A Grateful Heart on BBO - it's Time to Share

Let's share our heart warming bridge tales

As Thanksgiving season begins to envelop us, I find myself reflecting on the blessings and memories BBO has brought into my life. We gather around tables, give thanks for our families, our health, and the all the opportunities that life presents. But for me, a significant part of my gratitude is reserved for the world of BBO, our very own sanctuary of friendships, memories, and happy moments.

To me, over the past two decades, BBO has been more than just an online bridge platform. It’s been a community, a family, a bridge (pun intended) connecting me to souls from all around the world. Souls that in a parallel life without bridge I would certainly have never met :face_holding_back_tears:.

A special memory from my early bridge playing life was meeting Daddad (Marc Rousseau Senior). At 98, he brought wisdom and humor to our online bridge games. His touching final interview is a memory I cherish, showing a life full of meaning. I’m reminded of his legacy whenever I meet up with his son on BBO, Marc Jr (MWRMWR).

BBO has also brought some really unexpected and quirky experiences. There was the time I met a shaman who asked me, non-ironically, “Is it okay to use information from reading opponents’ minds in bridge?” I also interviewed a nuclear physics professor who explained how, at a subatomic level, physics essentially becomes magic!

I also have fond memories of the late Roman L. Weil, or as I knew him, roman99. A respected economics professor, we started talking when I boldly corrected a bridge hand story he sent me. This small interaction morphed into deep conversations and book recommendations. The book he recommended last time we talked, “Nudge”, now rests on my bedside table, a bittersweet reminder of the brilliant mind that we lost way too soon, after our paths first crossed.

My heart fills with joy when I hear about BBO couples getting married. Love stories that started online and spanned the globe, turning into beautiful partnerships. It’s incredible to have seen so many of these love stories blossom.

And I’ll never forget thrilling games with top-class players. Playing with them in real life seems almost impossible, but on BBO, it’s a daily experience.

However, if there’s one thing that magnified BBO’s significance, it’s the solace it provided to so many during the challenging pandemic era. For lots of players, BBO was more than a game - it was a lifeline, a community that held them close when the world seemed to be falling apart.

So this Thanksgiving, as we count our blessings, let’s raise a toast to BBO, to every friend we’ve made, every hand we’ve played, and all the memories we’ve made.

In recounting my own gratitude, I invite you all to join in. Tell us about your memorable hands, unexpected friendships, and the love stories that started in the world of BBO. What moments have brightened your days? What are you thankful for in this wonderful world of online bridge?

Let’s make this Thanksgiving special by sharing our bridge tales with one another in the comments below.

With heartfelt thanks to all my BBO friends - looking forward to reading your stories,

diana_eva :maple_leaf::turkey::orange_heart:

71 comments on “A Grateful Heart on BBO - it's Time to Share”

  1. BBO has helped me through some really tough times. I was still starting to learn bridge, when I discovered BBO. My family, who have played bridge for years had never heard of it. When the pandemic hit, my family's regular biweekly game was cut short after close to 60 years. I am only a sub occasionally for this group. I convinced my Mom and sister to try BBO. Then my sister taught all the group how to play BBO. Finally, they did some trial run games with the "Bridge Gang". Now, the online BBO biweekly games have been going on for over 3 years!! Everyone loves the convenience, too. Thanks BBO!!! Happy Holidays everyone!!

  2. Every morning, for an hour my partner and I practice our system and check in how our day is going. BŌ helps us stay connected.Cathleen (luckygal)

  3. After reading a local hand book writtin by a local very good player I had a hand where I had 16 points which urged us to count our losers before bidding. I only had 3/4 winners in the hand, so it was not a good NT hand (9/10 losers). I bid 1C because that was the only suit I had 4 cards in. My partner wouldnot play with me anymore (thank goodness) because I did not open 1NT.

  4. Buenas tardes mi nombre es Andrés Gustavo Rybier soy de Argentina de una de las ciudades más austral del mundo de la Patagonia Comodoro Rivadavia Chubut digamos que geográficamente me encuentro en los últimos pedacitos de la tierra jajaja, supuestamente el único jugador o fanático de este maravilloso juego o deporte, a los 19 comencé pero todo se disluyo a los 20 ya que los pocos que había ya habían dejado y eran muy grandes , pero bueno había aprendido muy poco ,me habían enseñado palo mayor quinto y bueno pasaron muchos años y un día veo un aviso de bbo pero no entia mucho así que intentaba para ver cómo podía hacer hasta que pude inventar un Nick jaaa bueno le puse mi apellido no pensé mucho y así empezó mi vida en el bbo. A los 47 años luego de 28años comence está historia inolvidable con aciertos y desaciertos, en la panadería me hice único socio de Chubut en la asociación del bridge argentino, dónde por estar a 2000km de bs as donde se juega presencial yo prendido online ,a los 49 empecé en 5catgoria según el ranking de mi nación ahora a los 52 he logrado y llegado a maestro y realmente le puse garra corazón y todo el talento que voy consiguiendo de a poco con el transcurso de la vida y años , me cuesta bastante con mi temperamento ya que veo los errores míos y más de mis compañeros pero bueno de apoco me voy amoldando al sistema de juego en lo personal ya que en el juego en si he tenido y tengo la habilidad de ver las cosas diferentes a los demás pero bueno creo que en cualquier momento pueda tener una oportunidad para exponer mi juego , realmente juego siempre a ganar soy muy competitivo y lucho para cualquier mano sea cual sea y juegue con quién juege sea respetada declarada carteada con la mayor exigencia y profesionalismo que se merece , ya opte desde el principio de este juego a comprometerme a lo máximo y estoy muy agradecido con todos los que he tenido la posibilidad de jugar con ellos y decirles gracias más allá de alguna diferencia o mal entendidos que hubiéramos tenido gracias y mil gracias a bbo por darme está oportunidad única para jugar ya que sino fuera por ustedes no podría ser parte de ustedes.

  5. When you're young, work, family... and you don't have time to go to tournaments and championships. Years pass, you retire, you no longer have much desire to go around. Then Covid-19 arrives and then you invent bbo championships; you organize them (thanks Google Sheet!), you play and meet lots of great people, even the champions (the real ones!) and some strong foreign players. It's been like this for three years now, there are almost five hundred of us and this is our group on Facebook: BRIDGE CORNER on BBO. Ugo, ConteUgo on BBO

  6. I had met so many special people, and have continued to play with them .
    I feel so lucky to have mastered playing online.
    It is fun to connect with people from, Boston, Mass to England and even Canada.
    I even got to meet my online partner in Ventura at a regional ! We got Gold!

  7. BBO was a life saver during Covid, when our local club shutdown.
    We were invited to join the Central Illinois Virtual Club, even though we were in a different Unit. We made several friends, and were happy to meet some of them in person when their live Regional was held in Champaign, Illinois this year.

  8. I Have been playing bridge from 2007.its wonderful to organise such tournaments. please keep organising such tournaments . Keep it going BBO

  9. Long ago, Bridge Base Online (BBO) became my world, my family. It all began with a simple desire to surprise my husband, leading me to create a BBO account for myself. While the initial surprise may not have worked out as planned, I found myself drawn into the world of online bridge.
    At first, I felt discouraged as I navigated the world of bridge on BBO. Many partners seemed reluctant to play with me because I was still learning the game. However, fate had other plans for me. One day, I met a kind Israeli player who patiently taught me the ins and outs of the SAYC system. Over time, I made more friends from Israel, Great Britain and USA, each of them sharing their knowledge and passion for the game.
    Little did I know that this journey would lead me to forge deep friendships with players from all over the world. I came to understand that bridge isn't just a card game; it's a bridge that connects partners and players from diverse backgrounds and countries.
    In the virtual theatre of vugraph, I had the privilege of encountering great players and commentators like Roland Waldk (Walddk), David Bird (brolucius), and Larry Cohen (LC) and many others. I soaked up their wisdom and bridge tricks simply by listening to their insightful comments.
    My friend Anna (anba) has had a positive impact on my journey into directing tournaments and learning more about bridge conventions. As a tournament director, it's crucial to have a deep understanding of the conventions used by players, as this knowledge allows me to ensure fair play and resolve any disputes that may arise during the games.
    If you have any specific questions or need further information about bridge conventions or tournament directing, feel free to ask and I will try to find the right answer for you!
    It can be disheartening when some Bridge Base Online (BBO) players don't seem to grasp that the rules are meant to be followed by everyone, including myself. However, it's important to maintain a positive outlook.
    Perhaps, with time and continued communication, more players will come to understand that BBO rules are there to create a level playing field for everyone, to promoting fair play and sportsmanship within the community.
    Today, I can proudly say that I have a multitude of dear friends from around the globe. One remarkable friend, Connie (pwqn), hailing from the USA, became more than just an online companion. She visited me in Romania twice, and we shared memorable days together. I vividly recall the night she was startled awake by what she thought were gunshots, only to discover it was a fireworks display, coinciding with the end of a Theatre Festival in our city.
    During Connie's visit, we, along with our friends Narcis and his wife, embarked on a memorable journey to the Turda Salt Mine in Transylvania. The underground world, transformed into a futuristic park, left us in awe.
    Despite being from the same country, I had known Diana for a long time, and we had never met in person until she invited us to Comarnic. There, I had the pleasure of meeting Sanya (curlss77) from Portugal, Georgi from Bulgaria, Flavius (Diana's husband), and the lovely Masha (Diana's sweet dog).

    Our adventures also took us to the famous Dracula Castle nearby. Although I'm sure you've heard of Dracula, I must confess that the narrow stone tunnel stairs triggered my first-ever panic attack. I was relieved when I finally saw daylight again.
    Our time in Comarnic and the neighbouring areas was nothing short of magical. I hope and pray that one day, we'll all have the chance to reunite and create more cherished memories together.
    But my BBO family extends far and wide, and there are many more friends whose stories I haven't even begun to share. Perhaps one day, I'll write a book to capture the incredible experiences and bonds that have been formed within this wonderful community.

    Thank you, BBO, for bringing this world of bridge and friendship into my life.

    1. What you did not say is how helpful you are to anyone who asks for help Aurora ...anything about where to find information or what to do you are wonderful about giving the links and always there for everyone. You are kindness itself !!!

  10. I'm playing BBO since I was a newbie, found my partner in bridge and life (my husband is my partner), teaching juniors, and now BBO is not just a place to play, it is a part of my happy life...

  11. BBO i? It s a great thing. It was absolutely wonderful during the covid days. It still is wonderful. I've met so many great people. I have had so much enjoyment from BBO. I still do. I've learned so much, from so many. Truly you are a refuge for many. If everyone played Bridge together, kindness and unity would spread around the world and replace hate. Thank you, BBO

  12. Have alittle sad storie to tell and i hope its true. Around 20 years ago i often played in the Total-points tournament on BBO it was about 15-20 pairs. I started to play with an unknown to me, after some rounds suddenly a nurse typed that my partner had been moved to a clinic and was very sick. I had to surrender but about a week later he was back and we managed to win the Tournament and he seemed to have it hard to type but made some signs. It was a nice win but sadly i got informed that he had died some time after that. But I was happy to maybe have given him some time away from his illness.

  13. I learned bridge remotely during the second lockdown period in the UK thanks to an initiative by the Yorkshire Contract Bridge Association and the Olicana bridge club. BBO has allowed me to connect to players across the country and I now play regularly in competitions with my father (an avid bridge player and tutor) who lives 200 miles away and socially with my newly found friends.

  14. My favorite memory with BBO was winning a contest. In 2017, BBO ran a "Suit Combo Contest". At that time, I was a beginner, but I participated in that contest. Participants had to post an interesting suit combo. My combo was "AQT86 opposite KJ97, There are 4 entries in both hands!". I couldn't believe that my combo was picked as a winning comment. I won an autographed copy of Fred Gitelman and Jeff Rubens' book: "Playing Suit Combinations". It's the best gift I've ever received. Thanks so much, BBO!
    - Tharinda

    1. Wow, what an awesome memory! Winning that contest and getting that autographed book must've been fantastic. Thanks for sharing, Tharinda! 😊

  15. I’m very grateful to BBO for give me the possibility of cultivate mi cognitive mind and to be in contact with people around the world!

  16. when playing bridge online It is nice when partner looks up profile and says Gday Aussie...... Such a feeling of being welcomed

  17. I am based in South Africa, and 2 years ago I discovered Bridge, esp it's ability to positively influence the strategic and social cohesion potential of individuals and communities of players. This led me to create an NPO - Bridging the Gap (BtG) that seeks to increase participation by the less privileged in a space where 95% are wealthy, elderly (>60yrs) and white.

    Some like SA's leading player, Craig Gower, have been beacons through the fog of indifference, all too often outright hostility, from many of the status quo.

    It is not yet Uhuru, but we the incoming cadre of enthusiasts are having the time of our lives, feasting on this sport of infinite possibilities💃🕺🏼

    Kojo Parris
    Founding Trustee


    1. My story. I am a Czech player from the suburbs of Prag and I started play bridge on BBO at the beginning of covid seasion, but I continue with big pleasure, the same my some partners. This playing bring us a lot of adventages. We recognize new partners, improve not only bridge, but also our not very good English and especially for us, not young people, is play on BBO much more comfortable 😊. Thanks, BBO, hexka

  19. I have fun playing bridge for a long time now (sorry for my english). Now I play with robots mostly, but I remember when I played with persons from all around the world, who I didn't meet and never saw their faces, once I laughed so much that my notebook fell from my legs. I haven't improve my play but I keep having fun!!. Thank you BBO!!

  20. Frank
    Pre covid I was a 5 times a week club player. Denver has a great club and if you visit her, I urge you to play. While not new at that time, I switched full time to BBO. My wife says had that not occurred she might have harmed me. 24/7 is a real challenge to a marriage. I will include a tip for you on BBO. Majors do not break when they are trump, and spades are the worst. Don't believe me, check it out on your own.

  21. I'm quite impressed with this 'Cards of Kindness' event. I have been so unimpressed with my local in person bridge clubs where I see partners being downright mean and rude to each other and I've just experienced a horrible partner that scoffed at every move I made. Maybe online is better and if people are truly kind like you say - I won't walk away from this game.

    1. Give it a try; you might find a more enjoyable and friendly bridge experience here. Hope you continue to enjoy the game 🙂

    2. You might consider the rfp games Monday-Thursday at 8pm EDT. We have a community of many kind people including expert commentating and you can expect answers to your questions asked privately to an expert. All of us love it!

  22. BBO also provides an opportunity to help someone you'll never meet. One example will occur tomorrow when a wonderful person from Mexico, Patricia Herrera, is organizing a game to help victims of the hurricane that devastated Acapulco. Her email contains:
    "Every Sunday in November at 6:00 CT / 7:00 ET / 4:00 PT we will host a BBO tournament to support Acapulco 🙏🏻♥️
    All proceeds will be used to buy and deliver the goods in Acapulco as supplies are scarce in there"

  23. We'd like to wish a very Happy 100th Birthday to long time BBOer jmbest6 who will be 100 years old this December <3

    A friend who wishes to remain anonymous sent me this lovely message:

    "One of our BBO players is going to celebrate his 100 birthday on the 16th of December. Yes! jmbest6 was born on the 16.12 1923 and he still plays on BBO".

  24. thanks..for all the nice story..I have read it all...I live in
    Argentina...I love playing Bridge...I Truly thanks BBO for giving me the oportunity to practice this game...and again thanks to all of you for letting me know your stories...

  25. Incredibly thankful for BBO as I no longer play in club games. The reasons are too many to mention, so thanks to all of you online players.

  26. I'm on BBO since the beginning when it was hard to get a game going for lack of people and so many other platforms were coming up or available. But BBO resisted the test of time and something new always came up that made you like it even more. I was a constant visitor of the Forums and it was there where my game got better, especially thanks to posters like Jlall and some others. Fast forward to 2020, BBO definitely allowed me to keep myself alive, both psychologically and phisicly, so thank you so much BBO!

  27. So sweet , funny and lovely stories! I am very recognised to Bbo , where I play with my usual partners but where I meet new ones all around the world. Three years ago I was very sick, during several months couldn’t play, and returning home, one of the first things I did, was to open my IPad , log in Bbo and inscribed in the first ACBL speedball MP pairs.Was invited for someone I regret not to remember his nick and finish six ! Great great joy as I thought I would not be able to play anymore ! My favourite place to be when I am home !
    Thank you everyone .

    1. Thank you for sharing your uplifting experience! Glad to hear that BBO is a place for you to stay connected with other bridge players 😊

  28. I live in England and BBO has enabled me to Play bridge with my dear friend who lives in Virginia. It was a life line during covid keeping us all from going mad being unable to go out and socialise. However since then I have been able to continue not only with my friend but also just to log on when I can take the opportunity to join a table.
    This year I have been invited to share thanksgiving, leaving soon to what I know will be a very warm welcome.
    May I wish all your members a wonderful celebration

    1. Love to hear that! Keep playing and have fun with BBO. Thanks for sharing, have a fantastic celebration, and best wishes for you too, pamela! 😉

  29. I will be 80 this month and have been playing bridge for 60 years. The best times of playing have been with three men (Gil, Stan, and Steve) I worked with and three men (Rick, Ron, and Dave) who attend church with me. We played for years on Thursday evenings at my home (alternating with each group of men) and we always had snacks and great fellowship around the games of bridge. Then Covid kicked in and we quit gathering in homes but started playing on Bridgebase.com and using ZOOM to see each other. The fellowship is still great and our older hands get to relax from shuffling and dealing the cards. Thank you friends for the great fellowship and thank you Bridgebase for the opportunity to continue playing the greatest game in the world. Signed: Dodgerman

    1. Wow, turning 80 and playing bridge for 60 years is incredible! It's heartwarming to hear about your special times with your friends. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story, Dodgerman 😊

  30. j'ai commencé mon bridge sur le net avec gaming zone, les précurseurs de BBO, et j'ai continué ensuite.
    Excellents moments passés avec des joueurs sympathiques, sans prétention.
    Nous partageons beaucoup de temps avec le monde entier, que du bonheur.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am just a beginner bridge player. If I am tired have a hard day I play bridge on line for fun I learned a lot from ROBOT!

  31. Diana _Eva is a refreshingly caring woman🤩😇
    Most others at BBO r uncaring bureaucratic zombies☹️😠 They offer excuses, not help resolve issues. Frustrating😲😏 - AD

  32. I’ve got a story that didn’t exactly start on BBO, but it sure blossomed there! Long story short, it began when I met someone at a junior bridge competition. He was one of the excellent junior players in my country, and I was nowhere near the player he was. We kept crossing paths at various bridge events, exchanging glances but never a proper hello. Then, there came a moment when we finally talked. Turns out, he was not just a good player but a kind person too. What was funny was that we didn’t need to bother asking each other’s names because, thanks to those past bridge competitions, we already knew. Then he asked for my number.

    Fast forward to when the pandemic hit – he’d moved on from the juniors, and we no longer played in the same competitions any more. But then the magic happened when, despite living more than 400 km apart in different cities, we found a way to bridge the gap – literally – by playing on BBO.

    He was incredibly nice, teaching me bridge tricks, and we made BBO our virtual bridge spot. He became a Tournament Director of a club on BBO, he invited me to join his tourney whenever I had free time.

    Our daily chats were like, “Are you free? There’s a churros game starting in 5 mins, wanna join with me?” or “I won 11 IMPs for the challenge! :p invited you again”. It became our sweet routine over the years. We endured a long distance relationships, as we felt our hearts opening, supported with decent cards and points. However, I was asking myself everyday, “Will it be a good contract, will we make a slam?”

    Surprise – he’s now my husband! Yes, the person who used to invite me to challenges, free tournaments, and in the end he invited me to share our lives together. Now, distance issue isn’t an issue, and we both work remotely on BBO.
    Life really is like a deck of cards, and I’m so happy I found my perfect partner to play with.

    We made the grand slam. Our lives now revolve around Bridge, BBO, and Ben (our little son). Thanks to BBO, we closed the gap not only in miles but also in our connection. Without BBO, we would never get that special “chemistry”, as our phone chats might have been boring, lacking the challenges, laughter and love we share! 😀

    1. This is a great story. My own experience with bridge began online with classes from both Amy Nellisen amynel and Morris Jones bridgemojo, taking classes from both of them, while I played on BBO with my then nonagenarian grandmother for the few years of the pandemic. She played online with me from age 97-100.5 when she passed away, still telling me that, "bridge is good for your mind!" BBO was a wonderful way to connect with her regularly online and to practice playing bridge. We'd start with robots and then sit down at casual tables and it was good fun.

      Friends and I who've met through online bridge classes use BBO to play, to practice, to occasionally play in online tournaments and it's been a great way to keep up our friendship. If not for BBO and bridge, I would never have gotten to know some of the ladies I play with. We text each other and email about upcoming times to play, but we live across the country from each other and haven't ever met in person. If we're missing a person, we play with 1 or 2 "Robbie/Roberta Robot fill-in's" and they're usually pretty quiet and it's sometimes hard to read their bidding!! 😉

      Also, the community games for us newbies have a good lesson afterwards. All in all, I'm so happy to have BBO as a way to increase my bridge practice and playing. Thanks for this cards for kindness campaign. Amy

      1. What a nice story! It's awesome how online bridge brought you closer to friends across the country. Keep enjoying your bridge journey, and thanks for sharing, Amy! 😊

      2. Thanks Amy! Yes we had great fun taking classes and playing together, and when we finally met face to face in 2023 it was amazing. 🙂

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