Emphatic Victory for Indo Pak Team in Balijee International Bridge Championship


LAHORE: The 16th Balijee International Bridge Championship held at Lahore Gymkhana from 23rd March to 26th March lured the best bridge tables from India, Dubai and Kuwait and all elite ones from Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities to Lahore.

The first two days were earmarked for the pairs event, while the team event competition was spread over another two and a half days which concluded by bringing honour and glory to the Indo-Pak team.

While team members Gulzar Ahmed Bilal, Farrukh Liaqat and Sapan Desai were dazzling, the star of the team, Subash Gupta, was lustrous and luminous in defining the team’s strategy which brought rich dividends and a comfortable dominance related victory. The Indo-Pak team remained in command and control through superb and quality play winning all ten boards. Not once were they under threat of defeat and in the process, even teams like Tehsin Ghee Wala, Izzo IV, Punters and Next Pharma were a casualty.

Once again Aijaz Ahmad of Yummy Milk Products and his sister Mrs Tahira Nasir have been superb hosts; the spirit of bridge promotion is there and also continuously oozing is the family’s hospitality with the result that Balijee Bridge is an integral part of the national bridge calendar, keeping the memory of their father Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal (affectionately known as Balijee) alive.

In the final day sessions, Indo-Pak remained on the winning track and though they tried hard, the Tehsin Gheewala team had to be content with being the runner-up.

The final standings of top five winning teams

  1. Indo – Pak: Gulzar Ahmed Bilal – Farrukh Liaquat – Subash Gupta – Sappan Desai 160.61%
  2. Tehsin: Tehsin Gheewala – Rashidul Ghazi – Muhammad Hashmat – Imran Abedi – Fatima Raza 134.67%

    3. Izzo IV: Jahangir Ahmed – Farooq Alvi – Mudessar Rahim – Qasim Rahim – Abida Ali 111.55%

  3. Next Pharma: Ahsan Javed Qureshi – Nauman Khalid Butt – Zia Hyder Naqi – Mirza Shauq Hussain – Ghias A. Malik 110.81%

    5. Punters: Tahir Abbas Mirza – Ali Abbas Mirza – Hamid Zaman – Fehmina Shauq – Mirza Asfandiyar Hussain – Mohsin Chandna 110.41%

The Balijee Bridge Gala has established itself as an event of magnificence although Tahira Nasir was gracious in passing on the credit to the sculptors, architects and artisans with Ihsan Qadir in the forefront conducting all stages with precision, accuracy and free of compromises plus exercising exemplary control over the teams. A special person who deserves a mention is Ameer Hassan, whose contribution to the game can be graded as significant. Others who can’t be missed are Khawaja Imran Zubair, the Convener Card Room and the Captain, Abu Bakr.

At the conclusion of the Balijee Bridge Championship, prizes were distributed by Air Marshal Syed Shahid Zulfiqar Ali, Khawaja Imran Zubair, Convener Card Room and Lahore Gymkhana Chairman, Kamran Lashari.