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Sanya wins bid for 2014 World Bridge Series Championships

By Gaoyinan (People's Daily Online)

13:07, July 25, 2013

Gianarrigo Rona (L), the president of World Bridge Federation signs the contract of Sanya hosting 2014 World Bridge Series Championships with Xiang Huaicheng (R) president of Chinese Contract Bridge Association on Wednesday in Beijing. (People’s Daily Online/ Gao Yinan)

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) awards the 2014 World Bridge Series Championships to Sanya, a city known as a tropical paradise for tourists, in the southernmost China’s Hainan province. Gianarrigo Rona, the president of WBF signs the contract with his Chinese counterpart, Xiang Huaicheng from Chinese Contract Bridge Association (CCBA) on Wednesday in Beijing.

It is the first time that World Bridge Series Championships awards a city that is beyond Europe and America. “Sanya is a fantastic place,” President Rona said on the contract signing ceremony that he was impressed by the beautiful tropical sceneries during his visit to Sanya in March this year.

The Championship is planed to be held in October, a perfect month of tourism there. The city gained the favors of WBF because of the capacity of organizing world-class tournaments, perfect competition services and favorable weather and fantastic tropical sceneries. “Players and their wife, children and family will spend a good time in Sanya,” president Rona said.

The first World Bridge Series Championships was held in 1962 and since then it is held every four years. It is regarded as the “Bridge Olympic Games” that is open to bridge players all over the world. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have taken part in it before.

The WBF, the international governing body of contract bridge, has shown strong and steady growth and its membership now comprises 124 National Bridge Organizations with approximately 1,000,000 affiliated members who participate actively in competitive bridge events (locally, nationally and internationally).

The WBF is now seeking to promote tournaments in Asia. WBF has been working together with CCBA since 1995 and with the efforts made by side, tournaments and promotion events has been held in several cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. The 14th World Bridge Junior Championships was successfully held in Taicang, S China’s Jiangsu province in 2012.

Contract bridge, or simply Bridge, is an interesting game using a standard 52-card deck and is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. It is popular in Europe especially among the senior but now more and more young people in China get to know it and play bridge national wide in clubs, tournaments, online and with friends at home.

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Wang Yuhan contributes to the story.

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