Remarks of Jose Damiani, President of the World Bridge Federation,
at the opening ceremonies Sunday evening.
M. Le Ministre
M. le President
Thank you – thank you all – or nearly all – for
being here in Monaco. Considering the troubles we face with international
travel and international problems, I think it is little short of
a miracle. A miracle that owes everything to the cooperation between
us, especially for those who needed visas, and they will know just
how hard we had to work to obtain these so that they could be with
Once more, bridge will show that it works for peace even though
occasionally one does wonder about solidarity within the world bridge
It is obvious that many countries, many federations, have financial
problems and we are pleased that they found a good solution for
their stay here in Monaco, which is quite beautiful but unfortunately
also a little expensive.
Nonetheless cheap accommodations were available and we are sure
you will find that good, inexpensive food can also be found here.
We are fortunate that many other federations and teams offer positive
support to the organisation by staying in the hotels of the Société
des Bains de Mer, which host the Championships in the Sporting d’hiver
and the Bellevue.
I would like to offer my personal and sincere thanks to those
who supported us in this way. On the other hand, those others who
are able to support the organisation but choose not to do so must
be warned. By serving only their own short-term interests instead
of looking to the future and considering the good of bridge in general,
they jeopardise the long-term future of the game.
In the same way, we must all respect our sport and, indeed, respect
ourselves. It is very important that these Championships are played
in an ethical and sportsmanlike manner, both for the players and
for the many people who watch us, both here and through Internet.
This means that every effort must be made to follow the regulations,
which are clear and precise, and that full disclosure of systems
and conventions is achieved using the examples given.
This time we have, regretfully, seen a problem with the way in
which some of the Brown Sticker conventions were filed by some pairs.
It seems that while the HUM systems disappear the Brown Sticker
systems flourish but that the documentation of these methods has
fallen short of our requirements, and you must recognise that this
I ask all teams playing in future events to ensure that these
systems regulations are followed a great deal more carefully than
appears to have been the case on this occasion. This is where you,
the champions, have the chance to set the standards that all can
follow by ensuring that your systems are clear, and your ethics
beyond reproach, ensuring that bridge is seen to be a sport of conviviality
and fair play. Believe me, your efforts will be followed and appreciated
by the 60 million bridge players all over the world who want to
understand constructive bidding.
If bridge as a sport is to have any chance of attracting media
attention, and the coveted TV coverage that is something we would
all like to have, then it has to be understood by the spectators.
Understanding bridge, at least to some extent, is also a condition
needed in order to attract sponsors – sponsors such as those
we are fortunate to have here today, with our friends from the Generali
Group, the Monaco Principality, the Compagnie Monegasque de Banque,
Louis Vuitton and the Société Général,
all of whom I thank most sincerely, both personally and on behalf
of all of you. They all contribute to the quality of the organisation
for all of us, players and administrators alike.
There are, of course, some things that we don’t and can’t
control … we need to offer a prayer to the weather God to
allow you fully to appreciate and enjoy this marvelous Monaco venue.
I wish you all good bridge, a good stay, and I am now happy to
declare the 2003 World Championships open with the presentation
of the teams which will take place now.