Bridge at the 2012 World Mind Sports Games

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The second World Mind Sports Games convened in Lille, France, 9–23 August 2012—two weeks, Thursday to Thursday[1]

They were sponsored by the International Mind Sports Association.


Competition began Friday morning, 10 August. Much diminished from the first games, there were but three WMSG medal events (Open, Women, and Seniors national teams), with a secondary world championship and a side event during the second week. The World Bridge Federation now calls the three WMSG medal events the "World Bridge Games", a moniker that retroactively covers the World Teams Olympiad, quadrennial 1960 to 2004. So these were the 14th World Bridge Games accompanied by the 5th World Transnational Mixed Teams Championship. Daily Bulletin, Issue 1 (opening ceremonies), 10 August 2012

Chess was represented by demonstration events only—no medals. Go and xiangqi about the same as 2008 with five medal events each. The draughts program was much expanded with 16 medal events, more than half the total.

Some of the bridge events that constituted the first Games were contested during the immediately preceding Youth meet in August 2012.

The World Masters Individual tournaments, one open and one for women, were simply dropped. (contested biennially, then quadrennially, about ten times in all).

IMSA president José Damiani opened the games Thursday evening, 9 August. He is former WBF president to 2010. (from 1986?)

The main events proceeded in parallel with five days (5+ for the Seniors) of round-robin play in groups—three 16-deal matches daily—followed by four rounds of two-day knockout matches (96 deals)—except the Open final, three days and 128 deals.

Most teams comprised six players in three regular pairs. There were exceptions. Two pairs played all 16 round-robin matches for the Hungary seniors, and continued on to win the gold medal. (One pair of Reunion seniors also played every deal and some teams comprised five players rather than six.) (footnote here and elsewhere: The generally non-playing Hungary captain did play the final session of the first knockout match, which commenced with a 200–59 lead vs. Singapore.)

The gold-medal winning Hungary seniors were one exception, the only one in the medal round of 12 semifinalists, with five players.


The contract bridge component of the 2nd Games was reduced to two events, down from nine for bridge at the 2008 World Mind Sports Games. The World Bridge Federation (WBF) sponsored two other world championship events in both instances, for national Seniors Teams and transnational Mixed Teams (which field male–female pairs only).

Open, Women, and Youth Individual events and under-28 Teams were not repeated. Youth Pairs, u-26 Teams, and u-21 Teams were contested at separate all-Youth meets—along with u-26 Girls Teams, which was not part of the 1st Games.

Event Gold Silver Bronze
World Bridge Games medalists[2]
Open Teams  Sweden  Poland  Monaco [1] -->
Women Teams  England  Russia  Poland [2] -->
Senior Teams
(non-WMSG event)
 Hungary  United States  France [3] -->
Mixed Teams
(transnational, non-WMSG event)
(from USA, Italy, Netherlands)
(all players from Canada)
Saic Red [4] -->
(all players from China)

Numbers of entries: 60, 43, 34 [5] and 84 [6]

Generally down from the preceding Games: 71, 54, 32 [7] and 120 [8]

Vanderbilt Trophy (open flight, introduced 1960) previously won by Italy 6, France 4, Poland, Brazil and USA 1 each.


[3] 65 bridge nations were represented by at least one Open, Women, or Seniors team. The Open field of 60 included 30 from the European Bridge League. There were 43 in the Women field including four that did not enter the Open: Lebanon, Palestine, Indonesia, Philippines. There were 34 in the Seniors including one that did not enter either WMSG medal event: Hungary, which won the Seniors championship!

65 nations were represented, 30 in all three fields, including 32 and 13 from Europe (right column). Six of the nations with teams in all flights expanded their participation since 2008 (*).

2012 World Bridge Games participation, national teams
Zone Open Women Seniors (some, all) (all three flights)
1. Europe 30 18 15 (32, 13) Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel*, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland*, Spain*, Sweden, Turkey*
2. North America 3 3 2 (3, 2) Canada, USA
3. South America 4 4 2 (4, 2) Argentina*, Brazil
4. Asia & Middle East 4 4 2 (5, 2) India, Pakistan
5. C. America & Carib.   4 1 1 (4, 1) Guadeloupe
6. Pacific Asia 7 6 5 (9, 3) China Hong Kong, China Taipei, Japan
7. South Pacific 2 2 2 (2, 2) Australia, New Zealand
8. Africa 6 5 5 (6, 5) Egypt, Kenya, Morocco*, Reunion, South Africa
All entries 60 43 34 (65, 30)

Costa Rica and the Open bronze medalist Monaco were the only new participants, while 11 bridge nations who sent at least one team in 2008 did not return: Belarus, Lithuania, Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Wales, Barbados, Jamaica, Macao and French Polynesia (only Bulgaria with a record of strong showings).

Among the 30 nations with three teams in play, 7 reached the knockout round of 16 in all three flights: Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and USA. (Five including Netherlands, Poland, and USA had done so in 2008.)

Poland and Sweden reached all three quarterfinals (as England in 2008). France, Poland, and Sweden reached two semifinals and Poland won two medals, the Open silver and Women bronze.

Sweden in the Open and Hungary in the Seniors were first-time winners. Hungary previously hosted the only pre-war world championship tournament, in 1937, and won the European championships in 1934 and 1938.

2008 participation

74 nations had participated in the same national Teams events four years earlier, including 38 from Europe.

Zone Open Women Seniors (some, all) (all three flights)
1. Europe 37 23 14 (38, 12) Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden
2. North America 3 3 2 (3, 2) Canada, USA
3. South America 4 3 1 (4, 1) Brazil
4. Asia & Middle East 4 4 2 (5, 2) India, Pakistan
5. C. America & Carib.   4 5 1 (5, 1) Guadeloupe
6. Pacific Asia 10 9 6 (10, 6) China, China Hong Kong, China Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand
7. South Pacific 3 2 2 (3, 2) Australia, New Zealand
8. Africa 6 5 4 (6, 4) Egypt, Kenya, Reunion, South Africa
All entries 71 54 32 (74, 30)

Open (13)

French Polynesia; Jamaica; China Macau, Philippines; EBL Albania, Belarus, Georgia, Hungary, Lebanon, Serbia,

Women (16)

Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago; Singapore, Korea; EBL Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal, Serbia,

Seniors (4)

*Thailand; EBL *Estonia, *Finland, Wales

Open (2)

Costa Rica; EBL Monaco

Women (5)

Chile; EBL Austria, Israel, Lebanon, San Marino

Seniors (6)

Morocco; Argentina; Singapore; EBL Israel, Scotland, Spain, Turkey


England successfully defended its gold medal with four of six players (two pairs) returning from 2008: Sally Brock, Heather Dhondy, Nevena Senior, Nicola Smith. They were joined by Fiona Brown and Susan Stockdale.

The two-day final (six sessions, 96 deals) was a relatively comfortable win over Russia.[4]

ENG – 43 27 32 – 27 55 25 – 209 IMP
RUS – 26 30 22 – 16 21 25 – 140 [9]

England led 102 to 78 after the first of two days (48 deals) and Russia did not challenge.

Five-day round-robin in three groups of 14 or 15 teams, England merely fourth in E behind Russia, Scotland, Turkey. With Poland fifth and Australia sixth this group qualified six teams including all three medalists. Netherlands and Sweden were group F and G winners.

England and China, the 2008 finalists, met in the round of 16 with England winning with a big final session. The round-robin winners advanced easily while Poland knocked out USA, another favorite.[10]

Six teams from the European Bridge League advanced to the round of 8 with the 2011 world runner-up Indonesia, and Brazil.

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
96 deals (15–16 Aug)            
   Denmark  134
96 deals (two days)
   Russia*  219  
   Russia*  193
     Indonesia  122  
   Turkey  187
two days, 96 deals
   Indonesia  197  
   Russia*  243
     Poland  160  
   Austria  211
   Brazil  215  
   Brazil  189
     Poland  266  
   Poland  189
96 deals, 21–22 August
   United States  181  
   England  209
     Russia  140
   Australia  153
   Sweden*  212  
   Sweden*  158
     England  202  
   England  224
   Chile  188  
   England  201
     France  150   Bronze medal playoff
   Italy  129
80 deals
   Netherlands*  184  
   Netherlands*  194    Poland  170
     France  203      France  118
   France  202
   Scotland  166  
* round-robin group winners (3); three groups of 14 or 15

Russia, England, and Poland from group E won their quarterfinal matches at least comfortably while France beat Netherlands in a close match between 2011 world gold and bronze medalists.[11]

The semifinal and final matches were comfortable wins for Russia over Poland, England over France, England over Russia for the gold medal, and Poland over France for the bronze.[12] [13]


Lille, France

43 teams

1. England England
Sally Brock, Fiona Brown, Heather Dhondy, Nevena Senior, Nicola Smith, Susan Stockdale
2. Russia Russia
3. Poland Poland
Cathy Bałdysz, Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Katarzyna Dufrat, Danuta Kazmucha, Natalia Sakowska, Justyna Żmuda
4. France France
Véronique Bessis, Sophie Dauvergne, Elisabeth Hugon, Rokia Poizat, Carole Puillet, Catherine Vives


Five-day round-robin in four groups of 15 teams, qualifying four teams each. Exceptionally close call for 2011 world champions Netherlands, losing the final match against Spain 18–12, Spain needing 19–11 to tie and 20–10 to win the last qualification.[14] Ireland won the last spot in B, a strong showing. Canada won the fourth place in C with a 17–13 win over Argentina in the last match, Argentina needing to win by that margin (14-16 defeat good enough for Canada). Turkey the fourth spot in D, another strong showing. Group winners were Germany and the open bridge superpowers USA, Italy, and Monaco.

Three of the fourth-place qualifiers did well in the round-of-16. Ireland beat Germany in the closest match, 214–200. Canada led Monaco entering the last segment, where it did not score and yielded 58 IMP. The Netherlands world champions overcame a poor start to beat France. The five other matches were ultimately comfortable wins for teams with strong round-robin showings: Italy, Russia, and Sweden (1-2-3 in group C); USA and Poland (1-3 in group B). [15]

Seven teams from the European Bridge League advanced to the round of 8 along with the United States.

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
   Ireland  206
     Russia  183  
   Ireland  185
     Poland  252  
   Poland  172
     Italy*  171  
128 deals
   Poland  234
     Sweden  371
   USA*  178
     Sweden  182  
   Sweden  220
     Monaco*  174   Third Place
   Netherlands  181    Ireland  152
     Monaco*  215      Monaco*  249
* round-robin group winners (4 including Germany); four groups of 15

All of the quarterfinals were close matches. Poland and Sweden beat frequent world champions Italy and USA by 1 and 4 IMP. Monaco beat Netherlands with another huge final session, 49–3. Ireland beat Russia 206–183.[16]

In the semifinal Poland led Ireland by 24 IMP after the first day and won easily on the second. Monaco trailed again after five of six sessions, this time a 25-IMP margin for Sweden. The superstars scored 23 IMPs to 2 on the first five deals, now only 4 IMP behind. But Sweden then scored decisively with 47 IMP on its own run of five deals.[17]

Monaco beat Ireland soundly for the bronze medal. In the 128-deal gold-medal match, Sweden took a big lead on the first of three days and extended it on the second.[18]

SWE – 46 42 43 (131) – 70 49 15 (265) – 77 29 – 371 IMP
POL – 29 14 34 ( 77) – 41 45 22 (185) –  3 46 – 234 [19]

Lille, France

60 teams

1. Sweden Sweden
Krister Ahlesved, Peter Bertheau, Per-Ola Cullin, Fredrik Nyström, Jonas Petersson, Johan Upmark
2. Poland Poland
Cezary Balicki, Krzysztof Buras, Grzegorz Narkiewicz, Piotr Żak, Jerzy Zaremba, Adam Żmudziński 
3. Monaco Monaco
Fulvio Fantoni, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness, Franck Multon, Claudio Nunes, Pierre Zimmermann
4. Republic of Ireland Ireland
John Carroll, Nicholas Fitzgibbon, Tommy Garvey, Tom Hanlon, Hugh McGann, Adam Mesbur 


34 national teams entered the non-medal Seniors event, up slightly from 32 teams in 2008 while the other events were down about 20%.

Playing three daily matches in two groups of 17 (rather than the usual maximum 16), the round-robin stage continued into day six while the medal events began two-day knockout matches. The seniors then played 4-session, 64-deal matches in the round of 16 while the medal events completed 6-session 96-deal matches. The knockout participants were 10 teams from the European Bridge League, USA and Canada from North America, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Japan from the Asia Pacific.[20] Ten teams from the four other WBF zones were among the 18 teams eliminated in round-robin play.

The round-robin leaders were Hungary, with no history of success in world championship competition since the 1930s, and France.

Six European teams advanced to the quarterfinals with the United States and Indonesia.[21]

HUN – 36 47 65 (148) – 21 48 30 – 247 IMP
USA – 41 13 24 ( 78) – 43 25 20 – 166 [22]
Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
   France*  179
   Netherlands   83  
   France*  211
     Italy  141  
   Italy  147
   Israel  111  
   France*  133
     USA  156  
   Canada  119
   Denmark  134  
   Denmark  233
     USA  235  
   USA  122
96 deals
   Germany  115  
   USA  166 
     Hungary  247 
   Singapore   60
   Hungary*  237  
   Hungary*  179
     Poland  170  
   England  108
   Poland  117  
   Hungary*  201
     Sweden  184   Third Place
   Indonesia  159
   Japan   77  
   Indonesia  167    France  224 
     Sweden  221      Sweden  149 
   Sweden  178
   Australia  105  
* round-robin group winners (2); two groups of 17

Lille, France
World Mind Sports Games
non-medal event

34 teams
born 1952 or earlier

1. Hungary Hungary Barany György, Dumbovich Miklós, Kovács Mihály, Magyar Péter, Szappanos Géza (family names first)
2. United States United States Neil Chambers, Lew Finkel, Stephen Landen, Sam Lev, John Schermer, Richard Schwartz
3. France France Patrick Grenthe, Guy Lasserre, François Leenhardt, Patrice Piganeau, Philippe Poizat, Philippe Vanhoutte 
4. Sweden Sweden Olle AXNE, Sven-Ake BJERREGARD, Borje DAHLBERG, Anders MORATH, Mats NILSLAND, Leif TRAPP


  1. ^ "World Mind Sports Games 2012" (microsite). International Mind Sports Association (IMSA). Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  2. ^ "2nd World Mind Games: 14th World Bridge Games" (microsite). World Bridge Federation (WBF). 9–23 August 2012. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
  3. ^ Registration – Participants: Open/Women/Seniors. WBF. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
  4. ^ Women final match.
  5. ^ a b Results & Participants (national teams), 14th World Bridge Games, 2012. WBF. Retrieved 2014-06-02.