The uniforms of the countries attending the 15th World Bridge Games coloured the auditorium of the Hala Stulecia at 5 o’clock.

The Captains meeting started with the roll call of all the teams. The Qatar open team was registered, but the players will not be able to attend the event and group C will have a bye.

John Wignall, Chairman of the Rules & Regulation Committee, had an important communication that affects players’ behavior at the table:

  1. Only dummy or declarer may remove the tray from the table and place the board at the middle of the table after the bidding
  2. During bidding, the bidding cards must touch the bar of the tray. The cards must be placed at a regular distance from each other
  3. During play, defenders can’t vary the position of their cards. The cards must be placed on the table always in the same direction

The memento about the bidding and play procedures follows the “2015 scandals”. “The WBF will do whatever it can in order to bring cheaters to justice” concluded Mr. Wignall.

Then, Maurizio Di Sacco, WBF Operations Director, explained the technical procedures. The only information to be considered official is the one that is sent to all the captains through the “communication system”. Thus, it’s very important that captains check their e-mail box regularly. Whenever a score is adjusted, the communication system automatically delivers an e-mail to the captains of the teams that played that match.

Line-ups will be blind during the whole round robin. There is a short time to submit the line-ups: the Open and Women’s teams only have 15 minutes after the scheduled time of a session to submit the line-up for the following match and Mixed and Senior teams only have 10 minutes to do that. This includes the line-ups for the first match of the day (which must be submitted right after the last match of the previous day). Line-ups can be changed only if there is a valid reason; captains can’t change the line-up by themselves but must refer to an official. The official will contact the captain of the other team, show him/her the line-up and ask if him/her authorizes the change.

Eight matches per day will be broadcast on BBO VuGraph. For the first week, only Open and Women’s matches will be broadcast.

The electronic devices policy is very strict and encompasses all  devices that can send and/or receive information (including some types of watches). No electronic device can be taken into the playing area. They must be left at the hospitality desk. The penalties are very severe: 2 VPs for the first offence, 5 VPs for the second offence and expulsion for the third offence. Tables will be randomly selected for checking and the players will be scanned before each match.

Spectators are allowed in the Open room, the maximum number being four persons per table. If more than four spectators are interested in kibitzing a match, precedence is given to the Captains. The electronic devices policy applies to spectators as well. Players in the Open room can’t refuse any spectator (unless they exceed the number of persons allowed at the table).

PO Sundelin, Assistant Reviewer and member of the System Committee, talked about reviews. There are no more appeals, but the reviewer may decide to return the case to the director. Convention Cards must be properly filled in. Players with incomplete or unsatisfactory Convention Cards could be forced to play using the standard WBF convention card. There will be random checks.

The Butler ranking will be sent to Captains only at the end of each match. At the end of the round robin, the Butler rankings will be published.