World Championships are being played now in Bali

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The vugraph starts every night at 8pm California time (they are 15 hours ahead of us so it is 11:00 am the next morning there). See my previous post on watching vugraph for information on how to watch.

There are three main events, Open (Bermuda Bowl), Women’s (Venice Cup) and Seniors (D’Orsi Bowl). For beginning bridge players I recommend watching the Seniors as they tend to play fewer fancy conventions. This clickable list of the world’s top grandmasters copied from the WBF site might give you an idea of who to watch:

Rank Name Country MPs PPs
Fulvio FANTONI Monaco 4859 41
Claudio NUNES Monaco 4671 39
Giorgio DUBOIN Italy 4004 42
Alfredo VERSACE Italy 3865 46
Lorenzo LAURIA Italy 3628 50.5
Jeff MECKSTROTH U.S.A. 3583 61.25
Bob HAMMAN U.S.A. 3502 109.25
Eric RODWELL U.S.A. 3391 60.75
Geir HELGEMO Monaco 3092 34.5
Tor HELNESS Monaco 3031 36
Zia MAHMOOD U.S.A. 2942 31.75
Norberto BOCCHI Italy 2842 34
Nick NICKELL U.S.A. 2821 38.25
Cezary BALICKI Poland 2542 29
Ralph KATZ U.S.A. 2373 22.25
Bauke MULLER Netherlands 2363 18
Louk VERHEES Jr Netherlands 2345 11
Sjoert BRINK Netherlands 2332 12.5
Antonio SEMENTA Italy 2320 18
Robert (Bobby) LEVIN U.S.A. 2306 21
Bas DRIJVER Netherlands 2291 12.5
Adam ZMUDZINSKI Poland 2264 29
Ricco VAN PROOIJEN Netherlands 2204 10.5
Simon DE WIJS Netherlands 2187 10
Franck MULTON Monaco 2184 21
Peter BERTHEAU Sweden 2130 11.5
Steve WEINSTEIN U.S.A. 2101 13
Fredrik NYSTROM Sweden 2064 11.5

My favorite to watch in the Senior event is Bob Hamman. Zia and Levin play less complicated systems and are great to watch in the Open. Kerri Shuman is wonderful to watch in the Women’s event.

Click the read more for some URLs about these championships.

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Improve Your Game: Watch the Greats Play It

Bridge may not play well on TV but you can find all recent major championships in stored online movies and you can watch online with expert commentary as they are played, using the BBO vugraph interface. The term for watching bridge is “kibitzing,” although a bridge kibitzer is expected to remain silent at all times.


These are not movies with people’s faces but screens which show all four hands, the bidding, and the cards played in order by clicking next.

If you do not have an id at BBO sign up now! The USBF senior and women’s championships start tomorrow, Friday July 12, in Florida and they will be vugraphed starting Saturday. Click here for the vugraph schedule. Of course you can also play bridge at the BBO site …

To find old play records as “movies” you can go to the BBO archives or you can go to the USBF site and look at results of recent tournaments.

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Husband and Wife Bridge: A Special Thanks to Coach Matthew

It is both difficult and rewarding to play with your spouse. Difficult because the emotions and anger tend to be overwhelming. “If you loved me you would have given me my ruff!” One tends to take partner’s errors personally when you are married to him. The rewarding part of playing with your spouse is having a great bidding system because you can talk about bridge any time of day or night and bid the monthly Bulletin and Bridge World hands together. “Did you see that article on the Lebensohl variation, shall we play it?”

Steve and I  were so angry at each other after the last regional we played that we were ready to quit playing with each other. So I contacted good friend Matthew Granovetter of Bridge Today and asked him for some coaching help. Who better than the author with his wife Pam of the ACBL Bridge Bulletin bridge column showing both sides of an issue?

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Tournament Game Times, What’s Your Opinion?

The use of morning and afternoon game times instead of the traditional afternoon and evening game times at the recent Philadelphia Nationals generated a heated debate on the Bridge Winners website at as well as many comments on Facebook and other social media.

Please contribute your opinion if you have ever played in a tournament to our online survey on our polls page. Warning, the survey does not work properly in Safari (on an Ipad or mac) where it will tell you that you have already done the survey.

Suggestions for Teaching Kids Bridge

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I recently received an email with a great suggestion from reader Erin for a game to use when teaching bridge to kids. I would love to hear other useful suggestions and experiences in the comments to this article. Share what worked for you with other teachers.

Erin said “I came across a game a long time ago which is useful to teach to kids before they learn bridge. It’s very simple.

Take the honours out of a deck of cards (AKQJT), shuffle them, and deal them between two people. Someone leads a card and the other must follow suit. The winner leads the next card. If you want you can keep a cumulative score that is tricks won over 5, and the winner might be the first to, say, 10 or 20 points.

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More on Basic Bidding

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These days most of my bridge writings are published in the District 17 newsletter which my husband and I edit. Our columns from the newsletter are also online at the District 17 website. My Basic Bidding series there is mainly a reworking of the materials here without the drills.

But there are several articles there that are not previously published here that are of particular interest to the advancing player:

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Happy Thanksgiving from the Seattle Nationals!

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For serious bridge players, the arrival of Thanksgiving means that it is time for the Fall National Championships. This year they are to be held in Seattle; details available from the ACBL web site. There are plenty of bridge events for all levels of players, as well as lectures and entertainment. A national bridge championship is always great fun for everyone. Yes it is cool and rainy here, but at least it is not snowy, and bridge is an indoor event anyway!

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