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Michael  SHUMAN


 William Michael "Mike" Shuman  nacque il 3 ottobre del 1931 a Los Angeles in una famiglia di bridgisti che gli permise di imparare il gioco in giovane età.

 In particolare la sorella maggiore, anche lei bridgista piuttosto nota, gli inculcò quei principi di licita che costituirono la parte migliore del suo bridge.

 Mike divenne un giocatore professionista nel 1960 e nel 1978 sposò Kerry Sanborn, una leggenda del bridge californiano, dalla quale si separò nel 1990.

 Nella sua carriera bridgistica vinse due Truscott/USPC nel 2000 e nel 2004.

 Articolista piuttosto noto, agli inizi della carriera lavorò per Tom Stoddard e tenne per lui la famosa "Stoddard's column" sul Los Angeles Times. In seguito scrisse anche per la celebre Bridge World.

 Si è spento a Pasadena il 16 dicembre del 2010.

  Michael Shuman (1931-2010), has been a Grand Life Master and a titan of Californian bridge with a life-time total of 26,180 masterpoints.

Born in 1931 in Los Angeles, California, Mike grew up in a family where his parents and his older sister all played bridge, giving Mike the opportunity to learn at home at an early age. His sister became a Life Master before he did and taught him some of the finer points of declarer play, a part of the game where he excelled for the rest of his life.

Mike’s partners have always said that declarer play was the best part of his game, but his clients will tell you he was an excellent teacher as well, and always a gentleman at the table. Once, at a sectional where Mike was playing with a client, his partner cashed an ace on the opening lead and then led a heart, which was void in the dummy.

Mike had the ace and queen, but declarer was able to score the king. Mike’s comment? “That might have been right, partner, but on this hand it wasn’t our best defense.” Mike became a professional bridge player in the 1960’s after playing with and learning from the stars of the game.

In those years he played with many of the best of the day, certainly too many to mention, but Mike spoke fondly of learning from Al Roth, the inventor of both the negative double and the forcing 1NT. International star Erik Paulsen and women’s champion Trudi Nugit were also favorite partners with whom he had many bridge successes.

Other long-time favorites were bridge professionals Gene Simpson and Hamish Bennett, and for these last several years his best partner and very good friend has been Jeff Goldsmith.

In 1978 he met and married Kerri Sanborn, a great bridge player in her own right. Both Mike and Kerri loved horse racing and with a small group of friends owned Don’t Read My Lips, a filly that won more than $250,000 and eventually sold for that amount.

The  marriage ended in 1990 and shortly after that he met Ann Walsh, his life-partner until the end.

Although he had a long list of bridge accomplishments Mike was particularly proud that he and his teammates twice won the prestigious Truscott Senior Swiss National Teams  Championship. The first time was in 2000 and the second was in 2004. The contenders in the final of four sessions were the best in the world and many of them world champions. The following year, in 2005 at the ACBL Fall Championships, Mike played against Alan Truscott and ruffed his partner’s ace so he could lead a trump, a devastating play that set the  contract.

His play was the talk of the tournament and the next day Truscott recognized Mike’s ability and fine play in his New York Times Bridge column.

At the start of his bridge career Mike  worked for Tom Stoddard and was the ghost writer for Stoddard’s columns which appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Those were the days when bridge in the Los Angeles area was separate from the ACBL.

Mike also wrote various articles for Bridge World Magazine and in 1963 was the author of a series of well-received essays on trump squeeze plays.

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