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No Open World Championships Until 2024?

I just read the statement from the WBF management committee regarding this year's and future world championships. http://www.worldbridge.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/ManagementCommitteeStatement28May2020.pdf

I hope my eyes deceive me, because it appears the WBF has decided to postpone this year's world bridge games (the former Olympics) to 2022 and the Transnational Open World Championships (same as Orlando) to 2024.

I am astonished by this decision. So from 2019 to 2024 there will only be world championships for national teams. Nothing for the thousands of bridge players who are longing to play live bridge again, especially in a world championship. Only for the select few hundreds who are so fortunate to represent their country.

I realize the members of the WBF are the NBOs, but do they really only care about the elite? Is it not the WBF's responsibility to organize events for the regular players as well at the national team players?

Is there some financial benefit to hosting the "Olympics" (World Bridge Games) rather than the transnational open championships that allow everybody to participate regardless of bridge level and nationality?

Now I know some will argue, "But there is still the transnationals the second week of the Bermuda Bowl". Yes, a tournament that potentially lasts only a few days and is often held in a remote place and does not historically attract "normal" players.

The charm about the open transnational championships (both the open Europeans held every second year until corona, now also incomprehensibly cancelled in 2021) is that they are for everyone. Not everyone can win, but everyone gets a chance to play against Zia and Helgemo and Sabine. Besides the open teams and pairs, there are teams and pairs for seniors, women, and especially mixed; a category that sets new records every year and had significantly more teams than open teams in Orlando.

Now there will not be a transnational World Mixed Championship for 5 years. There used to be one at the end of the World Bridge Games, but that was replaced by NATIONAL pairs. So if your favorite partner is not from the same country as you, too bad.

I think it is a decision without consideration for the many who pay their dues to their NBOs (who then pay their dues to the WBF) but will never have the opportunity to play for their country in a World Championship.

But also from all bridge professionals' point of view, this decision is disastrous. Very few countries are represented by professional national teams, so outside the US the national team players make no money.

So the open transnational world championships are an amazing opportunity for bridge professionals since anybody with a dream of a world championship can play, regardless of whether they dream of winning the open teams, the senior or mixed pairs, or just always dreamt of doubling Joe Grue.

I don't see who this decision benefits. It does not benefit the tournament players who dream of participating in a real world championship some day, it does not benefit all the bridge professionals. So for whose sake has this decision been made?

If the WBF decides to pretend 2020 never happened, then why not simply cancel the World Bridge Games (Olympics) that were to take place this year? The NBOs are not saving any money by postponing, they simply have the expense in 2022 rather than 2020, where normally 2022 would be a "cheap" year because the open transnational championships are paid out of the players' own pocket.

If this is the situation, I volunteer to begin to organize an alternative Open World Championship. Somewhere central with lots of cheap accommodations and nice restaurants (I may be biased, but for me central Europe is that place; I'm open to other suggestions).

I don't know what the costs are, because I don't know how much of the expenses are covered by the entry fees. But perhaps somebody who will miss the World Championships as much as I (and has more money) will help. I would also organize a huge party the last night of the Championships and force everyone to dress up for the prize-giving and make sure everybody had something to drink.

Am I alone with my sentiments?

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