ACBL Bridge Beat #114: Omar Sharif Individual

One of the largest total purses ($200,000) up to that point in the history of bridge was at stake when the Omar Sharif World Individual bridge tournament took place in Atlantic City NJ May 7-10, 1990. It was the first time the ACBL sanctioned a cash-prize tournament.

The winner of the $40,000 first-place prize in the championship division was Zia Mahmood. Fred Hamilton was second ($20,000) and P.O. Sundelin of Sweden was third ($12,000).

A swing of $28,000 occurred on this deal when Sundelin’s partner pulled a wrong card, blowing a game contract and the first-place prize for Sundelin. Zia was North, Sundelin West and Peter Pender, a former world champion, was East.

Board: 5

Dlr: North ♠ 9 8
Vul: N-S K 9 7 5
A 3 2
♣ A Q 10 2
♠ A K 5 4 ♠ Q 10 6 3
8 4 3 2 A J 10
K Q 4 J 9 8
♣ 9 5 ♣ K 7 6
♠ J 7 2
Q 6
10 7 6 5
♣ J 8 4 3
Sundelin Zia Pender
West North East South
1♣ Pass Pass
Dbl Pass 2♣ Dbl
Pass Pass 2♠ Pass
3♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass

South led a club, and Pender, expecting Zia to win the ace, followed with a low club before he looked down and realized that – to maintain a link with his partner’s hand – Zia had played the queen. Pender subsequently lost another club in addition to the expected heart and diamond tricks. Now the cold game, not bid by the majority of the field, was lost. Zia won the tournament and Sundelin, Pender’s good friend and partner in winning the national Life Master Men’s Pairs, dropped from first place to third.

Michael Camp won $8000 by placing first in the Open competition. Jim Krekorian won $8000 and Surendar Galati collected $3000 for winning the consolations in the championship and open divisions respectively.

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