HCL: Over 950 players and 20 countries will compete for a total prize purse of Rs. 22 million.
The 19th HCL International Bridge Championship will kick-start on October 11, 2022. The six-day championship will be held at Hotel Hyatt Regency, Sector 83, in Gurugram, and will witness participation from over 950 players across the globe.
Some of the renowned players include Zia Mahmood (Pakistani-American), Craig Gower (South Africa), Rob Stephens (South Africa), and Kiran Nadar (India), among others.
The competition was held under the aegis of the Bridge Federation of India. will offer a total prize purse of INR 22 million, one of the highest in any Bridge tournament to date.
The tournament premise will be held in two main events – ‘Team of Four Gold’ and ‘Team of Four Silver. In the pairs event, the championship event will host four different events: ‘ Open Pairs’, ‘IMP Pairs’, and ‘IMP Pairs Strata II’.
“I welcome all the players who are joining us all parts of the world to compete and bring alive the unique excitement of Bridge game. The HCL International Bridge Championship is our flagship initiative in sports, and I have seen it grow year-on-year in terms of scale, participation, prestige, and competitiveness. The bridge is a cerebral game, a brain stimulator that keeps players alert and agile—participating in high-pressure championships such as the HCL Bridge Championship requires players’ focused concentration for many hours. It’s challenging. I wish all the players are joining us the very best.”Ms. Kiran Nadar, an internationally acclaimed Bridge player, gold medalist at the 5th Commonwealth Games, and 2018 Asian Games Bridge Medalist, said,
Format of the Tournament and other details:
Team of Four Gold Event is open to all. The qualifying round consists of the Swiss League of 10 Rounds of 10 Boards each on the first two days.
As part of the Swiss system, in each round, one team plays against another for several hands, with the North/South pairs playing against their opponent’s East/West pairs. The top 16 teams after the Swiss League will advance to the knock-out stage.
The knock-out matches will be played over four sessions of 14 Boards each. The play-off for the 3rd position will be played over three sessions of 14 Boards each. Winners will be awarded the ‘Naresh Tandan Trophy.
Team of Four Silver Event is open to Indian Bridge players (participation of foreign teams in this event is subject to clearance by the Technical Committee). The qualifying round consists of the Swiss League of 10 Rounds of 10 Boards each on the first two days.
The top 16 teams after the Swiss League will advance to the knock-out stage. TThe knock-out matches will be played over four 14-board periods. The play-off for third place will take place over four 14-board sessions. The ‘Mohini Tandan Trophy’ will be presented to the winners.
Open Pairs Gold will start on the tournament’s third day and will be played over four days. There would be three eliminations consisting of three sessions of 18 Boards each.
The top 26 pairs from the Elimination-3 round of MP Pairs, along with two sponsored pairs, will compete in the MP Pairings Gold final, while pairs ranked 27-52 will compete in the MP Pairs Silver final.
The remaining Elimination-3 qualifiers will be seeded to compete in the IMP Pairs final. The Barometer Howell movement will be used in the Open Pairs Final, which will be played over two sessions (28 Pairs, 54 Boards). The ‘Neena Bonarji Trophy’ will be presented to the winners.
IMP Pairs is a two-day event. The elimination round consists of three sessions of 18 Boards each on the fifth day. IMP pairs final will be played over two sessions of 24 Boards each. Non-qualifiers will be eligible to play IMP Pairs Strata II.
The HCL International Bridge championship did not take place in 2020 owing to the pandemic. It was organized the following year virtually in 2021, with the same level of participation as its previous editions.