ACBL Bridge Beat #75: 1968 Trials Wrap-up
Day three saw the lead change hands again. Feldesman-Morse rally with a crushing 70-14 defeat over Eisenberg-Goldman, Rubin-Westheimer edge Rapée-Lazard 44-40 and Hamman-Kantar return to the top with a 52-32 win over Caravelli-Rosenberg. Shockingly Kaplan-Kay lose their fifth straight match. Leading scores are: Hamman-Kantar 342 ½; Rapée-Lazard 332; Eisenberg-Goldman 310 ½; Feldesman-Morse 261 ½.
By the end of the evening, the top three remain the same, although Rapée-Lazard lost their second close match of the day – 35-49 to Eisenberg-Goldman. Kaplan-Kay take Roth-Root by the same score and Hamman-Kantar check Feldesman-Morse 48-36. Becker-Hayden move into the fourth spot by defeating Caravelli-Rosenberg 47-37. Standings are: Hamman-Kantar 390 ½; Rapée-Lazard 367; Eisenberg-Goldman 359 ½; Becker-Hayden 306.
Day four sees Rapée-Lazard knock Feldesman-Morse out of contention with a 72 ½ – 11 ½ win. Hamman-Kantar hold the top spot with a 45-39 win over Wolff-Jacoby and Eisenberg-Goldman hand Kaplan-Kay their sixth loss in seven matches. Becker-Hayden are mauled by Caravelli-Rosenberg 67-17.
In the evening, two of the pairs make certain of a spot in the first three. In a clash of the leaders, Rapée-Lazard make short shrift of Hamman-Kantar 56-28, even gaining points on a board where they played in a cue-bid at the four level. Eisenberg-Goldman take over second place by beating Roth-Root 70-14. Only Rubin-Westheimer had a mathematical chance of overtaking Hamman-Kantar. Leading scores: Rapée-Lazard 495 ½; Eisenberg-Goldman 487 ½; Hamman-Kantar 457 ½; Rubin-Westheimer 391.
At this point Hamman-Kantar were slightly below average for the finals, but their carryover virtually assured them a place in the top three.
Rapée-Lazard and Hamman-Kantar win while Eisenberg-Goldman lost 29-55 to Becker-Hayden. However, the positions at the top of the standings hold firm. These three pairs were so far ahead that npc Oswald Jacoby had no hesitation in naming them the pairs to represent North America in the 1969 World Team Championships.
For Rapée, 1969 was the sixth time he represented his country in world competition – second only to Howard Schenken’s seven. Two other members also had international experience – Lazard in 1959 and 1960 and Hamman in 1964 and 1966.