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.
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.
more about the history of the Canadian Bridge Federation by clicking
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
Paul Thurston, NPC; Ray Jotcham, Lewis Richardson, James Priebe,
Stephen Mackay, David Lindop, Michael Cummings
short biography on Eric Murray, who was inducted into the ACBL
Hall of Fame in 2001, can be found by below.
Joint Winner (with Sami Kehela)
of the 2001 Von Zedtwitz Award - ACBL Hall of Fame
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.
Murray was born in 1928. A barrister by profession, he lives in
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.