Meet Robert Thorstad

Robert was born in the Washington, D.C. area, but grew up in North Carolina.  An identical twin Robert played chess in school but learned bridge during college at Haverford College.  Robert is a graduate student in Psychology at Emory University.

Robert was introduced to competitive bridge during his time, after undergraduate school, working in a research lab at UNC Chapel Hill.  The bridge team there was very strong, and both the members of the bridge team and local expert community, helped Robert and the other members improve their bridge.  With the UNC team, Robert made the final of the Collegiate National Championship (where they lost to Berkeley).  Robert also won the C Flight North American Pairs at the Reno NABC, playing with Ben Kompa, also from UNC.

Robert enjoys playing with new players (particularly juniors).  His advice to advancing players would be to focus on the basics, especially card pay, as well as never stop asking questions about why a position should (or should not) be played a certain way.  If the person you are playing with can’t answer those questions, then find someone who can!
 
Outside of bridge, Robert is an avid soccer fan, part of a Supporter’s Group for the Atlanta United team.  He attends every game and roots for the team.

Meet Mahadeva Ramnath (Ram)

Ram was born in Chennai (Madras) Idia and his mother tongue is Tamil.  He is the eldests of 3 children, having a brother and sister.

He attended school in Bombay until the 11th grade and completed his undergraduate education in Calcutta.  He recieved his graduate engineering degree at Banares Engineering College and earned an MBA at the University of Akron.

Ram worked for several engineering firms including Braithwaite's and Babcock & Wilcox.  He was a managing director at Conoco and Consumers Power, both in the US and India.

Ram lives with one of his daughers and her family in Sandy Springs.  His three children are physicians, and both daughters are also engineers.  He has 6 grandchildren, the eldest has just started school at Cornell University.  He enjoys taking the entire family on cruises and other trips, sharing adventures with them in many parts of the world.  Ram manages the many projects at his daughter's home.  He is our resident early adopter of Bitcoins, and enjoys his yearly trips to Vegas, from which he comes back smiling

Ram first joined the ACBL in 1973, but began playing regularly in 2015.  He is a very intelligent player who rose quickly through the ranks and is currently a Bronze Life Master.  When asked why he progressed so far in such a short time, he credits the logical thinking he used in his engineering work.  His advice to new players is to learn the systems and fundamentals without having to do every convention.  He spends so much time playing bridge because it is the best chance to exercise his brain and because of the social aspect of the game.

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