The title in the prestigious Kay Platinum Pairs was captured Justin Lall of Charlotte NC and Dennis Bilde of Denmark, but their participation in the six-session contest almost didn’t happen.

“My flight was delayed into Kansas City, and I arrived just 15 minutes before game time,” said Bilde. The duo had agreed months ago to play in the Platinum Pairs, but because they had never played together before or even practiced online, they had planned to discuss their methods before the game. Bilde’s late arrival made that impossible.

“It didn’t matter,” said Lall, laughing. “It’s just a pairs game.”

Lall and Bilde qualified 34th in Friday’s opening round, and moved to eighth place after Saturday’s semifinal sessions. They scored 56.73% in the first final and paired it with a 62.28% in the second final to win the event by one board.

This was the first victory in the Platinum Pairs for Bilde, but the second for Lall who also won the event in 2012 playing with Bob Hamman.

In second place was Jeff Meckstroth of Clearwater Beach FL and Thomas Bessis of Paris, France.