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The Auken Team, 2013 Vanderbilt’s winner, was by four players: Sabine Auken nee Zenkel, Roy Welland, Morten Bilde, Dennis Bilde. Sabine is German living in Denmark; Roy is a New Yorker; Morten and Dennis are Danish, father and son.
The Bildes hadn’t great international pedigree (they now have it, of course); they are quoted by Worldbridge’s people finder, but not by Official Encyclopedia. This is the first victory of a Danish team, and Dennis, 23 yo, is the younger winner of all time, with Bobby Levin.
Sabine Auken is famous; she won four pair and two team European ladies championships, and two Venice Cups (the Ladies World Team championship). Sabine wrote two books: “Preempts”, with Ron Andersen (as Sabine Zenkel, 1993 Magnus books), and “I love this game” (2006 Master point press. Reviewed), the story of her victory in 2001 Venice Cup, with Daniela von Arnim, in the German Team.
Roy Welland won a Cavendish Invitational Team (2001) and all the three main NABC’s team events: Reisinger 2001, Spingold 2003 and Vanderbilt 2007. In 2007 he won with his wife Christal; in that squad there was also Antonio Sementa.
The pair Auken-Welland is new, but well known by the BBOers: it’s easy to meet them in their training, in partnership bidding or in free tables always opened to kibitzers, accepting to be judged for their misunderstanding and misplaying.
Here’s the list of the team defeated by Auken, starting from the round of sixty-four to final, with their seeding number (lower the number, stronger the team; Auken started 20th).
45th Runar Lillevik, Ovind Ludvigsen, Jostein Sorvoll, Erik Bolviken
13th Mary Ann Berg, Mark Lair, Huub Bertens, Ton Bakkeren, Simon De Wijs, Bauke Muller
4th Pierre Zimmermann, Franck Multon, Tor Helness, Geir Helgemo, Fulvio Fantoni, Claudio Nunes
5th Les Amoils, Joe Grue, Fred Gitelman, Brad Moss, Thomas Bessis, Peter Bertheau
1st Andrew Rosenthal, Aaron Silverstein, Bjorn Fallenius, Peter Fredin, Fredrik Nystrom, Johan Upmark. (Rosenthal defeated Nickell, the original first numbered)
6th Ricco Van Prooijen, Louk Verhees, Kevin Bathurst, Dan Zagorin, Bas Drijver, Sjoert Brink
All these teams, but the Norwegians of Lillevik, had continental or world champions; Van Prooijen, defeated in final, had four winners and two runner up of 2011 Bermuda Bowl.
We have reported these names not so much to underline Auken’s victory – the Vanderbilt is underlined by itself – but because it confirms what we always have said: “Strong Team” means a squad whose strength is higher than the sum of its pairs’ strengths; synergic effect. If this is true, as it is, it is also true that pair trials for team events, which somebody is thinking to make in Italy, are bridge nonsense.
Paolo Enrico Garrisi