Although the final score of last week's contest for the Bermuda Bowl, symbol of the world bridge championship, was decisive, the play was by no means one-sided. Four men of each team played at the same time, i.e., a British N-S pair against an American E-W pair in the open room, and simultaneously a British E-W pair against an American N-S pair in the closed room. The closed room played the same boards as the open room, making possible a comparison of how the N-S and the E-W players of the same team fare on the same hand. The closed room players were held incommunicado during play on the simultaneous hands. Thus in the case of the two identical hands the boards were played twice in each room, a total of four times.
The British seized a lead of 2,870 points in the opening session, but the Americans cut it to 2,060 in the second session, 1,620 in the third, 1,120 in the fourth, and in the middle of the fifth pulled even at 0-0. The Americans slipped back momentarily to minus 1,240 at the end of the fifth, but in the sixth session they rallied strongly and went ahead for the first and only time in the match by 260 points.
Then the dam burst. The British racked up 3,790 in the seventh, and in the eighth and last session they added another 1,630 points amidst some overanxious bidding by the U.S. The biggest single-game points were made in two different hands, with identical scores of 1,530, once to the U.S., once to the British, each time as the result of a slam. Final score, 5,420 for the British team.
The U.S. won the first international championship by defeating Great Britain and Sweden at Bermuda in 1950. In 1952 the U.S. beat the Italians at Naples. A Swedish team lost to the U.S. in New York in 1953. Last year, the Americans won for the fourth straight time by defeating the French at Monte Carlo, but subsequently lost an exhibition match to the British—which accounts for the fact that the English team was favored last week. Britain will hold the world title until next January, when the winner of this year's European championship will defend against the 1955 team champions of the ACBL.
January 24, 1955
Terence Reese, 42, journalist, is perhaps the sharpest player on English team.
Boris Schapiro. 45, a Lithuanian-born cattle importer, is Reese's effective partner.
Adam Meredith, 41, bridge teacher and author, may have dealt identical hands.
Kenneth Konstam, 48, executive of games firm, is author of first book on Calypso.
Jordanis Pavlides, 51, born in Greece, owns a bus and truck business.
Leslie Dodds, 52, is industrialist and director of large export chemical company.
William Rosen, 25, Chicago law graduate, got Army furlough to play in tournament.
Milton Ellenby, 30, Chicago actuary, is winner with Rosen of many U.S. titles.
Lewis Mathe, 38 and close-lipped, is real estate man from Los Angeles.
Alvin Roth, bridge instructor of Washington, D.C., discovered identical hand.
John Moran, salesman of Arcadia, Calif., is new member of the U.S. team.
Clifford Bishop, 32, Detroit bridge instructor, is former grade school teacher.