The World Championships have come and gone for another year. However, it is the first time that they have come and gone with me as a participant. While there is a world championship event every year, it is only every four years that an open world championship is held, i.e. he events are open to all comers with no prequalification required.
These championships took a roundabout trip to land in Philadelphia. They were originally scheduled for St. Petersburg, Russia. However, the Great Recession caused those organizers to pull out. The USBF stepped up and got some bids from the USA, including from Detroit. Ultimately, Philadelphia got the bid. So, with them being in the US, several of us decided that we had to take this opportunity.
While the other world championships are just about team events, the World Bridge Series, as it was called, has events for Mixed Pairs, Open Pairs and Women’s Pairs, in addition to the various team championships. I, along with my teammates decided to enter the Rosenblum Cup competition, the open team championship.
From reports in the Bridge World about past world championships, the WBF has greatly improved their organization capability. The tournament was very well run. From the beginning of the qualifying rounds, all tables played the same pre-dealt hands. The scoring was all done on Bridgemates which feed into servers that fed plasma TV’s with up-to-the-minute results.
The organization did have more of a European feel. The biggest difference was that the bridge started at 10:00 or 10:30 every day. During the qualifying rounds, we played 3 16 board matches a day, and the bridge was done by 7:30. In the round of 64, there were 4 14 board sets, but we were still finished by 8:30. This was actually a nice change from the ACBL events where the second session for the day doesn’t begin until 7:30 or 8:00. I really liked playing bridge all day and then going out with friends for a late dinner, rather than the 5:00 dinner you have at nationals and then go back to play bridge until 11:30 or midnight.
I covered the qualifying round in an earlier post. As for the round of 64 match, I will just say that we were up against a better team and didn’t have much of a chance.
As for my bridge, I was pretty satisfied with how I played. I was in for five of the qualifying matches with a record for 3-2. Out of 428 listed pairs or individuals, Morrie and I were 147th on the Butler listing. (The Butler listings essentially figures out what your score would have been if you had been playing in an IMP Pairs event.)
All said, I was very happy to have gone. Next up on my list of bridge things to do is to participate in the USBF trials one year. Anyone else?