The Junior United States Bridge Championships, hosted by the U.S. Bridge Federation, was held Dec. 31–Jan. 2 in Atlanta. Five teams (two under-26 teams, two under-21 teams and one team of young women) were selected to compete in the 2014 World Junior Championships in Istanbul, Turkey in August.
In the U26 category, Kaplan (Adam Kaplan–Zach Brescoll, Adam Grossack –Zach Grossack, Marius Agica–Owen Lien) won a hard-fought match against Wang (Zhou “Jimmy” Wang–Erli Zhou, Edmund Wu–William Zhu) to become USA1. In the playoff for USA2, Wang, down 15 IMPs going into the fourth quarter, dominated the last segment 51-11 to defeat Herman (Greg Herman–Anam Tebha, Alex Hudson–Drew Cavalier). These two squads will vie for the Patino Cup in Turkey.
In the U21 division, the Kriegel team (Oren Kriegel–Chris Huber, Ben Kristensen–Kevin Rosenberg) is USA1 for the Damiani Cup. Kriegel beat Harper (Brandon Harper–Ryan Miller, Hakan Berk–David Soukup) in the final. Dhir (Arjun Dhir–Christian Jolly, Allison Hunt–Burke Snowden) triumphed over Harper in the playoff to become USA2.
Thapa (Isha Thapa–Julie Arbit, Marianna Linz–Rebecca Wernis) defeated Goyal (Rachna Goyal– Alice Kaye, Asya Ladyzhensky–Ruth Ng–Mili Raina) to earn the right to represent the U.S. in the Rona Cup (women under 26) competition in Turkey.
From online competition held in October, 10 teams were selected to attend the trials. The Junior championships were especially educational for the competitors because, for the first time, the event was preceded by three days of small-group and partnership training organized by Michael Rosenberg, Debbie Rosenberg and Barry Goren. Additionally, evening sessions provided opportunities for the competitors and expert coaches to review and analyze the deals.
Other mentors at the training included Kevin Collins, Marty Fleisher, Chip Martel, Jan Martel, Karen McCallum, Joe Stokes, Patty Tucker and Howie Weinstein.
The Junior teams that required another pair have been augmented to six . Here are the team compositions:
USA2 – the first 4 listed players won the USA2 bracket in Atlanta; the other pair are the recommended augmentees
Zhuo “Jimmy” Wang – Erli Zhou
Edmund Wu – William Zhu
Greg Herman – Alex Hudson
Under-21 – USA1 – the first 4 listed players won the USA2 bracket in Atlanta; the other pair are the recommended augmentees
Oren Kriegel – Chris Huber
Ben Kristensen – Kevin Rosenberg
Nolan Chang – Cole Spencer
Under-21 – USA2 – the first 4 listed players won the USA2 bracket in Atlanta; the other pair are the recommended augmentees
Arjun Dhir – Christian Jolly
Allison Hunt – Burke Snowden
Hakan Berk – David Soukup
Rona Cup (Women Under 26) – the first 4 listed players won in Atlanta; the other pair are the recommended augmentees
Isha Thapa – Julie Arbit
Marianna Linz – Becca Wernis
Asya Ladyzhenski – Anam Tebha