Source: IBPA Bulletin May 2021 In March, we interviewed EBL President Jan Kamras for the Bulletin. At that time, Kamras was optimistic that the European Championships would take place in Madeira as planned. Since then, however, those Championships have been cancelled and the EBL was looking into holding an online Championship, IF the WBF went ahead with its plans to hold the World Championships in Salsomaggiore later this year. Thus we decided to interview WBF President Gianarrigo Rona. Here’s what he had to say. IBPA: Mr. President, in May 2020 we were informed that the World Teams Championships in Salsomaggiore Terme were “postponed”. The WBF website currently says NO EVENTS. Does this mean that you do not plan to stage any events this year? GR: As you know the WBF decided to consider 2020 events as non-existent, planning to hold, in 2021, the World Bridge Teams Championships and postponing until 2022 the World Bridge Games.
Gianarrigo Rona & Carlotta Venier
Gianarrigo Rona & Carlotta Venier
Concerning the World Youth Teams Championship, we decided to move it to 2021. This decision was immediately published and communicated on 25th May, 2020. The plan that we strongly want to carry out is to hold the World Bridge Team Championship in Salsomaggiore Terme in the last part of October 2021. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has continued its horrific spread in late 2020 and early 2021, and the battle is still not yet won. Together with the Salsomaggiore and FIGB authorities, we are continuously monitoring the situation, day by day. The dates and the organisational details of the Championships will be decided at the next meeting of the WBF Management Committee to be held at the end of April or the beginning of May, and will be immediately published and communicated. On that occasion, a final decision about the Youth Teams Championship will also be made, bearing in mind that in any case this event can be held only in July/August. IBPA: Is there a Plan B for the 2021 events? Or is your choice between face-to-face bridge, onsite, and cancelling? GR: The situation is clear: if, unfortunately the Championship cannot be held face-toface, it sadly will be cancelled. IBPA: How do you intend to reduce the risk that Covid-19 will be spread during the event? Will participation be restricted to those who have been immunized? Or…?
Francesco Ferlazzo (FIGB) & Gianarrigo Rona (WBF)
GR: All persons allowed to enter the venue will have to have been immunized or to have had a negative test result (swab) 48 hours before the start of the Championships. In any case, the body temperature of everyone allowed to enter the venue will be checked, distances will be respected, and gatherings will be forbidden. To wear a mask inside the venue will be mandatory, but we will guarantee a safe distance and non contact between players during play (adopting tables of 1.35 x 1.35 m, duplicated boards, and use of personal bidding boxes). The players will not have to wear a mask during play. This is the picture today. All the details will be published in due time, hoping that the situation will be normalized and some restrictions will be avoided. IBPA: Will spectators and followers be allowed or do you mean that it will be entry by invitation only? GR: Currently, we consider that only players, Championship officials, medical staff, tournament personnel, accredited journalists and other authorized persons can be present at the venue; no spectators and/or followers will be permitted to attend. IBPA: Unethical behavior and cheating have been an issue in the past. How do you intend to prevent that this time? GR: With the adoption of the new security system, managed by Trian Chira, during play, all tables will be constantly monitored by cameras and the full bidding and play recorded. IBPA: Thank you, Mr. President. Subsequent to this inteview, on May 8, 2021, the WBF announced the cancellation of the 2021 World Youth Team Championships and the 2021 World Team Championships, both of which were to be have been held in Salsomaggiore, Italy, in August (Youth) and October (Open). Plans are underway for Salsomaggiore to host the World Team Championships in February/March 2022. The World Youth Team Championships will next be held in 2023. There are no plans to hold any World Championships online.

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