Tuesday, October 18, 2016, New Delhi: HCL, a leading global conglomerate, today announced the commencement of the 14th HCL International Bridge Championship, one of the largest congregation of players in the trick-taking card sport. The Championship will witness participation from over 600 players (comprising approximately 100 teams) and will be held from October 19 – 23, 2016 at the JW Marriott Hotel, Aerocity New Delhi. 12 International teams from countries including US, Israel, Poland, UK, Russia and Jordan among others with 90 teams from India will be participating in the Championship. The total prize purse up for grabs at the five-day event is Rs. 1.2 Crore (USD 180,000), one of the highest prize money for any bridge tournament in the world.
The Championship is being held under the auspices of the Bridge Federation of India and comes on the heels of the Olympic Committee of Asia announcing the inclusion of Bridge in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. Noted players of international repute participating at the HCL International Bridge Championship include, Giorgio Duboin from Italy (World Ranked No. 4), Zia Mehmood from USA (World Ranked No. 7) and Norberto Bocchi from Italy (World Ranked No. 9) among others.
The Championship will consist of the, “Team of Four Gold”, “Team of Four Silver” and “Open Pairs” events. The Naresh Tandan Trophy will be given to the winners of Team of Four Gold event. The Mohini Tandan Trophy will be given to the winners of Team of Four Silver event and the Neena Bonarji Trophy will be given to the winners of the ‘Open Pairs’ event.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Kiran Nadar, Director, HCL Corporation and an internationally renowned Bridge player and Captain of Team Formidables said, “The timing of the HCL International Bridge Championship could not be better as Bridge will make its debut at the Asian Games in 2018. Bridge is a cerebral sport – extremely challenging and exciting and based on skills, not luck. But a huge component of bridge is also very human, this melding is what sets Bridge apart, not only from other card games, but also from board games like Chess.”
Talking about HCL’s support for Bridge, Mr. Sundar Mahalingam, Chief Strategy Officer HCL Corporation said, “Bridge is a strategy game that teaches one to be of a tougher mind-set, to use one’s intellect to maximum capacity, communicate powerfully and to pursue victory diligently. It is these qualities that make Bridge a perfect fit for HCL. The organization has been strongly supporting the game in India for the last 13 years through the HCL International Bridge Championship. This year we have increased the total prize purse to Rs. 1.2 Crore to make it more lucrative for both national and international participants. We are hopeful that in the years to come, this game will be played by individuals from across age groups in India and internationally.”
Bridge is now the fourth mind sport to be included in the Asian Games after Chess made its debut at Doha 2006 and Go (an abstract strategy game for two players) and Xiangqi (also called Chinese Chess, a strategy board game for two players) were added at Guangzhou, China in 2010.
The ‘Naresh Tandan Trophy’ is for the winners of Team of Four Gold and is open to all. The qualifying round consists of Swiss League of 10 Rounds of 12 Boards each on first two days. The top 8 teams after Swiss League will advance to the Knockout stage Quarter-Final. The Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final 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.
The ‘Mohini Tandan Trophy’ is for the winners of Team of Four Silver and is open to Indian Bridge players (participation of Foreign teams in this event is subject to clearance by Technical Committee). There can be no more than two National Masters (according to BFI master point scheme) ranked players in a team and they should not play together.
The ‘Neena Bonarji Trophy’ is for the winners of Open Pairs Event is a match pointed pairs event. The pairs will be divided in two sections and each pair plays every other pair in its own section.
In addition, the championship will also host IMP Pairs Event is a one day event for non-qualifiers of open pairs event. And Swiss Pairs Event which is a one day event for non-qualifiers of team of four events.
Founded in 1976 as one of India’s original IT garage start-ups, HCL is a pioneer of modern computing with many firsts to its credit, including the introduction of the 8-bit microprocessor-based computer in 1978 well before its global peers. Today, the HCL enterprise has a presence across varied sectors that include technology, healthcare and talent management solutions and comprises four companies – HCL Infosystems, HCL Technologies, HCL Healthcare and HCL TalentCare. The enterprise generates annual revenues of over US $7 billion with more than 110,000 employees from 100 nationalities operating across 31 countries, including over 500 points of presence in India. For further information, visit www.hcl.com.