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USBF Selects Teams for First World Youth Championships

By: Jan Martel

The United States Bridge Federation (USBF) will be sending 2 teams to the First World Youth Championships in Turkey this August. The pairs who will be on the team were selected on May 16 & 17 at what we believe was the first-ever online Trials for International teams.

The six pairs who qualified to represent the US in the Turkey Junior Championships (in order of finish) are:

Jeremy Fournier & Justin Lall
Kevin Dwyer & Matt Meckstroth
Jason Chiu & Kevin Fay
Alex Hudson & John Marriott
Zach Brescoll & Owen Lien
Adam Kaplan & Cameron Shunta.

The qualified pairs and two alternates (Michael Lieberman & Alya Asarina and André Asbury & Bryan Delfs) will practice online between now and August, and will be assigned to teams based on their preferences and the results of the practices.

The Trials for Turkey was a Pair Trials, which, together with the fact that it was online so there were no significant costs for the participants, allowed players from all over the country who don’t attend NABCs and USBF Team Trials & thus don’t know other Juniors with whom to form teams, to compete. There were groups of players in Boston and San Francisco, as well as individual players scattered around the country and even outside of the US - one competed from Canada, one from the Philippines.

Security was a major concern for the USBF with an online event. Each player had to arrange for a monitor to watch him or her play and confirm that the player did not use a cell phone, communicate with another person, consult any bidding notes or articles about how to play suit combinations, etc, or have any window other than the BBO table open on his or her computer.

In addition to requiring a monitor for each player, the USBF established a Review Committee to watch the play in progress and review results, bidding & play after the event to determine whether there were any actions taken that suggested the players might have been receiving unauthorized information about the hands. The committee, consisting of John Sutherlin, Chip Martel, Jeff Polisner & Ben Dickens, saw no evidence of any improper actions.

The USBF hopes that this event will be the start of more use of online competitions as part of the selection process for our International Teams, particularly for Juniors, who have more difficulty attending face to face competitions.