Boris Tenchov of Columbus OH won the Fall NABC Robot Individual, held in November. Tenchov blasted out of the gate with a first session score of 74.51%, followed by 65.44% in the second and 70.71% in the third and final session. He was second overall in the first session and first overall in the third session. A biophysics professor, Tenchov said he was very happy with the result.
Steve Welton of Santa Barbara CA was first in flight B. Both Welton and Tenchov experienced their lowest scores in the second session, with Welton scoring 68.66%, 60.63% and finishing strong with 70.10%. Welton is no stranger to online bridge, having played on OK Bridge in the 1990’s, but he had not participated in an ACBL-sanctioned tournament until this year. He has only played in robot tournaments.
“I’m fortunate to have had experience playing with the BBO robots over the years which perhaps gave me an edge over those less familiar with them,” Steve said. “I try not to provoke the bots! I was the beneficiary of some less than perfect leads and fortunate layouts.”
Welton also plays in a social team game each weekend on BBO. One of the other participants is Mark Bartuzek, who placed 27th and won the third session.
Junhui Zhu of Burnaby BC was first in flight C. Zhu has consistently made or topped the overalls in flights B and C. He was first in C in the fall 2018 competition and first in both flights B and C in the spring of 2019. Zhu improved his scores dramatically each day, starting out with 57.57%. He then scored 67.78% in the second session and ended with his best score, 71.89%. “The NABC Robot Individual is my favorite game,” said Zhu. “I expect to have more fun in future similar events with more and more players.”
He’s probably right. The fall 2020 event was, yet again, the largest NABC robot individual to date, with 3259 players competing, a very slight increase from the 3242 players in the summer. One year ago, the fall contest had roughly 2100 participants.