Bridge was derived from the 17th century card game Whist. It was very popular and fashionable among the English nobility of the time. Its popularity spread rapidly to other parts of the world, most notably the Middle East.
By the turn of the century, the game evolved into Plafond in France and Auction Bridge elsewhere in the world.
In 1925, the game that we know today was derived from Auction Bridge and Plafond. Contract Bridge was invented by the American Harold Vanderbilt, on a steamship cruise. Contract bridge quickly gained popularity throughout the United States, where it experienced its Golden Age in the 1930s and 1940s.
In 1931 a famous Anglo-American Culbertson-Lenz match took place. It featured a team headed by Col. Walter Buller of England against a squad captained by Ely Culbertson of the United States. Buller, who had vowed to beat the Americans “sky-high”, lost – by a humiliating margin.
Duplicate (tournament) Bridge also became a hot activity during the middle of the century. In Duplicate Bridge, players at a table are dealt hands that are subsequently passed on to another table. They are then passed to another table, and so on. Consequently, a competing pair plays the same deals that any number of other pairs play. The differences in results are then used as the basis for each pair’s final score. Duplicate began its rise in the ’30s and continues to be popular worldwide.