I started to learn Bridge in my late twenties.   Three friends who knew how to play tried to teach two of us.   So there
were 5 of us with a lot of talking during play on Monday nights with Monday night football blaring!   I learned some and still
can remember "How could you do that!" from one of my friends. We played Chicago style.   I did that for about 5 years.
Then my wife and I played social Bridge with neighbors 4 to 5 times a winter for about 30 years!
After retiring, my wife encouraged me to try playing more, and I started playing non-sanctioned duplicate with a few nice partners.
We learned more and started doing pretty good.   I don't know exactly when I started sanctioned bridge but it was at the Bridge Connection
in Southfield. Then also at the Troy Community Center and The Villages Duplicate Bridge Club in Florida.
I've had many great partners on this surprising journey, primarily Dave Dursum and Dave Harris.   I had only 5 gold points for quite awhile
and didn't even think of making Life Master until less than 2 years ago in a Regional, my partners and I won 5 gold points in Swiss and the next day
5 more in the Gold Rush.
So eventually having attained 25 Gold, I then needed 4 Silver, which fortunately came quickly in a recent Sectional at The Bridge Connection when
my partner and I won 6.36 Silver!
So thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you of my Bridge "story".
New Club Opening
The grand opening of the ACACIA Bridge Club is Aug. 10 at the Birmingham Unitarian Church.   It will be a club
Championship OPEN Game.   Reservation     s are requested and registration starts at 10:30 a.m. with food, hors d'oeuvres,
fruits, and beverages.   Game time is 11 a.m.   Starting Aug. 17, there will be a <2500 MP game the 2nd thru last Thursday,
but an open game the first Thursday of each month.
For reservations, please call Tai Chan (248)854-6125 or Deepak Dighe (248)345-1444
Other announcements will follow.
Bridge of Joy & Competition
by Lakshmi S. Vora
My friend, now my husband, introduced me to the game of Contract Bridge in the early 70s and gave
me Edgar Kaplan’s book to study.  I loved the game immediately and still have the book.
Over the years, my passages of life took their usual stages of cultivating my career, marrying,
having children, watching my children graduate and marry, welcoming the arrival of grandchildren.
A full life, but little time for me to develop my Bridge skills.
As I was about to retire from Ford Motor Company, Ellen Silverest, a friendly Bridge director who is now
a dear friend, introduced me to Ford Bridge Club and Duplicate Bridge.  She gave me lessons on duplicate
protocols and fended off aggravated opponents when I forgot to use the bidding box and said my bids out loud!
I loved the competitive spirit of Duplicate Bridge, being able to compare my play with other teams to improve
my game.  As I was learning the conventions and bidding methods for duplicate bridge-- which were very
different from my Edgar Kaplan days-- I was fortunate to get a call from a then-acquaintance and now-friend
and mentor, Vishwas Gadgil, an expert duplicate player who graciously partners with me often.
I have now been playing duplicate bridge for over four years.   I am absolutely hooked on the game.
I find it meditative when I am focused on playing a hand with full concentration and joyful when I have played
a hand well.   The companion themes in Bridge to “start where you are, use what you have and do what you can"
and "do all this with good communication with your partner" provide a powerful metaphor for living my life
outside of Bridge as well.
The ACBL has done a remarkable job of creating an ethos of fairness, embodied in due processes so that we enjoy
the game properly.  And the SOMBA Bridge Clubs I play in have been most welcoming.  These days when
people are talking so much about “building walls”, I'm happy that I am building my own bridges with so many
kind people I have had the pleasure of playing with.  Bridge has become much more than a game to me.
It offers me the opportunity to have truly enriching experiences, both in terms of the intellect and in the
diverse human connections it has fostered.
I now have the honor of being a SOMBA board member and have an opportunity to promote this fantastic game of
Bridge, especially to our younger generation.  I hope to teach my grandchildren.
I thank each and every one of my new-found friends in the Bridge community for this gift, this JOY, of
competitive Bridge and look forward to more games and friendships.
SOMBA held its 9th annual Spooktacular on October 27/28.   The event was well attended by bridge players, witches, queens, pumpkins,
French maids, and the like.   All had a good time and complimented all the workers who put on the tournament.
Special thanks to tournament co-chairs – Kathy Twomey and Latika Mangrulhar.
Single Event Morning Pairs
- A Strat -  Judy Mintz & Marcia Boxman
- B Strat -  Imogene Pilarski & Suzy Inza
Two Session Pairs
- A Strat -  James McNamee & Anil Parikh
- B Strat -  Patriicia Colett & Lynn McGann
For complete master point results click results in the Spooktacular box on this page or
Hope to see you all at the Springtacular on April 13/14, 2018.   Flyers are available via the Springtacular box on this page or
- A Strat -  Beth Kordt/Jim McNamama/Maria Conti/Jim Korte
- B Strat -  Patricia Richardson/Jerry Richardson/
-                Vivian Waldron/Philip KoleHmainen
State of the Unit (203 SOMBA)
January thru June 2017
by Dave Fletcher
Well July is here and the first half of 2017 has passed.   The SOMBA board has been very busy these first six months.   Before
I go on I would like to remind all of you of our website which includes great articles, pictures, and reference information.   Please visit the
site at www.sombaunit203.org.   The site does include an online directory to which you may be added by requesting and completing a form.
This is necessary due to the responsibility of the site to protect your information.   Instructions on how to be added are found on the website under
“member directory“ at the top of the page.
We had our second board meeting on 4/27/17 with committee reports and tournament planning our main activity. The minutes will soon be available and can
be found in the "Minutes" tab above.
As a reminder, here is a list of our board members and their responsibilities:
Kathy Twomey-Vice President*
Satish Shah-Tournament Coordinator*
Lori Briscoe-public Relations and Communication
Bill Goodman-ACBL Contact and Insurance
Naresh Kapila-Storage and Asset Management
Latika Mangrulkar-Education and Lectures
Scott Miller-Club Relations
Lynn Root- Newcomers
*Executive Committee Member
Non-board member contributors:
So far this year, we have conducted 3 specific SOMBA tournaments and co-chaired the June Joint Sectional with MBA.
This year you may have noticed that we are rotating chairpersons of our tournaments.   This is helping the board get a
broader understanding of what goes into holding a tournament as well as assuring tjat we have more than just a couple of people
who know the specifics.   Sadly, all of our tournaments have had slightly fewer tables than the previous year.   Many
thanks to the chairpersons for the tournaments thus far.
Valentine Sectional- Deepak Dighe/Sook Wilkenson
Springtacular I/N Sectional- Lori Briscoe/Lakshmi Vora
Wolverine Regional- Satish Shah/Naresh Kapila
June Joint MBA/SOMBA Sectional- Dave Fletcher/Jonathan Fleischmann(MBA)
The board also sponsored three nights of BRIDGE THE GAP- a set of sanctioned games with non-ACBL members and
seasoned ACBL members.
They were a great opportunity to expose bridge players to duplicate bridge.   A superb job was done by the
Some quick hitter news items:
We have offered alternate prizes to newcomers: Instead of trophies - bridge instruction books, potted plants, valentine candy
We are advertising our tournaments in local newspapers
We negotiated new tables for regionals at the Costick Center
We offered Director prep classes
We increased the recognition of new members and master point milestones
We supported the “Longest Day” fund raisers of clubs
As always we want and appreciate your input on all matters and concerns.   I would encourage you to seek out a board
member and share your ideas and issues, especially in the areas of membership and goodwill.   Our job is to serve
Suggestions Turned in at Wolverine Regional
In an effort to improve the tournament experience for our members, the SOMBA board solicited opinions from players at the Wolverine Regional.
The following suggestions were received. The SOMBA board has considered them and offered their responses (in blue italics).
- The tables are too small and rickety. SOMBA will have different tables next year.
- The cards are sticky. The directors will replace any decks you feel have seen their day.
- Check bidding boxes for missing bids. SOMBA cleaned all the bidding boxes the week before the tournament.
Bidding cards were replaced when worn and many one-club and pass cards were also replaced.
At the same time, we checked for any missing bids. We are sorry we missed a few.
- Have a 50/50 raffle. The SOMBA board will review for logistics and purpose.
- The director warned a player when I called for a zero tolerance issue.
Shouldn’t there be penalties?
The directors were advised that it would be preferred if they used their strictest approach.
Board match points were taken away for several incidents.
Although every call involves the director’s discretion,
we will continue to remind them we want actions that prevent future zero tolerance issues.
- Please call each round so as to keep the game moving, even if it results in late plays.
We will request this of the directors for future tournaments.
- Two session events should occur with a sufficient break, such as 1 pm and
6:30 pm. Tournament committees constantly struggle with the times and kinds of events to have for each tournament.
Efforts are made to provide the best variety of events and to consider traffic and opportunities to eat.
We have not yet found the perfect combination.
- Why does the Costick Activities Center close and clean restrooms during play time?
We will ask if the cleaning staff could do this during our major breaks.
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