After Detroit I headed to Finland to visit with my old friends and play in the Jyvaskala Easter Bridge Festival. Helsinki and the Finnish bridge community are like a second home to me and going there is always a rejuvenating experience. The Jyvaskala Easter Bridge Festival is an amazing event filed with great players from all over Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and other neighboring countries. The event is filled with national teams, women's national teams, and junior national team players from all over the region. I was fortunate to have some success and win the opening event (with Junior players Kari Patana -- Kaapo on BBO.) See my SBN article below for a challenging hand! The other events had ups and downs, but the other highlights were playing with Pekka Viitasala (a world class player and bidding theorist) and playing two days with my close friend Hulda Ahonen (women's national team player and the new secretary of the Finnish Bridge League.)
I leave Finland feeling that my bridge has come a long way in the last two years (since I lived there.) I'm excited about my development as a bridge player and my continued experience gained from playing against the many varied systems that are played throughout Finland and northern Europe. I'm sure I'll be back to Finland very soon and I'm looking forward to it for many reasons!
Some of the players and one of the playing areas at the Jyvaskala, Finland Easter Bridge Festivalcopyright Robert S. Todd