Chennai: Some of the legendary names in Bridge will be seen in action in the 42nd World Bridge Teams Championships, beginning here on Saturday.
"Bridge is a sport like any other sport. It requires a good head and physical fitness. Also this is one sport a child can play and also an 80 year old," Gianarrigo Rona, President of the World Bridge Federation, said.
This is the first time that India is hosting the World Championship.
The Orsi cup (for seniors, 60 yrs and above) will be a first in India and bridge enthusiasts firmly believe this would go a long way in giving a much needed boost to this mind-sport in the country.
The 15-day championship, the finals of which would be held on October 10, would witness events in Bermuda Bowl (Open event), Venice Cup (for women). And d'Orsi cup.
Legendary players to compete in the championship would include Belladona and Garozzo (Italy); Reese and Schapiro (Eng); Zia Mohammed (Pakistan/US); Hamman& Wolf (USA); Sontag & Weischel(USA); Mcstroth & Rodwell(USA); Lauria & Versace (Italy); Bochi & Duboin (Italy) ; Helgemo & Helness (Monaco) ; Mike Lawrence (USA - youngest World Champion) and Gabriela Chagas (Brazil).
In all, 66 teams numbering some 660 players from 35 countries will feature in the main three events.
Midway through the competition the Trans National Championship (introduced in 1997) will get underway with teams comprising members of various countries and they will contest for the M.N. Dastur Trophy.
The 35 countries for the main events were selected through an elaborate process of competitions involving eight zones. As hosts, India enter automatically.
Some of the leading players who will be seen in action in this Championship include Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Nickell (USA), Gabriela Chagas (Brazil), Sumit Mukherjee and Rana Roy (both India).
Italy has won the Bermuda bowl most times (15), USA teams have won the Venice Cup on 11 occasions and the d'Orsi trophy five times. India's best has been a quarterfinal finish. Indian teams have figured in the quarter finals on no less than half a dozen times.
Bermuda Bowl: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Guadeloupe, India, Japan, Jordan New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, UAE, USA 1, USA2.
Venice Cup: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Guadeloupe, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, USA 1, USA 2, Venezuela
D'Orsi seniors trophy: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile,China, Egypt, England, Guadeloupe, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Tunisia, USA 1, USA 2.
The Indian teams:
Bermuda Bowl: The Indian Railways side (Amarnath Banerjee, Debabrata Majumdar, Gopinath Manna, Sumit Mukherjee,
Venice Cup: Puja Batra, Firoza Chothia, Hema Deora, Monica Jajoo, Marianne Karmarkar, Aparna Sain, Kawaljit Singh (npc), Niranjan (Manager)
D'Orsi trophy: Badal Chandra Das, Ashok Kumar Goel, R. Krishnan, Sunil Machhar, Aloke Sadhu, K.R. Venkatraman, Anil Padhye (npc), Arun Bapat(Coach)