Yeh Bros Team Cup – Yokohama City (Japan) 21-26 April, 2013. Minato Mirai 21 is a new part of Yokohama, with a great business centre; there, next to sea – Minato Mirai means “harbour of the future” – there is the conference and exhibition centre of Pacifico Yokohama, with it’s Intercontinental Hotel. A fine place, therefore it mustn’t surprise that the champions who here played the NEC felt comfortable and are still here for another great event, the Yeh Bros Team Cup organized by the Japan Contract Bridge League and sponsored by Mr. Chen Yeh. Yeh Bros isn’t by invite only; all can enter, just paying $10.500 of entry fee, of which 10.000 will go to prize amount.
The format is by ten round qualifying Swiss team, each round by ten boards, then will start the thirty-two board knock-out stage, but it’s a double elimination format: the winner will go on, the loser has still another change to stay in, being dropped at the second loss. The final will be played in forty-eight boards.
The teams. The first quotation ought to title holder, of course: Italy, Lavazza, who won the 2011 edition (Yeh Bros is a two-year event): Maria Teresa Lavazza, Norberto Bocchi, Giorgio Duboin, Guido Ferraro, Agustin Madala, Antonio Sementa.
Chen Yeh is the playing captain of Yeh Bros I: Chen Yeh, Juei Yu Shih, Chen Dawei, Kazuo Furuta, Yalan Zhang, Wang Ping; but also there’s Yeh Bros II captained by Patrick Huang, with Fu Zhong, Jie Li, CJ Zhuang, Jian Ming Dai.
There is Russia, of course, today NEC winner: Andrey Gromov (captain), Evgeny Gladysh, Alexander Dubinin, Mikhail Krasnosselski, Sebastiaan Drijver, Sjoert Brink. But NEC’s runner up Mixed isn’t missing; they are here as well, even if with different players: the same Welland-Auken and their teammates in the Spingold’s victory of three week ago, Morten and Dennis Bilde (father and son).
Hugh McGann and David Bakhshi entered the England plus Pharon Team (Paul Hackett, Tom Hanlon, David Bakhshi, Jason Hackett, Justin Hackett, Hugh McGann). David and Hugh are “natural” partner respectively of Paul Hackett and Tom Hanlon, but they also might pair up together. Paul and David play 4CM and longer suit first, but in their Convention Card there is an interesting reference to the Principle of Preparedness, albeit not quoted in this way:
“Choice of opening bid with (5422) and (5431) hands of < 17 hcp. 5M is usually opened 1M, but may open 1NT with a poor 5M in a (5422) with 14-16 HCP. Otherwise the longest suit is opened first unless this gives a rebid problem because we like a 1NT rebid to not have a singleton in responder’s suit. Such a rebid problem usually only arises when the 4 card suit is higher ranking than the 5 card suit and a singleton is higher ranking than both suits. In this case the 4 card suit opened and the 5 card suit rebid…”
For example (our example): having ♠2 ♥KQ32 ♦KQ432 ♣K32, the opening has to be 1♥, not 1♦, because the response 1♠ would compel to rebid 1NT with singleton, whereas 1♥ first would have allowed to rebid 2♦.
The Japan Ladies lines up Kyoko Shimamura, Michiko Ono (maybe Ohno), Natsuko Nishida, Akiko Yanagisawa, Makiko Sato, Yuki Fukuyoshi. Here it’s interesting to note that Sato-Shinamura and Ohno-Nishida play mini-multi 2♦ opening, whereas Shinamura-Nishida play it as weak two suiter major. The mini-multi, beloved by Rodwell-Meckstroth, has only weak major, without strong options, thus allowing the Responder to pass; this frustrates the defender’s doubling with diamond and passing with the rest, relying on delayed entry. The weak two majors suiter 2♦ opening has the same venomous feature.
Another women team is England Ladies Plus, with Nicola Smith, Sally Brock, Heather Dhondy, Fiona Brown, Nevena Senior, and Brian Senior. The official site reports Brian without specifying that he’s non playing captain, as it must be because the team’s name; but there might be something else we don’t know, so we apologize in advance for any misunderstanding.
Nicola Smith is Member of the Order of British Empire (MBE). She was interviewed by Marc Smith in his “World Class” (1999 Master Point Press). In the paragraph The Future, she said (in 1999):
“In my time I have seen a dramatic improvement in the overall standard of Women’s bridge – like women marathon running. There are very few ‘easy’ matches now. The chances of big scores are much reduced. Gone are the days when the top few teams trounced most of the field by maximum…”
Nicola witnessed what we think: there’s not a reason to suppose that men are genetically better bridge players than women; the women improvement observed by her simply depends on the fact that more women have today the chance and the time to play high level bridge.
Poland (Adam Zmudzinski , Krzysztof Buras, Grzegorz Narkiewicz, Jacek Pszczola), The Netherland (Cornelis Willem van Prooijen, Aloysius Verhees, Bauke Muller, Simon Cornelis de Wijs) and USA Cheek (Curtis Cheek, Ishmael Del’Monte, Joe Grue, Justin Lall) are other three squads who might win.
At the official site the complete list of teams: click here >>
Paolo Enrico Garrisi