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HISTORY OF BRIDGE
The history of Bridge is originated at the beginning of 16th century, when the game called Whist was created. It quickly became very popular and evolved into various types. During the following two centuries the game was still changing and it had different names of trumps, ruffs and honors, whisks and swabbers, and finally, as mentioned before the Whist. The first wide-known publication of this game was Edmond Hoyle's book in 1742. Owing to its popularity it contributed enormously to the development of Whist. Generally, in the game there are four players who play as two coupled teams using 52-card deck. Each player has 13 cards and together with a partner he tries to win as many tricks as possible. A trick is a set of four cards - each one forwarded by each player - and a card with the highest value wins. The trick is won and taken by the team with the player whose card was the strongest. The trump suit is not determined and scoring is very simple. The trump suit in Bridge is one of the four suits - hearts, spades, diamonds or clubs - and outranks cards of other three suits.
In the XIX century the game was carefully analyzed and studied. Soon professional players appeared and in 1857, the first duplicate Whist tournament took place. But the success of that tournament did not arouse more interest in the game in Europe. Better progress was observed in the USA. The Whist became a public game in 1981, when the American Whist League was established. The League started to organize pair games and tournaments. John Mitchell's book, which was published at the same time, finally set the rules for that kind of events. The author also wrote the rules regarding tournament points and other organizational details. At the same time, a new game emerged as a Whist clone… and it was called Bridge.
There were many theories about the Bridge origin. The most convincing one claims that it was originated in Russia (other sources mention Turkey), because long before the first appearance of Bridge in the world, Russians played a very similar game (with bidding rules, scores and dummies). Bridge spread to Egypt and Turkey owing to diplomats and soldiers (especially in officer's clubs). Some time later it appeared in Europe (Paris, London) and New York. The first known book about Bridge was published in 1886 and it was titled "Biritch or Russian Whist", and probably described the Whist rules. The oldest forms of Bridge are often called Bridge-Whist and when bidding was added to its rules - Auction bridge. At the beginning of the 20th century, many different game systems were created. For example in India the game was called S.A.C.C. This is a form of Bridge where players get their points only for bid tricks (and none for the trick surplus). The game was expanding fast, however it was still less popular than Whist. But that did not last long. In 1927 Harold Vanderbilt invented a new score. He gathered all innovations already made (for example S.A.C.C. system) and added some new elements (for example the big point surplus for Grand Slam and Little Slam). However, the most important change was improving the contract system, which was more based on partnership than before. A contract is a declared number of tricks which players must take in order to win. Failure to fulfill a contract results in a scoring penalty, success - in an award. His work - although not widely published - became the foundation for modern Contract Bridge, which is the type of the game known today. In 1928 the American Bridge League was created and in 1929 the first issue of "The Bridge World" was published by Ely Culbertson, whose work was vital for further evolution of this game. Charles Goren, known as "Mr. Bridge" successfully continued the work. First European Bridge Championships open, for men only, took place in Scheveningen (Netherlands) in 1932 and the first women's championships were in Brussels (Belgium) in 1935. Team World Championships open took place in 1935 in New York and women's in 1974 in Venice. In 1958 the World Bridge Federation (WBF) was founded and under its patronage the First Bridge Olympic took place in 1962. The Americans dominated those Bridge tournaments, until 1957 when Italian players started their incredible winning streak, taking ten consecutive Bermuda Bowl world championship victories. Americans finally beat them in 1970. This was an important event, because the American team was one of the first professional ones in the history of bridge.