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Tuesday, June 3 - Monday, June 9, 2003

WINNERS CNTC (pictured above left to right) :: Jurek Czyzowicz, Vincent Demuy, Darren Wolpert, Gavin Wolpert (back), Nicolas L'Ecuyer, Kamel Fergani.

Canadian Open Champions Decided
by Bob Christie

It has been a long but ultimately successful road for Kamel Fergani and his team. Last year, the Fergani team was a much different squad having only 3 of the present team members (Fergani, LíEcuyer and Czyzowicz). They came right down to the finals for the CNTC Open Gold medal but failed in a close match against Bryan Maksymetz and his team. A few years ago, they actually won the gold, but because Canada had done so dismally in the previous Bermuda Bowl, they were denied a berth in the world championship event. This year, much of the team was back together. Fergani and LíEcuyer as usual anchored the team. Jurek Czyzowicz, an experienced player who spent much of his life in Poland (and the Poles take their bridge seriously) partnered with a young man named Darren Wolpert, who at 27 is a wonder to watch. Speaking of wonders, however, are the Wunderkind of the Fergani team. Darrenís younger brother Gavin is 20 and his partner Vincent Demuy is 19. This team IS Canada. Francophone and Anglophone. Young and old. Quebec and Ontario. And can they ever play bridge.

Their march to Monaco began with a team of seasoned veterans with scads of international experience, success in Canadian nationals and enough years of bridge under their belt to make any player quake. But not the Fergani team. 63-20 after 18 boards. 138-46 after 36 and 187-84 after 54. And the Nagy team of George Mittelman, Robert Lebi, John Carruthers, and Joseph Silver said "uncle." They retired from the field.

Then, their old nemesis from last year, Team Maksymetz were back to take them in 128 boards to decide who qualified to play Mexico for the allotted position in the Bermuda bowl, scheduled for later this year in Monaco. The Maksymetz team were fully aware of the talent in this team. The anchor partnership seemed to be on slightly different wavelengths (not that any of we mere mortals would notice) so they decided to use the rules and augment their 4 person team to take on the Fergani squad. They added George Mittelman to play with Allan Graves and John Carruthers to partner with Brian Maksymetz. The Dan Jacob and Gord McCormond would stay a pair.

This match was not going to be as easy. 128 boards and no tomorrow. Day 1 was a see saw: 25-20 Maksymetz after 16. Even worse at 67-34 after the first 32 board session. A big comeback to see Fergani top Maksymetz 100-95 after 48 and Maksymetz holding a razor thin lead 131-127 after the first day. Darren Wolpert expressed the opinion that they had been shut out of the Bermuda Bowl a few years ago and this just wasnít an option this time. Clearly he meant what he said. The Fergani team came out on Wednesday and never looked back. Quarter by quarter it went 168-157 Fergani, 235-185 Fergani, 246-226 Fergani and then the final score 285-250.

The Maksymetz team have won before and lost before and they were as gracious in defeat as they always are in victory. Class is what this level of bridge is all about. All of these fine players will be back for many years to come.

Would that Telus would have shown as much class. We were running a VuGraph on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to show these matches to the world. Monday we had, of course, the power failures that we cannot blame anybody for. Tuesday was technically wonderful. BUT, on Wednesday, the Internet line kept on dropping out. It was so bad that we had to halt the broadcast and try to fix things for the evening. At the last minute we tried to get a system using a wireless modem, but even there, on another part of the Telus service, it kept dropping every line in the area. We could not continue, but we were, at least, capable of satisfying ourselves that it was not our equipment, but was, rather, a fault with Telus, which, of course, they refuse to admit. It is so annoying to find that big companies have concluded that deny, deny, deny is the way to success. We spent a number of hours trying to trace a problem that we were powerless to solve. This compares to the quality of service we received last week during the height of Canada Bridge Week at the Executive Inn and Conference Centre in downtown Penticton. That service was not only provided, it was donated by Shaw Cable and it worked flawlessly all week without so much as a hiccup. Of course, I always support the organizations that are friends of Bridge and I count Shaw in that number.

Anyway, the next Canada Bridge Week is scheduled for St. Catherines, Ontario, but I suspect they will return to Penticton (as all of us do) sooner than they might have expected before discovering what a wonderful venue we have right here in the Southern Okanogan.

:: CNTC and CWTC 2003 vs 2002 Playoff results :: CNTC :: CWTC


WINNERS CNTC :: Kamel Fergani, Longueuil, QC; Nicolas L_Ecuyer, Montreal, PQ; Jurek Czyzowicz, Aylmer, QC; Darren Wolpert, Gavin Wolpert, Toronto, ON; Vincent Demuy, Montreal, QC.

SILVER CNTC :: Peter Nagy - NPC in Memoriam, John Carruthers, Robert Lebi, George Mittelman, Toronto, ON; Joseph Silver, Côte-St-Luc, QC


WINNERS COPC :: John Rayner - John Duquette

SILVER COPC :: Carole Berry - John Gillespie

BRONZE COPC :: Barry Senensky - Bob Kuz


WINNERS CWTC :: Dianna Gordon, Beverly Kraft, Toronto, ON; Brenda Bryant, Ferndale, MI; Francine Cimon, Montreal, QC; Joan Eaton, Willowdale, ON; Barbara Clinton, Aurora, ON

SILVER CWTC :: Rhonda Foster, New Westminster, BC; Marcia Christie, Surrey, BC; Samantha Nystrom, Burnaby, BC; June Pocock, Coquitlam, BC.

BRONZE CWTC :: Kathy Adachi, Sheila Sache, Delta, BC; Leslie Gold, White Rock, BC; Ina Andersen, Surrey, BC


WINNERS CNTCB :: William Ge, Philip Chen, Gary Ge, Vancouver, BC; Runlu Wang, Delta, BC; Shi Yan, Vancouver, BC

SILVER CNTCB :: Larry Custead, Mark Churchman, Saskatoon, SK; Derrick Furber, Len Ripplinger, Deb Ripplinger, Prince Albert, SK.

BRONZE CNTCB :: Richard Soderstrom, Ovidiu Stanica, Ottawa, ON; Ron Zambonini, Nepean, ON; Michael Baggott , North Gower, ON

:: VUGRAPH :: There will be a vugraph at BRIDGE BASE ONLINE online. Click Here for info and schedule ::>

:: 2002-2003 WINNER PLAYOFF MATCHES :: Immediately following the finals of the CNTCA and CWTC there will be a playoff between the 2002 winners and the 2003 winners. The winners of these playoffs will then play off against Mexico to determine a Zone 2 representative to the 2003 Bermuda Bowl. The team that loses these playoffs will receive a $6,000 cash prize.

The winner of the 2004 CNTC will be the team that will be eligible to be named as Canada's representative to the 2004 World Team Olympiad. Previously, problems arose from selecting our international representatives nearly a year in advance of the International Competition to which they are eligible to attend. This change has been made in order to address these concerns. After 2003, when a team wins the CNTC or CWTC they will be attending the World event shortly thereafter.

These two playoff matches promise to be as exciting as the National Finals.

:: BRIDGE WEEK 2004 IN ST CATHARINES :: The Canadian Bridge Federation is pleased to announce that St. Catharines, Ontario has been awarded the 2004 Canadian Bridge Week. The event will be held in St. Catharines from June 19- 26, 2004.

The event will be held at the Parkway Quality Inn and Convention Centre in St. Catharines. St. Catharines has set up an organizing committee that will ensure this is a wonderful event. The organizing committee consists of: Co-Chairs: Paul Thurston and Fred Andreychuk and

Secretary/Treasurer: John MacKay; Directors: Stan Dillabough, Jerry Smee and John Arblaster. Also playing key roles in hosting Bridge Week 2004 will be executive members and volunteers from the Niagara District Bridge Association under the capable leadership of President Lena Byl.

The Canadian Bridge Federation is looking forward to a terrific event in 2004.