Liz McGowan and Nafiz Zorlu join the EBL Hall of Fame

2226

Today in Strasbourg (France), during the European Transnational Championships, Liz McGowan from Scotland and Nafiz Zorlu from Turkije were inducted in the EBL Hall of Fame.

Liz McGowan

Liz McGowan, Scotland’s most distinguished Woman’s player, has enjoyed considerable international success. However, it is her often behind- the scenes, “pro bono” work, which she has undertaken for the UK and Scottish bridge over decades, which sets her apart.

Before Scotland became a separate NBO on 1st January 2000, Liz was the first female Scot to play for Great Britain, which she did for 13 years.

She is currently the leading player on the SBU MP ranking list.

In 2022 she was awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to the Game of Bridge in Scotland in HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours.

She is married with 2 daughters.

International achievements
Liz has represented Great Britain, and then Scotland, when it became an NBO in 2000, 66 times in teams, and 37 times in pairs over a span of 35 years from 1988 to the present day.

  • 1988 World Women Teams Olympiad, Venice, Silver medal, playing for Great Britain with Sandra Penfold
  • 1992 World Women Teams Olympiad, Salsomaggiore, Silver medal, for GB, with Sandra Penfold
  • 1993 Common Market Championship, Gold medal, playing captain for GB Women’s Team
    1996 World Mixed Team Olympiad, Gold medal
  • 1997 43rd. Generali European Ladies Team Championships, 1st. for GB
  • 1999 44th Generali European Ladies Team Championships, 1st. for GB
  • 2003, 1st. European Transnational Championships, Menton, 3rd. Women’s teams with Fiona McQuaker, Paula Leslie and Suzanne Cohen

Liz is Scotland’s only World and European Grand Master. She was invited to play in the Women’s World Masters Individual in 1998, 2000 and 2008, the only Scot to be honoured by the WBF in this way.
She enjoys her international travels and has many bridge friends abroad. She will visit the press room to catch up with other bridge journalists and share interesting hands as she has been a member of IBPA for many years.

Nafiz Zorlu

Nafiz Zorlu, “The Chief” as the Turkish bridge circles call him, was highly instrumental in the start-up of the Turkish Bridge Federation as a state organization as its first president in 1997, and its development to become one of the major European federations under the EBL umbrella.

The number of licensed bridge players attending regional and national events in Turkey soared under his visionary leadership. Additional funding that Zorlu secured from the Government resulted in the increase of the overall quality of the player levels, after which the frequent success of Turkish teams/pairs in international competitions became regular.

Zorlu enjoyed continuous success at the table throughout his career. Some of his most prominent wins are the NABC Blue Ribbon Pairs (Las Vegas-2001), WBF World Mixed Teams Championship (Sanya-2014) and EBL Transnational Open Pairs Championship (Montecatini-2017).

His love and passion for the sport of bridge is boundless. He came out of his retirement for administrational duties in 2016 and got re-elected as the TBF President. He spent enormous efforts to promote youth bridge in Turkey and he made it his priority for making Turkey an attractive destination for international bridge events such as the EBL European Open Championships (Istanbul-2019) and the EBL Main TD Course (Antalya-2019).

Nafiz Zorlu is proud to name the teams he captained “Salvo” in memory of his long-time partner Salvador Assael who passed in 2012 while participating at the 14th World Bridge Games in Lille. He even initiated an International Bridge Festival in his name where all top players participated (Cesme-Izmir-2013).

Zorlu had to undertake the difficult task of presiding the Turkish bridge during the Covid pandemic as well. During a nightmare period of 2 years, while several bridge clubs had to shut down due to lack of business, he generated income for the clubs by organizing online events as the Turkish Bridge Federation and channeling funds to the bridge clubs to help them stay afloat.

As the most prominent doyen of Turkish bridge, Zorlu’s footprints can be found on all aspects of local and international bridge for many years to come.