[The posts for this month are reposts from the site www.honotogroabemo.org, on which a host of hirsute individuals including yours truly would grow beards to raise money for breast cancer research. The site is defunct, but I thought I’d resurrect the game-related posts. This was originally posted on 2011-11-25.]

(Somebody fade me)

Some days you can produce easily, some days it takes a little more effort. Today is in the latter category.

Day Twenty-Three’s game was Bridge, or more specifically Contract Bridge. Bridge is one of many trick-taking games played with the standard 52-card deck, and is specifically descended from the game Whist. Whist has the basic concepts of partnership play, trump suit (determined by the last card dealt), and exceeding 6 tricks to score points. Biritch or Russian Whist was a variant of this where the dealer would declare (“biritch” is Russian for herald or caller) trump or no-trump, plus added some new scoring rules. Auction Bridge appears in the early 20th Century, and introduces the notion of bidding on the ability to name the trump suit. Finally Harold Stanley Vanderbilt, around 1925, added further scoring rules that made meeting contracts more competitive, and modern contract bridge was created.

This is opposed to full-contact bridge, which is only played in the northern reaches of Canada and Siberia. No pads, either.

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