LAHORE: The  16h version of Balijee International Bridge Championship will commence today  from 23rd March and the Championship activity will continue till  26th March, 2018 at the Bridge playing arena of Lahore Gymkhana. Besides the local golf notables, accomplished players of the international bridge scene from  Kuwait, India and Dubai are also participating.

The Tournament Director, Ihsan Qadir stated that in 2018, the participation has been to the maximum capacity and the teams which have confirmed participation are:.

  • Ten teams from Karachi.
  • Eight  teams from Lahore.
  • Four from Rawalpindi /Islamabad. 
  • One team from Multan.
  • One team from Hyderabad.
  • Nine players  are from India and includes the pair of Sapan Desai and Subash Gupta who ended up as runners up in 2017.
  • Then there is the  Team Maya Meera Sneha which is considered a team of strength and immense capabilities and likely to fare well in this Championship.

With the participation of reputed players the competition is becoming tougher and cohesive and tenacious efforts are required to win top positions. Based on evaluation of team expertise and proficiencies  the strong contending teams would be:

  • Maya Meera Sneha
  • Hadi IV
  • Bilals
  • Data Steel
  • Aces
  • Gaints
  • Alvis
  • Holdem
  • Tariq Aces

What makes the championship a grand event is the presence of:

  • “Hadis” team which includes  bridge masters like Khurshid Hadi, Kamal Shoaib, A.R. Allana, Javed Miran, Rashid Ul Ghazi and Imran Jaka. Five of them have represented Pakistan at many occasions.
  • Then there is the “Bilals“ Team who 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.
  • Another adroit and hot team is “HOLDEM” consisting of Uzair Kamal, Umar Aslam, Arslan and Major Hasnat, from Islamabad.
  • Gymkhana’s own is “ACES” and  consists of Ahsan Qureshi, Ghias Malik, Nauman Butt and Usaid. Mubashar Puri and Junaid Said.
  • “IZO IV” team has Izzat Khalil as the key player.
  • “ Silver Star” consisting of Mr. Taqi Imam, Tanveer Ahmed, Imran, Mian Tariq and Sikander Butt.
  • “SAGA”  has Ghalib Bandesha, Major Assad, Izzat Khalil and Mr. Assad was once Pakistan’s National Champion.
  • The well known “BOKHARIS” consist of Muzzafar Bokhari,  Sajjid Bokhari Suleman Bokhari, Riaz Bokhari and Mr. Kamal Rana.

There is a separate event for ladies but simultaneously they will also compete in the open event.

As for the Balijee Bridge Championship there will be three session pairs contest and participating  players will face 75 % of the opponents who are registered as competitors. This will be held in on day one and also extend to the first half of day two.

Top five pairs will receive handsome cash prizes and the top two will also be awarded with Trophies. A running Trophy will also be awarded to the winner.

Thereafter it will be  The Team’s Championship. The participating teams will play 10 Rounds of 12 Board Matches on 24th March, 25 March and 26 March to decide the champion team. Top five teams win cash prizes.

The computerized scoring system is being 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 result ready instantly. Screens will be used in the team event. So partners will not see each other at the table.

The Chief Organizer is Ihsan Qadir who is also associated with World Bridge Federation and his team includes Azwer ul Haq and Sarfraz Butt.

Ajaz Ahmed of Yummy Milk Products, in a briefing, and he  further highlighted that the international event is being held in memory of his Late father Mr. Muhammad Iqbal profoundly known to his fraternity as Balijee.


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