Phoenix Wrap-up

The Fall NABC in Phoenix wrapped-up on Sunday, Dec. 8 with the conclusion of the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams and the Keohane North American Swiss Teams.

Team Monaco (Pierre Zimmermann, Franck Multon, Tor Helness, Geir Helgemo, Claudio Nunes and Fulvio Fantoni) posted their second consecutive win in the Reisinger. In second place were Krzysztof Buras, Norberto Bocchi, Andrew Gromov, Aleksander Dubinin, Grzegorz Narkiewicz and Agustin Madala.

The winners of the Keohane North American Swiss Teams were 14th at the start of play on the final day. The winners were team captain Rose Meltzer Steve Robinson, Carlos Pellegrini, Diego Brenner, John Mohan and Peter Boyd. Second place went to Jan Jansma, JohnValliant, Michael Polowan, team captain Ron Zambonini, Darren Wolpert and Shan Huang.

Martin Fleisher, captain of the third-place squad in the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams, earned enough platinum masterpoints to win the Player of the Year masterpoint competition for 2013.

The Player of the Year is the ACBL member who wins the most platinum masterpoints, available only in NABC events, in a calendar year. Fleisher’s platinum point total of 746.25 put him 41.6 points ahead of Steve Weinstein, the leader at the conclusion of the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs on Thursday, Dec 5. Weinstein’s team did not make the cut on the first qualifying day of the Reisinger.

The Goren Trophy goes to the player who wins the most masterpoints of any pigment. This year it belongs to Agustin Madala, whose 402.22 points (all platinum) led the field.

The final table count was 12,565.


Gupta Wins Baze Senior KO Teams

The team captained by Vinita Gupta took the lead at the halfway point of the Baze Senior Knockout Teams, then put the match away with a 57-1 third quarter on the way to a 156-81 victory over the Carolyn Lynch squad.

Gupta, of Woodside CA, played with Billy Miller, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Lew Stansby and Bart Bramley. With the win, Miller became a Grand Life Master.

Lynch’s teammates were Mike Passell, Garey Hayden, Cezary Balicki and Adam Zmudzinski.
Lynch won the first quarter 42-23, but Gupta, the original No. 3 seed, outscored Lynch 60-24 in the second set to grab an 83-66 lead. The big third quarter was too much for Lynch to overcome, although the runners-up scored the first 24 IMPs of the final 16 boards before Gupta tacked on a late slam swing to put it out of reach.

Gupta’s win was her first North American championship after only three years of playing what she describes as “serious tournament bridge.”

Gupta is the founder and was the head of Digital Link Corp., in Sunnyvale CA (Silicon Valley). She retired eight years ago and, with coaching and mentoring by Miller, has made her mark in high-level competition. Her team was second in the Senior KO last year in San Francisco.
Next on her agenda is “working hard toward bigger and better goals.”

Phoenix Winners

Mahaffey wins Open BAM

The team captained by Jim Mahaffey charged from behind in the final of the Mitchell Open Board-a-Match Teams to win the event by less than a board.

The winners scored 36.77 to 36.03 for the runners-up, captained by Jill Levin.
Mahaffey played with Tony Forrester, England; Jean Quantin and Marc Bompis, France, and Josef Piekarek and Alexander Smirnov, Germany.

Levin played with Jenny Wolpert, Bobby Levin and Steve Weinstein.
After two qualifying sessions, Mahaffey and company were tied for 45th/49th. Levin was ahead of them, tied for 31st/36th.

In the first final, Levin scored 19.5 out of a possible 26 to move into first with 21.03, including carryover. Mahaffey’s first final session score of 17 (plus .77 carryover) moved them into 9th place.

In the second final session, Mahaffey posted 19 to Levin’s 15.

The victory was the first North American championship for Quantin, Bompis, Piekarek and Smirnov, the latter two posting second-place finishes twice in the Reisinger Board-a-Match teams and once in the Jacoby Swiss Teams.

Mahaffey earned his fifth North American title. Forrester has two wins in the Reisinger, once in the Mitchell BAM and one in the Silodor Open Pairs.

Lazarus refuses to lose, wins fourth Super Senior Pairs

Baltimore-area players Ed Lazarus and Mark Laken scored 63.15% in the first final session of the Super Senior Pairs and followed with a 55.96% game to win the event by more than a board.

The win was the fourth for Lazarus with three different partners in the 4-year-old event. He won with Laken last year in San Francisco. The event is restricted to ACBL members 70 or older.

Second place went to Sonja Shiner of Paradise Valley AZ and Paula Cohen of Minneapolis MN. The winners finished with 828.40 matchpoints to 791.72 for the runners-up. Top was 25.

Lazarus related that he played in the event for the first time with a partner he didn’t know very well because a friend thought he would enjoy it. He and Laken have been friends for 45 years, Lazarus noting that “I played with Mark’s mother.”

Lazarus still works as an engineering design manager. Laken is a retired vice president for the shopping center design firm.

Fireman wins Women’s BAM

Buoyed by three excellent sessions, the Phyllis Fireman team was able to withstand a less- than-superlative final qualifying session to win the Marsha May Sternberg Women’s Board-a-Match teams.

Finishing second was the all-Florida Bernace De Young team.

Fireman of Chestnut Hill MA was playing with Shannon Cappelletti of Delray Beach FL; Meike Wortel of Amsterdam, Netherlands; Marion Michielsen, Stockholm, Sweden; and Sylvie Willard and Benedicte Cronier of Paris, France.

Fireman posted 18- and 16.50-win sessions in the qualifying sessions to carry a three-board lead into the second day of the two-day event. An 18-win first final session made it look like they were all but unbeatable. But a poor evening session left them vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the De Young team, who entered the day in eighth position, moved up rapidly with 15.50 in the afternoon followed by 18 in the evening. Still, their 34.25 was short by 1.75.

De Young, Miami FL, played with Bronia Jenkins, Vero Beach FL; Gen Geiger and Gigi Simpson from Sarasota FL.

LM Pairs and Womens final

Curtis Cheek and Ishmael Del’Monte, playing together in a pairs game for the first time, put together two solid sessions in the final of the Nail  Life Master Pairs to win the event by more than a board on a top of 77.

Curtis Cheek and Ishmael Del Monte, winners of the the Nail LM Pairs.

Curtis Cheek and Ishmael Del Monte, winners of the the Nail LM Pairs.

Patti Hartley, Kirkland WA, and Barbara Nist, Seatac WA, unleashed a 71.15% finale to take the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs. Finishing second in the 90-pair field were Cheri Bjerkan of Elmhurst IL and Rozanne Pollack of New York NY.

“Everything just came together,” said Hartley. Nist agreed, and added, “My partner was very encouraging after a not very good (51%) session this afternoon. Even then, we were lucky it matchpointed well.”

This win is the first NABC title for both women, and it elevated them to Emerald Life Master.

Barbara Nist and Patty Hartley, winners of the Smith LM Women's Pairs.

Barbara Nist and Patty Hartley, winners of the Smith LM Women’s Pairs.

To keep up with all the action in Phoenix, click here to read today’s Daily Bulletin.

Locals win Manfield Non LM Pairs

Judy St. Arnold of Scottsdale and Brenda Huff of Phoenix put together two strong games to win the final Manfield Non-Life Master Pairs by more than a board. Second place went to brothers Jake and Luke Williams of San Diego CA. With the win, St. Arnold became a Life Master.

The winners scored 62.29% in the first session and sealed their win with a 63.79% game in the second session. Their final score of 272.32 was 13.27 matchpoints clear of the runners-up. Top was 9.


Huff is an academic counselor at Arizona Christian University. Apart from taking care of her grandchildren, St. Arnold says, “I play bridge.”


The two met at the Doty Bridge Club and have played together off and on for a couple of years, during which they have qualified to represent District 17 in the Grand National Teams, Flight C, in Atlanta, and the North American Pairs, Flight C, at the 2014 Spring NABC in Dallas.


Going into the event, St. Arnold needed fewer than 4 masterpoints to earn her gold card. The win was good for 7.31, including 2.44 gold points. The event, named for the late Ed Manfield, has been removed from the ACBL calendar as of this year.


To keep up with all the action in Phoenix, click here to read today’s Daily Bulletin.

Manfield Non-Life Master Pairs winners: Judy St. Arnold and Brenda Huff
Manfield Non-Life Master Pairs winners:
Judy St. Arnold and Brenda Huff

Warming Up in Phoenix

By Peg Kaplan

While families across America roasted turkeys, whipped potatoes and heated dinner rolls, bridge players headed for Phoenix.  Here, at the 2013 Fall NABC, competitors warmed up in the Educational Foundation Stratified Pairs and Bracketed KO Teams.  World champions and newbies; youngsters and seniors – all were in attendance.

Phoenix 2013 offers a wide array of events, entertainment, lectures and more!  If you’ve already arrived; welcome.  And for those not yet here – take a plane, train, bus or auto scooped up at a Black Friday sale – but be here!  The competition is not to be missed!

Click here to see a pictures from the Thanksgiving action in Phoenix.