Bridgetoschool Championship

By Matthew Granovetter

Earlier this month the first Bridgetoschool Championship was held on BBO. This event was a charity event for the benefit of the Chabad Lubavitch Yeshiva High School of Cincinnati, Ohio. Proceeds went to scholarships. 

The school is an international boarding school with students from all over the world. They train in Rabbinical studies but with a high emphasis on character building and training to do outreach to the community. Most will become Rabbis and open “Chabad Houses” in various places around the world, devoting their entire lives to helping local people there, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in their spiritual and physical needs. This idea was instituted by the Lubavicher Rebbe, who is the only Rabbi to have been awarded the US Congressional Medal of Honor; he also instituted Education and Sharing Day with President Carter in 1978 and this day has been recognized by every US President since then. Education Day falls on the eleventh day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, four days before Passover. This year it’s on March 24.

Many bridge pros graciously gave their time to play despite a busy BBO schedule. Players purchased the pros for charity, and some played with their regular partners for a donation.

The top standings were:
First Place: Marjorie Michelin – Howard Parker 63.18%
(2-3) John McAllister – Zia 59.77%
(2-3) Aran Warszawski – Dan Israeli 59.77%
(4) Richard Zeckhauser – Marion Michielsen 58.86%
(5) Rose Meltzer – Jo Morse 58.64%
(6) Rozanne and Billy Pollack 57.05%
(7) Reese Milner – Hemant Lall 55.68%
(8-9) Mike Passell – Peter Lesnik 55%
(8-9) Alan Sontag – Wafik Abdou 55%
(10-11) Zach Grossack – Kim Gilman 52.73%
(10-11) Lynne Feldman – Wirt Gilliam 52.73%
(12) Elliot Sternlicht – Riva Ko 51.14%

Director: Ellis Feigenbaum

Other awards were: (1) Best played hand by Marjorie Michelin; Best Bid Hand by John McAllister and Zia; and Best defense by Sandy Orr and Pamela Granovetter.

Here are two interesting hands. The game was scored by matchpoints.

Most Norths opened 2D weak and EW reached 3NT or 4H. Four hearts was easy but 3NT depended on the lead. At this table Hemant Lall, of Dallas, Texas, led the S10 against Mike Passell. Reese Milner (South) won and shifted to a diamond. That meant down one for 86%. Tie for runners-up scored a top as well when Aran Warszawski, of Israel, led the prosaic DK. West ducked, by force, and Aran shifted to a spade.

At another table North led the C5 and when West won and took a heart finesse, South had to shift to the S7 to have a chance. Would you? Quite a difficult play. But South cashed the spades and led a diamond, hoping partner held the ace, so the contract made.

This was the final board of the event. Zia and John McAllister took 100 percent of the matchpoints N-S, when McAllister bid 2NT for two suits, usually the minors. West jumped to game and Zia bid 4NT to get partner to choose, just in case partner had hearts and a minor. West, Don Paterson, of Memphis, bid 5S and Zia doubled for +200.

At another table, Marjorie Michelin, of Los Angeles, California, helped her side to first place when she made the most gutsy bid of the set. Her opponent (West) opened 4D (namyats), showing a solid spade suit and a strong hand. East bid 4S and Marjorie bid 4NT, showing a two-suited hand. Howard Parker (North) bid 5D and East took the push to 5S, down one. Michelin and Parker scored 86.4% and won the championship.

Matt Granovetter can be reached at bridgetoschool770@gmail.com or Bridgetoda on BBO