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Bridge at the 1st World Mind Sports Games

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Title: Bridge at the 1st World Mind Sports Games  
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Subject: Geir Helgemo, World Team Olympiad, World Mixed Teams Championship
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Bridge at the 1st World Mind Sports Games

The first World Mind Sports Games convened in Beijing, China, 3–18 October 2008. They were sponsored by the International Mind Sports Association and organised by the General Administration of Sport of China and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sport.[1][2] Provisionally, the second WMSG will be August 2012 in Lille, France.[3] Contract bridge was one of the five disciplines or mind sports constituting the first WMSG: bridge, chess, draughts, go, and xiangqi. The World Bridge Federation calls the bridge competitions collectively the "World Bridge Games".[lower-alpha 1] According to the WBF, it incorporated the World Team Olympiad (1960 to 2004) and several youth events in the World Bridge Games "as the stepping stone on the path of introducing a third kind of Olympic Games (after the Summer and the Winter Olympics)".[4] The World Masters Individual tournaments (Open and Women) were also incorporated, at least in Beijing.[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 2]

The first World Bridge Games featured special[lower-alpha 1] national teams, pairs, and individual competitions for players under age 28 (U28), as well as traditional national teams championships for the under-26 "juniors" and under-21 "youngsters".[5] Hereafter the competition for youth teams, pairs, and individuals will all use the age limits that are familiar in bridge, U26 and U21.[4] Maybe.[lower-alpha 1][lower-alpha 3]


Norway won six medals including two gold; host China reaped four lesser medals. Turkey won its first medals in world bridge, in the events for Pairs and Individuals under age 28. The category is considered a novelty and an exception in bridge, two years older than the established Juniors category, but it is the standard age limit for university games (FISU) including the "World University Cup" that was part of the 2000 and 2004 Teams Olympiads.[6][7][8]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
World Bridge Games medalists
Open[lower-alpha 4] Individual Norway Tor Helness Norway Geir Helgemo Russia Andrey Gromov
Women Individual Sweden Catarina Midskog France Anne-Fréderique Lévy China Yan Ru
Open Teams Italy Italy England England Norway Norway
Women Teams England England China China United States USA
Seniors Teams Japan USA Indonesia
Mixed Teams
Yeh Bros
(all Chinese Taipei in fact)
(all Russia in fact)
A – Evertrust Holding Group
(all China in fact)
under-21 Teams France France England England China China
under-26 Teams Denmark Denmark Poland Poland Norway Norway
under-28 Teams Norway Norway Poland Poland China China
Youth Pairs Turkey Mehmet Remzi Şakirler
  — Melih Osman Şen
Israel Lotan Fisher
  — Ron Haim Schwartz
Poland Joanna Krawczyk
  — Piotr Tuczyński
Youth Individual Turkey Salih Murat Anter Romania Radu Nistor Norway Lars Arthur Johansen  


WBF competition for individuals requires that everyone use the same bidding system, even if they play briefly with a regular partner. The stipulated system is published in advance.[9]

These two tournaments for Individuals continue the series of World Masters Individual Championships inaugurated 1992 and contested every four years from 2000. In seven renditions no one has won either event twice. The fields are invitational rather representative.[10] (IMSA and WBF both interpreted the 2008 medals nationally, however.)

Unusually, the Individuals in Beijing were played on two widely separated days, with one session on opening Friday and two sessions on the next Thursday, before and after five days of preliminary matches in the Teams events.[11]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Open[lower-alpha 4] Individual Norway Tor Helness 58.66% Norway Geir Helgemo 55.27% Russia Andrey Gromov 53.75%
Women Individual Sweden Catarina Midskog 57.51% France Anne-Fréderique Lévy 57.13% China Yan Ru 55.10%
Open[lower-alpha 4]

There were 36 men in the Open field, including seven from host China and five from France.[12] Tor Helness of Norway scored 58.66%, far ahead of his regular partner Geir Helgemo in second place.[13] Helness enjoyed a big lead from the first session when he scored 62%.[14] Helgemo was the Open winner in 1996.[10]


There were 24 players in the Women field including six from host China.[12] Catarina Midskog of Sweden scored 57.51% for a narrow win over Anne-Fréderique Lévy.[15] Lévy compiled a big lead during a huge first session (69%), with the eventual gold and bronze medalists standing third and fourth.[16] Three current members of the China national team (second at the Games) ranked fourth, seventh, and eleventh.[15][17] The bronze medalist joined them for their first world championship in the 2009 Venice Cup.[18]

National Teams

For the histories of the three quadrennial tournaments, see World Team Olympiad.

Italy, England, and Japan won the Open, Women, and Seniors Teams.[19] The Senior Teams is not a WMSG medal event.[5]

These three tournaments for national teams continue the Teams Olympiad inaugurated in 1960. They differ from the "World Teams Championships" now conducted in odd-number years in that the fields are open to one team from every bridge nation without pre-qualification in geographical zones. All teams play short matches for one week after which 16 leaders enter one week of knockout play[11] with no carryover scores. The round-robins are incomplete (split fields) and the knockout matches are shorter than for the World Teams, which are two-week tournaments with merely 22 pre-qualified teams.

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Open Teams Italy Italy England England Norway Norway
Women Teams England England China China United States USA


This was the 13th quadrennial world championship for national Open Teams —open to one national team per bridge nation, composed regardless of player age, gender, and past performance. The first twelve were conducted under the "Olympiad" moniker alongside the parallel event for Women, with another parallel for Seniors from year 2000.[20]

Italy jumped ahead of England early and held on to win the two-day final, 96 deals in six sessions(#)).[21]

ITA – 60 46 17 – 17 28 32 – 200
ENG – 44  4 30 – 42 13 37 – 170

Italy led 123 to 78 after the first of two days but England rallied to trail merely 189 to 170 with two deals to play, a slightly viable standing.[22]

Year, Host, Entries Semifinalists

Beijing, China

71 teams

1. Italy Italy
Giorgio Duboin, Fulvio Fantoni, Lorenzo Lauria, Claudio Nunes, Antonio Sementa, Alfredo Versace  
2. England England
David Gold, Jason Hackett, Justin Hackett, Artur Malinowski, Nicklas Sandqvist, Tom Townsend
3. Norway Norway
Terje Aa, Glenn Grøtheim, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness, Jørgen Molberg, Ulf Håkon Tundal
4. Germany Germany
Michael Elinescu, Michael Gromoeller, Andreas Kirmse, Josef Piekarek, Alexander Smirnov, Entscho Wladow  

Teams from 71 bridge nations entered the Open field including 37 from Europe. Four groups of 17 or 18, each including 9 or 10 from Europe, played full round robins with the first four from each group qualifying for the knockout stage.[23][lower-alpha 5]

The sixteen qualifiers were twelve from Europe plus Brazil, China, India, and USA.[lower-alpha 6] The seven-time champion of Europe (1995 to 2006),[24] Group A winner Italy scored the highest average across the entire field, 21.06 VP per match. Group A also featured six teams that scored within five VP in the contest for the last of its four knockout slots: Romania 286.5, France 286.5, Denmark 286, Finland 284.5, Ireland 283, and Canada 281.5.[25] Ninth-place Canada thereby finished closer to fourth than did the fifth team in any other group.[26][27][28] Romania and France both scored 286.5 VP and Romania advanced by the tiebreak criterion, a 17–13 win in their short match.[25][29]

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
  Italy Italy  135 
  India India  69  
  Italy Italy  210 
    Poland Poland  173  
  Poland Poland  127
  United States USA  100  
  Italy Italy  210 
    Norway Norway  111*  
  Brazil Brazil  125
  China China  134  
  China China  159
    Norway Norway  214  
  Norway Norway  145
  Turkey Turkey  84  
  Italy Italy  200 
    England England  170
  Israel Israel  102
  Romania Romania  170  
  Romania Romania  146
    England England  267  
  England England  143
  Bulgaria Bulgaria  98  
  England England  277
    Germany Germany  143   Third place
  Netherlands Netherlands  99
  Estonia Estonia  89  
  Netherlands Netherlands  196   Norway Norway  93
    Germany Germany  217     Germany Germany  56*
  Germany Germany  210
  Belgium Belgium  89  
*Norway withdrew after five of six sessions in its semifinal defeat and won the bronze medal in two of three sessions next day.

In the round of 16, there was one big surprise: the lowest-scoring qualifier Romania knocked out one of the group leaders, Israel. Seven of the winners led by at least 30 IMP after the third quarter while one of the favorites, Netherlands led Estonia by 26 IMP and held on to win 99 to 89.[30]

In the quarterfinals, England and the remaining group leaders advanced. Three winners led by at least 30 after the first day while Germany led Netherlands by 6 en route to win by 21.[31]

Long-time world championship contenders Italy and Norway met in one semifinal. Norway was the current Bermuda Bowl (2007) and European (June 2008) champion; Italy had won the preceding world (2005) and the seven preceding European championships.[24][32] Italy rolled up a big score on the first day, 138 to 59, and Norway withdrew before the final session. In the other semifinal England led Germany by only 8 overnight but compiled a huge margin on day two, 192 to 50.[33]

Norway easily won the bronze medal from Germany without playing the third scheduled session.[34]


This was the 13th quadrennial world championship for national Women Teams —restricted to one team of female national players from each bridge nation. The first twelve were conducted under the "Olympiad" moniker alongside the parallel Open event, with another parallel for Seniors from year 2000.[20]

England beat China by one IMP in the two-day final (six sessions, 96 deals).[35]

ENG – 37 50 54 – 19 30 33 – 223
CHN – 23 21 14 – 66 19 79 – 222

England led 141 to 58 after the first of two days (48 deals) but China closed to 190–176 with 12 deals to go.[36]

Year, Host, Entries Semifinalists

Beijing, China

54 teams

1. England England
Sally Brock, Heather Dhondy, Catherine Draper, Anne Rosen, Nevena Senior, Nicola Smith
2. China China
Ling GU, Yi Qian LIU, Ming SUN, Hongli WANG, Wenfei WANG, Yalan ZHANG
3. United States USA
Mildred Breed, Marinesa Letizia, Sylvia Moss, Judi Radin, Janice Seamon-Molson, Tobi Sokolow  
4. Turkey Turkey
Belis Atalay, Mine Babac, Hatice Erbiz, Filiz Uygan Erdogan, Irem Ozbay, Dilek Yavas

Teams from 54 bridge nations entered the Women field including 23 from Europe. Three groups of 18, each including 7 or 8 from Europe, played full round robins from which the top five plus the highest-scoring sixth-place team qualified for the knockout stage.[37][lower-alpha 5]

England, Germany, and Finland qualified first in their groups. Germany scored 21.88 VP per match, England 20.94. The sixteen qualifiers were 12 from Europe plus Brazil, China, Singapore, and USA.[lower-alpha 6] Brazil and Japan finished fifth and sixth only 2.5 points apart in Group E, the closest decisive margin.[38][39][40]

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
  Germany Germany  158 
  Brazil Brazil  32  
  Germany Germany  150 
    China China  198  
  Poland Poland  40
  China China  176  
  China China  161 
    United States USA  154  
  United States USA  161
  Spain Spain  73  
  United States USA  200
    Denmark Denmark  176  
  Netherlands Netherlands  86
  Denmark Denmark  98  
  China China  222 
    England England  223
  England England  175
  Singapore Singapore  122  
  England England  189
    France France  143  
  France France  122
  Sweden Sweden  106  
  England England  304
    Turkey Turkey  197   Third place
  Finland Finland  126
  Turkey Turkey  144  
  Turkey Turkey  169   United States USA  134
    Russia Russia  164     Turkey Turkey  88
  Russia Russia  118
  Italy Italy  97  

In the one-day round of 16, one preliminary leader and one runner-up were knocked out: Finland and Netherlands. Three matches were routs, essentially decided during the first two of four sessions, and only one provided a close finish: Denmark's 98 to 86 VP knockout of Netherlands.[41]

In the two-day quarterfinal matches (96 deals), China battered Germany in the final session, 48–2 to win by 48. USA won a close match with Denmark, England beat France comfortably, and Turkey knocked out Russia in a cliffhanger. Russia scored 12 on the 93rd deal, which closed to the final margin, merely 5 VP.[42]

In the two-day semifinals, China routed USA 131 to 35 IMP on the first day and coasted to win by 97 (USA no closer than 60). England led Turkey 132 to 81 en route to win by 85 (Turkey no closer than 33).[43]

For the bronze medal, USA jumped ahead by 43 VP in the first of three sessions and won by 46.[44]


This was the third quadrennial world championship for national Seniors Teams —open to one team from each bridge nation, composed of players age 58 and older (in transition).[lower-alpha 7] The first two were conducted under the "Olympiad" moniker alongside the parallel Open and Women tournaments.[20] It was incorporated in the "World Bridge Games" although it is not a WMSG medal event.[lower-alpha 1]

Japan defeated USA, 202 to 200 IMP in the two-day 96-deal final despite losing four of six sessions.[45]

JPN – 28 29 24 – 44 44 33 – 202
USA – 60 33 31 – 12 12 52 – 200

USA led 124 to 81 after the first of two days (48 deals) but trailed 148 to 169 after five of six sessions. USA regained the lead 179 to 173 with games swings on the 83rd, 84th, and 85th deals.[46] During the up and down finish, Japan scored just well enough to win, including a decisive 3 IMP on the final deal where South declared four spades at both tables. Japan defeated that contract by three tricks, USA by only one trick.[46][47]

Year, Host, Entries Semifinalists

Beijing, China
World Mind Sports Games non-medal event

32 teams
born 1950 or earlier

1. Japan Japan
Hiroya Abe, Makoto Hirata, Masayuki Ino, Yoshiyuki Nakamura, Kyoko Ohno, Akihiko Yamada
2. United States USA
Grant Baze, Billy Eisenberg, Russ Ekeblad, Matt Granovetter, Sam Lev, Reese Milner
3. Indonesia Indonesia
Michael Bambang Hartono, Henky Lasut, Eddy Manoppo, Denny Sacul, Munawar Sawiruddin, Ferdinand Robert Waluyan  
4. Egypt Egypt
Amr El Askalani, Mohamad Shaker Ghamrawy, Mohsen Mohamed Kamel, Mohamed Yehia Khalil, Marwan Khedr, Wael Wattar  

The Seniors field of 32 played round-robin in two groups of 16, each with 7 teams from Europe.[48][lower-alpha 5] The first eight in each group, the top half, qualified for the knockout stage, led by eventual silver and bronze medalists USA and Indonesia. Japan and Australia scored well and ranked second by big margins.[49][50] The Senior field proved to be better-balanced than the others geographically, as the Europeans scored only about average overall and earned merely 7 of 16 knockout slots, joined by USA, Canada, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan, China Taipei, China Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Australia.

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
  Belgium Belgium  82
  United States USA  139   
  United States USA  222 
    Hungary Hungary  198  
  Hungary Hungary  150
  Canada Canada  97  
  United States USA  245 
    Egypt Egypt  132*  
  Pakistan Pakistan  120
  Australia Australia  137  
  Australia Australia  166
    Egypt Egypt  172  
  Egypt Egypt  136
  France France  135  
  United States USA  200 
    Japan Japan  202
  Indonesia Indonesia  144
  Hong Kong Hong Kong  58*  
  Indonesia Indonesia  217
    Netherlands Netherlands  159  
  Chinese TaipeiChinese Taipei  50*
  Netherlands Netherlands  139  
  Indonesia Indonesia  175
    Japan Japan  196   Third place
  Japan Japan  152
  Germany Germany  129  
  Japan Japan  199   Egypt Egypt  56
    England England  95*     Indonesia Indonesia  108
  England England  107
  Poland Poland  57  
*Hong Kong, Taipei, England, and Egypt withdrew before the final sessions of their knockout defeats.

In the round of 16 (one day, four sessions, 56 deals), Japan and Germany played a close match throughout. Two other matches were ultimately close, as Australia and Egypt survived big rallies in the last quarter. China Hong Kong and China Taipei (*) scored poorly and withdrew after three quarters.[51]

In the two-day quarterfinal matches (six sessions, 96 deals), three of the winners led by significant margins after the first of two days while Indonesia trailed Netherlands 81 to 98 but scored very well on the second day to win comfortably. Against Japan, England (*) withdrew after five of six sessions.[52]

In 2005 and 2007, USA teams had won the last two Senior Bowls, the odd-year world championships, while Indonesia had won both silver medals. Egypt and Japan had no recent success in the Seniors or any other category.(#)

In the two-day semifinals (six sessions, 96 deals), USA led Egypt 81 to 9 IMP after the first of six sessions; Egypt did not close the margin and withdrew with one session unplayed. Japan won a close match with Indonesia, leading by 9 after five sessions but losing 14 IMP on the first deal of the final session when Indonesia bid and made 6D in one room and defeated it in the other.[53][54]

Indonesia jumped ahead by 36 in the first of three sessions (48 deals) and won the bronze medal comfortably.[55]

Transnational Mixed Teams

Mixed means that a team must always be represented at the tables in play (normally two) by "mixed" partnerships of one man and one woman. Transnational means that four to six players regardless of nationality may compose a team (including at least two men and two women, for mixed play).

Like the Seniors, the Mixed Teams was not a WMSG medal event.[5] It is an official world championship tournament but a secondary one. This rendition was played on the last six days of the Games, concurrently with the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final knockout matches for national teams.[11] Furthermore, members of quarterfinal-losing teams in the main events were welcome to enter new teams in the Mixed on the third of four days preliminary play.

This year 116 teams played on the first two days, 118 on the next two days. There were four belated entries[56] assigned a tie for 15th place[57] and evidently two dropouts. One of the drop-in was Sabine Auken of Germany with three men and one woman from Poland.[58] Auken was the defending 2004 champion captain, from the last Olympiad, playing with new teammates.[59][60] In fact Auken scored very well and climbed to second place while two more of those belated entries scored well and advanced to the knockout stage; all three won round of 16 matches.[61]

The tournament comprised 3-1/2 days of 10-deal matches followed by 20 deals in the round of 16 matches, 24-deal quarterfinals, 32-deal semifinals, and a 48-deal final coinciding with the second day of the 96-deal finals in the main events.[11](# complex!)

The gold and bronze medalists were in fact uni-national teams from Taipei and China respectively, while the silver medalist called "Russia" was trans-national from Russia and Belarus.[62]


For the inaugural Games there were national teams, pairs, and individual events for participants under age 28 (U28). Hereafter the youth events for teams, pairs, and individuals will all use the age limits that are familiar in international bridge, U26 and U21.[4][5] Maybe.[lower-alpha 3]

Norway and Chinese Taipei advanced to the 8-team knockout stage in all three Teams categories, where France, Denmark, and Norway won the gold medals. Three young men from Turkey won the Pairs and Individuals championships, the first medals for Turkey in world bridge competition, only a few months after its first gold medal in European competition (Senior Teams).[63]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Youth medalists, 2008 World Bridge Games
Under-21 Teams
France France England England China China
Under-26 Teams
Denmark Denmark Poland Poland Norway Norway
Under-28 Teams
Norway Norway Poland Poland China China
Pairs U28
(about 260)
Turkey Mehmet Remzi Şakirler
  — Melih Osman Şen
Israel Lotan Fisher
  — Ron Haim Schwartz
Poland Joanna Krawczyk
  — Piotr Tuczyński
Individuals U28
Turkey Salih Murat Anter Romania Radu Nistor Norway Lars Arthur Johansen  

The three Teams tournaments were contested in parallel during the first ten days of the Games. After one week of short matches, the leading teams played one-day quarterfinal, semifinal, and final knockout matches.[64]

More conditions of contest: Three round-robin leaders sequentially choose their quarter-final opponents from the 5th to 8th qualifiers. Then (before quarterfinals are played) one round-robin leader sets the semifinal matches. Seating rights for every match are determined by coin toss: the winner chooses to take seats before or after its opponent in one of the three sessions; the loser chooses one of two remaining sessions; the winner gets the remaining session.[65]

U21 Teams

For the history of national teams competition for "Youngsters" at the world level, see World Junior Teams Championship.

France defeated England 149 to 125 IMP in the final of the established Youngsters category, under age 21.[66] England had qualified first and France second among 18 teams in the preliminary round-robin that advanced eight to knockout play. In fact, they led by a wide margin with 20.6 and 20.5 VP per match, third place only 18.2.[67]

This was the third world tournament for Youngsters Teams (U21) and the first win for France.[68]

China defeated Norway by 9 IMP in the quarterfinal, with a final-session rally (44–14) and 12 IMP carryover from their round-robin match, the only U21 match where carryover was decisive.[66][69][70][71]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 Netherlands Netherlands  68
 England England  142  
 England England  125
   China China  108  
 China China  102
 Norway Norway  93  
 England England  125
   France France  149.7
 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei  61
 Bulgaria Bulgaria  111  
 Bulgaria Bulgaria  132 Third place
   France France  149  
 United States USA  42  China China  136
 France France  139    Bulgaria Bulgaria  117

With one short match to play, five teams had practically secured knockout slots, but "there was a desperate battle in the last round to settle the remaining three places."[72]

Incomplete standings before round 17[73]
5th place       283
6   SINGAPORE   263
7   POLAND      260.5
8   NORWAY      260
9   USA         260

Poland and Singapore were disappointed.[67]

U26 Teams

For the history of national teams competition for "Juniors" at the world level, see World Junior Teams Championship.

Denmark defeated Poland 208 to 137 IMP in the final of the established Juniors category, under age 26, primarily by winning the first and fourth quarters 67–17 and 59–4.[74] Poland had qualified first and Denmark second among 18 teams in a round-robin stage that advanced eight to the knockout stage diagrammed here. Poland scored 19.9 VP per match, Denmark merely 17.8 (13 teams scored 14.0 or better)[75]

This was the twelfth world tournament for Juniors Teams (U26) and the second win for Denmark, after 1997.[68]

Poland survived a big final-session rally (20–56) to defeat USA by 9 IMP in the quarterfinal, with 12 IMP carryover from their round-robin match, the only U26 match where carryover was decisive.[74][76][77][78]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 Poland Poland  120
 United States USA  111  
 Poland Poland  144
   Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei  106.3  
 Australia Australia  81
 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei  137  
 Poland Poland  137
   Denmark Denmark  208
 Denmark Denmark  138
 Canada Canada  94  
 Denmark Denmark  140 Third place
   Norway Norway  69.7  
 Netherlands Netherlands  96  Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei  95
 Norway Norway  139.7    Norway Norway  126

After 16 of 17 rounds, seven teams were secure or nearly so with one more in a very strong position.

Incomplete standings before round 17[79]
  7. (seventh)  257
8. Germany 250
9. Taipei 239
10. Italy 233

Chinese Taipei faced Germany and scored the maximum 25 VP, four more than necessary to surpass them (21–9).[75]

U28 Teams

Norway edged Poland 118.7 to 116 IMP in the final of the special under-28 category, primarily by scoring two-thirds of its points during a huge fourth quarter, 76–26, but the 4.7 IMP carryover ("c/o") was also decisive.[80] Norway had defeated Poland 48–34 in the 17th and last match of the preliminary Swiss, a margin worth 4.7 (one-third) in the knockout stage. With that 17th-hour preliminary win, Norway had placed eighth of 74 teams by a single point ahead of USA. Poland had qualified first with 18.6 VP per match, ahead of France 18.0.[81]

The carryover from round-robin matches was decisive only in the final.[80][82][83][84]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
 Poland Poland  174
 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei  65  
 Poland Poland  158
   France France  75  
 France France  108
 England England  58  
 Poland Poland  116
   Norway Norway  118.7
 Belgium Belgium  71
 Norway Norway  112  
 Norway Norway  138 Third place
   China China  91  
 China China  145  France France  82
 Israel Israel  61    China China  107

After 16 rounds, the first 23 of 74 teams with at least 254 VP were mathematically viable. Seven were at least strong favorites to advance, with six more close contenders for the last slot.

Incomplete standings before round 17[85]
7. (seventh) 279 VP
8. India 272
9. Norway 271
10. Indonesia  266
11. USA 265
12t. Czechia 263
12t. Greece 263

Norway faced Poland, nominally the toughest final match, and won 18 VP to 12. India and Indonesia were defeated while USA scored 23 VP against Czechia, a big win but one point short of what the Americans needed.[81]

Youth Pairs

For the history of pairs competition in the WBF youth program, see World Junior Pairs Championship.

The Pairs tournament would proceed over five days, second Saturday to Wednesday, beginning in parallel with quarterfinal Teams matches and ending with two days following the Teams conclusion. There would be three stages with two flights at each stage: four sessions qualifying, three sessions semifinal, and three sessions final.[64]

At stage three the upper flight would award medals and the world champion title. From stage one to two, and stage two to three, many leaders from upper flight A and few leaders from B would advance to the next A while the remainder who chose to continue would compose the next B. Members of 24 Teams quarterfinalists, as many as 72 pairs, would be welcome to "drop in" after concluding their Teams play; quarterfinal losers would bypass the first stage of Pairs and quarterfinal winners would bypass the first two stages. In effect, team play qualified them for the pairs semifinal or final.[86]

The upper flights would have 120, 120, and 96 pairs while the lower flight sizes would depend on the numbers of initial entrants, drop-ins from teams, and drop-outs. Members of quarterfinal teams would be welcome to join the upper flight of Pairs after concluding team play: to enter the medal flight after Teams semifinals and finals or to enter stage two A after losing the Teams quarterfinals. At stage one, A would comprise players from middle-ranking teams and B players from low-ranking teams plus any newcomers(#). Along with late entries from high-ranking teams, stage two A would be filled by the leaders of stage one A and B in 3:1 ratio (at least 63 and 21 pairs); the medal flight would be filled by the leaders of stage two A and B in 9:1 ratio (at least 54 and 6 pairs).[86]

In fact there were about 200, about 190, and 136 pairs at each stage. Actually 68 and 22 pairs advanced from stage one A and B to semifinal A, implying 30 belated entries from teams;[87][88] 59 and 6 pairs advanced from semifinal A and B to the medal flight, implying 31 belated entries from teams.[88][89]

The champion pair Şakirler—Şen climbed from 28th after one and 18th place after two of three final sessions, just above 54% and then 55%.[90][91] It was their second big comeback, for they ranked 85th in stage one A, before winning semifinal B where only six slots in the medal flight were available.[87][88]

Before the last round of two deals, the Turkey and Israel pairs were nearly secure in the first two places. Playing at different tables, Israel scored well enough to secure second; Turkey bid 7NT on the final deal, which was too ambitious a contract in theory, but successful in fact.[92]

European pairs filled the first eight places and Poland placed four in the top ten. The leading non-European pairs placed 9th (Taipei), 11 and 12 (China), and 13 (USA)[93]

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Youth Pairs (U28) Turkey Mehmet Remzi Şakirler
  — Melih Osman Şen
59.81% Israel Lotan Fisher
  — Ron Haim Schwartz
59.65% Poland Joanna Krawczyk
  — Piotr Tuczyński
Youth Individual (U28) Turkey Salih Murat Anter 58.22% Romania Radu Nistor 55.54% Norway Lars Arthur Johansen   54.59%

Youth Individuals

Individuals played four sessions on the last two days of the Games, after the conclusion of other youth bridge events.[64] Dropouts were not permitted.[94]

WBF competition for individuals requires that everyone use a stipulated bidding system that is published in advance. In Beijing, the medal flight of Youth used the same system as the Men and Women while the lower flights of Youth used a much simpler system.[9]

Balanced competition for individuals is possible only with a few specific numbers of players such as 52, the number selected for the Games. There would be four or five Individual flights A to D or E, pending the number of entries. Flights would compete separately with three medals and one world champion title earned in group A: those 48 entrants who ranked highest in the Pairs final plus those 4 entrants who ranked highest in the Pairs consolation (52 players). Among Pairs competitors who elected to enter, the next 48 finalists and 4 from consolation would compose Group B, and similarly for C. As many as 48 more Pairs finalists would be in D, while other entrants would complete Group D and constitute E if necessary.[94]

In fact there were 220 entries placed in four groups of size 52, 52, 64, and 52.(# complex) Overnight, Johansen of Norway led with 57.90%; eventual gold and silver medalists Anter and Nistor stood fourth and sixth.[95] In the middle of the last session, Anter was leading and scored very well on two deals against the player standing third.[96] He went on to win by a huge margin.

Players from twelve different countries won the three medals and the nine certificates awarded in lower groups.[97] On the other hand, youth bridge powerhouse Poland placed twelve people in the medal flight, where five finished in the top ten; only one player in the second flight; none in the third or fourth flight.[98] Europeans filled the top fourteen ranks and there were only nine non-Europeans in the medal flight (52): seven players from China placed 15th, 17th, and below median; one from USA placed 23rd; one from Taipei placed below median.[99]

Anter finished 17th as a pair with Omer Kizilok;[93] Şakirler 40th and Şen 22nd as individuals.[99] The gold medals by Şakirler–Şen and Anter were the first world championships at bridge for Turkey, only a few months after Turkey's first European championship, which the senior national team won in June.[63]

See also



Daily Bulletin: Youth series. Bulletins (directory). 1st World Mind Sports Games. 3–18 October 2008. World Bridge Federation. Retrieved 2011-11-dd. —WBF contemporary coverage includes PDF editions of three Daily Bulletin series published in Beijing: one produced by IMSA covering the Games in general; two produced by the WBF covering the youth bridge events and all other bridge events.

External links

  • Second copy at WBF)

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