The Vanderbilt Knockout Teams event at the Spring 2023 NABC+ in New Orleans has been an exciting and unpredictable affair so far. With 60 teams competing in the event, there have been plenty of thrilling matches and unexpected results.
The event began on March 13, with defending champions ROSENTHAL and the ZIMMERMANN squad receiving byes in the first round. The remaining 58 teams played head-to-head matches to determine who would advance to the Round of 32. There were some notable upsets in the opening round, including SPRUNG defeating GOLDBERG 140-119, BAILEY defeating RIPPEY 106-104, and NARASIMHAN defeating FIREMAN 135-84. Other upsets included DINKIN defeating GUPTA and ZHAO defeating WILDAVSKY.
In the Round of 32, which began on March 14, there were even more upsets. While the top two seeded teams advanced as expected, the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth seeded teams all suffered defeats. LEBOWITZ lost to McAllister by a score of 108-152, NICKELL was defeated by ZHAO 75-99, LEVINE fell to DINKIN 124-129, and SPECTOR lost to FELDMAN 114-116. In addition to these upsets, PIEDRA lost a very close match to BAILEY by just 1 IMP, with a final score of 110-111.
On March 16th, defending champions ROSENTHAL were eliminated in the round of 16, losing to Maggie Knottenbelt’s team, while No. 2 seed ZIMMERMANN lost to Andy Goodman’s team. Other top teams that advanced to the quarterfinals included McAllister, ZHAO, DINKIN, WOLFSON, FLEISHER, and BERNAL.
The Vanderbilt KO Teams event continues to attract the best bridge players in the world, and the competition is sure to be fierce in the upcoming rounds. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting event!
In addition to the Vanderbilt KO Teams event, there were other events taking place during the Spring 2023 NABC+:
Zach Grossack and Linda Robinson from Massachusetts won the Baldwin North American Pairs Flight A with a score of 435.16 on March 8-9. Despite starting in sixth place, the duo's combined score after two final sessions secured them the victory. Linda credited their strong partnership for the win, which was her first NABC+ victory. Zach praised Linda for playing "fantastic – lights out."
John Hurd of New York City and Vincent Demuy of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida emerged as the winners of the six-session Kay Platinum Pairs with a score of 415.78 matchpoints. Hurd has previously won the event in 2011, while this marks Demuy's first win after placing second and third in the past. Hurd and Demuy's superior carryover score from the semifinal round secured their victory.
LEVENTRITT SILVER RIBBON PAIRS
Sheila Gabay of Newton, MA and Lew Gamerman of Fall River, MA won the Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs on March 10-11 with a final score of 1262.90 matchpoints. The win also marked Gamerman's achievement of becoming a Grand Life Master. Gabay and Gamerman qualified in eighth place with scores of 60.94% and 56.27% in the two Friday sessions, and they moved up steadily throughout the competition.
Emory Whitaker of Macon, GA and Hugh Brown Jr. of McCormick, SC won the Lebhar IMP Pairs on March 12-13 after posting two strong final sessions. Despite qualifying in 92nd place after the opening round, they scored 24.17 IMPs in the first final and 54.09 IMPs in the second, combined with their carryover of 5.32, for a total of 83.58 IMPs. The win marked the first NABC+ title for both players and they each became Grand Life Masters with the victory. Whitaker and Brown had played together only once before.
Jenni Carmichael of Marysville, WA, and Greg Humphreys of Charlottesville, VA, once again proved their dominance in the Rockwell Mixed Pairs event by winning it for the second time on March 14-15. Carmichael and Humphreys have been consistently successful in this contest over the past decade, with two wins, a second-place finish last year, and five other top-10 finishes. They emerged victorious after winning the qualifying round on Tuesday and maintaining their lead throughout the final on Wednesday, finishing with a score of 2671.24 matchpoints and earning the Rockwell Trophy, donated by Helen Rockwell in 1946.
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