Autobiography of Lorne Russell


I was born 1948 in Ottawa Canada where I completed my primary and secondary school education, graduated from Ottawa Teachers' College, married and was blessed with 2 daughters, Tina and Janna. I moved to Calgary Alta in 1980 with 2nd wife Terry and stepson Brent, then to Kelowna BC in 1996 where Terry and I reside today.

After graduating from teachers' college I taught in public schools for 3 years including one year as principal of a small 3-room grade 1-8 rural school. My interest in computers prompted a career change and I became a systems analyst with the Government of Canada in Ottawa and subsequently in 1980, manager of information systems for Westmills Carpet Manufacturing in Calgary Alta. When Westmills went into receivership in 1985 I began a 10 year career in the retail sector of the carpet industry which included owning and operating a retail floor covering business. When I moved to Kelowna in 1996 I returned to systems work developing bridge related software, which I put on the market in Dec 98. This included a handy bridge reference which you an view online here or you can download and save to your desktop in help file format for easy quick access.  In early 1999 Microsoft contracted me to manage their MSN Bridge Club which I did until Jan 2006 when they closed the club. I then began developing a digital, interactive version of Clyde Love's classic book "Bridge Squeezes Complete".  In September 2006, OKbridge contracted me to be their club manager. 

I learned to play bridge in 1966 and played actively for several years eventually becoming an ACBL life master and certified ACBL club director. In Calgary I taught bridge to a novice group in a classroom environment, and did hand analysis for a weekly game at the local club. In 1994 a friend told me about a great new free service OKbridge on the internet. I purchased a computer (386) and started playing with a telnet client, and watched OKB improve and grow. I taught bridge lessons privately at OKB and for a short period of time helped moderate the 5th Chair Novice/Intermediate team game on Saturday mornings. Since 1999 with Microsoft and OKbridge I have directed over 5000 online bridge tournaments, trained and hired new directors, resolved tournament appeals and performed conduct and ethics investigations.