Buffett on bridge. (Warren Buffett; includes related article on the popularity of bridge)

MY VIRTUAL BRIDGE GAME with Warren Buffett is off to a bad start. My partner is Sharon Osberg, Buffett's regular partner and a Wells Fargo senior vice president. Buffett is teamed up with his old friend Charlie Graham, who used to run a Buick dealership in Omaha.

This being an Internet game, we're all sitting in our own homes, in front of computersIin New York, Osberg in San Francisco, Buffett in Omaha and Graham in San Diego.

Osberg and Buffett each type in a message to me. A bidding box appears on my computer screen, blocking their words. Click, click. I can't get my mouse to move that box! Click, click. Wait, I type. I can't see what you're saying, the bidding box is in the way.

My husband, in disgust, wrenches the mouse from me and moves the box. I won't chronicle this in next year's annual report, Buffett jokes, trying to put me at my ease.

It's 9:30 p.m. EST on a recent Thursday night, and we are one of 125 foursomes at OKbridge, a virtual bridge club. Buffett, a.k.a. tbonehis log-on name and favorite foodis a regular. Pick any night of the week, and odds are tbone's here, with friends from all over the U.S.

Buffett's been a bridge fan almost as long as he's been a stock market player. He learned the game while at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1940s. …

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