Silicon Valley Youth Bridge Center for Bridge Education

The Newsletter of Silicon Valley Youth Bridge

Double Dummy - The Movie

by Lynn Johannesen

On January 15, SiVY Bridge gave 146 Bay Area bridge lovers the opportunity to attend a one-time local screening of the documentary Double Dummy. The film, the first created by long-time bridge enthusiast John McAllister, gives viewers the chance to learn about the excitement of youth bridge competition at the world championship level. It focuses on the USA1 Under 21 Team in the 2012 Youth World Championship in China.

Michael Hu moderating the expert panel
The showing was followed by a 30- minute Q&A session with world champions Michael, Debbie, and Kevin Rosenberg, as well as Adam Kaplan, one of the players featured in the movie. Michael Hu graciously introduced the expert panel, and the session was lively right up until time ran out.

Thanks are due to Qing Lu and Michael Hu, who organized the showing and recruited the panel for the Q&A. Michael Xu, Arthur Zhou, and Michael Zheng also assisted in various ways.

The helpers and panelists at the Double Dummy screening. (from left to right) Arthur Zhou, Michael Hu, Michael Xu, Michael Rosenberg, Debbie Rosenberg, Kevin Rosenberg, Adam Kaplan, Michael Zheng

One exciting part of the documentary focuses on USA1’s resurgence in the second half of the semifinal match in China. The team was down 56 IMPs (a scoring system used in team matches in bridge) with only 28 boards to play. Instead of becoming discouraged, the young players pushed harder. They managed to pick up 26 IMPs in the third quarter, to trail by only 30, and then 62 IMPs in the last 14 boards, to win by 32 IMPs!

When asked for his reaction to viewing the film, Adam Kaplan said that it was a somewhat emotional event for him, largely because his life has changed so much since it was shot. He graduated from Stanford last year, and he was struck by one question from an audience member about why he decided to pursue an education and a career outside bridge, rather than becoming a professional player. Although he is still closely connected with bridge in many ways, he said that he felt a need to explore other sides of his talents and other aspects of life, as well.

Adam attended the showing with several of his friends from Stanford who don’t play bridge. He said that they enjoyed seeing him in a different context. Many of them have since expressed interest in learning the game, though none of them have apparently actually started to play—yet.

Double Dummy is available for download on