The mentoring game last Thursday was a big success, garnering 11 ½ tables, the biggest game we have seen in years. Experienced players were matched with bridge students, all of whom had fewer than 100 master points. Many of the new players had no master points and had never played a sanctioned duplicate game of bridge.

Thanks to the senior center for setting up extra card tables and moving lunch tables out of the way so that we could have enough room. Tommy Franklin, who brought a huge chocolate cake, directed the game with patience and humor. Shelton Brown brought a big coconut cake and someone brought nuts, although Tommy said there were “enough nuts in the room without the eatable ones.”

Sherry Owens won the prize for going the extra mile. She ran the computer and sent out scores three times, after correcting them. With two rounds to go, the scoring machines said we were finished, so we had to record the results of the last two rounds on paper traveling sheets. Sherry then had to manually enter those results into the computer. Thank you, Sherry!

James Gallagher, who was visiting the area from Arizona, joined us for the first time, pairing with one of my beginner students, Mary Emma Stevens. They had never met, and Mary Emma had never played duplicate before. They ended up with more than one-third of a master point.

It happened to be James’ birthday, so he was treated to a birthday serenade.

Bob Harding and Jo Ann Wellons paired up for the game. We had not seen either of them in a long time, and were glad they came.

For at least six players, the game was their first duplicate experience. Tommy hesitated to use the timer, thinking that the new players would feel rushed, but he tried it, and everyone managed to finish within the allotted 15 minutes for two boards. We played 24 boards and were through by the usual quitting time of 4:30 p.m.

Congratulations to Pat Keim and Linda Greenwood, who finished first overall with a 61 percent game. Krishnaprasad led his brother Shreenath to a first place N/S finish. Shreenath had never had the duplicate game experience either.

Nor had Sue Woodyard, who was third E/W with Sherry Owens.

Susan Best and Sue Wilson finished second N/S.

Thanks to Dayle Pond and Tempie Pierce, who traveled from Kinston to pair with Joan Hackmann and Kathy Jones, respectively, to win master points.

And the M&M girls, Maureen Prys and Mona McConnaughey paired with Bill Allgaier and Billy Bizzell for a “nice placement,” as Lindy Gunderson used to say. So did Becky Mayo with her aunt Shelby Bizzell.

And those not in the “winners’ circle,” (another Lindyism) had a good afternoon, too and promised to return to the game. Summer is a good time to test the bridge waters, as many people are on vacation and those left behind will be looking for partners.

Although the formal bridge lessons are over until fall, students are encouraged to meet at the senior center \Wednesdays at 2 p.m. to play hands and talk about them. If just two or three people show up, that’s fine. They can pull out the boards we played Monday and talk about how to get to the best contract and how to play the hands.

All those who played at the mentoring game have their names and email addresses in the computer data base now, so they will receive the scores every time we play.

Use this contact information or text each other if you want to meet at the senior center. Don’t let what you have learned go to waste over the summer. Come out and play. You learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. And playing is the best way to learn. It’s kind of like swimming. Just jump in.

Thanks to everyone who made Thursday’s game so much fun. It takes a village, and we have a good one.

Thursday’s scores: N/S first, Krishnaprasad and Shreenath; second, Susan Best and Sue Wilson; third, Al Takemoto and Gary Partin; fourth, Dayle Pond and Joan Hackmann; fifth, Bill Allgaier and Maureen Prys. B — fourth, Carole Ray and Linda Watson.

E/W first, Pat Keim and Linda Greenwood; second, Tempie Pierce and Kathy Jones; third, Sherry Owens and Sue Woodyard; fourth, Mona McConnaughey and Billy Bizzell; fifth, Becky Mayo and Shelby Bizzell. C — second, James Gallagher and Mary Emma Stevens.