A board-a-match contest with a world-class field is a wickedly difficult event to play in, which is why the Reisinger BAM Teams typically draws an exclusive field each year. In 2018, some 34 squads entered the Reisinger at the Fall NABC in Honolulu, and the team led by non-playing captain Josef Blass took home the trophy. The squad was a Polish and Dutch ensemble consisting of Jacek “Pepsi” Pszczola, Michal Nowosadzki, Jacek Kalita, Bas Drijver and Sjoert Brink.
The Blass team finished just over half a point ahead of George Mittelman’s squad, which also featured an international lineup. Mittleman, of the Toronto area, played with Ken Bercuson of Las Vegas, Ron Pachtmann of Israel and Piotr Zatorski of Poland.
The Reisinger is played over three days, with the field cut roughly in half each day. BLASS had a close call on the opening day of the contest, as they tied for the last qualifying position. Twenty teams advanced to the semifinal round, and BLASS just made the cut with a score of 27 (14 points in the afternoon session and 13 points in the evening), placing them tied for 19th–20th place with Gaylor Kasle’s team.
BLASS compensated for the narrow qualification, however, by dominating the second day of the event, the semifinal. BLASS posted a convincing 19.5 score in the first session (26 or 27 is the maximum each session) and followed up with 18 in the second set to put them in clear first place going into the final day. Their carryover was 4.61, a “bonus” that would be added to their
total in the final.
MITTELMAN’s carryover was 3.05, which they earned for finishing fourth in the semifinal round. These totals (and the differences between them) are significant in the final.
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