Bridge Festival. Varna 2023

Sporting bridge – an amazing game!

The idea of learning the rules of bridge and mastering this complex game had been in the air for a long time. For several years, a book on bridge (which later turned out to be for advanced players) lay untouched on the shelf. An unopened deck of cards, specifically purchased for the game, gathered dust. It was time to take the first step towards realizing this idea. As often happens, messages and news about bridge started catching my eye.

The main motivation for action was, of course, a certain milestone reached in this life – a fifty-year jubilee. Shortly after that, my close Bulgarian friend tragically passed away at the age of forty-four, in the prime of his life. It made me realize that it would be simply foolish to postpone the realization of my goal, even though it was still vague. Life is short, and it often ends unexpectedly. One may not have the chance to fulfill their dream at all. And when I read Warren Buffett’s famous joke – the Oracle of Omaha saying he’d be willing to sit in a prison cell if he had three partners to play bridge with, everything fell into place.

Bridge is primarily a sport, and a fairly democratic one at that. People of different social backgrounds, professions, genders, ages, and physical conditions can play it. Among the notable personalities who have made their mark in bridge are Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Somerset Maugham, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Deng Xiaoping, Omar Sharif, Irina Levitina, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and many other enthusiasts of this captivating and beneficial game.Strong schools of competitive bridge are considered to be Norwegian, American, Italian, Chinese, Russian, French, Polish, Australian, and Bulgarian. There is a wide range of choices in terms of schools and bidding systems.During the first six months, bridge took up a minimum of two hours of my daily life. As it turned out, it was not difficult to allocate this time by giving up activities like watching TV series, for example. There are many modern online learning systems for playing bridge, so if not at a physical club, one can play on a platform that suits them best.

Casting aside any doubts, in early March 2016, I contacted Svetlan Kazakov, who heads the Bridge Club “Breeze” in the city of Varna. Svetlan decided to be my partner.

Since then, we have been playing with my partner twice a week at the club and occasionally participating in tournaments on Sundays. This year, we have already won 4-5 tournaments. We are looking forward to the upcoming festival primarily for the enjoyment of the game and, of course, the results.

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