Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Bridge on the web Part 1 of too many

This year I am up for a REAL challenge.  I am searching the web to look for bridge sites and review them.  I know there are some old favorites like BBO, Swan Bridge, Great Bridge Links, Bridge Guys and many other but there are a lot of new sites and some really improved websites too.  I will rate the sites from A to D as I go along.  If I find anything worse than a D I won’t include it.  Even a D site has at least something of interest.

The challenge is so big I almost don’t know where to start so I just google bridge blog and see what emerges.

One new website I found was http: Bridge Union.  I rate it a C.  It labels itself as a website for bridge players around the world.   This page appears to belong to Bridget an attractive young Russian women now from New York City.

All the content appears to be from Bridget although you can become a member and write a few words.  She has a brief and infrequent blog and about some photos mostly holiday snaps it would appear with one or two bridge pictures.

One interesting thing is 60 videos; mostly interviews with a variety of bridge players from teachers to bridge starts.  My problem with them is that the sound quality is very bad.  I don’t have the best hearing but there is often a lot of background noise and I can hardly make out the words which is unfortunate.  But I do think the idea is very nice and it is fun to see Bill Gates at a tournament.  Great concept I just wish the execution was better.  Still fun.

Perhaps the most useful feature for some is a download aimed at teachers in the bridge school program.  There is a well thought out and attractive word document with lesson plans for after-school teachers.

Bridget has a number of links (not any of ours) so I follow one of them to something called Bridge Meetup Groups.  Actually this is a sit on  I had never heard of this site before but when I just look at local meetup sites I find dozens near Toronto.  There is a meetup group foo just about everything.   There is a new group for Movie Night, Financial planning and fitness.  A meeting for advanced lottery players (I didn’t know you could become advanced, theater, yoga, lots of food adventures, international stuttering awareness day and a climb up the CN Tower which I know I will miss.  Anyway there are 28 bridge meetup groups almost all in the US with 1725 members.  The biggest is Boston Cards and Conversation

Boston, MA which is a group who likes to play all sorts of game, bridge included.  The New York Bridge Meetup group has this to say.

Welcome, New York Bridge Players!

Meet other local bridge players in the area to play games, discuss strategies, and plan tournaments.We can try to match players according to their skill levels.  This is all not really a “website” but I like the concept so worth a B.

Catchall Bridge has interesting blogs with discussions of Vugraph deals.  There is no way to tell who the author is.  I even try to ask him.  He has an ASK me anything about bridge button but to the hangup is to ask anything you have to join as a blogger.  I do it but it is a pain since I don’t want to blog there.  I find out his name is John Catch with a bit of research.  He tweets his blogs too.  The blogs are good but infrequent.  John if you read this email me (  A B- for Catchall.  More frequent blogs would make the grade higher.

By now I am ready for an A so I go to a familiar website that I know and love.  I have just played some ridiculous bridge on BBO with an even more random collection of partners than usual.  I need some fun.  Anyone who read last year’s webseries (or the previous years) will know that Richard Pavlicek has a wonderful website.  It still looks the same which is just fine with me.  It is easy to find things and has terrific content.  I see in the headlines a new sure-trick problem called Two-Way Finesses.  Woops maybe its me but I can’t get it to work.  I just don’t see how to enter the answer.

I see that there is a new feature Ask Richard.  It has been designed to allow you to submit a problem and makes sure that the deal has the right number of cards and all the information.  I try it by entering too many spade jacks and it does in fact catch my error.  Cool.  Next I try the little deuce problem.  Here are part of the instructions:

Construct a deal where South can make 3 NT and all four deuces win a trick.  The defense need not be perfect but must be legal.

These two conditions must also be met:

1. West has exactly five spades.
2. No other hand has a suit over four cards.

If you want to try your own hand (a friendly pun) head over to the site. Entries close on Halloween.  There is so much wonderful content on this site I won’t even try to list it all but of you want a bridge calculator Rich has one for you.  I try the hand evaluator calculator and get back more than I was expecting.

AKQ98    KT32    Q2    J5
Evaluation Hand
High Card Points 15 9 3 2 1
Total Points 15 9 3 2 1
Playing Tricks 7.5 5 2 0.5 0
Defensive Tricks 2.5 2 0.5 0 0
Losing Tricks 6 0 2 2 2
Controls 4 3 1 0 0
Stoppers 2.5 1 1 0.5 0
Freakness 3 1 0 1 1

Check out systems and conventions, bridge humor, puzzles, articles, bidding practice and lots more.  With the bidding practice you can compare to bridge stars including RP himself but also many of the world’s top pairs.  Want to compare how you do with Meckwell or Martel and Stansby etc.  I could say more but just visit this site.  you won’t be disappointed.  A+  ( I am going to try a poll/contest.  They are fun and there are a lot of them.)  Be right back.  Ray and I scored 55 out of 60 on the Deutschland’s Vienna Coup.  See if you can beat us.

So now a big test.  I used Swan Games (as did many of you whether you know it or not) to get the running scores.  I am going to see what it its like.  It says that no fee is required.  It takes no time and I am on.  the hardest part if to come up with a user name that nobody has taken.  I  sit down to watch a pair and find that I can work the controls without any difficulty.  It would take a bit of time to learn everything but you could be playing (or watching) in minutes without reading a manual.  That works for me.  There is a rating system with all the pluses and minuses that brings but there is also a self rating system too. .The best thing about Swan though is not playing the game it is the scores from the tournaments.  They have live running scores.  They are board by board and they keep them around so you can look later.  Every deal, the deal, what contract each pair played, the butler and everything else you could want.  If you looked at the running scores during the World Champioships this is where you were.  The running score website is definitely an A+.  I suspect the game is just fine too but I can’t give it much of a rating without spending more time on the site. If you like a rating system based on results this may be the site for you.  Go here for all the benefits of the free membership and the paid ones if you want to play for points.

One last site for today.  How about Marty Bergen?  This is a very busy site.  It is full of stuff Marty wants to sell you.  Online lessons, cruises, books, seminars and other products.  If you want something Marty this is a good place to see what is available.  You can even get a personally autographed book.  Not much here if you are not in a buying mode.  There are a few sample chapters and some free downloads to enhance your purchase.  This is a D unless you want to a list of Marty products.  I am impressed with the sheer volume of books and other products.

I am not going to end on that note.  I find something rather cool


I had no idea that the University of Waterloo (my son went there) has such a museum.

In 1971, the Universiy of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada established a public museum dedicated to research and the collection, preservation, and exhibition of games and game-related objects from around the world. The Museum was established and operated by the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, under the administration of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

It turns out the University closed the Museum in 2009 and transferred the exhibits to a museum on Ottawa.  So heading over to the card section. I arrive at this page.  There is a lovely soft sculpture of “The BRIDGE PLAYERS”.  There is Archie Bunker’s Card Game.

And some contract bridge teaching machines (from the era before computers) and quite a lovely whist trick counter.  This site is worth a virtual visit and rates a happy C.


Howard Bigot-JohnsonOctober 23rd, 2010 at 6:36 am

Yes Linda, I agree with you there is a whole cyber universe of material out there even within the domain of bridge. I don’t envy you your task. Perhaps you need to ask all bloggers on your site to recommend say on a monthly basis any site that might have stumbled upon that is worthy of a mention ( if it hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere ). But what you have listed above is spot on. Yous Howard Bigot-Johnson

Linda LeeOctober 23rd, 2010 at 3:20 pm

If anybody would like to see a site reviewed send me an email. I know I will never call them all but I will try to find most of the best.

Howard Bigot-JohnsonOctober 23rd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Dear Linda, one blog that is surely worth a review ( if not already done ) is GOD OF THE MACHINE- BRIDGE – GEE CHRONICLES. I particular love the Dr. Robert section, which I might add was theinspiration behind my Dr. John Case Notes.

Yours HBJ.

[…] Bridge on the web Part 1 of too many […]

Jude GoodwinOctober 30th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Loved this Linda – looking forward to more

Kevin LarsenNovember 15th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I really like this blog series. There should be more reviews of web sites, on any subject. Google results really don’t cut it for me. The top site on a list isn’t always what I’m looking for.

JoshuaSeptember 19th, 2011 at 1:18 am

thrilled to have found your blog.

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