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UChicago Wins Collegiate Championship

This Sunday at the Chicago NABC, the University of Chicago (Oren Kriegel, Julian Manasse-Boetani, Kelly Mao, Ruth Ng, Alexander Okamoto, Aaron Song) defeated Stanford (Adam Kaplan, Emily Kelly, Joshua Wang, Edward Yang, Ling-Ling Zhang, Erli Zhou) in the finals of the ACBL Collegiate Bridgebowl, winning a $20,000 scholarship for the team. The event featured a qualifying stage during the school year, with four teams advancing to the semifinals. Stanford defeated Brandeis and Chicago topped Berkeley on Saturday, and Berkeley won the playoff match against Brandeis.

The Chicago-Stanford match was tight for most of the day: Chicago jumped out to a 19-IMP lead after the first quarter, but Stanford picked up in the second quarter and trailed by 1 IMP at the half. Chicago added 6 IMPs in the third quarter to lead by 7, but we tacked on 38 IMPs in the first five boards of the final quarter and eventually won by 32. Two swings came from back-to-back 6 contracts. This was the second board:

West
J6
K1098542
1062
7
North
AK83
Q763
Q83
62
East
Q542
AJ
974
9843
South
1097
AKJ5
AKQJ105
W
N
E
S
 
P
2
2
X
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
4N
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

I was South. 2 was an overbid, but it seemed like the most straightforward way to bid my hand. We were in largely uncharted waters but we landed on our feet. I tried for an overtrick, but it wasn't there. Still, +920 was a 13-IMP pickup when the other table had a bidding accident and stopped in 4.

The next board:

West
Q963
K1064
92
AK5
North
K10875
Q5
J1074
96
East
A4
A32
KQ
QJ10743
South
J2
J987
A8653
82
W
N
E
S
 
P
1
P
2
P
2N
P
4
P
4
P
6
P
P
P
D
6 West
NS: 0 EW: 0

Kaplan, East, with no scientific methods to investigate slam, just blasted 6, which had almost no play. My teammates stopped in game, so that was a 10-IMP gain for Chicago.

I'm very proud of my team, who played strongly throughout the match and earned a well-deserved victory. It was particularly satisfying to win this event as the home team and even better because the last time Chicago reached the collegiate finals, in Washington DC in 2009, they lost to Stanford.

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