Nicola Smith

Nicola comes from a strong bridge family; her parents, Pat and Nico Gardener both represented their country at International level. It was perhaps inevitable then that Nicola would grow up with a thirst for the game. Nico Gardener was the co-author with Victor Mollo of Card Play Technique one of the classic bridge books of all time.

Nicola has won just about everything there is to win at the game. At world level she has won the Venice Cup twice (1981 and 1985) and the World Women's Individual once (1994) as well as silver medals (1976 and 2013) and a bronze medal (2015) in the Venice Cup . At European level, she has won the European Women's Teams eight times (1975, 1979, 1981, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2012 and 2016) as well as a host of other European competitions and has a clutch of silver and bronze medals at European women's level as well. She has played in the last ten olympiads, now renamed the World Mind Sports Olympiad winning the Gold Medal in Beijing in 2008 and in Lille in 2012. In 2014 she was part of the team which won the Women's Team competition at the World Series in Sanya, China and also won gold in the individual event. Domestically she has won all the major competitions including the Gold Cup, Crockfords and the Spring Foursomes.

Spanning all this success and achievement has been five major partnerships: first with Rita Oldroyd from 1967 -1973, then Sandra Landy from 1974 - 1977, Rita again from 1977 - 1979, Pat Davies from 1980 until Pat's retirement in 1999 and then with Heather Dhondy from 2000-2007. She formed her current partnership with Sally Brock in 2008

For many years after her father's death Nicola continued to run the London School Bridge in the King's road, Chelsea. These days she is training to be a healer.

In 1983, Nicola married Jonathan Smith. They have two children, Katherine, born in 1984, and Joshua, born in 1987. Katherine is tutoring languages and is a talented artist, Joshua has graduated with a degree in Chinese from Leeds University.

In 1995, Nicola's contribution to the game of bridge was honoured at national level when she was awarded the M.B.E.by the Queen.

She was an inaugural recipient of the EBU's Diamond Award in 2015.

Last updated: June 2016

Major International Appearances

Women's European Championships: 1970 1973 1974 1975* 1977 1979* 1981* 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997* 1999* 2001* 2002 2004 2006 2010 2012* 2014 and 2016*
Venice Cup: 1976 1981* 1985* 1997 2000 2001 2003 2005 2007 2011 2013 and 2015
Women's World Olympiad: 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008* 2012* and 2016

* = 1st place

Lady Milne Trophy Selections: 1970 1971 1972 1973 1975 1982 1987 1989 1990 1991 2001 2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 and 2017

Teltscher Trophy Selections: 2016

Gold Cup Winner: 1975, 1984, 1991 and 2015

Crockfords winner: 1976

Spring Foursomes Winner: 1980 1981 1990 and 1992

National Teams Congress winner: 1994 and 2012

The Hubert Phillips Bowl Winner: 1980 and 1982

Tollemache Cup winner: 1982 and 2012

Player of the Year Championship: 2015/16 - 18th=