March 22, 2014

Khurshid Hadi, Kemal Shoaib revive Istanbul memories


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Khurshid Hadi and Kemal Shoaib, two of the leading exponents of bridge in the country, reproduced their sensational form of the 2004 World Olympiad in Istanbul during the pairs contest of the Pakistan Day International Bridge Championships held at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi, on March 21.

Known and respected for their cool-headedness, calmness, intelligence and indepth knowledge about the sport, they dominated the first couple of sessions winning both of them convincingly. But they somehow faltered in the third and final session to slip to the sixth position. 

According to the final results declared by the organizers, Ghufran Ashraf-Shahab Khan were declared winners of the pairs with their average score of 61.50% while Brian Senior-Sandra Penfold ended runners-up with the score of 59.98%, edging out Anwar Sultan-Khalid Manzoor stood third with 59.97%. 

The pair of Rashid-ul-Ghazi and Hasan Jawwad claimed the fourth slot with 57.21% while Khurshid Hadi-Kemal Shoaib had to be content with the sixth place as their average score was worked as 57.12%. Ali Hai-Zia Hai (56.66%), Arssalan Mansoor-Mudassar Rahim (56.40%), Ziaullag Baig-Hamid Mohiuddin (56.36%) and Jason Hackett-Justin Hackett (56.14%) shared the next four positions while Anwar Kazilbash-Tanvir Mazahir (55.57%) and Masood Mazhar-Mirza Shauq Hussain (55.37%) finished 11th and 12th respectively. 

As far as the results of the individual sessions were concerned, Khurshid Hadi-Kemal Shoaib emerged triumphant in the first session. 

Playing from the North-South direction, they aggregated 60.28% points to outwit their closest challengers, Shahin Iqbal-Hasan Akhtar Zaidi (60.17%), Brian Senior-Sandra Penfold (60.00%), Afzal Sheikh-Iqbal Siddiqui (59.47%) and A.C Shamim-Safdar Mahmood (58.93%). A.K Bhurgri-Mohammad Zubair led the table from the other direction in the first session with their score of 61.69% with Anis-ur-Rehman-Zeenat Azwer (61.61%), Mubashir Puri-Junaid Said (57.52%), Vikram Dhar-Hussain Adamali (56.49%) and Ahsan J Qureshi-Ghias Malick (56.22%) claiming the next four positions. 

Khurshid Hadi-Kemal Shoaib extended their glorious form into the second session which they won by securing a score of 62.34% with Ranada-Aida (61.58%), A.C Shamim-Safdar Mahmood (60.86%), Tanlu Guo-Rhenda Zhang (59.77%) and Ishrat Hussain-Shamim (59.00%) sharing the other top four slots. 

Afzal Shaikh-Iqbal Siddiqui (63.78%) led the table from the East-West direction in the second session and they were followed by Shuxia Yang-Teng Ning (58.48%), Sarfaraz Ahmed-Nasim Arzoo (58.38%), Arssalan Mansoor-Mudassar Rahim (58.31%) and Minhaj Kidwai-Anwar Kidwai (56.89%). 

There were as many as 92 pairs contesting event, spread over three rounds of 32 boards each. It offered a prize money of US $3,000, with the winners to receive a handsome cash award of US $1,700 in the presentation ceremony to be held on the Pakistan Day (March 23). 

The participation of some of the top players from China, England, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also heralded the return of international bridge in Karachi after a gap of 17 years. The event is being organized jointly by the Mind Sport Association of Pakistan (MSAP) and the Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF).

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