Bridge with a Twist by Simon Cochemé
Bridge and the Olympics
This August will see two great sporting events: the Bridge at the World Mind Sports Games in Lille
and the Olympics in London. And, no, the start of the 2012-2013 Premier League does not make it three.
THE FIRST Bridge Olympiad was held in four silver medals and two bronze (the last the 1st Mind Sports Olympics. Despite
the Olympic year of 1960 in Turin and as England, following the devolution of this, it was formally treated as the
thereafter it was held every four years, Great Britain into the home countries in continuation of the Olympiad, and infor-
until 2004 in Istanbul. 2000). Nicola Smith (née Gardener) was mally referred to as such.
part of the team in all six of these lower- The excellent news was that the England
podium finishes. Open team, after thirty-two years in the
The High Jump is not unusual in The Seniors event was added to the wilderness, claimed the silver medal,
bridge, with 1NT-6NT the most games in 2000. Unlike Open and Women losing to Italy in the final.
common of the five-level jumps. players, the Seniors will not have to The glorious news was that Nicola
Lower jumps can be more of a undergo random drugs tests. Smith (with a little help, I hasten to add,
problem; hands up if you have ever There were changes to the Bridge from Sally Brock, Heather Dhondy,
bid a 4™ splinter . . . and been left to Olympiad in 2008 – two good and one Nevena Senior, Anne Rosen and Catherine
play there. bad. There was also some excellent news Draper) finally got her Olympiad Gold.
and some glorious news. The English Women held off a fight-back
by the Chinese Women to win by 1 IMP.
Great Britain has never won the Open The dressage segment of the Eque- The 2nd World Mind Sports Games will
event, finishing second in 1960 and third strian Three Day Event includes the be held in Lille. At a press conference at
in 1964 and 1976. Half Pass. We all know what a Half the World Championships in October
Pass is, don’t we? Where a player 2011, Jose Damiani, President of the
fiddles with the Pass card before International Mind Sports Association,
This is a bidding sequence from the said he was keen to hold the Games in the
Norfolk Congress a few years ago: selecting a bid (or vice-versa).
same country as the Olympics. He went
´ AK82 ´ J7 on to say that London was not viable,
™ A Q 10 5 N ™ KJ87 The first of the good news: the event Manchester was removed from considera-
t Void S t 8754 became a multi-sport affair, like the main tion because of rioting, and Cardiff had
® KQJ86 ® A 10 7 Olympics, with Chess, Draughts, Go, and insufficient funding to support the
Xiangqi (Chinese Chess) being played tournament.
3t 4® alongside Bridge. Second, the event was
5t 5NT played at the Olympic venue for the first Why is an athletics relay like a bridge
7™ time, in this instance Beijing, soon after auction? Both require three passes to
the Paralympic Games. I was there as a conclude satisfactorily.
East’s 3t bid was a splinter, agreeing spectator and it was wonderful to walk
hearts. 4® was a cue bid. 5t was past the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium every
Exclusion Roman Key Card Black- day on my way to the Fencing Hall, where Lille will be a glorious festival of bridge.
wood (excluding the ace of dia- the bridge was being played. Many small nations will never qualify for
monds). 5NT showed two of the The bad news was that, although bridge World Championships but at the event
remaining four key-cards, without and chess are both recognised as sports by formally known as the Olympiad all bridge-
the queen of hearts. West’s bidding the IOC, the whole event was called the 1st playing countries, maybe as many as
was, after the lowest possible start, a World Mind Sports Games, rather than seventy, will be welcomed. r
fine example of a Triple Jump.
Many Olympic sports share terminology with bridge; tennis has aces and double
faults; wrestling has its slams; diving has double somersaults. We all know what a
The British Women won Gold in 1964 double somersault is, don’t we? Where you make a penalty double and your partner
in New York City. Since then they have assumes it was for take-out (or vice-versa).
been bridesmaids on six occasions, with
www.ebu.co.uk August 2012 English Bridge 19