September 2020 - 16

pressure, especially Kyle and Ron, who
thought the match was over after the first
quarter. Incredibly, we were the more
solid team, and they did not live up to
their abilities. We won by 30!

Their semifinal opponent was another tough squad, the No. 3 seed: Al
Roth-Tobias Stone, a legendary partnership, and Bill Root-Billy Seamon.
To make things tougher for the underdogs, the conditions of contest specified that an additional eight boards
were to be played in the semifinal and
final rounds.
Our popularity was really increasing. I was getting lots of kibitzers, many
because of our underdog status, but
more so from my appearance. Even in
1970, the bridge world was stunned by
my appearance, particularly with our rise
through the ranks.
Shockingly, the semifinal match was
totally anti-climactic. Roth-Stone were at
each other's throats. As great a pair as
they had been, their huge egos did get
in their way from time to time.
(They both became very good friends
of mine. I played a few years with Roth in
the mid-'70s, which was very informative
for me. He was a genius and had great
ideas about the game.)
We destroyed them: The match was
over after three quarters. We were up
over 100 IMPs and won by 129. I have to
reiterate that we were not that good, but
our methods were superior. For example:

Dlr: North ♠ A K 6 2
Vul: None ♥ A 5
♦-
♣KQ87542
♠8
♠Q54
♥J874
♥ K 10 6 3
♦ J 10 9 4 3 2
♦K865
♣AJ
♣96
♠ J 10 9 7 3
♥Q92
♦AQ7
♣ 10 3
North
Weichsel
1♣
2♠
3♣
4♠

South
Smith
1♠
2NT
3♥
Pass

16 Bridge Bulletin September 2020

Roth
1♣
2♥
4♠
6♠

Stone
1♠
3NT
5♦
Pass

For Weichsel and Smith, 1♣, of
course, was strong, artificial and
forcing. The 2♠ raise was a "TAB" (a
trump-asking bid), and 2NT showed a
five-bagger, but without any of the top
three honors. 3♣ asked about responder's club suit, and the 3♥ response
showed third-round control (the queen
or a doubleton). Knowing that he was
missing the ♠Q and the ♣A, Weichsel
decided that slam was iffy, so he settled
for the spade game. This turned out to
be the right view when the ♠Q turned
out to be protected and offside. Smith
took 11 tricks for plus 450.
Roth and Stone got to the slam, but
even with the favorable ♦J lead (a
heart would make things more difficult), Stone still finished down one.
This was an 11-IMP pickup for the
Precision boys.

of the Precision Team and the fame of
the Aces made the contest standingroom only.
The five-handed team was playing
some of the best squads on the planet,
over several days, with extra boards.
Weichsel and Altman had played
almost every set, yet Weichsel said that
fatigue wasn't a factor. The youth of the
squad shielded them from becoming
overtired. According to Weichsel, "We
were young and anxious to play. For
me, I was feeling fresh as a daisy."
There was some psychological
excitement for Weichsel as well, as he
had just beaten one of his heroes and
mentors (Roth), and next he would play
against his most recent mentor, Eisenberg, whose expert training group at
the Player's Club Weichsel had been
a part of, along with other top young
players, such as Alan Sontag.
Weichsel believes that the inexperience of their team may have caused
some opponents to be overconfident.

Overconfidence can be problematic;
on the one hand, you know you're supIt was surreal. Our first national
posed to win, but on the other hand, it
together, and we'd made it to the final.
may take away from your intensity. I think
To add to the drama, Joel
this may have contributed
had never even played in
to our string of upsets. I had
a Spingold. We had just
made something of a reputabeaten three of the very best
tion by now, but the rest of
teams in North America:
the team was not nationally
Who could be left? Oh right,
known at this point, other than
the Aces! What could be
Steve. As previously menmore dramatic? The first two
tioned, Altman was known to
all-professional teams in the
be a very good player and
country, head-to-head in the
had actually reached the final
final of the Spingold. We were
of a national KO in 1968. But
in total disbelief. On the one
I'm sure that our last three
Weichsel, 2019
hand, we couldn't imagine
opponents were very happy
being in this position, and on
to see us, rather than our justthe other hand, we had been gaining
vanquished counterparts.
more and more confidence with each
Eisenberg wanted to start against me.
and every win. To be clear, however,
I'm sure he felt he had a psychological
this was a daunting task. The Aces, the
edge and was hoping to take advantage
defending Spingold champions and No.
of that and get a lead right out of the
1 seed, would go on to win the 1970 and box. But by the summer of 1970, I had
1971 Bermuda Bowls and become the
total confidence in my game and was
presumptive best (honest) team in the
not about to be intimidated. To that end,
world.
Tom, who had played well, other than
the aforementioned debacle, had more
The match, held on vugraph, drew
confidence in me than I did. He thought
a crowd of viewers in addition to the
I was the best player in the world, or was
mob of kibitzers who watched the
going to be. That certainly helped me
match in person. The Cinderella ascent along.



September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2020

In First Seat - Paul Linxwiler
Inbox -Letters to the Editor
A Message from the President
The Recruiter King
The Rise and Fall of the Precision Team
Eyes on the Street
BBO Helpdesk
NABC Robot Individual
Play the Cards You're Dealt
Endless Summer Results
Defensive Maneuvers – part 4
Ruling the Game
The Bidding Box
It's Your Call
Card Play 101 - by Phillip Alder
Parrish the Thought - Adam Parrish
Reasoning with Robert - Robert Todd
Startup Bridge by Lynn Berg
Lessons Learned by Michael Berkowitz
Bidding Basics by Larry Cohen
Ask Jerry - by Jerry Helms
Mike's Bridge Lesson - Mike Lawrence
Chalk Talk- Eddie Kantar
Boehm on Bridge
Better Bridge with Bergen-Marty Bergen
Challenge of the Month
The Real Deal - by Larry Cohen
West Hands -Bidding Box
Bidding Matters - by Karen Walker
East Hands -Bidding Box
Test Your Play
Mike's Advice - by Mike Lawrence
Solutions to Test Your Play
My Bridge and Yours - by Frank Stewart
Dear Billy - by Billy Miller
Bridge with the Abbot - by David Bird
George's World - by George Jacobs
Life Master Milestones
New Life Masters
Puzzle Page
In Memoriam
Obituary - Sue Erwin (1943-2020)
Obituary - Clint Wright (1944-2020)
Obituary - Norma Sands (1938-2020)
Obituary - Carol Aitken (190-2020)
Obituary - Carol Linch (1935-2020)
Obituary - Barbara Hamman (1937-2020)
Obituary - Maria Teresa Lavazza (1937-2020)
Obituary - janet P. Breed (1935-2020)
Tournament Directory
September 2020 - 1
September 2020 - 2
September 2020 - 3
September 2020 - 4
September 2020 - 5
September 2020 - In First Seat - Paul Linxwiler
September 2020 - Inbox -Letters to the Editor
September 2020 - 8
September 2020 - A Message from the President
September 2020 - The Recruiter King
September 2020 - 11
September 2020 - The Rise and Fall of the Precision Team
September 2020 - 13
September 2020 - 14
September 2020 - 15
September 2020 - 16
September 2020 - 17
September 2020 - Eyes on the Street
September 2020 - 19
September 2020 - BBO Helpdesk
September 2020 - 21
September 2020 - NABC Robot Individual
September 2020 - Play the Cards You're Dealt
September 2020 - Endless Summer Results
September 2020 - 25
September 2020 - 26
September 2020 - 27
September 2020 - 28
September 2020 - Defensive Maneuvers – part 4
September 2020 - Ruling the Game
September 2020 - 31
September 2020 - The Bidding Box
September 2020 - 33
September 2020 - 34
September 2020 - 35
September 2020 - It's Your Call
September 2020 - 37
September 2020 - 38
September 2020 - 39
September 2020 - Card Play 101 - by Phillip Alder
September 2020 - Parrish the Thought - Adam Parrish
September 2020 - Reasoning with Robert - Robert Todd
September 2020 - Startup Bridge by Lynn Berg
September 2020 - Lessons Learned by Michael Berkowitz
September 2020 - Bidding Basics by Larry Cohen
September 2020 - 46
September 2020 - Ask Jerry - by Jerry Helms
September 2020 - Mike's Bridge Lesson - Mike Lawrence
September 2020 - Chalk Talk- Eddie Kantar
September 2020 - Boehm on Bridge
September 2020 - Better Bridge with Bergen-Marty Bergen
September 2020 - Challenge of the Month
September 2020 - West Hands -Bidding Box
September 2020 - Bidding Matters - by Karen Walker
September 2020 - Test Your Play
September 2020 - Mike's Advice - by Mike Lawrence
September 2020 - Solutions to Test Your Play
September 2020 - My Bridge and Yours - by Frank Stewart
September 2020 - Dear Billy - by Billy Miller
September 2020 - Bridge with the Abbot - by David Bird
September 2020 - George's World - by George Jacobs
September 2020 - Life Master Milestones
September 2020 - 63
September 2020 - New Life Masters
September 2020 - Puzzle Page
September 2020 - Obituary - Clint Wright (1944-2020)
September 2020 - Obituary - Barbara Hamman (1937-2020)
September 2020 - 68
September 2020 - Obituary - janet P. Breed (1935-2020)
September 2020 - 70
September 2020 - Tournament Directory
September 2020 - 72
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