Bridge rules Bridge strategy & bidding Bridge championships

Triple crown of bridge

The triple crown of bridge is a career achievement in duplicate bridge, namely winning the three marquee Open world championships conducted by the World Bridge Federation. The Bermuda Bowl is now contested by national teams in odd-number years. The Olympiad Open Teams, contested by national teams in Olympic years, has been incorporated in the World Mind Sports Games (WMSG). The Olympiad Open Pairs, now World Open Pairs Championship, is contested in non-Olympic even-number years.

The Bermuda Bowl was inaugurated in 1950, eight years before the World Bridge Federation was established with the general purpose to conduct world championships at bridge. There were 23 renditions to 1977, when it became biennial. The Teams and Pairs "Olympiads", as they were both called when inaugurated by the WBF in 1960 and 1962, have always been quadrennial. Pierre Jaïs and Roger Trézel of France won both of the inaugural Olympiads; thus, as 1956 Bermuda Bowl champions, they achieved the triple crown on the earliest possible occasion.

Ten players have accomplished the feat. Bold highlights the year each player completed the triple crown.

Triple Crown winners (Open class)
Name Bermuda Bowl Olympiad/WMSG
Open Teams
World
Open Pairs
Pierre Jaïs 1956 1960 1962
Roger Trézel 1956 1960 1962
Bob Hamman 1970 1988 1974
Bobby Wolff 1970 1988 1974
Jeff Meckstroth 1981 1988 1986
Eric Rodwell 1981 1988 1986
Marcelo Branco  1989 1976 1978
Gabriel Chagas 1989 1976 1990
Fulvio Fantoni 2005 2004 2002
Claudio Nunes 2005 2004 2002

These ten players have all achieved the triple crown playing together, in five partnerships. That need not be so. Indeed, the World Open Pairs is not restricted to entries by two players who are from the same bridge nation, although most entries are from one nation, as are most established partnerships.

Marcelo Branco alone first achieved the triple crown personally before he and one partner achieved it playing together - one year earlier.

No one has achieved this triple crown in three years, which is possible from any even-number year to the next. Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes first achieved it in the four-year span, in 2002 and 2004-2005. In 2006, as defending champions in the quadrennial World Open Pairs Championship, a win would have secured "Fantunes" a consecutive triple crown. They finished third, the closest for any pair to defend its Pairs title.

Women

There are parallel events restricted to Women, contested in the same WBF meets. That has been true from the original Olympiad Teams and Pairs tournaments in 1960 and 1962, and from 1985 for the Venice Cup alongside the Bermuda Bowl. The Venice Cup trophy was first contested in 1974, first as a WBF world championship in 1978

A single world championship meet, with events for Open and Women teams, was conducted by the International Bridge League in 1937. Austria was a double winner and one of its women players, Rixi Scharfstein, completed a unique triple crown in the 1960s. Now Rixi Markus of Great Britain, she won the inaugural Olympiad Pairs in 1962 and Olympiad Teams in 1964.

Name [IBL 1937]
Venice Cup
Olympiad/WMSG
Women Teams
World
Women Pairs
Rixi Scharfstein
Rixi Markus
 [1937]
 
1964 1962

Markus and her regular partner Fritzi Gordon were on the 1976 Great Britain team that finished second for the Venice Cup when it was contested for the second time. They also won the Mixed Teams world championship at the first Olympiad Pairs meet in 1962, an event that was not repeated.

COMMENTS
Tabletop games: Rules and Strategy