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Why Juniors Play Bridge

Last year we started giving free robots on BBO to all players aged less than 26 years. Clubs, teachers, NBOs sent us usernames of their young members; youngsters and juniors contacted us and we now have about 1,100 young players who can practice with robots on BBO any time they wish. Surely there are many more out there. Earlier this year we interviewed some of these juniors, aged 13 to 18 asking them how they started playing and why they love bridge. 

Most of them love the challenge – don»t we all? But they also love the social aspect and the competition. They like to play with their friends, they like to win masterpoints, and they have a lot of fun at live tournaments – especially at youth events where they get to meet friends from all over the world. Here are some of their answers:

Leo, 14, China started playing bridge about a year ago. 

  1. Why do you like bridge?
    Bridge is really interesting… it can train your counting and memory.
  2. Who teaches you?
    I had many teachers… they are very different; one is serious, one is humorous, one teaches the bidding system very very fast… I had a partner who really plays well, we often discuss bridge together, but he doesn»t play bridge anymore.
  3. What else do you like to do in your free time?
    Bridge, bridge, and bridge… I also like playing basketball and playing the piano.
  4. What do you like to play on BBO?
    I like tourneys and team matches. Many tournaments are good such as The Cattery, or HBG. I think all the regular tourneys are very good, but I don»t like BBO»s Express tourneys much and I don»t have money to play the pay tournaments. I would like BBO to add some free pair tourneys.

Stanisław, 17, Poland plays bridge at his school, where everyone plays. His parents are also bridge players.

  1. Why do you like bridge?
    I»m good at it, it»s interesting, you can win money and my favourite part is the bidding.
  2. Who teaches you?
    My teacher is Piotr Dybicz.
  3. Any favourite bridge story you»d like to share?
    My sister, who is not very good at bridge, once played in a tourney. During a break she came to me and said: «I won»t be the last one». I asked why. «I played against a guy who will surely be the last one. He sucks,» she replied. «That guy there,» she said pointing at… a former Polish bridge champion. The champion came second. My sister was also second. From the end.
  4. Other hobbies or passions?
    I like Chemistry and IT.
  5. What do you like to play on BBO?
    I like tourneys and pickup games but I usually play with Adam (qwertyland) or Zuzia (p1l34t).

Gianni, 14, USA became interested in bridge when he was 8 or so. He liked to watch his dad playing online and kept asking questions. When he was 11, his parents sent him to a bridge camp in Carlinville, Illinois, where he «officially» learned how to play.

  1. Why do you like bridge?
    I like bridge because it is satisfying to earn masterpoints. The thing that I love about the game is that there are always new things to learn.
  2. Who teaches you?
    My dad taught me most of the bridge stuff I know. I look up to good players like Eric Rodwell; I have a signed copy of his book, «The Rodwell Files!» 🙂 On BBO, I like to play with fash1000; I met her at the bridge camp.
  3. Any favourite bridge story you»d like to share?
    At bridge camp, I was much humored by a pair of girls that I was playing against. RHO (dealer) opened 1D, I passed, and LHO played the STOP card, bidding 3D. My partner, also a girl, passed after dutifully waiting her 10 seconds. LHO called the director, and much to my amusement, she claimed that my partner had given me unlawful information by hesitating.
  4. What do you like to do in your free time?
    I like to study, program, and read. I occasionally watch TV, but I»m usually too busy for that!
  5. What do you like to play on BBO?
    I like to play in Bridge Bingo tournaments as well as goulash tournaments. I like all goulash tournaments, but some are more «goulashy» than others.

Reese, 13, USA has been playing bridge for more than a year and a half and learned how to play because he wanted to have something casino online to talk about with his great grandfather.

«My 93 year old great grandfather is a duplicate bridge fanatic. I wanted to learn how to play so I could have something to talk to him about. One day, when I was playing a live tourney, a nice old lady came over to me to ask me how old I was for what seemed like the 50th time. It turns out my girlfriend was her granddaughter! I didn»t say anything though. 

I now have around nine masterpoints, and I have been playing duplicate for more than a year and a half.»

Alec, 14, USA learned how to play from his mother, who encouraged him and his sister to learn the game. Alec and his sister are both in the AJB.

  1. Why do you like bridge?
    I like bridge because it has a mix of all the card games in the world. My friends ask, is Bridge like poker? so i say, yeah, a little. You need a pokerface to not reveal any information to anyone at the table.
  2. Who teaches you?
    Mrs. Carolyn Eckert teaches me. She is an amazing teacher. She is very kind and helpful and I wouldn»t be in this program (ed: Atlanta Junior Bridge) if it weren»t for her. Also her husband, Lee Eckert, helps us out a lot too.
  3. Any bridge story you»d like to share?
    Not really, but every time I go to an adult game (299er or 499er), the adults always look at me and ask what school I go to, how old I am, and how long I»ve been playing bridge. I»m fine with it, but after tons of tables asking me the same question, I get a little tired of it.
  4. What do you like to do in your free time?
    I play tennis, video games sometimes and I hang out with friends.
  5. What do you like to play on BBO?
    I just play at any table in the Relaxed Bridge Club.

Youssef, 18, Morocco learned how to play in middle school.

  1. Why do you like bridge?
    I like bridge because I play it with friends, learn something new every week…
  2. Who teaches you?
    Mrs. Chafika Tak-Tak teaches us (I think you know who she is! – ed: vicepresident of African Bridge Federation)
  3. What do you like to do in your free time?
    I love bridge, it»s my favourite hobby, but I also like chess, swimming…
  4. What do you like to play on BBO?
    I play on BBO for fun, not for official tournaments or other «serious» games.

Caleb, 14, USA heard from him mom one day that there were bridge lessons at their local library and thought he»ll go see what that was about. As he made progress, his teacher recommended him to join AJB.

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