Thirteenth book about bridge completes a full hand
House of Cards’s thirteenth book about bridge completes a full hand
~ and more than 3500 people log on to play
Double without Trouble
Tina McVeigh, Christchurch bridge writer, Grandmaster and proprietor of House of Cards in Merivale, is launching her 13th book on Friday 11 April, thus completing a full hand!
“Double without Trouble” is already pre-sold to players around the world who have eagerly devoured the 12 previous books, co-written with Graeme Tuffnell.
“This is the first one I’ve done completely on my own, as Graeme is now based in Tokyo, where he works solely on our Bridge Online website. I chose to write a book on doubles because it is a massively underused bid,” Tina said.
Tina, sole owner of House of Cards since December 2007, has represented NZ, and conducts teaching classes to learners, improvers and bridge teachers. She has won a following for her simple helpful books. Buyers come from the bridge playing world, mainly NZ, Australia, the UK and USA.
Tina said that bridge is regaining popularity, especially as people retire younger and live longer.
“It’s social or competitive, friendly or fierce, simple or sophisticated. As a card game, it can be played at many levels, and thus enjoyed by a wide range of people. Interestingly, I don’t know many bridge players who are not always looking for a way to improve their game.”
Bridge, in its present form, is a relatively new game. It began as Whist which was played in the early 1500s in England. American Harold Vanderbilt, (winner of the America’s Cup) effectively developed modern bridge in 1925, whilst on a cruise through the Panama Canal. His revised rules revolutionised the game and there are now more than 100 million players around the world. Many famous people are bridge enthusiasts - American President Eisenhower, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Martina Navratilova and Omar Sharif to name just a few.
“The best recommendation I can make about the game is that you never stop learning. No matter how good you are, there is always a new and stimulating problem around the corner, and a new and stimulating friend.”
* Surprising statistics stacked up by the Bridge Doctor
The Christchurch-based BridgeDoctor.com website is three years old, and it’s already three-quarters of the way around the world.
The online bridge player’s club has an international membership of over 3,500 and it is growing rapidly. "We have a sizeable cluster of card players based in Florida for the winter, and they are very enthusiastic and competitive. We are always amused to see how many of them log on when they get to work (or get up) in the morning!” Tina said.
In just one more year, the club will have circled the world, based on the current rate of dealing 2 million hands annually for its dedicated global community of bridge players! If those 52 cards per hand were laid end on end, they would stretch for 9204 km, about a quarter of the way around the equator.
Director Tina McVeigh said one player has just notched up 4000 games over the past eight weeks - that's 500 games a week, or 71 a day. On a regular club night, playing 6.5 minutes a game, most experienced players manage at most 28 hands in an evening.
Bridgeonline.co.nz was established by Tina McVeigh and Graeme Tuffnell three years ago (2004) as a sister company to their House of Cards bridge club in Christchurch. Since then they have teamed up with Christchurch web developer Dennis Asher to create BridgeDoctor.com with the aim of spanning the globe. BridgeDoctor.com is managed by Graeme Tuffnell who is now based in Tokyo.
BridgeDoctor is designed to appeal to new and improving players.
“There is a large lesson component with practice hands to play with, or without a commentary. In this respect, the site is unique. Players can try out new ideas, play solo against the computer or play live with friends around the world. There are also some video lessons to watch and oral lessons are planned for the near future,” Tina McVeigh said.
“The potential for global bridge is enormous. Graeme and I are taking bridge to the high seas on a Hawaiian Cruise in August, and I can see many great opportunities for international bridge events in New Zealand.”