Alfredo Versace is launching his new tournament organization: “Peace&Bridge”. We would like to know more…
Laura Camponeschi: Could you please introduce to us your new project “Peace&Bridge”?
Alfredo Versace: After all the controversies related to the increased uptake of online bridge, I felt that I needed to start a programme called “Peace&Bridge”. Within a year, I think we will go back to playing face to face. In the meantime, we should ensure that our relationships are positive and that we will still be friends by the time we sit at the real table. Therefore, I decided to organise events on RealBridge, a platform which emphasises the best aspects of the game: socialising, smiling to people, chatting to the opponents. Playing bridge to me means sharing a life moment, which is not just about playing cards, but also about social interactions. Let’s remember that the majority of people choose to play for fun, rather than as a job.
LC: Why did you choose RealBridge?
AV: I like it because it feels like you are sitting at a real table: after several months of social isolation this feels nice. Furthermore, it is an evolving platform with great development opportunities.
LC: Who is the ideal audience for “Peace&Bridge”?
AV: Everyone. On the one hand, we will organise high level international tournaments for teams with a sponsor, whilst on the other hand we will organise events for a range of players, including professionals and amateurs.
LC: What are the selection criteria for the players?
AV: We will welcome all players who are in good standing with NBOs recognised by the WBF. We will not allow players who are under a ban. We will follow the new regulations published by the WBF. I hope that thanks to cameras we will not have any cheating problems. However, we will have a team of experts to look into potential claims and suspicious hands, under the new WBF regulations.
LC: What is your view on the accusations made by private organisations and platforms?
AV: In our view, players can only be found guilty within a legal system and existing official bodies. We do not believe in black lists. One of our aims is to eradicate the atmosphere of mistrust.
LC: Who works in your organisation?
AV: I have an effective and efficient team. I would like to mention my collaborators: Leonardo Fruscoloni; Emanuela Pramotton; and Anastasia Di Lorenzo. I would also like to thank Erikas Vainikonis who helped us create the website and the Chief Tournament Director Antonio Riccardi who will direct all tournaments.
LC: What is the goal of your organisation?
AV: We want to bring back a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere in bridge. We want to come back to play in the way we are used to, in peace. Let’s go back to seeing each other face to face and let’s ensure that our personal moral standards prevail over the temptation to cheat.
LC: What events will run in the near future?
AV: We are starting with a teams tournament from the 18th to the 24th of January; in February we will run a transnational (open and mixed)
LC: Have you shared your plans with other international bridge colleagues? Did they give you any suggestions or criticisms?
AV: For the time being I have not received any negative comments, but I know I will get them at some point, because what I am doing goes against the last few months’ private wars. What we want is different from the online bridge we have had so far. It is much closer to real bridge: it is RealBridge!
LC: RealBridge does not allow kibitzers at the moment. What are your plans for those who would like to watch?
AV: This is not ideal but RealBridge is improving all the time. We are developing a system to enable the live broadcast, because getting kibitzers involved is one of the things I care most about. We are only starting and hope to get better and better.
LC: To conclude, would you like to comment on the latest news on self-kibitzing and cheating scandals which have rocked the bridge community?
AV: No, definitely not. My purpose is to end all controversies and not start any new ones. I would like to start a new era of peace and I will start first by sowing peace.
LC: When is the first event on RealBridge?
AV: We kick off on Friday with an invitational tournament. It will be an inauguration event: you can find all details on the website. You can also mail to Peaceandbridge1@gmail.com
Good Luck, Alfredo!