Bridge is a relatively new game derived from the 17th century card game whist and was played by the Brits. Bridge became popular in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1890s despite the long-established dominance of whist. In 1904 auction bridge was developed, in which the players bid in a competitive auction to decide the contract and declarer. The modern game of contract bridge was the result of innovations to the scoring of auction bridge. Harold Stirling Vanderbilt set out his rules in 1925, and within a few years the contract bridge had so supplanted other forms of the game that "bridge" became synonymous with "contract bridge".
Contract bridge quickly gained popularity throughout the United States, where it experienced its Golden Age in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1935, the first officially recognized World Championship was held. In the United States and many other countries, most of the bridge played today is duplicate bridge, which is played at clubs, in tournaments and online. World Championships, which use a team variation of duplicate bridge, began in 1950. In 1958, the World Bridge Federation (WBF) was founded. In the following decades, bridge fever lessened, but interest in the game remained.