Bridge Tournaments

All About Bridge Tournaments

Keen Bridge players who are curious to find out who’s the best at exercising their Bridge playing skills often compete against each other. So, there’s no surprise that the American Contract Bridge League authorizes around 1,200 tournaments throughout the year. When it comes to the game of Bridge, there are three basic forms that are normally played. Rubber is considered to be the simplest form of Bridge and is usually played amongst friends. Chicago is another Bridge that is popular at parties. Duplicate Bridge is generally played amongst the serious players, especially during official tournaments and competitions.

In the United States

The game of Duplicate Bridge gained popularity in the US in 1891, after J.L. Sebring and Cassius M. Paine patented the duplicate tray. Duplicate Auction Bridge enjoyed similar popularity during the 1920s, where championship tournaments were held on a regular basis.

In the US, championship tournaments were being conducted in 1924 through 1935 by the American Whist League and the US Bridge Association from 1933 to 1937 and by the American Bridge League in 1927 through 1937. During that time, an annual Harold Vanderbilt Cup was held which was played by a four-member team that played Contract Bridge. But that soon changed in 1937, when all the games came under the control of a consolidated association called the American Contract Bridge League. The association has made significant strides for the popularizing of Bridge in the US and has grown from a modest 9,000 member society in 1940, to a 160,000-strong by the end of the 21st century.

In the UK

Tournaments have also been held on an annual basis in the UK, which are sanctioned by the British Bridge League. The BBL was founded in 1932, during the same year as the European championship was held by the European Bridge League. The tournaments were held yearly through 1937, and were resumed in 1946 after a break of a few years.

The Formation of the WBF

The World Bridge Federation was formed during the annual tournament of the European Bridge League that was held in 1958, in Oslo, Norway. The federation was formed to take control of the world championship matches that were previously being played. But, the World Bridge Federation was formed to open the game to all countries and continents, and by the 1960s, bridge championships were being held every four years.

The teams during this tournament consist of six players each, out of which four can play at a time. The championship hosts 29 competitors from all around the world except Antarctica. The first World Bridge Olympiad was held in Turin, Italy, which was won by the team from France. Both national and international championships were being held yearly up until the Second World War.

In 2005 the governing bodies of bridge, draughts, go and chess formed the International Mind Sports Association and were in talks with the IOC, with an aim to introduce World Mind Games or the Intellympiad, which would be an event similar to the winter and summer Olympics.