I know I said last week that I was rooting for the US team (which included my friend Zia Mahmood) in this year’s bridge world championships, but that didn’t stop me placing a £100 bet on the team they ended up playing in the finals, Norway.
I’ve been glued to the net this week, following the World Bridge Championships in
Shanghai. The championships consist of various events but the Big One is the Bermuda Bowl (so called because it was first hosted by Bermuda in 1950). This is the most coveted title in bridge, the one every top player wants to win.
I’ve often heard bridge lovers remark that what makes bridge so endlessly fascinating is that every hand is different: however often you play, you’ll never pick up the same hand twice.
If I could turn the clock back 50 or 60 years, my bridge would be considered far more impressive than it is today. Just as athletes are constantly setting new world records, bridge players are steadily pushing forward the frontiers of the game. It has evolved dramatically over the past few decades — just as I’m sure poker will do now it has exploded in popularity.
I've just spent the weekend taking part in the opening event - the Swiss Pairs - of the Brighton Congress. Despite not doing particularly well, I found it as exhilarating as ever, but I have one complaint. The organisers have arranged the week-long schedule so that the bridge doesn't begin before lunchtime.