I said at the very beginning of this website that "the youth of today will lead the way". Below are examples of how they are already revolutionising the image of the game.
The first is about a young Scandinavian. Here is a copy of a mail I sent to the Swedish Federation following a 15 table bridge tournament in Fuengirola on 1st November 2018.
"I write to congratulate the SBF on your efforts to promote bridge as an invaluable sport for young people. You will no doubt be delighted to hear what happened when Markus came in to play with his father, Peter Bertheau, at the busy club in Fuengirola where I was a director.
As I was the non playing Director of the tournament that day, I had the pleasure of being able to discreetly observe Markus`bidding and playing skills. Which led me to realize after just two rounds that he was possibly the best player in the club that day. Despite the fact that they were up against a former Swedish champion as well as a Norwegian who still plays almost as well as his friend, recent World Champion Boye Brogeland! At the end of the penultimate round I made this announcement to all the players:
"Despite the high general standard of this club, all the members today will be astonished to know that there is a 75 year age gap between the youngest and eldest participant. The experienced players especially will be humbled to know that one of the pair that has been leading all afternoon is only 13 years of age. Not only can we learn from this young man how to play bridge, but his impeccable behaviour all afternoon makes him a wonderful ambassador for youth bridge and for Swedish bridge in particular”
Well done Markus. If anyone doubts that this story is genuine, then you can either check out the results on the internet or ask Micke at Swedish Bridge Federation HQ. He agreed to let me publish that mail. Presumably because he feels, like me, that all people who try blocking the opportunities for kids to play in clubs need to be taught a lesson. A 13 year old Scandinavian being the ideal teacher to give that lesson.
UPDATE on this story-
Seven months later - in July 2019 - I was in Norway attending the European Youth Championships at Oslofjoord. Markus was one of the youngest there and represented Sweden in the under 16 event. They finished fifth of the 19 countries. The Swedish Team was managed by his mother, Kathrine Bertheau. whom I also had the pleasure of meeting.
In January this year, Kathrine became the WBF number one ranked womens bridge player and she still has that ranking today.
CONGRATULATIONS to MARKUS´ MUM
The current WORLD CHAMPION