December 31st and the Marathon was fast approaching. The celebration was starting and the excitement mounted as everyone wondered who would sit in the red reserved seats. Donnas and Hope sat first; even they didn’t know who else was sitting. Enter teacher xx1943 and mentor eitspades. As Maureen, BIL Manager/Founder, called out “let the cards fall where they will – PLAY BIL BRIDGE” the opening of Marathon12 was underway. Let the party begin!!
The first board of the Marathon and eitspades opens with a weak 2H bid. With 14pts and 5 diamonds Donnas wasn’t giving up and made a 3d overcall. With 10 points and 4h, xx1943 went to a 4h contract for Board 1 of the Marathon. Did they make the contract?
MARTY BERGEN VISITS MARATHON12
As the celebrations continued on December 31st, the BILies were entertained with a visit from Hondo717 (Howard) and mbsez (Marty Bergen). Marty teamed up with Shatha to face their first opponents: duffer66 (Joyce) and FM75 (Fred). Duff and Fred certainly did the BIL proud.
At the end of the first 4 boards the score stood at Bergen Team 100, BILs 1350. Well done BILies. No intimidation in that room!
The stars shone and the champagne popped as more than 46 countries participated in Maratho n12. Teachers, Mentors, Experts, BIL grads and Special Guests such as Reisig, Rado, Ardek, MildredB, Mbsez, Leftfoot were at the tables. They came to share in the fun and help BILies improve their game. Some had a hard time leaving. Leggygodiv clocked up 213 hands!
Among the ‘stars’ throughout the entire Marathon were BIL’s EventHsts. For 72 hours, they enthusiastically welcomed our guests, helped players and kept the tables full. Well done!
As the New Year travelled around the globe, BIL Manager (Maureen) wished our members in Indonesia a very Happy New Year. Neven, Eszter5, jay6 and Josephine7 are playing at the Marathon12 table.
Many hours and 149 boards later, Ne ve n is still at the table - with kritter2, and teachers aspiring, and gowanlock. Learning4 says she expects to see Ne v en at the table when she returns, about 8 hours later!
January 2nd and it’s time to take another picture of the tables in play. EventHst21(Learning4) was pleading to the club for the kibs to fill the empty seats. "We now need 4 players: 1 for 58comet, 1 for Liz111 and 2 for M_Ellen." She wasn't having much luck. Unfortunately everyone was watching Paul Thurston (BBO Thurston) at a Marathon table. On one last attempt at attracting warm bodies to the vacant seat, she remarked "I feel like I'm auctioneering!"
Thurston visits Marathon12 on January 2, 1-2pm (EST) and invites BILies to play. Tjtoo welcomed and introduced Thurston, who wished everyone a “Happy New Year”. He was partnered with Dixie08; opponents were duffer66 and masse24 for the first 4 boards. Subsequent players were Donnas, eitspades, waldheini, firsty, HallieEads, sallyally and dee_dee_20.
On a roll from her success at Marty Bergen’s table, duffer66 and masse24 went for a 6H contract at board #2. Having second thoughts, duff chatted that maybe she got ahead of herself, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Duff went on to make the 6H contract. Well done!!
Look at the January BIL Gazette for Thurston’s session on 2/1 coming in February. A former national champion, he has represented Canada in world competition both as a player and captain. He is an ACBL diamond LM, a contributor to the ACBL Bulletin and has written a number of bridge books. His “25 Steps to Learning 2/1” won the ABTA Book of the Year in 2002.
BILies continued the party as the main table “Marathon12” headed for a new record. The 600th board was dealt on January 2, 2:30 EST. EventHst21 (Learning4) warned everyone that she was about to take a picture of all the tables in play. Chatter1, sitting N, panicked and asked if the host could hold off taking the pic as she needed time to do her nails and fix her hair. Her partner, ne v en, just shook his head (trying to stay awake?).
Marathon12 is well underway…18 tables in play. The party is rockin
Just about dinner time and a curious beginner decides to check out the BIL Marathon. The tables are full. Her friends are playing with people she has never met. Her husband yells, 'Dinner is getting cold dear'. She decided to eat first then come back and play a few games.
But wait! She sees a "Sit!'. Heh - who needs dinner anyway?
Spirits were high when this SLAM was bid and made!!
6nt Bid and Made (Board 489 as per .lin file #) January 2 (EST)
Late on January 2nd EST (or the wee hours of the morning on January 3rd in NZ) prissy10 and beefeater, with opponents VickiM and Callmegail, bid and made 6NT
North, prissy10, opened 1C, her partner, Beefeater, did have a 1S response but chose to bid 1D. Why? As Beefeater explained: “to find out what possible 4 card major Prissy10 may have”.
When prissy10 rebid 2NT, Beafeater reassessed his hand and went to 6NT. It worked, and the 6NT contract got the highest points – 12.1 Imps – for Board 489. As Marty Bergen often says points schmoints!
As the final hours of the Marathon approached the party kicked into high gear with TwstofLime and Onlyyuman at the table.
GRAND SLAM The right ending to Marathon12! Onlyyuman and TwstofLime reach 7S and make during the last few hours of Marathon12. Opponents Liz111 and lionesstoo look on in wonder at the bidding!
Onlyyuman is one of the BIL’s great mentors and creates the monthly quiz for beginners in the Library. She also contributes to a monthly article for the Gazette answering interesting bridge questions posed from BILies. TwstofLime is the founder of the Beginning Bridge Program. Both are co-founders of the MARATHON.
WAY TO GO!
On January 3rd at 3 am EST, after 72 hours of partying, BIL Founder/Manager, Maureen, thanked everyone who had worked hard to make Marathon12 a TRIUMPH. With a drum roll, Maureen declared Marathon12 officially closed and wished everyone ‘a wonderful 2012’.
Through a chorus of “Maureen! We the BIL!” and “LONG LIVE BIL, MAUREEN and BILies”, Marathon12 ended. The 3 top boards still in play were :
667 Boards with dianavd, shatha, sharon el and EventHst10 at the table
650 Boards with twilight09, wagga_crow, soap4u and kritter2 at the table
Marathon12 Table – 718 boards with Ne v en, nellypbakk, willow23 and Ian84
As the final boards for Marathon12 were played, Maureen directed our attention to what has already been planned for BIL for the start of 2012. In addition to all the exciting sessions already scheduled, the SET have plans underway for special events in February – WC Paul Thurston will visit, plus a Valentine’s Day Tournament with more to come in March. Also the Beginning Bridge Program has courses scheduled through to the end of September. That’s just for starters!!
Marathon12 was a success because of the many people who volunteered their time to make it happen. The person on top of the list is our MAUREEN. Maureen not only spent countless hours getting things ready, but throughout the Marathon endured earthquakes. Missing in action for a little while during the Marathon, once contacted, Maureen had this to say:
“ I am fine - thank you all for your concern . My dear homeland is taking a beating but the worst is bypassing me - only one so far was severe enough to have me grabbing the monitors to stop them falling over, so the BIL is safe - for now - (I have my priorities LOL )
Thanks to Marathon12’s Special Events Team: TwstofLime, BabsG, DonnaS, Tjtoo, Gute 45, Wanda21, Duffer66, Fleurs ,Robzim and Onlyyuman.
Special thanks to Sandy57 who took on the enormous job of getting the EventHsts ready and coordinating the schedule throughout the Marathon.
Thanks to our great EventHsts and to BILies, Teachers, Mentors, BIL Grads and Guests - our appreciation and thanks for keeping the marathon alive and filling those seats!
· Average # of hands played at the main Marathon12 Table – 239 per day vs. 215 per day in 2011
· Highest # of hands played by a BILie: Ne V en - 424 hands, Nightowl_5 - 345 hands
· Highest # of hands played by a teacher/mentor: Angervea - 380 hands , Shatha - 296
- Highest # hands played by a BIL Grad: Donnas 323, cfrush 213
· Total # of hands played throughout the Marathon: 28997
· Highest # hands played by a Pair: spongehead/nightowl_5 - 283, cinacina/raycanuck - 118
NEW YEAR RESOLUTION CONTEST WINNERS
“I will really try not to send my private messages to the table or even worse to the entire club.
I mean really, really try.”
“My resolution is to remember that there are 13 cards in each suit - INCLUDING THE TRUMP SUIT. Then maybe I will catch all those little stragglers that sneak in to steal my tricks.”
“My new year’s resolution is not to be such a chicken and only kib, I will make an effort to play in the Bil enjoy myself and learn and make new bridge friends.”
FEEDBACK - WHAT SOME OF YOU HAD TO SAY !
Shirl ( Kritter2) EventHst20 - " There was one quote I copied and will share. Sorry I cannot remember who typed it!
"There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do thing right.
But in case I am wrong, and today that is all that is left to me, I would love to
tell all of you who have meant si much to me over the years ....
THANKS .... an to those I am getting to know ... THANK YOU "
Hope to be with you next year for the MARATHON "
"Thank you and your team so much. This new year event is a real highlight of my year. Much prefer iit to a real ( very ordinary) New Year's Eve party"
Elizabeth (Learning4) EventHst21
“I happened to log on for a few minutes at 1 or 2 am (EST) when Arvina was hostess. She made me laugh when she announced to the club, "ARVINA IS IN THE BUILDING!" and then I felt myself relax when I saw, "ARVINA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!" It was great- really woke me up. lol I also love the humorous stories, the little tidbits of info, and the bantering that goes on throughout the days. The marathon really does make one feel like part of a big family. I love it! A very warm thank-you to everyone involved for doing this.”
Kay Ishii (gurichan55)
“For the first time I played 35 boards over the New Year (marathon)...I was so tense and excited to play with all the dignitaries…I do appreciate what you are doing for beginners like me. Thank you.”
If you would like to share an interesting story related to Marathon12, or suggestions for next year, please contact: email@example.com
It just doesn’t seem right to say “THE END” without a few words from one of the Marathon’s founders – TwstofLime (aka Twst, Sandy, SCREAM).
A Celebration of Learning !
In the BIL we celebrate the love of learning,
We also affirm hope,
Commit to friendship and goodwill
And rejoice in the simple , and not so simple Joys of Life
We share blessings with all our BIL friends
And werlcome the New Year
With the Grandest Party
- The Annual New Year BIL Marathon
LET’S PLY CARDS!