By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The brilliance of the stars from the United Kingdom, who played under the banner of UK-2 and Barmy Army, shared the top two positions in the team event of the Pakistan Day International Bridge Championships which concluded at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi, on March 23.
Besides the UK there were foreign participants from China, Jordan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well in the three-day festival organized jointly by the Mind Sport Association of Pakistan (MSAP) and the Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF).
UK-2, comprising of Jason Hackett, Justin Hackett, Mike Bell and Alex Hydes, continued to dominate their rivals and their eventual aggregate of 162.31 Victory Points (VPs), earned them the top slot with ease and grace.
Barmy Army, the other participating team from the UK and containing Sendra Penfold, Edward Jones, Thomas Paske and Brain Senior, ended runners-up with their tally of 134.56 VPs.
Talpur, featuring Nawab Mohammad Yousuf Talpur, Parvez Mirza, Rashid-ul-Ghazi and Syed Hasan Jawwad, were the leaders among the teams fielded by Pakistan. They finished third overall with their score of 129.72 VPs while Miran, having Khurshid Hadi, Kemal Shoaib, Abdul Rehman Allana, Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan, Tahir Masood and Javed Ahmed, finished fourth with 126.44 VPs.
The fifth position was claimed by Dynamite, represented by Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Naseem Arzoo, Syed Hussain Jaffar, Mohammad Ashraf Kothari, Anwar Gheewala and Afzal Ahmed Sheikh, who aggregated 115.77 VPs.
KG-1, having E U Khawaja, Usman Ansari, Nasir Wahab, Sattar Cochinwala and Mansoor Habib, came a close sixth with 115.40 VPs while China-2, containing Limin Wang, Hua Liang, Huizhong Zhao, Zhiwei Ding, Rhenda Zhang and Tianlu Guo, had to settle with the seventh slot with their tally of 113.68 VPs.
Avengers, fielding Qasim Rahim Khan, Ali Ahmed, Hamza Liaqat and Mohammad Salman Qasim, finished eighth with 110.54 VPs, Ahsan, comprising of Ahsan Zahir Rizvi, Nasir Raza Khan, Ghulam Mohammad, Anis-ur-Rehman, Mohammad Ghufran Ashraf and Shahab Latif Khan, were placed ninth wither tally of 109.97 VPs and Zara, having fielded Zara Randa, Mays, Aida, Samar Alrawashde, Mohammad Hikal and Sakhar, were placed 10th with 109.59 VPs.
A total of 35 teams, seven of them from abroad, took part in the event which was spread over 10 rounds. The first five rounds were played on March 22 while the remaining five rounds were contested the following day.
The first round winners were Barny Army, UK-2, Hai, Thread & Needles, Miran, Sindh Bilal, Zara, Romex, Karachi Aces, Dynamite, KG-1, Ahsan, China-2, Izzat Khalil, Talpur, Blue Chips and Aces with Trail Blazers having been given a bye.
Aces, UK-2, Thread & Needles, Talpur, Miran, Romex, Barny Army, Zara, Izzat Khalil, Avengers, Puri Estate, Star Bidders, Masood IV, Softel, Dynamo, Sabres and Turkey registered wins in the second round with Foxy given a bye.
UK-2, Barny Army, Talpur, China-2, Sindh Bilal, Puri Estate, Turkey, Avengers, Dynamo, Ahsan, Dynamite, Trail Blazers, Foxy, Holdem and Saya defeated their respective opponents in the third round in which B-Team had a bye. A couple of matches also ended in a draw in this particular round.
Thread & Needles played out a draw against Aces while Star Bidders and Hai were also engaged in a drawn encounter.
There were massive victories for Data Steel and Masood IV in the fourth round as they whipped B-Team and Softel respectively.
UK-2, Talpur, Miran, Romex, Sindh Bilal, China-2, Zara, Avengers, Star Bidders, Hai, Trail Blazers, Saya, Karachi Aces, Lahore and Marathon also prevailed over their respective rivals while Inbox had a bye in the fourth round.
The victorious teams in the fifth round were UK-2, Sindh Bilal, Miran, China-2, Zara, Avengers, Masood IV, Dynamite, Puri Estate, Ahsan, Kohat Cement, Karachi Aces, KG-1, Holdem, China, Inbox and Soften with Sabres getting a bye.
There was more success in the sixth round for UK-2, Talpur, Avengers, Thread & Needles, Dynamite, Turkey, Aces, Ahsan, Trail Blazers, Softel, Foxy, Holdem, Saya, Data Steel, Lahore and Blues with Marathon having been given a bye which the match between Miran and Barmy Army ended in a stalemate.
Puri Estate, UK-2, Holdem, Hai, Inbox, China-2, Sindh Bilal, Trail Blazers, Masood IV, Barmy Army, Softel, Miran, Blue Chips, Dynamo, Marathon, Turkey and Sabres registered wins in the seventh round with Karachi Aces given a bye.
KG-1, Marathon, Lahore, Trail Blazers, Masood IV, Sindh Bilal, Aces, Dynamite, Barmy Army, Foxy, Puri Estate, Star Bidders, Ahson, Inbox, Thread & Needles and UK-2 overcame their respective opponents in the eighth round in which China had a bye while Dynamo and Saya were played out a drawn encounter.
The winners in the ninth round were Data Steel, KG-1, Foxy, Hai, Miran,Talpur, Masood IV, Marathon, Aces, Avengers, Inbox, Barmy Army, UK-2, Dynamo, Turkey, Karachi Aces and Sabres while Kohat had a bye.
China, Dynamite, UK-2, Softel, Zara, Barmy Army, Ahsan, Avengers, Miran, Dynamo, Marathon, Talpur, China-2, Kohat Cement, KG-1, Saya and Romex signed off with victories over their respective rivals in the tenth and final round in which Blue Chips had a bye.