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Interview with Sunit Chokshi

May 2, 2013

Bridge Life Past Present and Future

What is your name?

Sunit Chokshi

What are your nicknames in bridge community?

None

Where are you from?

Ahmedabad, though I spent 11 years in Mumbai from 1993 ro 2004

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

IN Ellisbridge Gymkhana and BBO. Since 2000, I have been playing on the Formidables team of Mrs. Kiran Nadar.

Do you have a regular bridge partner/team?

Yes I have been playing with K.R. Venkatraman for 8/9 years now.

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

Its rare but whenever we do practice it is on BBO

When, Where and How did you start playing bridge?

Well, it is a funny story. I represented Gujarat in Billiards and Snooker at the Bangalore Nationals and lost in the 1st round. After coming back home I started watching my billiard friends who used to play rubber bridge at the club and found bridge to be a very boring game initially. Once they were short of a player and asked me to play for a while till a 4th player came. Essentially I started bridge as a substitute.

Any interesting/funny stories about early bridge career?

There were selection trials for Rama Jain pairs. Gujarat had a quota of 3 pairs. I had no partner and when I reached the venue found 3 more people without a partner. No one wanted to play with a beginner and finally Mr. Kavi Patel was forced to play with me. Not only did we win the Ahmedabad trials, we went on to win the Gujarat trials. Kavi has been a very dear friend since then and we laugh about this incident even today.

Which places have you lived and played bridge in?

Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Now I have been playing all over the world.

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

It was in 1994 in the West Zone in Surat. Our team had all players from Ahmedabad and one of them was Keyzad Anklesaria, the 2008 Holkar winner. We were absolute minnows and still it is one of the most memorable win for me.

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

My dream was of winning a national title playing for my first team �DECEPTIVES� but that never happened. Though we did consistently well as a team.

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

I honestly feel India has the natural talent to beat any side in the world but where we lack is discipline and hard work. This applies to me also.

Thoughts on Indian Bridge

What are general comments on status of bridge in India?

Will become extinct in India if something is not done immediately to protect this wonderful game.

What do you think of major tournaments in India?

Standard has definitely improved mainly due to sponsors like Dr. Tolani, HCL, Singhania Group, Dhampur Sugar, Ashok Ruia, Shree Cements, Modi Group, etc. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them and any other sponsor who has been associated with this game which we all love.

How can we promote bridge in India?

I have always felt that to promote Bridge we need to bring youngsters to start playing this game. The quality of Bridge in India can improve only if we lure youngsters and coach them when they are young. Also getting corporate sponsors, essentially bringing more money into the game will certainly help the cause.

How do you compare Indian bridge to rest of world?

We are almost there.

How can we do better in International competitions?

By putting in lot of hard work, I feel we can take on any team in the world. Also we need to ensure that the best 6 players available in the country are playing on the team.

Personal

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

No one plays bridge in my family.

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

I love reading and spend time with my wife, daughter and parents.

Where did you study? Where did you work?

In Ahmedabad. I have worked in Mumbai and now am in construction business in Ahmedabad.

Interesting Trivia

Favourite World Bridge Player

Claudio Nunnes and Fulvio Fantoni in partnership.

Favourite Indian Bridge Player

K.R.Venkatraman and Subash Gupta. Also feel Sumit Mukherjee and Keyzad Anklesaria are very talented youngsters and future of Indian bridge.

Favourite place to play Bridge

Ellisbridge Gymkhana, Ahmedabad.

Most Favourite System

I have played precision and standard both. All systems are fine, as long as both the partners are on the same wave length.

Least Favourite System

Most Favourite Convention

Least Favourite Convention

Most Favourite Contract

I Nt , love defending it.

Least Favourite Contract

None

Declare or Defend?

Defend, anytime.

Scientist or Naturalist?

Naturalist, but now I think scientist are likely to rule. The �Hamman� era is over now.

MPs or IMPs?

Both.

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

Passion

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posted on May 2, 2013
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