The 4th PCU International University Bridge Trophy – in support of the Olympic principles of Fair Play and Universal Friendship – was organized from 28 to 30 October in the University of Antwerp’s Hof van Liere. Two days before the start of the event, an online Pairs tournament was organized to welcome all interested participants unable to travel. In total almost 100 bridge players representing 31 universities in 19 countries participated in one of the competitions of the PCU Bridge Trophy.
The first PCU Committee event organized live on venue after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament welcomed on venue participants from Belgium, Ireland, the Netherland and Latvia.
– Dublin City University (Ireland)
– KdG University of Applied Sciences (Belgium)
– KU Leuven (Belgium)
– Riga Technical University (Latvia)
– University of Antwerp (Belgium)
– University of Liège (Belgium)
– University of Nijmegen (Netherlands)
On 26 October, 25 pairs faced of during the PCU Bridge@Home online pairs tournament on the digital platform BBO. After 24 digital boards, the team representing the University of Antwerp (Belgium) took home the victory; second place was taken by a team from ISCTE University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal) and third place was won by a team with students from Indira Gandhi National Open University (India) and the University of Glasgow (Scotland). Despite the very late/early hour for some participants, due to the time difference, all players stayed online until the end of the tournament to play their final games.
Only two days later, on 28 October, the PCU Bridge Trophy Opening Ceremony was organized, where participants were welcomed by Prof. Dr. Francis baron Van Loon, Honorary Rector of the University of Antwerp and representatives of organizing partners Bridge Club DUA and the Flemish Bridge League (VBL). The tournament was then officially opened by Dr. Koenraad Keignaert, head of the Organizing Committee, who invited all participants to join the Opening Reception. The night ended with a Welcome Pairs tournament organized for all participants and extra invitees.
After a short night’s rest, participants faced a full day of bridge on Saturday 29 October; with 64 boards being played in total (4 rounds of 16 boards), only taking a break for lunch time. After a nail-biting last long game both finalists were known: the University of Liège (Belgium) and Riga Technical University (Latvia), with other teams qualifying for their respective final games on Sunday. After this long day, participants were able to enjoy a late dinner in an Antwerp City center restaurant, after which some players decided to enjoy the Antwerp nightlife.
On Sunday, the final games (of 24 boards) took place to decide all teams’ final ranking. An exciting final led in the end to the University of Liège (Belgium) taking the title, ahead of Riga Technical University (Latvia) who finished in second place. The University of Liège is the third PCU Bridge Trophy Champion, following in the footsteps of the University of Leipzig (Germany, 2019) and University of Montpellier (France, 2020). In the game for third place KU Leuven (Belgium) managed to take home the bronze medal, beating Dublin City University (Ireland).
After a standing lunch during which final results were confirmed by the referee, the Honouring & Closing Ceremony was held during which all teams received an Honouring Certificate from PCU Bridge Trophy president Dr. Koenraad Keignaert. For the top-3 teams cups and medals were awarded.
During the PCU Bridge Trophy the finalists of the University of Antwerp & Panathlon Drawing & Photo Contest were exhibited. The exposition of the 15 artworks and 10 photographs from students all over the world was an excellent addition to the tournament and cultural program. Participants to the PCU Bridge Trophy were also able to vote for their favourite painting and win a small prize.
After a weekend full of bridge, fair play and international friendship, all participants returned home; while during the Closing Ceremony the dates of the next edition of the PCU Bridge Trophy were confirmed: 22-24 April 2022 (back to the usual mid-April).
Full results of all games of the PCU Bridge Trophy 2021 are available here.
All photos from the event can be found on Google Photos.