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Eric R. Murray Trophy

The Eric R. Murray trophy is awarded to the team representing Canada in the Open Teams at the World Olympiad. It was first awarded in 1968.

Canadas effort at the first World Olympiad in 1960 was moderately successful. Things improved in 1964 when our country finished an impressive fourth. It soon became obvious that some sort of entity was needed to organize national competition for selection of our international teams, and, if possible, to provide them with both moral and financial support. Eric Murray, whose energy and drive are legendary, was the prime instigator of the new, as yet unnamed, organization. The organization began as an informal coast-to-coast network of supporters which gradually evolved into a more concrete structure.

Learn more about the history of the Canadian Bridge Federation by clicking here.

1960 N. M. Burns, NPC; Eric Murray, Sami Kehela, Percy Sheardown, C.B. Elliott, Harry Bork, Bruce Gowdy

1964 A. Lando, NPC; Ralph Cohen, R. Forbes, Am Gold, Jack Howell, Sami Kehela, Eric Murray

1968 A. Lando, NPC; Eric Murray, Sammy Kehela, Bruce Elliot, Percy Sheardown, Gerald Charney, William Crissey

1972 A. Lando, NPC; Gerry Charney, Bill Crissey, Bruce Gowdy, Sami Kehela, Eric Murray, Duncan Phillips

1976 W. Lebovic, NPC; Bruce Gowdy, Karen Allison, Franco Bandoni, Don Cowan, Eric Murray, Sami Kehela

1980 G. Charney, NPC; Allan Graves, Sami Kehela, Eric Kokish, George Mittelman, Eric Murray, Peter Nagy

1984 Steve Aarons, NPC; John Guoba, George Mittelman, Allan Graves, Mark Molson, Boris Baran, John Carruthers

1988 Marc Stein, NPC; Boris Baran, John Carruthers, John Guoba, Sami Kehela, Mark Molson, Eric Murray

1992 George Mittelman, NPC; Ed Bridson, David Lindop, Geoff Hampson, John Gowdy, Mark Molson, Boris Baran

1996 John Gowdy, NPC; Joseph Silver, Eric Kokish, Mark Molson, Boris Baran, Fred Gitelman, George Mittelman

2000 Martin Kirr, NPC; Robert Lebi, Nader Hanna, Drew Cannell, John Carruthers, Eric Kokish, George Mittelman

2004 Paul Thurston, NPC; Ray Jotcham, Lewis Richardson, James Priebe, Stephen Mackay, David Lindop, Michael Cummings

A short biography on Eric Murray, who was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 2001, can be found by below.

Eric Murray
Joint Winner (with Sami Kehela) of the 2001 Von Zedtwitz Award - ACBL Hall of Fame

The Von Zedtwitz Award is given to deserving living or deceased individuals who have contributed to the game of bridge either by virtue of their bridge playing talents, or who made contributions to the game outside of their area of playing expertise.

Eric Murray was born in 1928. A barrister by profession, he lives in Toronto.

Murray's 30-year partnership with Sami Kehela is acknowledged as one of Canada's best ever. Murray has represented North America in the Bermuda Bowl four times (1962, 66, 67 & 74), finishing second on all four occasions. For the first of these, in 1962, the team's coach was one Sami Kehela. Representing Canada and playing with Kehela, Murray has twice finished third in the World Team Olympiad (1968 & 72). They also finished fourth in 1964. In 1970, they were fifth in the World Open Pairs. They collected bronze medals at the 1982 Rosenblum Teams, and finished fifth in the same event in 1978.

Murray has won 13 NABC titles including the Vanderbilt twice (1961 & 70), the Spingold three times (1964, 65 & 68), the Life Masters Pairs in 1969, the Men's Teams in 1962, the Life Masters Men's Pairs in 1963, the Men's Pairs twice (1945 & 55), the 1963 Mixed Pairs, and the Master Mixed Teams twice (1956 & 62). He also won the Canadian National Teams Championship three times (1980, 81 & 87), and placed second twice (1986 & 88). He won the Canadian Invitational Calcutta in 1993.

As a bridge administrator, Murray is a former president of Easter Canadian BC and rthe Ontario Unit. He was also the organizing chairman of the Summer NABC in 1964.

When Murray came to the podium at the induction ceremonies during the July 2001 NABC in Toronto, he proved that his oratory skills were at least a match for those he frequently displayed at the bridge table, if that were possible. He offered some side-splitting comments on Kehela's lack of bridge ability, but he concentrated primarily on Larry Cohen, who had been the original bearer of the news of Murray's impending induction into the Hall. "He wrote a book about some kind of law," quipped Murray. "Somewhere it says you have to be aggressive at the 3-level whenever you hold 18 trumps. Must have been a typographical error; although Larry lives in Florida “maybe he had something to do with the counting in that election down there."

Murray was one of the outstanding bridge players of his era. But his skills at the table pale when compared with his abilities as a stand-up comedian.