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The Bridge On-Line 

                                                                

               by Ana Roth (Translation... Corinne Little)

 

 

 

 

 In the last few years life has been speeding up at an incredible pace, we are living in a high-speed society which we all know will continue accelerating in years to come.

  

 This social speed entails a side effect , a mental acceleration to keep up with it.

 

 Speed is imposing individuals, in their professional lives, efficient and up-dated cognitive skills rather than  physical efforts or activity. To be able to cope with this, they need a mental decelerator – an activity where they can focus and step aside from daily-life demands -.

 

 Technology has boosted a profound change in our home entertainment and communication habits.  Some people chose watching TV, others prefer movies and many others join gaming sites in the Internet.

 

 Playing on-line is a relatively new practice. Most of our elders were born long before computers and the Internet, and some of them are still reluctant to get on board .

 

 Cyber gaming runs 24 hours a day: millions of players from all over the world, with different time zones, play in the Internet.

 

 Definitely a globalized activity .

 

What is the reason for this success?

 

1) Because it is essentially a mental decelerator… an activity that entertains isolating the player from daily stress…

 

2) The increase in social insecurity moves people to stay in-doors.

 

3) Population ageing : People live longer. They have more time to enjoy the pleasures of life … and gaming has no age limit.

 

 Each of these gaming sites becomes a community, with members from all over the world, that live hundreds or thousands of miles apart, but share the same passion for a particular game.  And this common interest gives them a sense of belonging that drives them to build a virtual community of “friends” on-line.

 

 

 The Bridge is not immune to this new phenomenon called... Bridge On-Line.

 

 There have been several bridge On-Line gaming sites in the Internet for years. But the most popular and largest site is Bridge Base Online.

 

 The key of this success is that it offers free on-line games in open social clubs, tourneys and team matches, and throughout the year, broadcasts the most important bridge events in the world.

 

 The BBO community includes from novices to star players , juniors to elders.  In peak hours you can find around 17,000 players interacting on line. (Less than a year ago the average log-ins was 10,000).  The Bridge Base Online today has over half a million members and keeps growing day by day.

 

 A surprisingly growing group within the community are those who are retired, the seniors. They have plenty of time to spare  and have found their way into BBO… it keeps them busy, entertained and mentally and socially active.

 

 Another emerging group are the junior and youth players who receive support and empowerment: free lessons, partnering with the best world-wide players, exclusive WBF tournaments.

 

 A successful formula: …. Internet + Bridge = Bridge On-Line…

 

 Bridge Base Online was launched on April, 2001 and since then has been constantly evolving and growing. 

 

 Today players of some of the tourneys on-line are earning masterpoints  which are accrued to national and world rankings.

 

 In October 2008... IMSA, the International Mind Sports Association, organized the 1st World Mind Sports Games in Beijing, China.

 

 Bridge was one of the five mind sports comprising IMSA; the other four were chess, draughts, go and xiangqi (chinese chess).

 

 Bridge was by far the best attended section of the World Mind Sports Games.

 In 2009...The WBF is launching the first Bridge On-line Youth Tournament which will be held on February 21 & 22, 2009.

 

 Masterpoints will be awarded as per the WBF Online Masterpoints scheme.

 

 The CSB (Southamerican Bridge Confederation) events on BBO are awarding online Masterpoints for the Southamerican ranking.

 

 The ACBL (American contract Bridge League) events on BBO are awarding online Masterpoints for the ACBL ranking.

 

 Today Bridge On-Line found its place in the world’s sports structure.

 

 This is basically a result of their success in congregating the largest bridge players’ community in the  Internet.