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Interview with Sandeep Karmarkar

May 3, 2013

Bridge Life Past Present and Future

What is your name?

Sandeep Karmarkar

What are your nicknames in bridge community?

Sandy by some.

Where are you from?

Mumbai, Maharasthra.

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

Tournament bridge. Not a

Do you have a regular bridge partner/team?

Partnering J.M.Shah in
India Blues team.

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

Tournament play.
Discussions during personal meetings.

When, Where and How did you start playing bridge?

In early eighties in IIT
Mumbai Hostel 5.

Any interesting/funny stories about early bridge career?

When Vinay Desai and I,
bid &made a slam (not as a sacrifice but after cue-bidding)against Adiga couple
after both of us passed and the fourth hand opened the bidding. They not only
did not double us but didn't say a word to each other!

Which places have you lived and played bridge in?


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

In 1996, plying with Jitu
Solani, won National Masters team and pairs both the same year. Our team did not
have 6 experts but we liked and respected each other. The same year our team
also won the award for the best sportsmanship.

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

In 1987, I was selected
to play in the Juniors team but GOI did not allow us to go to Srilanka due to
insurgency. From 2004 onwards, playing with JM Shah in India Blues, the
performance has been the best so far.

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

Hope to be able to
continue to play (and well too). Aspire to contribute to bringing the Bermuda
Bowl to India.

Thoughts on Indian Bridge

What are general comments on status of bridge in India?

Bridge has been termed as
another card game and therefore gambling. Number of players also dwindling.

What do you think of major tournaments in India?

Number of prize money
tournaments have increased substantially. But participation by international
teams needs to be increased.

How can we promote bridge in India?

By going to the colleges
to rope in the students. By getting GOI recognition (there is no Arjun award for
bridge), by increasing media coverage, by setting up bridge academies for
teaching and coaching.

How do you compare Indian bridge to rest of world?

 Indians have the
best minds in the world. Indian bridge has huge potential not realised yet.

How can we do better in International competitions?

We need to have
professional players who can form long term partnerships. We also need to have
infra-structure for coaching as well as more international exposure.


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

I am eternally grateful
to the game of Bridge since I met my wife Marianne at the bridge table. My twin
daughters Aditi and Deepika are 13. We hope to induct them to the game soon.

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

No free time for a bridge

Where did you study? Where did you work?

IIT &NITIE in Mumbai.
Always in Hindustan Petroleum.

Interesting Trivia

Favourite World Bridge Player

Benito Garozzo

Favourite Indian Bridge Player

J.M. Shah

Favourite Place to play Bridge

BBO is slowly becoming the

Most Favourite System

2 over 1

Least Favourite System

Any system is OK as long as
partner and you know what you are doing

Most Favourite Convention


Least Favourite Convention

Blackwood (Most Abused)

Most Favourite Contract

Slams with few HCPs

Least Favourite Contract

When partner selects trumps
after a transfer and I go down!

Declare or Defend?


Scientist or Naturalist?


MPs or IMPs?


Bridge is …

the expression of

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posted on May 3, 2013
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