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Georgia Youth Open Pairs State Championship

[12/2/06] Ten year old Mili Raina and eleven year old Zandy Rizzo won the Georgia State Championship Youth Open Pairs at the Atlanta sectional on December 2 with a 65% game edging out Sean Gannon and Hunter Smith in the final round. All four of the top pairs had a 60+% game.

The State Championship was the first of its kind in the country. The Georgia championship was open to all players under 19 who lived in the state. The tournament was organized by Atlanta Junior Bridge (AJB) with support from the Duplicate Bridge Association of Atlanta (DBAA) and Unit 114 of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). The event was sponsored by Carol Mathews as a legacy for her late husband, Art Mathews, who was a keen bridge player.  Kroger Company graciously assisted AJB with the food for the parent and player reception.

The championship attracted twelve tables with players as young as six years old. Nearly all of the players were from the metro Atlanta area. The players had either been taught bridge in their schools, by their parents or in classes run by Atlanta Junior Bridge.

The winners

Mili is a 5th grade student at Ocee Elementary School in Fulton County. She started playing bridge over a year ago as part of the curriculum in the advanced math program taught by Carolyn Eckert. Mili described “playing the hand as the most enjoyable and bidding the least enjoyable”. She attributed the win to her partner confidently doubling the opponents and then setting their contracts “at least five times”. On the penultimate hand, she was in 4 spades doubled when her partner brought out the blue redouble card and “was shaking until towards the end when I could cross-ruff the rest of the tricks”. According to Mili, “I used to think it was just a game, but it turned out to be more like math and more fun. It has made me smarter – I can figure out if the king or queen is in someone’s hand by counting out the points – there’s a lot of mental math”. Mili is also the school chess champion.

Zandy is a 6th grade student at Notre Dame Academy in Duluth. He has been playing for a year and a half and is also taught by Carolyn Eckert. Zandy and Mili play once a week at Carolyn’s class but have never played together before in a tournament. Mrs. Eckert paired them up when each of their regular partners cancelled a few days before the tournament. Zandy said that he and Mili were both very relaxed going in to the tournament and felt confident. Not only did he actively double the opponents, even at the one level, but they also made contracts that the opponents doubled.

Another of Carolyn’s students is ten year old Hunter Smith (also her grandson) who finished in second place with Sean Gannon. Hunter is in sixth grade at Taylor Road Middle School in Alpharetta. He has been playing for 18 months. Hunter said, “It was great, even though we finished second, I was very happy today. We just made a couple of mistakes playing the cards.”

Sean is a ninth grader at Woodward Academy in Atlanta. His father Rick taught him to play two years ago. Sean’s first tournament was the national in Atlanta last year and he has won almost 50 masterpoints playing mostly with his father. He liked the championship because it “was another chance to play bridge” and he “got to play with people within 20 years of me!” Sean and Rick also played in other events at the Atlanta sectional and Rick said “it’s a blessing for me to play together.”

Third place winners Saachi Hingorami and Taylor Walker and fourth place winners Chelsea Weirich and Tage Kelkar have all been playing less than six months.

The youngest player was six year old Richard Jeng who played with his nine year old brother Andrew. Both learned to play in June at an AJB bridge camp. They finished a very respectable fifth, less than a quarter board away from winning the fourth place trophy.

Most of the parents watched the game in a separate room through an Internet video camera but some parents occasionally stopped in to watch. I saw one parent quickly leave the room stating “I can’t stand it. She’s in six spades. I think her partner gave the wrong response to the number of kings in Blackwood. At least she’s not doubled!” Fortunately, it was the right response and her daughter proudly made her first tournament slam ruffing away her losers.

Carol Mathews presented the awards. Patty Tucker, president of AJB, noted: “We were excited that so many were able to attend since there were many conflicts with school and extracurricular events. This event will be bigger and stronger next year. I hope that other states will start their own youth programs and we can eventually have a North American Youth Championship! AJB will now focus on getting the kids ready for the Georgia Youth Team State Championship in March.”

Many of the kids that participated and Carol Mathews, the sponsor of the event

Nancy Watkins directed the event and commented that it was great to see so many smiles at the tables. As added pressure, the tournament was filmed by local TV station, WPBA, for an upcoming episode of This is Atlanta.

Final standings:

  1. Zandy Rizzo – Mili Raina - 65.63%
  2. Sean Gannon – Hunter Smith - 64.10%
  3. Taylor Walker – Saachi Hingorami – 63.97%
  4. Tage Kelkar – Chelsea Weirich – 61.48%

Session recap

EVENT>Junior Brdg State Chmpshp|SESSION>             |SECTION> D N-S
------------------------,------ ------------,-------- --------,-----------------
DATE>December 2, 2006   |SANCTION>S0612043  | 12/02/2006 08:01|EVENT CODE>02L1
---------------------,-- ------------------- -------------,--- -----------------
CITY>Atlanta, Ga.    |RATING>Sectional                    |MOVEMENT>MITCHELL
------------,-------- ,-------------------------,--------- ---------------------
AVE>   56.0 |TOP>   7 |MP LIMITS>None           |TOURN>Atlanta Supersectional
------------ --------- ------------------------- -------------------------------
PAIRS> 12                                                        ,------,------------,------,---------,
-----------------------------------------------------------------| O'all|   Section  |      |Final    |
No         Name                           Name                   |  Rank| Rank|Score | Pct  |Awards   |
----------------------------------------------------------------- ------ ----- ------ ------ --------- 
 1 4316967 Andrew Jeng            4316959 Richard Jeng              5     3     66.50  59.38  0.93(O) 
 2 4325486 Tage Kelkar            2166178 Chelsea Weirich           4     2     68.86  61.48  1.24(O) 
 3 NM      JaQuan Beachem         NM      Zack Carter                           49.64  44.32          
 4 NM      Robby Gipson           2124920 Catherine Tsai                        43.42  38.77          
 5 4134516 Sean Gannon            2053322 Hunter Smith              2     1     71.79  64.10  2.20(O) 
 6 NM      Bennett Kane           NM      Daniel Khalek                   4     61.79  55.17  0.51(S) 
 7 NM      Scott Yates            NM      Joshua Bailey                         40.64  36.29          
 8 NM      Ansley Vicknair        NM      Brittany Marino                       48.76  43.54          
 9 NM      Anastasiya Patrusheva  NM      Jenny Zou                             53.21  47.51          
10 NM      Maurissa Ward          NM      Charles Cannon                        51.73  46.19          
11 2160161 Priscilla Kim          NM      Sunidhi Ramesh                  5     58.43  52.17  0.29(S) 
12 2053942 Liza Johnson           2160145 Surabhi Ghai                          56.50  50.45          
                                                          Totals               671.27       


                                    **PAIRS**
BOARD     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10    11    12
  \/
   1>     4-                            6     2-    4-    0     1     7     2-
         -50   ----  ----  ----  ----   90  -150   -50  -200  -170   420  -150 

   2>     2                             1     0     3-    3-    6-    5     6-
        -450   ----  ----  ----  ---- -460  -880  -170  -170    50  -120    50 

   3>     0     7                             3     5     5     5     2     1 
        -100   460   ----  ----  ----  ----  130   150   150   150   120   -50 

   4>     3-    6                             5     3-    1-    7     1-    0 
         100   300   ----  ----  ----  ----  110   100   -90   400   -90  -110 

   5>     4     3     7                             1     0     2     6     5 
        -130  -180   110   ----  ----  ----  ---- -240  -400  -200  -110  -120 

   6>     7     4-    2                             0     4-    1     4-    4-
         200   100   -50   ----  ----  ----  ---- -500   100   -90   100   100 

   7>     7     1     3-    3-                            6     1     1     5 
         200  -200  -100  -100   ----  ----  ----  ----  140  -200  -200   110 

   8>     4     7     2-    1                             2-    5-    5-    0 
          50   400   -50  -100   ----  ----  ----  ----  -50    90    90  -150 

   9>     5     2     5     0     7                             3     1     5 
         100   -90   100  -110   300   ----  ----  ----  ----  -50  -100   100 

  10>     7     3     5     2     6                             4     0     1 
         260   100   150   -90   170   ----  ----  ----  ----  140  -300  -150 

  11>     2     2     6     5     2     2                             7     2 
         -50   -50    80  PASS   -50   -50   ----  ----  ----  ----   90   -50 

  12>     7     2     0     1     5     3                             6     4 
         150  -210  -440  -430  -150  -200   ----  ----  ----  ----  -90  -170 

  13>     3     7     0     1-    5-    1-    4                             5-
         170  1310   110   150   640   150   190   ----  ----  ----  ----  640 

  14>     4     6      -    2     5      -    3                             7 
         480   520   150   180   490   150   420   ----  ----  ----  ----  980 

  15>     1-    5     0     5     3     7     5     1-                        
        -110   100  -140   100  -100   120   100  -110   ----  ----  ----  ----

  16>     5     7     0     2     6     4     1     3                         
         400   890  -150   110   420   170  -100   150   ----  ----  ----  ----

  17>           0     1-    4     3     5     6-    1-    6-                  
         ---- -150  -130    50   -50   110   130  -130   130   ----  ----  ----

  18>         6.36  4.64  1.21  6.36  2.36  0.07          3-                  
         ----  150   140  -150   150    50  -200    NP    90   ----  ----  ----

  19>                 7     6     0     4     1     2     5     3             
         ----  ----  180   150  -150   110  -100    90   130   100   ----  ----

  20>                 5     5     3     5     1     7     0     2             
         ----  ---- -200  -200  -650  -200  -790  -170 -1800  -660   ----  ----

  21>                       3     6     4-    0     1     7     4-    2       
         ----  ----  ----   50   200   140  -400  -130   620   140  PASS   ----

  22>                     1.21  6.93  2.93  0.07  5.21  5.21        2.93      
         ----  ----  ---- -110   300   -50  -150   200   200    NP   -50   ----

  23>                             0     7     5     2     1     3     6     4 
         ----  ----  ----  ---- -300  1270   110  -150  -200    90   400   100 

  24>                             7     6     3-    5     2     0     1     3-
         ----  ----  ----  ----  110   100   -50    50   -90  -140  -130   -50 



EVENT>Junior Brdg State Chmpshp|SESSION>             |SECTION> D E-W
------------------------,------ ------------,-------- --------,-----------------
DATE>December 2, 2006   |SANCTION>S0612043  | 12/02/2006 08:01|EVENT CODE>02L1
---------------------,-- ------------------- -------------,--- -----------------
CITY>Atlanta, Ga.    |RATING>Sectional                    |MOVEMENT>MITCHELL
------------,-------- ,-------------------------,--------- ---------------------
AVE>   56.0 |TOP>   7 |MP LIMITS>None           |TOURN>Atlanta Supersectional
------------ --------- ------------------------- -------------------------------
PAIRS> 12                                                        ,------,------------,------,---------,
-----------------------------------------------------------------| O'all|   Section  |      |Final    |
No         Name                           Name                   |  Rank| Rank|Score | Pct  |Awards   |
----------------------------------------------------------------- ------ ----- ------ ------ --------- 
 1 NM      Ashish Shah            NM      Aarati Shah                           50.71  45.28          
 2 2166151 Maya Kelkar            2125188 Lauren Tsai                           49.00  43.75          
 3 NM      Marissa Wall           NM      Olivia Gartzman                       55.57  49.62          
 4 NM      Murphy Green           NM      Angie Green                     5     60.50  54.02  0.29(S) 
 5 NM      Jason Sheres           NM      Marisa Sheres             6     3     65.22  58.23  0.74(S) 
 6 2146304 Kevin Cooney           2146312 Austin Agerton                        57.14  51.02          
 7 NM      Mary Rose Best         NM      Lila Claire Best                      38.71  34.56          
 8 2106914 Taylor Walker          NM      Soachi Hingorani          3     2     71.65  63.97  1.65(O) 
 9 NM      Nolan Gartzman         NM      Tyler Gartzman                        27.73  24.76          
10 2160153 Arjun Dhir             2071010 Chandler Roth                   4     64.07  57.21  0.51(S) 
11 NM      Claire Harville        6053505 Alexander Hammond                     55.36  49.43          
12 2053330 Zandy Rizzo            2061716 Mili Raina                1     1     73.50  65.63  2.93(O) 
                                                          Totals               669.16       


                                    **PAIRS**
BOARD     1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9    10    11    12
  \/
   1>     2-          2-          7           6           0     1     4-    4-
          50   ----   50   ----  200   ----  170   ---- -420   -90   150   150 

   2>     5           3-          3-           -          2     6      -    7 
         450   ----  170   ----  170   ----  -50   ----  120   460   -50   880 

   3>     2     0           2           2           5           6     4     7 
        -150  -460   ---- -150   ---- -150   ---- -120   ----   50  -130   100 

   4>     3-    1           5-          0           5-          7     2     3-
        -100  -300   ----   90   ---- -400   ----   90   ----  110  -110  -100 

   5>     4     7     0           5           1           2           3     6 
         180   400  -110   ----  200   ----  110   ----  120   ----  130   240 

   6>     2-    2-    5           6           2-          2-          0     7 
        -100  -100    50   ----   90   ---- -100   ---- -100   ---- -200   500 

   7>     1     3-    6     3-          6           2           0           6 
        -140   100   200   100   ----  200   ---- -110   ---- -200   ----  200 

   8>     4-    4-    1-    6           1-          7           3           0 
          50    50   -90   100   ----  -90   ----  150   ----  -50   ---- -400 

   9>     2     4     7     6     0           2           2           5       
        -100    50   110   100  -300   ---- -100   ---- -100   ----   90   ----

  10>     2     3     5     7     1           6           0           4       
        -150  -140    90   300  -170   ----  150   ---- -260   ---- -100   ----

  11>           2     0     5     5     5           5           5           1 
         ---- PASS   -90    50    50    50   ----   50   ----   50   ----  -80 

  12>           6     1     2     3     4           0           5           7 
         ----  430    90   150   170   200   ---- -150   ----  210   ----  440 

  13>     5-          1-    1-    5-    4     3           0           7       
        -150   ---- -640  -640  -150  -170  -190   -----1310   ---- -110   ----

  14>     5           2     0     6-    3     4           1           6-      
        -180   ---- -490  -980  -150  -480  -420   ---- -520   ---- -150   ----

  15>           4           0     5-    2     2     5-          7           2 
         ----  100   ---- -120   110  -100  -100   110   ----  140   ---- -100 

  16>           1           3     2     6     0     4           7           5 
         ---- -420   ---- -170  -400   100  -890  -150   ----  150   ---- -110 

  17>     4           2            -    7     5-    5-     -          3       
          50   ---- -110   ---- -130   150   130   130  -130   ----  -50   ----

  18>   0.64        4.64        6.93  0.64        2.36    3-        5.79      
        -150   ----  -50   ----  200  -150    NP  -140   -90   ----  150   ----

  19>           3           6           5     0     2     1     4           7 
         ---- -110   ----  100   ----  -90  -180  -130  -150  -100   ----  150 

  20>           2           6           0     2     7     2     5           4 
         ----  200   ----  790   ----  170   200  1800   200   660   ----  650 

  21>     2-          7           6           0     4     2-    1     5       
        -140   ----  400   ----  130   ---- -620   -50  -140  -200  PASS   ----

  22>   4.07        6.93        1.79        1.79  5.79        0.07  4.07      
          50   ----  150   ---- -200   ---- -200   110    NP  -300    50   ----

  23>           2           5           6           4     7     1     0     3 
         ---- -110   ----  150   ----  200   ----  -90   300  -400 -1270  -100 

  24>           3-          2           5           7     0     6     1     3-
         ----   50   ----  -50   ----   90   ----  140  -110   130  -100    50