4th IOC Grand Prix Page 3 Bulletin 2 - Sunday, 3 February  2002

Bridge in a Winter Wonderland

Sabine Auken starts her training for Salt Lake City
in the most appropriate way

The eyes of the vast expanse that is the Bridge-playing world are on Salt Lake City as the fourth IOC Grand Prix gets under way tonight.

More than 75 million people are active participants in the greatest of all the mind sports. As a simple comparison, in Chess, only the top two or three players in the world can now compete on an equal footing against the best computer programmes, but in Bridge there is still no sign of anyone producing a programme that can approach the capabilities of today's champions.

A brilliant mind is not the only characteristic required for success in Bridge. In the pressure of a major event stamina, fitness, concentration, endurance, coolness under pressure, teamwork and competitive fire, all Olympic virtues, play a part, with many of the top stars using rigorous schedules for both mind and body. International teams are frequently accompanied by technical and physical trainers, and even sports psychologists.

Like all great sports, Bridge is frequently charged with nerve tingling drama, as those who were in Paris for the most recent edition of the World Bridge Championships will readily testify.

Perhaps the Bridge Gods will provide us with an equally exciting story here in Salt Lake City.

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