HCL, a leading global technology conglomerate, announced that the 16th HCL International Bridge Championship will commence on August 9th, 2018. This is the largest event in the Indian Bridge circuit, offering a total prize purse of Rs. 1.8 Crores. This year, the Championship will witness participation from 158 teams with over 750 players from across the world. Nineteen International teams from countries like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, US, UK, Sweden, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Bulgaria, Thailand and Bangladesh will be participating. The Championship will continue till August 14, 2018 and will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel, Aerocity New Delhi.
The annual HCL International Bridge Championship is organized under the auspices of the Bridge Federation of India. The Championship consists of three main events – ‘Team of Four Gold’, ‘Team of Four Silver’ and ‘Open Pairs’.
Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Kiran Nadar, Director, HCL Corporation, who led the victorious Indian Bridge team at the 5th Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship said, “The game of Bridge is close to my heart and it’s great to see the growth that the HCL International Bridge Championship has witnessed in terms of participation and prestige. I am delighted that 19 international teams are here to compete with the Indian teams.”
One of the top teams playing in this Championship is the US team comprising Hemant Lall (an ex-IITian from Kanpur based in USA), Reese Milner, Roy Wellend and the world’s top-ranked lady player Sabine Auken. Internationally reputed players like Anders Morath (World Rank 12, Seniors) from Sweden, Jerry Stamatov (World Rank 46, Open Category) and Diyan Danailov from Bulgaria, the Hackett brothers – Jason and Justin from UK, the young New Zealand pair of Michael Whibley (World Rank 98) and Nabil Edgtton and Wojciech Gawel and Bartosz Chmurski, representing Poland will also be competing in the Tournament. Locking horns with the foreign stars will be some of the top Indian teams like Formidables led by Mrs. Kiran Nadar, Dhampur Sugar Mills led by Ashok Goel, Poddar Housing Ltd. led by Dipak Poddar and Shree Cement led by Subhash Gupta.
Bridge is a niche and tough game of strategy and mental prowess. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a ‘mind sport’, it combines logic and reasoning with science and maths. But what sets it apart from other mind sports like Chess is the very human component of communication (the effectiveness with which the partners can communicate with each other without revealing their play to their opponents is the art of the sport).
Team of Four Gold Event is open to all. The qualifying round consists of Swiss League of 10 Rounds of 10 Boards each on first two days. The top 16 teams after Swiss League will advance to the knock-out stage. The knock-out matches will be played over 4 sessions of 14 Boards each. The play-off for 3rd position will be played over 3 sessions of 14 Boards each.
Team of Four Silver Event is open to Indian Bridge players (participation of Foreign teams in this event is subject to clearance by Technical Committee). The qualifying round consists of Swiss League of 10 Rounds of 10 Boards each on first two days. The top 16 teams after Swiss League will advance to the knock-out stage. The knock-out matches will be played over 4 sessions of 14 Boards each. The play-off for 3rd position will be played over 3 sessions of 14 Boards each.
Open Pairs Event is a match point pairs event, which will start on third day of the tournament and will be played over 4 days. There are 3 elimination rounds consisting of 3 sessions of 18 Boards each. Top 26 pairs along with 2 sponsored pairs will qualify for the final. The Open Pairs Final will be played over two sessions with Barometer Howell movement (28 Pairs, 54 Boards).
MP Pairs Strata-II Event is a one-day event for non-qualifiers of Open Pairs event. It will be played over two sessions of 24 Boards each.
IMP Pairs Event is a two-day event. The elimination round consists of 3 sessions of 18 Boards each on 5th day. IMP pairs final will be played over 2 sessions of 24 Boards each.
IMP Pairs Strata-II Event is a one-day event for non-qualifiers of other events. It will be played over two sessions of 22 Boards each.