Panaji: India will host the 3rd Asia Cup International Bridge Championship to be held in Goa from the 4th to 10th June at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa. The championship will be contested in 5 categories namely Men, Women, Mixed, Super-Mixed and Senior. The countries participating are Australia, Bangladesh, China, China – HongKong, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand alongwith invited team of players from Sri Lanka and host country India.
The Championship will be inaugurated by the President of the World Bridge Federation Mr. Gianarrigo Rona in the presence of the World Bridge Federation Zone 4 and Zone 6 Presidents, namely Mr. Ashok Goel from the Bridge Federation of Asia & Middle East (BFAME) and Khunying Esther Chodchoy Sophonpanich of the Asia Pacific Bridge Federation (APBF).
Round robin matches will be played from the 5th to 8th June. Four top teams in each category will progress to the knock-out stage. Semi-finals will be contested on the 9th June and Finals and play-offs for 3rd place on the 10th June. There will also be a Match Point pairs contest on the 9 & 10th June which is an open event and in which many Indian pairs will get the opportunity to play.
The BFI’s endeavors have been blessed with the support of our esteemed Minister of State for Youth affairs & Sports, Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore AVSM. Along with the Sports Authority of India, the Ministry has been supporting the efforts of the Federation in organisation of National and International Championships as well as providing grants for participation in competitions both in India and abroad.
The Minister has recommended the setting up of Bridge Academies in different Indian cities to promote the sport, especially among the youth. He has made this suggestion as he says that this sport is a great stress buster. Being a very intellectually absorbing game, bridge helps to both sharpen the mind and to focus in a balanced way. This calm balance coupled with rapid thinking, trains the mind to work under intense pressure. The Minister further states that it is important to promote bridge in our fast-paced modern world because people from varied walks of life need a safe and beneficial outlet for stress. And, in particular, children need to be attracted to this sport as they too carry a heavy work-load at a very young age indeed. Once these Bridge Academies draw youngsters to the sport through training and competitions, the sport can be promoted in schools too.
Bridge is also recommended for people playing other competitive sports at the highest level, as a preparation for performing at their peak under extreme pressure. The quick decision-making skills and calculated moves learnt at the bridge table have helped businessmen and professionals across the world. One needs looks no further than two of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who are both passionately involved in the game. To quote Mr.Warner Buffet, “Bridge has got to be the best intellectual exercise out there. You’re seeing through new situations every ten minutes” “In bridge, you have to behave in a way that gets the best from your partner. And in business, you behave in the way that gets the best from your manager and your employees.” “Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players!”
The Minister hopes that the Asian Championships being held in India will prove a turning point in the history of Bridge in India and help to break misconceptions that it is a mere card-game. With the guidance of our esteemed Minister, the BFI hopes that the sport will grow and flourish in India. The BFI also looks forward to keen public support during the 3rd Asia Cup Bridge Championships to be held in the beautiful state of Goa.
Bridge will be contested at the 18th Asian Games at Jakarta-Palembang in August this year. There are 6 medal categories with three medals in each event. It will be for the first time in the history of the game that the mind sport bridge is hosted at a multi-national multi-disciplinary sports event that traditionally comprises of Olympic sports.
The World Bridge Federation also conducts World Championship events in different categories every year. This year the World Bridge Series is being contested at Orlando, Florida from Sep 21st to October 6th and the 17thWorld Youth Teams Championships are being contested in Wujiang China from 8th to 18th August. India is participating in both these championships.