|Sports enthusiasts spoilt for choice|
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Of course not everyone likes their excitement in such an adrenaline-pumping manner. If you prefer the quieter pursuits of Mah Jong, chess, bridge or Scrabble you will find groups who meet regularly to play all of these.
Bahrain’s Scrabble League celebrated its 20th Anniversary in December 2004 and plans to mark the occasion with a celebratory Grand Tournament in June 2005. The league is something of a legend in the area, and its chairman, Roy Kietzman, is known as ‘The Grandad of Gulf Scrabble’, travelling by invitation throughout the Gulf and India to run tournaments. The league has around 40 players and meets twice weekly, on Mondays at the Hilton and on. Players of all abilities are welcome at the meetings, which are organised by the Bahrain Mind Sports Association (BMSA) – call 17242641 for more information.
Also under the umbrella of BMSA are clubs for chess (call 39455902) and bridge, played on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays with Ladies’ Mornings on Sundays and Tuesdays (contact 39687190). Dama, an unusual variation of draughts thought to have originated in Turkey, also has a strong following in Bahrain, particularly in Muharraq. Dama players meet to play regular tournaments and apparently Bahrain’s Dutch community provides some particularly strong players though Bahrainis tend to rule the roost!