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

October 30, 2014 at 11:56 pm 4 comments

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.


Entry filed under: politics. Tags: .

Australia at the Olympiad Does the venue matter to world bridge championships and when?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Khokan  |  January 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Well put, Cathy and it’s good to see you blogging again.

    It’s disgraceful that a free-for-all (well, not exactly “free”) event like the Rosenblum Teams is held in such an expensive place. It basically means that only the best players (with sponsors), and those with deep pockets can play. The purpose of the Rosenblum should be to give as much access as reasonably possible to rank-and-file players, so they can pit themselves against the world’s best.

    I don’t think it’s such a big deal for the Bermuda Bowl to be held in less accessible areas, though, as these players are almost always funded, at least to some extent, by their country.

    As for putting the sponsorship money in the hands of players, I’m not sure how that would work. It seems that the best use of this money is to promote the game, so as to encourage new players to the game, and to keep existing players in the game. The money would run out very quickly if all entrants at a Rosenblum were covered, or even partially covered, for their travel expenses and/or accommodation.

    • 2. Khokan  |  January 1, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      PS Are Versace and Bocchi really part of the Blue Team? I understood that they play in different teams these days.

      • 3. cathyc  |  January 2, 2015 at 5:38 am

        Ahem, Khokan. I guess you are right, but in a way, don’t you feel like being on the Blue Team at some point means you are on it forever? It seems to me, it is much more than a team, it’s, what? A club maybe?

    • 4. cathyc  |  January 2, 2015 at 5:40 am

      Khokan, Thanks! I started replying to some of your poinnts and ended up making it my latest post instead.


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