April 3rd, 2017 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 6 Comments
After playing this game for a while you may have noticed most Bridge players are all a little nuts. There is a fine line between brilliancy and lunacy. Take this exchange between Duncan Smith of Victoria BC Canada and moi Saturday at the Sidney Sectional tournament.
Pairs. I was East and Resident Genius was North.
After two passes I opened with 1♠ , my partner’s 2♣ was Reverse Drury inviting game with Spade support. Without a break in tempo Duncan was right there with 2♥ His four card suit! I counter with 3♠ to give partner his turn for greatness.
With a heart lead all one can make is nine tricks in three Spades, thanks to Duncan’s brilliant 2♥ overcall!
All those mere mortals that overcall with their seven card Diamond suit got their partners to lead the Ace of Diamonds, some letting the game through with an over trick. Others that didn’t overcall with the North hand also let the game made as South led a high club.
April 11th, 2016 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 4 Comments
After a week of free beer and complementary second hand smoke in the casino, I stumbled into my seat to play The Jacoby Swiss.
The very first board as East, I pick up ♠ QJx ♥ x ♦ AKQJ ♣ AKxxx
The auction :
Partner led a club.
This dummy came down. ♠ xxx ♥ Q109x ♦ x ♣ AQJ102
One look at dummy and I could not stop laughing as I flopped my hand on the table. “look, there are two Club Aces in this board?!” After everybody had a look at the hands, we even turned the cards over to make sure we had the same colour deck.
We called the police. After looking at the hands, the director said to me ” You have the Ace of Spades not the Ace of Clubs!” ” You have 13 penalty cards!” At this point I was still laughing, started gathering up my hand thinking we were going to reshuffle the board. But no this declarer insisted on playing the board as is!
My real hand : ♠ AQJx ♥ x ♦ AKQJ ♣ Kxxx
Declarer played as if he could see all four hands. That was a light bulb moment, suddenly I understood what double dummy meant, there was one in front of declarer, then there was the other in my seat.
He won the Club lead with The Ace. Play the Queen of Clubs, ruff out my King. Drew trumps in two rounds ending in dummy, discarded all but one of his Spades on the good clubs. At the end give up two tricks and claimed 11 tricks. Made 5 ♥ X.
Sobering second thought, why don’t they have free beers at the bridge tournament!?
The correct board :
December 21st, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 2 Comments
I am in shock and saddened to learn of Sam’s untimely passing. I last saw Sam in Denver just weeks ago, we hugged and chatted a little.
Sam was fun loving, a loyal friend, a lovely person. Bridge was good to Sam, it was the safe harbor during her youth. Sam was a natural, represented Canada while still in her teens, in 2004 at the 1st School Teams Championship in New York. And many more World Championships since.
2014 was her breakout year, playing with Gray McMullin, Bryan Maksymetz, Tom Walsh and Rock Shi Yan. They won the Canadian National Team Championship. The Team went on to represent Canada at the 4th Commonwealth National Bridge Championship. Came runners up in the Transnational Teams.
2016 was going to be even better for Sam, as she moved to Toronto and found love with Andrew Russell. Gone too soon Sam!
My thoughts and sympathies are with Sam and family.
There will be a Celebration of Life for Samantha at the Vancouver Bridge Center, on Saturday the 16th January 2016. 1pm to 3pm. It would have been Sam’s 32nd Birthday.
The family has requested no flowers. Instead, you may make a donation to a charity of your choice.
October 10th, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ No Comments
As the 42nd World Bridge Teams Championships 2015 in Chennai, India is drawing to a close. There is still one more set of 16 boards to be played in the Open Final before the prize giving ceremony this evening.
The match between Poland and Sweden could not have been more exciting. The score was 243-266 with 16 boards to be played.
Final Set 8. Board 20. Dealer West. All vul.
Johan Upmark (East) at trick 8, needed two more tricks. With a 5 card ending, made a perfect read to end play North. Made 8 trick for +120 for a much needed 6 imps when at the other table Poland went down one for -100.
Photos from the Championships are posted.
August 9th, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 4 Comments
It is not often we see double game swing in team matches. It is even more rare to see a double doubled game swing.
2015 GNT SF Segment 4 of 4. Board 21. N-S Vulnerable. Dealer North.
At the close room.
Edgar would be proud, he always said takeout doubles are to be taken out!
Dick’s team generated a double doubled game swing to win 17 imps.
August 9th, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 2 Comments
Here is a board where aggressive bidding earned District 19 a game swing.
GNT Championship Fight Segment 3 of 4. Board 7. All vulnerable. Dealer South.
At the other table North-South was allowed to play in Four Hearts made 10 tricks for +620. Here Rock bid a 2 way Four Spades, either making or a cheap sacrifice, pushed Sylvia to the five level where she failed by a trick.
GNT Segment 3 of 4. Board 11. Non Vul. Dealer South.
3♣ = 2 of top three honors. 4♣ = Keycard ask. 6♣ = 1 Keycard + void.
Rock and Maks had a nice auction. Found the Club fit. Rock had all the controls, trump support and source of tricks. Knew Maks can’t have a bad Heart holding. Bid and made Seven Clubs for +1440, won 14 imps when their opponents at the other table had an accident in the auction, stopped in Four Hearts for +420.
Rock Shi Yan
August 9th, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 2 Comments
2015 GNT action.
In the SF Segment 1 of 4. Board 10. All Vul. Dealer East.
3♠ = Clubs. 4♣ = Key card ask. 4♠ = 2 Keycards no Queen.
The whole hand boiled down to finding the trump Queen. The percentage play with a 9 card fit is to play for a 2-2 break. Before a card is played the 3-1 break is 49.74% and a 2-2 break is 40.70%. however once each defender followed to the play of the suit, the odds changed. 2-0 break of the residues two cards is 48% and a 1-1 break is 52%.
Rock had very little to go on. Trusting his judgement that the ♣ 9 from South was a restricted choice situation, he finessed North for the Club Queen. He was right, made 12 tricks for +1370 and gained 12 imps. At the other table E-W were in 3NT made 10 tricks for +630.
Well done Rock.
August 9th, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 1 Comment
Dick Yarington from Seattle passed away in July this year. He was a nice guy, always friendly and ready to give a hand when needed. He will be missed!
Before his untimely passing our District 19 team including Dick Yarington qualified to play in Chicago Summer NABC GNT Championship. In honor of Dick, the team of Ken Scholes, Dan Jacob, Bryan Maksymetz and Rock Yan Shi made Dick their non-playing captain
March 23rd, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 6 Comments
Some of us have heard of the Rabbi’s Rule. “If the king is singleton play the Ace.”
While in New Orleans playing the Mixed Pairs with June Pocock I came across this deal.
Dealer West. Neither side vulnerable.
The lead was Ace of clubs, dropped the King from dummy, Jack, 7. North switched to the Queen of hearts, 3, Ace and once again dropped the King! South led the 10 of Diamonds, Ace, at this point I half expected another King to drop, but it was the 7, 5. Now June led the Queen of Spades, 5, Ace, dropped another singleton King!!!
What an amazing hand, three times the Rabbi’s rule.
January 5th, 2015 ~ Mike Yuen ~ 8 Comments
At the recent Vancouver Sectional Open Pairs. Session 1, Dealer East. North-South vulnerable. This board generated alot of buzz.
Many North-South pairs played either in 6, 7 Hearts or 6, 7 Spades. Some even played the slams doubled. Litwin and Ballantyne made the grand slam redoubled for +2940. They thought they had a clear top til I played the board.
Some East-West pairs found the 7 Clubs sacrifice and earned their good score. Only one North-South Pair went down in the grand doubled.
Playing with a friend, I was West. Held : ♠ Q ♥ Void ♦ J109754 ♣ Q86532
The board :
The play went considerably quicker then the auction. The lead was the Diamond Ace, all followed. Before I could utter a sound. North played one of his many Spades. I gratefully ruffed it, at the same time threw my hand on the table and said “Draw trumps and claim.”
Down 12 doubled not vulnerable was -3200, netted a TOP for our opponents.
However it was mildly disappointing that the defenders denied me the pleasure of going down all 13 tricks!