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Asian Games

Asian Games: Bridge, a sport or not - history, rules, and facts explained

Bridge made the Asian Games debut in 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. There are three events in bridge at the Hangzhou Asian Games. India sent an 18-member squad to Hangzhou for the 19th Asiad.

Asian Games: Bridge, a sport or not - history, rules, and facts explained
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Bridge has three events at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in 2023.

By

Shourya Mehta

Published: 20 Sep 2023 1:23 PM GMT

Bridge is one of the mind sports in the Asian Games along with chess and the newly introduced Esports.

Bridge is one of the two mind sports recognised by the International Olympic Committee, but they are yet to receive a nod to be part of the Olympic roaster.

It made the Asian Games debut in 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia. There are three events in bridge at the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Bridge in brief is the ultimate trick-taking card game, with the partners sitting opposite one another. In the men's pair event, the players sitting across from each other at the same table form partnerships as North-South and East-West. The game consists of several deals also known as hands or boards, and the game uses a basic playing card deck of 52 cards.

Pranab Bardhan Shibhnath Sarkar won the men's pair gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.

The game is quite similar to chess and the card game poker, and it is played in close proximity. It does not fit the conventional definition of a real sport as it is not primarily a human physical activity. But the aspect of the fortune in the card games at stake makes it a considerable sport.

Let’s go back in time! The History of Bridge

The history of the bridge goes all the way back to the beginning of time, to date, we have confirmed knowledge of it in England since the 16th century, when it was commonly played among the humbler classes. The popularity of the game increased as it attracted members of the upper classes, reaching a peak in 1742. The International Bridge League, established in 1932, was replaced in Oslo in 1958 by the World Bridge Federation (WBF), which oversees international bridge tournaments, coordinates relations among the various participating nations, and establishes competition rules.

How to play the sport? Mini rules guide

Bidding and play are the two stages of the game. The bidding is used by the partnerships to decide who will be the declarer and how many tricks they must win with the selected trump suit (or without trumps if preferred). In the second phase, both teams try to pull off as many victories as they can.

Bridge at the 2018 Asian Games

China topped the medal tally, taking home three gold medals, at the Jakarta Asiad. A total of 213 athletes from 14 nations competed at the 2018 Asian Games, and India won a total of three medals - one gold and two bronze - in the previous edition.

Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar pose with their gold medals at the Asian Games.

Indian Squad for the Asian Games 2023

There is an 18-member Indian squad for the sport out of which 6 players each are for men’s, women’s, and the mixed team. The bridge events will start on September 27 and the medallists will be determined on October 6.

Men's team: Jaggy Shivdasani, Sandeep Thakral, Rajeshwar Tiwari, Sumit Mukherjee, Raju Tolani, Ajay Khare

Women’s team: Asha Sharma, Puja Batra, Alka Kshirsagar, Bharti Dey, Kalpana Gurjar, Vidya Patel

Mixed team: Kiran Nadar, B Satyanarayana, Himani Khandelwal, Rajeev Khandelwal, Marianne Karmarkar, Sandeep Karmarkar

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