Bridge (Not) Too Far
Wilton Bridge Champions
Photo Stan Godlewski
Redding’s Gary Miyashiro and partner Mike Hess (pictured) of Wilton are bridge champs. The duo led their team to victory in the 2017 Flight A Grand National Teams North American Bridge Championship in Toronto, Canada.
Miyashiro and Hess were former partners that came back together recently and reignited their “dormant partnership,” says Hess. The two spent long hours discussing their complex bidding system that would help them win the tournament, as they could “make” tricks during the bidding auction.
How did they train? Says Miyashiro: “Our initial four-person team played pre-arranged online games against experts from around the country, and Mike and I spent long hours discussing strategy.”
In the tournament, the team of four needed to see patterns so that they could recall previous cards, almost like they needed “to learn a new language—the 38-word vocabulary of bridge bidding,” says Hess.
The bridge tournament in Toronto was a long process: they beat 22 teams from the United States and Canada. They competed in district 25 of the American Contract Bridge League. “I liken the structure to the NCAA basketball tournament, March Madness,” says Hess. “First we competed to reduce the field to a ‘perfect’ Sweet 16, then qualified for the Elite Eight, and reached the Final Four on Saturday. We won the Championship round on the fifth day,” he adds, with a smile.
All before the construction of the Route 35 bridge was completed.