Bobby Levin and Richard Coren took control of the Norman Kay Platinum Pairs going into the second final session, and didn’t let up. Their blistering 68% evening session left the closest contenders in the dust by nearly three boards.

The second final session was run barometer-style – with the running results posted at the end of every round – through round seven, at which point Levin, of Las Vegas NV and Coren, who lives in Delray Beach FL, were about a board ahead of the field.

Beginning with the eighth round, only the results of the boards were posted – like a traveler. Participants doing the math watched Levin and Coren continue to climb. So solid was their position that even the usually superstitious Levin was accepting congratulations before the final recap was posted. Finishing second were Thomas Bessis and Cedric Lorenzini of Paris, France, who called the top pair’s lead “insurmountable.”

Coren says he and Levin first played together when he was 17 and Levin was 15. “He was so good,” Coren said, “and he keeps getting better and better. Tonight, he conjured tricks from nowhere.”

Tournament directors strictly imposed slow-play penalties in the event. In the final session alone, there were eight penalties assessed, at 3.25 matchpoints each. Neither of the top two pairs were impacted. Third-place finishers Joel Wooldridge of Astoria NY and Kent Mignocchi, Bronx NY, however, did incur at least one slow-play penalty over the course of the event.