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Interview with Vivek Bhand

May 1, 2013

Bridge Life Past Present and Future

What is your name?

Vivek Bhand

What are your nicknames in bridge community?

Bond, Bondji, Bhandaa, etc

Where are you from?

Born & brought up in Mumbai

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

These days, on the OKBridge. I am a professional amature.

Do you have a regular bridge partner/team?

I have been playing with Dr Prakash Paranjape (Panja) since the year ~ 1989. We don’t have a team now. Earlier we used to play with young players from IIT Bombay.

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

On the internet bridge club OKBridge.

When, Where and How did you start playing bridge?

Started in ~ 1983 while staying in the hostel studying in IIT Bombay. Had many friends playing competetive bridge. In Mumbai, a lot of bridge tournaments used to take place. The 1st one I participated in was the Ruia Handicap.

Any interesting/funny stories about early bridge career?


Which places have you lived and played bridge in?

Stayed all my life in Mumbai. Played bridge in many places, Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kanpur, Karachi, Brighton, & so on.

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

Islam Gymkhana in the year 1990 (or early 1991). We had defeated a team having Jaggy in it, which was an achievement in those days. Later, in 1997, won Rama Jain memorial.

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

In early nineties we started performing. Panja was working on DEMICOMA & we were contributing to it, fine-tuning it, polishing it. In 1997, we won Rama Jain memorial, our 1st national level win. After that, won two IMP Pairs National championships in summer nationals in 99 & 2000.

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

At present, I don’t see it going any places. Though the potential is there, the need to work to make a living & family committments do not allow much time for bridge. In my younger days, I have dreamt of winning the Bermuda Bowl.

Thoughts on Indian Bridge

What are general comments on status of bridge in India?

Average age of bridge players is very high. Unless young people are inducted & encouraged to play, the game will die a slow death. 2ndly, the administration has to be clean & committed to promote the game. For election of office bearers, each state should get weightage proportional to the no. of registered players. Rating system for performance must be present.

What do you think of major tournaments in India?

Professionalism is low. Good players can not make a living playing the game as in US / Europe. They don’t get their due. Without a rating system, good players can not be recognized. Hence, mediocrity with better marketing & PR skills pervades.

How can we promote bridge in India?

Organizers must attract top players to participate. Tourneys must be stratified to make a level playing field. Rating system should be followed.

How do you compare Indian bridge to rest of world?

Unless players can earn from bridge either by way of continued sponsorships or employment, they can not devote sufficient time to the game. Training methods & coaching should be adopted. Teams should practice together & compete in international events.

How can we do better in International competitions?

�There must be a good rating system to indicate the current calibre of a player. Higher rating players must be rewarded with entry fee waiver, free lodging / boarding, etc. Only then, players will strive to improve their rating.


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


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

I am fond of music, especially classical. I did a lot of trekking & rock climbing in my student days & still long to be ‘Out There’.

Where did you study? Where did you work?

I did my B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 1988. I worked with a steel manufacturer for 14 yrs. For last 3 years I am with India Gypsum Ltd in projects.

Interesting Trivia

Favourite World Bridge Player

Belladona, Garrozzo, Forquet

Favourite Indian Bridge Player

Late Ramesh Gokhale

Favourite place to play Bridge

A hill station

Most Favourite System

DEMICOMA (DEstructive MInors COnstructive MAjors) developed by Dr Prakash Paranjape (Panja)

Least Favourite System

Relay precision

Most Favourite Convention


Least Favourite Convention


Most Favourite Contract

6 of minor

Least Favourite Contract

2 of minor

Declare or Defend?


Scientist or Naturalist?


MPs or IMPs?


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

was a persuit at one time.

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posted on May 1, 2013
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