Teach bridge whist . . . then bridge?

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October 4, 2014

David Silber, in an article in the August ACBL Bridge Bulletin, page 35, asks “Teach Bridge to My Grandchildren?” then answerst “Not Yet”—first he’s teaching them an adaptation of Knockout Whist and credits his own success in learning to play bridge at 11, to an earlier experience with whist.

Then, in the October edition of Bridge Bulletin, Page 7, Julian Laderman referencing Silber’s article goes him one better and asks, if it’s good for teaching the kids to learn to play the hand before taking up how to bid, why not for adults as well?—and comments, “In the world of games, adults are not very different from children.” They want to start having fun asap.

As to first teaching whist, he says many bridge teachers are already introducing “a pseudo whist-style game  . . . to delay introducing bidding methods,”—but why not just teach bridge the way it was played before 1910—original bridge?

We know that in Europe, Mini-Bridge (a bidding-free beginning to playing bridge) is used with both adults and children. I believe you can already play Mini Bridge on the internet. Googling, I see you can buy an app for Knockout Whist.

So here’s something all us old lady bridge players can do for their grandchildren—and parents. Buy them one of these gadgets—who knows you may create a bridge player who will carry on social and serious bridge after you’re gone. Or teach them to play whist yourself.

I told about one such grandma in a Bridge Table Chronicles in Blog #6, “Would you teach a pre-schooler to play bridge?” [Click Bridge Tab at top to read]

Chris’s son John at 7 (back in the 60s) was falling asleep in class one day and when the teacher asked him if he were feeling sick, he told her, “No, my grandma is visiting from Tennessee and I have to stay up late and play bridge with her.”

The teacher who was taking bridge lessons and finding it slow going, didn’t quite believe John and called Chris to check out the story. Turns out Chris’s mother had routinely taught her children including Chris—and now her grandchildren–to play bridge before entering school.

That grandma “produced a family of bridge players unto the third generation. John and both brothers (all engineers) still play and there’s a grandniece who plays tournament bridge. As to Grandma herself, she went right on playing bridge until a few months before she died at 95.”

Meanwhile, should it not be a serious project of the BTA to explore and report on their experiences with “introducing pseudo whist-style games” before tackling full-blown bridge? Or for the ACBL to start promoting teaching of whist to kids?  The results could possibly transform teaching bridge to the young . . . and old.






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