AFTER 30 YEARS...
ITALY RECAPTURES BERMUDA BOWL
30 years after their last success, ITALY climbed up on the winners' podium, having won the Bermuda Bowl, the world's most prestigious title, in Estoril, Portugal.
Italy came very close to winning two years ago in Monte Carlo, when it lost to the United States on the very last board of the final. This year, the two rivals were in contention also until the end, but Italy managed to finish the final with a comfortable 18-point lead.
The new world champions are a new generation of players, who have already won almost all major World and European championships, including the World Team Olympiad and the European Team Championships.
The United States lost the final to Italy, but took the bronze medal also, thanks to their second team that beat Sweden in the playoff for third place.
This was Italy's 14th victory in the 37 competitions held for the Bermuda Bowl. The United States have won 17 times, France twice, while one victory have scored once each of Great Britain, Brazil, Iceland and The Netherlands.
The other major competition that took place in Estoril was the Womens' World Zonal Championship for the Venice Cup, won for the first time ever by FRANCE. The French Womens' team beat Germany in the final, taking revenge for the contrary result of the 2001 final. The playoff for third place was won by The Netherlands who had the better run against the United States.
The 3rd edition of the Seniors Bowl was also contested in Estoril. Like in the previous two competitions, the winners were the UNITED STATES. They were followed by Indonesia (the only country outside Europe and North America to win a medal in Estoril) and Denmark.
As it has become customary in recent years, a Transnational Open Teams event was held once the knockout stages went underway, to accommodate the non-qualifiers as well as many other players who wished to take part in a world event. After 15 rounds of 'Swiss', quarterfinals, semifinals and a final, the winners were the Polish-American combination of Peter SCHNEIDER, followed by the team of Warren SPECTOR (USA) and 777 of Russia.
The 2005 World Bridge Championships, comprising the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, Seniors Bowl and Transnational Open Teams competitions, took place in Estoril, Portugal, October 22 to November 5 2005.
The Championships were held under the auspices of the Municipality of Cascais, the Estoril Coast Tourism Board, the Sports Institute of Portugal, the Estoril Casino and the Generali Group. The venue was the Estoril Congress Centre.
The Bermuda Bowl is the symbol of world supremacy at bridge. It is awarded to the winner of the open teams competition between the representatives of the WBF geographical zones. Since its inauguration in 1950, the competition had been played 36 times. Before Estoril, the United States of America were victorious 17 times, while their European rival, Italy, prevailed 13 times. The other titles were won by France (twice), Great Britain, Brazil, Iceland and The Netherlands.
The Seniors Bowl is a new competition for senior players (56 years of age or older). Representative teams from all zones are invited to participate. The winners at the inaugural event, which took place in 2001 in Paris, France, were the United States of America, who kept the title in the second event, held in 2003 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
The World Transnational Open Teams Championship came into being in 1997 in Hammamet, Tunisia. It is contested by teams nominated by the NBOs without nationality or other restrictions. The first winners were the team led by Leandro Burgay of Italy, while in the second edition the title went to the USA team captained by Rose Meltzer. In Monte Carlo, Monaco 2003, the winning team was Lavazza which comprised Italian players.