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Bridge a life-long passion for Seville

Mary Alice Seville plays bridge at the Corvallis Elks Lodge on Tuesday afternoon. She plays at least four times a week and enjoys teaching the game to new players. (Jesse Skoubo | Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Mary Alice Seville of Corvallis is a 50-year-plus bridge player who will take part in this weekend’s Heart of the Valley Tournament at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center in Albany.

Seville, 69, says the games are social events with nice people, and there is intellectual stimulation.

“Bridge is a game I’ll never master because I can always improve,” she said. “I’m also a competitive person.”

Seville estimates she plays bridge 12 to 14 hours a week, and she also teaches the game. She plays twice a week at the Elks Club in Corvallis and twice a week at the First Methodist Church in Albany.

“How much of my life does bridge take up? A lot,” she said.

Seville learned to play at her aunts’ bridge club in Leland, Ill., before going off to college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

“I actually didn’t play that much in college but I’m glad I knew how to play,” she said. “Instead, I spent my time studying.”

In the 1970s, she played duplicate bridge in Anchorage.

“Some people call it competitive bridge,” Seville said. “It’s not social bridge where women get together to have coffee or tea and dessert. There are some good players who are social players, but if people really are serious about the game, they play duplicate bridge.”

Because of her devotion to the card game, she was appointed the educational liaison for American Contract Bridge League District 20, which takes in southern Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Hawaii.

In that position, she makes sure bridge teachers have the funds they need to buy teaching supplies.

She has held the position for two years and will have the job “until someone replaces me.”

Last fall, Seville was appointed to the National Goodwill Committee, which is an honorary position. The lifetime appointment is for her advocacy for the game and for promoting ethics and good behavior while playing bridge.

People in Albany and Corvallis who want to learn to play bridge or get back into the game have plenty of opportunities to do so.

In Albany, games are from 12:30 to 4 p.m. each Monday and Thursday and from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, all at the First Methodist Church.

In Corvallis, sessions are from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, 7 to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and 7 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, which is for people who haven’t played duplicate bridge that long. All games are at the Elks Club.

Anyone who wants to get into a game can drop by during any of the above times.

For more information or to make arrangements to learn the game, contact Seville at 541-758-3181.


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