Chennai, 25.09.2015: Chennai will host the 42nd World Bridge Teams Championships under the auspices of the World Bridge Federation (WBF) and the Bridge Federation of India (BFI) at the Hotel ITC Grand Chola. The September 26 to October 10 program for the Bermuda Bowl (Open event), Venice Cup (for women) and d ‘Orsi’ cup (for seniors, 60 yrs and above) will be a first in India and bridge enthusiasts firmly believe this will go a long way in giving a much needed boost to this mind- sport in the country.
Already quite a few schools in Chennai have sought the help of bridge officials of the State Association for setting cup coaching classes to tune young minds to this sport that calls for a sharp mind. A sport that has been patronized by such great people as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and noted actor late Omar Sharif among others has long been popular in over 100 countries.
Some of the legendary names in Bridge at the world level include Belladona&Garozzo (Italy); Reese & Schapiro (Eng); Zia Mohammed (Pakistan/US); Hamman& Wolf (USA); Sontag &Weischel(USA); Mcstroth&Rodwell(USA); Lauria& Versace (Italy); Bochi&Duboin (Italy) ; Helgemo&Helness (Monaco) ; Mike Lawrence (USA – youngest World Champion) and Gabriela Chagas (Brazil).
In India quite a few (most of them are no more) have played a pioneering role. They include MrKamalakar Rao, Mr Orlando Campos, MrMalani to name a few. Still, Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are among the leading States in this sport. Now the Union Sports Minister Mr. SarbanandaSonowal has himself recommended for bridge’s all round promotion, including in schools, through setting up of a ‘Bridge Foundation.” With the guidance of the Honourable Minister the BFI hopes that the sport will grow and flourish in India.
As for the Championship, in all sixty-six teams numbering some 660 players from 35 countries will feature in the main three events. Midway through the competition the Trans National Championship (introduced in 1997) will get underway with teams comprising members of various countries and they will contest for the M.N. Dastur Trophy. The 35 countries for the main events were selected through an elaborate process of competitions involving eight zones. As the host India enters automatically. In fact as soon as this edition in Chennai ends, the qualification process for the next edition, to be held two years later, begins. Some of the leading players who will be seen in action in this Championship include Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell , Nickell (USA); Gabriela Chagas (Brazil), Sumit Mukherjee and Rana Roy (both India).
Italy has won the Bermuda bowl most times (15), USA teams have won the Venice Cup on 11 occasions and the d’Orsi trophy five times. India’s best has been a quarterfinal finish. Indian teams have figured in the quarter finals on no less than half a dozen times.
Meanwhile all arrangements have been completed at the Hotel Grand Chola. Any event of this magnitude cannot be hosted without support from sponsors and this Championship is no exception.
HCL has graciously come forward to be the title sponsor and underwrite a major portion of the budget. In addition there are many more sponsors who have contributed to make this event a success. Both the Union Government and Tamil Nadu Government have extended financial help as well as support in other required areas.
Bermuda Bowl: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Guadeloupe, India, Japan, Jordan New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, USA 1, USA2.
Venice Cup: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Guadeloupe, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, USA 1, USA 2, Venezuela
d Órsi seniors trophy: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, England, Guadeloupe, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Tunisia, USA 1, USA 2.
The Indian teams:
Bermuda Bowl: The Indian Railways side (Amarnath Banerjee, DebabrataMajumdar, Gopinath Manna, Sumit Mukherjee, Rana Roy)
Venice Cup: Puja Batra, FirozaChothia, HemaDeora, Monica Jajoo, Marianne Karmarkar, AparnaSain, Kawaljit Singh (npc), Niranjan (Manager)
D Órsi trophy: Badal Chandra Das, Ashok Kumar Goel, R. Krishnan, Sunil Machhar, Aloke Sadhu, K.R. Venkatraman, Anil Padhye (npc), ArunBapat (Coach)