The Last Shall Be First
certainly do not want to put myself up as some kind of Biblical
Scholar, but I do remember from my days so long ago in Sunday School
that this phrase is used somewhere in the Old Testament. Never was
it more true than in the dramatic conclusion to Canada Bridge Week
in Edmonton and to the Flight A finals in the Canadian National
Teams Championship. Firstly, Bryan Maksymetz decided over a week
after entries had closed to see if he could field a team to come
to Edmonton. Seventeen teams had already been admitted and if the
Maksymetz entry had resulted in an odd number of teams, he would
have been rejected. Jan Anderson decided that 18 was better than
17 and so the team was admitted and everyplace in the draw chart
already set up where it said BYE it now said 18.
On the 17th round of the round robin, Maksymetz was blitzed
but Team Gartaganis failed to win an overtrick on one board resulting
in Maksymetz winning three Victory Points instead of two. Duquette
also blitzed their opponent and fell short by ONE victory point.
Had Gartaganis forced the tie for 6th place, it has been rumored
(albeit not confirmed) that the decision would be made by comparing
the round robin match between the two tied teams and in that match,
Duquette won by 24 to 6. Maksymetz would have gone home. In the
quarter finals, Gartaganis chose to play against Todd instead of
against Maksymetz whom they had just blitzed. Jones played Maksymetz
and just didnt come with their A game. Then, in the semi-finals,
Nowlan chose to play against Maksymetz instead of guaranteeing an
Alberta finalist by choosing Gartaganis. Had Nowlan made the other
choice, this contest would have been held yesterday with, perhaps,
a different result.
And so we came to 10:30 AM Mountain Daylight Time, Monday, June
24th, 2002. This nearly exhausted foursome sucked it up, one more
time and after 72 boards, Bryan Maksymetz, Dan Jacob, Gord McOrmond
and Allan Graves were crowned the Flight A CNTC champions for 2002.
In discussions after the Medal Ceremony (at nearly midnight in the
Edmonton Bridge Centre and before a small crowd of well wishers)
Gord McOrmond admitted that he and his partner had not played a
hand of bridge in over a year and only sat down two weeks before
this event to work out a convention card. He also admitted that
the Multi-Two Diamond bids drove him crazy, but promised to practice
before next year. Maybe given the success enjoyed, he would be well
advised to take a 50 week hiatus. Mind you, next year is special.
The winner of CNTC-A in 2003 will play off against Maksymetz for
the right to represent Canada at the Bermuda Bowl. Coming second
in that battle of titans aint bad either. $6,000.00 to LOSE.
Next year is going to be interesting since the stakes are going