Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Let’s Make A Deal

After the teams Maurice and I played in the Canadian Open Pairs Championship. It is a two day event. After the first day of qualifying, the field was cut to eighteen tables.

There is prize money for the top three pairs. Before the event started, I offered our team mates a deal they could not refuse – whoever wins a cheque will give the other two pairs 10% of the prize money. Both Mike and Ben Takemori, Brad Bart and Cam Doner agreed to the arrangement. 

All of us played lousy and were not in a qualifying position when the day was done! So we were back to our room to drown our sorrow in beer. Laurence Betts, whom I had not seen all day, came in and told us he qualified and after much cheering, I decide to offer him the same deal. Whoever wins money in the final would give the others 10%. Laurence had good laugh as he realized he was the only one who has qualified for the final, and no surprise he did not take my deal!

The next morning, however with our good luck, two other pairs decided not to play in the final and, as such, both Brad and Cam and Maurice and I sneaked in the back door. The leader had a two board carry over and as we were the last pair who got in, we had no carry over.

Maurice and I played well and even without any carry over came in 2nd!

GOLD: Bob Todd – Douglas Fisher, Winnipeg MB553.68 SILVER: Michael Yuen, Vancouver BC; Maurice De La Salle, Edmonton AB537.15 BRONZE: Vince Lambert – Vince Nowlan, Edmonton AB523.64

Doug Fisher, Bob Todd, Michael Yuen and Maurice De La Salle. Photo courtesy of Ross Taylor.

The following hand helped our cause.

Board 25. 2nd final session. Dealer South. E-W Vulnerable. Hands rotated. 

North Maurice
South Michael


West North East South
3 4 All pass  

The play is the thing.

West led diamond five, six, ace and two. East returned diamond four, queen, king. West cashed the spade ace, four, three, nine. Spade five, king, jack and seven, dummy keeping the spade two. Now I tried the heart jack and discover the Hawaii 5-0 trump break. I Picked up the heart 10 with a finesse then run all the hearts.

What is poor west to do? On the first two hearts he can discard the two diamonds. On the next three hearts he can discard two clubs and one spade. On the 6th heart he was squeezed between spade and clubs. On the 6th trump I showed him my spade two and he conceded. I know I kept the spade two for a reason. Four hearts making 420 was good for 13 match points on a 17 tops.

Here are the four hands


Dealer: South

Vul: EW

West East
AQ65 J3
KJ95 A10843
QJ654 2

In order to beat the hand West had to under lead his spade ace at trick one or at trick two after his diamond king lead held the trick. That way West can avoid the squeeze by keeping extra idle cards and at the same time hold communication with East by keeping a diamond on the run of the hearts.

Back in our hotel room as I paid my 10% to both Ben and Mike, Cam and Brad, Laurence walked in realizing that he missed the deal that was never supposed to be.  We all had a good laugh and more cheering. This time floating our joy in our beer!


Dave (Memphis MOJO)June 27th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

“I showed him my spade two and he conceded. I know I kept the spade two for a reason.”

Maximum style points! Congrats on your finish.

MichaelAugust 4th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

thanks Dave……..The judges put up a perfect 10!

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