HCL announces world's richest prize purse for 15th Intl Bridge C'ship

MUMBAI: HCL, a leading global conglomerate, Thursday announced that the 15th HCL International Bridge Championship will commence on September 12, at the JW Marriott Hotel, Aerocity New Delhi. 

This year, the championship will witness participation from over 700 players (132 teams), including 20 international teams from countries like Israel, Sweden, Denmark, Egypt, Russia and Poland, among others. 

The total prize money offered to the winners at this six-day event amounts to Rs18 million ($270,000), making it the highest prize purse for any bridge tournament globally.

The annual bridge championship is being organised under the auspices of Bridge Federation of India. Noted players of international repute participating at the HCL International Bridge Championship include, Giorgio Duboin from Italy (World Ranked No. 20), and Norberto Bocchi from Italy (World Ranked No. 30), top female bridge duo, Hila Levi and Adi Asulin from Isreal among others.

The event consists of “Team of Four Gold”, “Team of Four Silver”, “Open Pairs”, “Swiss Pairs” and “IMP Pairs”. The Naresh Tandan Trophy will be given to the winners of Team of Four Gold event. The Mohini Tandan Trophy will be awarded to the winners of Team of Four Silver event and the Neena Bonarji Trophy will be received by the winners of the ‘Open Pairs’ event.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Kiran Nadar, director, HCL Corporation and an internationally renowned bridge player and captain of Team Formidables said, “Contrary to popular belief, bridge has very little to do with luck and more to do with strategy and communication. All over the world, leaders in the field of business, politics or sports are known to play and love this game. The game, however, is not as popular in India as in other countries like USA or UK. In order to revive the interest in this game, HCL has been supporting it since 2003. Every year, HCL has upped the level of the championship and increased the prize purse, encouraging more national and international participation. We hope that our sustained efforts will go a long way in promoting the game in India.”

Talking about HCL’s support for Bridge, Sundar Mahalingam, chief strategy officer HCL Corporation said, “Sports, whether played outdoors or indoors, as part of a team, with a partner or even alone, allows players to hone their skills of anticipation, collaboration and strategy. Sports is the backbone of many life lessons and HCL, as part of its brand building initiatives, supports a variety of sports including bridge. As a game of strategy, bridge is a natural fit for HCL. With over 700 participants and some of the top international players participating, we expect the championship to be an action-packed six-day event.”

The 2016, HCL International Bridge Championship witnessed participation from over 600 players from 120 teams, including 10 international teams from US, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, Russia and Jordan.