- contract bridge
contract bridge [kän′trakt΄]n.a form of bridge, developed from auction bridge, in which only the number of tricks named in the contract may be counted toward a game, additional tricks being counted as a bonus score
* * *▪ 2003For a sample contract bridge hand, see graphic—>.The world championship competition, the major international tournament of the year, was held in Montreal Aug. 16– 31, 2002. In the team competition for the Power Rosenblum Cup, the Italians (Norberto Bocchi, Giorgio Duboin, Lorenzo Lauria, Alfredo Versace, Maria Teresa Lavazza, and Guido Ferraro) took first place, with Indonesia finishing second and Poland third. The world women's teams competition for the McConnell Cup was won by a U.S. team (Lynn Deas, Irina Levitina, Jill Meyers, Randi Montin, Beth Palmer, and Kerri Sanborn), with a second U.S. team as runners-up and France claiming third. In the world open pairs, Fulvio Fantoni–Claudio Nunes (Italy) took first, followed by Michael Rosenberg–Zia Mahmood (U.S.) and Gabriel Chagas–Diego Brenner (Brazil) in second and third. The world women's pairs results were led by Karen McCallum–Debbie Rosenberg (U.S.), with Blandine de Hérédia–Anne-Frédérique Levy (France) in second place and Irina Levitina–Kerri Sanborn (U.S.) in third. The world mixed pairs competition ended with Becky Rogers–Jeff Meckstroth (U.S.) on top, followed by Babette Hugon–Jean-Jacques Palau (France) and Sabine and Jens Auken (Denmark). Finally, the world senior teams victors were Canada/U.S.A. (Diana Holt, Boris Baran, Joe Godefrin, George Mittelman, and Ed Schulte), trailed by a U.S. team and one from The Netherlands.Because no one could earn a living from bridge tournaments, some professionals played for pay, “bought” by wealthy clients who wished to compete with top partners. The Conditions of Contest state that in the Rosenblum Cup and McConnell Cup “individuals making up any … team … must be members of the same NBO [National Bridge Organization.]” In 2002 in the Rosenblum Cup, however, one Italian pair played with four Poles, and two Americans competed together with four Swedes, purely for financial reasons. There was also some debate about players who were born in one country and lived in another; which country should they be allowed to represent? No one seemed quite sure of the regulations, and the World Bridge Federation (WBF) turned a blind eye to the irregularities, believing that the players preferred to have the flexibility to play for nonnational teams.Bridge players had been trying to gain a berth in the Winter Olympics. A demonstration event was held before the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was expected to reject contract bridge. Even so, the WBF continued with drug tests of participants, as required by the IOC. Two players in Montreal failed (perhaps only for excess caffeine consumption), while another refused the test, stating that she was taking a banned substance for a back condition. She was stripped of the silver medal she won in the McConnell.The first world university bridge championship took place in Brugge, Belg., August 4–14. Team winners were, first, Denmark (Michael Askgaard, Gregers Bjarnarson, Anders Hagen, and Kasper Konow), second Italy, and third The Netherlands.The 16th worldwide pairs championships took place on June 7–8. Playing in 320 clubs in 41 countries, a total of 5,870 pairs competed the first day. The highest percentage score (76.06%, and 139,804.67 match points) was achieved by Ken Barbour and Markland Jones of the United States. On the second day, 5,219 pairs competed in 260 clubs in 40 countries. The winners were Luo Jianchao and Luo Ming of China, with 80.55% (130,890.75 match points).Phillip Alder▪ 2002The two major 2001 world championships for contract bridge, the Bermuda Bowl and, for women, the Venice Cup, were originally scheduled to be played in Bali, Indon. Following the September 11 attacks in the United States, however, the tournaments were transferred to Paris. In the Bermuda Bowl, contested October 21 through November 3, the final was a dramatic match between Norway, which had defeated cofavourite Italy in the semifinals, and USA-2; cofavourite USA-1 had lost to Italy in the quarterfinals. With 16 deals remaining, Norway led by two points. In the final session Norway bid to a small slam that went down only when both the opposing cards were distributed unfavourably and Peter Weichsel found the killing trump lead. Consequently, USA-2 won 286–265. An outstanding feature of the competition was that Rose Meltzer became the first woman to play on a victorious Bermuda Bowl team. The USA-2 team consisted of Meltzer–Kyle Larsen, Chip Martel–Lew Stansby, and Alan Sontag–Peter Weichsel, with Jan Martel the nonplaying captain.The final of the Venice Cup was even more closely contested than the Bermuda Bowl. After trailing by 46.5 points with 16 deals remaining, Germany defeated France 218–215.5. The winning players were Sabine Auken–Daniela von Arnim and Pony Nehmert–Andrea Rauscheid, with Christoph Kemmer the nonplaying captain. (Katrin Farwig and Barbara Hackett were also on the team but did not play in the final round.)From July 6 to 8 the world junior pairs tournament took place in Stargard Szczecinski, Pol. The winners were Andreas Gloyer and Martin Schifko of Austria with a score of 15,132 points. Finishing second was the Dutch pair of Sjoert Brink and Bas Drijver with a score of 14,821. Fabio Lo Presti and Francesco Mazzadi of Italy placed third with 14,266. Gloyer completed an impressive double, having won in 1999 with Bernd Saurer.The world youth team championship was contested in Mangaratiba, Braz., August 6–15. In the final USA-1 defeated Israel 262–156. The USA-1 team consisted of Brad Campbell, Joe Grue, John Hurd, John Kranyak, Kent Mignocchi, and Joel Wooldridge, with Robert Rosen as nonplaying captain and Dennis McGarry as coach. To qualify for both of these tournaments, a player had to be born after Dec. 31, 1974.Phillip Alder▪ 2001Two world championship tournaments took place during 2000, the first time that had happened since 1976. The Bermuda Bowl is normally played in odd-numbered years, but because Bermuda requested to host the 50th anniversary competition, the World Bridge Federation (WBF) agreed to postpone the 1999 event to January 2000. In the final the United States defeated Brazil 506–288. The second U.S. entry finished third. The winning team comprised Nick Nickell, Richard Freeman, Eric Rodwell, Jeff Meckstroth, Bob Hamman, and Paul Soloway, with Sidney Lazard the nonplaying captain.The controversy for the year was reserved for the Venice Cup, also contested in Bermuda at the same time. In this championship tournament for women, The Netherlands beat the U.S. by an official score of 249.75–249.25. The fractions arose because the U.S. was fined 2.5 points more than was The Netherlands for slow play. Also, the U.S. had received a three-point start by virtue of winning the preliminary match between the two teams. Therefore, at the table, over the 128 deals of the final, The Netherlands won by one point. However, those who agreed with the carryover formula from the earlier stages considered this the first world title decided by a slow-play penalty. Denmark finished third. The winning team comprised Marijke van der Pas, Bep Vriend, Jet Pasman, Anneke Simons, Wietske van Zwol, and Martine Verbeek, with Ed Franken the nonplaying captain.Also contested in Bermuda in January was the Orbis World Transnational Teams Championship. It was won by a team consisting of Rose Meltzer, Alan Sontag, and Peter Weichsel from the U.S. and Adam Zmudzinski and Cezary Balicki from Poland.The second world championship was the 11th World Team Olympiad, played in Maastricht, Neth., from August 26 to September 9. In the Open Teams, Italy, down by 10 points with six deals remaining, won by 20 over Poland. The U.S. finished third. The winning team comprised Norberto Bocchi, Dano deFalco, Giorgio Duboin, Guido Ferraro, Lorenzo Lauria, and Alfredo Versace, with Carlo Mosca the nonplaying captain. The women's event was won by the U.S., which had a comfortable victory by 32 points over Canada. Third was Germany. The winners were Mildred Breed, Petra Hamman, Joan Jackson, Robin Klar, Shawn Quinn, and Peggy Sutherlin, with Bob Hamman the nonplaying captain.After a one-year hiatus 15,513 pairs from 61 countries competed in the Worldwide Bridge Contest, played throughout the world June 2–3. There was, however, a difference from the tournaments of previous years. Instead of players' receiving the match point score instantly, all results were sent over the Internet to Anna Gudge and Mark Newton in England. Their software scored each deal on a worldwide basis, giving top marks of more than 10,000 match points and using the European 2 and 1 method rather than the American 1 and 1/2 The highest scores were obtained on June 2 by E. Raffa and L. Treta from Italy (with 204,996.11 match points, or 73.38%) and on June 3 by Le Lin and Luo Wenchan from China (with 75.23%).In the secondary events the United States won the Seniors, represented by Stevie Robinson, John Mohan, Dan Morse, John Sutherlin, Bobby Wolff, and Kit Woolsey. The Transnational Mixed Teams was won by Irina Levitina, Jill Meyers, John Mohan, Sam Lev (all U.S.), Piotr Gawrys (Poland), and Migry Zur-Campanile (Israel), with Pinhas Romik (Israel) the nonplaying captain. A team from France was second and Austria third. The University Teams was won by Austria: Andreas Gloyer, Arno Lindermann, Bernd Saurer, and Martin Schifko, with Hannelore Thomasberger the nonplaying captain. Italy was second and Denmark third.Bridge was now recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which planned to make bridge part of the Winter Olympics. Consequently, bridge players now had to satisfy IOC regulations. Therefore, players in the semifinals and finals at both world championships were chosen at random for drug testing. It is unclear whether anabolic steroids would be of any benefit to a bridge player, but, like chess players, many drink several cups of coffee while playing, which puts them in danger of exceeding the caffeine limit.Phillip Alder▪ 2000Neither the Bermuda Bowl, the blue-ribbon event of contract bridge, nor the Venice Cup, the women's team competition, was contested in 1999. Having been host of the first and the 25th-anniversary tournaments, Bermuda requested to be permitted to serve as host of the 50th-anniversary Bermuda Bowl in 2000. Consequently, the biennial event, scheduled for 1999, was postponed to January 2000. The Venice Cup, contested simultaneously with the Bermuda Bowl, was thus also postponed.There were, however, several world championship tournaments. The world junior pairs, contested in Nymburk, Czech Rep., in July, was won by Andreas Gloyer and Bernd Saurer of Austria. The top pair under 20 years of age was that of Josh Heller and Joel Wooldridge of the United States. The world junior team championship, held in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in August, was won by Italy, represented by Bernardo Biondo, Mario d'Avossa, Riccardo Intonti, and Andrea Mallardi, with Giagio Rinaldi the nonplaying captain (npc). In the final, Italy defeated USA2, represented by Tom Carmichael, Eric Greco, Chris Willenken, and Joel Wooldridge, with Bob Rosen the npc.The most revolutionary event of the year was the Internet World Bridge Championship, sponsored by OKbridge and organized in cooperation with the World Bridge Federation (WBF), the American Contract Bridge League, and The Bridge World magazine. Competing were 172 teams from 33 countries. The eight WBF zones ran their own qualifying tournaments, the winners being Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, India, New Zealand, Russia, and the U.S. In the quarterfinals the U.S. defeated China, Canada overcame Argentina, Russia beat India, and New Zealand bested Colombia. In the semifinals the U.S. came from behind to defeat New Zealand, and Russia cruised past Canada. The final was held November 18 in Boston. Each player sat in a different room, making all bids and plays on a computer. The winners, who shared $10,000, were Michael Crawford, Eric Rodwell, John Schuler, Marty Seligman, Doug Simson, and Paul Soloway from the United States. In the 48-board final they trailed by 11 international matchpoints at halftime, but won by 54 (123–69). The losing finalists were Russians Andrey Gromov, Yury Khyuppenen, Vadim Kholomeyev, and Aleksandr Petrunin.At the year's end the top-ranked players according to the WBF were: Open—(1) Bob Hamman, U.S.; (2) Eric Rodwell, U.S.; (3) Jeff Meckstroth, U.S., and Women—(1) Sabine Auken, Germany; (2) Daniela von Arnim, Germany; (3) Lynn Deas, U.S. The nation of the decade in the open events was France, with three world titles, and in the women's championships it was the U.S., with seven world titles. The team of the decade was Richard Freeman, Bob Hamman, Jeff Meckstroth, Nick Nickell, Eric Rodwell, and Bobby Wolff from the U.S., who won the Bermuda Bowl in 1995, the Reisinger Point-a-Board Teams three times, and the Spingold Knockout Teams seven times (the last two wins, in 1998 and '99, with Paul Soloway in place of Wolff).Phillip Alder▪ 1999The 1998 world championships of contract bridge—with six open and women's (one invitational), two senior (over age 55), and four junior (under 26) world titles to be won—were held in Lille, France, from August 21 to September 4. The U.S. finished on top with the most medals (10), including the gold in women's pairs, won by Jill Meyers and Shawn Quinn. Italy finished second (7 medals) with the most golds (5), notably the men's team and the mixed pairs. Michal Kwiecien and Jacek Pszczola of Poland, who had been partners for five years, captured their first world championship, the open pairs title, and led Poland to third place overall (5 medals). The women's team event (the McConnell Cup) was won by Austria.The tournament was not without problems. Probably the worst mistake occurred in the movement of players from one table to the next in the open pairs final. Each of the 72 qualifying pairs was supposed to play two boards against every other pair. The error affected 40 pairs, including the second-place finishers, David Berkowitz and Larry Cohen of the U.S., who did not play against five pairs. They had to be given an average of their results on the other 132 deals.Arguably the most notable victory was by Boris Schapiro of the U.K., who captured the senior pairs with his partner, Irving Gordon. At 89 years old, Schapiro comfortably broke the record for the oldest contract bridge world champion. (The previous record was held by Waldemar von Zedtwitz, who was 74 when he won the world mixed pairs title in 1970.) Schapiro had previously won two other world titles: the Bermuda Bowl in 1955 and the mixed teams in 1962.Another event of interest happened during the invitational Par Contest, in which 12 difficult deals composed by Pietro Bernasconi of Switzerland were played by 30 men, 4 women, and GIB, a computer program written by Matt Ginsberg, a research professor of computer science at the University of Oregon. The contest was won by American Michael Rosenberg; GIB placed 12th.Although the 13th worldwide pairs tournament, held on June 5-6, was once again the biggest contest in terms of the number of competitors, with some 60,000 players taking part, it was the lowest participation in the event's history. The top rankings were dominated by players from the U.S. The highest score of 1,865 (77.7%) was achieved by Ray Boehne of Monterey, Calif., and James Coventry of Salinas, Calif. They were playing together for the first time and spent only 10 minutes discussing their methods. The second highest score overall was 1,820 (75.8%) by Mark Hupert and Mark Lombard, both of Philadelphia.The major news story was the dissolution of the world's most successful pair over the past three decades: Bob Hamman and Bobby Wolff of the U.S. Between 1972, when they formed a partnership, and 1998, they won seven world championships together (five Bermuda Bowls, one Team Olympiad, and one open pairs) and numerous U.S. national titles, the most impressive streak being four consecutive Spingolds in 1993-97, a record unlikely to be equaled.PHILLIP ALDER▪ 1998The two most important world championships in contract bridge, the Bermuda Bowl and the Venice Cup, which is restricted to women, took place in Hammamet, Tun., Oct. 19-Nov. 1, 1997. The Bermuda Bowl was won by France, which defeated the United States 328-301 in the final. Norway finished third. The winning team comprised Alain Lévy, Christian Mari, Hervé Mouiel, Frank Multon, Paul Chemla, and Michel Perron, with Jean-Louis Stoppa as the nonplaying captain. (The first four players were part of the French team that won the 1996 World Team Olympiad.) The silver medalists were the defending champions, Nick Nickell, Dick Freeman, Bob Hamman, Bobby Wolff, Jeff Meckstroth, and Eric Rodwell, with Walt Walvick as the nonplaying captain.The Venice Cup was won by the U.S., which defeated China 249-184 in the final. Third was the other U.S. team. The winners were Mildred Breed, Tobi Sokolow, Marinesa Letizia, Lisa Berkowitz, Jill Meyers, and Randi Montin, with Sue Picus as the nonplaying captain. The Chinese team consisted of Sun Ming, Lu Yan, Gu Ling, Zhang Yalan, Wang Wenfei, and Zhang Yu, with Hu Ji Hong as the nonplaying captain.Two more world championships took place in 1997, each one for players under 25 years of age. In Forlì, Italy, in July, Stefan Solbrand and Olle Wademark from Sweden won the world junior pairs title. Second were Mette Drøgemuller from Denmark and Sebastian Reim from Germany, and finishing third were Boye Brogeland and Trond Hantveit of Norway.In Hamilton, Ont., in August, Denmark won the world junior teams trophy. The players were the brothers Lars and Morten Lund Madsen, Freddi Brøndum, Jacob Røn, Mik Kristensen, and Mikkel Nøhr, with Kirsten Steen Møller as the nonplaying captain. In the final they beat Norway 248-178. Norway was represented by Boye Brogeland, Øyvind Saur, Espen Erichsen, Thomas Charlsen, Bjørn Morten Mathisen, and Christer Kristoffersen, with Sten Bjertnes as the nonplaying captain. The Russian team placed third.The first Transnational Open Teams tournament, also held in the autumn at Hammamet, was won convincingly by a combined Italian-Polish team consisting of Leandro Burgay, Dano DeFalco, Carlo Mariani, Marcin Lesniewski, and Krzysztof Martens. In the final they defeated the Polish team of Krzysztof Jassem, Piotr Tuszynski, Ireneusz Kowalczyk, and Marek Witek 132-40.The 12th worldwide pairs tournament, held on June 6 and 7 at sites throughout the world, was once again the biggest contest of the year in terms of the number of competitors; more than 80,000 took part. The highest score, 1,906, was achieved by Zhang Jie and Zhao Jinlong of China, playing in the Great Hall of China in Beijing.PHILLIP ALDER▪ 1997The major event of 1996 in contract bridge was the World Team Olympiad. It was held on the Greek island of Rhodes from October 19 to November 2, and any member country of the World Bridge Federation was permitted to enter two teams, one in the Open Series and one in the Women's. Of some 100 member countries of the WBF, 72 sent teams: 71 for the Open event and 43 for the Women's. (Jamaica sent only a women's team.)The Open title was retained by France, which beat Indonesia 358-269 in the final. Third was Denmark, which lost in overtime against Indonesia in the semifinal. The winning team comprised Alain Lévy, Hervé Mouiel, Christian Mari, Frank Multon, Henri Szwarc, and Marc Bompis, with Jean-Louis Stoppa as the nonplaying captain. Playing in its first world final, Indonesia was represented by Henky Lasut, Eddy Manoppo, Denny Sacul, Franky Karwur, Giovanni Watulingas, and Sance Panelewen.The Women's title was won convincingly by the United States, which defeated China 268-198. Canada finished third. The U.S. team comprised Juanita Chambers, Lynn Deas, Irina Levitina, Jill Blanchard, Gail Greenberg (Blanchard's mother), and Shawn Quinn, with Eddie Wold as the nonplaying captain. It was the first time a mother-and-daughter combination had ever won a world title. The Chinese team consisted of Gu Ling, Zhang Ya Lan, Sun Ming, Wang Hong Li, Wang Wen Fei, and Zhang Yu, with Zhang Wei Li as the nonplaying captain.The first-ever world mixed-teams championship was also contested at Rhodes. It was the first world championship in which players representing different countries were allowed to play as pairs and/or teammates. The winners were Heather Dhondy and Liz McGowan of the U.K. and Jon Baldursson, Björn Eysteinsson, and Adalsteinn Jorgensen of Iceland. Ragnar Hermansson of Iceland was also on the team but did not play in the knockout stage. In the final they defeated Mark Feldman, Rozanne and Bill Pollack, and Sharon Osberg of the U.S. 66-55.Geir Helgemo of Norway further solidified his reputation as the rising star of contract bridge by winning the Generali Individual competition in Paris in May ahead of 51 of the world's greatest players. The women's event was won by Elizabeth Delor of France.Junior bridge continued to develop strongly in Europe, as demonstrated by the high standard of play at the European Junior (under 25) and Schools (under 20) championships held in Cardiff, Wales, in July. In the first event Norway triumphed, ahead of Russia, Denmark, and 23 other countries. The younger competition was won easily by Germany, in front of Israel, the U.K., and 11 other nations.The biggest contest from the point of view of the number of competitors—more than 80,000—was the Alcatel Worldwide Pairs. It was held in two sessions in many places throughout the world on June 7-8, and the highest score of 81.4% was achieved by Wang Weidon and He Weidong of Beijing.Terence Reese died on January 29 at the age of 82. Arguably the greatest-ever player and writer, he was on the only British team to win the Bermuda Bowl world team championship, in 1955.(PHILLIP ALDER)▪ 1996The most successful contract bridge team of 1995 was from the U.S. In August, Nick Nickell, Dick Freeman, Bob Hamman, Bobby Wolff, Jeff Meckstroth, and Eric Rodwell won the Spingold Master Knockout Teams event for an unprecedented third consecutive time, and in October they won the Bermuda Bowl world team championship. Yet, to show how thin the dividing line between success and failure can be, during the qualifying rounds of the Bermuda Bowl a Brazilian declarer was in three no-trump doubled against Hamman and Wolff. He had taken eight tricks and was on lead holding the ace of spades. However, he thought he had won only seven tricks. So, instead of cashing his ninth trick, he tried for an endplay, lost the rest of the tricks, and finished one down. If the Brazilian player had taken his contract-fulfilling trick and all the other results had been the same in the rest of the qualifying matches, the U.S. team would not have advanced to the quarterfinals.The Marlboro world bridge championships were held in Beijing. Sixteen teams competed in both the Bermuda Bowl, open to all, and the Venice Cup, for women only.The final of the Venice Cup was a repeat of the previous one, held in 1993 between Germany and the U.S. In 1993 the U.S. was victorious. This time Germany turned the tables, winning by 312-248 international match points. The new world champions were Sabine Auken, Daniela von Arnim, Beate ("Pony") Nehmert, and Andrea Rauscheid. Karen Caesar and Marianne Mögel were also on the team, but they did not play in the final. The nonplaying captain was Klaus Reps.In the Bermuda Bowl final, the U.S. played against Canada. Early in the final session, the U.S. led by only 13 points, but they pulled away to win 338-295. For Nickell and Freeman it was their first world championship. Meckstroth and Rodwell gained their second Bermuda Bowl, and Hamman and Wolff their seventh. Edgar Kaplan was the nonplaying captain.On June 15 the International Olympic Committee recognized bridge as an Olympic sport. At first, it was to be a demonstration sport in the Olympic Games.Giorgio Belladonna died on May 12 at the age of 71. He was the only person to have played in all 16 world championship victories amassed by the Italian Blue Team. (See OBITUARIES (Belladonna, Giorgio ).) (PHILLIP ALDER)▪ 1995In 1994 bridge playing and exchanges of information about the game via computerized networks expanded rapidly. Many professionals began using the networks for coaching clients and for gaining match practice with other pros. Duplicate tournaments were open to all. The 1994 NEC world bridge championships were held in Albuquerque, N.M., from September 17 to October 1, and the tournament's official daily bulletin, the size of a small newspaper, was available worldwide via Internet.In the championships the relatively small Polish contingent distinguished itself. In the open pairs two professionals, Marcin Lesniewski and Marek Szymanowski, narrowly outpointed the world's top-ranked player, Robert Hamman of Dallas, Texas, and his partner, Michael Rosenberg of New York City.The world open team title was won by Seymon Deutsch (captain), Chip Martel, Lew Stansby, Gaylor Kasle, Roger Bates, and Rosenberg of the U.S. They defeated Poland's Erwin Otvosi, Marek Borewicz, Krzysztof Lasocki, Piotr Gawrys, Cezary Balicki, and Adam Zmudzinski by 141 international match points to 110.The women's pairs victors were Bep Vriend and Carla Arnolds of The Netherlands over Veronique Bessis and Catherine Saul of France. The women's team title (the McConnell Cup) went to Marinesa Letizia, Sue Picus, Judi Radin, Rozanne Pollack, and Jillian Blanchard of the U.S. Radin became the first to win all four World Bridge Federation (WBF) women's events: the pairs in 1978, the team Olympiad in 1984, the Venice Cup team event in 1987, and the McConnell Cup.The mixed pairs championship was won by Danuta Hocheker and Apolinare Kowalski of Poland from Sabine Zenkel of Germany and Hamman. The senior pairs winners were Hamish Bennett of Menlo Park, Calif., and Fred Hamilton of Encino, Calif., from Simon Kantor of Agawam, Mass., and Murray Melton of Las Vegas, Nev.The 9th Worldwide Bridge Contest, the biggest official competitive event in any sport, was won by Albert Bouwer and John Ruddell of New Zealand playing at the Whangarei bridge club near Auckland, N.Z. For the first time, the Generali World Masters Individual, organized by the European Bridge League and contested in Paris, included players from all WBF zones. Jon Baldursson of Iceland won the men's series, with Christian Mari of France second. Nicola Smith of Great Britain finished first in the women's series, and Pyttsi Flodquist of Sweden was second.The executive board of the International Olympic Committee approved an application by the WBF for bridge to be recognized as an Olympic sport, subject to ratification by the IOC Congress in Budapest in 1995.(ALBERT G. DORMER)▪ 1994Europe in 1993 continued to make progress in contract bridge, relative to the rest of the world, but strong measures were being taken by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) to regain its leading place in the game. For the second consecutive time, Europeans were the finalists in the Bermuda Bowl world open team championship. Held in Santiago, Chile, it was contested by 16 teams that had been successful in zonal eliminations. In the final, consisting of 160 boards, The Netherlands defeated Norway by 350 international match points (imps) to 316. The winners were Enri Leufkens, Berry Westra, Wubbo de Boer, Bauke Muller, Piet Jansen, and Jan Westerhof; with an average age of 32 they were the youngest-ever winning team. Jaap Trouwborst was nonplaying captain. The losing semifinalists were Brazil and U.S. II.In the Venice Cup women's series the United States won for the fourth straight time, beating Germany by 304.5 imps to 240. The winners were Karen McCallum, Jill Meyers, Sharon Osberg, Sue Picus, Kerri Sanborn, and Kay Schulle, with Jo Morse the nonplaying captain. The losing semifinalists were Sweden and Argentina.The world junior team championship for the Ortiz-Patino Trophy was dominated by Europe. The winner was Germany, represented by Guido Hopfenheit, Roland Rohowsky, Marcus Joest, and Klaus Reps, with Michael Gromoller the nonplaying captain. They beat Norway by 254.5 imps to 203.Membership in the World Bridge Federation (WBF) grew to 97 national contract bridge organizations, 37 of them belonging to the European Bridge League (EBL), which also received new applications from Andorra, Armenia, Georgia, Malta, and Ukraine. EBL membership rose to more than 385,000 registered players, nearly half the world's total and an increase of almost 67,000 since the beginning of 1992.The WBF awarded China its first world championships, the 1995 Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup series; they were to be played in Beijing (Peking). This recognized the exceptional growth of the Chinese Bridge Federation since it was first recognized by the WBF in 1980. At 50,000, its membership was the highest in the Far East Bridge Federation.Computer bridge showed dynamic growth, with several programs allowing participation by modem in tournaments and even in private games. The ACBL agreed in principle to sanction a new computer network to run games on the same basis as ACBL-affiliated clubs.Bee Gale Schenken, of the most famous married combination since Ely and Josephine Culbertson, died on October 5 at age 77. Until Howard Schenken, known as "the expert's expert," died in 1979 at age 73, the couple had offered a standing challenge to any husband-and-wife pair in North America. The bridge world mourned the loss on December 11 of Samuel M. Stayman, 84, one of the world's greatest players and a prominent administrator of contract bridge organizations. His name was best known for the Stayman Convention, an artificial bidding device for no-trump play used by nearly all players. (ALBERT G. DORMER)
* * *card game developed in the 1920s that was the final step in the historical progression from whist to bridge whist to auction bridge to contract bridge. See bridge.
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