Saanich’s Michael Roche (right) teamed up with partner John Carruthers of Kingsville, Ont. to win the life master pairs event at the North American Bridge Championships. Photo submitted

Saanich man wins national bridge title

A Saanich man has won his bid for a third national-level bridge title.

Michael Roche teamed with Ontario’s John Carruthers to win the life master pairs event at the North American Bridge Championships this month in Atlanta, Ga.

“I was caught between happy and stunned when I found out we won,” said Roche. “I had made a defensive mistake in the last round, and we were sitting in second place. It was a complete surprise when we found out we had won.”

Players in the event, organized by the American Contract Bridge League, must achieve a life master status with at least 300 master points. Roche has 9,821. Roche has previously won the Freeman Mixed Board-a-Match event during the 2012 and 2014 North American championships.

Roche and Carruthers – who last partnered at the bridge table in 1988 – will team up again on the Canadian Silver Team during the World Bridge Series in Orlando, Fla. next month.

Bridge is played with a standard deck of playing cards and four players comprised of two partnerships. Duplicate – or contract – bridge differs from other forms of bridge because the same deal is played at each table, and scoring is based on relative performance. This way, the element of skill is heightened while that of chance is reduced.

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