Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Who is this Israel team that is doing so well at the WSMG

It is Yom Kippur today so it seemed appropriate to think about Israel.  Is it a surprise that Israel is doing so well in the open division of the WSMG a top its group with a lock on that first place spot?  I googled a little and I found this:

ISRAEL: World Schools champions 2006

I can see that Israel has had some success in bridge at the world level. 

This year at the world championship in Pau Israel was 16th.standing in Pau.  So-so.


This is the team that is in Beijing. 










Eldad Ginossar                    Ilan Bareket

Eldad is just out of juniors having played in Bangkok in 2006 on the Israel Junior Team.  And I notice that he was on the winning team at the third European Open Bridge Championship in Antalya in 2007.  Not bad.  Young and good.  He did play on the team in Pau.  Ilan Barket’s  record includes a number of open team championships going back to Montreal.  He was on the Pau team.

As was Ron Pachtman.  Ron was on the winning team (Bessis) along with Eldad in Antalya.  He was in the juniors in 2003 so he is young too.  But the rest of the team is different.  Who are the Herbst’s


Ophir Herbst

Ophir was a junior in the early 1990’s and has played a lot of open events since then winning the first European Open Bridge Championship in Menton in 2003.

And there is a story about Ilan Herbst at the European championships in Tenerife.  He was playing in the mixed pairs with Ron Barr.

The Herbst team got its revenge when the Israeli pair bid to an easy grand on board 10:  Here is the hand so you can try bidding it.  If you want to see there auction check out the bulletin.

Board 10. Dealer East. All Vul.

♠ AKJ1087    
♥ 9    
◊ Q3    
♣ Q842    
♠ Q    
♥ AKJ2    
◊ AJ95    
♣ AKJ3    


The Herbst have played in the Spingold and other events around the world together.


Avi Kalish                           Leonid Podgur

Avi Kalish and Leonid Podgur have  been on the Israeli team many times and were part of the team that won in Menton.  They also were on a team that finished third at the world championships in Verona in 2006.

This is a team with some young players and some older ones and with a lot of experience and some success so perhaps it isn’t so surprising that they have performed so well in Beijing.

Here is a hand from there 14th round rout of Russia yesterday

  Herbst O  
  ♠ void  
  ♥ 53  
  ◊ AQ9432  
Kholomeev ♣ A10952 Khyuppenen
♠ J9   ♠ KQ7652
♥ AQ972   ♥ K8
◊ K105   ◊ J6
♣ QJ8   ♣ K43
  Herbst I  
  ♠ A10843  
  ♥ J1064  
  ◊ 87  
  ♣ 76  


Kholomeev Herbst O Khyuppenen Herbst I
  1◊ 1♠ pass
2♣ 3♣ 3♠ pass
3NT pass pass double
all pass      


In the open room the Israeli NorthSouth stopped at 3♥  scoring +140.  Here after Ophir opened 1◊ Khyuppenen overcalled his six card spade suit.  I have no idea what West’s club was.  Perhaps it showed hearts.  North showed his minor two suiter now and I guess Khyuppenen thought he better show his sixth spade.  In any case Kholomeev persisted to the pushy 3NT.  The problem was that they didn’t have enough aces.  With such a percarious diamond stopper it seems to me that if Kholomeev wanted to play game he should have tried 4♠.  At least it had a play.  Ilan doubled 3NT.  What a great double.  He has spades wired and something in hearts too.  He was not going to complain if they ran to a major.  After the opening diamond lead the hand was booked for 800 and a 12 imp picup for Israel.

Happy New Year Israel.  Shannah Tova. gmar hatima tova

And good luck with the rest of the tournament.

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