Bridge, considered the most intense card game, is trying to find its feet in India. The fact that India will host the 42nd edition of the World Bridge Championship (WBC), brings smiles on the faces of lovers of the game in our country.
Kiran Nadar, Director, HCL Corporation and also an international bridge player, believes India hosting WBC is a significant development. "I think it is very important that the World Bridge Championship is being organized in India. We (HCL) were trying to get the WBC to India for many years now and finally it is happening," she said.
WBC, sponsored by HCL, will be organised in Chennai from September 26th to October 10th, where 660 players from 40 countries are expected to fight it out for the celebrated Bermuda Bowl Trophy.
Although, the game is popular in several countries like Brazil, Turkey, Israel and Norway, it is yet to take off in India. In Holland, bridge is a part of the curriculum in public school. "We need more youngsters in the game and Bridge should be introduced to interested students at school level," said Nadar.
N.R. Kirubakaramoorthy, President of Bridge Federation of India, said that "incorrect perceptions" about the game is one reason why the game is not very popular in India. Bridge is strategic game and the WBC would "revive interest" in the game among the youth, said Kurubakaramoorthy.
Bridge is believed to have originated in the 17th century by the British noble folk. However, the game has undergone many changes. Contract Bridge, the game as it is known today, was invented by American Harold Vand Vandrability in 1925.
Between the '30s and '40s, the game's popularity reached its peak in America and was giving tough competition to Baseball, the nation's favourite sport.
India's tryst with bridge started in the 20th century and it's the first time it will host the WBC. At the moment, the recently concluded HCL International bridge tournament is one of the biggest events hosted in India. "The tournament is the paramount bridge tournament of the country with the highest participation and the highest prize money," said Nadar.