Many thanks to Sherry Owens for making a 2019 bridge roster. She updates our list of members every year to include new members. The roster is an invaluable tool, containing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of all players. Charlotte Maxwell had them printed out for our convenience.

We also have new note cards featuring all our smiling faces to cheer up the recipient. So we are ready for the new year.

Congratulations to Kaye Langston and Charlotte Maxwell, who finished first on Monday with a 66-percent game. Way to go, ladies.

The fire alarm was chirping in the senior center, and it sounded just like the time clock. So when the alarm dinged after a minute or two of play, Tommy Franklin, director, said, “Last round, move when you can.”

Then Selby Corbett, playing at Table Three, could count only 12 cards in his hand. The director rose again and went to investigate. After looking on the floor, on the table and in shoes for the missing card, Selby found it in his hand.

Tommy quipped, “That’s okay, Selby. You’re a new player and we have to make allowances.”

It was that kind of day.

Doris Baddour is back from her trip to the Holy Land; one of the first things she did was to come to the bridge game. It sounds like she had a wonderful time with her daughter, Pixie. She practiced speaking Arabic, asking every man she met, “Will you be my boyfriend?” You go, Doris.

The Cape Fear Regional took place in Wilmington last week. Wilmington alternates with Raleigh for this big event. Several of our players were planning to go try their luck. I will report any winners. It’s always good to play out of town with different people. Sometimes we get lazy playing against the same people all the time. A tournament stretches you and you always learn something.

In the January Bridge Bulletin, Jerry Helms writes a good piece on two conventions, Jacoby 2NT and splinter bids. Both of these bids reach game by describing the hands of the partners effectively. But when to use which one? They both plan to reach game and they are similar in many respects.

Read the article yourself, for it’s too complicated to discuss here. The bottom line, however, is that responder must decide which is more important: To receive information from his partner or to give information to his partner.

If you think receiving information from your partner is vital, then bid 2NT; on the other hand, if you think giving information at this point is more important, use the splinter raise.

You can learn all these fascinating conventions by taking Sue Wilson’s intermediate class Wednesdays at the senior center at 12:30 p.m.. Or you can learn the basics from me at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

More and more students are coming to the game, and that’s the real way to learn. Just jump in and hold your breath. If you’re not ready for that, just come and watch players. Or go to Bridgebase.com and watch or play there.

Thursday’s results: first, Billy Bizzell and Selby Corbett; second, Lew Rose and Anne Michaux; third, Charlotte Maxwell and Debbie Gray; fourth, Bob Meyer and Sherry Owens. B — third (tie) Shelby Bizzell and Doris Baddour and Tommy Franklin and Al Takemoto. C — second, Joyce and Troy Pate.

Monday’s winners: first, Kaye Langston and Charlotte Maxwell; second, Billy Bizzell and Selby Corbett; third, Tommy Franklin and Barbara Ann Vinson; fourth, Bill Warren and Al Takemoto; fifth, Ginny Herlihy and Carole Ray. B—fourth, Bill Allgaier and Peggy Seegars. C — second, Joyce and Troy Pate.