National Bridge Championship begins
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National Bridge Championship begins

Mysuru: The first mega “Inter-State National Bridge Championship-2018” being held in the city was inaugurated last evening by Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club (JWGC) President C.S. Ravishankar at the Club premises in the presence of Karnataka State Bridge Association (KSBA) President Ashok Fernandez and Mysore District Bridge Association (MDBA) President H.N. Jayapal.

The tournament is being organised jointly by KSBA and MDBA. Nearly 250 to 280 players are participating in the championship with the Inter-State tournament beginning from this morning. In all, 26 teams are participating including juniors and ladies there will be 36 teams, said Jayapal speaking to Star of Mysore, here this morning.

After the elimination rounds today and tomorrow, the quarter finals will begin on Friday (Sept.7) followed by semi-finals and finals. The team and pair events will start from Friday. The other events include Junior/ Sub-Junior Team event, Ladies pair event and mixed pair events, he said.

Prominent players

The prominent players in the tournament include Sunit Choksi and Keyzard Anklesaria from Gujarat, Pritish Kushari, Swarnenu Banerjee and Hemant Jalan from West Bengal, Dipale Poddar and Anand Samant from Maharashtra.

Youngest player

Anshul Bhat from Raibidpura, a village in Madhya Pradesh who is just nine years old is the youngest player in the tournament. The other two Vinay Patil and Kunal Patil both 14 also from Raibidpura had all participated in Youth World Championship in 2017 in France and were placed 30 among 80 participating teams.

Gold in Commonwealth Games

Two of the key players Sunit Choksi and Keyzard Anklesaria who are playing here in the tournament had won Gold in the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia.

Ankelsaria speaking to SOM said, “This is one of the most respected sports in the US and Europe. Unfortunately, it is still viewed in our country as gambling since playing cards are used in this game. But it is a mind sport and it needs a lot of practice like any other sport be it cricket or boxing. The game  is like Chess and it should be introduced in schools and colleges.”

He said that it was a proud moment for India that it bagged a gold medal in the recently concluded Asian Games at Jakarta with Indian pair comprising Pranab Birdhan and Shibhanath Sirkar from West Bengal.

“Mysuru is a beautiful city and JWGC is a decent venue for a tournament of this size,”  added Anklesaria.

The Bridge players participating in the tournament are from West Bengal, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Karnataka to name a few.

Labourers shine at Bridge Table

It is not only Raibidupura village in Madhya Pradesh that has bridge players but Rajiv Kumar, Vipin Kumar and Bittu Kumar, all daily wagers from Johri Village in Baghpat District of Uttar Pradesh, took everyone by surprise at the KK Modi Goa Bridge Festival recently.

Dheeraj is a constable in a village in Uttar Pradesh; Bittu is a daily wage earner – a man who calls himself a labourer; Bipin white washes concrete surfaces; and Rajeev works in sugarcane fields. They have different professions and yet one passion- playing bridge.

The four speak little English. They appear docile and very respectful. And it was their first trip to Goa, a trip made on their maiden flight journey to participate in the KK Modi Goa Bridge Festival recently.

The KK Modi Bridge tournament had a prize purse of around Rs. 8 lakh.

What is Bridge Game ?

Bridge is a mind blowing game like Chess. It is played with a pack of playing cards (52 cards without Joker). Cards are distributed by dealing in four directions (East-West and North-South). Each series like Spade, Hearts, Diamond and Clubs will have 10 points each (A-4, K-3,Q-2 and J-1) with total of 40 points distributed in four hands.

A minimum of four players are required to play the game. East-West is one pair and North-South is another pair. After dealing the cards how the points are distributed will make the contract by bidding with internationally accepted conventions. Each deal will have specific bidding.

Bridge has different events like Team of Four Duplicate, Pair event and Board-A-Match with Junior, sub-junior, open pair and mixed pair and ladies events.

There is a proposal before the government to include bridge game in school and college curriculum.

September 5, 2018

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