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Life Master Women’s Pairs – A Look Back

First introduced to the tournament calendar in 1961, the National Master Women’s Pairs was a three-session (two qualifying and one final) event open to women with 50 or more masterpoints. Victory in the event carried with it the right to represent the U.S. in the women’s event at the World Pair Olympiad.

The inaugural event had 258 pairs and was won by Dorothy Hayden Truscott and Helen Portugal. In 1962, entry in the event increased to 330 pairs, tying the record for the largest women’s pair event held at a national tournament.

In 1963, the event was changed to the Life Master Women’s Pairs. It was changed to a four-session event (two qualifying and two final), however, it was played in only three sessions that year. Winners and runners-up in the flights limited to Life Masters earned respectively five and three qualifying points toward participation the trials to determine the 1965 Bermuda Bowl Team. Hermine Baron and Ann Burstein took the honors that year with 116 pairs entered.

No pair ever won the Life Master Women’s Pairs two years running – until 2000. Having won in 1979, Edith Kemp and Nancy Gruver were close in 1980, but they were edged out by a mere 20 points by Kathie Cappelletti (now Walvick) and Claire Tornay. Kemp and Gruver went on to win again in 1981. Mildred Breed and Shawn Quinn managed to post two wins in a row in 2000, but they didn’t stop there. They won again in 2001 and 2002.

Surprisingly, Breed and Quinn are not the only pair to post four wins in a row in a women’s event — Kay Rhodes and Margaret Wagar won the Whitehead Women’s pairs in 1955, 1956, 1957 and 1958.

Shawn Quinn has the best record in the LM Women’s Pairs having won five times. Lynn Deas and Mildred Breed both have four wins and Dorothy Hayden Truscott, Edith Kemp and Nancy Gruver all won three.

The Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs is contested for the Smith Trophy. The Smith Trophy was donated in 1969 by Charles Goren in memory of his longtime partner Helen Sobel Smith, the first woman elected to the Bridge Hall of Fame. Smith was an outstanding player and is universally considered the best woman player of all time.

The Smith LM Women’s Pairs gets underway this year on Friday, Nov. 29 at the Fall NABC in Phoenix.

2012 1 Victoria Gromova, Tatiana Ponomareva
       2 Miriam Varenne, Migry Zur-Campanile

2011 1 Cheri Bjerkan, Rozanne Pollack
       2 Nancy Passell, Peggy Sutherlin

2010 1 Disa Eythorsdottir, Valerie Westheimer
       2 Lynn Deas, Juldith Shulman

2009 1 Sue Picus, Shawn Quinn
       2 Victoria Gromova, Tatiana Ponomareva

2008 1 Lynn Deas, Betty Ann Kennedy
       2 Janice Seamon-Molson, Gigi Simpson

2007 1 Lynn Baker, Karen McCallum
       2 Jian Wang, Yongmei Zhpu

2006 1 Cecilia Rimstedt, Sara Sivelind
       2 Janice Seamon-Molson, Gigi Simpson

2005 1 Malle Andrade, Jill Levin
       2 Mildred Breed, Claudette Hartman

2004 1 Cynthia Hinckley, Diana Schuld
       2 Pamela Granovetter, Migry Zur-Campanile

2003 1 Lynn Baker, Kerri Sanborn
       2 Joan Jackson, Robin Klar

2002 1 Mildred Breed, Shawn Quinn
       2 Jan George, Roni Gitchel

2001 1 Mildred Breed, Shawn Quinn
       2 Barbara Nudelman, Jayne Thomas

2000 1 Mildred Breed, Shawn Quinn
       2 Joan Jackson, Robin Klar

1999 1 Mildred Breed, Shawn Quinn
       2 Nell Cahn, Ellen Siebert

1998 1 Sharon Hait, Barbara Sartorius
       2 Shannon Lipscomb, Rhoda Walsh

1997 1 Sylvia Moss, Janice Seamon
       2 Disa Eythorsdottir, Linda Perlman

1996 1 Suzy Burger, Barbara Sion
       2 Linda Lewis, Judy Randel

1995 1 Susan Miller, Flo Rotman
       2 Juanita Chambers, Lila Perlstein

1994 1 Lynn Deas, Rhoda Kratenstein
       2 Cynthia Balderson, Peg Waller

1993 1 Janice Seamon, Sabine Zenkel
       2 Sharon David, Trudi Nugit

1992 1 Jan Cohen, Shawn Womack
       2 Joan Jackson, Sabine Zenkel

1991 1 Tobi Deutsch, Sue Weinstein
       2 Cheri Bjerkan, Janice Seamon

1990 1 Betty Ann Kennedy, Carol Sanders
       2 Marla Chaikin, Barbara Sartorius

1989 1 Rhoda Walsh, Sabine Zenkel
       2 Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer

1988 1 Nell Cahn, Nancy Passell
       2 Brenda Keller, Renee Mancuso

1987 1 Gaye Herrington, Jill Meyers
       2 Mary Ann Coyle, Jackie Hess

1986 1 Judi Cody, Mickie Kivel
       2 Rama Linz, Kerri Shuman

1985 1 Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer
       2 Rama Linz, Kerri Shuman

1984 1 Karen Singer, Sharon Soules
       2 Judi Radin, Kathie Wei

1983 1 Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer
       2 Sandra Low, Joan Stein

1982 1 Dorothy Buchanan, Barbara Morris
       2 Mary Egan, Rhoda Walsh

1981 1 Nancy Gruver, Edith Kemp
       2 Betty Ann Kennedy, Carol Sanders

1980 1 Kathie Cappelletti, Claire Tornay
       2 Nancy Gruver, Edith Kemp

1979 1 Nancy Gruver, Edith Kemp
       2 June Deutsch, Sandi Leavitt

1978 1 Emma Jean Hawes, Dorothy Hayden Truscott
       2 Ann Economidy, Anne Leverone

1977 1 Edith Kemp, Barbara Rappaport
       2 Bernadine Jenkins, Joan Remey

1976 1 Barbara Furbeck, Barbara Herr
       2 Carol Crawford, Joan Remey

1975 1 Dorothy Moore, Marion Weed
       2 Nancy Gruver, Helen Utegaard

1974 1 Bernice Larson, Joan Stein
       2 Edith Kemp, Barbara Rappaport

1973 1 Frieda Arst, June Deutsch
       2 Edith Kemp, Barbara Rappaport

1972 1 Amalya Kearse, Rhoda Walsh
       2 Emma Jean Hawes, Dorothy Hayden Truscott

1971 1 Ruth Bloomfield, Della Levinson
       2 Betty Ann Kennedy, Carol Sanders

1970 1 Bette L. Cohn, Marietta Passell
       2 Louise Krauss, Betty Mangan

1969 1 Gratian Goldstein, Sylvia Stein
       2 Karen Allison, Gladys W. Collier

1968 1 Dorothy Talmage, Rhoda Walsh
       2 Katherine Blanchard, Mary Jane Farell

1967 1 Nancy Gruver, Sue Sachs
       2 Mary Jane Farell, Peggy Solomon

1966 1 Emma Jean Hawes, Dorothy Hayden
       2 Mary Jane Farell, Peggy Solomon

1965 1 Ann Sheaber, Jan Stone
       2 Mary Jane Farell, Peggy Solomon

1964 1 Margaret Alcorn, Betty Kaplan
       2 Agnes Gordon, Sylvia Stein

1963 1 Hermine Baron, Ann Burnstein
       2 Carrie Arnold, Neva L. Gray

1962 1 Barbara Kachmar, Margaret Wagar
       2 Ann Burnstein, Edith Kemp

1961 1 Dorothy Hayden, Helen Portugal
       2 Gratian Goldstein, Mrs.A.H. Mueller