In this section I would be putting together all the information regarding bridge facilites in the various cities in India.The information may be sketchy at present but would be made comprehensive in future.Lucknow Allahabad Varanasi Meerut Dehradun Ghaziabad Kanpur Moradabad Delhi Chandigarh Jaipur Mumbai Pune Asansol Durgapur Bangalore Chennai Ranchi
In this section I would cover tournaments happening in India and more so the tournaments happening in Northern part of India and in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
I wrote about decent organization of Hyderabad Winter Nationals in the previous issue. This was reflected in some other things as well. The organizers also took care to provide a nice booklet to record all the duplicate sessions and some nice deals to remember. The booklet certainly helped in eliminating litter from the playing arena. There were bulletins also though merely carrying synopsis of results and not as good as they were in Bangalore Nationals two years back. Organisers also had a very first in India -a website -which announced results of the championship on internet and which also has some deals (three exactly) from the championship though three deals aren't adequate from a ten day event.
From serious organizational business to lighter things. Playing in pairs someone comments - there aren't many ladies this time around. Well I've noticed at least one -not really a lady more of a girl. End of duplicate qualifying session and this girl passes by where we were sitting. And I had to ask my partner Mahendra Singh- who this girl is ? The look on his face said everything- you ignorant , you blind you don't even know who she is. Anju came the reply. Anju who ? Wife of Kaizad Anklesaria (Wasn't he playing for India Juniors team some time back - has a wife also).OOps. Well one thing is sure - you can't have unmarried well dressed girls in an bridge arena - these ladies simply don't teach young girls this game of bridge. Anyway whatever little glamour you can have in an bridge arena came from her. And Anju (or Mrs Anklesaria whatever you prefer) if you were there in Bangalore or Delhi how could I have missed you. In Delhi though Dr. Usha Kothari took the cake. Apart from her I could see some familiar faces from Mumbai which is hub of ladies bridge in India.
Incidently Indian ladies have done India proud by qualifying for the Venice cup from BAFAME zone while men came cropper in the Bermuda Bowl qualifying. One of the members of this team is Hema Deora who I remember as one of the extremelly well attired bridge playing lady in Mumbai. The eulogising ends here only for her husband Murli Deora is a trusted lieuteanant of our esteemed leader of opposition in parliament - the daughter in law of this country- and about whose foreign origins I have already commented on my page. Murli Deora incidently lost the parliament elections from the prestigious South Mumbai constituency to our Jayawanti ben (I bet she had the blessings of AILBA) despite having a full backing of Mr Dhiru Bhai Ambani , the Chairman of Reliance.
The inter district championship of UP is taking place at Allahabad Gymkhana, Allahabad on January 8-9, 2000.
Jagdish Agarwal Memorial Oudh Bridge Chamiponship would take place at Oudh Gymkhana , Lucknow from Feb 10-13, 2000 .
In this section I would cover one good deal which appeared in the Weekly Bridge Tournaments at Lucknow or in a recent tournament with explanations.
How you blow up your chance to become Holkar Trophy winners at Hyderabad winter nationals- shows this week's deal.
A K 6 5
Q 10 7
K 10 6 4
Q 8 2
A J 6 3 2
A 10 9 2
J 10 7 3
K 8 4
K 7 6
Q 7 2
Q J 8 3
A J 9 8 5
Layout of this deal is at best approximate and I don't remember the vulnerability. If someone reading this page can provide me the exact deal I would update this page.
December 14, 1999 -the concluding day of the Hyderabad Winter Nationals. The day of Holkar Trophy finals - the prima donna of matchpoint pairs event in India. 32 pairs competing for the trophy down from around 400 pairs after three eleminations. Is Indian bridge looking up ? Why So ? At least 7 players in this field of 64 players were below 30 yrs age, the youngest being C Prahlad at 16.
Pick up slips were used for scoring and scores were put as soon as possible. Going into last round of 62 deals - the scores of upto 56 deals were on display. Leading were seasoned players (but a scratch combination) Suhas Vaidya & Subhash Gupta and into second place were young ex IIT Mumbai pair of R Venkatesh and Arvind Ranasaria -behind by about 1 %. It so happened that they came to play their last two deals of the championship at the table I was kibitzing the deals. I had spent the whole day kibitzing and trying to gather some material for my page.As the luck would have none of deals I watched could send adrenalin flowing when this deal occurred.
Venkatesh and Ransaria have learned their bridge at IIT Mumbai and continue to play active bridge ever since graduating in mid nineties. Both have taken software as their career option. Venkatesh is based at Bnagalore and has represented India Juniors in the World Junior Team Championship. Ranasaria is based at New Jersey USA and visits India during Winter Nationals. He also takes part in ACBL regionals in USA though has not participated in any NABC. He must be fancying his chances for he almost struck gold at Hyderabad nationals.
At the table I was kibitzing the NS pair was Kamal Mukherji and Ashok Goel who have just won duplicate Ruia Trophy and Board a Match Dhampur Sugar Mills trophy in the nationals. After two passes Venkatesh opened 1 Heart which in third seat could be 4 cards along with below opening values. Kamal Mukherji passed and Ranasaria responded 1 Spade. Ashokm Goel now made a take out double which showed minors and Venkatesh redoubled to show perhaps opening hand. Kamal Mukherji now jumped to 3 Clubs, Ranasaria thought for a while and then doubled which got passed around.
Play was short. Ranasaria led a Club to which dummy's eight held the trick. Heart 9 was played to Ranasaria's King, Club continuation was won in dummy and Heart was continued. Venkatesh took Ace and shifted to Spade and Kamal Mukherji claimed his contract by giving two Diamonds and ruffing two Spades indummy after taking out trumps.
What a disaster. Absolute bottom when you are trying to reach top.
If you see this deal there is a Club guess involved. Kamal Mukherji may have guessed Clubs correctly but there is a possibilty that he may have guessed wrong. And if had gone down Ranasaria and Venkatesh would have surely got better than average score.
The bottomline is that the website says that they finished second in Holkar trophy by 13 matchpoints which was just about average for a deal. So if Ranasaria hasn't doubled there was a possibility that he would have won the trophy. When I asked Ranasaria why he doubled he said he was playing the deal on merit!!!!
It would hurt you Ranasaria for blowing up trophy just like that until unless you're too kicked up to finished runners up.