International Bridge competition is in six categories: Open (open to all), Women (women only), Seniors (over 60 years old), University (students under 29 years old), Juniors (under 26 years old), and Youngsters (under 21 years old).
The World Championships (formerly called the Bermuda Bowl) are played every two years. The USA won in 2009. The World Bridge Games (formerly called the World Team Olympiad) is played every four years in the same year as the Olympics Games. It is incorporated in the World Mind Sports Games with chess, draughts, go, and Chinese chess. Italy won in 2008.
For the past 50 years, open Bridge has been dominated by Italy and the USA. The ‘Blue Team’ of Italy only lost the Bermuda Bowl twice from 1957 to 1975, a remarkable record! The USA (or North America) won consecutively from 1976 to 1987. Other strong Bridge playing nations currently or in the past include Norway, the Netherlands, France, Poland, and increasingly China.
England (formerly competing as Great Britain) was historically a leading Bridge playing nation (winning the Bermuda Bowl in 1955) with many highly regarded, expert players. Most of our recent success has been in other categories, notably Women (England won the 2008 World Bridge Games) but also Seniors (England won the 2009 World Championships) and Juniors (winning the World Championships in 1989 and 1995).
Bridge is played in every continent and most countries of the world. Impressive performances in the past have come from countries as far apart as Iceland, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Egypt, South Africa, Pakistan, India, and Australia.