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BRIDGING THE GAP:K. Srikkanth gets a few tips on playing bridge from (from left) BFAME president Ghassan Ghanem, BFI president
CHENNAI: The 16th Bridge Federation of Asia and Middle East (BFAME) championship was inaugurated here at the Chola Sheraton hotel on Wednesday.
Chief guest Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who had the competitors and the officials in splits with his spontaneous humour, spoke of the need to popularise bridge at the school level.
“I know as much about bridge as someone from the Middle East will know about cricket,” said the national cricket selection committee chairman.
“But my humble suggestion is that if you want to make bridge popular, you have to take it to the schools.
“Chess has become very popular among children, and bridge too can become popular. We don't want just grandparents playing it; we want the grandchildren playing it as well.”
World Bridge Federation (WBF) vice-president Mazhar Jafri said the competition was significant because it served as a qualifier for the Bermuda Bowl, which is the World championship of bridge held every four years.
The top two teams from the open category (men and women) and the senior category (men) will make the grade.
BFAME president Ghassan Ghanem expressed happiness that India, which he considered one of the pillars of the federation, was hosting the event a third time. The inaugural function was followed by a session of special friendship pairs. The main championships will get underway on Thursday.
The Indian men will begin their campaign against Bangladesh. The Indian women will take on Jordan in their opening encounter. The finals will be held on June 1.
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