Bridging the age gap
CARD player Rebecca Wood bridging the generation gap.
The 23-year-old AUT mathematical sciences student has just been selected for the national women’s bridge team.
It will be a family affair when she represents her country because her playing partner just happens to be her mum, Rachelle Pelkman.
‘‘Mum had a big break from bridge and I got her back into it by getting her to play with me,’’ Wood says.
‘‘You feel like you know what they are thinking about when you play with family members. Other partnerships don’t have that.’’
The Remuera resident started playing bridge when she was 16 to help her with critical thinking while studying for her NCEA level one exams.
Wood taught herself online and then persuaded her mum to take her to the Auckland Bridge Club on Remuera Rd.
‘‘Mum took me to bridge to scare me off from playing the game, but it didn’t work.’’
Wood, a numbers person, was hooked from the get-go.
‘‘There is a lot of logic, there is a lot of problem solving.
‘‘You are always trying to work out what the opponents have in their hands.’’
‘‘You have 52 cards to count and you have about three minutes to work out what everyone has, it helps with critical thinking.’’
Wood and her mum will represent New Zealand at the Asia-Pacific Federation Championship in May and they hope to bring home the title.
But she will first represent the New Zealand youth side in the under-26 tournament starting on April 1, also in Bangkok.
Wood’s playing partner will be from Christchurch.
‘‘It’s really hard playing with someone you don’t know that well,’’ she says.
‘‘You can’t be angry at each other, you just have to do your best and you all need to understand that.’’
Wood says bridge is a lot like 500, where players bid against each other for the number of tricks, but bridge requires strategies.
‘‘You don’t have to be amazing to play, it’s actually a really fun game,’’ she says.
‘‘There are a lot of players who aren’t great at maths but are still really good players.’’
Wood says the game is becoming more popular and new faces are coming into the bridge club all the time. Online versions are introducing it to a whole new generation as one of the most popular card games in the world.
‘‘Just give it a go and enjoy Wood says.
‘‘It’s a really social game and it’s not just a game for 80-year-olds like everybody thinks.’’
Building bridges: Rebecca Wood, 23, represents a new generation of bridge players.