Frederic Pollack holds the title of Platinum Life Master as of last month. Interview with a Life Master bridge player who excels in bridge.
When did you start playing bridge?
In December 1985.
What prompted you to dive into this mind sport?
When I was young, my parents were invited to an evening of bridge. Seeing that they could not find a baby sitter, they decided to take me along. I must admit that in my family, they all play bridge; my cousins and my aunts play with enthusiasm during Christmas parties. In retrospect, I am the only one who took bridge seriously and also the only one who started bridge this late.
How do you feel about achieving the title of Platinum Life Master last month?
Less than 40 people in Canada and 1,000 people in the history of the ACBL have achieved this title. I knew that it was only a question of time. On one hand, I am relieved and, on other hand, I am very proud. And not totally for my great performance; bridge is a partnership game and often a team of 4. The team game is very important.
What is your next goal in bridge?
To become a Grand Life Master. I hope to achieve that one day. To arrive, I must win a North American Championship. It is possible but very difficult. Most of the players play professionally. For me it is my passion and not my profession. I am a CEGEP professor and this puts me at a slight disadvantage. My pleasurable sport demands a lot of my time, work, practice and sacrifice.
What is your secret to excel in bridge?
First and foremost: concentration. Also the communication between partnerships is crucial. A bridge player must have many qualities, one of them would be to be comfortable with mathematics, and a certain sensibility for human nature, and, finally to be able to analyze the game, and the attitude and behaviour of your opponents.
What advice would you give to those who have a desire to play?
First of all, I highly suggest taking bridge lessons. To play bridge, it is necessary to have a solid base. To those future players, begin immediately. Very often what distinguishes a champion from an average player is the age when he started to play this game. At the end, your patience and your effort is what would help you to succeed in the game.
Frédéric Pollack’s game card
|1991||Made Life Master at 16, at the time youngest life master in Canadian history (has been beaten since).|
Received the title of “King of Bridge “ awarded by the ACBL to a high school graduate with best results in bridge, and commonly cited for sportsmanship.
Beat seed 7 in the Spingold (Goodman-Bates-Mohan, Schermer-Chambers).
Finished 33rd in the Rosenblum Cup, World Championships, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Won the Grand National Teams B (0-1500) at the San Diego NABC.
Finished 11th for the Richmond Trophy.
Won the Grand National Teams B (0-1500) at the New Orleans NABC.
Finished 4th in the World Junior Championships, Bali, Indonesia.
Finished 14th in the World Junior Pairs, Ghent, Belgium.
Finished 4th in the World Junior Championships, Hamilton, Ontario.
|2001||Won 692 points.|
|2008||Finished 3rd in the CNTC.|
Finished 10th in the Wernher Pairs, Toronto NABC.
|2012||Finished 5th in CNTC.|
Won 1044 points.
Finished 8th for the Richmond Trophy.
Finished 2nd in the CNTC.
Became Platinum Life Master (10000 points) at the Reston tournament, Virginia.