37. Bridge: The astonishing story of bridge in Raibidpura . . . what I learned

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This 3d Hand of blogs on bridge (#27-39) has had sub-theme in some on the impediments (as I see them) to growing bridge especially amongst the under 40 demographic. What I learned from Raibidpura was there ARE NO IMPEDIMENTS compared to those overcome in Raibidpura! And in that little Indian village bridge has been both widely played and transformative.

I have Mark Pharaoh’s unique blog to thank for learning about Raibidpura and its bridge teacher Mohammad Zia Khan. You need  to  copy/paste/Google the links below for an  inspiring “read” — of a remote Indian village that became addicted to bridge starting in1965 and how doing so literally transformed the village. It should be mandated reading for anyone in a leadership role at the ACBL.

Here’s brief excerpt from Pharaoh’s description of this remarkable village where bridge is taught even to those who are illiterate.

“In Raibidpura set in the heart of central India, there are about forty regular bridge players among 200 to 300 that know the game. With a total population of 5000 Raibidpura has, without doubt, a very high density of bridge players. A core group assembles in a dedicated bridge room above the medical shop on the main street. This is where the serious bridge happens and where scoring sheets are preserved for years. The rest do not keep score, choosing instead to play sitting cross-legged on mats at dusty mud-road intersections.”

Today Raibidpura is experiencing the same drop off of the young taking up bridge as the rest of the world due to TV, internet games, etc. Raibidpura is not giving up! And in their current campaign to grow bridge once again, they are including girls. Since women, as far as I know, greatly outnumber men players in most countries of the West, it will be interesting to see what happens in India.

Take the time to copy/paste and read these links–will do any bridgeplayer’s heart good.


http://www.ibridgeplayer.com (can subscribe here and stay on top of the Raibidpura story)





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