The fact that we are currently in China, and that the centre of bridge appears to be moving in an easterly direction, is a salutary reminder that 45 years ago international bridge was almost irrelevant in the Far East. The role of Deng Xiaoping in bringing bridge to the forefront of China is well known. However, almost equally important was the success of bridge in Chinese Taipei, and leading the charge was our Personality of the Year, Patrick Huang.
In both 1969 and 1970, Chinese Taipei (then known to the world as Nationalist China or Taiwan) reached the finals of the world championship (the Bermuda Bowl), and a young Patrick Huang was duly recognised as one of the great players in the game. Patrick was also instrumental, with C.C. and Kathie Wei, in making Precision the dominant strong club system in the world. With those developments, bridge became recognized in the Far East, and a new era of the game was born.
But if that was all, we wouldn’t be recognizing him today. In the intervening years, Patrick has contributed to the game in so many different ways: as a player, coach, non-playing captain, VuGraph commentator (in Mandarin and English), appeals committee member, member of IBPA’s book-of-the-year jury, and as organizing secretary of the Yeh Bros Cup, amongst his many other roles. The Yeh Bros Cup, thanks to the sponsorship of Mr. Chen Yeh, has almost single-handedly kept the world of the invitational tournament alive. Patrick has just announced his retirement from that post.
Finally, it is rare to find a successful player in the bridge world about whom nobody has a bad word to say! Patrick is at the very top of the world not only as a player, but also in his ethics and deportment. He has set a fine example for everyone, and it is fitting that we take the opportunity in Sanya to acknowledge his contributions to the game .
Sanya, Hainan, China
Monday, October 20, 2014