Raising the level of competition
Leighton introducing duplicate bridge to Grafton community
Mike Leighton has a genuine love for the game of bridge – more specifically duplicate bridge. The Grafton man has been playing the card game competitively for several years and is now introducing it to the community of Grafton.
Duplicate bridge is a variation of social bridge and is most often used in tournament settings. It is called duplicate because the same bridge hand is duplicated and played at all tables in order to provide equal playing skill as opposed to luck of the cards. Every hand is played with others playing identical cards, raising the level of the competition. In social bridge each hand is freshly dealt and scores depend as much on the cards as on the players.
According to Leighton, there is no shuffling or dealing in duplicate bridge. The cards are pre-dealt and placed in four-way card holders. The hand is played, then passed to the next table that must play the same hand. Scoring is the same as social bridge, with the final scores calculated by comparing each pair’s result with others who played the same hand.
Leighton has played in North American Bridge championships across the country, including one in Las Vegas with 50,000 people playing the same cards at the same time in a competition he described as brutal.
His desire to play that level of competition with friends and neighbors is what has given him the incentive to introduce duplicate bridge to the residents of the community.
“Grafton has a lot of bridge players,” Leighton said. “The Senior Center has a group that plays every week and Grafton has the Marathon Bridge Club that has been in existence for 36 years meeting in people’s homes.”
Leighton will introduce duplicate bridge to interested bridge players Thursday, May 12, in the Ameriprise Financial Community Room which is in the lower level of the business located at 1245 Lawler Avenue in Grafton. The free session will begin with a light lunch provided by Leighton, followed by a 15 minute introduction to how the game is played and the rules. The rest of the afternoon, through 3 p.m., will be spent learning the game by playing the game. Twenty hands will be played that afternoon with conventions limited to the SAYC Standard American Yellow Card including Stayman and Jacoby transfers over 1NT and Gerber and Blackwood for ace asking.
“People who play social bridge are often intimidated by the conventions,” Leighton said. “We are going to limit them and not allow a lot of conventions during the sessions. We want people to enjoy it.”
The sessions will continue at the same time every Thursday afternoon throughout the summer and will include lunch and a 15-minute lesson on duplicate bridge. For those ho have never played bridge before, Leighton is offering an introduction to the game Wednesday, May 11, to anyone who is interested, either at his home or at the community room.