February 25, 2014

Bridge Club qualifies for national championship

The Bridge Club laid all its cards on the table, qualifying for a spot at the 2014 North American Bridge Championships.

Second-year Julian Manasse-Boetani, third-year Bob Chen, second-year Kelly Mao, and third-year Ruth Ng competed on February 15 in the American Contract Bridge League’s (ACBL) annual Collegiate Championship Qualifiers and qualified for the Summer 2014 North American Bridge Championships. The ACBL, the largest governing organization of Tournament Bridge in North America, will host the team to compete for scholarship money in a three-day competition at Las Vegas, NV this July.

Bridge is a card game played in teams of four in two competing partnerships.

The Collegiate Championship Qualifiers were held on Bridge Base Online (BBO), a free online multiplayer bridge website. Although the team incurred a 20–0 loss to Yale University, the team bounced back with a 10–10 tie against University of Washington and defeated Caltech 16–4, Columbia University 14–6, and Whitman College 15–5, earning the 55 Victory Points out of a possible 100 that secured the team’s fourth-place win and spot in the championships. The team placed fourth after Columbia (63), Stanford (70), and UNC Chapel Hill (74). The top three teams and the two highest-scoring teams from the tournament’s two brackets—comprised of 12 teams each—advanced to the championships.

Princeton (79), Illinois (68), UC Berkeley (57), Cornell (56) were the other championship-qualifying teams from the other bracket.

Every Wednesday evening, the Bridge Club welcomes an average of 20 players to practice playing bridge with others whenever they want.

Bridge Club President and third-year Oren Kriegel said he and Ng, the treasurer, chose players according to who “[they] thought would be most successful as a team. Everyone knows everyone in the club, since it’s a small group,” Kriegel said.

Manasse-Boetani, the team captain, did not have specific expectations for the team’s performance at the national championships.

“It depends on how much we practice, as well as in some degree on luck. We played fairly well at the qualifiers, but we did not end up playing against some of the best teams, so I don’t know how we will stack up against them. The finals will also be in person rather than online, which adds a whole new dimension to the game,” he said in an e-mail.