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Have Cards, Will Travel

Expert’s bridge clinic at Kravis Center to aid YWCA

February 5, 1996 — Palm Beach Daily News

When Richard Pavlicek speaks, bridge players listen — and learn.

As a player, Pavlicek has won the most prestigious bridge tournaments in the country. But to many he is more highly regarded as a teacher of this cerebral card game. Thousands each year attend the six-week lesson series held from November through March by the Fort Lauderdale resident and his wife, Mabel.

And on February 24, Pavlicek will bring his teaching skills to the Kravis Center of the Performing Arts for a bridge clinic to benefit the YWCA of Palm Beach County. The YWCA Grand Slam begins at 10 a.m. with a lecture by Pavlicek on bridge strategies, followed by playing-hand analyses, a luncheon, and bridge play in the afternoon. Registration costs $100 per person.

The Pavliceks are donating their time and teaching materials for the benefit.

“We’re very appreciative that he’s come forward to us at the YWCA,” said Palm Beach resident and YWCA board member Vivian Brian of Richard Pavlicek. “If you’re a bridge lover, I hope you will consider enjoying a day of bridge with the North American champion for a good cause.”

The nine-time North American champion Pavlicek’s string of victories includes a record three straight wins in the Reisinger Cup from 1982-84, and a fourth win in that event in 1990. He is a three-time winner of the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup, including last year’s event. Pavlicek holds the American Contract Bridge League’s highest honor, that of Grand Life Master, having won more than 400 events and accumulated more than 13,000 master points.

Mabel Pavlicek is an accomplished player also, having reached the level of Gold Life Master in the ACBL with nearly 5,000 master points and several tounament victories in Florida.

Not surprisingly, Richard and Mabel met over a hand of bridge. That was in 1968 at the Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club. [They were married in 1969] and founded their bridge teaching school in 1972.

“Anybody who plays bridge is never alone. No matter where you are you have a place to go and make friends with a common interest,” Mabel Pavlicek said.

Richard Pavlicek has written the hand-analysis booklets for the ACBL Instant Matchpoint Game since 1987, and he is coauthor of Modern Bridge Conventions. He has also created many bridge puzzles, double-dummy problems, and other novelties. A computer guru whose long-distance communication is on-line only, he is currently developing bridge-playing software, according to his wife.

His hour-long presentation at the Kravis Center will be accomanied by lesson and exercise sheets, and other material related to his talk. Afterward, participants will play four bridge deals to be analyzed and critiqued by Pavlicek. Following the 12:15 p.m. luncheon, everyone can enjoy an afternoon of duplicate or social bridge. The event can accommodate up to 200 participants, Mabel Pavlicek said.

To her, the beauty of bridge is that the more you know about the game, the more there is to learn.

“You can never finish learning to play bridge,” Mabel Pavlicek said. “I’m still learning, and even my husband can learn more. It’s a wonderful exercise for the mind that keeps your mental skills sharp.”

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© 1996 Larry Hobbs