#Bridgefestival2020, #SportEvents, #UnordinaryPlaces, #UnordinaryIdeas

The 2020 Tórshavn Bridge festival took place in from  March 6-7 and it must have been the last of international events to happen in the Faroe Islands before the Corona pandemic and its restrictions struck and stopped access to the islands for the time being.

The organizer of the festival was Jákup Sørensen, by main profession adviser at NORA – the North Atlantic Co-operation and by passion bridge-player. Jákup shared the following feedback as a wrap-up of the event – which was written by Nils Kvangraven –one of the partners in the winning team.

“Late 2019 I got a call from the Faroe Island. Bogi Simonsen was seeking a new partner to fill the shoes of Bjarni Einarsson, the strong Icelandic international, as his partner at the Tórshavn Bridgefestival 2020. Bogi and Bjarni won the 2019 edition, sadly Bjarni couldn’t play the coming festival and Bogi had plans to defend his title. When the schedule and my wife said ok, I accepted the invitation. When march arrived, I was on my way to the Faroe Island.

The first thing I learned was the definition of a Faroe weekend. It is a Saturday because the people living in the Faroe Island enjoy having a good and long party in the evening, they need the Sunday to relax and get ready to the coming weeks obligations. To be able to play 85 boards it had to be a “long” Faroe weekend. Still they have a big party on Saturday night, but they just include Friday in the weekend. That meant we had to play 35 boards Friday evening and 50 boards before dinner time on Saturday.

So, here I was for an extended Faroe weekend ready to enjoy 85 boards of fun with the charismatic Bogi Simonsen as my partner. “

Bogi is a charismatic player showing emotions, not afraid of doing a mistake he plays what he believes is the solution on the actual board. He is a type of player I admire. Attitude, emotions and a love of the game most other players can dream about.

In bridge you gain most points by letting the opponents do a mistake and then take full advantage of it. Bogi is a player that knows when to strike, waiting for the target to take the bait. He had many strong performances showing why he is the holder of the title for the second year in a row.

The Winning Team:   Nils Kvangraven (left), Bogi Simonsen (right)

Photo by Aðalsteinn Jörgensen

After 85 boards the tournament ended in the evening a couple of hours before the banquet. We had won the tournament, the top pairs were:

  1. Bogi Simonsen – Nils Kvangraven                 521
  2. Arne Mikkelsen – Tom Høiland                      351
  3. Gísli Þórarinsson- Þórður Sigurðsson           335

The 70 participating pairs came from all Nordic countries. Only a 2-hour flight from Copenhagen is not much in these days, I hope the tournament attracts players from all over Europe in the coming years.

I’m impressed by the organizer planning this event with more than 70 pairs. The lunch was included and free to enjoy, the same with the banquet and dinner at Friday. Not one player left the tournament thinking there was anything possible to do better.

I have to thank Jákup Sørensen, not many meet your level of professionality when organizing bridge. You made sure all went as planned and still took care of all participants making them feel as home.

At the banquet I also learned a lot about Faroe culture. The song booklet contained a list of 36 songs, before the starter we had already sung 3 of them. Combined with speeches it was a very enjoyable evening. Jákup even had a surprise, he had hired one of the most famous Faroe artists to sing a few songs for us.

During the main course I asked Bogi if he could tell me some more about the Faroe Island. I’m always curious when visiting new places, so I asked him if there were any famous athletes from the islands. We all know Iceland has a strong team in both football and handball, the Scandinavian countries are among the best in skiing. There must be a world star from the Faroe Island as well?

Haven’t you noticed?”

Bogi looked at me with a big smile

“what have I missed? “

I sensed there was something in the air

“Bridge – The Faroe Island has top international level in bridge”

The Faroe Island won silver at the 2015 Nordic championship, but world class might be a bit more than the results so far have showed. Maybe this festival can be their ticket to attract strong players giving them valuable input to increase the level of play at the islands.

I feared the prize giving ceremony would fall short as the waiters served wine with both hands, but in a way it all ended with the ceremony as the highlight of the evening. It was a great moment to receive the medal.

I hope all my new “Atlantic” friends enjoyed the “long Faroe weekend” as much as I did.

In my book you score 10 of 10, it is the best organized tournament I have played. Well done to Jákup and his team, I can guarantee all my friends that you will enjoy playing the TÓRSHAVN BRIDGEFESTIVAL in 2021. Just book it in your calendar as soon as possible.

I also have to give Bogi a big thank you for inviting me and showing me how to win a bridge tournament at the Atlantic region of bridge.


More about knowledge clusters on the LinkedIn company profile of Visit Faroe Islands Meetings and on www.tmf-dialogue.net