Congratulations to Bill Allgaier and Ed Wilson, who finished first N/S at Monday’s game and second N/S at last Thursday’s game. These two have formed a successful partnership, gradually learning how to communicate, and now it is paying off.

I tell my bridge students that the auction is about giving your partner the most information you can with every bid, every lead, every discard. It really doesn’t matter how well you play the hand if you don’t end up in the right contract.

It was birthday Monday at bridge, but only one current player has a March birthday, so Cathy Howell got the whole serenade to herself. Usually we sing, “Happy birthday, dear bridge friends,” but Monday it was “Happy birthday to Cathy.” She and Mickie Braswell finished second E/W to celebrate her birthday.

Be sure to play Monday. The winner N/S and E/W will earn a gold point.

Someone said that I should write a column about married couples who play bridge together.

The late Lindy and Ray Gunderson come to mind first. They enjoyed much success at the bridge table, but Lindy could get irritated. If he didn’t like what Ray bid or led, he would turn red, shake his head and go into a funk.

Lillian and Ray Galloway, also deceased, didn’t play a whole lot together, but when they did, Lillian had to bite her tongue quite often.

Betty and Kenneth Wilkins were longtime partners, but Betty was a more experienced player, and Kenneth knew it. More than once he said, “Betty carries me.” If Betty didn’t like what her husband had done, she would sigh and say, “Ken-NETH!”

Shelby and Billy Bizzell don’t play together often, and that may be just as well.

John and Judy Haverkamp play together all the time with little drama, and are very successful, but Judy can’t resist a lesson every now and then. Same scenario for Sue and Ed Wilson.

Bob and Linda Meyer are quiet about their disagreements, and Troy and Joyce Pate don’t seem to have any.

Tommy and Cissy Bell are cordial, but he is more aggressive than she is and enjoys the competition more.

Pat and Pat Sasser win the prize, though. They played together exclusively when Dr. Pat was alive, and it was unbelievably sweet. “Don’t worry, honey,” Pat would say to Dr. Pat. And he would respond, “I won’t, honey.” Unreal.

The most famous couple at the Goldsboro game is long gone now. The couple was from out of town and took up duplicate bridge as a mission, earning life master status quickly and traveling all over the country to tournaments. But they argued all the time. About everything.

The story goes that finally they went to a marriage counselor, who advised them to either give up bridge or give up their marriage. They chose to give up bridge, and we haven’t seen them since.

So yes, bridge can change your life, but it can also change your marriage if you’re not careful. It might be safer to play with someone who is not your spouse.

Thursday’s scores: N/S first, Sue Wilson and Al Takemoto; second, Bill Allgier and Ed Wilson; third, Kitty Sauls and Barbara Ann Vinson.

E/W first, Joe Exum and Tommy Franklin; second, Billy and Selby Corbett; third, Pat Keim and Shelby Bizzell. C — first, Anne Pate and Theria McPhail.

Monday’s winners: N/S first, Bill Allgaier and Ed Wilson; second, Anne Michaux and Lew Rose; third (tie) Sue Wilson and Billy Bizzell and Linda Meyer and Linda Greenwood.

E/W first, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; second, Cathy Howell and Mickie Braswell; third, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto.