BIL Members have their say in 2010

Extracts from Notes of Appreciation

     I want everyone to have many happy hours in the BIL as I had many years ago.  I hope the marathon has given them a good idea of what it can be like to play in the BIL, and will come with  their new friends and play. May The Lounge continue to grow and bring pleasure to many. Thanks for your vision and the ability to carry it out.

I have indeed enjoyed the time I have spent with <my mentor>and feel not only that he has helped my bridge but that I have made an online friendship which I know will continue after our allotted time has expired.

Thank you to all at the BIL who give so generously of their time, it is a most enjoyable place to visit and the wealth of knowledge and experience that are available to those of us who are still at the beginner stage is invaluable.

May the BIL and BBO continue to grow and give Bridge players the world over the chance to play, enjoy and improve their game, especially those who are disabled or housebound for whom it must be a lifeline.

I finally got enough courage to participate in one or two games with other players who were fun and very patient.  And, while I was playing one particular hand, Casper the Ghost dropped in.  He did not tell me how to play the hand but he did provide me with sound advice which I followed with success.  What a feeling! As a result of the Marathon 10 I am looking forward to playing with other people as well as the robots.

I am so glad that I was introduced to BBO and then to  BIL. It is the best site with the most wonderful people who work behind the scenes and those like me who are just beginning this wonderful game of Bridge.

Cannot say how many grand times and new friends came from this very special Marathon 10. The BIL surely put the Happy in the New Year for this BILly Goat.

     I want to thank you so much for the mentor program.  It has been very benificial to me and I am sure to all beginners availing themselfs of it.  Thank you so much for the program, the BIL itself, and all the hard work you and the other volunteers put in. 

My mentor has been excellent. To say I have learned a lot would be an understatement. This program is one of the best offered in the BIL, which is saying a lot. I do a number of the classes which hopefully will help me continue to learn

I L-O-V-E  the "ART" of bridge.  So far BBO has provided a safe & fun environment to further explore..  

BIL really makes you feel you are part of a family.

The Bill is Great and I Enjoy taking part in it all, learning something New as I play!

Just cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for the BIL.

Just wanted to say i think your program is awesome!!!!  so many have opportunity to learn the game correctly.  if i ever graduate to advanced (need to know some more conventions..... i would be delighted to help beginners. )

The whole system of BIL is wonderful.  Thanks for the hours spent with this

You and BIL and the volunteers are like a great Christmas gift that keeps on giving year-round.

Many thanks for maintaining such a wonderful site for bridge--it's amazing!

You have made BBO great, if not for you we would not be anywhere today...Thank you, thanks you for all your very hard work..

Hearts for all you have done to all of us Beginner Bridge Players.

Thank you for another great year in bridging in the BIL.

I am so grateful for the bil. Is the best that happened to me to discover this wonderful place to play bridge. I wish that billies played more in our bil place.

So thanks again for your wonderful vision and your wonderful assistants that makes it possible for the BIL to grow.

Thank you for all that you do for all of us.  I am so delighted with BBO and the advantages offered to me.

such friendlyness from all.. Thank you for all your efforts..

I always feel it is a privelege to be a member of the Bil club.

thanks for bringing new players into the wonderful world of bridge. 

Bil is filled with such kind people who make life worth living and bridge worth playing by giving so generously of their time and knowledge.

Thank you for the unbelievably good work you and your team do.

thank you for yet another successful year in the BIL. What a productive "child" you have birthed!

thanks for your efforts in teaching and propagating bridge to many who might have no other alternative in learning and improving.

th all i m amazed with good company here

I have finished my mentoring sessions I must thankyou for this great teaching method for us new has certainly helped my game immensely. I would highly recommend him to anyone. He has the patience of a saint - never upset when I made bad mistakes - just either explained right away what I did wrong and besides there was always feedback after the sessions with reviews of our play. The one-on-one aspect of the mentoring is very helpful and hopefully when I get
good enough I will be as patient and knowledgeable a mentor as he was with me.

If we dont learn to be good bridge players it wont be becuase you are not helping us Your help is greatly appreciated

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your help and all that you do for the BIL.

Congratulations!!! An amazing event thanks to you and all the volunteers and  participants!

i was proud to play also in this marathon:))) and make some nice new friends:)))))) i am waiting for the next:)))    great job!!!!!!! 

yessss there should be  a Marathon every month and i will support this. i met lots of new people  (beginners and intermediates) but all so lovely and now they pester me (ha ha ha) for advice regularly but i love it.

I am very glad to have been a part of your efforts in the is a great site that I continue to recommend to others who qualify

I am so new to bridge, and so afraid to play people, even in BIL, this is giving me more courage.

I am so new to bridge, and so afraid to play people, even in BIL, this is giving me more courage.your tireless work her and that of so many others, makes this such a great online community!

A super news letter, thanks for all you are doing and have been doing for us on BIL

Thank you again for your wonderful personal commitment in creating and supporting BIL.  It is truly only through efforts such as yours that our world will be a better place.

the BIL is getting better and better thanks to your amazing effort and dedication!

As far as I am concerned Bil's is the best part of BBO   

Thanks Maureen - reaching a milestone this year and bridge very much part of my life, thanks to BIL. Enjoying current mentoring, again tx to BIL.

Can’t let this opportunity get by without thanking you again for your gift of bridge in my life.  Please know you have my unending gratitude

you guys have put together a fantastic organization! My hat is off to all of you guys! 

I want to thank you for the immense amount of time and effort that you and the rest of the folks at BIL invest in us intermediates and beginners.Speaking for myself, the time I have spent with the teachers on BIL has made my bridge experience vastly more enjoyable. I feel I have gained and will continue to gain a deeper appreciation of the complexity and intricacies of this great game. My only regret is that I did not take up bridge sooner in life.
Thanks again for all your hard work.

I want to thank you for encouraging me when I joined BIL!  I have been playing robots, played one BIL tourney, then chickened out. I only started playing last fall, and read and play software a lot...but tonight I signed up for the individual BIL tourney...
You yourself, be honest, list only what you know (which is maybe two conventions)....
I placed fourth out of 24 players in the tourney, got some points, and am a very happy camper. I would have been happy with last place and people being nice to me.
So..again, thank you. I changed my profile from novice to beginner. 
BBO is a great place!

my mentor has taught me so much about the basics and nuances of bridge.  I cannot imagine a better way to learn the game.  Thanks to you as coordinator, the BIL, and especially Onlyyuman I am a better player and enjoying Bridge more than ever.

Such a great info site! Congrats on doing wonderful job w/ the Gazette!

I am on the way to learn a little more about Bridge  and my new mentor is helping me as much as possible (and he shows me my limitations too). Graham is the BEST teacher I can imagine. Firstly there is the fantastic program he has. He worked out tutorials to teach his pupils all about different topics of Basic SAYC and more difficult things too. These are systematically constructed and very interesting. He has prepared boards too where you can practice what you’ve learned.
Secondly he is a friendly and patient teacher, he explaines again and again ........ but .......... sometimes he can be strictly too (but I need it) and he calls me to work much more by my own.

He makes me to love bridge and learning and he helps me to improve as much as possible  ........ and I think these are the best abilities a teacher can have ................  aren’t they ?

I am very grateful that I have the possibility to learn this way ........... and its you too who makes this possible.

<my mentor> is a real delight.   I am enjoying her sessions immensely.  Thanks for all you do to keep BIL running. 

I don't know of anyone else who does so much to make others enjoy themselves.Thank you so much for your dedication to making bridge fun for all of us.

is true that Maureen holds the glue for all of us.    We love her and treasure the mountains of work that she does.

I remember how blessed I felt at having found BIL.  I was logging in to BBO (at the suggestion of a neighbor) and was terrified to enter a game.  So I watched others play == when I finally worked up the nerve to click on "to play" and help me find a table, I was booted so often, I didn't know what hit me. One day, months later, I was talking to my cousin who played all the time on BBO and she said "BIL -- BIL -- BIL-- just find BIL" and I did!!!  And, I've been eternally grateful to Maureen and all the wonderful instructors and good friends that I've made since. In fact that year on Thanksgiving I sent a note to many saying that included in all the things I was thankful for that year was my good fortune to have found BIL.  I then offered my services to become a BIL Assist and have been active ever since. So -- hats off to Maureen and to all of you for making BIL such a wonderfully welcome place -- 

My first intro to the BIL came as a new and lost person at BBO,  I was in conversation with a friend in the lobby (didn't know how to be private)  and had a bidding question.  In the middle of our discussion  (was obviously a basic question),  someone from on high (perhaps Jay6)  began to chat with us and advocate for joining the BIL........of which we knew nothing of course. So voices from on high ( kib box) guide us to the places that help us learn and grow........and sometimes amazing places of unbelievable energy and complexity

Soon the lessons for beginners in BIL (BBO) will come to an end, and I just want to express my appreciation for the fine teachers we have had for these 4 sessions and to you for making all of this possible . ,,,   The time spent by all of you, the energy involved, and the first class lessons are one of the best things that I have come across in a long time.  Bless you and all at BIL for this great site, and for the continued encouragement!  I started these sessions quite late in my life (I am 80 and will be 81 in April) and I must admit my brain has been given a run for its money!  But there is still that special thank you for you and for your concern, and willingness to help always.

Thank you for all of the assistance that I have had for the past years in learning to play duplicate bridge.....Soon after logging in to BBO, I learned of the BIL room , I met some wonderful people and you assigned me to a Mentor....I have made so many wonderful friends through the BIL room.  .....I will forever be grateful to all of them well as to ALL  of the wonderful talent that has joined you in making duplicate bridge come alive.

My mentor is perfect for me.  Gives me homework, have a set time we meet once a week for two hours, but if we meet up online, we play some hands and  chat about one aspect. He is excellent and I so cherish the opportunity to learn from him. Last night at the BIL tourney, I placed second..several of the "tools" I applied I learned in just the first session Again, thanks...for all you do at BIL! ! so love bridge even though I have taken it up so late in life.

I must tell you how much I appreciate my mentor. he is a great teacher - lots of patience and explains everything so clearly. His other mentees are very friendly, welcoming me into the group. It is so wonderful to have such support, a big thank you for making this possible.

I would like to thank you for my mentor I've learned lost and am honing my skills. I'd like to be an advanced player one of these days and I'll take mentees too.

Thx for letting me have a mentor for such a long time. He has been a very good mentor and I can sure recommend him if he wants to continue. Appreciate everything you are doing and thx again. It has been a great time and I have been taught many good things.

You hear this all the time, Maureen, but all of us have a debt of gratitude to you for providing this wonderful place to learn and advance in an organized and friendly environment!

I had no idea a partner could be such a pleasure.  My mentor has really taught me a lot and he is so very diplomatic in the process.  When I was apologizing once for not understanding a new idea the first time, he said I will explain it 100 times, if necessary .  Now that s a teacher!!!!! Everybody connected to the BIL mentoring program has my gratitude.

Thank you for all you do to help the beginner/intermedite players.  That job take a very special person and obviously you are one. 

I love my bridge, and I think Bil is a great thing... And I try to recommend BIL to the new players, and I hope they are taking advantage of all that you have to offer, ty for all you do for us members of BIL

Thanks so much and I just want you to know how much I love BIL and am so thankful that you started it.  I am hoping to find a partner through the site and am fortunate to have a very patient mentor.

You have created a wonderful nurturing environment staffed with incredible people who are caring and knowledgeable.  I am privileged to be a member of the BIL. I realize that it is such a small step in the life-long journey of bridge but it was made easier and more joyful surrounded by you and the Beginner Bridge Program team.

you set a good example -- you do so much for so many!!!

Your accomplishments have touched the lives of countless people around the world.  I cannot begin to express what the BIL means to my life.  I am grateful to you, the teachers, and volunteers. 

I watched my first teaching session this morning with Grizz and I am so excited.
I did my first tourney yesterday  and everyone was lovely to me even when I did silly things thank you all
This is the best thing I have ever done - joining the BIL

Thank you so much for  spending so much time helping me.  You are amazing--running bil and still have time to help everyone.  

The BIL provides unprecedented opportunities open to the world.  I am grateful to have been accepted as a BIL member and student of such bridge intellectuals gracious with their talents and time, not to mention patience.

Thank you, Sandy, for your Beginning Bridge Series.  Your educational program not only advances bridge skills and knowledge but also bridges friendships.  Your personal encouragement has been nothing short of a blessing.  Phillip’s mentoring and instruction have been invaluable.

My appreciation is endless - not only to these famous teachers but also to the volunteers who invest many hours for the benefit of beginners. 

I only wish I could convey to you what the BIL has meant to my life but I can’t seem to find the right words.  If it weren’t for the BIL, you, Sandy, the instructors, volunteers et al, my life would be concerned with responsibilities only and without invigoration. 

Because of your achievements, you have given me the gift of bridge to “look forward to” in my life – the sunshine in my life.  Because of my circumstance, I would not otherwise have access to bridge.

It is so nice to have someone like you to be so supportive of us Billies. I am and I will  always be grateful for the existence of BIL

I am an enthusiastic bridge player and I just love learning new skills and techniques. I am so impressed with the BIL organisation and the teaching/learning specialists that love the game enough to share their skills and assist others.

and just can’t thank you enough for providing  “The Best” collection of bridge information for all to enjoy.   Also,  for sponsoring the mentor program.Having had a mentor gave me the courage to volunteer to play in some teaching sessions… So .... again, thanks ... for providing so much fun … for all the bridge fans.


BIL is an unbelievably wonderful site for people like me and it has opened up a whole new world for me. I can not thank you enough for your vision to have a safe haven to play and practice Bridge.

 I knew I could not enter just any room and play- I had zero knowledge of Bridge. So I kept asking those fine people who are in yellow- where can a beginner learn- and I was referred to BIL.  I joined immediately and within months I saw advertisements about a beginners class was going to start in July, 2009 by Twstoflime(Sandy)  and of course I signed up. Sandy was a wonderful teacher, followed by Al, xx1943, then Roberta Robzim, Arik and in the end Hondo717 The whole team of teachers, I know they  do it for the love of the game and they have all inspired me and encouraged  me. What a team! I personally feel so blessed to have met them all..

My goal was to learn Bridge by the age of 70 two years ago. Well that date is quickly approaching and I am confident I am on my way. I have met such wonderful friends from Sandy's Bridge 101 which started in July 2009 and we have stuck together and we have learned together. We all continue to be friends.Philip(Gowanlock) was there to help and Kia (Nome) with his fabulous movies

Also  along the way other more knowledgeable players who have helped nurture my quest to learn this game. They seem to come out of the woodwork to help you in BIL if you have the desire to learn. - and Taylor2005(Lawrence) a kind man who - when he sees us says - "I will start a table and we will practice"- and we do.

Hearts to you from me as well as so many other people in BIL. I know I am never alone when I go onsite and play there.

I am so appreciative of your starting this site and I know others feel the same way as I do.

Thanks and  Double Hearts to you Maureen. What a vision to create BIL for us all to learn, enjoy and play in a comfortable atmosphere of helping beginners.

Thank you so much for your wonderful work.  Your kindness flows out into cyber-space and warms the BIL into the welcoming place that it is.

BIL is a "wonderful world"; so good lessons, so devoted and helpful teachers; how can we not learn !
Congratulations again !

Many thanks to both you and Dave for all of your understanding and help. I'm very impressed with the care you give everyone.

This is absolutely the VERY BEST SITE EVER!!!  Thank you so much!!

Thanks for doing so much for us players. I enjoy  it immensely.

The recent Roland Wald session was wonderful. You provide so many great things on BILBridge. It has been a real pleasure to see how you've developed it with so much work and enthusiasm

You and your staff are the reason BiL and BBO are the best on the net.

What a fabulous program this is....thanks Maureen for this great support.

I´m very grateful for the opportunity you have given me to learn and play bridge in the BIL Mentoring Programme.
Hedy created a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere and it was much fun working with her.
During all that time I definitely improved my playing skills, I met wonderful people, made many friends and enjoyed
myself profoundly. Thank you so very much for your engagement to provide this wonderful programme!!

Joining BIL is the best thing that has happened to me since I took up bridge at the age of 70.  I try to participate in many of the lessons and tournaments.  Thanks for everything

Thank you so much, Maureen, for all your help. You are the greatest and that's what makes BIL a great place!

Maureen, I am still very impressed with the work you do at BBO:  you are a precious Leader in the field

As always, Maureen, I remain thankful to you for the bountiful life-enriching experiences of the BIL you’ve created. All the best to you and unending appreciation,

BIL is really a great place for learning Bridge. I enjoyed it very much last year and do not want to miss it . Thanks for your great job!!

Your diligence and efforts have provided unhearlded opportunities for BIL members to learn and and increase their bridge knowledge!!  Thank you so much for all you do.  Hopefully you receive the praise you  so rightfully deserve... Everyone I know really appreciates your dedication to provide BIL members with so many opportunities! 

It has been such a wonderful addition to my life and a great way to learn bridge that I feel compelled to let others know of it.

 I have made another donation to you, not as a bribe (lol) but simply because the work you do for bridge players like myself who do not have the resources to pay huge amounts for mentoring.  All I have learned is through the BIL and, of course, my own studies, and while I still have a way to go, know I've become a more confident bridge player.   Not only that, Maureen, you run a great club, tolerate no rudeness, and offer so much to BILLIEs through the ongoing free teaching sessions given by experts you 'lure' to your club.  We all appreciate what you do, aware it takes an enormous amount of time and dedication.  

I am really looking forward to taking part in the lesson with Roberta on Tuesday and all the wonderful facilities you have to offer. You are the greatest woman of our time to have achieved all of this for us poor bridge enthusiasts.

KUDO's on great work & great appreciation here for all your time and effort - let alone patience

I want to tell you that BIL is the best place I know, I admire your work, I didn`t feel confortable at BBO until I found BIL, I have made many billies friends, I found very good partners and opps.
I have a great mentor (Barbara - onlyyouman) that is helping me so much. I know that all of  this is a result of your effort, and I want to thank you as much as my English allows me . I try to be a good p, and a very good op, I tell everbody that BIL is a great place, and I try to improve my Bridge, that´s my molehill to help to build BIL.

bravo! thanks for all your efforts on our behalf!

You never stop amazing us with your foray into teaching us newbies bridge.  Newbies includes a lot of folks who began with the BIL. Those ladies shared their personalities, their bridge knowledge and shared with me the healthy attitude that when it is all over. . . . Bridge is still a game, no matter what level. Thanks as always,

Please know that I am totally impressed with the BIL organization and for all that you do for bridge. 

Maureen, whilst we wish a Happy Birthday to BIL, please let me say on behalf of all our members .....

"A Special Thank you for the fantastic job you have done in these 7 years in creating a special place for us all"

I am really enjoying the BIL program.  So much help out there and meeting other students/players is a bonus! 

I just want to thank you for ALL you've done for BIL these seven years. AND kibitzing Fred Gitelman & his mother was awesome.... You are one special lady!!!

BIL  is a gem so by natural correlation the lady who started it must also be a gem.  I have just decided to make use of more of the features and look forward to actually showing some improvement in my play because of all the wonderful things offered by BIL


BIL is just getting better and better.

I am very impressed with the amount of support this organization gives to us

I  want to tell you your club is very good and friendly and very informative. I learn a lot

Love BIL!!!!  ............and you!!!  You are an inspiration to all us billies!!!

Thanks for all the work the effort you put onto the lessons

thanks for running BIL.  It’s a huge help to me.

thank you for the extraordinary amount of work you put into BIL.

There seems to be no problem now, but I don't want to close without telling you how much you are appreciated for all you do for the members of BIL  

The BIL program is a wonderful learning tool and the addition of Mike Lawrence is just another feather in your cap.Thank you for letting me be a part of your organization.

Marvellous, this BIL that you've created.  Just where would we be without you!  Bless you.

BIL is a wonderful concept and I congratulate you folks for making this possible..

Thank you so much, Sarsen (Sarah) is a great teacher and BIL is wonderful. Congratulations for all the work done in BIL, it is so helpful and very appreciated.

I am very grateful for this special experience and I am sure that my play of the hand at the Bridge table will reflect the skills I have acquired.

Many thanks for the Gazette.   It is so encouraging.I don’t use BBO, or BIL that much for actual playing (may do more in future) but I find the learning/studying aspects are really truly wonderful! Very appreciative Billie

Thank you so much for your prompt reply for my E-mail. I 'm impressed finding it, I guess you have been recieving many letters from all over the world. Even so you sent me  the  answer promptly for my trifling question.Thank you for your kind reply.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness and for all you do for all of us. Once again, I feel blessed to have found the BIL and it is one of the many things I am thankful for on this day.

Maureen has done such an amazing job with the BIL club, luring experts to give of their time so that we beginners/intermediates can learn the best way to play good bridge.   There is so much, so many fun things in the club, hard to drag oneself away

BIL Club is the bestest club in which to learn bridge, thanks to you, Maureen.   You do a truly awesome job running that club.

Really enjoy the BIL.

I continue to be awed by all you and your amazing team do for everyone in BIL - what a huge service to all of us and to this constantly amazing game.  Thank you all so very much!

we really enjoyed playing in the team was a first for us playing with each other and we had a great time. Thanks for your time in the BIL

really enjoyed playing in the team match . Was super and many thanks go to you & Douglas for all your organizational efforts.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the BIL and all that is in it.  You have done a marvelous job Maureen and I thank you.

Thank You so much Maureen (and your team) for the services that the Bil do for people struggling to understand Bridge, my Mentor is a very patient Teacher...ty so much once again.

Thanks for all the work you do on bridge base.

You always have the best interests of bridge at heart. You do so much for everyone and Ihave played with many who took lessons and played with your group and they are really good do a great service. Keep on doing your great job and bridge will continue to flourish and become more popular

Thank you so much for your help!  Your directions were very clear and easy to follow. I had assumed I probably wouldn't get a response until later. Your customer service rates an A+ in my book!

This is unbelieveable what you have been able to do with BIL. Thank you so very much for your time and effort. There is no way that people truly understand what they are getting here.

What a fine job you have done and continue to do in regards to all the BIL players. Bravo! Thank you

I have enjoyed BIL tremendously.  Thank you again for your great support to the Novice and Intermediate Bridge players.

Thanks to you for great bridge experience

Thank you for BIL, it is an amzing venue that serves such an important purpose. Such an invaluable asset for our newer players

Thankyou vm for all good things happening on BIL

Thank you very much for your supports all these years, we could not reach to this level without your dedication to all Billies, organizing great teachers, excellent mentors and also the environment where we could learn, enjoy and cherish each other.

I want to thank you for creating and running BIL.  Joining BIL is the best thing I have done since I started playing bridge.  Keep up the good work!

BIL is such a wonderful place for all of us BILies....Thanks for everything you do for BIL