North’s bridge team beat High Technology High School in New Jersey, Scarsdale High School in New York, and Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia in the first ever American high school bridge tournament held online Sunday, April 2.
The tournament was held in teams of two. Freshmen Jacob Teszler and Amit Vallabh took first place, and sophomore Hannah Liu and freshman Alex Ivanov tied for second with the team from High Technology High School.
“Winning the tournament was very exciting,” said Vallabh, the founder and an officer of the bridge club. “I’ve been working on coordinating this tournament for a while, since September.”
“As the team’s coach, I am very pleased with the way they played,” said president of New England Youth Bridge, Jeff Lehman, a North parent. “Bridge is a complex game, and it takes a lot of strategy and logic to win.”
According to Vallabh, there are many individual players but not many high schools field teams.
“We had to do it all online,” said Vallabh. “There were 20 kids all sitting at home on their computers and playing. Considering it was the first ever interscholastic tournament, I think it went great.”
Vallabh wants the club to grow over the next few years and hopes that the win will help.
“The stereotype is that bridge is just for old people,” Vallabh said. “It’s not. It’s a fun game for teenagers, too. I hope we can get more members because right now we only have like three or four people who come every week. Some schools have like 30 or 40.”
“Bridge is a game of high strategy,” said Lehman. “It’s a shame more teens don’t think about playing.”
“Hopefully, our win sparks some more interest. More kids joining means more wins for us,” Vallabh said.