Tuesday, March 17, 2015
5th Day: Tie a Silver Ribbon around Noda and Ralph
Bruce Noda and Mark Ralph produced three excellent sessions of card play to win the Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs. Noda, from Corte Madera CA and Ralph, from San Francisco, turned in back-toback 59% games on Sunday to enter the second day in ninth place. A blazing 63% first final session kept them at the top of the roster despite a merely average evening. Finishing second with 2423 points –only 15 matchpoints behind (77 was top) – were Charles Durrin of Madison AL and Rebecca Rogers from Henderson NV. This is the first NABC title for Ralph, a retired federal investigator. With the win, he becomes a Grand Life Master. Noda, a retired benefits consultant, won the Truscott/USPC Senior Swiss in 2004.
Jengs take NAP Flight B title
Richard and Andrew Jeng saved the best for last in the Golder North American Pairs Flight B – and it was good enough to earn them a win. The brothers started the day on Monday in seventh place after two qualifying sessions but fell to 13th after the first final session. In the second final session, they led the field with a 61.54% game to win the event by .06 matchpoints on a 25 top. Second place in the NAP were Malik Magdon- Ismail, Albany NY, and Kamal Gupta, Latham NY, representing District 3.
The Jengs live in Johns Creek GA and were representing District 7. Richard gained fame by becoming the youngest Life Master in 2009 at age 9 years, six months and 12 days. His record was broken a couple of years later by a Houston-area player, Zach Garrison. In Toronto in 2011, the Jengs won the Young 0-1500 Life Master Pairs in a strong field.
District 6 pair earn NAP Flight C win
Blake Schwartzbach and Adam Gann, the leaders after two qualifying sessions in the President’s Cup North American Pairs Flight C, fell to second after the first final session but rallied to win by 9.8 matchpoints on a 25 top. Schwartzbach, of Bethesda MD, is a math and science tutor. Gann, who lives in Washington DC, is also in education.
The two have been playing together for about a year. Schwartzback attended his first NABC. They held a lead of 14.34 after the first two qualifying sessions, but slipped a bit to fall to second, just 3.41 off the pace, after the first final session. They scored 60.15% in the second final to nip District 7 players Benjamin Kompa and Xiyuan Ge of Chapel Hill NC.
Nickell out to defend Vanderbilt championship
The No. 1 seed in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams, captained by Nick Nickell, begin their quest for a second straight win in the event, one of the most prestigious on the ACBL calendar. Nickell, Ralph Katz, Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein, Eric Rodwell and Jeff Meckstroth rallied last year in Dallas to defeat Team Monaco 127-125. The runner-up – captain Pierre Zimmermann, Franck Multon, Geig Helgemo, Tor Helness, Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes – are the No. 2 seed this year. Nickell has captained three teams to victory in the Vanderbilt. Monaco, fielding virtually the same team (Michel and Thomas Bessis played instead of Fantoni and Nunes), won the event in 2010.
Rockwell Mixed Pairs starts today
The Mixed Pairs is a four-session event with two qualifying and two final sessions. Each pair must consist of a male and female partnership. The Rockwell Trophy, donated by Helen Rockwell in 1946, is presented to the winners.