Kemptville Club celebrates 40 years of playing bridge

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by Brenda Quaile

Bridge is the most entertaining and intelligent card game the wit of man has so far devised – W. Somerset Maugham

For the last 40 years in Kemptville, hundreds of players have been meeting at the North Grenville Duplicate Bridge Club to play the ultimate card game – Bridge. It began in the late 70’s at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 212, where the first ACBL-sanctioned game was held. The organizer and Club Director was Ed Chajkwoski. The group began with 6-7 tables. As the club grew, more space was needed, and it first moved to the upstairs room at the rink, and then to the Court House on Water St. where it remained for five years.

In the early 2000’s the club had reached 12-16 tables and was moved to its current location at St John’s United Church on Prescott St. Today, the Kemptville club is one of over 3,000 clubs in North America and over 100 in Ontario. It offers three games per week, as well as an education program. There are four ACBL-certified Club Directors who run the games, as well an ACBL-certified Bridge Teacher who provides bridge classes.

“We have a very friendly club in Kemptville that is always welcoming to new members. It is a club where everyone enjoys themselves”, said Anne Rahm, Club President. “We are a non-profit organization. Most of our players are from North Grenville, but we attract players from Brockville, Smiths Falls and Ottawa.”

Every Monday afternoon, between 12:30 and 4:00, there is a Learning Game for those who are new to bridge. It includes a 20-minute mini-lesson prior to the game. Novice players may ask for help during the play. Players can drop in and a partner is guaranteed.

Every Tuesday afternoon, from 12:30 to 3:30, and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 9:30, an Open Game is held. Players come to the game with a partner already arranged. The club membership person helps players without partners connect for a game. All levels of play are welcome.

For the first time, the club is offering Beginner Bridge lessons on Wednesdays for 8 weeks, beginning January 16, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. The classes are designed for those who have never played bridge, or for those who have not played in a while and need a refresher. Classes will provide participants with a solid foundation in the world’s most fascinating card game. The course is based on a program developed by Audrey Grant, a well know bridge educator and author, and lessons will be given by an ACBL Certified Instructor, Brenda Quaile.

“Bridge allows us to, not only play a wonderful card game, but also the opportunity to connect with our community and make lasting friendships with a great group of people”, said Brenda.

Lessons will cover:
Basics of card and suit ranks
The bidding ladder
Hand evaluation
Opening and bidding
No Trump opening bids and responses
Major suits opening bids and responses
Minor suits opening bids and responses
Basic guidelines for play of the hand

Where: St. John’s United Church, Basement, 400 Prescott Street, Kemptville.
When: Wednesday mornings, starting January 16, 9:30 – 11:30 am.
Cost: $80.00 pre-registration required. Anyone wishing to attend the lessons, or join the phenomenal world of duplicate bridge, is welcome to contact Anne Rahm at 613-806-4495, or Jo-Anne Earl at 613-795-7155.

Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going 24 hours a day.– Warren Buffett.

Many games provide fun, but Bridge grips you. It exercises your mind. – Omar Sharif.

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