Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Bridge Week 2010

Just returned from Bridge Week Markham Toronto where I played The Canadian Seniors Team Championship.

I like to thank Maurice De La Salle for being a good partner, Dave Smith and Doran Flock for being supporting teammates. Congratulations to our opponents and the gold medal winners-Eric Murray, John Gowdy, Michael Schoenborn, Boris Baran, Joey Silver and John Carruthers for giving us a good match.

A Big Thank You to Nader Hanna and his committee for doing a great job hosting such a wonderful Championship. The playing site and hotel rooms were excellent, hospitality was terrific, and result reporting was good and a big improvement over previous years.

The vugraph operators for bringing the matches to BBO, enabling a world-wide audience to enjoy.

It was an exciting final. At the start of the fourth quarter, we were behind by 10 VP.

Many have asked about board 18. So here it is.

Dealer East. N-S vulnerable.

As East, I held 108 Q942 AK2 10532

This was the auction.

Maurice, Doran, Dave and Michael

Maurice, Doran, Dave and Michael

West North East South
Pass Pass
2 Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
4 Pass 4 NT Pass
6 Pass 7 Pass
Pass Pass

*2C-Strong. 2D-Kokish waiting. 2H-either Hearts or stonger NT. 2S-re-lay. 3H-Hearts. 4D-something in Diamond. 4S-kickback key card ask in hearts. 4NT-1 or 4 keycards in hearts.

As I didn’t notice BIT, I bid seven hearts.

Reasons I bid on-

For Maurice to open 2C he should have AK in three suites. That is only twenty-one points. If he had a queen there were 13 tricks. Six heart tricks plus AK, AK AKQ.

If he had 7H, there were also 13 tricks.

If he had 2 jacks then was no worse then 50% for a finesse plus squeezes chances.

If he had AKx in spades then the spade ruff in dummy would make 13 tricks.

If he thought he had 12 tricks, then my Dk would be the 13th.

I also knew the match was going to be tight and this maybe the board we had a chance for a pick up as they say it was “a state of the match bid.”

At the end of the auction my screen mate Joey called the director. Said the bidding tray was slow coming back after the six heart call. Director asked if I agree? I said I didn’t notice, however I said as far as I knew, the whole auction was getting slower as the bids went higher to-wards seven hearts.

Director said play it out.

The lead was Queen of diamond. As I put my hand down, JC called the director and said Maurice took extra time to bid six hearts. JC said it was closer to two mintues.

Director asked Maurice if that was ture, Maurice said he didn’t take any more time then he normally would have.

Director said play out seven hearts.

Dealer: East

Vul: N-S

North Joey
West Maurice East Michael
A2 108
AK87653 Q942
3 AK2
AKJ 10532
South JC

Maurice, after drawing a few trumps, played the ace of club first, eventually took the club finesse and made seven hearts.

After the play, table director returned and ruled the contract to be six hearts making seven.

It was a pushed board at six hearts, our team lost the event by 4VP.

Seems to me it would have been easy for the director to find out the truth- if there was BIT. Rather than taking the word of one side or the other, all he had to do was ask the kibitzers at our table, and there were many.

Our captain didn’t want to appeal.

Blogging can be soothing to the soul.

Photo by Jonathan Steinberg.


Dave Memphis MOJOJune 10th, 2010 at 1:48 am

Congrats on second, but I know you’re disappointed.

AngelaJune 10th, 2010 at 5:26 am

What a shame for both sides that such a close match ended like this.

7 Hearts seems like a good bid for the reasons shown.I didn’t notice undue hesitation on the BBO Vuegraph.

I wonder if the north player would have called the director a second time if he had had the King of clubs.

Catya SuenJune 10th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Hey Michael,

From my perch, you were brilliant 4 days in a row…and did I mention GUTSY?

With something like 9xx xx KQJxxx Jx, watched you bid 3NT after your partner opened 1C. Held my breath when dummy came down with approx. Kx Axx 10xx AQ10xx. Lucky you, KC onside and the long heart leader didn’t have the AD, allowing you to make that contract too. Wow.

MichaelJune 11th, 2010 at 4:25 am

Catya Suen-after 240 hands in 4 days I am not sure I remember that hand.

This may be the pair of hands with me in 3NT that you watched.

AK 987 KQJ1083 92 Dummy had QJ1073 A32 65 AK7

MichaelJune 11th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

MOJO and Angela- thanks, it was bitter-sweet.

Reminded me of “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet” ~ ancient persian saying.

cam frenchJune 12th, 2010 at 9:49 pm


I concur with Angela – what a horrific way to determine a match.

Please enlighten us as to why your captain did not want to appeal. it seems to me that captain’s role is to serve the best interests of the team.

Did the team concur with that decision?

Congrats on your performance and ty for sharing.


MichaelJune 18th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Hi Cam,

In 1998 the semi-final of the CNTC was decied by an appeal Resulting many broken friendships, some even to-day not speaking to each other. Our captain didn’t want that for us.

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