Ron Spath's Tournament Bridge

Bridge is not a game, it is an obsession.

When I was a freshman at University of Maryland in '66, I was introduced to bridge by Mike Martin, a fellow resident of Ellicott dorm. Bridge always had a fascinating attraction that grabbed hold and said "forget class - let's play bridge". The DC National Guard was another opportunity to enjoy some bridge during the many waiting periods when we had our weekend drills or summer camp with guys such as Mancuso, Deverin, Philips, Slocumb, Kimmey, and Hayes.

Bridge Organizations:

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Arnie Frankel ran a game at the Fort Meade recreation center when Mike Deverin and I got our first master points in 1979. It might be more accurate to say that we won 0.24 master points, not a very large start. In the beginning of our time at Fort Meade, the entry fee for Arnie's game was 75 cents, a great deal.

Pete McManus helped many novice bridge players improve their game at the Laurel Bridge Club in the early 1980's.

First Gold points - An overall finish in a 2-session individual event of the 1981 summer nationals in Boston. The accomplishment was even mentioned in the Maryland Gazette, a local paper.

1981 ACBL Unit Award, Class III from the Maryland Bridge Association.

1982 ACBL Unit Award, Class IV from the Washington Bridge League.

May 9, 1982 - second in Ocean City Swiss Teams with Ben Brill as a partner and Paul McMullen and Edith Sack as the rest of the team.

July 25, 1982 first Sectional Tournament win - Open Swiss Teams - Williamsburg, VA

Favorite Tournament - 1983 spring nationals at the Hilton Hawaiian village

Most asked Question - What do you win at bridge?

A free play
Sometimes a jackpot (Jim McGann and I once won about $25 on a 25 cent jackpot that had grown and grown)
Master Points!
You play to WIN and beat the other competitors
Unusual game location - WBL Round robin at the Lorton Detention Center (we were visiting). Teammate Rosemary Marks could not be convinced that this was a fun outing and had to be replaced by rookie Paul McMullin.

Duplicate Bridge games in Maryland

Missing Partner - Between the sessions of a Regional event in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, I got word that my partner, Dana Kurfman, had to go to the hospital to get stitches to close-up a gash in his hand. Not to worry - a cute little fill-in partner with about 10 master points (Sue Spath) carried the load until Dana returned with an enormous bandage on his hand, and finished the session, placing in the overalls.

1984 ACBL Unit Award, Class VI from the Washington Bridge League.

1984 Runner-up for the Washington Bridge League's Tubbs Trophy

1984 ACBL Life Master number 36948

October 14, 1985 first Regional Tournament win - Norfolk, VA

Flight B Swiss Teams with Julian Boyce as partner and Bob Addison and Leonard Smith as teammates

1986 to 1993 time off from bridge

Good Bridge Books: How the Experts Win at Bridge by Burt Hall + Lynn Rose-Hall

BIG Game - Nov. 24, 1995 - 72.69% with Julian Boyce as partner

BIG Bang - Ten minutes before the start of the Philadelphia Nationals in March 1996, a bus ran over Julian's car as we sat very still looking for a parking place near the Marriott Hotel. Not a good way to start a tournament, but we had a big game in spite of the distraction and finished seventh overall.

1997 Runner-up for the Washington Bridge League's Izzy Cohen Trophy

2000 ACBL Unit Award, Class IX (Silver Life Master) from the Washington Bridge League.

2000 Barry Crane Top-500 finish with 432 master points during the year

2001 Barry Crane Top-500 finish with 546 master points during the year

2002 Barry Crane Top-500 finish with 427 master points during the year

2003 ACBL Unit Award, Class X (Gold Life Master) from the Washington Bridge League.

2003 Barry Crane Top-500 finish with 458 master points during the year

American Contract Bridge League Club Director

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