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In the Well: Brian Platnick

Brian Platnick Brian Platnick probably has had the most unusual path to becoming a world champion in bridge. He doesn’t play full-time, spending most of his time trading options or with his family, and he took a 17-year hiatus from bridge after graduating college. Nor is he a sponsor who bankrolls teams to play with him. And yet, he has been a mainstay of the DIAMOND team, one of the most successful teams in the past several years. Highlights of his career include winning the 1991 World Junior Championships, the 2010 Rosenblum, the 2010 Spingold, and the 2012 Blue Ribbon Pairs. Although he’s represented the US in world competition several times, Wroclaw was the first time he didn’t medal in a world championship event. Today, he enters the Well to answer your questions.

Brian learned to play bridge from his mother Marsha, growing up in Bluefield, WV. His very first partner was his brother David, and they played tournaments together in high school. In 1988, while getting a MS in engineering at VA Tech, he formed his long-running partnership with John Diamond. After winning the World Junior Championships with John, he “retired” from bridge and went to law school at William and Mary. Upon graduating, he started trading options in Philadelphia. He moved to Evanston in 2004, to be with his wife, Bryna Kra, who is a math professor at Northwestern. In 2008, John wanted to get back into high-level bridge and asked Brian to resume their successful partnership. After getting Gitelman-Moss and Hampson-Greco to join their team, they quickly proved their strength by coming in second in the 2008 Vanderbilt and haven’t looked back since.

When not playing bridge, Brian pays forward the training he got as a Junior by coaching for the Michael Rosenberg-led Junior program. He also enjoys goofing off with his sons (Jacob in high school, Elijah in middle school), travelling, playing fantasy football, and reading Bridge Winners.

Brian will be in the Well all day Friday. If you have a question for him, just write one in the comments area and he'll answer to the best of his ability!

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