Foreign teams to participate in Balijee international bridge championship


LAHORE, Mar 21 (APP): One foreign team from Kuwait and one player from India will take part in the Balijee International Bridge Championship, to be held from March 23 at the Lahore Gymkhana Card Room.
This was stated by Ihsan Qadir, internationally recognised tournament
director at a press conference. The event was also attended and addressed by Aijaz Ahmed of Yummy Milk Products, sponsors of the event, and Media Director Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed, here on Tuesday.
Ihsan Qadir said that after the successful holding of the event last
year, the organising team, supported by Aijaz Ahmed, would hold a grand event for another much-sought-after bridge bonanza for the bridge playing champions of the country.
Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed said that the championship is being sponsored
generously by Aijaz Ahmad of Yummy Milk Products (Pvt) Ltd in memory of his late father Muhammad Iqbal. The deceased was profoundly known in the entire bridge-playing fraternity of Pakistan as Balijee.
The desire of the sponsor was that at least six international teams
should participate in the event, and invitations were extended to teams from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, UAE, Kuwait and Jordan. But, they regretted that only two players are coming from India and a team from Kuwait.
Ihsan Qadir stated that the competition will include 12 teams from
Lahore, eight from Karachi, four from Rawalpindi/ Islamabad, one team each from Multan, Hyderabad and Abbottabad, which makes the participation to the maximum capacity of the tournament.
Ihsan Qadir said that the competition was becoming tougher year by year.
Amongst the strong contenders of the event would be the teams ‘HADI IV’, ‘BILALS’, ‘DATA STEEL’. Hadi’s making appearance after a gap consist of bridge masters like Khurshid Hadi, Kamal Shoaib, AR Allana, Javed Miran, Rashid-ul-Ghazi and Imran Jaka. Five of them have represented Pakistan at many occasions. ‘BILALS’ were the runners-up of the Pakistan National Trials, just concluded last month in Lahore. All other teams from Karachi have strong partnerships and are all expected to do well.
‘ACES’, who are currently the national champions, would be missing their main player, Zia Naqvi, who is out of country currently.
The team ‘HOLDEM’ consisting of Uzair Kamal, Umar Aslam, Arslan and
Major Hasnat, from Islamabad, the holders of the last year’s Balijee title, would also be in full swing to retain the crown.
‘ACES’ consists of Ahsan Qureshi, Ghias Malik, Nauman Butt & Usaid.
Mubashar Puri and Junaid Said.
‘IZO IV’ team of Izzat Khalil, Silver Star consisting of Col Taqi Imam,
Tanveer Ahmed, Imran, Mian Tariq and Sikander Butt. ‘SAGA’ consisting of Ghalib Bandesha, Major Assad, Izzat Khalil and Col Assad, once Pakistan’s National Champions Bokhari’s consisting of Muzzafar Bokhari, Sajjid Bokhari, Suleman Bokhari, Riaz Bokhari & Col Kamal Rana, one of the oldest team will be amongst the strong contenders.
Amongst the ladies teams, the team of Rubina Agha, Fatima Raza, Najm Abid, Shahnaz Peerzada , Goga Saeed and Yummy consisting of Tahira Nasir, Tahira Liaqat, Fehmida and Gulshan from Lahore will be the strong contenders. A ladies team from Islamabad will also be participating.
Aijaz Ahmed said that the tournament will consist of two types of
contests, the Pairs Contest and the Swiss Team of Four; there will be three session pairs contests. All players will nearly meet 75% of its opponents. This will be held in one-and-a-half days, starting from March 23. The teams will play 10 rounds of 12 board matches and thereafter the winner would emerge.
“Handsome cash prizes to the top five winners in each event would be
awarded. Ladies although will compete in the open series with all contestants, yet they have special prizes for them as well three each in the pairs and the teams event,” said Aijaz, himself a quality bridge player.
Tropies will be awarded to the top two teams and the top two pairs. A
running tropy will also be awarded to the winner.
It was also stated that computerized scoring system will be used in this
championship. Each table will have a Bridge Mate (an electronic unit) which will transmit results to the server after each board and the comparison made at the server and the result would be ready instantly.
“It is a big honour that Ihsan Qadir will be the Chief Tournament
Director of this championship. He has the distinction of being the only tournament director from India, Bangladesh and even Sri Lanka. There is no one in these countries who is recognized internationally,” he added.