2014 GERMAN OPEN TEAM
Sabine Auken, after more than two decades of being part of the anchor pair (with Daniela von Arnim) on the great German Women’s Teams, has qualified to be part of the German Open Team for the European Team Championship in Opatija, Croatia this summer. Her partner is … Roy Welland, formerly of the USA and now a resident of Germany. As partners, Auken/ Welland had an extraordinary 2013, winning the Vanderbilt and the European Open Pairs and placing
third in the Yeh Bros Cup. Early in 2014, as well as winning the German Trials, they have finished second in the Slava Cup. Their teammates for the German Trials were Alexander Smirnov/Josef Piekarek and Roland Rohowsky/Jörg Fritsche.
RED BULL WORLD BRIDGE SERIES
The energy drink company Red Bull has signed on as title sponsor for the World Bridge Series in Sanya, China this fall. With its company emphasis on sports for the young, such as BMX, snowboarding and skate cross, it’s a good company to get involved in bridge.
RENAULT-NISSAN POTENTIAL SPONSORSHIP
Mark Horton informs us of potential sponsorship of bridge by the Renault Nissan Alliance, which will celebrate its 15th anniversary in March this year and is the longest-lasting, cross-cultural partnership in the auto industry. The partnership has been a real success – they currently sell more than one in ten of all cars worldwide (and 1.3 million vehicles in China, giving it a market share of more than 6%). The President Emeritus of the World Bridge Federation, José Damiani, has been exploring how Bridge and the Alliance might work together, and was in Beijing during the SportAccord World Mind Games in Beijing in December to meet with Marie Vallee, who is a member of the special events team for Renault Nissan. China is the Alliance’s biggest market in the world in terms of sales and that is one of the reasons why a link with Bridge, one of the fastest growing sports in China, might be forged. The Alliance was one of the sponsors of the 2013 Sport Accord World Mind Games, their first such involvement in China.
2015 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and d’Orsi Trophy will take place in India, venue to be determined, but perhaps not Goa, as previously mooted.
Jannersten Förlag AB has announced the introduction of the Bridgesorter, described as a sturdy dealing machine that can sort cards without barcodes. [ilink url=»http://www.jannersten.se/»]www.jannersten.com[/ilink]
BRITISH TAXMAN DECLARES CONTRACT BRIDGE NOT A SPORT
Patrick Kidd – The Times, February 25
It’s a game that requires stamina, concentration, teamwork and ruthlessness – as well as years of practice – to acquire any real proficiency. As far as the taxman is concerned, however, letting a mere card game be considered as a sport would be a bridge too far. How can something be a sport when you can hold a glass of whisky while playing it? A tax tribunal yesterday dealt a losing hand to the English Bridge Union, which had wanted to be recognised as a sport so that members would not have to pay VAT on their competition entry fees, which amounted to £631,000 in 2012-13.
(Really? – did HM Inland Revenue consult the IOC? They consider bridge a sport and surely have more expertise in the determination than a tax tribunal acting out of pure bureaucratic self-interest. – Ed.)