They are young, so young. Born in Halmstad, August 7, 1995. But already fulltime professionals. And above all, our Swedish twins are the reigning world pairs champions (winning this coveted title in Orlando, October 2018). How is this possible? A first clue: they grew up in the most talented bridge family around the world: their parents Ann Rimstedt and Magnus Eriksson, and their sisters Sandra and Cecilia, are also great champions. Ola and Mikael, inseparable twins (is it a pleonasm?), now live together in Stockholm.
At what age did you start to play bridge and who taught you the game?
We took our first steps at the age of five. Our sisters Sandra and Cecilia taught us the basics.
Who is the best player of the family?
Sorry, you will have to ask somebody else, we are not competitive among us. Rather supportive!
Bridge has a reputation for being a game of experience. How do you explain the emergence of very young players like you, Giovanni Donati or Michal Klukowski at the highest level?
Support from our family but also great coaches and captains provided us much help throughout our junior career. We will be grateful forever because they paved the way to where we are today.
One expect you to play extremely “modern” bridge…
It’s correct, we do play a very modern style in our bridge. At least how we understand it. But many might disagree with our views…
And you seem to favor sound systems…
Yes. We think that strong club or big club is not modern style and has lost much of its efficiency.
Which champions do you take your inspiration from?
No champions in specific. We take a different inspiration from everybody! As far as our system is concerned, it’s typical Italian and Dutch inspiration.
As twins, are you constantly on the same wavelenght or is it an old “cliché”?
Often. Not always. We have been growing up with the same kind of bridge from our
youngest age, which simplifies it whenever there might be any doubts.
Are you “mirror” twins or is there a leader among your pair?
The only leader in anything is that Ola is in charge of the system, 100%. For the rest, we do everything together, on an equal footing.
What’s the main differences between Juniors and Open competitions?
Bridge in the Open category is more mature. Much more experience, which won’t let you slip away with anything. You can’t expect to get much for free, while the juniors go a bit crazier and not always fully understand when certain things work better!
Any regrets of your Junior days at the table?
We had a blast during our entire junior career!
What do you cherish in a partnership and what attitude do you dislike?
Humility and understanding. Most of the time, your partner is doing his/her absolute best. Barking or criticizing won’t help.
Many bridge players like golf, and you are no exception to the rule. What are the similarities between these two games?
Both games are very social. You do things in a slow pace where the social part plays a role. Bridge players and golfers want to have a good time without stress!
What are your preferred countries to play bridge and your preferred tournaments?
USA. Terrible system for things like online scoring, but the tournaments are great and what’s better than a huge challenge? Obviously, tournaments like European and World Championships are just as good. Like an annual rendez-vous for the greatest bridge players in the world!
Two tips for the average player in order to become a better competitor?
1. Play with better players and against better players. For sure, that will help you improve your bridge in the long run.
2. If you are ready to get into technical parts of the game, to be on your absolute toes at all times, try reading books. Many books also bring a great story. Thanks for your answers.
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