Microsoft chairman Bill Gates likes to keep a low profile when he plays in bridge tournaments. That became impossible Saturday when his team won the 0–10,000 NABC Swiss. Gates played with Sharon Osberg, Richard Friesner and Eric Robinson. It was a first NABC win for Gates and Friesner.
The team finished with 126 victory points, 1.75 ahead of Ellen Kozlove’s team. Kozlove played with Ralph Letizia, Lee Bukstel and Michael Wolf.
“We’ve never done this well before,” Gates said. “We had a really good day Friday.”
Wins in the first six rounds Friday propelled them into a lead that held on through the end of the day. On Saturday, the Kozlove team, who had been second after qualifying, led six of eight rounds, but Gates recaptured the lead on the last round of each session.
“We led every session,” Gates noted.
Spending more time practicing with partner Osberg helped, he added.
“Bill doesn’t have a lot of time for bridge,” Osberg explained.
With a round to go, Kozlove led by 6 VPs, 118 to 112.
“It’s a great feeling, particularly when you come back on the last round,” said Robinson. At age 22 in 1979, Robinson won the first North American Pairs.
“At that time I was the youngest person to have won a national open pairs. Five days later this kid named Eric Rodwell won his first, and he was a little younger than me.”
Osberg has previously won three NABC titles and two world championships in women’s events.