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United States Clinches Venice Cup, Leads In Bermuda Bowl

October 24, 1987

OCHO RIOS, Jamaica (AP) _ The United States won the Venice Cup world contract bridge women’s team championship for the first time since 1978.

The Americans held off a last-ditch rush by France to win the 128-deal match Friday night, 251-219.

In the battle for the Bermuda Bowl world open team title, the United States opened a wide lead over Great Britain, 241-188. The final 48 deals of this 176-deal match were to be completed today.

The Venice Cup match was close most of the way, but America pulled ahead, 239-194, with six deals to go. France beat five spades doubled three tricks, set three no-trump three tricks, gained on a partial and made a game while the Americans were set. That was 25 points in four deals, but it was too little, too late. The United States gained 12 on the final deal, but the match was over by that time.

Two of the Americans, Kathie Wei of Houston and Judi Radin of New York, were winning their third world championship. They were victors in the women’s pairs in 1978 and in the women’s team Olympiad in 1984. Both became world grand masters as a result of their victory.

The other four players all were playing in their first Venice Cup. They are Lynn Deas and Juanita Chambers of Schenectady, N.Y., Beth Palmer of Silver Spring, Md., and Cheri Bjerkan of Chicago. Ms. Deas and Ms. Chambers are professional bridge players, Ms. Palmer is an administrative judge in Baltimore, Ms. Bjerkan is an actuary, Ms. Wei is an industrialist and Ms. Radin is Wei’s administrative assistant.

Carol Sanders of Nashville, Tenn., the non-playing captain, has won several world championships, but this is her first as a captain.

Playing for France were Veronique Bessis, Helene Bordenave, Sylvie Willard, Benedicte Cronier, Danielle Gaviard and Ginette Chevalley. Gerard Ledroyer was the non-playing captain.

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