Its a mostly quiet game that requires its players to figure out who played what in what sequence, so thats why Sundaresan Ram didnt say much as he played bridge with three other people around him.

His bridge partner, Marty Schiff looked at him from across, also silent, their partnership based on trust.

You make new friends, you make new partners. Some of it for life, Ram said while Schiff joked Finding a compatible bridge partner is probably harder than finding a spouse. Somebody that you enjoy being with.

Their partnership helps them communicate while playing the game, Ram saying the object of the game is that one side will try to make a hand while the other side is trying to destroy them and their tactics.

Ram learned those tactics about 50 years when he was in college while his university shut down during a strike.

It has the suspense of poker but its got the analytical skills of chess you need, he described.

Those skills helped him and Schiff in 2019 when they won the national competition in Las Vegas.

It was really the pinnacle of my bridge career, Schiff said while Ram said, Its once in a lifetime. Its very difficult to get. Most people strive for that.

However, hes noticing that many kids nowadays arent playing bridge as much as when he was a kid. He said its a game thats good for the mind and it promotes friendly competition.

For some reason, the game has dropped off. We dont train kids in college anymore, let alone school, he said.

Thats why hes making it his mission to bring it to Orange Grove Middle School in the Foothills and has already petitioned the school to do so.

If he plays his cards right, he can bridge the gap that he says exists between generations.

Its the gift that keeps on giving, he said.