years the youth program has been operating.  In weekly meetings, they learn and play the game to exercise their brains leading not only to the enhancement of their bridge skills, but also academic and social skills as well and just play better bridge.  This is comparable to the football player who goes to the Gym to workout thus increasing their physical strength and ability to play the game of football. For Matt and Sarah, these after activities have enabled them to become more proficient at playing duplicate bridge in local ACBL tournaments as well as Regional and National Youth Bridge competition.  They have done this while maintaining superior Grade point averages year after year in their school studies.

On Saturday, after winning the RYB Year End Championship with Matt, Sarah left to compete in a Piano Recital Competition playing Rachmaninoff Prelude in G minor against the best in Northern Nevada.  It is not surprising that she won that competition too because she as well as most students who play bridge just do better at whatever intellectual endeavor they select in which to compete.

As it’s name implies, this tournament was the final intramural even for the 2016-17 school year sponsored by Reno Youth Bridge.  But is wont necessarily be the last competition in which Matt and Sarah will be partners competing.  The Reno Unit holds events daily and attracts the best of the County’s young and older bridge players.  Final rankings in the Year-end Youth Bridge Championships were as follows:

 Section A:

Pair    Pct   Score  Rank   MPs
  5   65.05   41.63   1    1.00     Matt Oakley - Sarah Macharg
  6   57.14   36.57   2    0.70     Emma Miller - Sue Vaughn
  3   54.31   34.76   3    0.50     Marcus Layosa - Justin Thompson
  8   54.11   34.63   4    0.35     Pedro Carmona - Carly Kinerson
 10   51.97   33.26                 Kathy Morse - Ellie Mustard
  1   51.19   32.76                 Jamie Cohen - Jeremy Benik
  2   47.47   30.38                 Daniel Sedano - Noah Christiansen
  9   44.34   28.38                 Wally DeBarger - Alex Mustard
  4   39.28   25.14                 Tyler Clark - Michelle Choung
  7   34.78   22.26                 Kaylee Betts - Joseph Watts

 Section  B:
Pair    Pct   Score  Rank   MPs
  2   58.33   14.00  1/2   0.31     Luis Heredia - Jamie BerfieldF
  4   58.33   14.00  1/2   0.31     Josie McCue - Sofia Paiva
  6   56.25   13.50                 Ella Paiva - Emree Paiva
  3   52.08   12.50                 Briana Gant - Kaviny Giritharan
  1   45.83   11.00                 Lucy Burnhan - Rachel Clauson
  5   29.17    7.00                 Leigh Fisher - Victoria Nelson


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Reno Youth Final Pairs Event

May 15, 2017: The final Reno Youth Bridge sponsored intramural pairs tournament for the school year 2016-2017 will be held this weekend at the Reno Bridge Center, 3850 Wrondel Way.  This WCSD intramural tournament will most assuredly determine the winner of the student who will earn the highest number of RYBAP points to be declared the recipient of the $1000 College Tuition Condition Precedent Scholarship.  The Year-end Pairs championship will be the final tournament sponsored by Reno Youth Bridge and as noted, will be a pairs event.  Registration begins at 9:30AM and the Tournament will start at 10:00AM.  A light lunch will be served during the Awards Ceremony and all students will be available for pick up by 2:30.  Line up your favorite partner or just and play with another student unmatched for the event.

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April 22, 2017: Playing in one of their first attempts, Tyler Clark and Joseph Watts, members of the McQueen High School Bridge Team, scored a strong 60.69% game in the Spring Pairs Championship to finish first Overall, just a hair (.06%) ahead of the fast IMG_1066 crop 1IMG_1066crop3closing second place pair of Michelle Choung and Kailee Betts, also members of the 

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 McQueen High School Bridge Team.   In third place was the partnership of Matt Oakley and Sarah MacHarg playing on the Reno High School Bridge Team.

By virtue of their placement of third in this event, Matt and Sarah were able to regain their lead in the race for the RYBAP $1000 College Tuition Scholarship awarded to the Reno Youth Bridge member who ends up with the highest total achievement points for the school year ending this year on June 2, 2017.   Following a fine performance in the Spring Pairs tournament on Saturday, Joseph Watts and Tyler Clark, surged up the RYBAP leader boarIMG_1060 crop1IMG_1060 crop 2d to earn the current positions of 5th and 9th

place respectively with their overall win in the Open Pairs Tournament.  Michelle Choung and Kailee Betts also advanced nicely in the Scholarship race standings.  IMG_1064 crop1New sIMG_1064 Crop2tudents on the RYBAP Top Ten list were Ella and Emree Paiva, members of High Desert Montessori Charter School Bridge Team, gained by their overall win in Section Z of the Non Contract division for newer players.          

Reno Youth Bridge is a non profit corporation sponsoring the teaching of Middle School and High School students how to learn and play the game of bridge.  Founded in 2008, the volunteer members of the Reno Bridge Unit 473 of the American Contract Bridge League provide after school activity instruction to all schools participating in the Washoe County School District.  Demonstrated benefits for learning and playing the game have enabled many of Reno’s high school students to achieve enhanced scores on their college entrance exams, a fact little known among many of the parents of Reno’s school children.

IMG_1057 Jamie Cohen, Andrew Wischer,2017 Spring Tourn Sarah Macharg, Hayden Davis, Matt Oakley, Jeremy BenikIMG_1059 Vytas GedvillaIMG_10602017 Rachel Clawson, Walter DeBarger, Barbara Agre, Lucy Burnham, Alex MustardIMG_1064IMG_1067 group cropIMG_1066 Crop 4

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RYB offers Course on “Two over One” Bidding System

March 24, 2017: Reno Youth Bridge is offering an eight week introductory course on the Two over One bidding system based on teaching by Larry Cohen.  For beginning or second year students, 2 over one Imagethis weekly lesson and quiz provides basic information and logic for the use of this modern bidding system along with the opportunity to earn points toward the RYBAP award of a $1000,00 College Tuition Scholarship . For participation in the course, five RYBAP black points will be earned for reading and responding to the lesson’s quiz each week and for each correct answer, you will be awarded 1 Silver RYBAP point.  Instructors, Bud Brewer and Dan Green, will administer the program in which lessons will be emailed each Friday to registered students who after reading the material will answer 5 bidding issues specifically designed to test their knowledge of what was presented in the lesson received that week. Come join your fellow bridge students and register for the course by emailing your name, the name of your school, your cell and phone number to   You will receive an introductory lesson by return email which will help you understand why this system could give you and your partners advantages over opponents using SAYC.  Check out the current standings for the RYBAP Scholarship in the panel on the right.  Do the math and you will see that participating in this course could be a way to surge to the top of this ranking and thereby receive up to $1000 in awards.  Get registered now so your first lesson will be sent at the program’s launch Friday, March 30th.



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April 22 Game switched to Pairs event

March 21, 2017:  The RYB Directors just announced that the tournament scheduled for April 22nd at the Golden Nugget will be a Pairs game not the usual Team Game format.  This will enable those of you who don’t have a team or would prefer to play in a Pairs format to compete for those valuable RYBAP award points and win up to $500.00 in gift certificates or even possibly win a $1000 college tuition Scholarship,  Registration will begin at 9:30 AM and the game will played until 1:15 after which the participants will receive a light lunch during the Awards ceremony.  all students will be available for pick up by 2:30 PM.  Tell your folks so they will arrange transportation to the Nugget for you.  Be sure to wear your RYB uniform or if you do not have one, we will provide one for you.

The Directors

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6 March 2, 2017: Reno Youth Bridge has scheduled their annual WCSD-RYB intramural Team Game Championship for April 22 at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Sparks Nevada.  This annual event brings high school and teams of four or five members together to determine the winner of the RYB-WCSD Team Game Championship Bridge Tournament for the 2016-2017 school year.  The school represented by the winning team will receive possession of the RYB-WCSD Silver Cup Perpetual Trophy each year to the High School or Middle school whose Bridge Teams win this event.  Prior year’s winners include:  The Davidson Academy, Depoali and McQueen High School.  The Tournament is being held at the site of the Reno ACBL Unit’s Spring Sectional which runs from Wednesday evening to Sunday at the Golden Nugget. 


 Reno Youth Bridge is the non-profit operating organization that sponsors after the school activity “Learning and playing Duplicate Bridge” at WCSD middle and high schools.  Duplicate Bridge has become a popular after school activity at over 14 High Schools and Middle Schools in the District.  Launched by American Contract Bridge Members, Kathy Lane, Bud Brewer, and Grace Martin back in 2008, the activity has become popular as participants have learned just how beneficial learning and playing the game is for academic growth and knowledge enhancement.  In nonscientific but interesting comparisons, it was recently determined that those students who participate actively in the learning and playing of duplicate bridge typically score 40 to 50 points higher in their average grade points scores than the studentbody as a whole.


In 2014 one million seven hundred high school students took the College Board’s SAT and ACT College tyler hartAdmission Tests.  Of that number, less than one tenth of 3 percent (520 students) scored a perfect score on both tests.  Reno Youth Bridge member Tyler Hart of Reno High School was one of those who aced both tests. When asked, what were some of the most important contributors to his achievement.  Tyler listed many of the expected contributors, but he then added, “I think my experience learning and playing duplicate bridge as a member of Reno Youth Bridge, gave me an unusual opportunity to learn the values offered to those who play this game, especially in competition.  One of those values you learn is the exercise of inferential analysis.  When some opponent leads, or plays a card, it usually is the result of selecting from other options, so you ask yourself “why did my opponent play that particular card”.  In a bridge game, you must make such inferences continuously and going through the exercise gives you a basis for thinking critically.     

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