Sami Kehela is a semi-retired bridge writer and teacher whose greatest loves are his granddaughter, Carly, films and fine wines.
Kehela is the former editor of the Ontario Kibitzer, bridge columnist for Toronto Life, contributor to the Bridge Bulletin and contributing editor to The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge. In addition, Kehela has had considerable success in North American and international competition.
“It became apparent very early in my life that I was not ready for honest toil,” said Kehela. He learned to play bridge aboard a cargo ship — “first I learned that you needed 2 1/2 (quick tricks) and later I discovered you needed 13 (high-card points).” He also learned by kibitzing Adam Meredith, one of the great British players.
Kehela told of his pride in learning how to handle partner Eric Murray’s bidding. “I listened to the opponents’ bidding and I believed them, not my partner,” explained Kehela. “It worked during the 30 years of our partnership.”
His other successes include 2nd in the Bermuda Bowl in 1974, 3rd in the Olympiad Teams in 1968 and 1972; the Rosenblum Teams in 1982; 4th in the World Olympiad Teams in 1964; 5th in the World Open Pairs in 1970, the Rosenblum Cup Teams in 1978. Kehela represented Canada in other world championships in 1960, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1986, 1988 and 1990.
Kehela was coach for the North American team in the Bermuda Bowl in 1962, 1963 and 1965. He won the Team Trials in 1966 and 1973; the Life Master Men’s Pairs in 1963, the Spingold 1964, 1965 and 1968; the Vanderbilt in 1966 and 1970; the Blue Ribbon Pairs in 1967, the Life Master Pairs in 1969, the Canadian National Teams Championship in 1980 and 1981. He was 2nd in the Spingold in 1963, the Blue Ribbon Pairs in 1969 and the Reisinger in 1969 and 1972.