Keeping You Informed
Monday, April 23, 2012
With many thanks to Bill Landrum for his hard work we now have a photo
albums page for SOMBA events and special events at our clubs. To access a
photo album, just click on the [Photo Albums] menu button at the top of the page
or click on the photo in the Update box. And don’t forget to check the
Keeping You Informed posting of Sunday, April 22nd for more SOMBA news including
important information regarding the Wolverine Regional.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Sunday, April 22, 2012
SOMBA IS FIFTY AND PROUD. In just two weeks SOMBA will celebrate
its 50th anniversary at the Wolverine Regional which will take place from
Monday, May 7th through Saturday, May 12th at the Costick Activity Center in
Farmington Hills. For many decades SOMBA has taken its role in the local bridge community
very seriously. SOMBA sponsors four bridge tournaments every year,
publishes a newsletter, The SOMBA Echo, maintains the Southern Michigan Bridge
Association website, participates in the publication of a directory of local
bridge players, and encourages its members to be active in the bridge community.
SOMBA also works in many ways with clubs in our area such as offering bidding
boxes and paying the extra fees for North American Pair games. SOMBA works to
enhance the bridge experience of all players in tournaments and in club games.
In honor of its special anniversary, this year’s Wolverine Regional will be
bigger and better than ever. The play area will be festively decorated,
there will be a daily bulletin, lots of photographs, registration gifts, and a
raffle drawing on Saturday offering a first prize of $500.00 and a second prize
of $250.00. Every entry buys a place at the bridge table and a raffle ticket.
The more entries, the more raffle tickets you will accrue for the big drawing.
There will be other daily prizes during the week such as $25.00 local restaurant
If you play on Bridge Base
Online, make sure to look for SOMBA’s advertisement
for the Wolverine Regional. Many thanks to Bill Landrum for looking after the
This year’s Wolverine Regional schedule is packed with events, including
four bracketed Knockout Team events. The schedule this year is different
from prior years and players should make sure they check the schedule before
arriving. For convenience, players who haven’t picked up a schedule at
their club or downloaded it from the District 12 website or the BBO site can
check the schedule by clicking here. Players should note that the first
event starts at 9:00 a.m. on Monday and that there is also a 9:00 a.m. event on
Tuesday. The last event, the all day Stratified Swiss Teams, will take
place on the final day of the event, Saturday. In addition, although it
isn’t clear on the flyer, there is indeed a novice Swiss Team event on
Players should also note that all stratifications, for team events and for
pair events, will be based on team and pair averages rather than on the
masterpoints of the player with the most masterpoints.
The 2011 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races have concluded as has the SOMBA
tournament trophy races. The final standings for the SOMBA Mini-McKenney
races can be found by clicking
here. The final standings for the SOMBA Ace
of Clubs races can be found by clicking
here. Here are the winners in each
||Ace of Clubs
|0 - 5
|5 – 20
|20 – 50
|50 – 100
|100 – 200
|200 – 300
|300 – 500
|500 – 1,000
|1,000 – 2,500
|2,500 – 5,000
|5,000 – 7,500
|7,500 – 10,000
SOMBA also has tournament trophy races where the masterpoints won by
a player in each of the four annual SOMBA tournaments are totaled. The
winners in the 2011 races are:
||Tournament Trophy Race
|0 – 5
|5 – 20
|20 – 50
|50 – 100
|100 – 200
|200 – 500
|500 – 1,500
|1,500 – 3,000
Soon we will have a new photo albums page. At that time you will be
able to check it out by clicking on
either the [Photo Albums] menu button at the top of the page or on the
photograph in the Update Box. At first we will have two albums on the page,
SOMBA’s 2011 Spooktacular and the visit by Bob Hamman to The Bridge Connection
last June. New albums will be added from time to time. Look for the
50th anniversary Wolverine Tournament photo album shortly after the tournament
Please check out our various bridge-related articles by clicking on the
[Bridge Hands and Articles] menu button at the top of this page. We have just
added Bill Landrum’s nice article on a hand he played while representing
District 12, along with partner Chris Wiggins, in the North American Pairs event
in Memphis. We are looking for articles to post on the Bridge Hands and Articles
page and submissions from our members for review would be appreciated.
Due to unforeseen circumstances concerning the editor-in-chief,
publication of the SOMBA Echo has been delayed. SOMBA promises to resume
We endeavor to keep our website timely and interesting but we need the help
of our readers to accomplish this. Please submit your suggestions and any
timely information you may have by clicking on the [Contact Us] button at the
top of the page.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Monday, October 31, 2011
One of the highest recognized levels of achievement in the world of bridge is the attainment of the rank of Platinum Life Master, the accumulation of at least 10,000 masterpoints. The rank is attained not just by longevity at the bridge table but by the demonstration of consistent enormous skill while playing. SOMBA member
Michael Crane reached this rank at the Wolverine Regional this past May and became only the second SOMBA member, after
Beverly Gardner, to become a Platinum Life Master. Michael was playing with his partner,
Bob Webber, and teammates, Henry Shevitz and Daniel Suty, when he picked up his 10,000th masterpoint. The quest took roughly 40 years since Michael won his first two red points at a tournament in 1971. Michael learned to play bridge from his roommate,
Cono Emanuele, while at college, and has been a serious student of the game ever since.
It was approximately three years ago that Michael became an Emerald Life Master (7,500 masterpoints) while playing at a tournament in Toledo with one of his regular partners,
Ed Herstein. And although he doesn’t quite remember exactly when he hit the Diamond level (5,000 masterpoints) he recalls clearly that his reward was that the ACBL made him a voting member for the ACBL Hall of Fame. Since then he has had the opportunity to vote for the entry into the Hall of Fame of many deserving members and against at least one candidate he felt quite undeserving.
In addition to playing, Michael enjoys directing, teaching and serving the SOMBA unit as recorder. He has also served on the SOMBA board. He currently directs four games each week; Tuesday afternoons in Bloomfield Hills and Tuesday evenings in Rochester with his fiancée,
Vickie Vallone, and two games in Ann Arbor on Thursdays. He is also regionally certified as a director (along with
Beverly Gardner and Willie Winokur) so that he can fill in at local tournaments helping ACBL director
Ken Van Cleve when needed. Michael has some strong opinions on the rules and believes directors should have more discretion to invoke equity at the table and try to adjust an irregularity by getting the hand back to normal. This frequently comes up in the area of revokes. Michael points out a case where during the play of a board one side revoked once costing three tricks and the other side revoked once costing no tricks, but the rules said that a revoke from one side cancels the revoke on the other side no matter how many tricks were involved. Michael is also a believer in Zero Tolerance of bad behavior and penalizing slow play, neither of which he feels is strongly enough enforced.
Michael’s work as SOMBA recorder (Bob Crafton is the MBA recorder) involves keeping directors and occasionally the ACBL home office apprised of ongoing rules or ethics violations committed by local players. This job requires him to keep track of recurring problems and sometimes doing some investigating.
He has cut back considerably on teaching bridge but his advice to new players is that it is best to keep their game simple and no matter what conventions they choose to play, they should learn their system well. They should be comfortable with what they already have learned before taking new steps. For advanced students he advises that they should learn how to recognize a simple squeeze position and know the steps needed to execute the squeeze.
Michael plays regularly with Vickie Vallone, his significant other, and with
Bob Webber. He considers Bob a great player and says he learns something new almost every time he plays with Bob. Although he believes good judgment at the bridge table is far more important than intricate conventions he does prefer weak notrump openings (although falling out of favor with other experts) and a variation of the Jacoby two notrump bid. He prefers to play two over one. Generally, when playing with other partners he is happy to play whatever conventions they prefer. Michael currently plays two times per week in club games and frequently in local and nearby tournaments. He and Vickie plan to travel to Memphis in March for the Spring NABC and he plans to enter two nationally rated pairs events and one nationally rated team event looking for that elusive first place finish which would automatically elevate him from Platinum Life Master to Grand Life Master.
Michael has played against some of the best. He distinctly remembers playing against two great players of the past. In his early days as a player he played against
Oswald Jacoby who psyched a bid against him which resulted in Michael and his partner getting a bottom on a board. Michael said to the great one: “Do you know who I am?” Jacoby said “no.” Michael said: “Exactly! How can you psych like that against someone you don’t know? I was already scared to death to play against you.” On another occasion, while playing with
Henry Shevitz, they made a Gerber four clubs bid which worked out very badly. Michael said that they should never use that “stupid” convention again. Of course, unknown to them, their opponent was
John Gerber himself. Gerber agreed that the convention wasn’t that terrific.
In the bridge world we frequently see only one side of people. But everyone has a life away from the bridge table and there is far more to Michael’s life than bridge. A native of the Detroit metropolitan area, Michael spent his working career with the United States Postal Service. He has been retired ten years now. He and
Vickie Vallone have made a life together and Vickie’s family is now his family also. He and Vickie enjoy not only playing bridge together, online and at clubs and tournaments, but also enjoy a rich life away from the bridge table in addition to sharing family functions. Michael is a sports enthusiast and also a lover of trivia. He is also a connoisseur and collector of old movies, especially westerns and horror flicks. If you don’t know who the only person was to kill Roy Rogers in a movie, just ask him. And you won’t find many other people who consider Bela Lugosi their favorite movie actor.
SOMBA is proud of everything Michael does for the local bridge community and warmly congratulates him on his enormous achievement as a bridge player.
SOMBA’s annual Spooktacular Sectional bridge tournament concluded this past Saturday.
Spooktacular, occurring each year near Halloween time, has become one of the preeminent competitions in our area for players not exceeding 299 masterpoints.
As usual, the tournament was festive and full of fall colors, inside as well as outside. Instant photo prints of the winners and other attendees were available as souvenirs.
SOMBA’s hospitality included a free lunch and was a big hit. Many thanks are due
Marilyn Lindow and Kathy Twomey, the co-chairs, for their time, hard work and organizational skills.
Many other volunteers were there to lend helping hands including Marianne
Varion, Ginny Poulter, Jane Hall, Jim Reed, Jerry Hasenjager, Scott Miller
and Kathy Simpson. Photos from the event have been posted on SOMBA’s Flickr page and can be viewed by pressing the [Pictures] button at the top of this page. This year, in the Friday morning matchpoint game, 50 pairs competed. In the afternoon matchpoint game, 40 pairs competed.
And in the Saturday Swiss Teams event, 24 teams entered the competition. This was a great turnout of 299ers.
The top 12 masterpoint winners were: Larry Lewis, Lakshmi Vora, Tom Shellberg, Nancy Stein, Raj Patil, Sharad Jogal, Wilma Swayze, Rosemary Sharland, Shirley Friedly, Jane Edson, Suzanne McIlhiny,
and Bradley Keller. Congratulations to the top winners.
SOMBA’s next major event is its Apple Cider Sectional which will take place at the William Costick Activity Center in Farmington Hills from Thursday, November 10th through Sunday, November, 13th. Pairs events will take place Thursday and Friday afternoons and Saturday morning.
Swiss Teams events will take place Thursday and Friday evenings, Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday.
For details regarding the event please click
If you are looking for great competition at your level or higher, with lots of masterpoints to be awarded, make sure you consider the ACBL’s next major national event, the Fall North American Bridge Championships which will take place in Seattle, Washington beginning November 24th and concluding December 4th.
Every day there will be a full schedule of events for novices and intermediates, morning, noon and night. Advanced players looking for great pairs and team competitions will also find them at all times.
And, of course, for those looking for the stiffest competition there are the nationally rated events such as the Nail Life Master Open Pairs, the Smith Life Master Women’s Pairs, the Senior Knockout Teams, the Open BAM Teams, the Women’s BAM Teams, the Blue Ribbon Pairs, the Senior Mixed Pairs, the North American Swiss Teams, the Super Senior Pairs, and the biggest of them all, the Reisinger BAM Teams. Everyone should experience at least one National, if not more, and this one also offers the opportunity to visit Seattle, a terrific city for a holiday. For more information regarding the Fall NABC
please click here.
And if you are looking to win lots of points locally, especially silver points, be sure to play frequently at your favorite local club during the week beginning December 5th.
STAC games will take place Monday through Sunday. Under ACBL rules, Sectional Tournaments at Clubs
(STACs) provide bridge players with the opportunity to win silver points at their local clubs. Check with your favorite club for the dates and times of its STAC games for the week.
STAC games tend to be well attended so be sure to contact your club and make a reservation.
This is an enormous help to club directors and reservations are always appreciated by them whether for a STAC event or a regular event.
The next edition of The SOMBA Echo should reach your mailbox within the next few weeks.
As always, if you have anything of interest to our other SOMBA members to report, please let me know so that I can post it here.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Sunday, June 5, 2011
The SOMBA Wolverine Regional at the Costick Center in Farmington
Hills had another very successful run during the week of May 9th. Many
thanks are do all of the volunteers who contributed to its success.
The top ten masterpoint winners in the tournament were:
1 98.37 James Melville,
2 98.37 Jacob Morgan,
3 65.10 William Arlinghaus,
Ann Arbor MI
4 61.39 Richard Temkin,
5 59.63 Robert Brent,
6 58.69 Martin Hirschman,
7 56.40 Lynne Schaeffer, W
8 55.14 Donald Rumelhart, Ann
9 54.91 Hans Jacobs, Downsview ON
10 50.24 Larry Mori, Clearwater FL
Top fifteen SOMBA Masterpoint Winners were:
1) 37.74 Michael Crane, Macomb MI
2) 36.58 Henry Shevitz, Bloomfield Hls MI
3) 35.59 Debra Eaves, Northville MI
4) 27.46 Charles Schiff, Birmingham MI
5/6 27.33 Ross Weinstein, Oakland MI
27.33 Thomas Hunt,
Rochester Hills MI
7/8 26.53 Subhash Gulati, Bloomfield MI
26.53 Jerome Hasenjager,Troy
9) 26.15 Carolyn Simmer,W.Bloomfield, MI
10) 25.71 Kiran Gulati, Bloomfield MI
11) 25.21 Beverly Gardner,Farmington Hls,MI
12) 24.19 Bonnie Weinstein,Farmington MI
13) 23.60 Harry McKinney,Troy, MI
14) 23.60 Robert Cappelli,Bloomfield,MI
15) 22.83 Sook Wilkinson, Bloomfield, MI
Congratulations are also in order for Patty and Allan Becker who picked
up their 2000th masterpoints during the tournament and are now “A” players.
One of the new innovations at the Regional was the use of a roving
photographer who took numerous photos of the players. A big thank you is
due to Kelly Fiedler (Vickie Vallone’s daughter) of Kel’s
Remembrance Photography for doing all of the photography.
With the innovation of photos from the tournament we have added a new menu
button at the top of this page. The new menu button, [Pictures], can be
pressed and you will be transported to SOMBA’s group picture page on Flickr.
If you are already a Flickr member you can simply log in. If you are not
yet a Flickr member you can log in with your Yahoo or Facebook or Google log in
and sign up for Flickr. Or if you do not have any of those log ins, you
can register for a new log in. Membership is free. After you have
logged in you will have access to all of SOMBA’s photos from the tournament,
posted there by Kelly. Feel free to browse the photos. If you want
to see them in a slideshow presentation, just click on any of the photos and you
will see an “Action” menu above the photo. Click “View Slideshow”
from that menu. We would like your feedback on SOMBA’s new pictures
feature. There is a place on SOMBA’s Flickr site for feedback.
Please let us know what you think. You can also click the [Contact Us]
button at the top of this page.
The 40th World Team Championships sponsored by the World Bridge Federation
will take place in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, from October 15th through October
29th.The Championships consist of the Bermuda Bowl (the open event), the Venice
Cup (for women's teams) and the Senior Bowl. The United States Bridge
Federation is holding the United States Teams Trials for the U.S.
representatives to the Venice Cup and the Senior Bowl here in Detroit from June
6th through June 11th.The competition will take place at the Marriott
Renaissance Center.U.S.A.1 and U.S.A.2 will be selected in each of the two
Trials events. The Trials for the Bermuda Bowl representatives have
already taken place and the two teams representing the United States have been
Several local players appear on team rosters for the events. Eight
teams have registered for the Venice Cup Trials. Brenda Bryant will be
competing on the Renee Mancuso Team. Beverly Gardner and Suzy
Burger will be competing on the Linda Lewis Team.
Twelve teams have filed entries for the Senior Team Trials. Three of those
teams feature local players. Chuck Burger and Howard Perlman will
be playing on the Michael Levine Team. Allan Falk will be playing
on the Glen Eisenstein Team. And the Robert Cappelli Team will be
playing with Bob Cappelli, Bob Katz, and Joseph Chiesa.
This should be a terrific competition.We wish good luck to all of our local
players and we hope all of our visitors enjoy their stay in Detroit. If
you have the opportunity, please try to get to the Renaissance Center to view
the competition. You can check out the teams by clicking on the USBF
websites for the events. You can check out the Venice Cup competition by
clicking here. You can check out the Senior Bowl competition by clicking
here. Each web site has a menu item for checking out the daily tournament
You should have received the May 2011 issue of the SOMBA Echo by now.
You will find many interesting articles in this issue. Please make sure to
check it out. You can also read this issue and back issues of the Echo by
clicking on the [Echo] button at the top of this page to see them in .pdf
New ACBL President, Craig Robinson, is on the road to visit and play
at 100 bridge clubs around the country. Our area was honored to have him
play at the Thursday Evening Bridge Club located at the Ann Arbor City Club on
Thursday, May 26th. Our unit president, Posh Gulati, and I went to
Ann Arbor to meet and greet the ACBL president that evening. Mike Crane
directed the game.
There is some interesting news from one of our local bridge clubs. The
Bridge Connection is under new ownership/management. After 20 years of
dedication to the betterment of bridge in Southeast Michigan, Linda and Art
Golumbia have sold the Bridge Connection. The new owners/managers, effective
June 1st, are Mike McDonald and Grant Peterson. At least initially
they will be keeping the games, food, and directors as is. They will be
enhancing a few things including the club's
website. In addition, they have
purchased a dealing machine which will facilitate the use of pre-dealt boards
and hand records. Farewell to Linda and Art, and welcome Mike and Grant.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Friday, May 6, 2011
The SOMBA unit celebrates the elevation to Platinum Life Master of Beverly
Gardner. Beverly won her 10,000th masterpoint while playing with
in a STAC game at a local club this past December. She is the first
SOMBA member to attain this status. Beverly is well-known in our community as a friend, a player, and as a director and
Beverly’s bridge career started in the 1970s when she moved to Detroit to take a job as a systems analyst with Burroughs Corporation. In order
to start a social life in a city where she didn’t have many connections she
started to play club bridge on a regular basis. There she made many
wonderful friends including the man who not only became her regular bridge
partner but her life partner as well, Tom Gardner. They were
together for 35 years before Tom passed away several years ago. Together
she and Tom played regularly in local club games and in major tournaments and
she started accumulating masterpoints rapidly. She became a life master in
1976, a diamond life master in 1994, and an emerald life master in 2007.
In the process she also accumulated dozens of blue ribbon and silver ribbon
Beverly, until recently, ran several club games. She recently gave them up except
for the game she runs Wednesday evenings at the Bridge Connection. She
takes great pride in starting from scratch an intermediate game for players with
less than 1500 masterpoints which meets on Tuesday mornings at the church on
Lone Pine and Woodward in Bloomfield Hills and building it up to a 36-table
game. Together with Tom, she helped to spearhead the movement to bring the
Spring NABCs back to Detroit in 2008. After accomplishing that, Beverly and Gail Hanson and
others, devoted much time and energy to building excitement in the beginner,
novice and intermediate bridge player community for playing in the Spring games,
helping to make the event a success.
Beverly has contributed greatly to the game she loves by serving for many years on the
SOMBA board. She has held many positions including Vice President,
Education Liaison Chair, Directory Supervisor, and Trophy Races Chair.
Along the way Beverly found time to become an ACBL certified master teacher and a member of the
American Bridge Teachers Association. Although now retired as of 2003 from
software development, Beverly still keeps busy in the bridge world by playing, teaching and running the
Wednesday evening club game.
We applaud Beverly Gardner on attaining her new status, take pride in her
accomplishments and thank her for her many contributions to our bridge
This past Monday, our bridge playing community lost one of its best. Rick Kaye, one of the top notch players around, and a terrific human being in
addition, lost his battle with cancer. He was playing champion-style
bridge to the very end of his life. In February of this year Rick played
the full week at the Bradenton Regional in Florida and won 88.71 masterpoints, finishing in 10th place for overall masterpoints
won in the tournament. Rick will be long remembered not only for his card
playing ability but for his sense of humor, his willingness to congratulate you
on a good play at the table and his low key advice on how not to repeat a bad
play. If he was ever harsh with anyone at the table it was with himself.
He was a real mensch.
Rick was an actuary and was a retired partner from Price Waterhouse. He
continued to do actuarial consulting after his retirement. His ability to
recall statistics, dates, and obscure facts was legendary. He was a
terrific sports enthusiast. The University of Michigan
sports teams and the professional sports teams in Detroit had no greater booster. Rick himself was an excellent tennis player in
his younger days. He was a terrific family man making sure that he
frequently visited all of his out-of-town children and their families throughout
Although Rick played bridge from time to time, it wasn’t until ten years
ago when Brenda Jaffe invited him to a club game at the Bridge Connection
that he really threw himself into the game. He accumulated just short of
10,000 masterpoints during those ten years. For the last several years he
was a top finisher in the Barry Crane 500, a list of the top 500 masterpoint
scorers for the year. Rick took great pride in his team’s victory in the
Keohane North American Swiss Teams championship event at the San Francisco Fall
Nationals in 2007. Rick will be missed.
SOMBA members can look forward to three convenient upcoming tournaments. Of
course the SOMBA Wolverine
Regional is right around the corner. It will start this Monday and run
through next Sunday afternoon. Line up your partners and your teams and
help make your unit’s own regional tournament a success. And not too far
away, just a two hour drive, is the Bay City Regional which will take place June
13th through June 18th, Monday through Saturday. You can reserve a room on
site at a special rate at the playing venue, the Double Tree Riverfront Hotel
and Conference Center . For more information on this tournament you can click
here. Just a four hour drive from Detroit
you can compete in the Summer Nationals in Toronto. The Summer NABCs will run from July 21st through July 31st. You
can compete in pairs games, Swiss team events and knockout events. And if
you are feeling super competitive you can compete in nationally rated events
such as the Von Zedwitz Life Master Pairs, the Spingold Knockout Teams, the
Wagar Women’s Knockout Teams, the Truscott Senior Swiss Teams, and the Wernher
Open Pairs. The Grand National Teams finals will also be taking place.
The Spring, Summer, and Fall Nationals are always exciting events to attend.
For more information on the event and hotel accommodations you can click
The new SOMBA Board Members Roster with phone numbers and email addresses has
been posted and you can check it out by clicking on the [Board Members] button
at the top of this page. In addition, our president, Posh Gulati,
has announced that Nancy Stein and Betty Anderson have been
appointed SOMBA communications directors.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Saturday, March 5, 2011
SOMBA completed another very successful Valentine’s Day Sectional at the Costick Center. The weather was a bit chilly but was otherwise cooperative. Adding to the attraction this year was the format which included 5-round Swiss Team events on three days in addition to the usual all day Sunday Swiss Team event. Another new attraction was the convenience of an excellent lunch service between events on Saturday which included fresh croissant sandwiches. This may, hopefully, become a permanent feature if enough people make a special request to the tournament management committee. The top masterpoint winners of the Sectional were
Bert Newman, Robert Cappelli, Robert Katz, Mary Smith,
and Kurt Dasher. The top SOMBA point-winner was Robert
The results of the 2010 SOMBA Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races are official. Winners of the Mini-McKenney awards are:
Naresh Kapila (0-5), Bradley Keller (5-20), Gerald Wigod (20-50),
Charles Schiff (50-100), Satish Shah (100-200), Bonnie Weinstein (200-300),
Steven Fine (300-500), Ross Weinstein (500-1000), Charles Federman (1000-2500),
Debra Eves (2500-5000), Jack Shartsis (5000-7500), and Beverly Gardner (7500-10,000). Winners of the Ace of Clubs awards are:
Naresh Kapila ((0-5), Larry Lewis (5-20), Gerald Wigod (20-50),
Charles Schiff (50-100), Satish Shah (100-200), Kathy Simpson (200-300),
Michael McDonald (300-500), Ross Weinstein (500-1000), Charles Federman (1000-2500),
Debra Eaves (2500-5000), Jack Shartsis (5000-7500), and Henry Shevitz
(7500-10,000). Congratulations to all of our Unit 203 winners.
Winners of SOMBA's own Trophy Race for 2010 will be announced soon.
SOMBA’s Echo newsletter is expected out around mid to late April.
SOMBA’s next big event is the Wolverine Regional which will take place at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills beginning on Monday evening , May 9th at 7 PM and ending on Sunday afternoon, May 15th. Four sessions of Knockouts are planned, including a three-session Knockout all day Saturday. Check out the brochure
Marianne Varion, Mary Bennett, Marilyn Lindow, or Posh Gulati for partnership assistance or any other question or suggestion concerning the regional.
And don’t forget to put your team together for the District 12 Grand National Teams. The winners will represent our district at the Grand National Teams event during the Summer Nationals in Toronto. Information regarding the District 12 event can be found
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Southeast Michigan was well represented in Orlando when the ACBL held its Fall Nationals (NABC). It’s always great when attending these events to see and renew acquaintances with other players from around the country and even around the globe. And it is wonderful to see so many of our local players doing the same. Many of our locals did especially well. The top dozen masterpoint winners from our area were
Bert Newman, Kathy Newman, Allan Falk, Brenda Bryant, W. Oates, P. Oates, Sally Lusk, Jon Lusk, Donald Rumelhart, Lynda Thal, Bonnie Weinstein
, and Gail Hanson. Congratulations to them and congratulations to all of our other masterpoint winners. Your next chance to participate in and be a part of a North American Bridge Championship will be at the Spring Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky in March. And the best part is that you don’t have to be a champion to play. For more information check the link
SOMBA’s own Valentine Sectional is around the corner, February 10th through 13th. Thursday and Friday evening and Saturday afternoon will feature a five round, five boards each, Swiss Team competition. Sunday will feature the usual full day Swiss Team event. For more information on the SOMBA Valentine Sectional check the link
And while we are on the subject of tournaments, the biggest regional tournament in the United States is coming up shortly. If you want to attend you should be thinking about a room reservation now. That tournament is the Smoky Mountain Gatlinburg Regional held annually in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, this year from April 11th through April 17th. For the last several years they have had at least 10,000 tables in play over the seven day event. This is the only place in the world you will ever see a Knockout event with 34 brackets and a full 16 teams in each bracket. It’s really a sight to behold. Every bridge player should play in Gatlinburg at least once. It’s an experience you won’t forget. For more information on the Gatlinburg Regional check the link
Our Partnership Agreements page is up and running. Please check it out now by clicking on the Partnership Agreements button at the top of this page. We will be continually posting new suggestions for conventions and systems. We are initiating the page with a convention for handling two-suited overcalls. We will be interested in feedback from you relative to the page and each new item that’s posted on the page. Please feel free to print and use the conventions we post. Let us know how they work for your partnerships.
We have also added three new links to our Bridge Links page. Please check them out by clicking on the Bridge Links button at the top of this page. I think you will enjoy the sites we have posted. If you have some favorite bridge links that you would like to see on our Bridge Links page, please let us know.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Saturday, November 28th
SOMBA welcomes its new board. Congratulations to new board
members Kathy Twomey, Marilyn Lindow, Satish Shah, Jerome Hasenjager, and
Jim Phillips. And a hearty welcome back to returning board
members Marianne Varion, Mary Bennett, and Posh Gulati.
Our Unit couldn’t function without the dedicated service of our board
members and other unheralded volunteers. Thank you to all of them.
The Fall Nationals
are upon us. I hope to see many of you in Orlando. I’ll report back at the conclusion of the event. If you
are attending, it would be great to hear from you so I can report on some
of your war stories in the next edition of Keeping You Informed. If
I don’t see you there in person, just drop me an email.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Our SOMBA Unit recently held its annual Spooktacular sectional event for
0-299er players. And once again it was a resounding success. Not
only were there great bridge sessions for two days but there was a great
Halloween party to go along with it. The party was colorful and the food,
including pizza, pasta, salad and desserts was excellent. The bridge was
equal to the ambiance. A great time was had by all. Many thanks to
tournament chairs Gail Hanson and Marilyn Lindow, partnership
chairs Mary Bennett and Marianne Varion, and hospitality chairs Ginny
Poulter and Kathy Twomey. And special thanks to Fred Van
Campenhout and Jim Phillips for looking after the setup and making
sure things ran smoothly, Scott Miller for looking after the pizza, Raj
Patil for the tables and microphone, Jane Hall for the photography,
and Connie Dugger
for the flyers and emailings. And of course to the many individuals who
competed in the two days of events.
The SOMBA Apple Cider Sectional is around the corner. It will be held
Thursday, November 11th through Sunday, November 14th at the Costick Activity Center
in Farmington Hills . The results of the recent board elections will be announced at the Swiss
Teams event on Sunday.
There’s always an extra special tournament on the horizon. This one
is the Fall NABC which
this year will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 25th through December 5th. The tournament features numerous
national level competitions. The big team events are the Reisinger BAM
Teams and the Keohane North American Swiss Teams. There are plenty of
other team and pair events to suit all levels of play. Even though this is
a national event, players from all over the world are attracted to the Spring,
Summer and Fall Nationals. It isn’t too late to make plans to attend.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Monday, September 27, 2010
The local bridge world recently lost two well-known players.
Tom Keenan, past president of the SOMBA unit of the ACBL, passed away at the age of 82 on September 14th. At the time of his death Tom was also serving as SOMBA treasurer. He will always be remembered for being a fine player and a true gentleman at the bridge table. Tom was devoted to SOMBA and spent many hours as a dedicated member of the corps of volunteers which make SOMBA a wonderful organization. He will be missed. His obituary and other information can be found
Phil Leon, a past president of the MBA unit of the ACBL passed away at the age of 83 on September 22nd. Phil had also served as a vice-chair of the ACBL appeals committee for more than 20 years. He was the winner of more than 100 regional bridge titles and was, at the time of his death, the number 100 life-time masterpoint leader in the ACBL, having accumulated more than 18,000 masterpoints. His obituary and other information can be found
There are two local bridge events you may want to mark on your schedule. If you are a newcomer or intermediate player with less than 300 masterpoints, consider playing in the
SOMBA SPOOKTACULAR Bridge Tournament for I/N Players which will take place at the Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills on October 29th and 30th. There will be wonderful decorations and hospitality. See the Updates section above for the link to the Spooktacular flyer. In addition, the second annual fundraiser for the Bridge Today and Tomorrow group will take place at the Bridge Connection in Southfield on November 7th. The fundraiser is a Swiss Team event. Bridge Today and Tomorrow is a not-for-profit organization developed by bridge players for the purpose of introducing middle school and high school students to the game of bridge.
This week we provide the first content for two of our three new website sections, Kudos and Bridge Links. Content for our Partnership Agreements section will appear with our next posting. Please check the Kudos page where we congratulate local players,
Mark Leonard and Morrie Kleinplatz and their team on winning the mini-Spingold (under 5000 masterpoints) event at the summer nationals in New Orleans. Please check the Bridge Links page where we present our first ten links to interesting websites of interest to bridge players. And next time around please check our Partnership Agreements page to check out our first installment, a method for handling a two-suited overcall by an opponent.
Your feedback in making this website informative, interesting and helpful is always appreciated. Please let me hear from you.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)
Monday, September 13, 2010
My thanks to our president, Posh Gulati, for appointing me website content coordinator and for asking me to write the
“Keeping You Informed” column. I hope you will enjoy our new look, which is a work in process. If you keep tuned to
this website you should see new material posted on a regular basis, hopefully at least weekly. You should also see regular
updates in this column.
At the top of this page you will see three new buttons, [Kudos], [Bridge
Links] and [Partnership Agreements] which, starting next week, will take you to new areas of this site.
page will regularly feature local players whose local, national and international bridge exploits are deserving of recognition
by all of our local players. We will also feature local players who are deserving of recognition for their good deeds outside
of the world of bridge. I hope that our readers will share their suggested candidates with me by email.
The Bridge Links page will develop into a source for connecting our readers with the most interesting bridge sites on the
Internet. Each item on the Bridge Link page will include a brief description of what can be found at the linked site.
hope to introduce you to some new sites you may not have known existed.
The Partnership Agreement page will feature various bidding conventions that can be incorporated by players into their partnership
agreements. Each convention will be in PDF format for easy downloading.
Eventually, numerous conventions will be on the page from
which players can select those which best fit their playing style and capacity for complexity.
We will start off next week
with How We Handle Two-Suited Overcalls by an Opponent. Suggestions for this area of the site would also be appreciated.
Nominations for the SOMBA board have been finalized and ballots will be sent to all SOMBA members early in October.
sure to vote. If you can’t return your ballot at least one week before the Apple Cider Sectional (November 11th through
November 14th), you can vote in person at the Sectional. The new board will be announced during the Swiss Team event on Sunday.
The next issue of The SOMBA Echo is in the works. Look for your copy around October 10th.
SOMBA president, Posh Gulati, has announced the appointment of Jerry
Hasenjager, a certified public accountant, as assistant
treasurer of the unit. He will assist unit treasurer, Tom Keenan, at Tom’s request.
Vickie Vallone and Michael Crane have become very busy people on Tuesdays.
They run a Tuesday evening game which has now returned
to the Elks location in Rochester at 7:00 in the evening. They have also taken over the Tuesday game at the Unitarian Church in
Bloomfield Hills which starts at 11:00 in the morning. That game is limited to players with no more than 1500 masterpoints.
and Mike also run games in Ann Arbor.
In addition to all of the usual tournaments, two bridge events of special interest will be occurring soon.
The first is the
District 12 North American Pairs Finals which will be held in Lansing on September 26th.
If you have qualified at a local club,
you will want to consider playing in this event. Information about the Finals can be found online at
and the entry form for the event can be found online at http://www.district12bridge.org/NAP/nap_district_finals_registration_form.pdf .
Flight A, Flight B and Flight C will earn the right to represent District 12 in the North American Pairs inter-district competition at the
North American Bridge Championships in Louisville next March.
The other event of special interest is the 2010 World Bridge Series taking place in Philadelphia in October.
The World Bridge Series
Championships is the world’s largest bridge competition and is held every four years. This is the first appearance of the event in
the United States since 1994. Up to 100 nations are expected to participate, represented by thousands of the world’s best players
competing for world titles in many categories. Accompanying the world event is a 16-day ACBL regional event taking place at the
same time. Philadelphia should be an exciting place for bridge
aficionados from October 1st through October 16th. For information about the world games you can go to
For information about the Philadelphia Regional Tournament you can go to
Staying informed will be easy if you check this website often. Another way to stay informed about bridge in the area is by joining
Facebook and joining the Facebook group, “Southeast Michigan Bridge Players.” Just go to
Facebook and type “Southeast Michigan Bridge Players” in the search box at the top of the page. When you get to the group’s page
just click where indicated to join. As of this writing there are 53 players in the group.
I really want to hear your suggestions and comments about this site and how we can make it better.
You can email me at
MichiganAl@Yahoo.com or click on the
Us] button at the top of the page to reach Posh, Bill Landrum (our website technical
coordinator), and me.
Al Tushman (MichiganAl@Yahoo.com)