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Nov 3, 2020

In August of 2012, Tom Carmichael and I spent 12 days together in Taicang, China. Tom as the non-playing captain (NPC) of the USA1 Under 21 team, and me as the executive producer of a documentary film with the working title Lost in the Shuffle. We decided to focus on Tom’s team owing to the appeal of the players on it and their chance to win the first ever medal for the US in the Youngsters (Under 21) Series. This conversation is eight years in the making.

As an outside documenter, it’s fascinating to hear Tom talk about the dynamics between his fellow NPC’s and how they discussed and learned about which teams and players were good. Tom earned silver medals as both a player and NPC in junior bridge and has represented the US in The World Mind Sport Games.

For all of the junior bridge players out there, Tom and Joel Wooldridge’s partnership started when they met at the junior reception at a Summer NABC. You never know where you might find your world class partner!

Episode highlights:

1:35- How Tom got into bridge

3:55- Parents met at a bridge club

12:15- How Tom met Joel Wooldridge

14:20 - System development with Joel Wooldridge by mail. Joel became ACBL youngest Life Master in 1990 at the age of 11 years 4 months and 13 days.

18:20- Bridge spans across generations

21:30- Tom believes it is awesome how bridge allows you to compete even against the world best

25:40- Tom’s interesting relationships with ACBL Youngest Life Masters

26:50- Atlanta Junior Bridge, Atlanta Super Sectional hosted first ever Youth NABC in 2010

29:20- Tom’s memories of the 2012 World Youth Team Championships (the event covered by Double Dummy)

40:15- The competitive pressure and emotions of the game

47:10- Serious Pie Neapolitan pizza in downtown Seattle

48:05- Tom’s wife Jenni won the 2016 Reno NABC Mixed Pairs with Greg Humphreys.

50:05- Tom’s system with Joel Wooldridge

57:15- Tom’s attitude towards Joel’s success in bridge

1:00:40- Shireen Mohandes’ site

1:06:45- Tom’s history with Atlanta Junior Bridge

1:10:00- Tom’s story of kibitzing his team as NPC and how he handles the non-bridge aspects of NPCing

1:20:00- Celebration of Justin Lall’s Life

1:25:30- You need to be able to move on from losses

1:31:00- Deal on which Tom won the IMP Pairs + other crazy hands