"There are between five hundred thousand and one million men, women and children who play bridge in Great Britain & Ireland.
Since its inception in the late 1920s Contract Bridge has been, and continues to be, enjoyed by British Royalty, Prime Ministers and their Governments, accountants, aristocrats, bankers, bus drivers, civil servants, computer wizards, dentists, doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, financiers, housewives, inheritors, journalists, lawyers, musicians, OAPs, porters, students, taxi drivers, tournament directors and, of course, bridge professionals.
Organised bridge regularly takes place in bridge clubs, sports clubs, hotels, London clubs, places of employment and worship, schools, universities & youth clubs.
The Portland Club, the founding World Authority on bridge, and still the guardian of the rules of Rubber Bridge, is British.
The worlds oldest extant bridge periodical, Bridge Magazine, published monthly since 1927, is British.
British teams have won 12 World and 21 European titles.
The Gold Cup, the most prestigious of all British competitions, founded 1931, has been won by 176 people, of whom around 100 are believed to be alive today.
But who are these people who inhabit Planet Bridge and just what exactly did they achieve? Where did they come from? Who taught them? With whom did they achieve success? Who is or was the National Bridge Association? Who invented Acol and Stayman? Did Terence Reese win more championships than Tony Forrester? Who was Adam Meredith? Who is Michael Rosenberg? Who achieved success for their country, county, university or House in Parliament?
This tome provides the answer to all these questions and more.
The Almanack is divided into two main parts, the first being a compilation of prose. These contents are in no way definitive, authoritative, or complete; they are simply my preference from the resources available to me. The second section is a record of major domestic and international tournaments together with the performance of British players in the latter.
I hope you enjoy this collection of articles, facts, photographs, humour and statistics as much as I have enjoyed compiling them.
We should all be proud of our illustrious bridge heritage. Perhaps one day, one of the home countries will win yet another World Championship. If not, lets try and stage one, if only to remind ourselves, and the rest of the world, that we still organise the best tournaments. "
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