True-life deals

‘The Romance of Bridge' An Indo-Jordanian collaboration By Raman Jayaram (India) & Ghassan Ghanem (Jordan). (Published by: Nuha Hattar Ghanem, P.O. Box 142637, Amman 11184, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) Price: US$ 19.95

As the famous International Bridge Tournament Director Antorius Kooijman (‘Ton' to friends) of Netherlands explains in his article in this book, the dictionary meaning of Romance is “the escapade from ordinary occurrences, creating a special and positive feeling.”

So what has Bridge, a mind sport usually associated with cold logic, numbers and probabilities, to do with romance?

In this book, the authors have taken great pains to locate true-life deals played by the masters of various countries, each of which brings out that elusive romantic touch.

Raman Jayaram from India, one of the co-authors, is an eminent Bridge journalist with international exposure. Like the doyens of Indian Bridge journalism, Bobby Sinha and P. S. N Sarma, who both wrote for ‘The Hindu', Jayaram has an eye for the unusual.

He has not only brought to light the innate romantic beauty of the deals but also the exploits of Indian star players who are largely unknown to the International Bridge community for want of exposure. That, by itself, is a great contribution to Indian Bridge.

Jordan's Ghassan Ghanem is a popular Bridge personality. An expert player, able administrator and caring host, he has successfully multi-tasked all these responsibilities when he organised and conducted the BFAME championships in Amman, Jordan, not once but thrice in recent years.

Representing India, I have had the pleasure of closely knowing him and his wife Nuha Hattar during these championships and can bear testimony to the couple's camaraderie and hospitality.

Ghassan has covered the exploits of the Jordanian, Pakistani and other international masters with an eye for technical detail. The contrasting writing styles of the co-authors makes for a refreshing read. The 50 deals reported in this book have been excellently culled with the sole emphasis on the ‘romantic' aspect.

A great Bridge book to lie down, relax and reminisce with.

K. R. Venkataraman