World Bridge Championships

Last updated

The World Bridge Championships consists of several sets of championships organized under the auspices of the World Bridge Federation.

World Bridge Federation

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is the international governing body of contract bridge. The WBF is responsible for world championship competitions, most of which are conducted at a few multi-event meets on a four-year cycle. The most prestigious championships are those for national teams in Open, Women, and Seniors categories: the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, and Senior Bowl, and the quadrennial World Team Olympiads, incorporated in the World Mind Sports Games beginning 2008.


World Bridge Series Championships

World Bridge Series Championships is the new 2010 name for a quadrennial meet organized by the World Bridge Federation in non-leap even years. (Another meet, the World Bridge Games, is held quadrennially in leap years.) Most of its world championship events are open in the sense that entries do not represent geographic zones or nations.

The World Bridge Games are held quadrennially. The first two events were held in 2008 and 2012, in Beijing and Lille respectively, as part of the World Mind Sports Games (WMSG), and superseding the World Team Olympiad, which had been held every four years from 1960 to 2004. More than half of the 2008 WMSG participants were bridge players. For 2016, the bridge competitions within the WMSG were hived off as a separate event, held during September that year in Wrocław, Poland.

The meet was inaugurated in 1962 as the World Pair Olympiad comprising the World Open Pairs Championship and World Women Pairs Championship, as well as the World Mixed Teams Championship. For the second rendition in 1966 the mixed event was for pairs, the World Mixed Pairs Championship, as it would be thereafter except in 1974.

The World Open Pairs Championship is a contract bridge competition initiated in 1962 and held as part of the World Bridge Series Championships every four years. Open to all pairs without any quota restrictions on nationality, the championship is widely regarded as the most prestigious pairs competition in contract bridge. In its present form, the competition lasts eight days.

The World Women Pairs Championship is a bridge championship held every four years as part of the World Bridge Championships. It is restricted to women pairs only.

The World Mixed Teams Championship is a bridge competition for teams of mixed pairs. At every table, two teams are always represented by a mixed pair, one man and one woman.

The World Knockout Teams for the Rosenblum Cup was inaugurated in 1978 and soon became the most prestigious event of the meet. A parallel knockout teams for women was added in 1994, for the McConnell Cup. Seniors competition debuted in 1990 with the World Senior Pairs Championship and the World Senior Teams Championship followed in 1994.

Rosenblum Cup is an Open Teams event held every four years as part of the World Bridge Championships. The event was added to the world championships in New Orleans in 1978 to commemorate Julius Rosenblum, who served as president of the World Bridge Federation (WBF) until 1976. A similar event for women, the McConnell Cup, which takes place alongside the Rosenblum Cup was added in 1994.

McConnell Cup is a team event for women held every four years as part of the World Bridge Series Championships. The event was inaugurated in 1994 and is named in honor of Ruth McConnell, former treasurer for the World Bridge Federation (WBF) and former president of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). McConnell was also instrumental in inaugurating the Venice Cup women's team championship in 1974.

The World Senior Pairs Championship is one of the competitions held as part of the quadrennial World Bridge Championships, inaugurated at the 8th rendition of the meet in 1990.

The "World Bridge Series" or "World Series" for short comprises championship tournaments for both pairs and teams in open, women's, seniors, and mixed categories. Other events are irregular. All events in the World Bridge Series are open without regard to nationality. Pairs or teams may be transnational and there are no limits on the numbers who enter.

Venues of past events

Cannes Commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Cannes is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, and host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, Midem, and Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The city is known for its association with the rich and famous, its luxury hotels and restaurants, and for several conferences. On 3 November 2011 it also played host to the G20 organisation of industrialised nations.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 965,232 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

America vs Europe

These were most prestigious Bridge competitions i the World between 1950 and 1960. This was a country vs country qualification within the entire New World and within Europe. With some initial exceptions, the winners of these qualifications then met in a final. The United States won all American qualifications, whilst Europe was represented by Italy, England, France and Sweden. The final venue alternated between the continents. [1]

There was no contest of this kind in 1952. Summary - USA 4 titles, Italy 3 titles, England 1 title and France 1 title.

World Bridge Team Championships

World Bridge Team Championships is a new name for the biennial meet organized by the World Bridge Federation in odd years. There are three main events, the World Team Championships for national teams in three flights: Open, Women, and Seniors. Those are commonly called Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, and d'Orsi Senior Bowl after the trophies awarded to the winners.

Initiated by the British former international player Norman Bach, [2] the Bermuda Bowl was first contested in 1950 in Hamilton, Bermuda; the Venice Cup and the Senior Bowl were integrated as part of the championships in 1974 (in Venice, Italy) and 2000 (in Southampton, Bermuda) respectively. The Senior Bowl, subsequently named the d'Orsi Senior Bowl, has been one of three concurrent World Team Championships throughout its history but the Venice Cup was originally contested less frequently than the Bermuda Bowl and it was once contested alone in a different year (1978). The Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup have always run concurrently since 1985.

In addition to the foregoing, the World Transnational Open Teams Championship is contested during the late stages of the main events. This competition is open to players of all categories who may form teams [3] without nationality restrictions [4] except that players on the twelve teams that reach the semifinals in the three main flights (ordinarily 72 players) are not eligible.

Related Research Articles

The Bermuda Bowl is a biennial contract bridge world championship for national teams. It is contested every odd-numbered year under the auspices of the World Bridge Federation (WBF), alongside the Venice Cup (women) and the d'Orsi Bowl (seniors). Entries formally represent WBF zones as well as nations, so it is also known as the World Zonal Open Team Championship. It is the oldest event that confers the title of world champion in bridge, and was first contested in 1950. The Bermuda Bowl trophy is awarded to the winning team, and is named for the site of the inaugural tournament, the Atlantic archipelago of Bermuda.

The Blue Team represented Italy in international contract bridge tournaments, winning sixteen world titles from 1957 through 1975. From 1964 to 1969 and during a 1972 comeback, the team comprised three regular pairs: Walter Avarelli–Giorgio Belladonna, Pietro Forquet–Benito Garozzo, and Massimo D'Alelio–Camillo Pabis Ticci. Eugenio Chiaradia and Guglielmo Siniscalco played in early years; Dano De Falco, Arturo Franco, and Vito Pittalà in late years. The spiritual father, long-time coach, and non-playing captain through 1966 was Carl'Alberto Perroux.

The Venice Cup is a biennial world championship contract bridge tournament for national teams of Women. It is contested every odd-number year under the auspices of the World Bridge Federation (WBF), alongside the Bermuda Bowl (Open) and d'Orsi Bowl (Seniors). Entries formally represent WBF Zones as well as nations so it is also known as the "World Zonal Women Team Championship", one of three "World Zonal Team Championships". It was first contested in 1974, as one long match between two teams, and has been concurrent with the Bermuda Bowl from 1985.

Benito Garozzo is an Italian American bridge player. He won 13 world championship titles with the Italian Blue Team, starting in 1961 when he was added as a last minute substitute for the Bermuda Bowl, playing in regular partnerships with Pietro Forquet to 1972 and then with Giorgio Belladonna. During those championship years he came to be considered by many experts the world's best bridge player.

The triple crown of bridge is a career achievement in duplicate bridge, namely winning the three marquee Open world championships conducted by the World Bridge Federation. The Bermuda Bowl is now contested by national teams in odd-number years. The Olympiad Open Teams, contested by national teams in Olympic years, has been incorporated in the World Mind Sports Games (WMSG). The Olympiad Open Pairs, now World Open Pairs Championship, is contested in non-Olympic even-number years.

Giorgio Duboin is an Italian professional bridge player. He has won four world teams championships along with six consecutive European teams championships and a seventh European in 2010. For many years his regular partner was Norberto Bocchi; now he plays primarily with Antonio Sementa.

Piotr Gawryś Polish bridge player

Piotr Gawryś is a Polish bridge player. Gawrys, WBF Grand Master, has won 4 world championships; World Team Olympics in 1984, Transnational Mixed Teams 2000, Transnational Open Teams 2005 and Bermuda Bowl 2015. His other first places include; World Masters Individual in 1992, European Teams Championships 1993 and European Open Pairs 1995. He was second in Bermuda Bowl 1991, Rosenblum Cup 1994, World Masters Individual 2000.

The World Team Olympiad was a contract bridge meet organized by the World Bridge Federation every four years from 1960 to 2004. Its main events were world championships for national teams, always including one open and one restricted to women. A parallel event for seniors was inaugurated in 2000.

Paul Chemla is a famous French bridge player.

The World Transnational Open Teams Championship is a major side event conducted by the World Bridge Federation during the semifinal and final stages of its world championships for national teams at contract bridge—the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, and Senior Bowl. New teams may enter the Transnational, as well as national teams eliminated before the semifinals of the main events—Open, Women, and Seniors respectively. It is not required that all team members be from one country, hence the term transnational. A series of Swiss matches qualifies eight teams for three knockout rounds which conclude during the finals of the main events.

The d'Orsi Senior Bowl, or Senior Bowl or d'Orsi Bowl, is a biennial world championship contract bridge tournament for national teams of "Seniors", players age 60 and older. It is contested every odd-number year under the auspices of the World Bridge Federation (WBF), alongside the Bermuda Bowl (Open) and Venice Cup (Women). Entries formally represent WBF Zones as well as nations so it is also known as the "World Zonal Senior Team Championship", one of three "World Zonal Team Championships". It became an official world championship event in 2001 following a successful exhibition in 2000.

Cezary Balicki Polish bridge player

Cezary Jacek Balicki is a Polish bridge player. After 2014 competition, he ranked 17th among Grand Masters by World Bridge Federation (WBF) masterpoints, five places ahead of his longtime partner Adam Żmudziński. They ranked 26–27th among more than 100 all-time Grand Masters by placing points that do not decay over time.

Robert J. (Bobby) Levin is an American professional bridge player, from Aventura, Florida. He was the youngest winner of the Bermuda Bowl world championship for national teams from 1981 until 2015, when 19-year old Michal Klukowski of Poland succeeded him. Levin is also a five-time winner of the Cavendish Invitational Pairs, the world's leading contest for cash prizes, with his regular partner Steve Weinstein. As of June 2013, Levin ranks number 20 among Open World Grand Masters and his wife Jill ranks number 21 among Women World Grand Masters.

Alan M. Sontag is an American professional bridge player. He won six world championships, including two Bermuda Bowl wins. Sontag is also known for his book The Bridge Bum, a book "on everybody's list of the top ten bridge books ever written."

Jie "Jack" Zhao is a Chinese professional contract bridge player. He became a World Bridge Federation Grand Master (WGM) in 2014.

Donna Compton is an American bridge player. Compton won the World Mixed Pairs Championship in Philadelphia 2010 playing with Fulvio Fantoni from Italy. Compton owns a Bridge club in Dallas with her husband, Chris Compton, who is also a professional bridge player.

Marion Michielsen Dutch contract bridge player

Marion Susanne Michielsen is a Dutch-Swedish professional bridge player. At the annual World Bridge Federation (WBF) meet in October 2014, she played on teams that won two world championships. Thus she became a World Women Grand Master.

The United States Bridge Championships (USBC) is a yearly competition held to select either one or two teams that will represent the United States at international competition for the game of contract bridge. The general conditions of contest used by the United States Bridge Federation can be found here. There are multiple events in the USBC including Open, Women, Seniors, and Mixed divisions. This page contains information about the Open division in which anyone of any age or gender can compete.


  1. Swedish "Bridge" , edited by Hasse Hermansson, authors Alvar Stenberg, Hans-Olov Halldén, Einar Werner. Pages 52-54. Printed by "Tryckeri Framtiden AB", Malmö, 1960. (Foliant size 900+ pages, no ISBN)
  2. Website of the 40th World Bridge Championships held in 2011 in Veldhoven, Netherlands - See History page.
  3. Website of the 40th World Bridge Championships held in 2011 in Veldhoven, Netherlands - See Entries page.
  4. World Bridge Federation World Transnational Open Team Championship website.