The UNC Bridge Team, made up of four students, is coming off a second-place finish in the National Collegiate Bridge Championship in Las Vegas in July. This year, the team is hoping to win it all, including a $20,000 prize.
Sponsored by UNC physics professor Hugon Karwowski, the team started in 2011. They won the national championship the next year and have attended the national championship tournament every year since.
Bridge is a partnership game with a total of four people on one team. It is played using a standard deck of cards, with each player holding 13 cards.
Often, one game can take up to three hours.
“Bridge is a very challenging game. It has a lot of strategy — for example, you tell your partner what you have in your hand by what you do bid and what you don’t bid,” said Darleen Bates, director of the Triangle Bridge Club in Durham, where the team played Monday.
Junior Parker Xie said the team faced tough competition during this summer’s tournament.
“The trip to Las Vegas for last year’s championship lasted 12 to 13 days and was a lot of fun,” Xie said. “We ended up in second place and played against tens of hundreds of tables with some really good teams from UC-Berkeley and University of Chicago.”
“Bridge is a very intricate game full of probability and psychology. UNC has a pretty good base environment for learning bridge because we already have a pretty good team, and we have Dr. Karwowski actively supporting us,” Xie said.