Oct. 7, 2021

New Gold LM Gene Brandl

My path to Gold Life Master was more interruption than play. There is a 40 year gap in my Master Points.

I played Duplicate Bridge in High School and College with growing success. When I began working full time, I made a conscious decision to suspend 2 hobbies, singing and bridge, to focus on work. I promised myself I would come back someday. Work was a breeze. It required the same mental skills I had learned in Bridge: analysis, communication, strategy, implementation, using feedback to revise the strategy and measuring the results. While my peers were having to learn those skills, I received 4 promotions in the first 6 months.

When I retired, I quickly found a local chorus. At the 4th practice I was telling another member of my singing and bridge promises to myself. She said her husband ran a local non-sanctioned game. I began playing there. Within a couple weeks I was re-acclimated and quickly realized I was better than before I suspended my play. Those same skills I needed for Bridge I had been honing for 40 years in my work.

After 4 months I found a partner, Del Swanson, my age and level also eager to make up for lost time. We joined the ACBL and began playing in a 299 game. After a year when we came in 1st 3 weeks in a row we decided it was time to move into the Open Game. From the time I restarted playing, it took 4 years to become a Life Master, 4 more years to reach Silver, and 5½ more years to reach Gold. My partner should reach Gold by the end of this year.

Last year on-line bridge helped me keep up the pace. In the 1500 2500 bracket, I earned the Club and District Ace of Clubs and Mini- McKenney awards.

Gene Brandl

Apple Valley MN