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Return of bridge tournament to Rochester draws in hundred of players

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Bridge is a popular card game in Rochester with over 170 club players. For the first time in over 30 years, a regional bridge tournament has returned to the Med City.

Often compared to chess, bridge is considered one of the most difficult card games. It requires good memory, problem solving skills and an analytical mind.

“Counting is the big thing,” said experienced player Steve Gaynor. “Counting the number of cards that have been played so you know what’s left out there. Sometimes knowing some of the odds.”

Games consist of four players in teams of two. Instead of money, competitors compete for points. Many are trying to become a Life Master Bridge Player.

Steve Gaynor from the Twin Cities has participated in national tournaments and relishes the competition.

“Beating the good players, finding those fun plays at the table,” Gaynor said. “I think bridge is a fairly easy game to learn. It’s just impossible to master.”

Almost a Platinum Life Master, a title for players with 10,000 points, Gaynor compares his points total to an attendance award. He says the real fun is in the social aspect of the game.

“A good game against good competition,” said Gaynor. “It can happen anywhere, even at the local club.”

With local clubs and opportunities for people of all skill levels, bridge is a very easy game to get involved in.

“Kind of on a whim, we decided to take a community ed class in beginning bridge and absolutely fell in love with it,” said Rochester Duplicate Bridge Club member Linda Grigoleit. “We found out about this wonderful bridge club we have in Rochester which we weren’t familiar with. The people in Rochester are wonderful. So much fun to play with, we just have a great time.”

Experience and research help you become a better player.

“I still make some really bad mistakes but I’m a little bit better at it,” Gaynor said. “I don’t repeat them as often as I used to.”

For one of the tournament chairs, helping new players succeed is his favorite part of the event.

“We have trophies that are given out to the intermediate and novice players when they win their event specifically for those players,” said tournament co-chair Layne Vinje. “We take pictures of them and you can see them glowing. I love it.”

Bridge has millions of avid players worldwide including the richest man in the world, Bill Gates.

Alex Tejada

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