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Chicago's Bridge Players Are Confident The Dying Game Will Go On

 The Chicago Duplicate Bridge Club is home to passionate players from across the city.
The Chicago Duplicate Bridge Club is home to passionate players from across the city.
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DNAinfo/Aishwarya Kumar

CHICAGO — The Chicago Duplicate Bridge Club is a world of its own. Phrases like 'play the hand,' 'bid,' and 'trump,' sounds normal there. After all, we are inside the world of bridge. 

The club holds bridge games almost every day. College students, working adults and retired elders play the three-hour game whenever they get a chance. 

Bridge can be a way of life, said Bob Dolan, the director of the club, where you'll see the same set of players every day, enjoying their brunch, talking and playing bridge.

Duplicate bridge is a competitive form of bridge, played with a partner. Every player has at least one partner they can play with. But they also have multiple partners so they can switch and learn from them.

"Bridge relationship is akin to marriage," said Dolan.

Competition is a driving force behind people taking up bridge. Some people yell at their partners when they play a wrong hand while some stare. 

Apart from the competition, bridge also brings together people. Players at the club found their best friends through the club. Guy Franklin, an advanced bridge player, plays with Bruce Ladin. Their friendship started when they were randomly paired up. They have attended tournaments outside Illinois together and they have learned from each other. 

"I still learn from Bruce every day," said 71-year-old Franklin. 

U.S. has 167,000 registered bridge club members, and the average age of a bridge player has increased to 71. Some people say that bridge is a dying game, but the players at the club don't believe that for a second. 

"The future of the game is with youngsters," said Judi Katz, 54, a bridge player. 

The American Contract Bridge League is working toward getting youth involved in bridge. They hold tournaments like Youth NABC (North American Bridge Championships) for kids below 18 years and Juniors for people below 25 years. 

To learn more about bridge is Chicago, visit bridgeinchicago.com 

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