Back to Bridge
It is with a heavy heart I start this article.
One of Malta’s finest bridge players, Mario Dix, sadly passed away on 19 August. Mario started playing bridge at Downside Abbey at the age of 10. He played constantly till he passed away.
He had many international bridge partners and then had his Maltese partners after he settled down in Malta 23 years ago. Mario was President of the Malta Bridge Association and also Chairman of the Malta Bridge Club for many years, where he had served on both committees for a long time.
He was very adamant that bridge in Malta is played to international standards and strove for this all his life.
Sadly some local rules have crept in which made him quite upset.
He was treasurer and membership secretary of the International Bridge Press Association till he resigned two years ago.
The President of the World Bridge Federation sent his condolences as did the President and past President of the European Bridge League.
One of his greatest achievements was organising the European Bridge Teams Championships together with myself, in 1999 when over 800 players and guests were hosted in Malta for two weeks.
This event is still talked about in bridge circles as one of the best venues ever.
Teams’ Euro championship
In June, the 53rd Teams European Championships were held in Budapest. Sadly Malta was not represented.
The winners in the Team Championship were France, Sweden 2nd, Netherlands, 3rd, Monaco, 4th, Germany 5th, Italy 6th.
These teams will be competing in the prestigious Bermuda Bowl, which is the World Cup of Bridge.
The Women’s teams event was won by England, my friend Sally Brock was a key member of this team, followed by France, Poland, Russia, Israel and the Netherlands.
There is also the seniors’ teams event.
When this championship was held in Malta, famous actor Omar Sharif had played for France and they had won!
This year Israel won followed by Sweden, Poland, Turkey, Italy and France. The seniors’ event is very fierce and very competitive as many past champions take part.
This month sees the beginning of the local season.
The Malta Bridge Club has had its usual sessions on a Tuesday and Sunday throughout the year.
The Union Club stops for the summer months in June. It had a soft opening on Thursday 22 September where 11 tables played. The Sigma Cup competition starts on the first Monday of October.
This competition is played on the first Monday of the month for 6 months.
The teams competition also starts in October which will be played on Fridays depending on the number of entries.
It is very disappointing that the team, all former players in the Small federation Games, and who had put forward their name as is customary, to play in the Small Federations Games in Dubrovnik in November have not been allowed to participate by the MBA.
Mario was the inspiration of these games nine years ago and Malta has always participated.
It would have been a fitting tribute to Mario for the Maltese team to have taken part this year.