Tor Helness, Claudio Nunes, Geir Helgemo and Claudio Nunes

All the photos  of the SF-NABC by  Peg Kaplan: Click here  y Click here 

  Attendance through Saturday evening  13,410.5 tables

Tor Helness, Claudio Nunes, Geir Helgemo and Claudio Nunes
Tor Helness, Claudio Nunes, Geir Helgemo and Claudio Nunes

December 2: Zimmermann squad wins Reisinger: Kibitzed in BBO by thousands of eager bridge fans, many of whom stayed up past bedtime to savor the year’s final NABC trophy, Zimmermann led for most of the final, allowing Fleisher to overtake the top spot for only a couple rounds before regaining momentum once again. However, Zimmermann’s lead belied the actual scores – the top 4 teams were actually very close in MP throughout today’s final, often separated by less than a board’s margin. It was only at the very end that Zimmermann really broke away from the pack with a strong 3 board win in the final round.

Zimmermann: Pierre Zimmermann – Franck Multon – Tor Helness – Geir Helgemo – Fulvio Fantoni – Claudio Nunes

Leaders in the 2012 Fall NABC masterpoint contest for the Goren Trophy:
1. 348.08 Zia Mahmood                                           2. 285.56 Justin Lall
3. 281.90 Apolinary Kowalski                               4. 279.08 Chip Martel
5. 259.53 Marion Michielsen                                 6. 257.19 Cecilia Rimstedt
7. 255.00 Bart Bramley                                           8. 255.00 Lew Stansby
9. 248.09 Sabine Auken                                           10. 248.09 Roy Welland
11. 236.90 Jacek Romanski                                    12. 236.57 John Diamond

  December 1: Zimmermann squad leading Reisinger: The team captained by Pierre Zimmermann will start play today in the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams with a carryover lead of 2.03 boards, with the Dan Zagorin team in close pursuit. Ten teams will play two final sessions today. The play can be seen on Bridge Base Online and on television monitors in the lower levels of the hotel. Zimmermann’s Monaco-based team is Franck Multon, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness, Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes. Zagorin is playing with Kevin Bathurst and four members of the Dutch team that won the 2011 Bermuda Bowl: Bas Drijver, Sjoert Brink, Louk Verhees and Ricco van Prooijen. The James Cayne team, winners of the last two Reisingers, qualified in eighth place.

10 Tables Carryover
1 Pierre Zimmermann – Franck Multon – Tor Helness – Geir Helgemo – Fulvio Fantoni – Claudio Nunes, Monaco 4.25
2 Dan Zagorin, Chicago IL; Kevin Bathurst, Palm Beach Gdns FL; Bas Drijver, Capelle Aan Den Netherlands; Sjoert Brink, Rotterdam Netherlands; Louk Verhees, Voorhou Netherlands; Ricco Van Prooijen, Nieuw Vennep Netherlands 2.22
3 Sartaj Hans, Artarmon NSW 20 Australia; Peter Gill, Sydney Australia; Tom Hanlon, Dublin Ireland; Mike Moss, New York NY 1.46
4 Marty Fleisher – Zia Mahmood – Chris Willenken, New York NY; Mike Kamil, Holmdel NJ; Chip Martel, Davis CA; Michael Rosenberg, Cupertino CA 1.44
5 Doug Doub, W Hartford CT; Adam Wildavsky, New York NY; Steve Beatty, Mill Creek WA; George Jacobs, Hinsdale IL; Steve Landen, Ellicott City MD; Venkatrao Koneru, San Antonio TX 0.97
6 Sabine Auken, Charlottenlund Denmark; Roy Welland, New York NY; Lew Stansby, Dublin CA; Bart Bramley, Dallas TX 0.84
7 Alex Kolesnik, Ventura CA; Peter Rank, Palm Springs CA; Clem Jackson, Albuquerque NM; Josh Sher, Coral Gables FL; Alan Applebaum, Brookline MA; Frank Merblum, Bloomfield CT 0.49
8 James Cayne, New York NY; Michael Seamon, Dania FL; Alfredo Versace – Lorenzo Lauria, Rome Italy; Giorgio Duboin, Torino Italy; Antonio Sementa, Parma Italy 0.33
9 Bob Blanchard – Shane Blanchard – John Hurd, New York NY; Bob Hamman, Dallas TX; Joel Wooldridge, Astoria NY; Justin Lall, Las Vegas NV 0.17
10 Rose Meltzer, Chapel Hill NC; John Mohan, Las Vegas NV; Carlos Pellegrini, Buenos Aires Argentina; Diego Brenner, L’Eixample Barc Spain; Joao Paulo Campos – Miguel Villas-Boas, Sao Paulo Brazil 0.00

            November 30: Zagorin leads Reisinger quals

The opening round of the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams saw the field of 42 entrants cut to 20 with Dan Zagorin’s team at the front of the pack. Zagorin, playing with Kevin Bathurst and the Dutch quartet of Bas Drijver, Sjoert Brink, Louk Verhees and Ricco Van Prooijen, scored 17 wins in the first qualifying session and 18 in the second. In second is Jim Mahaffey who scored a huge 19.5 wins in the first final but only 14 in the second. Mahaffey’s lineup is Tony Forrester, Norberto Bocchi, Agustin Madala, Piotr Gawrys and Sam Lev.

Diamond takes lead in Player of the Year race: Based on unofficial tallies by the Daily Bulletin staff, John Diamond of
Boca Raton FL has moved into the lead of the 2012 Player of the Race contest, the annual race won by the player who earns the most Platinum points. Diamond was lying in third place before the start of the San Francisco NABC, but with his victory in the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs with partner Brian Platnick, he has now moved to the top spot with 724.07 Platinum points, awarded for NABC+ events. Zia Mahmood of New York City, who has earned more Platinum in San Francisco than any other player so far (255.57 points) is now in second place with 709.73. Thomas Bessis of Paris, France was leading the 2012 Player of the Year race before the Fall NABC began, has dropped to third place with 702.29
points. Bessis’s team, however, did not qualify in the opening round of the Reisinger, therefore he cannot catch Diamond or Mahmood.

November 29: Diamond, Platnick win Kaplan Blue Ribbon

Brian Platnick and John Diamond.
Brian Platnick and John Diamond.

Diamond and Brian Platnick, who were third in the Kay Platinum Pairs earlier this year, finished just ahead of teammates Geoff Hampson and Eric Greco. The four of them, plus Fred Gitelman and Brad Moss, won the Spingold Knockout Teams in the summer of 2010 and followed it in the fall with a victory in the Rosenblum Open Knockout Teams at the World Bridge Championships in Philadelphia. The Blue Ribbon win was the first pairs title for Platnick, the second for Diamond, who won the national Fast Open Pairs with Hampson in 2011. The winners qualified for the two-session final in 10th place, moving up to ninth after the first final session. Their 62.88% game in the final session was good enough to propel them to victory. Third place went to Juan Carlos Ventin and Frederic Wrang, and fourth for Zia Mahmood and Marion Michielsen.

The Cayne team won the Reisinger in 2010 and 2011: Giorgio Duboin, Antonio Sementa, Michael Seamon, James Cayne (captain), Lorenzo Lauria and Alfredo Versace.
The Cayne team won the Reisinger in 2010 and 2011: Giorgio Duboin, Antonio Sementa, Michael Seamon, James Cayne (captain), Lorenzo Lauria and Alfredo Versace.

Reisinger BAM: Competition for the Reisinger Trophy (the Chicago Trophy until 1965) starts today. The event is a six-session open team-of-four event scored by board-a-match with two qualifying sessions, two semifinal sessions and two final sessions. The event began in 1929 as the North American Open Team Championship and the prize was the Chicago Trophy, donated by the Auction Bridge Club of Chicago. (In 1928, the open team competition was for the Harold S.  Vanderbilt Cup.). The Chicago Trophy was replaced in 1965 by the Reisinger Memorial Trophy, donated by the Greater New York Bridge Association in memory of Curt H. Reisinger.

 November 28: Kasle outlasts Gupta in Senior KO

Gaylor Kasle’s squad defeated Vinita Gupta’s team in the final of the Baze Senior KO Teams in a closely fought contest. Gupta enjoyed a narrow lead through the first half of the match, but the second half saw the lead switch sides several times before Kasle consolidated their advantage late in the fourth quarter. Final score: Kasle 139, Gupta 136. Kasle of Boca Raton FL played with Larry Kozlove of Louisville KY, Peter Boyd and Steve Robinson of the Washington DC area, Kit Wolsey of Kensington CA and Fred Stewart of Bloomington NY. This same squad won the Jacoby Open Swiss Teams at the Spring NABC in Memphis earlier this year. Kasle, Kozlove, Boyd and Robinson also won the silver medal in the Senior Bowl at the world championships in Veldhoven, Netherlands in 2011 playing with John Schermer and Neil Chambers. For the runners-up, Gupta of Woodside CA played with Billy Miller of Las Vegas NV, Bob Hamman of Dallas TX, Jeff Meckstroth of Clearwater Beach FL, Lew Stansby of  Dublin CA and Bart Bramley of Dallas TX.

Levin, Coren ahead in Kaplan Blue Ribbon: Richard Coren and Bobby Levin are the leaders after four qualifying sessions in the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs, but their margin over second place is less than one-third of a board on today’s top of 38. Right behind them are two Australians – Sartaj Hans and Peter Gill, followed by Juan Carlos Ventin of Spain and Fredric Wrang of Sweden.

  November 27: Logjam at the top in Blue Ribbon Pairs

After two qualifying sessions in the Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs, five pairs are bunched at the top, only 2.75 matchpoints separating first from fifth. At the top going into today’s two semifinal sessions are Australians Sartaj Hans and Peter Gill. Only .38 matchpoints behind them are Richard Coren
and Robert Levin. In third, .29 behind second, are Mark Leonard and Morrie Kleinplatz.
Bjorn Fallenius and Martin Schaltz of Denmark are 1.62 behind third and .46 ahead of fifth, Michael
Levinson and Marshall Schwartz. Seventy-eight tables are in play today. The event concludes tomorrow.

 The Edgar Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs ranks with the von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs (and now the new Platinum Pairs in the spring) as one of the most prestigious — and toughest — pair events on the ACBL calendar. Like the LM Pairs and Platinum Pairs, the Blue Ribbon Pairs is played over three days and includes two qualifying, two semifinal and two final sessions. Entry is restricted to winners and runners-up in regional championships — plus high finishers in North American championships, members of current Grand National district championship teams, members of current official teams representing ACBL and the top 100 lifetime masterpoint holders.

Gupta, Kasle in Senior KO final: Teams captained by Vinita Gupta and Gaylor Kasle moved into today’s final of the Baze Senior Knockout Teams with impressive wins. The finalists are Gupta, Woodside CA; Billy Miller, Las Vegas; Bob Hamman and Bart Bramley, Dallas; Jeff Meckstroth, Clearwater FL, and Lew Stansby, Dublin CA. They will oppose Kasle, Boca Raton FL; Larry Kozlove, Louisville KY; Steven Robinson, Arlington VA; Peter Boyd, Darnestown MD; Kit Woolsey, Kensington CA, and Fred Stewart, Bloomington NY. Gupta and company blew out the team calling themselves International Seniors (two players from Hungary, two from Iceland and one each from Canada and the U.S.). Gupta jumped out to an early lead and won 165-97. Kasle had a tougher time with the Richard DeMartino team. Kasle trailed by 6 IMPs at the break, but took the second half 81-37 to win 144-106.

November 26: Becker grabs Open BAM win: Michael Becker led his squad to victory in the Mitchell Open Boarda-Match Teams, as they finished one and a half wins ahead of the runnersup captained by Ralph Katz. Becker played with Aubrey Strul, Walid Elahmady, Tarek Sadek, Howard Weinstein and Steve Garner. Becker and Strul were members of the winning squad in the Open BAM in 2007, which was also played in San Francisco.

The Katz lineup was Nick Nickell, Robert Levin, Steve Weinstein and Eric Rodwell. The Becker and Katz teams were tied for second place after Sunday’s qualifying game, and thus had the same carryover (3.85) for Monday’s two-session final. Becker scored 18.5 wins in the first final and 17.5 in the second (modified to 17.33 due to a slowplay penalty) to finish with 39.68. Katz scored 18 in the first final and 16.5 in the second to finish with 38.35.

 Third was Jim Mahaffey team: Jim Mahaffey, Winter Park FL; Sam Lev, New York NY; Tony Forrester, Herefordshire England; Piotr Gawrys, Warsaw Poland; Agustin Madala, Buenos Aires Argentina; Norberto Bocchi, Barcelona Spain.

Moss edges Joel for Women’s BAM win: The team captained by Sylvia Moss had a monster first final set but still found themselves trailing by half a board in the Marsha May Sternberg Women’s Board-a-Match Teams. They rallied in the second final set, however, to win by a board and a half. The winners are Moss, Joann Glasson; Laura Dekkers, Marion Michielsen and Meike Wortel of the Netherlands, and Cecilia Rimstedt of Sweden. Second place went to Geeske Joel, Jill Meyers, Janice Seamon-Molson, Tobi Sokolow, plus Benedicte Cronier and Sylvie Willard of France.

In the first final session, the Moss team finished with 20.25 out of a possible 27, but trailed Joel, who did even better with 20.75. In the final session, Moss scored 17 out of 27 to Joel’s 15. Moss won her eighth North American
championship, including the Women’s BAM in 1998. Glasson now has five North American titles with a second in the Women’s BAM in 1996. Wortel and Michielsen scored their first win in the event after second-place finishes in 2008 and
2011. They were also on the runner-up squad in the Wagar Women’s Knockout Teams in 2008. Rimstedt has now won two North American championships, including the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs in 2006. The win was the first for Dekkers.

November 25: Mitchell Open BAM leaders bunched at top:  The team headed by Mark Gordon begins play today in the Mitchell Open Board-a-Match Teams with a narrow lead in a tightly bunched field with two final sessions to play. Gordon and company begin the day with a carryover of 4.01 boards. Right behind them, with 3.85, are the Mike Becker and Ralph Katz squads, followed closely by the Martin Fleisher team with 3.61. Gordon is playing with Pratap Rajadhyaksha, Alan Sontag, David Berkowitz, Jacek Pszczola and Michal Kwiecien.

Sonsini out front in Women’s BAM: The team captained by Barbara Sonsini will start play today with a carryover ahead by nearly two boards in the Marsha May Sternberg Women’s Board-a-Match Teams. Sonsini’s team is Judi Radin,
Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer, Kerri Sanborn and Irina Levitina. Sonsini’s carryover of 5 is 1.75 ahead of the team captained by Tobi Sokolow. She is playing with Geeske Joel, Sylvie Willard, Benedicte Cronier, Jill Meyers and Janice Seamon-Molson. In third, a quarter of a board behind Sokolow is the team led by Pam Wittes. The event concludes today with two final sessions.

O’Rourke, Meltzer, Lynch out in Senior KO: The top-seeded squad captained by Lou Ann  O’Rourke was defeated in yesterday’s round of 16 in the Baze Senior Knockout Teams by the No. 16 seed led by Jan van Cleeff, 126-102. 
Joining O’Rourke on the sidelines are Rose Meltzer (No. 3 seed) and Carolyn Lynch (No. 4 seed). Meltzer fell to Boris Baran’s squad 107-104, while Lynch was beaten by Steve Beatty’s team, 127-125.

Star Speakers by Peg Kaplan: NABC tournaments feature bridge competition at literally every level of the game.  First timers and world class players all have events with “their name” on ‘em.  In addition, a wide variety of other fun education opportunities abound!

One feature in particular is the celebrity speaker program.  Top notch bridge teachers and players are available every day to enlighten those wanting to learn and be entertained.

Dozens of people turned out to hear one of the best teachers of all time:  Audrey Grant.  With vigor, humor and slides, Audrey gave her audience a great show.

Cecilia Rimstedt and Meike Wortel

November 24: Zia, Martel take LM Pairs crown: Zia Mahmood and Chip Martel won the Nail Life Master Open Pairs by one and a half boards, boosted by a strong first final session. The duo scored 67% game in the afternoon and turned in a 60% performance in the evening session. These strong results, plus their carryover from the qualifying round, in which they finished 30th, was enough for them to claim the win. Their total was 3125.79 (90 was top in the final). Mahmood of New York City and Martel of Davis CA have scored one previous NABC win together: the six-session von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs in 2007. In second with a score of 2970.49 were Cecilia Rimstedt of Sweden and Meike Wortel of the Netherlands. In third place is the Brazilian pair of Joao Paulo Campos and Miguel Villas-Boas.

Victoria Gromova and Tatiana Ponomareva

Russians are champs of Women’s Pairs: For Victoria Gromova and Tatiana Ponomareva, the third time was the charm. After finishing second twice in women’s pairs at NABCs, they led from start to finish in the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs and won by more than a board. The runners-up were Migry Zur-Campanile and Miriam Varenne of Des Moulins, Switzerland. The winners live in Moscow. Ponomareva is an attorney, Gromova the commercial director of a company selling radios.

Migry Zur-Campanile and Miriam Varenne

The victory was their first North American championship to go with three seconds. They were runners-up in the Smith LM Women’s Pairs in 2009 and the Whitehead Women’s Pairs in 2010, the same year they were on the second-place squad in the Machlin Women’s Swiss Teams. After the first two qualifying sessions on Friday, they led by about 3 matchpoints. In the first final session, they came through with a 65.38% game to increase their lead to 40.14 matchpoints on a 25 top. Their 54.77% game in the second final session pushed their total to 836.11, more than a board better than the runners-up, who finished with 803.43

November 23: Zhong, Del’Monte lead Nail LM Pairs: China’s Fu Zhong and Australia’s Ishmael Del’Monte topped the field of 342 pairs in the qualifying round of the Nail Life Master Open Pairs. In today’s two-session final, the duo will enjoy a carryover of more than 100 masterpoints over runners-up John Upmark and Peter Bertheau of  Sweden. In third place is the Brazilian pair of Joao Paulo Campos and Miguel Villas-Boas.


Qualifiers in the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs: Russian champions Victoria Gromova and Tatiana Ponomareva carry a slim lead into today’s final two sessions of the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs. Their carryover of 55.08 puts them just ahead of Hansa Narasimhan and Jill Levin. Among their many achievements, Gromova and Ponomareva have two gold medals in world championship play, both women’s team events – in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2004 and Verona, Italy, in 2006.

First three positions.

   1   Victoria Gromova,  Moscow Russia; Tatiana Ponomareva, Moscow Russia 55.08
  2   Hansa Narasimhan, Los Altos Hills CA; Jill Levin, Henderson NV 52.24
  3   Migry Zur Campanile, New York NY; Miriam Varenne, Des Moulins  47.41

The Nail LM Pairs is a four session event, restricted to Life Masters and played over two qualifying sessions and two final sessions. Before 1963 the event was restricted to National Masters and players of higher rank. It was a men’s event until 1990 when it became an open event.

At stake is the Bobby Nail Trophy, designated by the ACBL Board of Directors to honor the diminutive Texan (1925-95) who won this event in 1974 with longtime friend and partner Gerald Michaud.

Baze Senior Knockout Teams starts today

The Baze Senior Knockout Teams begins today. Daylong matches will occur until the contest is decided. The event is limited to players 55 and older.

For over 150 years, San Francisco has been a magnet for fortune-seekers, immigrants, artists and poets. Guarded by the famous bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the city by the bay is famous for its diverse citizenry, Victorian architecture, iconic San Francisco cable cars and scenic views — and for its fog in June and July. The fog will be gone when ACBL brings in the 2012 Fall North American Bridge Championships! The host hotel and bridge play will be at the Marriott Marquis located at 55 Fourth Street.


The most important events are:


Both LM Pair Events are 2 Qualifying & 2 Final Sessions




SUPER SENIOR PAIRS, Age 70+ 2 Qualifying, 2 Final sessions 2 Qualifying Sessions
MITCHELL OPEN BAM Teams 4 Sessions
Both BAM Events are 2 Qualifying & 2 Final Sessions



SUPER SENIOR PAIRS, Age 70+ 2 Final Sessions
MITCHELL OPEN BAM Teams 2 Final Sessions



KAPLAN BLUE RIBBON PAIRS, 2 Qualifying, 2 SemiFinal and 2 Final Sessions 6 Sessions
0-5000 BLUE RIBBON PAIRS 2 Qualifying, 2 SemiFinal and 2 Final Sessions 6 Sessions



NATIONAL 99er PAIRS 2 Sessions
0-5000 BLUE RIBBON PAIRS Sessions 3 & 4
SENIOR MIXED PAIRS, 2 Qualifying, 2 Final sessions 2 Qualifying Sessions


0-5000 BLUE RIBBON PAIRS 2 Final Sessions

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30 Kyle Larsen Day

REISINGER BAM TEAMS Preregistration Required by 11:00 am Friday 6 sessions
Both team events, 2 qualifying, 2 semifinal, 2 final sessions


REISINGER BAM TEAMS sessions 3 & 4


REISINGER BAM TEAMS 2 Final sessions