Bounty Ended with 100 reputation awarded by ermanen
5 added 135 characters in body
source | link

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump". EDIT: Mari-Lou in the comments has found a source showing biritch is a variation of an earlier Russian game called yeralash. So while the word biritch does not appear to be Russian, most of the rules of the game are.

More information probably can be found in the original version of The Saturday Review letter and also in another reference given on the above website: Thierry Depaulis and Jac Fuchs, "First Steps of Bridge in the West: Collinson's 'Biritch'", The Playing-Card, Vol. 32, no. 2, Sep.-Oct. 2003, pp. 67-76. Unfortunately, I can find neither of these online.

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

More information probably can be found in the original version of The Saturday Review letter and also in another reference given on the above website: Thierry Depaulis and Jac Fuchs, "First Steps of Bridge in the West: Collinson's 'Biritch'", The Playing-Card, Vol. 32, no. 2, Sep.-Oct. 2003, pp. 67-76. Unfortunately, I can find neither of these online.

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump". EDIT: Mari-Lou in the comments has found a source showing biritch is a variation of an earlier Russian game called yeralash. So while the word biritch does not appear to be Russian, most of the rules of the game are.

More information probably can be found in the original version of The Saturday Review letter and also in another reference given on the above website: Thierry Depaulis and Jac Fuchs, "First Steps of Bridge in the West: Collinson's 'Biritch'", The Playing-Card, Vol. 32, no. 2, Sep.-Oct. 2003, pp. 67-76. Unfortunately, I can find neither of these online.

4 added 360 characters in body
source | link

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

More information probably can be found in the original version of The Saturday Review letter and also in another reference given on the above website: Thierry Depaulis and Jac Fuchs, "First Steps of Bridge in the West: Collinson's 'Biritch'", The Playing-Card, Vol. 32, no. 2, Sep.-Oct. 2003, pp. 67-76. Unfortunately, I can find neither of these online.

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

More information probably can be found in the original version of The Saturday Review letter and also in another reference given on the above website: Thierry Depaulis and Jac Fuchs, "First Steps of Bridge in the West: Collinson's 'Biritch'", The Playing-Card, Vol. 32, no. 2, Sep.-Oct. 2003, pp. 67-76. Unfortunately, I can find neither of these online.

3 added 44 characters in body
source | link

Some of your questions are answered by this website,this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

Some of your questions are answered by this website, which contains a transcription of the original pamphlet describing biritch. Collison (the author of the pamphlet, and a railroad engineer who worked for a time in Turkey) apparently wrote a letter to The Saturday Review dated 28 May 1906, where he describes the history of the game. I quote:

Between 1880-4 I spent a considerable time in Constantinople and Asia Minor, where I played what was then called 'Biritch or Russian Whist'. I was then living, while in England, at Cromwell Road and introduced the game to many of my English friends, who liked it so much that they asked me to have the rules printed. ... 'Biritch' was attributed to the Russian colony at Constantinople; in my time the dominating social and political element.    [not my ellipses, but the website's]

So it appears quite likely to have been not a Russian game, but a variation of a Turkish game played by Russians in Constantinople. The word "biritch" means (in the game) no trump, although it is unclear whether this meaning is connected to its etymology. Maybe somebody who knows Turkish could tell us whether biritch might be a Russian mispronunciation of some word or phrase meaning "no trump".

2 added 131 characters in body
source | link
1
source | link