You are at the web site of Unit 203 of the American Contract Bridge League, the Southern Michigan Bridge Association (SOMBA). Welcome. SOMBA supervises and works to promote bridge in southeastern Michigan.  SOMBA hosts several tournaments each year, including the Valentine Sectional in February, the Wolverine Regional in May, the Apple Cider Sectional in November and the Spooktakular 0-199er Sectional in October.  The unit also produces The SOMBA Echo, a newsletter keeping its members 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 listing the members of each unit and the active bridge clubs in the area.

Apple Cider Sectional
November 12-16

Nov 12th at
Bridge Connection
Nov 13-16 at
Wm. Costick Center
Farmington Hills

Click here for flyer
Please Join Us For The
Special Evening Dinner/Party* and/or Game

Honoring Dave Buskirk

on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014
at Bridge Connection, Southfield

* Last Day to buy 
Dinner Entry is Nov 5
Spooktacular Sectional
(0 - 300)
October 24-25

Click here for flyer

Fast Results
See your tournament
results quickly!

Click here

2014 SOMBA Election Ballots in Mail

NOTE:  The Michigan Bridge Association (MBA), and Southern Michigan Bridge Association (SOMBA), American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) units 137 and 203, respectively, are launching a joint Member Directory.  The initial plan is to provide the directory online, to be posted on the SOMBA website with a link on the District 12 website. The online directory will be accessible by MBA and SOMBA members on the inputting of their ACBL numbers. In addition, we may later print the directory and distribute it to members of MBA and SOMBA.

If you wish to have your phone numbers and/or email address appear in the directory, you must fill out, sign, date and submit this form.
Click here for Form.

Please Exercise Your Civic Duty by Voting

I am excited to report that we have excellent selection of candidates to choose from this year for you.  The races could be very tight and it behooves everyone to take a moment and ponder over the candidates before making your selections and mailing in your ballot.  Printers have made a mistake such that a voting member can be recognized by the tabulator and hence this person will know who the member voted for.  Since it is extremely important to preserve the sanctity of the process and have an absolute trust in Bob Chekaluk, he will safeguard and maintain ballots in a sealed form until his team of independent assistants will help break the seals and tabulate them.

  1. There is no need to put your name or ACBL Number outside as the sender.  Check with your post office if sending your ballot without senders address is ok.

  2. Make sure you seal your ballot by taping such that the selections are not visible.

  3. Vote for no more than 8 candidates.  If you do, your ballot is invalid.

  4. Ballots should preferably be postmarked earlier than Nov 6 so they may reach Bob Chekaluk in time.

  5. Voting will continue at the Apple Cider Tournament until 12 Noon on Sunday Nov 16.  There will be a ballot box there for you to drop your ballot.

  6. Ballots sent to Bob Chekaluk will be safeguarded until the last day without breaking the seal.

  7. Bob, and Bob alone, will select a few independent people to assist on that morning and go to a private corner or room to break the seals and tabulate the ballots.

  8. The winner of the top eight will be announced during the lunch break.

Good luck one and all....

Keeping You Informed
Monday, May 12, 2014

SOMBA Board Election

SOMBA Election year 2014:  Those who are willing to give back to the game what it has given them in enjoyable social pleasures, it is time to send your brief bio data, no later than Aug 1, 2014 with your digital frontal photo (head, neck, and shoulders only).  One important requirement is availability of time for Board Meetings, Tournaments, and Committee work.  We are especially looking for candidates with computer and or writing skills.  Please call if you have any questions.

Fast Results

Your Pair Results at SOMBA tournaments is delivered to your email and/or mobile device immediately following a game!  Signing up is easy!  Just email your ACBL # (typed in the subject line) to:  FastResultsHelpDesk@gmail.com or text your Last Name and ACBL # to (313) 800-1790.  There is also a web interface:  http://www.BridgeFinesse.com/FastResults/D12

District 12 Partnership Desk

We are testing a new computer system that allows you to register your name, and indicate that you are looking for a partner or partners for a specific event.  It has safeguards built-in to protect your privacy.  You must indicate the system that you prefer.  The system verifies your number of masterpoints so that no one inflates their masterpoints to secure a partnership.  If someone else is looking for a partnership, and they want to take a chance on you, then the system helps them contact you.  You can try the system by going to the following website:  http://www.bridgefinesse.com/D12PDeskIndex  Once you choose a specific tournament, then it allows you to look at a tutorial that fully explains the system so that you will be able to use it effectively.  Let us know what you think.

The 2013 SOMBA Trophy Awards
0-5 Larry Cohen 15.20 MP
5-20 Sandi Pink 10.23 MP
20-50 Pamela George 12.26 MP
50-100 Warren Block 8.85 MP
100-200 Deepak Dighe 49.32 MP
200-500 Lakshmi Vora 39.77 MP
500-1500 Neal Strand 54.57 MP
1500-3000 Mary Bennett 40.62 MP
3000+ Michael Alioto 84.82 MP

Mini-McKenney Race

The SOMBA leaders in the 2014 Mini-McKenney race as of 5/6/14 are:
0-5 Joanne Carson 6.58
5-20 Judy Burke 23.69
20-50 John Neumann 59.76
50-100 Jane Gardner 37.69
100-200 Larry Cohen 44.84
200-300 Robert Palmer 39.12
300-500 Steven Kaplan 44.26
500-1000 Zachary Wasserman 107.78
1000-2500 Michael McDonald 76.42
2500-5000 Jakob Kristinsson 79.58
5000-7500 Debra Eaves 136.77
7500-10,000 Robert Cappelli 136.65
10,000+ Michael Crane 47.13

Ace of Clubs Race 

The SOMBA leaders in the 2014 Ace of Clubs race as of 5/6/14 are:

0-5 G. K. Oxley 6.20
5-20 Judy Burke 15.07
20-50 John Neumann 18.86
50-100 Larry Edwards 15.06
100-200 William Smallwood 27.85
200-300 David Dursum 21.02
300-500 Milton Siegel 28.06
500-1000 Anthony Savant 37.31
1000-2500 Robert Raf 43.09
2500-5000 Georgene Cronin 34.24
5000-7500 Debra Eaves 67.20
7500-10,000 Robert Cappelli 17.42
10,000+ Beverly Gardner 25.32

Bridge Connection Moves to New Location

The Bridge Connection, one of the top 50 clubs in ACBL, will be moving to 26776 West 12 Mile (northwest corner of Northwestern Hwy. and 12 Mile Rd.).  The first game at the new location will be Monday, May 19th at noon. It will be the site for the first MBA-SOMBA joint sectional tournament in June, 2014.  Congratulations and best wishes to Grant Petersen and Mike McDonald.

Allan Tushman Retires from Updating this Website

SOMBA would like to acknowledge and thank Allan Tushman for the great work that he did over the past three years in being the primary designer of this web page.  He wrote some articles, edited many more articles from Posh or other writers, and then provided the layouts to our web tech for posting the content to our web.  He has moved on to other activities, leaving us with a void to fill.

Allan has lived his whole life in Detroit, graduating from both U of M and U of M Law School.  He spent his career as a lawyer. and was president and chief operating officer of his firm for the last ten years before retiring.  He has been very involved with Reform Judaism for many years, where he served in various roles as president, board member, delegate to international conferences, etc.  He has been married for fifty years to his wife Judy.  They have two children and six grandchildren.

Allan is an avid bridge player.  He first started playing rubber bridge in high school, but didn't start playing duplicate until after he retired.  He has made up for lost time since then, and has earned more that 2100 masterpoints. Allan notes:

I have found bridge an exciting game to play and very good for the mind.  I’m one of those who believe that regular bridge play helps to keep the mind and brain healthy.  I have met and enjoy many wonderful people while playing bridge and have learned to tolerate the not so wonderful people I have come across.  Up until a couple of years ago I used to play in at least one national bridge tournament per year and some out of town regionals.  I have played in the Gatlinburg regional twice.  I have played in seven nationals.  I also played in the World Mixed Pairs in Philadelphia three years ago.  I love reading bridge books and have quite an extensive bridge library.  I also enjoy watching live national and international bridge competitions on Vugraph on BBO.

Bridge is not Allan's only interest though, he currently spends a lot of time studying art history and visiting art museums.  He "wanted to learn something new and interesting to keep [his] mind active."  He is very serious about physical exercise and thinks that it has been a major part of his having survived three bouts with cancer.

Editor's Comments:  During my short tenure of friendship, I learned to respect Allan immensely as a very very talented, classy and well rounded individual.  One word comes to my mind when I think of him these days, namely pride and then some more pride.  His entire stint with us has been filled with examples of the same pride in his writings as well as his dealings with others in our southern Michigan bridge community.  If you do not agree please check out his Facebook bridge group page that he authors. 

And, I say why not clone him and sprinkle some of that concoction over those of us who need that the most!  Its bound to be a better world.  Thanks Allan for your counsel, edits and writings. -Posh


SOMBA and MBA Working Together
Posh Gulati (left) and Dick Temkin (right) celebrated the official signing of an agreement between SOMBA and MBA. [Hon. Barry Brickner (middle) mayor of Farmington Hills] 

It has been a crazy and brutal winter for us.  We lived through the snowiest and one of the coldest winters in Detroit in the last 133 years.

During that time, there was a very definite thaw in the relations between the two local units.  The historic agreement between SOMBA and MBA will benefit the bridge community for years to come.  For starters, we will have a first ever Joint MBA-SOMBA sectional in June 2014 at the Bridge Connection in Southfield (see flyer in SOMBA website).  The two units will run it on alternate years and share all costs and responsibilities.  In addition, MBA will hold two other sectionals at the Bridge Connection and a third in January in Ann Arbor.  Another breakthrough is the “open door policy” at each other’s board meetings.  When I was invited to attend MBA’s board meeting, it was a first in 50 years (according to Marty Hirschman).  Recently, Marty attended our board meeting.

The final paragraph of the joint agreement reads, Over the ensuing two years, we are committed to continuing our joint discussions on a regular basis toward achieving a more harmonious, cohesive relationship and a detailed and comprehensive agreement between the two units.  On Nov 12, 2012, I requested Dick Temkin to meet me regularly to find solutions to the occasional tensions existing between the two units and also consider their requests to permit sectionals in our territory.  The final agreement was the culmination of 1-1 “secret” meetings of the two presidents over a period of 12 months.  A sense of urgency developed when the matter of availability of the Bridge Connection site came to the forefront, both boards decided it was time for action after considerable debate and discussions.

I honestly urge the doubters amongst us to endorse this agreement by offering constructive ideas to further this new partnership for the betterment of ALL in the southern Michigan bridge community in the years ahead. Welcome to the Wolverine Regional during these exciting times for us.

Subhash Gulati, MD, FRCP(C)
President, SOMBA Unit

 Past SOMBA President – Karl Reibel
by Tai Chan

Those of us who played duplicate in the Troy Community Center in the 1980s may remember a cigar-chewing director and his wife Louise as they welcomed you to their game on Friday nights.  The game was always friendly and the ambience warm.  Karl Reibel directed that game for 17 years.  He served as president of SOMBA in 1986 and District Board member for several years when Dave Kalb was president.  He was instrumental in getting ACBL to award the annual regional to SOMBA. At 82, Karl still plays with deliberation in club games.  The crooked cigar is gone but his smile is present, especially after pulling off an endplay or squeezing out an overtrick.

Here are some excerpts from Karl’s notebook:
When Louise and I moved to Troy in 1972, we started playing subdivision bridge. Sitting around on Saturday nights, trying to find a fourth was not very satisfying. One Friday night, we played at Kay Clinton’s game at Somerset, and we were hooked. Eventually, we took over Kay’s game and ran it for 17 years. I also filled in as director for Bill and Fern’s game on Tuesdays, Dave and Judy’s on Saturdays, and Joyce Krout’s on Wednesdays when they were away. It was a lot of fun, and Louise and I made many friends thru bridge.


I played on Tuesday nights for 17 years at Fern and Bill Richmond’s game at Oakland University with Glenn Blenkenhorn.  One evening, I picked up a hand with seven hearts AKQ9865 and breezed into a 6-hearts slam in spite of some discouragement from Glenn.  Our opponents were Kay Clinton and Betty Pope.  Glenn had a singleton heart and when I led the Ace, Betty showed out.  My heart sank!  Then I recalled B.J. Becker’s bridge column in the Royal Oak Tribune … "the key to execute a trump coup was to shorten the trump holding to that of your opponent, then strip all exit cards for the end play."   So I trumped a good trick to arrive at this position:

Kay had J T 6 and I had Q 9 8.  When I led the 9 of hearts, Kay was end played, and that was the trump coup I always remembered.

For seven years, I attended Tom Gardner’s free lessons on Wednesday nights.  Then Tom asked me to play with him.  What a marvelous player he is!  Boy, could he ever make his partner look good.  Wow, do I miss him and so many others that are no longer with us.

For many years SOMBA was awarded one regional every other year while MBA had an annual regional.  For many reasons I thought SOMBA should have a regional every year so our players could earn more gold points.  At an ACBL district meeting in Saginaw, ACBL had decided to award a senior regional on alternate years to a unit in Michigan.  So several SOMBA board members attended the meeting, and I was able to make a pitch for the senior regional.  At that first senior regional, we were short of caddies so Louise and other members acted as caddies.  I overheard a woman at the tournament saying, "Isn’t that nice to have senior caddies at a senior regional”. 


Karl still maintains his law office at home in Bloomfield Hills these days, and looks forward to seeing his sons and daughters and grandchildren.  SOMBA salutes Karl for his dedicated services over the years with a Gold Star.

Posh’s commentary:  My personal memory of Karl to this day is that he was hard working, very well organized and sincere in his approach whether he was directing a game or running the board.  He and Louise were very supportive of the younger players.  He should be remembered as no nonsense and all business kind of past SOMBA President who made significant contributions during his tenure by employing methodologies of honesty and directness.  Karl, I wish you good health, happiness and peace in your semi(?) retirement.  Let me know when you are having a retirement party!!

Bill Landrum (LandrumWm@comcast.net)

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