ACBL Bridge Beat #116: Intercollegiate Tournaments
This event formerly contested by universities and colleges throughout the United States and Canada was organized by Geoffrey Mott-Smith, 1949-1960, William Root, 1961-1965, Lawrence Rosler and Jeff Rubens, 1966-1967, and subsequently by representatives of the Association of College Unions-International and the American Contract Bridge League. When the Charles Goren Foundation offered financial assistance in 1969 the tournament became known as the Charles Goren Intercollegiate Bridge Tournament.
A feature of the tournament in the early years was the use of par hands. The earliest matches were conducted as a face-to-face contest for 16 finalists, but in 1953 the procedure was changed to a mailing of par hands to each campus with the scorecards rated in New York. Under this plan, titles were awarded to the highest-scoring pair on the North-South hands and on the East-West hands. In 1965, the face-to-face final was restored and par hands were used in the qualifying round. Initially, the final was scored by matchpoints, but international matchpoint scoring was adopted in 1967, and the conversion of IMPs to Victory Points was introduced in 1968.
Par hands were eliminated in 1969, and the tournament became a three-stage contest, with an on-campus qualifying round and a regional semifinal in addition to the final.
The national final had the reputation of being a showcase tournament and a number of national champions emerged from these contests. The 37th and final contest in this series was held in Memphis in April, 1979 after which the ACBL withdrew technical and financial support.
On November 18, 1986 the Intercollegiate Par contest returned. The contest featured 24 deals composed by Jeff Rubens. The top finishers won expense-paid trips to the final held on the last weekend of the Spring NABC in St. Louis. The winners of the event represented ACBL at the first World Junior Team Championship held in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1987.
The contest continued until 1996. In 1997 it became an online tournament sponsored by OKBridge.