It was the 1975 when The Cavendish Club of New York started the so called “Cavendish Invitational Pairs”. In few years, the trophy became the most important pairs event in the World. In 1991 the Cavendish Club ceased the activity, but the tourney survived, just transferred to Las Vegas, thanks to WBP (World Bridge Productions, a corporation with Bob Hamman, Roy Welland, Bill Rosenbaum and Bob Blanchard).
Before the Cavendish Invitational Pairs there’s a Calcutta auction on the pairs participants; who thinks a pair will win, can “purchase” them, but in competition with others. The money of the auction makes the pool that will be divided between the other bidders in predetermined percentage, depending on the placement of the pair they bid on (or the pairs: in a Calcutta auction had better to wager on several runners).
According to an agreement between The Monaco Bridge Federation (FMB) and World Bridge Productions (WBP), the current edition of the Cavendish Invitational takes place in Monaco, October 15th – 19th 2012.
All previous editions of the tourney were played in the week leading up the Mother’s Day, which is celebrated in U.S., and in Italy, on the second Sunday of May.
The change of the usual May dates is due to the US Open trials at the beginning of May, too many events in Monaco (mainly the Formula 1 races), and the new dates allowed to connect The Cavendish with the yearly International Teams Tournament of Monaco (October 12th – 14th).
The “Monaco Cavendish” respects the structure of the original “Las Vegas Cavendish”, with a 2-day Teams tournament (October 15th – 16th), and a 3-day Pairs Tournament (October 17th – 19th). However, there are some small changes such as a decrease of the minimum auction level (5000 Euros).
The common will of the FMB and of WBP, if this first edition is successful, is to organize this prestigious tournament in Las Vegas in the odd years, and in Monaco in the even years.
During the European Championships in Dublin, we had an interview with Jean-Charles Allavena – the President of Monaco Bridge Federation. This is Mr Allavena’s statement about Monaco Cavendish: “Our agreement with Pierre Zimmermann is about the participation of his team in the big Championships and includes a certain number of other points. The creation of new events in Monaco is one of them (not the only one, take the example of Poznan last year where, besides the team of Pierre, a team with the ‘historical’ players of Monaco was completed by a pair provided by Pierre, Bompis-Quantin, with a great result at the end, the bronze medal). The first event we organized was last October the first ‘Prince Albert II Cup’, a team invitational, which was a great success, with the presence of Prince Albert himself at the opening cocktail. We had in mind to organize this year a big pairs’ tournament after the model of the Cavendish, but during the Prince Albert II Cup, Roy Welland, who is member of the board of the Cavendish said to me ‘Why don’t we do The Cavendish here? Back in the US, he presented the idea to the Board who agreed immediately, and so we started with great enthusiasm. It’s clear that the enthusiasm is shared by the American part in particular Bob Hamman and Donna Compton, with whom we worked very hard. They acknowledged that, for many reasons, the US Cavendish was in a difficult situation. So, the idea of organizing it alternatingly in Monaco and Las Vegas was seen as an opportunity for renewal. They hope that many European players, who didn’t play in Las Vegas the last years, willbe back there, and see to it that Monaco be a success. And furthermore, we need them to convince some American sponsors, teams, players, to come to Monaco, and they try to do that. The word is perhaps used too often, but I really think that we’re in a ‘win-win’ situation, and I’m sure that we’ll have a great tournament in Monaco next October”. [Read full interview »]
October 15, 2012