By Edward McPherson
At one time the sport used to be even higher than baseball. this day bridge is performed via greater than twenty-five million humans within the usa by myself, with invoice Gates, a sitting very best court docket justice, and the fellows from Radiohead between its devotees. during this lively homage, Edward McPherson recounts the colourful historical past of the sport and his makes an attempt to grasp its mysteries in time to compete on the North American Bridge ChampionshipsвЂ”despite being slightly capable of shuffle playing cards, not to mention play competitively. Insightful, humorous, and steeped in recognize, The Backwash Squeeze is an affectionate view of a grand online game through an interloper attempting to make his manner into the interior circle.
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Additional resources for The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats: A Newcomer's Journey into the World of Bridge
Bridge has long been played for its social component. One place the bridge community is booming is on the Internet, which allows hermits of all stripes a seat at the table. They log on to experience the company of like-minded fans, though as in all cyber-communities, it is a shuttered sort of socializing. com), a site where players can watch or play bridge for free. A championship match is taking place in Houston, and we check out the live Vugraph, which is essentially a digital broadcast of the game with the bidding, play, and all four hands represented in real time by brightly colored graphics.
The women all know each other; some have been coming for years. As Tina suggested, the seating is fiercely territorial, and once again I feel like I’m back in middle school, surveying a cafeteria of cool cliques and alpha tables. As we’re standing in line for a sandwich, Tina whispers, “Wherever we sit, don’t tell them you’re a beginner. Never let on! If someone asks how long you’ve been playing, just mumble something. ” Because the room is packed, we have to sit with the Girls after all. Together, we make five, and they graciously tell Tommy they don’t mind rotating one player in and out.
At lunch, he drinks four decaf iced coffees and carries his own Splenda. But this is not to say Polowan is dull. Far from it. Like the flip side of Flaubert’s famous formulation, “Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work,” he is unstructured in his life so that he can be all the more orderly in his work. Because of his suc- 22 T H E B AC K WA S H S Q U E E Z E & OT H E R I M P R O B A B L E F E AT S cess at bridge, he has received various offers to work on Wall Street (“trading is also a game,” he says); he has turned them all down.