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Mark Jones and Doug Wagner Win

ACBL-Wide Instant Matchpoint Game

At hundreds of sites across North America players participated in ACBL's 17th Annual Instant Matchpoint Game on Wednesday, Sept. 10. At stake were gold point awards for those who topped their sections at local clubs.

Information about overall winners may be found at ACBL's web site at [].

The deals were analyzed and scored by expert Richard Pavlicek. A recap of all 36 deals with analyses may be found at Pavlicek's web site at Follow the links to the 2003 Instant Matchpoint Game. []
Mark Jones & Doug Wagner

Douglas Wagner and Mark Jones topped the North-South field by posting a 74.58% game at the Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club. Wagner, an IT system architect for Bell South, and Jones, a program analyst for the Social Security Administration, were pleased with their victory, but they're not very interested in talking about themselves. They prefer telling anyone who'll listen about what a great place the Birmingham DBC is.

"After surviving a financial catastrophe in 1999, the club relocated and then rebounded by starting an Easybridge! program that drew in dozens of new players. The new club is really an exciting place," said Wagner, who also praised the efforts of club manager Carolyn Neyman.

On the evening of the contest, Wagner and Jones knew they were having a huge game. After 23 boards of play, they calculated their score to be 1695 (top = 100). A big score on the last deal of the evening would certainly put them in contention to win the whole thing. This explains Wagner's aggressive view on this deal:

Despite the meager values of the ,'North hand, Wagner invoked Stayman and bid game after the heart fit was revealed.

Jones was presented with the friendly lead of a low club. Dummy's queen won the trick. A low heart to declarer's king was won by West, who persisted with a second club trying to give East a ruff (or find declarer with the now-blank ace). Dummy's jack held the trick. Jones drew trumps and played dummy's singleton diamond. East flew with the ace and erred by exiting with a low spade. This ran to dummy's jack, and after a spade to the queen held, Jones claimed 11 tricks.

Plus 450 was worth 95 matchpoints. Their final total was 1790 out of a possible 2400.

"You gotta be lucky!" said Wagner.

In second place were Jeanette Magid and David Swig of Houston TX who scored 1772 (73.83%).

[Article excerpted from ACBL Bridge Bulletin, December, 2003]

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