BFAME championship set to start today

Published May 6, 2023
CONTESTANTS are engrossed in the game during the Friendship Open Paris event on Friday.—M.Arif/White Star
CONTESTANTS are engrossed in the game during the Friendship Open Paris event on Friday.—M.Arif/White Star

LAHORE: Players from six countries have arrived in Lahore to participate in the 22nd Bridge Federation of Asia and Middle East (BFAME) Championship starting here at a local hotel on Saturday.

Besides hosts Pakistan, teams from India, Jordan, Bangladesh, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates are participating in the championship.

On Friday, a Friendship Open Pairs contest was held while a captains’ meeting was also arranged.

An opening ceremony of the event, attended by Federal Inter-provincial Minis­ter Ehsanur Rehman Mazari, BFAME president Bahajat Al Majali, Pakistan Bridge Federation president Mubashar Lucman and secretary Ehsan Qadir, was held.

Later addressing a press conference jointly alongside Majali, Indian captain Ranjan Bhattacharya said his team were upbeat to do well and qualify for the World Cup.

“We are thankful to both Indian and Pakistani governments for helping us arrive in Pakistan,” Bhattacharya said.

“Yes, the [political] history of both the countries has had [several] issues but we successfully convinced our government that India’s participation is essential as it is a qualifying round for the World Cup.”

Ranjan thanked the PBF for giving a warm welcome to the Indian squad at Wagah Border and hospitality in Lahore.

Speaking on the occasion, Majali said 18 players each from five countries and 24 from Pakistan, were participating in the championship.

“Syria, Sri Lanka and Bahrain could not feature in the championship due to different reasons and Saudi Arabia was also to participate but they could not reach,” Majali added.

“Events [at the BFAME championship] will be held in four categories including Open, Woman, Seniors and Mixed Team. The top two teams of each category will qualify for the World Cup to be held in Morocco in September this year.”

Meanwhile, India, Pakistan and Jordan are participating in all four categories. The UAE is also contesting in three categories while Bangladesh and Palestine are featuring in only one category apiece.

On Saturday, three rounds will be held in each category.

From Sunday to Wednesday, the contest will be held on round robin basis in all the categories with all teams playing three matches daily. But in Mixed and senior the last round robin will be staged on Thursday, when the semi-finals-Segment 1 to three in Open/Women teams, are held.

On May 12, the semi-final in segment 4 to 6 in Open/Women teams will be played followed by finals in Segment 1 and 2 in Mixed/Seniors.

On the final day (May 13), the finals in Segment 1 and 2 in Open/Women Teams will be the last event of the championship.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2023

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