2013 St. Louis: Spring North American Bridge Champioships

Sabine Auken, Morten Bilde, Roy Welland y Dennis Bilde.

  Source: Event Bulletins ACBL

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Sabine Auken, Morten Bilde, Roy Welland y Dennis Bilde.

2013 March 24th: Auken Team wins Vanderbilt 2013: Sabine Auken, Dennis Bilde, Roy Welland and Morten Bilde.

In a dramatic final, Auken Team kept the 2013 Vanderbilt Trophy. The team Van Prooijen with USA and Netherland stars this time had to settle for a second place: Louk Verhees, Bas Drijver, Sjoert Brink, Dan Zagorin and Kevin Bathurst.

The team Auken and van Prooijen, tied the first set: 30-30. The second set, remarkably favored Auken team who added 39 IMPs while van Prooijen only managed to score six. Since then Auken were on the lead till the last 4 boards, when van  Prooijen took the lead for only 1 IMP. But in the last two boards Auken managed to score 19 IMPs and stayed with the victory, the trophy and glory.

Sjoert Brink, Daniel Zagorin, Louk Verhees; Kevin Bathurst, Bas Drijver y Ricco van Prooijen.
Sjoert Brink, Daniel Zagorin, Louk Verhees; Kevin Bathurst, Bas Drijver y Ricco van Prooijen.

2013 March 23th: Auken, van Prooijen storm into Vanderbilt final

Teams captained by Sabine Auken and Ricco van Prooijen, both coming off impressive semifinal wins, will face off today in the final of the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams. Auken is playing with Roy Welland and Danish stars Dennis and Morten Bilde. The van Prooijen team is Louk Verhees, Bas Drijver, Sjoert Brink, Dan Zagorin and Kevin Bathurst. Auken was originally seeded No. 45, van Prooijen No. 6. The Auken team’s appearance in the final was improbable based on the seeding and required a nearmiraculous comeback against the powerful Team Monaco and success in an appeals hearing that went into the wee hours of the morning on Friday. Auken won the appeal and reversed a 137-131 loss. Next up were the defending champions from 2012 led by Les Amoils. Auken led that affair from start to finish, fending off a rally in the fourth quarter to advance to Saturday’s semifinal against the Andrew Rosenthal squad that had taken the measure of No. 1 seed Nick Nickell with a 124-91 win. Auken fell behind to Rosenthal (Aaron Silvertstein, Bjorn Fallenius, Peter Fredin, Fredrik Nystrom and Johan Upmark) 28-14 after a quarter, but pulled ahead to lead 51-45 at the halfway point. Auken won third quarter 61-19 and was never in danger on the way to a 138-93 victory. By contrast, van Prooijen has waltzed through the tough Vanderbilt field, winning five matches through Saturday by an average margin of 95 IMPs. Van Prooijen and his fellow Dutchmen – Verhees, Brink and Drijver – were members of the team that won the Bermuda Bowl in Veldhoven, Netherlands, in 2011. They defeated USA2 – a team that included Bathurst and Zagorin – in the Bermuda Bowl final.

Jacoby Swiss Teams

Mahaffey, Schwartz tied for Jacoby Swiss lead Teams captained by Jim Mahaffey and Richard Schwartz enter play today in a tie for first in the Jacoby Open Swiss Teams. Both have carryover advantages of 27.28 victory points, putting them just ahead of the third-place squad led by Mitch Dunitz, with 25.77. Mahaffey is playing with Tony Forrester, Piotr Gawrys, Sam Lev, Josef Piekarek and Alexander Smirnov. Schwartz’s squad is Allan Graves, Thorlakur Jonsson, Jon Baldursson, Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist. The original field of 128 teams was cut to 66 after two qualifying sessions on Saturday.

2013 March 22th:

The Vanderbilt Knockout Teams

The top-seeded Nick Nickell team, winner of numerous matches in come-from-behind fashion, could not find the dramatic rally against the No. 9 seed, Andrew Rosenthal, and will be watching the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams from the sidelines today as the event enters the semifinal round. Matchups, by captain, are Rosenthal versus Sabine Auken, and Martin Fleisher versus Ricco van Prooijen. Rosenthal (Aaron Silverstein, Bjorn Fallenius, Peter Fredin, Fredrik Nystrom and Johan Upmark) held a 6-IMP lead halfway through the match against Nickell (Ralph Katz, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Bobby Levin and Steve Weinstein). Rosenthal won the third quarter 43-12 and played about even in the final set to win 124-91. Rosenthal will play the team captained by Auken, whose successful appeal of a director’s ruling during
Thursday’s play changed the result against No. 4 Team Monaco. It was the second dramatic turn in the match, which saw Auken (Roy Welland and Danish players Dennis and Morten Bilde) stage a huge fourth-quarter rally to make the match close enough for the appeal to matter. Auken, originally seeded 45, won the final set 71-10, falling short by 6 IMPs.
In Friday’s play, Auken took on No. 5 Les Amoils, captain of the winning Vanderbilt team last year in Memphis. Auken jumped out to a 25-17 lead in the first quarter and was never headed on the way to a 139-124 victory, a fourth-quarter rally by Amoils falling short. The other two quarterfinal matches were routs. No. 7 Fleisher ousted the David Grainger squad 150-94, thanks mostly to a 65-2 second quarter for Fleisher (Mike Kamil, Zia Mahmood, Chip Martel, Chris Willenken and Michael Rosenberg). In the semis, Fleisher will oppose original No. 6 van Prooijen, 206-84 winners over the Shan Huang team, originally seeded No. 35. Huang followed their upset win over No. 3 John Diamond with a 153-130
win over the Daniel Korbel team that defeated the Richard Schwartz squad, No. 14, on the first full day of play.

The Silodor Open Pairs: Bakhshi, Cohen win Silodor Open Pairs

David Bakhshi and Billy Cohen
David Bakhshi and Billy Cohen

About 12:30 p.m. on Thursday morning, Billy Cohen was sitting in his hotel room in pajamas, getting ready to watch basketball all day. Little did he know that a different kind of March Madness was coming his way. Cohen’s girlfriend, Bronia Jenkins, rousted him from bed, told him to clean up and get ready to play with David Bakhshi in the Silodor Open Pairs. Jenkins had run into Bakhshi, a top player from England, in the lobby and learned that he was looking for a game.
The match-making couldn’t have worked out better for Cohen and Bakhshi, who parlayed two  strong games in the final to win by 50 matchpoints on a top of 77.
Cohen rushed to the game venue to briefly discuss system with his first-time partner. “We played the two-minute  system,” Cohen said. Translation: Bakhshi agreed to play the mostly natural system Cohen plays with his regular partner, Ron Smith. The win was Bakhshi’s first in a North American championship – he has a second in the 2011 Vanderbilt Knockout Teams. Cohen now has five North American titles and eight seconds. The winners were in 35th place after two
qualifying session, but used a 59.13% first final to move into eighth with a session to go. Their 63.73% was more than enough for victory. Second place went to Larry Robbins, Deerfield IL, and Robert Giragosian, Bakersfield CA.

2013 March 21th: Top Vanderbilt seeds have close calls

Three of the top four seeds in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams advanced to the quarterfinal round, but not without some drama for two of them. Top seed Nick Nickell was blasted in the first set 56-1 by the Norberto Bocchi team (“Norby” on
the bracket sheets) and trailed by 33 IMPs at the half before rallying in the third quarter to take the lead. Bocchi came back midway through the final set to lead by 10, but four small swings put Nickell back on top. No. 1 held on for a 132-131 victory. Through three quarters, No. 4 Team Monaco was crushing the Sabine Auken squad, but Auken stormed back with a 71-10 final set to just miss a comeback win. The final score was 137-131 for Monaco. No. 2 James Cayne trailed original No. 47 David Grainer by 28 with a set to go and mounted a rally in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late and the underdogs advanced with a 146-136 win. Original No. 35 Shan Huang, upset winners over No. 3 John Diamond on Tuesday, clipped the Daniel Korbel squad 153-130. The other matches were runaways as teams led by Les Amoils (captain of the winning squad in 2012), Ricco van Prooijen, Martin Fleisher and Andrew Rosenthal advanced.

2013 March 20th: More high seeds go down in Vanderbilt

Most of the high seeds in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams had an easy go of it on Wednesday, the exception being No. 3 John Diamond. The four-man squad held a 101-88 lead against the Shan Huang team with a quarter to go but were  outscored in the fourth set 40-18. Huang, of Toronto, is playing with Yan Wang and JianFeng Luo, also of Canada, and Chinese players Fu Zhong and Jie Li. Huang was originally seeded No. 35. Diamond was not the only team to fall to a lowerseeded squad. No. 11 Warren Spector was knocked out by No. 22 Mike Levine, No. 12 Mark Gordon was ousted by No. 21 John Mohan and No. 13 Mary Ann Berg was defeated by No. 20 Sabine Auken. Except for Diamond, most of the top 10 seeds won convincingly on Wednesday, No. 1 Nick Nickell winning by 65 IMPs, No. 4 Monaco and No. 5 Les Amoils by 50 IMPs each and No. 6 Ricco van Prooijen by 80 IMPs.

2013 March 19th:

Form prevailed in most of the matches in the first full day of play in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams, but two of the higher seeds are wishing the event had do-overs. Those would be the No. 14 seed, captained by Richard Schwartz, and No. 18, led by Bob Hamman.
Schwartz, with a strong, multi-national squad, fell to No. 51, captained by Daniel Korbel 102-92. Schwartz was playing with Allan Graves, Norwegian stars Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist plus Thor Jonsson and Jon Baldursson from Iceland. Korbel, of Waterloo ON, played with three other Canadians – Jonathan Steinberg, Bob Todd and Douglas Fisher, plus Tom Carmichael of Kennesaw GA and Drew Hoskins of Burlingame CA.
In the other upset, David Grainger over Hamman, the margin of victory was as unexpected as the victory itself. Grainger, playing with Roger Lee, Josh Donn and Greg Hinze, clobbered Hamman 155-105. Hamman played with Justin Lall, Bob and Shane Blanchard, Joel Wooldridge and John Hurd.
The top-seeded Nick Nickell team was one of several high seeds with easy wins, Nickell dispatching the Dennis Ryan squad 243-97. There were six withdrawals after three quarters in runaway matches. Last year’s winners, captained by Les Amoils, and with all but one of the players from 2012, won in a breeze 234-96 over the Albert Shekhter squad.
No. 3 John Diamond team trailed No. 62 Jim Hall at the halfway point of their match, but they higher seed proved too much for their opponents. Another mismatch involved No. 34 Barry Rigal and No. 31. Robert Hollman, Rigal winning 158-90. The Lou Ann O’Rourke squad, seeded No. 10, struggled with the Marius Agica squad before winning 119-105.


The premier event of the Spring North American Championships is the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams. The history of the prestigious contest stretches back to 1928 when the man who invented contract bridge, Harold S. Vanderbilt, put the trophy bearing his name into play.

2012 ACBL President Sharon Anderson presents the trophy to the winners of the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams: Joe Grue, captain Les Amoils, Darren Wolpert, Curtis Cheek, Ishmael Del’Monte and Thomas Bessis.

The Vanderbilt Trophy: 

The Vanderbilt Trophy for the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams was donated in 1928 by Harold S. Vanderbilt, who won the event in 1932 and 1940. The Vanderbilt was contested annually in New York — as a separate championship — until 1958 when it became part of the Spring North American Championships. Vanderbilt winners receive replicas of the trophy— a practice initiated by Vanderbilt from the first running of the event and perpetuated by a $100,000 trust fund administered by ACBL under the terms of Vanderbilt’s will.

69 Teams will begin today to play the Vanderbilt, these are the first 5 in the sseding list:

1 Nick Nickell, New York NY; Ralph Katz, Burr Ridge IL; Robert Levin, Henderson NV; Steve Weinstein, Andes NY; Eric Rodwell – Jeff Meckstroth, Clearwater Bch FL
2 James Cayne, New York NY; Michael Seamon, Dania FL; Alfredo Versace – Lorenzo Lauria, Rome Italy; Giorgio Duboin, Torino Italy; Antonio Sementa, Parma PR 43100 Italy
3 John Diamond, Boca Raton FL; Brian Platnick, Evanston IL; Eric Greco, Wynnewood PA; Geoff Hampson, Las Vegas NV
4 Pierre Zimmermann – Franck Multon – Tor Helness – Geir Helgemo – Fulvio Fantoni – Claudio Nunes, Monaco Monaco
5 Les Amoils, Toronto ON; Joe Grue – Fred Gitelman, Las Vegas NV; Brad Moss, Denver CO; Thomas Bessis, Paris 75015 France; Peter Bertheau, Taby Sweden

Southamericans in the 2013 Vanderbilt:

21 John Mohan, Las Vegas NV; Rose Meltzer, Chapel Hill NC; Diego Brenner, L’Eixample Barc Spain; Carlos Pellegrini, Buenos Aires Argentina; Miguel Villas-Boas – Joao Paulo Campos, Sao Paulo Brazil

57 Hector Camberos, Charlotte NC; Pablo Lambardi – Pablo Ravenna – Gabino Alujas, Buenos Aires Argentina

59 Ana Vidigal – Jaqueline Nunes, Rio De Janeiro Brazil; Joaquin Pacareu, Santiago Chile; Alejandro Bianchedi, Buenos Aires Argentina

2013 March 16: Mignocchi and Wooldridge take IMP Pairs

Kent Mignocchi and Joel Wooldridge
Kent Mignocchi and Joel Wooldridge

Kent Mignocchi and Joel Wooldridge sneaked to the top of the Lebhar IMP Pairs in the final session, winning the two-day contest by a scant 5.36 IMPs. The New Yorkers edged out Lewis Gamerman, Westwood MA and Robert McCaw, Sudbury MA, who finished with 116.96 IMPs. Robert Cappelli of Blooomfield MI and Robert Katz, Ann Arbor MI, finished a distant third with 85.87 IMPs.
The win, Mignocchi’s first NABC title, boosted him to Grand Life Master. It was Wooldridge’s seventh North American championship. Wooldridge and Mignocchi played as teammates on the 2001 World Champion Junior Team, but theirs is a new partnership—they started playing together about three months ago. Wooldridge called their success “all about partnership trust.”

Fleisher, Kamil rally for Norman Kay Platinum Pairs lead

Joaquin Pacareu y Alejandro Bianchedi jugando la Platinum Pairs

Martin Fleisher and Mike Kamil, lying 50th after two qualifying sessions of the Norman Kay Platinum Pairs, posted two strong games to zoom into the lead with two sessions to play today.
Their carryover score of 22.92 is just ahead of Vincent Demuy and John Kranyak, with 19.31. In third with 17.11 are Geoff Hampson and Eric Greco, followed by Zia Mahmood and Walid Elahmady with 16.09.
Fleisher and Kamil scored 60.26% in the first semifinal session and backed it with a 63.18% effort in the evening to take over first.

2013 March 15: Massachusetts duo leading IMP Pairs

John Hrones
John Hrones

The four-session IMP Pairs — two qualifying sessions followed by two final sessions — gets underway today with the Lebhar Trophy at stake. Robert Lurie, Wayland MA, and John Hrones Jr., Needham MA, start play today in the Lebhar IMP Pairs with a score of 28, with several pairs nipping at their heels.
In second with two final sessions to play today are Joel Wooldridge, Astoria NY, and Kent Mignocchi, Bronx NY. Their score of 24.41 is just ahead of the third-place pair of Lewis Gamerman, Westwood MA, and Robert McCaw, Sudbury MA. The event started with 290 pairs, of which 156 qualified for the final.

Ana Vidigal, ; Jaqueline Nunes, Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Pablo Ravenna – Gabino Alujas, Buenos Aires  Argentina clasified to play the finals.

Pablo Ravenna y Pablo Lambardi
Pablo Ravenna y Pablo Lambardi

This is the list of winners of the last years, among which there is a pair of Argentine players who won in 2010:

2006 Fred Gitelman, Geoff Hampson
2007 Boye Brogeland, Ishmael Delmonte
2008 Doug Doub, Adam Wildavsky
2009 Nikolay Demirev, Nicolas L’Ecuyer
2010 Pablo Lambardi, Pablo Ravenna
2011 Runar Lillevik, Oyvind Ludvigsen
2012 Hailong Ao, Jian-Jian Wang

Dutch players ahead in Norman Kay Platinum Pairs

Marion Michielsen y Ricco van Prooijen
Marion Michielsen y Ricco van Prooijen

The six-session Norman Kay Platinum Pairs gets underway today. The three-day event is being played for the third time.
Eligible players are paid-up ACBL members who meet one of the following criteria: have earned 50 platinum masterpoints over the three calendar years prior; earned at least 200 platinum points  lifetime, or have attained Platinum Life Master or Grand Life Master rank.

Alejandro Bianchedi-Joaquin Pacareu
Alejandro Bianchedi-Joaquin Pacareu

Dutch stars Marion Michielsen and Ricco van Prooijen finished the two qualifying sessions of the Norman Kay Platinum Pairs with a carryover lead of about 5.5 matchpoints. Both have North American championships to their credit – Michielsen in the 2011 Marsha May Sternberg Women’s Board-a-Match Teams, van Prooijen in the 2008 von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs and the 2009 Spingold Knockout Teams. Their total of 373.18 was ahead of Richard Coren and Bobby Levin. In third, less than two matchpoints behind, were Jan and Chip Martel. Joaquin Pacareu, Santiago Chile Chile; Alejandro Bianchedi, Buenos Aires Argentina qualified for the semifinals play in position 32.

The event continues today, March 16th, with two semifinal sessions, and concludes on Sunday.

Complete list of winners:

2010 Andrew Stark, Franco Baseggio
2011 Joel Wooldridge, John Hurd
2012 Bob Hamman, Justin Lall

2013 March 14: Dwyer, Wolpert win NAP-A

Kevin Dwyer & Gavin Wolpert
Kevin Dwyer & Gavin Wolpert

Kevin Dwyer and Gavin Wolpert, Floridians from District 9, led from start to finish in the Baldwin North American Pairs, Flight A, to win the event by more than a board and a half (13 top). Richard Oshlag of Memphis and Jim Munday of
Southaven MS representing District 10, were second.

Richard Oshlag & Jim Munday
Richard Oshlag & Jim Munday

The winners had the lead after the first two qualifying sessions and were clear of second after the first final by 4 matchpoints. They posted a 60.5% game in the second final session to finish with 445.75, compared to 422.41 for the runners-up.
The victory was Dwyer’s first in an NABC+ event. He was a member of the winning team in the 0-5000 Mini Spingold in 2009.
Wolpert won his fifth championship. He and future wife Jenny Ryman won the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs in Hawaii in 2005, and he won the Silodor Open Pairs with Joel Wooldridge in 2011. He was also been part of winning squads in the Keohane North American Swiss Teams (2004) and the Roth Open Swiss Teams (2009).

This is a video in which Steve Weinstein interview the winners before knowing the final outcome… but they were sure of their victory. Source: bridgewinners

 2013 March 13:

 Undoubtedly the NABC (North American Bridge Champioships) are one of the most anticipated events of Bridge over the year. Every year there are three of them, and this March 13 began the first of this year, St. Louis 2013, which as its name suggests is played in St. Louis,  at the St. Louis Renaissance Hotel and the America’s Center.

 An important group of SouthAmerican bridge athletes are going to participate. Among them we can mention, from:

 Argentina: Pablo Lambardi, Carlos Pellegrini, Pablo Ravenna, Hector Camberos, Gabino Alujas, Alejandro Bianchedi.

Brazil: Diego Brenner, Joao Campos, Miguel Villas Boas, Ana Carolina Vidigal.

Chile: Joaquin Pacareu.

This Wednesday March 13th at 7:30 pm was played the first qualifying session of the 2013 North American Open Pairs: the BALDWIN NORTH AMERICAN PAIRS, FLIGHT A. After the first qualifying session, John Rayner – Robert Lebi were leading the field. Fourth: Kevin Dwyer – Gavin Wolpert and fifth Jeff Meckstroth – Sally Meckstroth. After the second qualifying session: Kevin Dwyer and Gavin Wolpert are at the top of the 2013 North American Open Pairs.

Gavin Wolpert-Kevin Dwyer
Gavin Wolpert-Kevin Dwyer

These are the first 6 positions: [ilink url=»http://www.acbl.org/nabc/results/2013/01/13/»]All Positions [/ilink]

  1. Kevin Dwyer – Gavin Wolpert
  2. Richard Coren – Michael Seamon
  3. John Rayner – Robert Lebi
  4. Barry gorski – Albert Bingman Jr.
  5. Kenneth Schultze – Jim Milton
  6. Jeff Meckstroth – Sally Meckstroth
NABC St Louis 2013
NABC St Louis 2013


 This is how St. Louis 2013 announces its Opening Reception: Don’t miss out on a fun night of food, drinks, dancing and rock-n-roll!! The Opening Reception will feature Blues 66, a band that has been playing around St. Louis for years. They will play songs that you would recognize from Clapton, ZZ Top, The Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughn and much more! FRIDAY, March 15th. After the Evening Session, Renaissance Grand Hotel.