49th Israel Bridge Festival RECAP

Israel Bridge Festival 2015

A large delegation of overseas players participated in the Israel’s oldest and still largest major tournament, the 49th annual Israel Bridge Festival that was held in Tel-Aviv from February 20-26, 2015. Visitors included top teams from Poland, Bulgaria, France, Switzerland, Finland and the United States.

Competition began on Friday with Mixed Teams, follewd by a two-session IMP Pairs on Saturday,  Mixed Pairs on Sunday and Monday’s Board-A-Match teams.  The focus of the tournament (and the largest fields), started on Tuesday with the preliminary of the Open Teams; the final event of the Festival was the Open pairs Tournament.


Friday’s Mixed Teams – The Polish team consiting of Michal Klukowski, Michal Nowosadzki, Katarzyna Dufrat and Justina Zmuda won the Friday’s Mixed Teams. Second were Israeli women’s internatonal Matilda Popilov, who first gained international recognition playing for Bulgaria as the former Matilda Lorer, playing with Nevena Deleva (now Senior).  Other members of the team were her husband, Lalo Popilov, and Clara and Natan Hetz.  Another Israeli squad — Ilan Bareket-Nathalie Saada and Ruth Arami-Rami (Kasius) Scheinman  — finished third.


Saturday’s IMP Pairs – Michal Klukowski and Michal Nowosadzki from Poland won the two-session IMP Pairs.  Second were Kasius Scheinman and the Israeli veteran Motti Gelbard.  Third were Eran Assaraf, a former member of the Israeli Schools and Youth Teams that won European and World medals, paired with relative newcomer (and low-ranked player) Noa Almaro.


Zmuda Justyna - Klukowski Michal - Dufrat Katarzyna - Nowosadzki Michal (Winners Mondays' BAM Teams & Mixted Teams)

Monday’s Board-A-Match Teams – Michal Klukowski-Michal Nowosadzki and  Katarzyna Dufrat-Justina Zmuda, winners of the Mixed Teams two days earlier, took first place in Monday’s Board-A-Match Teams. Israelis were second (Pinhas Romik, Julian Frydrich, Yossi Engel, Adrian Schwartz and Shalom Zeligman) and third (Assaf-Lengy-Ilan Bareket, Alon Birman, Yossi Roll and Gilad Altshuler).


Open Teams – In the final, the team captained by Ariel Braunstein (sisters Dana and Noga Tal, Yaniv and Shahar Zak and Michael Barel) defeated Israeli-European Vitas (Vitas Vainikonis- Wojtek Olanski, Lotan Fisher-Ron Schwartz and Inon Liran-Udi FriedlanderThird and fourth also went to Israelis: Levi Stern-Benny Libster, Amnon Rosler-Ron Hertzka (third), and Yossi Roll-Amir Levin, Assaf Lengy-Ilan Bareket (fourth).


Open Pairs – Israelis Yossi Roll and Amir Levin edged Polish visitors Andrezj Jascak and P. Janiszewski by sixth hundreds of a percentage point to take the title in the Open Pairs. Another Israeli pair, Nathan Hetz and Asa Levinger, were third in the 80-pair final contested by a field filled with international stars as well as top-ranked local pairs.  Brothers Doron and Yisrael Yadlin, veteran Israeli internationals, were fourth and Amir Etzion and Ami Zamir, both youth players, were fourth.


Hanan Sher

Pictures are courtesy of IBF – Israel Bridge Federation





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