BBOers Festival Winner Interview - Serkan Ünal

Serkan Ünal

Serkan Ünal (srknunal on BBO) won the Country vs Country Championships, with an impressive 71.90%. This is his second win, after finishing top in October.

We caught up with him to ask a few questions. Here's what he had to say.

Would you tell us a bit about yourself? Where do you live and what do you do?

I was born in Istanbul in 1983. I finished high school in Karadeniz Ereğli. I came to Istanbul for my university life. I've been living in Istanbul for 22 years. I play professional bridge in clubs and give bridge lessons.

When and how did you start playing bridge?

I started playing bridge in 2008 while I was studying at Istanbul Technical University. My father was my first bridge teacher. I am 38 years old and have been playing bridge for 14 years. 

This isn’t the first time you’ve won the Country vs Country Championship. How does it feel to win it twice?

It's an incredible feeling to win this tournament for the 2nd time. The feeling of winning such a special tournament and putting your country's name in 1st place is awesome. 

Would you please share the secret of your continued success?  What was your strategy?

It's important to play 32 hands with the same discipline. When the robot does something you don't want, you should focus on the other hands instead of getting angry. Luckily, the robots didn't upset me in these 2 tournaments. 😀

The Country vs Country Championship is quite new. What do you like about it and is there anything about it that you think could be better?

The tournament is really enjoyable, I look forward to it every month. It's one of the nice things that BBO have organised recently.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in bridge?

I don't have a Turkish championship yet, but I've finished in second place 3 times. I have managed to win some Turkish regional tournaments. But my biggest achievement is that I've met lots of very nice people and have an enjoyable life, thanks to bridge.

Being a good bridge player isn’t easy. Do you have any tips for beginners?

I can recommend watching good players on BBO, finding a good partner, doing research, and working hard.

Do you often play on BBO? What games do you like the most?

I spend an average of 2 hours a day on BBO, daylong tournaments are my favourites.

What other things you enjoy besides bridge?

I am a former basketball player, but in recent years, I haven't had many chances play anymore. Other than that, I like swimming and fishing.

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