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Thank you Paul!

All participants gave homage to the memory of Paul Magerman, a great gentleman for University Bridge

Lodz, the second largest city in Poland, was the site of the second World University Wrestling Championship in 2004. And this time, the town hosted the fourth edition of the Bridge WUC. The University Centre accommodated the players, offering the infrastructures needed for the organization of this tournament which has gradually become an institution in the world of international bridge. It must also be said that bridge is very popular in Poland and this country has some great champions. In fact, it won the World University Championship in 2004 at second second WUC held in Istanbul, Turkey.

After China (Tianjin) where 27 teams from 22 countries were accredited, it would be hard to do better. In fact, in Lodz, 21 teams from 15 countries and three continents met for the tournament. This small drop in participation must not cloud the fact that this intellectual sport is still relatively new in our programme, but is growing fast. This fourth World University Bridge Championship had a very special connotation since it took place in the absence of Paul Magerman, the initiator of international bridge competition at university level. On organizing the European University Championship in Antwerp in 1993, he knew that this event would be the first of many. In fact, he continued to work for the development of these tournaments up to the organization of the First World University Bridge Championship in Bruges, Belgium in 2002. As the spokesman for University bridge on the executive committee of the World Bridge Federation (WBF), Paul Magerman was also a talented player in the first division up to the 80s. His son, Geert, is following in his shoes as the technical delegate for bridge at FISU.

After a magnificent opening ceremony, things got serious. Very quickly it appeared that the European countries had great ambitions, and Poland to start with (with two teams), as well as the Netherlands which we mustn't forget was the European champion in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001. The play and the players were simply exceptional. Three coaches present in Lodz were former world champions, which is certainly part of the explanation. One team irresistibly pulled ahead and constructed its victory day after day, so that the last round was just a formality. This was the team from the Netherlands. Led by the well-known pair of Meike Wortel and Marion Michielsen, as well as Bob Drijver and Merijn Groenenboom and finally Danny Molenaar and Tim Verbeek. All three teams are regulars at University tournaments, and logically they managed to impose their style in Lodz. The suspense was much more intense in the fight for second place between Norway A and Poland A. They started the last round elbow to elbow, but Poland eventually managed to pull ahead.

Finally, the Paul Magerman award was given to Jacek Kalita from the Poland A team. The jury led by former world champion Kees Tammens unanimously chose him from among six nominees. This title awards the player who played the best hand. Rendez-vous for the next World University Bridge Championship to be held in 2010 in Kaohsiung in Chinese Taipei.

4th World University Bridge Championship

Lodz, Poland - September 3rd to 8th, 2008




Countries: 15

Male Athletes: 94

Female Athletes: 9

Officials: 23

Total Participants: 126