Facing the same squad they defeated in last year’s Baze Senior Knockout Teams final, the team captained by Vinita Gupta took the lead in the first quarter of Sunday’s championship match and increased it with each set for a 155-74 victory.
The win was the second in a row for Gupta. She played with Billy Miller, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Lew Stansby and Bart Bramley. Carolyn Lynch, who captained the runners-up, played with Mike Passell, Garey Hayden, Adam Zmudzinski, Cezary Balicki and Marc Jacobus, an addition to last year’s team of five.
With the win, Rodwell achieved an unusual milestone: At age 57, he now has 57 North American championships to his credit, one more than his longtime partner, Meckstroth.
The win last year was Gupta’s first North American title after just three years of playing “serious tournament bridge.” She is the founder and was head of Digital Link Corp, retiring nine years ago to try her hand at bridge. In the 2012 Senior KO, Gupta came in second with the same teammates except that Bob Hamman played with Meckstroth.
Gupta had a scare in the early rounds of the 2014 Senior KO, winning in the round of 16 by just 15 IMPs after trailing by 37 at the half. Throughout the event, Gupta was at least 30 IMPs behind in every match except for the final, when they forged a 30-IMP lead after 32 boards against Lynch and company.