You are at the web site of the Southern Michigan Bridge Association (SOMBA), Unit 203 of the American Contract Bridge League.  SOMBA along with MBA supervises and works to promote bridge in southeastern Michigan.  SOMBA hosts several tournaments each year, including the Valentine Sectional in February, the Springtacular 0-299 Sectional in April, the Wolverine Regional in May, the Apple Cider Sectional in November and the Spooktakular 0-299er Sectional in October.  Please visit this site often to keep you informed of current events and milestones in the area along with articles on bridge bidding and play.  SOMBA, in conjunction with The Michigan Bridge Association (Unit 137) also produces a Bridge Directory (see tab above) listing the members of each unit and the active bridge clubs in the area.

SOMBA Valentine Sectional
February 8th to 11th
Bridge Connection
  Southfield, MI

Click here for results
SOMBA Springtacular Sectional
April 13th to 14th
Birmingham Unitarian Church
  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Click here for results
SOMBA Wolverine Regional
May 14th to 20th
William Costick Center
Farmington Hills, MI

Click here for flyer
Joint MBA/SOMBA Sectional
June 21st to 24th
Bridge Connection
Southfield, MI

Click here for flyer

Keeping You Informed

Welcome to the New SOMBA Members


An Sachiko
Karen Sanders


Ellen Ehrlich
Andrena Neeley
Beverly Neumann
John Patry
Wendy Patry
David Satwicz
Beulaka Woodfin

Masterpoint Achievements

January Achievements

Junior Master Chie Kawata
Junior Master Grace Rashid
Junior Master Frank Uller
Junior Master Nancy Uller
Junior Master Robert Walsh
Club Master Jeanne Korsh
Club Master Mike Roeder
Club Master Richard Verhelle
Sectional Master Maurine Sillman
Regional Master John Berry
Bronze Life Master Margie Ried
Bronze Life Master Eva Rival
Bronze Life Master Jane Roeser
Bronze Life Master Wilma Swayze
Silver Life Master Linda Mittelstaedt
Ruby Life Master Charles Schiff

February Achievements

Junior Master Jacqueline Blake
Club Master Mark Merritt
Regional Master Beverly Marco
Regional Master Ronald Zurilla
Life Master Melinda Muirhead
Bronze Life Master David Dursum

Attaining Life Master: My Story
by David Winer  

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".

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.

State of the Unit (203 SOMBA)
July thru November 2017

by Dave Fletcher

It is hard to believe that it's now December and I'm scrambling to get ready for the Holiday events.   With 10 grand children, that’s a lot of shopping.

Somba had a busy second half of the year.   There was a board meeting in September (minutes can be accessed via the Minutes link above) and of course the October Spooktacular and November Apple Cider Sectionals.   I wish to thank all those that attended and of course the board members and volunteers who put all the effort into making them happen.

Please welcome our new board members becoming active in January- Dave Dursum and Diane Kosuda.   Congratulate them next time you see them. Next month will be the election of a new slate of officers and the appointment of new committee chairpersons.   Please consider offering your help.   We especially need new ideas in the area of membership and education.   We always appreciate fresh ideas.

Please be aware that Susan Woodrow is spearheading a youth bridge camp next July for kids 10-15.   Look for a flyer at your local clubs.   This is a terrific opportunity for young people to experience our great game as well as the usual camp fun of activities and campfires.

The January election of a new SOMBA president will mark the end of my service as your President.   I would like to thank all the membership that supported me but especially the board members (past and present) and club owners who have been such a dedicated team for the advancement of bridge.   Thank you all!

With that note, I wish you all very Happy Holidays and a great New Year.   Hope you all reach that new master point milestone!!!

Dave Fletcher 586-206-6556 hdfletch@aol.com


New Club Opening

The Fun Duplicate Bridge Club is open to all novice bridge players (0-99 MPs).   Some sessions will be a Barometer style duplicate game where all tables will have 10 minutes to play the same hand.   This is followed by 5 minutes of discussion on the bidding and the play of the hand.   This type of game is a cross between a lesson and duplicate bridge.   The intent is to improve bridge skills and to help newer players get accustomed to duplicate bridge (movements and scoring) in a friendly environment.   Other sessions will start with a mini-lesson or question and answer period before the start of a regular duplicate game.

The game will be held on the second Wednesday of the month at 21800 Marter Rd., St. Clair Shores starting at noon.

If you have any questions, please call Jane Hall at (586)201-0045.


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
    Saturday Swiss
    • A Strat -  Beth Kordt/Jim McNamama/Maria Conti/Jim Korte
    • B Strat -  Patricia Richardson/Jerry Richardson/            
    •                Vivian Waldron/Philip KoleHmainen
For complete master point results click results in the Spooktacular box on this page or click here.     Hope to see you all at the Springtacular on April 13/14, 2018.   Flyers are available via the Springtacular box on this page or click here.

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.  Just ask. 
  • 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.

Click here for archived news columns: