Apparao is the man behind the technology front in the world bridge championship

SportingIndia|07-Oct-2015 17:10

CHENNAI:  Technology and sports now go hand in hand.  Be it in tennis , football or cricket, the three big time sports in the world and  the use of technology is now common.  If these sports depend on technology to make the sport as much error-free as possible then for sport like bridge, technology comes in handy to make it more visible and also help the authorities in score-calculations and more importantly  to monitor the competitions without being intrusive.

For an insight into how technology has come in as a major tool in organizing mega bridge events, then this World Championship is providing a vivid exhibition of it. From day one when the championship got underway and the various competitions too, the television screens kept at various points around the spacious hall are abuzz with the happenings inside the hall. At another room, right from viewing the players play, their deals and bids and running scores as also thrills of changing fortunes, everything comes on giant screens.

The man behind this role of technology in this Championship is  Mr M.R. G. Apparao, an  alumini of IIM Kolkata and significantly the Engineer  who set up the first computer at the IIM, Ahmedabad.  Computer Technology is something Apparao has been into since 1970 and as he nears 70 years in age, he continues to be just as enthusiastic  as when he was young on newer challenges in this field of modern technology.  “I am a researcher and my mind keeps thinking of newer things in this line of technology,” he says.

Providing technology support to bridge events in India is not new to Apparao. In fact he takes pride in the fact he had automated scoring way back in 1984 in the Indian nationals when even the World body was just about going through with the process. For this Chennai assignment, this technology expert who has his own company Netaccess Ltd, had gone to the previous edition of the Championship in Bali, Indonesia. “What we have here in Chennai is one step ahead of Bali.  We use the WBF provided  equiptment and software and ensure sufficient bandwidth for the smooth functioning of various  computer links from visuals, live streaming to scoring and much more needed here.  Fans all over the world thus have access to the excitement.  We have been able to achieve that. In addition we have upgraded the UPS to the extent that there is no power interruption even for a second. This helped for there were frequent power failures but nobody knew it , the UPS  ensured that, “ he said with a sense of pride. “I can tell you the technology we have now is second to none,” he said.

Apparao is not new to sports organization in Chennai.  He had key role in the organization of the Davis Cup matches years ago and to that extent, as he put it, “I am a multi-sport loving man,” he said smiling. He plays bridge out of interest though that has not taken him to representative levels.  Though, of course he rose to become the Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Association as also the Bridge Federation of India.  But more than that the sport has helped him keep his mind alert, something  that suited him  considering his penchant for research.

On what holds the future for bridge vis a vis technology, Apparao said “making it lot more spectator friendly  through well defined visuals of the cards played is one area of my interest.”   He also talked of having scanners in the play-area to ensure no player used unfair means to gain advantage.  To a technologist nothing is in the realms of dream anymore.  Apparao is prepared to keep looking for challenges. “I like it that way,”, he said

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