NAOBC KO Recap - Finn Kolesnik
The NAOBC KO was an exciting event full of fun. I was very fortunate to have an excellent partner, Jacob Freeman, and excellent teammates who were gracious and great players. Our first difficult match was in the Round of 32, we played Dave Caprera's team, one of my junior mentors, and it was fun throughout. They played tough but we outlasted them by 60 imps (not a lot for 56 boards).
Next we played the Gupta team, made of 4 top pros and two brothers, Naren and Ash(nice guys) who were sponsoring the team. They played well and after half we were basically tied, then Jacob and I sat out and our teammates beat them handily. The Round of 8 we drew one of the most consistently successful teams of the last decade, the Rosenthal team. They also played well throughout but with a strong 4th quarter we came through. We played the Spector team in the semifinal, this was a very tough match. After the first 28 boards we were down by 33, this is when Jacob and I sat out. Our teammates went in and beat them up, we had managed to survive another match against the greats.
Now in the final we played the Levine team, the final boss battle. This team was composed of the two most successful pairs of the generation, Meckstroth and Rodwell, and Helgemo and Helness. We played the first half and ended up down a few. Our teammates went in and it was a close 3rd quarter throughout. As the final segment commenced it wasn’t looking good, with three boards remaining we were down roughly 25 imps. With some excitement, our teammates tied the damn thing up! I called Bob Hamman to report the score, and that we in fact tied the match, he said ”Holy shit”. As it was 4:30 am in Norway, and the next week was busy, the right thing to do was to call it a tie.
It was a great contest and the opponents played well, we had some luck, but we don’t say no to that!