USA Recaptures Bermuda Bowl
The team captained by Nick Nickell stormed back from a 57-1 shellacking in the second set against Italy, built a big lead then turned back every challenge by their opponents to win the most coveted prize in bridge the Bermuda Bowl. The final score was 285.33-249.
Even after winning the penultimate set 54-26, Italy needed a big showing over the final 16 deals to take back the title they have won so many times over the years. Italy made some gains against the Americans, but the set ended virtually even, 28-24 to Italy.
The victorious USA2 squad includes two first-time winners: Zia Mahmood and Ralph Katz. Nick Nickell, Bob Hamman, Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell all have multiple wins in the event, including four times as teammates.
The silver medallists are Alfredo Versace, Lorenzo Lauria, Fulvio Fantoni, Claudio Nunes, Antonio Sementa and Giorgio Duboin.
Two teams taking different routes to their respective championships became gold medal winners on Friday as China Long Zhu captured the Venice Cup and England won the D’Orsi Seniors Bowl.
The first Venice Cup victory for China they have two seconds and two thirds came in a dominating 220-148 victory against a strong American team USA1. China won five of the six sets, losing only the last 19-18 when the issue was just about settled.
With the victory, four members of the Chinese team became World Grand Masters, the highest rank in the World Bridge Federation. They are Liu Yi Qian, Sun Ming, Wang Hongli and Wang Wenfei. Another Chinese player, Zhong Fu, also achieved World Grand Master rank in Sao Paulo.
In contrast to China’s win, England had to come back from a serious deficit against their Seniors Bowl opponents from Poland. After falling behind 59-1 in the first set (62.67 including carryover), England knuckled down and played tough the rest of the way, particularly on Friday, when they surrendered only 47 IMPs over 48 boards to emerge with a 187-163.67 decision.
England’s win was the first in the event for a non-USA squad. The Seniors Bowl was inaugurated in 2001.
While the Venice Cup and Seniors Bowl crowned their champions, USA2 and Italy continued their battle in the Bermuda Bowl. With 32 deals to play today, the Americans are ahead by 68.33 IMPs.
In the World Transnational Open Teams, Apreo Logistic Poland holds a 34-32.5 lead over the Pierre Zimmerman team with 32 deals to play.
In the World Transnational Open Teams, the team captained by Pierre Zimmermann gained 3 IMPs on the last deal to win a tightly fought match with Apreo Logistic Poland by the final score of 95.5-93.
Zimmermann trailed after the first of three sets 34-32.5, but they won the next one 36-29 and rallied on the final deal for the victory.
Zimmermann was playing with Franck Multon, Adam Zmudzinski, Cezary Balicki, Geir Helgemo and Tor Helness. The runners-up at Piotr Gawrys, Krzyszto Kotorowicz, Jacek Kalita, Krzysztof Buras and Jacek Psczcola.
Third place in the event went to Team Deutschland: Alexander Smirnov, Michael Gromoeller, Josef Piekarek and Andreas Kirmse.
The winners of the City of Sao Paulo Cup are Oyzum: Ernesto Muzzio, Alejandro Bianchedi, Marta Putz and Dragan Markovic.
The 2009 World Bridge Championships, comprising the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, d'Orsi Senior Bowl and Transnational Open Teams competitions, took place in São Paulo, Brazil, 29 August to 12 September 2009.
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 38 times. So far, the United States of America were victorious 17 times, while their European rival, Italy, prevailed 14 times. The other titles were won by France (twice), Great Britain, Brazil, Iceland, The Netherlands and Norway, who are the current title holders.
The Venice Cup is awarded to the winner of the zonal competition for women players. It was established in 1974 and so far, only four countries have won it. The reigning champions, the United States of America, lead the race with 10 titles, while Europe follows with six successes achieved by Great Britain (twice), Germany (twice), The Netherlands and France.
The Senior Bowl is a new competition for senior players (59 years of age or older) as from this year competing for the trophy presented by Ernesto d'Orsi, a former WBF president. Representative teams from all zones are invited to participate. So far, the only winners of the competition so far have been the United States of America. They won the inaugural event, in 2001 in Paris, France; in 2003, in Monte Carlo, Monaco; in 2005, in Estoril, Portugal and in 2007, in Shanghai, China.
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 the last event held in Shanghai, China 2007, was won by the Zimmermann team, comprising two French, two Italian and a player from Switzerland.
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