Stephen Halston has been with Touchstone for three-and-a-half years, working as a business consultant for us and competing as a bridge buff in his spare time. The Leicester University graduate has been living in Jersey since 1981 and, after the bridge column in The Telegraph peaked his interest, has been playing bridge for 26 years.
Bridge is a trick-taking card game, played by two competing pairs who sit opposite each other. around a table. In competitions everyone plays the same hands and the winners are determined by comparing all the results. It’s one of the world’s most popular card games, played with a traditional 52-card deck by millions of players worldwide. After teaching himself to play the game Stephen was in need of a partner, so when a work colleague volunteered he set about teaching her to play and has since made her not only his bridge partner but his wife as well!
Within six months of teaming up Stephen and Sharon played their first congress, coming in the top third of their section, and they are now the current Jersey bridge champions. This September they took part in their biggest competition yet, the Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship in Glasgow, where they represented Jersey against 27 other teams from all over the world, including Malaysia, Pakistan and Australia. Among the teams they beat were South Africa and Scotland, who were the winners of the tournament, as well as being only one trick away from beating England in their match. Next up for the pair will be the 2015 Jersey Congress, an annual, week-long competition that draws bridge teams from all over the UK to the island to compete, taking place next May.
In order to stay on top of his game Stephen practices playing on the computer every day, as well as reading plenty of books on card play tricks and techniques. He and his partner frequently travel to the UK to play in the many county championships and cup tournaments like the Corwen Trophy and the Tollemache Cup and, if they are selected, will be heading to the Gold Coast in Australia for the 2018 Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship too.