Bridge: Always more to learn in Vail |

Bridge: Always more to learn in Vail

VAIL, Colorado – Dee Androus of Beaver Creek has reached the lofty rank of life master in the game of bridge. But the Vail Valley resident knows there’s so much left to learn.

“My favorite saying is, ‘The more you know about bridge, the more you realize how little you know,'” she said.

Local bridge players can find plenty of tips at this week’s bridge tournament and seminar at Vail Mountain School in Vail. Well-known bridge author Barbara Seagram will conduct four days of seminars with tournaments held each afternoon.

Androus is a member of the thriving Vail Valley bridge community. Weekly games at the Miller Ranch Community Center draw dozens of players. Last week, 52 people showed up for duplicate bridge, said Marcia McCalden of Edwards, who organizes the three-hour-long games.

“It’s not as popular as it was 40 years ago because of television,” McCalden said. “But it’s still very popular, particularly with people who are retired, because it takes a lot of time.”

McCalden took over the leadership of the games in 2002, and turned them into sanctioned American Contract Bridge League games.

McCalden, who has been playing bridge for decades, plays with her husband and has met many friends through the game.

“It’s challenging mentally, and you meet lots of people through bridge,” she said. “It’s a social game.”

But it’s also serious competition. McCalden has nearly achieved the rank of life master, and she has traveled all over the country playing bridge.

Pam Elsner of Beaver Creek is organizing this week’s event. Seminar topics include “slam-fitting,” “defensive strategy and signaling,” “strip and throw in,” and “multiply your odds of success.

There will be tournaments each afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is recommended for intermediate to advanced players.

Elsner has been playing bridge for 35 years.

“It’s a constant new challenge,” she said. “Every hand can provide a learning experience. It keeps the brain cells working on a constant basis.”

Androus finds that it’s a great activity – along with golf and skiing – to do with her husband.

“Duplicate bridge and golf are a wonderful lifestyle for the two of us,” she said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

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