Saturday, May 22, 2010

No Money in Bridge

This one nearly had me choking on my unagi.

Chess players look at poker and think, "Wow, if only we had all that money", and then waste plenty of time imagining all sorts of ways to make chess more exciting, like poker.

But much to my surprise I've just discovered a very popular game that is apparently in an even worse state than chess, at least money-wise.


Author of "Australian Chess at the Top", Cathy Chua, who now blogs on bridge, writes:

I was hoping to find out how many people actually watched this live, but so far have not succeeded. Hundreds of thousands maybe? Over a million euros for the winner, going on for that for the runnerup and richly deserved by both. It was a fabulous contest, the games were wildly exciting.

Why can’t bridge be like that? Have we exhausted the arguments?

Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of reactions and I never thought that I'd feel warm, happy about chess thanks to a blog about bridge. I particularly loved this: "Bridge has a long way to go in the propaganda wars before people are saying this about it." And by "this", the commenter meant the description of the New York Times Gambit Blog.

Also catching my attention was this remark by Cathy in the comment section: "In contrast, when I played two chess Olympiads**, a sport which is respected by the community and sponsored as a consequence, I paid nothing."

Sponsored? The last sponsor of an Australian Olympiad team that I can remember was a company that, aptly enough, produced prophylactics! Who else sponsored the Aussies back in the day?

Speaking of which, do donate!

** Then known as Cathy Depasquale, she appeared for Australia in both Haifa '76, scoring 3/6, and Buenos Aires '78, scoring 5.5/10.

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