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BRIDGE:  HOBBY, SPORT Y CULTURE

 

por Gianarrigo Rona

 

                                                                            Translation: Ms. Lely Garino

 

Gianarrigo Rona

 

The practice of Bridge, at least in its primitive form, pertains to remote ages, with some vestiges dating back to ancient times.

Bridge is the most widespread game in the world, and its fans outnumber those of any other game.

 

The reason for this is that Bridge is a universal game, that can be played by anyone anywhere, using the same language and technique, without requiring any particular tools except for the presence of four people and a deck of fifty-two cards.

 

A unique case among games, the cards are merely the necessary instrument to make the moves and do not constitute a fundamental element of the game. Nowadays, thanks to modern technology, the game can be played even without cards, at a distance, through a simple computer and with the four players sitting in different places.

 

Bridge is a Hobby, a Sport and a Culture

 

A Hobby, because it's a diversion, a game, a way to enjoy leisure, a playful activity in the fullest sense of the word.

 

A Sport because aside from the official validation of the IOC and beyond the etimological meaning of the word sport, if for one second we envision the sport concept not exclusively as a physical activity of action and movement, we will find in Bridge all the sport components: discipline, rigor, ethics, accomplishment, performance, competition, comparison, toil, diligence, study, training, exertion, sacrifice, stress.

 

Bridge constitutes an irreplaceable gym for the brain, which is precisely the reason why it has been coined as a mind sport.

 

All the components of the game, both theoretical and practical, are based on an absolute matrix of logics, mathematics and statistics. This demands from its players to exercise continuous reasoning, to improve their concentration, synthesis and analysis capabilities, to deal with constant problems of strategy, and to increase their memory skills.

 

It should be noted that during important tournaments that may last from ten to twelve hours per day for as much as ten to fifteen consecutive days, stress is not only psychological as related to fatigue and stamina, but also physical.

 

Finally, a Culture, because Bridge is substantially socialization and aggregation, its fundamental core is the partnership, and then the four players.

 

 It is therefore essential to know one's partner, to establish a partnership, to forego a part of one's personality to merge with the partner's, to maintain relations  with others, and assimilate new habits, attitudes, behaviors, different mentalities quite often pertaining to other countries, traditions and cultures.

 

Bridge promotes automatic socialization among people of different generations, sexes, social, education and cultural backgrounds and altogether different characteristics.

 

Bridge is ruled by ethical and practical standards, the compliance of  which is the main object of the game and, in this sense, it has significant educational values, especially to the young.

 

In this respect, at the  time when they are being trained and shaped for  life, Bridge provides juniors with a substantial help to improve their analytical and synthetical skills.

 

Once the necessary assurance is acquired to interpret and evaluate data, and to formulate and make decisions, winning strategies in the programming and execution processes immediately follow, as well as the systematic awareness to avoid unnecessary risks and make the choices that offer bigger and better chance of success.

 

In Bridge they will find the best conditions to feel strong, decisive and willing to  face life and its multiple and complicated problems.

 

Bridge essentially brings out the best qualities in the young, will help them serenely accept negative circumstances and eliminate or rectify whatever stands in the way of their success.