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Tribute to Vince Nordberg

Here’s a hand that Jeremy Martin played the day that Vince Nordberg passed away.  Jeremy wrote it up as a tribute to Vince.

——

Matchpoints
None vulnerable
Dealer: East

xxxx
JTxxxx
JT
T
Qxx                                Jxxx
–                                    Kxxx
Kxxxxx                          x
J543                               Q976
AK
AQx
AQ9x
AK8x

As South, I opened 2C in second seat.  West overcalled 2D.  This was passed back to me.  I bid 3NT, as I had planned to do over the likely 2D from partner, to show 25-27 balanced.  I think it should still mean that, as the interference hasn’t taken away any of my options for a second bid.  I also think Stayman and transfers should be on here, in which case North should certainly put me in 4H. However, my partner chose to pass (perhaps unsure of our agreements – are Texas transfers on here?)

West, sure I had diamonds locked up, led a low club to the ten, queen, and ace.  I led the queen of hearts from hand.  The best technical play is the ace in case someone has a singleton king, but playing the queen also allows the defense to make a mistake, which is exactly what happened: West pitched a diamond and East erred by taking the king.  Of course East should hold up to kill the heart suit, although I can still make 3NT by attacking diamonds.  East made a further mistake by returning the club *nine*.  (A low club is both the correct “book” play from a four-card holding, and the best defense on this hand.  It looks more natural to return partner’s diamond suit, but stay tuned!)  I won in hand throwing a spade from dummy, cashed the heart ace, and ran hearts, throwing two diamonds and a club, coming down to the following cards in my hand:

S  AK
H  –
D  AQ
C  8

I knew the club eight was not high, and on the auction West was a lock to hold the diamond king.  Now, I could certainly cash out for ten tricks.  However, it was much more fun to play for the strip-squeeze.  I cashed the two top spades followed by a club. West won with the jack but had to lead into my ace-queen of diamonds: making five for a top.  Note that if East had retained the club nine, then West could kill the endplay by throwing the jack of clubs.

(West could also have bared his diamond king and kept a spade instead.  Then I have to count the hand to get things right.  East can make things harder for me by hanging on to the low diamond so that I don’t know whether West has six or seven.  This is also why East should not have returned a diamond after winning the king of hearts!)

This line could have resulted in only nine tricks if East had held the club jack.  (That would have meant that East falsecarded at trick one, but you never know.)  Eleven tricks are fairly easy in hearts, meaning that I made the right matchpoint play (although I admit I didn’t think of this at the time).

However, there was a more important reason to make the play, also one I didn’t know at the time.  Vince Nordberg was a fixture of the Kaw Valley Bridge Club, a big blue-collar gravelly-voiced dude who played real slow, thought about hands out loud, and could play the spots off the cards.  Vince had been sick for quite a while, and he died the day this deal took place.  There’s no question he would have read the cards right, backed his judgement, and played for the strip-squeeze.  So, this deal’s for Vince.

Celebration of Life for Vince Nordberg, Saturday Feb. 11

The Celebration of Vince’s Life will be at The Woman’s Club of Topeka, 5221 SW West Dr Topeka, KS  66606:

10:30    Celebration begins in the auditorium

11:30   Lunch from Oriental Express (One of Vince and Terry’s favorite restaurants.)

1:00    Special Unit Championship Game to honor Vince’s love of the game, $10.00.  After expenses are paid, a donation to the Helping Hands will be made with the remainder of the proceeds.

You may attend all or just part of the celebration.  If you are unable to attend but would like to share a story about Vince, please contact Terry Larsen: terrylarsen313@aol.com; 785-272-5554; 3018 Maupin Lane, Unit 208, Topeka KS 66614.

RSVP: Liz Gilman, 785-272-7879 or pg5032@cox.net

District NAP Final Winners

We will have 2 partnerships representing our district at the National Tournament in Kansas City.  Jan Benson and Jett Elmer as well as Marc Elster and Joane Nagel placed in Flight C.  Congratulations.  Best of luck at Nationals.

nap-2016-final-winners

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

vince-at-topeka-club

Jan Tillery emailed on Monday evening:

Mike Kelly just called me.  He and Jim have spent most of the day with Vince and Terry.  Yesterday, Terry said Vince was barely eating anything and she had to order oxygen.  This evening the situation worsened and Vince was taken to Midland Hospice.  He passed away shortly thereafter.  Saturday, Terry had explained to Mike that it was Vince’s wish to be cremated.  Terry thought Vince would like it if there was a memorial service at the Woman’s Club and a game of bridge!  Vince loved bridge and it was his social world, Terry said.

Family members are arriving Wednesday and Thursday this week, so at the present time, arrangements for the memorial are pending.  It would appear that the service will be held after the first of the year.  We will keep you advised of further details as they become available.

I am sure it would mean a great deal to Terry to hear of a story or two about Vince that you might want to share with her.  Notes and cards may be sent to:

Terry Larson

3019 Maupin Lane Apt 208

Topeka, KS  66614

email:  terrylarson313@aol.com  

Topeka Capital Journal Obituary is here

Monday, December 12, 2016

One of our bridge friends, Vince Nordberg, is struggling with horrible health problems.  His wife emailed:

“Vince is concerned that everyone knows the details of his health situation.  He has stage 4 liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, numerous blood clots & kidney complications. He will not get better. He wasn’t even a drunk.  We would go out to eat, he’d order a beer, the waiter asked what kind, he said Coor’s Lite, the waiter said we don’t have Coor’s Lite so Vince would say, “Okay, I’ll take a Diet Pepsi.”
I am incredibly sad – I want him to quit hurting, but I don’t want him to leave me either.
Thank you for your kindness & support.  Bridge is his true social world.  I hope he can rally at some point where he can play one more game.  That would be a miracle, but miracles are known to happen.  If anyone deserves a miracle, it’s Vince.”
So let’s get busy and give him a card shower to let him know we all miss him…

Vince Nordberg
3019 SW Maupin LN Apt 208
Topeka KS  66614

 

Friday, November 11: Bridge with a touch of Mystery

On Nov 11, KVBC’s Paula Schumacher is providing cake and an opportunity to get a signed copy of her new murder mystery: The Glass Road. The story is set in current day Lawrence, KS, and is solved in part by a bridge group. Copies are available from Paula and on Amazon.com. Paula will bring and happily sign copies on Friday.

More about the book

Marie Gardner, reclusive forensic accountant, finds herself dealing with a new type of puzzle: the murder of a wealthy art-collecting professor. To find answers, she’ll have to step away from her files and ledgers and focus on people–the professor’s estranged family, tormented graduate students, and his old disobliging friends.

Forced to work with a team, Marie is challenged by an unwanted office crush, training a new hire, and proving to her boss that she’s capable of more than paperwork—all while hiding a secret behind her high
fashion looks that if discovered could end her career.

Price: $10.90
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: UpMesa (October 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692792848
ISBN-13: 978-0692792841
Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches

Sympathy to the Creek family

October 16, 2016:  The members and players of the Kaw Valley Bridge Club extend their sincerest sympathy to Florine Creek and her family.  Roy Creek, Florine’s husband of 74 years, passed away last week.

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2016 Unit 234 NAP Qualifiers

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Rich Mellinger and Brian Donovan win in Wichita, September 2016

brian-and-rich-win-in-wichita

Non-Lifemaster Tournament at the Bridge Studio

Sunday, September 11, 2016:  Congratulations to Joane Nagel, Marc Elster, Brad Wektz and Lynette Forbes who placed 1st in Sunday’s Swiss Team event, winning all 7 matches.  (In case you do not know, Brad and Lynette are Friday night players.)

Tributes to Jan O’Connor from her friends at the Kaw Valley Bridge Club

From Chris Lane:  Jan loved many things … her family, her friends, her church, books, ideas, coffee, bridge and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. She became an avid Royals’ fan after a trip to The K with us when she fell in love with Alex Gordon, a fellow Nebraskan. She hated ellipses (which I use liberally) and worried when my shoes were untied (often). She put her love into action. She was close to her daughters and grandchildren, supported her friends with honesty and loving care, collected and sold rare books with her beloved Roger, discussed ideas, played bridge five times a week and cheered the Nebraska football team whenever the opportunity arose, though I’ve never totally understood why. But I do understand that I have just lost a very precious friend. Goodbye, sweet Jan. I’ll miss your coffee punch, but I’ll miss your honesty and love more than anything.

From Jeremy Martin:  One Sunday a couple of months ago, I picked Jan up from her apartment at Babcock Place, played a session of bridge with her, brought her back home, and came up to her apartment with my guitar. She showed me the draft program for her memorial service (“It’s the last thing I’ll get to plan!”) and we hung out for an hour or so talking about music.  Of course I played “Sweet Baby James” for her, and a lot more things besides: old folk songs like “Scarborough Fair” and “Danny Boy,” newer ones like Bob Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain” and Greg Brown’s “Blue Car” and Dave Carter’s “Hard To Make It” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9EHlI40Fwg].  That last one was my attempt to convince Jan that there were still good songs being written in the 21st century.  I think I convinced her.

It’s funny that when I think of Jan at the bridge club, the first thing that comes to mind is how she would holler “Quiet!” when announcing the movement.  The second thing is how I always enjoyed playing with her.  Her bridge game was like her: strong, competent, common-sense, no surprises.  The best kind of partner.

I drove down to Baldwin City on September 3 to visit Jan in the nursing home.  It was clear that she was fading: she was unresponsive by that point.  As it turned out, she died that night.  I brought my guitar and played “Amazing Grace” and “Sweet Baby James”.  I hoped she could hear me.  In between the songs, I told her my news: my wife and I are going to be adopting a baby girl in a few months.  Jan was with us the whole way in our quest to become parents and she knew how much I wanted this.  It’s too bad Jan won’t ever get to meet my daughter in person, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how these two events are occurring around the same time – one life closes, another opens.  Jan faced her life and her death with grace, dignity, courage and compassion.  I hope my daughter will do the same.

From Brian Donovan:  I knew Jan for a relatively brief period of time, but she had a lasting influence on me. I remember her as being relentlessly helpful and supportive of me and other beginners at the Thursday morning lesson and mentor game. She taught me that some ten-point hands are too good to open preemptively. She told me that, to avoid under-bidding, I should always assume my partner has opening count when he overcalls until I have information that suggests otherwise (something I think of as “the Jan Rule”). And she tried to teach me, perhaps futilely, the ins and outs of suit-preference signals. I will remember how she always slathered her chicken quesadilla with hot sauce, her uncanny ability to recall decades-old bridge hands, and her warm smile. She will be greatly missed.

From Jan Darting:  Jan was a wonderful mentor to many of us. She had a real love for the game of bridge and helped many of us when we were starting out. She had patience and wit and gave her time and expertise time and time again. I remember playing with her early on and after several of my goofs she finally said, forcefully and loudly (for her anyway), “You can’t open no trump with a singleton!” Believe me, I learned that lesson!! Sometimes if she was sitting and observing, I would lay down a card to lead. She would pick it up, shove it back in my hand and take out the appropriate lead card. She never said anything, and I would just smile at her.

But throughout the few years I knew her, I found her to be fun and interesting and such a great lady. We not only talked about bridge but also books and food and many other things. I will miss her tremendously.

From Rich Bryan:  Jan was special, not only in her play, but also with her strength.  I partnered with her several times and we seemed to do well, thanks to her.  A couple weeks ago I mucked up a hand and I looked up at my partner and said that’s NOT the way Jan would have done that!  And then she was gone……….

From Melissa Moore:  When I think of Jan, my first mental image is of her wonderful smile.  I loved playing with her but even playing against her was great.  I knew that if she was at the table, I would get answers to my questions…I even got answers to questions I didn’t ask!  She was just so passionate about helping the newbies learn.  Every Thursday she would come play with us, even though it was usually painful.  She was wonderful about gathering tournament stories from the beginners and celebrating our successes.  She knew that as newbies, success was both shocking and exhilarating.  As I got to know her better, I learned about her heath problems.  Her bravery, her perseverance, her strength…I was awed by it.  And through it all, she kept that beautiful smile on her face.

From Lois Clark:  I met Jan through the bridge club and she was one of my favorite partners, always gracious and forgiving.  I’ll probably never get to play “Roger’s Blackwood” with anyone else.   When she learned that I needed 3 gold points to become a life master, she organized us (and the Pattons) to go to Omaha/Council Bluffs;  mission accomplished.

We discovered we had many other things in common: we were both Cornhuskers (she remained loyal!);  loved theatre, dance, reading, and adventures.  Even though her strength was waning after a second round of cancer treatment, she wanted to see the military cemetery at Ft. Leavenworth and find the memorial of a mutual friend.

Always ready for a bridge game, exploring new things, and helping others: that was Jan.

==========================================================================

Jan O’Connor’s Service and Reception

Jan’s obituary was posted today, Tuesday Sept. 6, 2016 on the Warren McElwain website. The memorial service will be at 1 pm, Saturday, September 10th at Good Shepard Lutheran Church. The church is at 2211 Inverness Drive, Lawrence, KS.
In accordance with Jan’s wishes, a potluck party/reception will follow immediately at Kaw Valley Bridge Club at 1025 North 3rd Street, Suite 120, Lawrence, KS. This will be a standard KVBC party with the addition of some music. Jan gave us our marching orders several months ago. The only real problem is that she won’t be there … at least not in person.

We hope you can join us in celebrating a courageous lady and good friend!

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Sunday, August 4, 2016:  This is a sad, sad day for bridge in NE Kansas.  Jan O’Connor passed away this morning shortly after 1 a.m.

She left this world the same way she lived in it … with strength, courage and dignity.  She will be greatly missed.  We are poorer for losing her, but far richer for having known her.

As many of you know, it was Jan’s wish that the reception following her memorial service be at Kaw Valley Bridge Club.  Information about arrangements will be posted here and on our facebook page and will also be sent out by email.

Jan O'Connor

_________________________________________________

We will all miss Jack Flickinger who died Sunday, August 14, 2016.

__________________________________________________

SURPRISE!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jan O’Connor

Feels rather strange to do the story about your own surprise birthday  party.  Let’s get the first thing out of the way, I was surprised.  I thought it was a bit strange that my daughter Shannon all of a sudden decided Saturday afternoon was the best day to take my walker to the club, but I was just along for the ride and knew she’d need my keys to get into the club.  So off we headed to North 3rd Street.  As usual on a Saturday, the lights were off, but as she rolled me in, the lights came on, people standing all around the perimeter of the room were singing and were applauding.  Not having a creative reaction to rely on, I just appeared stunned.

After a few moments to recover I began to really be surprised.  Not only were there about eight or nine possible tables of bridge players, but several members of my family had traveled from Nebraska to celebrate this 75th birthday with me.  Chaos began to ensue.  Jeremy Martin played tune after tune including my personal request of James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.”

Naturally the jokers in the crowd could not let me get by with wearing my tasteful blue turban, but presented me with this unforgettable magenta wig.

As would be their wont, many guests found cards and started playing bridge.  Others simply headed for conversation circles or the food layout.

Yes, the food table was popular!

Yes, the food table was popular!

Since most of you reading this will recognize the bridge players, let me instead introduce you to the wonderful members of my family that drove to Lawrence to celebrate with me.

MacKenzie, my brother Russ and me.

MacKenzie, my brother Russ and me.

Rear (l to r) Todd Petersen, Cort Buffington Mary Jensen, Mike Jensen,Shannon O’Connor, MacKenzie Buffginton, Russ Jensen, Dorothy Jensen.  Front (l to r) Elizabeth Jensen, Thomas Jensen, Jan O’Connor, Judy Dobbe, Jane Petersen.

 

Happy Birthday Grant

Monday, August 1, 2016

Clearly, you are the Ace of Spades!

IMG_1459IMG_1458

Happy Birthday Chris!

On Monday 25 July, 2016, we surprised Chris at the Monday game with balloons, fabulous food and good wishes.

20160725_12365620160725_141229

Unit Election Game

On Saturday July 23, 2016 thirty-two players enjoyed a day of bridge, along with a buffet of fabulous food and we elected our newest board members.  Congratulations to Chris Lane, Jim Masilamani and Jason Smith who will now be joining the unit board.  Thank you to Alan Swarts for taking pictures of the fun.

Sunflower Regional Results

Looks like the regional was very successful for a lot of Lawrence players.  Great going!

http://web2.acbl.org/tournaments/results/2016/06/1606050.htm

Bridge at Sea

Just received an email from Bobby Patton and wanted to share with you his message.  Hope we can soon get some photos from him to post.

All is well with us. We are enjoying bridge each sea day. Beating up on the Europeans. Yeah.  12 tables. 5 days from Southampton. Hope you and all are doing well.  hugs. E. B. E. and A

Ace of Clubs/Min-McKenney Races

The following KVBC players (both Lawrence and frequent KVBC players) are leading in the current Ace of Clubs and Mini-Mckinney Unit Races.

Ace of Clubs

5-20 — Brian Donovan

20-50 — Joane Nagel

100-200 — Marc Elster

500-1000 — Jan O’Connor

1500-2500 — Grant Sutton

2500-5000 — Jim Masilimani

7500-10,000 — Ed Howard

Mini-McKenney

50-20 — Brian Donovan

20-50 — Nancy Epoch

50-100 — Vera Dodson

100-200 — Marc Elster

500-1000 — Jan O’Connor

1000-1500 — Vince Nordberg

3500-5000 — Jim Masilimani

7500-10,000 — Ed Howard

More Than Beer in Bavaria

Bridge in Germany

by Jerry Sloan

At our last tournament, I asked Chris Patrias if he knew anyone at ACBL that might know about bridge clubs overseas.  He didn’t, but took the time during a session to search theInternet and found one.  The website was http://www.bridge-im-lehel.de.  It appeared to be in the vicinity of where I was staying and turned out to be right across the river from the Deutsches Maison so it was easy to get to.  It was a separate building in a courtyard behind the main buildings.

One of the first differences you will notice is that the tables are not arranged the same way as in our games.  The tables are set up in two rooms and the director gives each table a number. The numbers are on magnets and placed on lamps or on the wall.  I’m sure there is some method, but I did not figure it out, but one never moved to the next table, but rather one further away.  This does have the advantage that conversations about the hands are not overheard by those about the play the board.  While it seems confusing, it wasn’t all that difficult and east-west were responsible for moving the boards, taking the ones they had just played to the table they were the round before.

There are no convention cards, but the alerts, announcements and questions are the same as here.  Interestingly, they announce the minimum number of cards in an opening of one club or one diamond

Bidding systems were easy to agree upon with the exception of 2D.  Fortunately, big hands are rare, but they do make a distinction between 2C and 2D.  I don’t know that I understand the follow-up bids at all, but 2C is very similar to our strong 2C , except it is described as semi-forcing to game whereas 2D forces to game since you have game in your hand.  Otherwise, we played a card very similar to mine here.

Bidding boxes were (essentially) the same and they used a key pad for scoring (but different than ours). They do have a machine to deal the cards so the board and all the results appear in the report posted on the Internet.

For nearly all the games they have a “Joker,” essentially a stand-by player. I believe for all my games, except one, they found me a partner outside that system.

The cost was 4 Euros if you were a member of the club and 5 Euros if you were not.  I didn’t ask what a membership cost.  Refreshments such as juice, wine, beer, water and coffee were available.  I didn’t partake, but was told everything was 1 Euro.  Tap water was free, which I was informed was not the case in Augsburg.

I played four times with four different partners and scratched all but once.  The games were between eight and fifteen tables.  I’m sure they all spoke excellent English so anyone would be able to play, but most of my conversations were in German.

The Germans are not like the French in terms of language priority ,and other than the names for the face cards, steal heavily from other languages in their bridge.  While some English has crept in, French terms are used for the suits and No Trump is Sans Atout so you will see SA in the bidding boxes instead of NT.

Jerry just returned from a trip to Bavaria and, with some encouragement from your website editor, provided a look at his bridge experiences while in Germany.  We didn’t ask how much beer he sampled outside the bridge table.

 

2 Comments
  1. victor arram permalink

    I consider that a weak 2 opening bid should be with points 5-9 in majors only…the club being 23 plus and the diamond call 20-21 points

    • Interesting. Just make sure your partner and your opponents know what your bids mean. Lots of different meanings for 2 diamonds.

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