World Championships underway

The 40th World Bridge Team Championships got under­way on Saturday 15 October, at the NH Koningshof convention centre, in Veldhoven, The Netherlands.

The opening ceremony was attended by many officials, hundreds of players and general public. It was conducted by magician Hans Kazan who called out the participating countries and introduced the officials and speakers. At the end, WBF President Gianarrigo Rona, and four living past WBF Presidents declared the Championships officially open. Hans Kazan and his family entertained the guests with unforgettable magic tricks, thus contributing to the great success of the ceremony.

A video collection of the Opening Ceremony is available here.


The 2011 World Bridge Championships, comprising the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, d'Orsi Senior Bowl and Transnational Open Teams com­pe­ti­tions, will take place in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, 15-29 October 2011.

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 39 times. So far, the United States of America were victorious 18 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. The current holders are the United States.

The Venice Cup is awarded to the winner of the zonal competition for women players. It was established in 1974 and, so far, only five countries have won it. The reigning champions, China, was the first Venice Cup holders from outside Europe and North America (WBF zones 1 & 2); they ascended to the podium in São Paulo '09. 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 (60 years of age or older) competing for the trophy presented by Ernesto d'Orsi, a former WBF president, in 2009. Representative teams from all zones are invited to participate. Until 2009, the only winners of the competition had been the United States of America who 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. In São Paulo '09, England broke this record and became the second country in five contests to win the d'Orsi Senior Bowl.

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 São Paulo, Brazil 2009, was won by the Zimmermann team, comprising two French, two Italian and two Norwegian players.

For detailed information on past events, see the World Team Championships section and the World Transnational Open Team Cham­pion­ship section or the sites of the particular competitions.

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