NH State Championship – 1940-1949

  1. 1940 Ralph Langdell and Edith Morrill of Manchester. Source: MUL 3/1, 3/2 and 3/4/40 (Page 1). The margin of victory was half a point. Second: Mrs. John Childs and Mrs. Phillip Lockwood. Attendance was 55 pairs, culled from 10 Qualifying Events. The Championship had 2 Semifinal and 1 Final session. Dinner entertainment was a cock crowing demonstration by Robert Thurell of Wolfeboro.
  2. 1941 Ralph Langdell and Edith Morrill of Manchester. Source: MUL 3/10/41. Record attendance of 64 qualified tables. Article claims NH to be the most active bridge state in the USA. For the second year in a row, Langdell and Morrill won by half a point and they became the first pair to win more than once. Second were Herbert Gove and Leroy Lake. Third: Roland (Robert?) Murray and Fred Richardson. Unless Fred Richardson competed with two different Muurrays, either Robert in 1939 or Roland in 1941 is a MUL typo. A bridge hand was given in the story in which every pair in the field but one was in 6S or 6NT. The exception was 7NT, bid and made, against Gove and Lake.
  3. 1942 Sumner Carlisle and Percy A. Foster of Manchester. Source: MUL 3/7/42 and a pregame article the week before. 12 Qualifiers were run. Championship had 1 session Friday night and 2 final sessions on Saturday. The finals had 16 tables and a Consolation was run opposite the first Saturday session.
  4. 1943 Mrs. Daniel Goodwin of Hollis and Mrs. Warren Greer of Nashua. 19 qualified tables were entered. Source: MUL 3/1, 3/6, 3/8/43. Still front page news.
  5. 1944 Robert P. Booth and Ralph Dillon of Manchester. Source: MUL 3/7/44 for results and 3/4/44 for pregame analysis. Margin of victory was 1 point. Second: Mr and Mrs Edward Sullivan of Keene. 55 pairs preregistered and approximately 27 tables are listed in the results. It was run as a 2-session playthrough. The event was restricted to NH residents AND military serving in NH. 30 boards were played in each session and 10 people served on the scoring committee.
  6. 1945 Sgt. Phillip Abramsohn and Harry Fishbein of New York. Source: MUL 4/9/45. Abramsohn was eligible as a member of the US military serving in NH (at Grenier) and Fishbein (well-known inventor of Fishbein Convention) was allowed to play by special invitation. Abramsohn was an elite player who won two Vanderbilts and a National Mixed Board-A-Match. They won by a huge margin. Second: Herbert Gove and John Magnusson of Exeter. Gove-Magnusson were listed as the official NH winners. Third: Price Gaines and Egidio Giovannangeli.

A famous hand defended by a ‘Phil Abramson’ appears in Bridge World magazine (Vo. 80, No.4 – January 2009) as part of a ‘Classic Rewind’ article titled “Three Remarkable Deals” written up by W.S.Holdine. It features a redoubled slam, a wagered watch, and a big number.

  1. 1946 Elmer Olson and Alex Rennie of Concord. Source: MUL 3/31/46. Second: Edward (NOT Egidio) Giovannangeli and Edward Sullivan. The article comments that both were finishing second for the third time. A MUL 3/4/46 story on the Wolfeboro Qualifier mentions that only 20% in each direction qualify. Fed Graf comments that the excellent newspaper coverage in the early years may partially have been due to the prominence of the participants. Ralph Langdell was a top lawyer in Manchester, Herbert Gove was an important state official, and Robert Thurell was the Commissioner of Agriculture (a big job then).
  2. 1947 Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sawyer of Ossipee. Source: MUL, still front page news. There were local qualifiers, a semifinal and 2 final sessions. The front page story included a large picture of the incoming officers. The NHBA, which had organized in 1936, was officially incorporated at this annual meeting.
  3. 1948 Don Ritchner and Erlon Woodard of Dover. Source: MUL 3/22/48 with run-up MUL stories also on 3/12, 3/19 and 3/20. 95 pairs qualified and 82 appeared, a record number (so perhaps 1941 had 64 PARS not 64 TABLES). The TD was Frank Perkins, who also bylined the MUL article which started on Page 1. The format was a Friday night Semifinal and then a 2-session Saturday Final. 28 tables (56 pairs) contested the Final. Two hands are discussed and there is a picture of the officers.
  4. 1949 Mary (Mrs. Archie) Gile and Mrs. John Mecklin. Source: MUL 3/28/49. Small front page story with a picture of the officers on the jump. 20 qualifying events were held and attendance was 50 tables for the Friday night 1st session. MUL 3/25/49 has an article consisting entirely on the SEATING assignments for all 99 pairs. Apparently qualifying results were used as the basis for seeding. Other MUL runup stories were printed on 1/29, 2/25, and 3/15. Attendance at qualifiers was encouraged by giving a prize to the pair with the highest average in their best 5 games. This prize was won by Mrs. Shirley Dodge and Mrs. W.R.Pattee.

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