Expert Corner – Daniel Lavee Bridge Update
Introducing Daniel Lavee | World Champion Bridge Player
We brought our Bridge programming to Mayfair Clubs in 2018 with the introduction of world champion player, Daniel Lavee. Over the past couple of years, Daniel has taught lessons in the bistro of our Mayfair Lakeshore Club and more recently online. Together, with his expertise, we have now over 200 passionate bridge players at Mayfair Clubs. We sat down with Daniel to discuss how he got started in the game and asked him to talk about his recent trip to Italy to play in the Worlds.
What is Bridge?
The essential features of all bridge games are that four persons play, two against two as partners; a standard 52-card deck of playing cards is dealt out one at a time, clockwise around the table, so that each player holds 13 cards; and the object of play is to win tricks, each trick consisting of one card played by each player.
“Bridge is like the game of war, but with a partner!”
Bridge is one of the only games that can be played by players of all ages – an 8-year-old, a 40-year-old, and an 80-year-old – can all play the game together – while being mentally challenged and social at the same time.
The biggest hurdle with Bridge is learning the game. If you want to get started – try Mini Bridge or watch this Bridge overview video.
How Did You Get Started as a Bridge Instructor?
Stereotypically, many people think that the average bridge player is a grandmother or stay-at-home mom as Hollywood portrays it. The average age of players in North America does reflect this stereotype with the average age of players being 76.
However, there are many young players who love to play. My grandparents always encouraged me to play and when I was 8, I finally agreed to learn. A couple of years later, I connected with some other young bridge players, and they helped cultivate his passion for the game.
Unfortunately, Bridge is not currently a growing sport in North America, however some bridge schools are now available for kids to learn the game which has great academic and social benefits.
In 2005, I won Bronze at the World Juniors and in 2010, I won Gold at the World Mixed Swiss.
Bridge has taught me to be kinder to myself and I have learned so many life lessons from playing this game.
How Did You Build a Career out of Playing Bridge?
My mind was focused on Bridge and not on school when I was a teenager. I wanted to become the best of the best in the world of bridge. When I was 20 years old, I started playing professional bridge. This is when I developed a passion for teaching kids the game of bridge and this started my journey into teaching. I now primarily teach adult bridge at private clubs including Mayfair and I really enjoy it.
I am still focused on being able to play at the very top level of the game of Bridge. To be a good bridge player, you need to form a good partnership with another player. I have started to play with another young Canadian player. The pandemic allowed the two of us to spend a lot of time to work on our Bridge partnership. In November, we went to our first live tournament together since the pandemic and we performed well together.
After this, my partner and I were fortunate enough to be invited to represent Canada on the “Open” team at the 45th World Team Championships in Salsomaggiore, Italy March 27 – April 9, 2022.
The event was a full Round Robin with the top 8 teams making the Knock-Out stage (Quarter Finals). 24 teams entered the event. Canada finished 18th or 19th. The results were a bit disappointing, but I learned a lot and got to know the top players in the world better. Covid took away from the overall experience, but it was still an incredible experience to be there!
What’s Next for Bridge at Mayfair Clubs?
We have opportunities for anyone at any age at any level to play Bridge at Mayfair Clubs. Watch out for our new Bridge programming with Daniel coming this Fall. In the meantime, check out the social events happening in our Bistro this month.