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Interview with Prabhakar Balakrishnan

May 8, 2013

Bridge Life Past Present and Future

What is your name?

Prabhakar Balakrishnan

What are your nicknames in bridge community?

�Honey Bee�

Where are you from?

Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu

Where do play bridge mostly? Are you a full time professional?

Only tournaments, not full-time

Do you have a regular bridge partner/team?

Sort-of !

When, Where and How do you practice with your partner/team?

Usually never, but now trying out BBO

When, Where and How did you start playing bridge?

At age 10 (1965), at home, taught by my grandfather

Any interesting/funny stories about early bridge career?

Several mock �Finals� of the �Bermuda Bowl� we played in College

Which places have you lived and played bridge in?

Madras, and Schenectady, NY

What was your first major win? What do you remember about that?

Individual event at Kodaikkanal in 1973, the first State level event I played in. My grandfather won the pairs, and my brother-in-law was second in the Individual.

When did you start getting noticed? When did you start thinking about winning national championship or playing for India?

At the eventful special National level invitation tournament in Coimbatore in 1978, where we finished second.

1974

What is the future of your bridge career? What do you want to achieve?

Bridge is a great game that has helped me immensely. It has also helped me realize that while Bridge can help me, I have a responsibility to be helpful. That means, unfortunately, playing less Bridge!

Thoughts on Indian Bridge

What are general comments on status of bridge in India?

Dying!

What do you think of major tournaments in India?

Great fun!

How can we promote bridge in India?

Need proper exposure. Double-Dummy problems in aptitude tests could be a start.

How do you compare Indian bridge to rest of world?

Suffers from lack of good coaching.

How can we do better in International competitions?

Mistakes made by our partnerships can be eliminated only through proper coaching.

Personal

Would you like to share any information about your family members? Does anyone else play bridge?

My father, mother and a lot of family members play. But not in tournaments.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

Trying to understand all those things I should have studied in college!

Where did you study? Where did you work?

IIT, Madras and PhD from RPI, Troy, NY.

In New York City, and from 1989 at Sree Ayyanar Mills, Mallanginar, India.

Interesting Trivia

Favourite World Bridge Player

Terence Reese

Favourite Indian Bridge Player

Roby Roy

Favourite place to play Bridge

Studio of Bridge and Games, Schenectady, NY.

Most Favourite System

Standard

Least Favourite System

Blue Club

Most Favourite Convention

Retransfers after NT rebids by opener

Least Favourite Convention

MUD

Most Favourite Contract

3NT

Least Favourite Contract

2S Doubled!

Declare or Defend?

Both, but not dummy!

Scientist or Naturalist?

Sometimes, I like to explore the limits of acceptable bids and plays! Does that make me a Scientist, Naturalist, or masochist? I don�t know.

MPs or IMPs?

IMPs

Bridge is …. (fill in the blanks, be very short, 1 word answer is preferable)

Tantalizing

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posted on May 8, 2013
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