As mentioned I was family champ at age 9. Later I won a tournament at Millikin University where I got my degree.
I remember I would travel over an hour just to play in a 12 board game with a partner not nearly skilled as me. Nowadays, I can play and do play maybe 3 such tournaments a day with a robot partner.
It is amazing to me but bridge playing engines are not nearly as good as chess playing engines. The best chess playing engine is comparable to the world champ. The best bridge playing engine is only equivalent to a high A chess player or a low expert chess player. Chess is much more complciated than bridge so this is hard for me to understand.
I have noticed 95% of the bridge players reach a certain level and never improve after that. They make the same mistakes over and over again for years. I think they love to play bridge but are not really interested in improving their skill level? It is hard to be a partner to one of these players as you know they will screw up your game. Robots will also make very bad mistakes but they still play better than 98% of all bridge players.
I used to play with a player named "Tenor". All I knew about him is that he originally was from India. We played for 10 years. Often our opponents would ask him if he was a singer and he always said nothing! He was not quite a good player as me but he did not know it. He always put "expert" by his name. "expert" in bridge is equivalent to "master" in bridge. We often had mild disagreement on how to bid or play a hand..
One day in the middle of a game. He annouced that he was not playing with me anymore! He gave no reason and we had not had a dispute for some time about play of the hand or bidding! He just quit after that statement and I never heard from him again. I emailed him once and he did not respond.
A couple of years later I looked to see how he was doing? His bridge rating had gone down considerably [as I was holding the partnership up] and he no longer displayed "expert" by his name--instead he displayed "advanced" which was really his true abilities in bridge.
Now, I play once a week with a super player--one better than I am. He is from California and is very near "world class" by this I mean he is very near being one of the best. Equivalaent in chess to maybe a 2500 rated player.
Each Monday if I do not play and bid a hand perfectly [there are maybe 40 or more decisions in playing and bidding each hand] then he gives me a little lecture of where I went wrong and I really appreciate the lessons....