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Archive of past winners

2006 Helman Klinger Award
2006 Helman Klinger Award - Masterpoints
2006 Hills Hurley Trophy


There are two individual awards which together comprise the Helman-Klinger Award. Rabbi Leonard Helman donated the funds for this award to honour the contribution of Ron Klinger to Youth Bridge. The main award of $400 is for the under 26 year old whose ability, achievements, sportsmanship, attitude, contribution and commitment during the calendar year are most deserving, as determined by a panel. The second award for most master-points in the year is worth $200.

Any player can win each part of the Helman-Klinger Award only once, and any pair can win the Hills-Hurley Trophy only once.

The 2006 Helman Klinger Award ($400) was won by Michael De Livera from Canberra.

Michael was first nominated for these awards in 2000, when he was the star performer in Dorothy Jesner's School Bridge program in Canberra and made his debut in the ACT Youth Team at a very young age.

In 2006 Michael made his debut for Australia, coming 4th in the World Schools (U21) Teams Championship in Bangkok in August. This was the first time since 1991 that Australia has made the semi-finals of any World Championships at bridge. Michael and his partner Justin Howard were in the top ten pairs in the world for their age group, gaining an excellent average of 0.69 Imps per board played.

However, the main reason that Michael is a leading contender is that the Helman Klinger Award emphasizes equally all six components: ability, achievements, sportsmanship, attitude, contribution and commitment. Like his father Arjuna, Michael is the epitome of sportsmanship at the bridge table. He is sought after as a bridge partner, because his attitude and commitment are outstanding. Michael became a Life Master in 2006, and won the big prizemoney at the Albury Congress.

His achievements are all the more meritorious because Michael has had to battle ill health in 2006. After the World Championships, unfortunately Michael had a Brain Stem Stroke, which has not affected his brain at all (his cognitive powers such as thinking and computing are not affected at all) but has severely impacted on his Motor Neurone System. As a result, he will have a very long rehabilitation period, relearning anything to do with movement, such as arm movements, swallowing, speaking and walking. We all hope that Michael's recuperation proceeds well and that he will be back playing in Youth Bridge Championships again, hopefully as early as 2008.

The Helman Klinger Award for the Most Master-Points in 2006 - cash prize of $200 - was won by Nye Griffiths with 203.35 master-points.

Ineligible = G Ware and P Gosney (previous winners), V Demuy (not Aussie all year)

2006 Leaders in each State

Justin Williams 188.39
Freya Wilson 128.36

Pranjal Chakradeo 71.73
Ryan Touton 61.90

Nye Griffiths 203.35 (ex-ACT)
Nabil Edgtton 137.78

Justin Howard 138.29
Andy Hung 108.59 (ex-Qld)

Matt Porter 76.69
Sebastian Yuen 48.86

Jane Reynolds 40.98
James Reynolds 10.90

America has an Under 21 section for this Award (we don't). The top U21 player was Justin Howard on 138.29, from Nabil Edgtton on 137.78.


2006 HILLS HURLEY TROPHY (for the Partnership of the Year)

This Trophy was won by Adam and Nabil Edgtton.

2006 was the year in which this pair of teenagers came of age at bridge. They made the semi-finals of the World Schools (U21) Teams Championship in Bangkok, topping the datums (+ 0.75 IMPs a board, 8th overall) for the Aussie team which came =2nd in the Qualifying and 4th overall. This was a particularly impressive result because the other three semi-finalists were all European, and thus had vastly more experience of international bridge within this age group than the rest of the world. Click here (pdf file) to read about two hands they played in Bangkok.

Nabil at age 14 became the youngest Life Master in the history of Australian bridge.
Adam at age 15 was nominated for the Best Played Hand of the Year by a Junior in the world.
Adam became the 2nd youngest Life Master in Australia's history.
Adam and Nabil came 5th in the VCC, and 4th in the ANOT, two spectacular achievements at Open Bridge.

They were signed up to the Oz-One project which aims to coach them up to become superstars of bridge. Oddly enough, given their ages, their bridge partnership of six years is the longest partnership in Oz-One! Oz-One's Oz-kids program has helped develop their bidding and understandings.

As a pair, they had a good year on the Congress circuit, especially at Newcastle, Central Coast, Bondi and Lindfield.

Several bridge hands played by the Edgttons in 2006 can be found in the January 2007 edition of the Australian National Youth Bridge Bulletin.

These Awards are presented annually at the summer Festival in Canberra.