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In the Well: Mikael and Ola Rimstedt

At 23 years old, Mikael (left) and Ola (right) Rimstedt of Sweden are not just rising stars; they are the reigning world pairs champions, having won the Open World Pairs in Orlando last month. In addition to this incredible accomplishment, they have also set records such as youngest player to qualify for the final day of the Reisinger, youngest bridge grandmaster in Swedish history, and youngest winners of the Swedish Open Teams & Premier League. Today, they enter the Well to answer your questions.

They were born into a bridge family: father Magnus Eriksson and mother Ann Rimstedt are well-known for their many bridge accomplishments in Sweden, and older sisters Cecilia and Sandra Rimstedt are World Women’s International Masters and bridge professionals. Growing up in the small village of Halmstad in the southwest of Sweden, the twins were taught bridge by their sisters at the age of 5, but didn’t take bridge seriously as children, preferring to focus on physical sports such as golf and table tennis. When they were 13, they tried out for the Swedish U21 bridge team and were selected for the Nordic Championships. At that point, they realized they might have a future in the game. Ola and Mikael both studied economics in high school and finished their studies there. Mikael tried a few months at the University but then decided to go for a professional bridge career like his twin.

In 2013, they started their winning ways by winning the European Bridge Championship for youngsters. They then went their separate ways, Mikael playing with Mikael and Ida Grönkvist and Ola playing with Johan Säfsten. Ola and Johan finished 6th in the Reisinger that year. In 2014 Mikael and Ola won the World Youth Team Championship as teammates, and in 2015 they reunited as partners. Since then they have won three more junior championships and the Silodor Open Pairs (Mikael with Zach Grossack).

Ola has been a huge fan of different types of systems, especially the Italian bidding style. Ola is the boss of the system notes while Mikael tries his best to learn them. Their general bidding style is sound and natural with aggressive preempts, overcalls, and openings. They also play a lot of transfers and relays in many different situations.

Away from the bridge table both Mikael and Ola live together in Stockholm. They are huge fans of playing golf during the summer and Padel tennis during the fall/winter. (Padel is sort of a cross between tennis and squash, think a smaller tennis court with the walls in play.) Both like to spend their time working out in the gym, or watching sports (Ola’s favorite team is FC Bayern Munich), but Mikael also likes to watch crime/action TV series such as “Breaking Bad” and “Prison Break” while Ola dabbles in the kitchen.

Mikael and Ola will be answering questions mostly on Central European Time (GMT+01:00), but feel free to ask a question any time while the Well is open!

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