In a close race, Victoria Gromova and Tatiana Ponomareva edged out their competitors to win the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs. The top four pairs were bunched within a board when the bell sounded.

Gromova and Ponomareva, both from Moscow, compiled four solid sessions – 65%, 59.50%, 56% and 58% – and needed every point. Nipping at their heels, Shannon Cappelleti and Sheri Weinstock were but 4.15 points (25 top) off the pace.

In third, 2.05 points behind the runners-up, were Ellen Kozlove of Boca Raton FL and Anne Brenner of Denver CO.

This is the second NABC title for Gromova and Ponomareva. They won this same event in 2012.

This is the first Sheri Weinstock has finished as high as second. She says she and Cappelletti are teaming up with the Russians (and Jan Assini and Joanne Weingold) to play the Machlin Women’s Swiss which starts today.