USA II give the first Woman Winner a Birthday to Remember

José Damiani congratulates the winners

USA II, comprising Rose Meltzer, Kyle Larsen, Chip Martel, Lew Stansby, Alan Sontag and Peter Weichsel won the 2001 edition of the Bermuda Bowl, defeating Norway's Terje Aa, Boye Brogeland, Glenn Grøtheim, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness and Erik Sælensminde.

The victorious American team contains a woman player, Rose Meltzer. Rose is the first woman to ever win a Bermuda Bowl competition. It also happened that the victory was scored on the day of her birthday!

Norway started the final well and at half time were leading the match by no less than 79 IMPs (164-85). However, USA II stroke back and levelled the score with two segments to go. The match was still a virtual tie 16 boards before the end, but in the final segment, USA II had the better run and emerged as the winners - and world champions - with a margin of 21 IMPs (286-265). In the playoff for third place, Poland beat Italy 86-74.3 to win the bronze medal.

Germany captures Venice Cup

In the women's competition, the final between Germany and France proved to be a match of epic proportions. The host country made a good start and never looked back, reaching the last segment with a superiority of 46.5 IMPs (213.5-167)! But Germany showed that no match is over until the last card has been played. Slowly but steadily, they reduced the margin and virtually levelled the score with two boards to go. On the penultimate deal, the Germans combined aggresive biiding with bold play to score a vulnerable game and go on lead for the first time in the entire match! As the last board was flat, Germany had managed to pip France at the post and win the Venice Cup for the second time after 1995.

GERMANY, the new world champions are: Sabine Auken, Daniela von Arnim, Andrea Rauscheid, Pony Nehmert, Katrin Farwig and Barbara Hackett. FRANCE, the runners-up, were represented by Catherine D'Ovidio, Véronique Bessis, Sylvie Willard, Bénédicte Cronier, Catherine Fishpool and Babette Hugon.

At the same time, USA II had little difficulty to beat Austria in the playoff for third place.

USA II wins Seniors Bowl

The first Seniors Bowl competition was won by a team representing North America. USA II comprising Grant Baze, Gene Freed, Garey Hayden, Joseph Kivel, Chris Larsen & John Onstott took the crown by defeating POLAND, who were represented by Wit Klapper, Andrzej Milde, Jerzy Russyan, Stefan Szenberg, Wlodzimierz Wala & Andrzej Wilkosz, npc Wlodzimierz Stobiecki. FRANCE took the bronze medal by defeating USA I.

Transnational Teams

Malcolm Brachman's team representing USA and Brazil, Eddie Wold, Mike Passel, Michael Seamon, Geoff Hampson, Diego Brenner and Gabriel Chagas are the new World Transnational Champions. In the final they defeated France, captained by Cyril Bureau with Danièle Gaviard, Patrick Sussel, Philppe Selz and Vanessa Reess.

The 2001 World Bridge Championships, comprising the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, Seniors Bowl and Transnational Open Teams competitions, took place in Paris, France, from October 21 to November 3.

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 has been played 35 times. The United States of America were victorious 16 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 Venice Cup is awarded to the winner of the zonal competition for women players. It was established in 1974 and since then only four countries have won it. The United States of America leads the race with 8 titles, while Europe follows with four successes achieved by Great Britain (twice), Germany (twice) and The Netherlands.

The Seniors Bowl is a new competition for senior players (55 years of age or older). Representative teams from all zones are invited to participate. The first winners were the United States of America.

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 Paris, the winning team consisted of American and Brazilian players and was captained by Malcolm Brachman.

For detailed information on past events, see the World Championships section or the sites of the particular events.

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