Words from the NABC Robot Top Finishers

Junhui Zhu

The Spring 2024 NABC Robot Individual has concluded, and congratulations to the champions! Let’s hear what they have to say.

Junhui Zhu (toufu) from Burnaby, BC, who finished 3rd said,

“I love this tournament and participate nearly every time for the joy and challenge it brings. Could we have the tournament six times a year? It'd allow us to gather more often, enjoy bridge, and improve together.” 

Yong-Dong Wang

Yong-Dong Wang (ydwang) from Memphis, Tennessee, who also finished 3rd tying with Junhui. Yong-Dong, originally from Shanghai, studied biochemistry and molecular biology, and has always had a keen interest in problem solving and critical thinking. He's currently working in the cancer research field as a data scientist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. When he's not at work, he enjoys playing bridge, working with students in math and science, and watching sport.

He learned to play bridge with his roommate in college in the late 80's back in China. He was introduced to the ACBL when he first moved to the States pursuing graduate work.

"For the following thirty years I would only have time to enjoy the game by reading newspaper columns, until one of my college friends brought me to online bridge a couple of years ago."

"BBO provides bridge players an excellent platform to make friends and to improve skills. In addition to playing a few in person games at local club, as well as couple of regional and national games, I play regularly on BBO and have never missed an NABC robot individual since, as I find it very challenging and so enjoyable."

"I am really excited to play against some of best players in the country, and always appreciated the learning opportunities. A combination of skill and a little luck makes for success in a bridge game, and I'm glad to see improvement in my skills and fortune on my side this time."

"The 2 tips I think most important to share with players are,

1) To bid a little more aggressively - being declarer gives you an advantage over playing defense with a robot partner.

2) To be patient and wait for opponents to make mistakes - the robot tends to make more mistakes than human players in the later stages of the board."

"This following hand, may not seem so exciting, but serves as a good example. Doubling without 4-card spade may seem a little too aggressive, but being non-vulnerable and with three quick winners, you won't want to pass the only opportunity to voice out; and the robot partner cooperated to bring the contract to 3S in competition. After diamond lead, instead of taking care of the trump immediately, consider exiting with heart not once, but twice. This will gave the robot a chance to cash the diamond Q, meaning the contract goes down by only one, for a solid 96%."

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