The Cavendish Invitational is the largest money bridge tournament in the world. The event was first contested in 1975 at the famous Cavendish Club founded in 1925 by Wilbur C. Whitehead in association with Gratz M. Scott and Edwin A. Wetzlar. The club was housed for the first eight years at the Mayfair House, and then moved to the Ambassador Hotel. It was at the Ritz Tower Hotel 1950-1965 and occupied premises on Central Park South 1965-1974. In 1974 it moved to the Carlton House, stayed until 1983, and after a brief stop on 48th Street, ended in a townhouse on 73rd St. Rent escalations and falling membership forced the club to cease operations on May 31, 1991.
The Cavendish Invitational continued to be held in New York until 1997 when World Bridge Productions (WPB) took over the tournament and moved production to Las Vegas. WBP added two open events as well as the John Roberts Teams, an invitational event, to the schedule to broaden the field for more players.
Through 2011 the Cavendish was played every year in the week before Mother’s Day, ending on that day. In 2012, WBP joined forces with the Monaco Bridge Federation (FMB) and scheduled the event for October in Monaco. Providing that the 2012 tournament is successful, the tournament in will be held in Las Vegas in odd years and Monaco in even years.
The tournament begins with the John Roberts Teams (named for one of the founders of the WBP), and the WBP Pairs and WBP Teams.
The heart of the Cavendish, the Invitational Pairs event, gets underway after the John Roberts Teams the following evening with a cocktail reception and calcutta-style auction. At the auction, the world’s top pairs are auctioned off to the highest bidders. Each pair has the right to buy a portion of the pool bid on them. Auction money is pooled and paid out to the top finishers of the three-day event. Along with the auction is a players’ pool comprised of entry fees from the players. Proceeds are distributed to the top-placed pairs.
For the main event, a scoring method called cross-IMPs – now used in many cash-prize tournaments – was employed from the beginning. Every result on every deal is IMPed against all other results for that deal. Although the IMP scale goes as high as 24, an upper limit of 17 IMPs has been set for the Cavendish Invitational Pairs.
Cavendish Invitational Pairs winners:
|1975||James Jacoby, Gerald Westheimer|
|1976||Alan Sontag, Peter Weichsel|
|1977||Alan Sontag, Peter Weichsel|
|1978||Roy Fox, Paul Swanson|
|1979||Roger Bates, Daniel Mordecai|
|1980||Lou Bluhm, Thomas Sanders|
|1981||James Cayne, Fred Hamilton|
|1982||Ed Manfield, Kit Woolsey|
|1983||Robert Lipsitz, Neil Silverman|
|1984||Marty Bergen, Larry Cohen|
|1985||Irving Litvack, Joseph Silver|
|1986||Matt Granovetter, Michael Rosenberg|
|1987||Drew Casen, Jim Krekorian|
|1988||Björn Fallenius, Magnus Lindkvist|
|1989||Marty Bergen, Larry Cohen|
|1990||Piotr Gawrys, Elyakim Shoufel|
|1991||Johan Bennet, Anders Wirgren|
|1992||Amos Kaminski, Samuel Lev|
|1993||Fred Stewart, Steve Weinstein|
|1994||Kit Woolsey, Neil Silverman|
|1995||Paul Soloway, Harry Tudor|
|1996||Fred Stewart, Steve Weinstein|
|1997||Michael Seamon, Harry Tudor|
|1998||Bob Hamman, Nick Nickell|
|1999||Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein|
|2000||Marty Fleisher, Eric Rodwell|
|2001||Michael Kwiecien, Jacek Pszczola|
|2002||Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein|
|2003||Fred Gitelman, Brad Moss|
|2004||Sam Lev, Jacek Pszczola|
|2005||Andrea Burotti, Massimo Lanzarotti|
|2006||Ton Bakkeren, Huub Bertens|
|2007||Steve Weinstein, Bobby Levin|
|2008||Geoff Hampson, Eric Rodwell|
|2009||Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein|
|2010||Bobby Levin, Steve Weinstein|
|2011||Fred Stewart, Kit Woolsey|