Passion of The Game of Bridge

Netherlands Grabs Bermuda Bowl, Bridge Powerhouse Map Has Shifted

Netherlands Grabs Bermuda Bowl, Bridge Powerhouse Map Has Shifted

The Netherlands wins 2011’s 40th Bridge Champsionship after beat USA in the Final. Being the most pretigious tournament in the world of bridge, this year’s Bermuda Bowl also shown some changes in the map of strength of the Bridge’s powerhouse. It has been for a quite while that USA dominate all sector, now it seems the situation has shifted….

The winner Of Bermuda Bowl 2011

[Bermuda Bowl]

Netherlands Wins 2011 Bermuda Bowl

Already leading significantly from session 4 (out of 8 session) of the Final, the Dutch did not give any change for the American to play catch up. With only 1 session to go, Netherlands even broaden the lead to 76 imp from 60 after session 5. Playing save on the last session, the final score is 300-255 for Netherlands.

Finishing 2nd after the round robin, the host nation of the 40th World Bridge Championship has proven that being host give you some advantages. Not so much of cheering supporter in football  but more on the determination to prove themselves that they can do something.  Beating Iceland in Quarter Final 233-142, then Italy on Semi Final 199-170, the Dutch went into final to meet the Bridge superpower USA confidently. And they have shown just that – shifting the powerhouse map in the world of bridge.

Congratulation to The Netherlands Bermuda Bowl team ! Job well done !
Netherlands team: Eric LAURANT(npc), Simon de WIJS, Louk VERHEES JR, Ricco van PROOIJEN, Bauke MULLER, Bas DRIJVER, Sjoert BRINK

The Shift of Powerhouse Map

If you play bridge, you will agree that the fairest form of match (the one which luck factor is minimized) is a duplicate team event. But most of us of club player will only see maybe 8 sessions of 8 boards in a  weekend tournament. Imagine playing 16 board each session, 3 sessions a day from 10:30am to 6pm for straight 7 days ! That’s a total of 336 board of high quality bridge. This is not only tested more of your bidding system, defense teamwork or declarer play, but also demanded your good stamina and endurance.

So, let see the result of 21 round of Round Robin for the last 2 championships and just take the top 50% (just over 50% ensure the team listed have higher probability to have more win than lost), here is the list:

40th Bermuda Bowl 2011 VP 39th Bermuda Bowl 2009 VP
1 ITALY 409 1 ITALY 390.25
2 NETHERLANDS 390 2 NORWAY 385.25
3 USA 2 372 3 BULGARIA 382
4 ISRAEL 355.34 4 USA 2 368
5 USA 1 340.5 5 NETHERLANDS 361
6 SWEDEN 335 6 GERMANY 360
7 CHINA 334.5 7 RUSSIA 359
8 ICELAND 333.5 8 CHINA 358
9 JAPAN 328 9 ARGENTINA 346
10 NEW ZEALAND 324 10 JAPAN 330
11 AUSTRALIA 320 11 CHINESE TAIPEI 328
12 BULGARIA 318.5 12 USA 1 301.5

Beside USA, only Japan and China consistently inside the elite list – the rest is mostly European nations.

Of the last 4 Bermuda, USA only win 1 in 2009. 2005, 2007 and 2011 respectively won by Italy, Norway, Netherlands.
But 4 championships before that, from 1997 – 2003, only 1 in 1997 won by France, the rest of the 3 won by USA .

So in other words, European countries has crawled back their dominance over USA. Well, since the Bermuda Bowl started in 1950, it was originally between USA ve Europe. Mostly because only in that part of the world people play bridge. But now bridge has become international sports, we would like to see some black horse to shift the pattern further. Indonesia just did that with the Venice Cup, we need the Bermuda Bowl become more and more competitive. We like fierce competition that will make bridge become more popular and more enjoyable.

But do not get me wrong, the fact that USA as only 1 country can consistently show their strength over a dozen or so European countries (who “take turn” one over another – no prominent consistent 1 country to challenge USA), then de facto, USA is still the strongest bridge playing country in the world.

No HUM and BS on Round Robin

One item that need to be highlighted for all of us that WBF (World Bridge Organization) take a good solid stance (since 2005) on HUM (Highly Unusual Method) and Brown Sticker bidding system:

No Highly Unusual Methods (HUM) or Brown Sticker (BS) conventions may be used in the round robin of the Bermuda Bowl or Venice Cup, and they are not permitted in any stage of the d’Orsi Senior Bowl.

In my opinion, HUM and BS – maybe more effective (doubtfully?) as a system, but it is just confusing to the opponent. The opponent not just have understood what it meant, but also need to prepare another system how to deal with it. So, when the result is good, it is not because the player is better, but just the system is too confusing. So, in a way it is not fair.

Therefore, when you play in your club, while it is looks fancy, but if you win because you use some strange methods that confuses people, do not fell proud about it. If you really good, use the plain standard system and you still win, that will show you that you are the better bridge player.

Until the next Bermuda Bowl in Bali !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *