czechs, japanese and dutch collect gold medals

The 1st World Youth Congress comprised team and pairs competitions for players of the 'Under-26' category. There were no national quotas, and each nation could be represented by an unlimited number of entries in national or transnational combinations. Participants from 28 countries, representing all 8 geographical zones of the World Bridge Federation took part in the inaugural event, held in Istanbul's Yeditepe University campus, 15-23 August 2009.

40 contestants from 27 countries lineup at the start of the team competition. The qualifying stage was a Swiss Teams event, where the objective was to finish among the top eight teams and get a ticket to the knockout final stage. The non-qualified teams could participate in a Board-A-Match competition.

After 13 rounds of Swiss competition which lasted for three days, USA led the classification, followed by a Czech-Japanese combination, The Netherlands, France, Greece, Poland, Turkey and Italy. In the knockout stage, USA beat Greece by a mere 1 IMP, but Italy, The Netherlands and Japan-Czech had easy runs over their quarterfinal opponents France, Turkey and Poland respectivelly. As the losers went over to the Board-A-Match competition, Italy prevailed over USA in one semifinal while Japan-Czech pipped The Netherlands at the post, winning the match with marginal difference of 1 IMP. In the final, Italy went ahead in the first segment and increased the difference over their opponents in the second segment. However, the JAPAN-CZECH combination fought back bravely and crashed their opponents in the third segment, winning the title 95-80 IMPs. A playoff match gave the third place to USA.

Another Italian team dominated the Board-A-Match competition. They led for most part of the event and easily brought home the title in this new format. The silver medal went to a team from Poland and another USA team won the bronze.

The Pairs competition attracted an entry of 94 pairs from 28 countries. Three qualifying sessions were played to decide the 54 pairs of the final stage. This was played in four sessions, and at the same time, the non-qualifiers could participate in a IMP Pairs contest.

The World Junior Pairs were won by Marion MICHIELSEN and Tim VERBEEK of The Netherlands by an incredible margin. Not only did they win the final session by a mile but their overall margin was 5.5 % on the runners-up Adam Krysa and Justyna Zmuda of Poland. The bronze medal went to Aymeric Labatteux and Nicolas Lhuissier of France.

The finish of the IMP Pairs contest, on the other hand, was very close, due mainly to a few scoring errors that had to be corrected first before the Czechs Magdalena Ticha and Frantisek Kralik could be declared winners here.

The 1st World Youth Bridge Congress was held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 15 to 23 August 2009, hosted at the Yeditepe University. Young players from all member countries of the World Bridge Federation were invited to participate in this new competition, designed to be a massive event. Accordingly, transnational combinations were allowed in all events, and there were no restrictions on the number of players who could participate from any single country.

The new congress included various teams and pairs competitions. Teams were played according to the Swiss format, as well as Board-A-match. There were Match Point and IMP pairs. The championships were open to players born in 1984 or later (Under-26), while it was intended that players born in 1989 or later would form a separate category (Under-21) in all events, if the entry was sufficient.

The World Youth Pairs Championships have been discontinued, as they are now included in the World Youth Congress.


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