2nd Central European Youth Championships 2020 – ONLINE By

12 countries, 29 teams, 166 players: these are the statistics for the 2nd Central European Youth Championships ONLINE, which were held from November 27 to November 29, 2020. The organizers invited teams from Russia as well as from Argentina, so in the end the Championships became open for all youth teams all around the world. How did it start? The first idea was to help small bridge federations in Central Europe to organize national championships. Why? They are very often not able to put together enough teams to provide a high-level competition themselves. The first year held in Prague was very successful, with the participation of 23 teams. This year was, in general, affected by the pandemic situation, which did not make it possible to organize it. Despite this, the Czech Bridge Federation decided to provide a youth event online so youth players could compare their skills. The Czech Open Youth Team Championships was included. Participants The essential numbers were mentioned in the introduction. We were delighted to welcome 8 teams in the U16 category, 10 teams in the U21 category and 11 teams in the U26 category from the following countries: Playing format The championships were limited to a team tournament. On Friday and Saturday, the Swiss qualification was played throughout the whole playing field, all teams in one group. There were always two pre-scheduled rounds. On Sunday, 4-membered final groups were played in each category separately. Friendly and fair competition We decided not to demand the use of cameras on players’ devices. The same idea led us to allow kibitzers, too. The organizers only asked for fair play as this was not the official event and the main goal was to let the youth players compare with each other, not to become a virtual champion. What made our event exceptional? YouTube streaming The President of the Czech Bridge Federation Milan Macura streamed the matches in every round. All the streams are available under this link and can be used for trainings and analysis with youth players. The final match in the U26 category was even streamed live as well as the closing ceremony of the whole event. players. The final match in the U26 category was even streamed live as well as the closing ceremony of the whole event. Bulletins Three days – three bulletins. That is the score comparable to more prestigious events. We decided to write short daily bulletins to present the running scores, crucial links and finally, some little bridge amusement, too. Friday bulletin Saturday bulletin Sunday bulletin Prizes What would the tournament (although online) be without prizes? The foreign players received online diplomas and Funbridge vouchers (thank you, Funbridge!) for their podium ranking in categories U16, U21 and U26. Results U26: 1st place: Czech Republic VV (Michael Botur, E. Klemš, V. Dolanská, M. Melčák, J. Vojtík, L. Kohutová) 2nd place: POL U26 Girls (J. Kokot, D. Ocylok, S. Baldysz, J. Zalewska, A. Byra, A. Zaręba) 3rd place: Russia Mixed U26 (V. Zubov, I. Yun, I. Postovalov, A. Kostina) U21: 1st place: Hungary U21 (L. Szücs, J. Jalsovszky, M. Kemény, Z. Argay, A. Zoller) 2nd place: CZE U21 X (A. Pyszko, M. Krása, Z. Tomis, Č. Romanowski, O. Kaštovský) 3rd place: Olimpijczyk BB2 U18  (J. Pietrzak, W. Okrzesik, M. Szemik, M. Bakalarski, Z. Samojedny, M. Pacholec) U16: 1st place: Poland U16 (K. Kuflowski, F. Kurlit, A. Bukat, J. Trojak, W. Bąk, M. Klimiuk) 2nd place: Poland U15 (J. Łuczeczko, M. Smoleń, C. Morawski, A. Byliński, F. Krajewski, N. Szoka) 3rd place: NOR U16 (N. Heiberg-Evenstad, A. Brogeland, J. Lindaas Nordby, E. Veines-Jensen, S. Faag, M. Idland Saegrov) The full results are available here.