Aurora’s one of BBO’s most gracious and popular hosts. Thousands of people play her tournaments week in, week out. She works hard helping others have a good time playing online bridge. No wonder she’s made so many friends on BBO over the years. It’s been a while since we heard from Aurora and it’s high time for an update.
We’ve asked Aurora to take a few moments out of her busy day to answer a few questions.
Where do you live, and what’s it like?
I live in Sibiu, Romania. It’s a city in Transylvania, central Romania. It’s known for Germanic architecture in the old town, the legacy of 12th-century Saxon settlers. Around the city are the remains of medieval walls and towers, including the 13th-century Council Tower. Sometimes it’s known as the city where the houses have eyes!
Sibiu was voted Cultural European Capital in 2007 and named by Forbes as “Europe’s 8th most idyllic place to live”.
In the upper town, Brukenthal Palace now houses the Brukenthal National Museum, with over 1,090 paintings. The nearby Evangelical Cathedral has gravestones in its walls.
In the middle of the Small Square is the peculiarly-named Liar’s Bridge from 1859. According to legend, the bridge will collapse if you say something that’s not truthful while standing on it!
Are you near to Diana? Do you know each other in real life, or just online?
Diana lives in Bucharest, which is at about 300 km far from my city. I known her for a long time, but am sorry to say I’ve never been able to meet up with her in real life. I hope next year I will be able to visit her or maybe she’ll come and visit me. It’s always a pleasure to talk with her and to work with her.
Even though I haven’t been able to meet up with Diana yet, I have been able to meet other BBO friends who’ve visited me and my city. It was great spending time on two different occasions with Connie (pwqn on BBO). I was also lucky enough to meet the very cheerful Andy (andyglaser on BBO) and his wife Irina, also Liz (NT_Liz on BBO) and her husband Tony and last but not least Shlomo and Michael whose BBO names have unfortunately slipped my mind!
How did you get started playing bridge?
My friends taught me the basic rules (to count the points and to play like at whist), but when I logged on BBO first time, I was a novice. I found it difficult at first but things clicked when a player from Israel taught me the SAYC system. I kept my notes near to the computer and always read what the partner’s auction meant and what I should bid. After a while I started to Google some bridge conventions and to read more.
Who’s your favorite bridge partner? What’s your favorite game on BBO?
I don’t have a favorite partner, I like to play with all my friends when I have time and I try to learn something new from each of them. My favorite game is Speedball because I like to play fast; come up with a play plan and play it. I’m not a very good player but I try to do my best. There are also other games I love to play; Daylong Tournaments as I can play when I have time, stop after few hands and start again later. I also like Robot Reward and Express Tournaments which are also fast as well as Team Matches.
Tell us what you do at BBO
I work with Diana and the team of BBOTDs (tournament directors) to run lots of daily tournaments hosted by BBOFest. These are free tournaments where everyone’s welcome to play provided they’re polite and don’t offend partners, opponents or TDs. We try to offer all BBOers the joy of playing bridge, talking, and making new friends. I like to run tournaments where players can talk to each other and interact. My free tournaments on Sunday are always popular and often have a theme that players can talk about and have fun with during the games. People really love these games!
What do you like to do outside of bridge?
Until last year, I lived in an apartment. We moved to a house which means there’s much more work to do. I’ve a small garden with lots of flowers. I didn’t think it would take up so much of my time, but it makes me happy and proud so it’s worth the effort.
I love dogs and cats. I have a cat, but plan to get a dog soon. Unfortunately my cat couldn’t get used to living in the house. I thought she’d love to run and play in the garden, but she was always scared so I decided it would be best for her to stay with my son. She’s the boss at his place and although I miss her, I get to visit her (and my son of course!) on a Saturday or Sunday.
I spend much of the rest of my time on BBO – I love BBO; I like to help others when needed, making new friends, and playing games. It’s a pity I can’t meet more of my BBO friends in real life, but who knows maybe one day!
I’ve seen all kinds of players; sometimes partnerships are very stable where they get on well but other times there can be tension! And sometimes players have been upset with me for certain decisions. I’m sorry if that was you – I hope you can be understanding! On the whole though, I see people getting on and having fun on BBO.
Bridge is a game that you can pick up at any age, and then spend the rest of your life learning to master. It’s fun, sociable, keeps you and your brain young, and is most certainty a game you will never get tired of playing.