Bridge Scene: Plenty of bridge clubs to choose from in Naples

Some people have played bridge for years and never scratched the surface of the game. They play and talk, bid and play but never look deeper into the possibilities of each hand. They bid two, make four, so what is the big deal, they chalk up the score for their side.

But if you really enjoy the game you should move to duplicate bridge, a competitive style of bridge that compares your score with other players playing your position in the room. Many contract bridge players are excellent bridge players but hesitant to have their score compared, or use the old excuse that the duplicate players are unpleasant, so they stick with what they know and never give duplicate a try.

Naples has more duplicate bridge clubs and more opportunities to learn duplicate bridge than any other city in the state. Jacksonville, Daytona, Miami, Tampa and Venice have only one or two full time clubs, but the Naples area has four. In Naples you can play duplicate bridge every day of the week.

Naples Bridge Center on Golden Gate Parkway is the premiere club in Naples and Jackie Altschuler, the manager of this member owned club, is its driving force. Every club in town wants you to come to their club, and you should try them all. If you are a non-member, every club charges $7 to play and if you play at the club where you are a member it costs $6, so for an extra dollar you could experience bridge once and a while in a different setting. The clubs are not hard to find and all but the Bonita Bridge Club start at 1 p.m. (Bonita Bridge Club starts at 12:30 p.m.)

Every club offers lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, but Naples Bridge Center works harder to educate players through guest speakers and a variety of lesson choices. The Bridge Center offers lessons and games every morning during the week and every afternoon the game starts at 1 p.m. Most Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the Naples Bridge Center opens at 6:15 p.m. for a light meal before the 7 p.m. game. Most games use stratified scoring to give the novice or advanced players the same opportunities to win masterpoints.

Altschuler has tried to provide something for everyone. Each Tuesday and Friday morning before the 9 a.m. game, every player with fewer than 300 masterpoints can come at 8:30 for a free lesson before the 9 a.m. game.

Call 445-4445 or visit www.NaplesBridge.com for more information.

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