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Nov 13, 2020

On March 13th Walt Schafer began organizing bridge games on BridgeBase in response to the global shutdown. Walt continues to organize what has become known as “The Schafer Game,” selflessly out of his love for bridge. I got to play with the legendary for Bob Hamman for the first time in Walt’s game and we went on to win. Beating Episode 23 guests Finn Kolesnik and Jacob Freeman among others. 

A friendship has developed between the two of us thanks to this podcast conversation and I am delighted to share this conversation with a fine player and fellow bridge lover.


Episode highlights:

2:55- Previously organized bridge games at the exchange

  • 8 player
  • 7 week schedule
  • $5 per imp

7:35- How Walt’s directed tournament came to be what it is now

14:45- Walt’s Bob Hamman story of a great declarer play which to this day, Walt still does not understand why it was necessary

  • Written up in the bulletin
  • Took a double dummy software two and a half days to make the same play

19:55- Another Bob Hamman declarer play story

22:20- a Tom Fox story

  • Strong club system
  • New Orleans
  • Walt set up Greco and Hampson

28:40- Baby Levin

31:50- A Spingold story involving Kit Woolsey

  • Ed Manfield: “Those are the best 16 boards I’ve ever been involved in my life”

39:00- Sometimes getting knocked out on the first day of the Spingold is a blessing in disguise

43:45- D22 GNT Qualifiers story

45:55- Junior star Finn Kolesnik

47:45- How Walt learned bridge

51:40- Walt’s mentors: John and Bart Bramley

55:25- Bridge players succeed in trading options

1:13:05- Walt’s first compound squeeze and how Bart just deflated him

1:15:05- Walt’s greatest/favorite played hand where he uses the delayed duck squeeze

  • Redouble can be a great psychological weapon

1:26:05- Walt’s role in the history of the Helgemo hand

1:30:30- Walt’s physic abilities

1:35:50- Walt is a bridge player at heart

  • Bridge versus poker in terms of prize money

1:45:30- Walt’s invented conventions

  • Look out for the Shaferton

1:50:55- Hamman still got it in bridge

1:52:00- Junior bridge

1:59:55- Instant classics