Every two years bridge players from across the globe compete in teams to represent their country in the World Bridge Championships. Up for grabs are the Bermuda Bowl (open event), the Venice Cup (women only) and the d'Orsi Bowl (seniors), which trophies are currently held by Poland, France and the USA respectively. In order to take part, teams must first earn the right to represent their country and then do battle to represent their region or zone. A total of twelve African countries are currently affiliated to the World Bridge Federation (Zone 8) – these are Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Réunion, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In 2017, South Africa will proudly host the African Bridge Federation (ABF) Zonal Championships that will determine which two countries will compete for the sport's highest awards and earn for themselves and their country the deserved title World Champions. Whilst South Africa and Egypt have typically locked horns for these two coveted spots, perhaps another African country will emerge in this year's battle and go on to compete against the mighty USA, China, Italy and many other countries determined to make their presence felt. We shall just have to wait and see!
The ABF Zonal Championships will take place from 5th to 11th May at the President Hotel in Cape Town. Located in the exclusive suburb of Bantry Bay, the hotel enjoys sweeping views over the endless horizon of the deep blue Atlantic Ocean and offers everything one expects of a four star luxury hotel – air-conditioned rooms, pool, spa, restaurants, bars and much more besides.
The 'Zonals' will be followed by the All Africa Pairs and Teams Championships from the 13th to 22nd May 2017. This will also take place in our beautiful 'mother city' where we would expect upwards of 200 of South Africa's top players to pit their wits against each other and their overseas counterparts.