Open Pairs

Roaming Reporter, Peggy Kaplan

The first day of the Nail Life Master Open Pairs… what’s it like? It’s world class players and first time NABC competitors. It’s hands so difficult, only Deep Finesse can get ‘em right. It’s triumphs and tragedies; coups and collapse. It’s pensive thought and smiles of success. It’s players from Peoria and Portland, Sao Paulo and Stockholm, Bucharest and Brooklyn.

It’s more fun than you can almost imagine!

Saturday evening, as the first two NABC events were about to conclude, your Roaming Reporter headed to the director’s table.  Did they know yet who the winners were?

With the last round’s results still to be zapped to the director’s computer, they could not report with certainty.  Nevertheless, in the Smith LM Women’s Pairs, victory was looking likely for Victoria Gromova and Tatiana Ponomareva.  In the Nail LM Open Pairs, Zia Mahmood and Chip Martel had a strong lead.  Both pairs did maintain their edge to win their respective titles.

Before we knew with certainty, however, I was able to track down Zia and Chip.  “The directors tell me they think that you have won!” I chirped at them.  Most might start to cautiously celebrate – but – apparently I had intruded upon a most vigorous conversation.

The bundle of vigor, creativity and emotion that Zia brings to his game does not end when he leaves the table.  With a waving of hands, Zia pointed at his hand record.  Teammates were consulted; more gesturing ensued.

Chip stepped away to give New York Times bridge writer Phillip Alder a feature hand from their win.  Finally, I was able to capture a smile!

And for more on the road to their titles, please check out today’s Daily Bulletin!

Click here to view a complete photo album of the Nail LM Open Pairs.