Jessica Mifsud

An Interview with Kismet Fung

Kismet Fung is a well-known member of the Edmonton bridge scene, and was also the winner of two silver medals at this year’s World Bridge Championships in Philadelphia. We were lucky enough to squeeze ourselves into Kismet’s busy schedule, and obtain this interview with the Silver Woman herself!



How long have you been playing bridge? What got you into the game in the first place?

“[Kismet] first played with friends in her university days, then joined the Edmonton Bridge Centre after completing her law degree.”

[Editor’s note: To answer this question, Kismet sent us an article from an issue of Edmonton’s “The National Magazine”, a periodical for the legal profession, where she was interviewed about her bridge-playing hobby. She also notes: “The article is now almost 10 years old, but I found it funny how some things are still the same.”]

How long have you been playing competitively?

My first win in the CWTC (Canadian Women’s Team Championships) was in 2002. I also attended the World Championships in 2003. In the last 3 years, I have missed one NABC, but I have played at the CWTC every year since 2005.

Congratulations on your two silver victories at this year’s World Championships! Would you like to tell us a little bit about that experience?

I have never played 15 solid days of bridge without a day off. I found it very grueling. Since I do not play bridge full-time, I found the actual play easier as the week went on because hand patterns and bidding systems became routine as I found my rhythm.

In the Mixed Pairs, we were 30th going into the last session, so a medal was considered remote. Eric Kokish, who saw us at the supper break, commented that we couldn’t have been doing very well because we were eating a full meal in between sessions (i.e. no nerves). It wasn’t until the second last round (and I suspected our game was a smoker) that the cameras were coming around so I knew we were in the hunt.

While there was some disappointment to not win when holding the lead going into the last round, a Silver Medal is a joyous thing, and I learned a lot about the intangibles at the bridge table from my partner Brian Glubok, who is a bridge pro.

The ladies pairs was exhausting… 7 ½ days of bridge. Fortunately there was no carry-over, so before the finals when we were leading going into the last session of the semis, we could take a little bit of a much-needed mental break… it really was about pacing ourselves.

It has only just recently sunk in that I have two world medals; when you are playing, it doesn’t register.

How did you meet your bridge partners, Susan and Brian? What do you think makes these “winning” partnerships for you?

Susan is my best friend. We played on the same team when we won in 2002. After some time off, we decided to try to play together. Our pact is to ensure that we are best friends after every tournament, regardless of the bridge result.

I met Brian at the NABC in Las Vegas when he was playing with Roy Welland. This year, both of my prospective Mixed pairs partners cancelled, so I begged Brian to play with me. He had offered to play with me “some time” and I found the right time to collect on it!

Mike Yuen has called you an “asset to the Edmonton Bridge scene”, and has mentioned your participation in their “Bridge Week” in 2002.Tell us a little bit about Bridge Week and what your role as “event chairperson” involved.

I was Chairperson of Bridge Week 2002 when it came to Edmonton. It was an exhausting week, but I had a lot of help. The City of Edmonton is known for its volunteerism, and the Edmonton Bridge crowd is especially renowned. There was plenty of fundraising done to be able to put on a spread for the participants, and I heard nothing but wonderful comments about Edmonton hospitality.

How do you manage to balance your clearly successful bridge life with a busy work schedule and family obligations?

Work has always been busy, but my kids are now in their 20s … neither live with me. Since I was a single mother with a full time job at one time trying to play bridge, life now is very easy… Work has been very supportive of bridge, allowing me time off with pay to attend World Championships. I also manage my holidays around bridge.

Do your children also play bridge?

Neither of my kids ever learned bridge. I thought school was more important.

What do you enjoy most about the game?

Since the [last interview], I realize that I still love bridge for the attention to mental detail, and the requirement to continuously solve different problems presented to you. I also love the competitive aspect of the game, and the comradery.

What’s next for you? Will you be aiming for gold at the next World Bridge Championships?

I haven’t made any plans for my bridge future. I am going to Orlando for the NABC, but after that will take some time off and see.


Dave Memphis MOJONovember 18th, 2010 at 3:03 am

Good interview. Nice questions and nice answers. Thanks for sharing.

lindaNovember 18th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Congratulations Kismet.

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