R. Jayaram

Chennai: Easily one of the top Indian bridge players, K.R. Venkatraman of Chennai, in partnership with Sunit Chokshi of Ahmedabad, won the Wernher Trophy in the Summer North American bridge championships in Las Vegas.

The Wernher Trophy, initiated in 1934, is one of the most prestigious pairs event in the history of the game and is given to the winner of the National Pairs championship in USA.

Almost all the expert players from all over the world take part in this event.

The field had narrowed down to 91 pairs in the two session finals played on Wednesday. With four boards to go, the Indians were in the lead but dropped to third position with just two boards to go.

The Indians scored near tops in the last two boards to win with a score of over 3007 points, 16 ahead (90 was the top score per board) of an American pair.

Winners of several Indian and Asian titles, Venkatraman and Chokshi have been performing consistently well in World championships and in major tournaments in USA, in pairs and teams events. They are both part of the Kiran Nadar-led Formidables team, which won the Asian championships in 2001 and 2003, the Indian Nationals in 2007-2008.

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