Some of the best bridge players in South Africa and the world are currently in action at the Italian Club in Milnerton for the National Teams and Pairs Championships, hosted by Western Cape Bridge.
The annual tournament, under the auspices of the SA Bridge Federation, is taking place from 9-16 March.
Bridge players from all over the country are vying for national titles in the teams and pairs competitions. And because the tournament is taking place in Cape Town, a very popular tourist destination, some of the top players in the world are using the opportunity to not only visit our country but also to show off their skills in the national tournament.
This is something that is unique to Cape Town, as it does not happen when the tournament is presented in any other city, says the media liaison officer of Western Cape Provincial Bridge, Shirley Kaminer.
Approximately 48 teams are battling it out in the team’s competition, with a team comprising 4 – 6 players. It is an open tournament, which means females and males are playing in the same competition.
Teams are not made up according to provincial affiliation, with any player welcome to team up with any other player, irrespective of provincial allegiance. In the opening stages of the tournament, the draw determines the order of play with no exception being made between the top players and the less experienced ones. A seeding system will be in place for the latter part of the tournament, where players will be divided into different categories so that they will be playing against players of the same ability.
For the first time at a national tournament a No Fear Section will be introduced. This is for players who have never played in a tournament before. They will be playing amongst themselves, in the process getting the chance to experience the atmosphere at a national tournament. Kaminer said they are trying to grow the sport of bridge and have introduced a program at schools to get learners to start playing the game.
People who want to follow the tournament online can log on to Bridge Base https://www.bridgebase.com Spectators are welcome to attend the tournament and entry is free. For more information people can phone Shirley Kaminer on 082-821-9171.