Bridge Open Pairs Tourney Success

| April 13, 2015

Botswana Bridge Federation (BBF) hosted an open pairs tournament at the University of Botswana on April 11.

The BBF spokesperson, Mbakisi Malilo said the competition aimed to motivate young and upcoming bridge players by pairing them with reputable and experienced players to gain exposure.

The tournament was one of the competitive matches the federation had lined up in its annual calendar to keep in sync with the performance of individual players. Malilo further said that was the first instalment of the Open pairs with the other two matches still to be played after national team’s assignments.

During the tournament, 32 players turned up for the event with only four senior players in attendance. Tebogo Kubanji and Glod Maele emerged winners with 72.48 per cent followed by the pair of Mosimanegape Moji and Phenyo Molelwane with 66.23 per cent.

Malilo said they would also host schools national tournaments and the Richard Dehmel tournament, also played by schools in honour of the late Dehmel who was one of the pioneers of the game in Botswana.

Malilo said they were happy that young players would also have opportunity to participate in the Botswana Tertiary Students Sports Association (BOTESSA) sanctioned games and they had also sent a proposal to Botswana Integrated Sport Association (BISA) to consider including bridge as part of their games.

BBF president, Letsogile Mafa was adamant that at the end of his four years term, his committee would have completed its mandate. Mafa said part of his ambition was to take bridge to Batswana as they had a very serious problem establishing community clubs.

He also decried lack of women representation in the sport saying they intended to deal with the challenge head-on. In his first year in office, Mafa had managed to register at least 10 community clubs around the country with the rest of the BBF membership made up of school clubs.

Mafa explained that they intended to produce a g team that would not only compete regionally but also take part in competitive World Bridge Federation tournaments in future. The BBF was established in 1988 by some foreign nationals amongst them the late Dehmel who was a teacher at Madiba Senior Secondary School in Mahalapye.

Initially, bridge was considered too elite hence there was very little representation of Batswana with only white foreigners involved in the game. One of the local pioneers of the game was Dr Pearl Mashalaba. Currently, Botswana boasts of talent in the mould of Prince Ramoseki, Maele, Kubanji amongst others.

They also rely on the wealth of experience from the likes of 60-year-old Bonnie Coulter. Other famous bridge players to have grazed the bidding table in the world history included billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, James Bond and Dwight Eisenhower.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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