World Bridge Federation
The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is the international governing body of contract bridge. The WBF is responsible for world championship competition, most of which is conducted at a few multi-event meets on a four-year cycle. The most prestigious championships are those for national teams in Open, Women, and Seniors categories: the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup, and Senior Bowl (jointly the biennial "World Teams Championships"), and the quadrennial World Team Olympiads, incorporated in the World Mind Sports Games beginning 2008.
The World Bridge Federation was founded August 1958 by delegates from Europe, North America, and South America (now Zones 1 to 3). It is incorporated under the laws of Switzerland as a 'non-profit' organization. Harold Stirling Vanderbilt was made the first honorary member of the WBF for his work developing the game. The current president is Gianarrigo Rona of Italy, effective October 2010.
WBF membership now comprises 123 National Contract Bridge Organizations (NBOs) with about 700,000 affiliated members, most of whom participate in bridge competitions locally and many of whom compete nationally and internationally. The NBOs belong to the "zonal organization" in one of eight geographic zones. Each National Contract Bridge Organization agrees to fulfil certain requirements, such as opening its ranks to all its citizens and residents and upholding a standard of ethics acceptable to the WBF.
The World Bridge Federation has a Congress to which each NBO is entitled to send one delegate. The Congress meets every second year, at Team Olympiads and at World Championships. The WBF is administered by an Executive Council which is assisted by the various Committees and Consultants it appoints.
- 1958–64, Robert de Nexon, France
- 1964–68, Charles J. Solomon, USA
- 1968–70, Carl Bonde, Sweden
- 1970–76, Julius Rosenblum
- 1976–86, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, Switzerland (later President Emeritus)
- 1986–91, Denis Howard, Australia (resigned January 1991)
- 1991–92, Ernesto d'Orsi, Brazil
- 1992–94, Bobby Wolff, USA
- 1994–2010, José Damiani, France
- 2010–present, Gianarrigo Rona, Italy
The current president Gianarrigo Rona (born 1940, Pavia) was elected at the 2009 World Team Championships and he succeeded José Damiani after the 2010 World Bridge Series. He was president of the European Bridge League (EBL) from 1999 to 2010.
- "Geographical zones". World Bridge Federation. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- WBF committee structure and membership, 2013
- "History of the World Bridge Federation". WBF. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
- "World Bridge Federation". Manley, Brent, Editor; Horton, Mark, Co-Editor; Greenberg-Yarbro, Tracey, Co-Editor; Rigal, Barry, Co-Editor (2011). The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (7th ed.). Horn Lake, MS: American Contract Bridge League. p. 144–46. ISBN 978-0-939460-99-1.
- "Gianarrigo Rona". Biographies. WBF. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
- World Mind Sports Games, International Mind Sports Association, 2008 or earlier. Posted at usgo.org American Go Association. Confirmed 2011-08-31. (Second copy at World Bridge Federation.)
- World Bridge Federation
- WBF zonal organizations — official websites if available
- Zone 1: European Bridge League
- Zone 2: American Contract Bridge League
- Zone 3: Confederacion Sudamericana de Bridge
- Zone 4: Bridge Federation of Asia & the Middle East
- Zone 5: Central American & Caribbean Bridge Federation
- Zone 6: Pacific Asia Bridge Federation —there is no PABF website linked to information provided by the WBF; some annual websites for PABF Championships remain active (example, PABF 2005, Seoul)
- Zone 7: South Pacific Bridge Federation —there is no SPBF website linked to information provided by the WBF; consult Australia Bridge Federation
- Zone 8: African Bridge Federation
- Asia Pacific Bridge Federation (pabf.org) with members from WBF Zones 6 and 7 and affiliates from Zone 4 —rooted in the old "Far East" region