Archive for October, 2014

The Italian Blue team talk about what’s wrong with bridge in 2014.

It is interesting to read Bocchi’s and Versace’s discussion of the disastrous latest world championships in China. You can read the whole interview here.

It is interesting and sad to see that bridge is still being run for rich people, with the latest world championship being held in a luxury resort area where everything was expensive. Not only that, but online viewing, the internet – let’s say anything technological, including the photocopying – was badly done. Bocchi and Versace ask where did the money go? The sponsorship money the WBF took for this event. Certainly not on the players who voted with their feet. Apparently substantially less than half the usual entry turned up.

The contrast could not be more stark than with chess. Bocchi and Versace point out that the next world championship is going to be held in Tromso, Norway, another place at the end of the world, expensive to get to, very expensive to stay in. But in the case of the world chess Olympiad, held there a couple of months ago, there was one massive difference. Not only, as usual for chess, were the players given accommodation and board during the tournament, but a large amount of money was given to teams for their travel expenses. By no means all teams received the grants: NZ did, but Australia did not. Some of it even turned out to be completed wasted, as a couple of African teams took the money, turned up at the tournament and then left without playing any chess. They just exploited the opportunity to get a free trip to Europe. But the point is still there. Chess is about players first. Bridge is about players last.

So, how about it WBF? How about putting money into the hands of the players for a change, instead of where-ever it goes now? How about bridge not being a rich person’s game?

We’ve had arguments in the past on this site about the differences between bridge and chess, why the latter is successful and the former not. Nothing has changed in my opinion. Bridge players have to respect the game. Bridge administration has to respect the game. Respecting the game and respecting the players go hand-in-hand.

As Ali-G would say. Respect.

October 30, 2014 at 11:56 pm 4 comments


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