BRIDGE proved too strong for the competition, winning the Hongkong Management Game for the third consecutive year and walking off with $25,000 and the Perpetual Trophy from South China Morning Post Publishers, publishers of the Sunday Morning Post. Organised by the Hongkong Management Association, the game uses a computer program to simulate challenging business activities and the teams, each composed of four members, act as fictitious companies competing for shares in imaginary product markets. ''Luck was certainly a major factor, but our pricing strategy at the very end was obviously a little more accurate, because it really worked with the outcome,'' said Bridge team leader Louis Ma. The markets were simulated by the SIMBA 5 program, developed by ICL (Hongkong) Ltd, which also provided management reports containing selling prices, marketing statistics, direct cost accounting and profit and loss accounts. Each team had to decide on selling prices, marketing investment and level of production, among other things. The program evaluated their decisions and a report showing their progress formed the basis of the teams' decisions in subsequent trading periods. Mr Ma, whose co-team members were Chan Ka Chong, Lam Wing Chun and Annie Tsang, said this year's competition was more difficult than in previous years and tracking the outcome was exceptionally challenging. ''Actually, at the end of the game, we really had to gamble and we really just bet the final period would be favourable. I guess it was a smart gamble,'' said Mr Lam. Mr Chan works for Hongkong Bank's private banking division, Mr Ma is a senior lecturer in computing at Hongkong Polytechnic, where Mr Lam is a senior lecturer in information systems, and Ms Tsang is a financial systems expert with Paxus Computer Software.