Berkeley/El Cerrito/Richmond 497

By The Beer Dude

The Eagles finally landed; on we go to March Madness (good luck w/your brackets!). Still not enough rain, just hope we’ll have had some by the time you see this. And heads up! You will have to provide the ACBL w/your e-mail address if you wish to continue receiving the Forum once it goes electronic-only starting w/the May issue (see Marion Robertson’s column in the Feb. issue).
Three unit games to report, so here we go: Friday, January 12 (6 tbls) produced a tie between “H” & Dick Walker and Dexter & Gordon for 1st, with “RoJo” 3A, Jan Straus & Jeanne Sutter 4A/2B, and Carrie & Catherine 3B. Wednesday, January 31, Sandi & Roseanne topped the 7-table field, with Helen Flaherty (a recent move-in from New England; welcome to civilized weather!) & Gordon Libby 2A/1B, Veda Mason & Marcia Mattoon 3A/2B, Herbert & Janice Tamm 4A/3B, & a 3-way 5/7 tie for 5A. Friday, February 2, Eric & Susie topped the 6-table field; 2/3A were Carol Scott & “H” & Dolores Mackinnon & Chet Young (also 1B), with “RoJo” 4A, Carrie & Catherine 2B, and Jan & Jeanne 3B. March games are Friday 2nd, & Wednesday 28th.
In-Out/Rank mover-uppers: Welcome new members Lucia Blakeslee, Dirk Epperson, & Jane Sellen. One new Sectional Master (50+): Caroline Kosovac.
At da club, Gordon was MP champ; Barbara Lanier the top NLM. Club championship day is Friday 16th. Meanwhile, keep your ACBL dues current (easily done online!), & don’t OD on beer/Irish Whiskey on the 17th.
Tweak to brag/gripe/suggest; Unit info & game results available 24/7 @

Carson/Tahoe 465

By Carole Sill

This is Carole Sill, I’m back after a break. I thank Marie Bresch for the wonderful job she did. for the past few years. Our big news is our website which is up and running. The site is
On February 14 Gary Nitsberg and Paul Jorgensen, directors of the CUBE treated all players to a free game as a thank you for two years of the club.
We play with a lot of bridge players but we really don’t know much about them. I would like to profile one of our players, Paul Kushner. Paul grew up in San Francisco, then moved to South Lake Tahoe 40 years ago. He worked on Ski Patrol for 10 years, then returned to school and raised a family (no time for bridge). He had a wife of 32 years and three grown children. He taught school for the last 27 years. He taught math and led a choir program of nine choirs for the last 23 years. Now retired, he has time for his passion, bridge.
At the 2018 Clambake in Monterey Paul won four scattered 1sts including a 3rd overall in an over 5000 IMPs event for a total of 56 gold points. Congratulations, Paul.

Diablo Valley 499

By Lisa Assoni

Spring has sprung, and a wonderful time of the year to come out of hibernation. Oh baby, it was cold outside, but now it’s time to fling into spring, and where better to shed a sweater than your local bridge center. The first day of spring is March 20. It’s also called the spring equinox, as it’s one of the four temperate seasons. That being said, I can feel my partner’s temperature rise, as I lay down my hand to a contract of 4♠, which should have been bid 3NT making five. She did a super job of hiding her disappointment.
At the Monterey Regional, a taste of success was gobbled up by Unit 499 novices/intermediates. Some of the top masterpoint winners were: Malcolm Mendelson with a whopping 14; Mel and Marilyn Chaplin with a full plate of 10 each; Forrest Bottomley, Barbara Bottomley, and Irwin Javinsky with nine each; John and Mary Schelling who loved the number eight; and Pat O’Neill, Susan O’Neill, and Sam Earnhardt who each came home with seven. Congratulations, bridgers!
Bragging rights for the October 25 ACBL-Wide Instant Match Point Game. went to two “wise” guys, Michael Kruley & Michael Schneider, who topped all players in District 21. (ACBL-wide, there were 3500 players.) Well done! You were the icing on the cake! Michael Kruley is also a well-regarded director and teacher in Unit 499.
As this is the last written issue, I’ve tried to jam-in as much information about what’s happening at Unit 499. We’re a busy bunch, and each bridge player is worth their weight in gold. So, let’s continue to stir-up-the learning pot.
More compliments to Linda & Dan Friedman, as they relish those placing 2nd in the District 21 Flight A NAP. Competition awaits them at the Philadelphia Spring NABC. An honor well deserved.
A very big deal was earned by the following folks who achieved Life Master and above. Like Gary Hargrove, and Gregg Riehl. Official Bronze went to Mark Marty. Lovely Silver went to Louise Gebert, and Gold, a very precious metal, went to Conrad Robinson.
A real asset to our board is a new member, Marian Renvall. She’s volunteered to be our hospitality chair this year. She’ll have lots to do as we prepare for our Spring Sectional. This event is on schedule for April 28-29. And then comes Larry, Larry Cohen that is, who’ll be hosting a seminar on May 16, 2018. Another biggie is our Fall Sectional on November 10-11. So get your marker out, and make note of what’s being prepared, just for you.
May I say, it’s been a pleasure to cook-up some tidbits for your monthly reading pleasure. Caught me on online.
Ciao Bella, Lisa

East Bay 502

By Larry Bowerman

Welcome to new unit members Robert Campbell and Carolyn Darcey! When you see them, please take the time to welcome them to our Unit 502.
Congratulations to the following players on their recent rank advancements: Maxine Coplin, Jakob Karstens, Carmen Murray and Franklin Silver, Sectional Master; Barak Engel, NABC Master; Joseph Held, Sarla Purohit and Andy Wasserman, Life Master; and Dianne Macleod and Russell Rector, Bronze Life Master.
Kudos to each of you, and keep on playing, there is always another goal in front of you! When you see them, please take the time to congratulate each on their advancements.
Unfortunately, I have some sad news to report: Ronnie Bendheim passed away on January 7 at age 97 ½. She had been a recent regular at the East Bay Community Bridge Center, playing mostly with Marcia Mattoon or Jo Levy. She will be missed. And, I’m sure many of you are hoping that you’re able to continue playing bridge for as long as Ronnie did!
As usual, there are a few important calendar events to note. First, there will be regularly scheduled Unit 502 games on Sundays, March 4 and March 18 beginning at 1:00 p.m. The free lunch will be served in the East Bay Community Bridge Center kitchen at about 12:30 p.m.
EBCBC club championship games will take place during the week of March 5 to March 10. The upcoming Saturday games at the EBCBC at noon will be on March 10 & 24, April 21 & 28. If you want to play, please contact Betty Kael to sign-up for these games. There is an ACBL-wide Senior Pairs Game at the EBCBC on Monday, March 19, at noon.
Looking ahead a couple of months, the Western Conference Spring Fling STAC Week games will take place from May 7-12. If you need silver points, mark your calendars!
In the January 7 unit game, Jim & Pat Leary took 1st place, followed by Brian Eisenberg & Kathryn Von Dohre, and Randy Corr & Carol Penskar. All three pairs had games above 63%!
In the January 21 unit game, Jim & Pat Leary again took 1st place, Otto Edor & Gunnar Niemi second, and Carol Warren & Larry Bowerman 3rd. All three were N/S pairs and had games above 59%. Edwin & Teresa Seputis took 1st place in the E/W direction.
In Monterey, Cole Powell, Sarita Mathiasen and their teammates placed 3rd in the Friday Side Swiss Teams event. Eight days later Cole & Peter Gelfand placed 1st in the Saturday two session Open Pairs event at the San Francisco Sectional.
Congratulations to Grant & Greg Vance, who finished 1st in the District 21 Flight A NAP finals in Burlingame on January 21. Nice job!
In the February 4 unit game, Allan Harris & David Snyder took 1st place, Jessica Lai & Grant Vance 2nd place, and Betty Kael & Susan Boyers 3rd. All three pairs had games above 61%.
Sandi Davis is writing next month’s column so please contact her if you have interesting results or other items to report: Sandi

Fresno 522

By Laura Da Costa

As I write this column, the Fresno Winter Sectional has not yet taken place. I will present a summary of that event next month.
Late January and February was a time for new people and new things around the clubhouse. The new people come from our beginning bridge lessons. Mary Lou Pease has started teaching a class for the Clovis Adult School at our clubhouse every Tuesday evening. She has over two tables of new faces. I have started our free Saturday morning Easybridge! 1 lessons, and I also have over two tables.
Mary Lou is also teaching our free Saturday morning Easybridge! 2 lessons; these lessons have 3-4 tables of primarily members, but there are new faces in that group, too. It is a long way from having any of these players playing at the clubhouse, but it is a great first step.
The new items in the clubhouse involve a new white board (well actually, a glass magnetic board), and various items to spruce up the room. We are approaching our 9-year anniversary at the Shaw location and with five more years ahead of us, it is time to fix a few areas. A new board, touch up paint, reorganizing what we have, and a few other new items have already done wonders. Thanks go to the people giving up free time to work on the 1st wave of changes: Kay Chrisman, Laura Da Costa, Jackie Finn, and Anthony Toto.
Speaking of anniversaries, we will soon be having our 9th anniversary lunch and game. At this time the date has not been chosen, but we know it will be a Sunday in April. We will make sure it does not conflict with the nearby Modesto Regional, April 9-15.
January 28 was a Pro-Am Pairs game with a potluck lunch; Pro-Am Pairs games are rarer in our clubhouse as we usually have Pro-Am teams games. We had six tables attend the Sunday event with the big winners being Richard Meffley & Patrick Carroll.
January was a fairly slow month for 70% games with just four pairs and one individual achieving that value. In Madera, Carol Kaufman & Barbara Diebert, 71.88%. In Oakhurst, Wally Wallace & Paul Mertens, 71.53%; the rest were in Fresno. Alvin Fred Schellack & Julia Kendall, 75%; Margaret Mahaffey & Laura Da Costa, 70.14%; Bob Cross, 71.59%.
That’s it for this month. There should be a lot more to report in the April column including results from the Fresno Winter Sectional and plans and date for the Anniversary Party.

Livermore Valley 501

By Rosemarie LaFrancesca

When we were tots we learned our A-B-Cs and 1-2-3s. Now we have to count to 13 in four different suits and our alphabet is mixed up! Many have started playing XYZ instead of NMF. Some swear by LTC, and others espouse KISS. Some play 2/1 and others SAYC. If I try to put more in my head, I’ll be SOL. At the bridge table it is never DDSS but DDDS (if you don’t know all these acronyms, just Google them and you’ll find out PDQ!).
We hope you will join us weekly for bridge at the Livermore Bridge Club. We meet Mondays and Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. in the IOOF Building, 2160 1st Street, in Livermore. Parking and entrance are in the rear; an elevator is available. Most games, including extra point games, are only $6.00. STAC games are $8.00; educational fund games are $7.00. Reservations are suggested for the Monday STAC. Players bring food to share; the club provides coffee/tea. A good time is had by all.
Novice Games (0-99 points) are held the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. And you don’t even need a partner. Every Thursday we will guarantee a partner to any player with fewer than 100 masterpoints, even on Thursdays with no special 99er game. Any player can come without a partner and we will match you up with a friendly player for four hours of fun. Encourage your bridge-playing friends to give duplicate bridge a try!
We are happy to see some of our 99ers play on Mondays as well. Keep up the good work, 99ers!
The Livermore Bridge Club website is You will find a calendar of events there; you can also find Paul’s bridge tips and publications via There are links to neighboring units if you want to travel to your next bridge game.
Thank you to Art Mirin for his work in chairing the sectional held the last weekend in January. Although it was a bit cold (furnace problem at the venue) a good time was had by all. Thank you, too, to Nancy Blasingame for once again coordinating all the snacks. We often hear we have the best food around. Many, many members helped with set-up and tear-down and parking. An equal number helped by bringing food or donating dollars to the food cause. Bridge is a partnership game, but putting on a bridge tournament is a group effort.
Thank you one and all!
Here are some results from the tournament: Saturday morning 99er Pairs: 1. Don Garka & Rajani Chandrasekar; 2. Jacky Poulsen & Linnea Cook; 3. Nancy Arnold & Patricia Dressler; Saturday afternoon 499er Pairs: 3. Richard Mensing & Eugene Heiman; Saturday afternoon 99er Pairs: 2. Nancy Mulligan & Marilyn Reeve; Sunday Swiss Bracket 2: 2. Rick Wilson, Art Mirin, Dan Bergmann, John Engstrom and Steve Blasingame; 3. Gary Minnig, Ameen Paul, Teresa Duewer and Dan Wong; Sunday Swiss Bracket 3: 2. Mindy Kane, Nancy Hull, Phil Mumford and John Liebenberg; Sunday Swiss Bracket 4: 2. Shailesh Shah, Fred Cochran, Ronald Jensen and Harvey Siegel; 3. Jacky Poulsen, Vickie Renbarger, Nancy Rodrigue and Linnea Cook.

Marin 508

By Gail Haar

Welcome to our newest unit members Christina Dallera, Georgia Fie and William Mentzer. And congratulations to those moving up in rank: Neva Moskowitz & Peter Sorensen (Club Master); John Kling & Marvin Moskowitz (Sectional Master); Diane Howard (Regional Master); Gail Haar (Bronze Life Master.)
Many Marin players did well at the Monterey Regional. Coming in 1st in their events were Carolyn Farren & Paulette Moe, Gold Rush Pairs; Linda Danzig & partner, Mid-Flight Pairs; Bill Bailey, Arti Bhargava & team, Bracketed KO; Vicki Quinn & Lani Valentine, Side Series; Gene Simpson & team, Bracketed KO; Gene Simpson, Carol Liss & team, Swiss (A); Linda Danzig, Nancy Herzog & team, Swiss (B). In the San Francisco Sectional, Bob Liss & Ellen Schiller came in 1st in the 1-session Open Pairs.
Two big events are coming this spring, so be sure to mark your calendars in red. The Marin Spring Sectional is April 21 & 22, and superstar teacher Larry Cohen will be in Marin on May 10. Lots more information online at
March is the time of year when the Unit 508 Nominating Committee meets to discuss filling vacancies on the board. Among the board openings is an opportunity for one or two folks to chair our education program. With most of our unit members having rankings below Life Master, the board is looking for ways to create more fun learning opportunities and to increase comfortable playing environments for beginners. If you have ideas and energy we’d love to include you. If you love bridge (no matter what your player level) and want to contribute to your bridge community, please contact Bill Yeast, Ellen Coll or Gail Haar.
We have some big birthdays coming up in the next couple of months. Ceil Moskowitz will be 97 on March 3. Even though she stopped playing bridge months ago, she was part of our family for many years. Doris Lecke will be 101 on March 26. The unstoppable Edie Glynn will be 97 on April 12.
These ladies have forgotten more about bridge than your intrepid reporter has ever learned. What great role models for us all.
Finally, on a bittersweet note, there was a good turnout for the final Monday night game at the Crossley Bridge Center. Players brought champagne to toast “the end of an era” in Marin. Ellen Schiller & Joan Ehmann took 1st overall, but Dan Dayani & Bette Cornelius were 1st N/S. Dan came over from SF because he had played 45 years ago at Lura’s Grand Opening Game when she celebrated relocating the club to the Greenbrae Boardwalk with champagne!

Modesto/Merced/Sonora 529

By Gail Vick

Frank Frohman was the top point scorer for January with 6.52 masterpoints, followed by Robert Frohman, Ralph Jungwirth, Trelle Uhl, and Ray Adams. With 72.22%, Trelle Uhl & Ralph Jungwirth won 1st overall in A to take 1st for the month, on January 30. Mickey Holt & Sharon Cole won 1st in both B & C, 58.63%, as well as sweeping the board to place 1st in A as well on the 18th.
The buzz of the Sunday Beginning games, was on January 7, when Jeanne Russo & Barbara Bogart had a 75% game, and both Sherrie Barakatt & Dave Clement, along with Mickey & Jack Holt won & placed across the board! On the 21st, Judy Remmers & Jeanne Russo won 1st overall at 58.33%, with Terry Sciabica & Nelda Smith winning across the board C-A, 1, 1, tying for 2/3.
Welcome to newcomers Lorraine Bock and Diane Hockersmith from Merced, who also placed across the board. Sharon & Neil Von Tersch won 1st across the board, 57.81% on Sunday, the 28th; Marcia Eblen & Terry Sciabica also placed across the board, with Barbara Page & Joyce Rudesill following closely behind the Von Terschs’ to capture 2nd in A, 57.43%.
With 64.29%, Jeanne Russo & Linda Kenyon took both 1st in A & B, and Sherrie Barakatt & Mike Saeler finishing 1st in C at January’s unit game.
Sad to report that Jim Kenyon passed away on January 10. Jim received his Bachelor’s Degree from Oregon State, and his Master’s Degree from the University of Oregon, but his #1 school was always “Oregon State.” He was an English teacher at Modesto High for 35 years, enjoyed traveling, especially New Orleans Mardi Gras for over 20 years. Jim was quite passionate about bridge, with over 3500 masterpoints, Life Master Status, also enjoyed the theatre, and an avid basketball fan until the end of his beloved alma mater, Oregon State. Jim will be missed, his quick wit gone, but his kind and caring words will not be forgotten.
Many of our players attended the Monterey Regional. Dee Heller & Pat Gallo along with their team from Turlock won 1st in a Knockout game, while many others placed as well, Bruce Ruskin, Ralph Jungwirth, Trelle Uhl, Joyce Rudesill, Dee Alexander, Vickie MacClyment, Kathy High, Pam Sands, Sherry Barakatt, Mickey & Jack Holt, Chris Barkley, Libby Longstreth, Ray Adams, Dave Terry, Connie Arnold, Judy Remmers, Barbara Page, and Gail Vick. Great weather, beautiful setting, and wonderful restaurants, especially “Gusto” in Seaside, a hidden “gem.”
Save the dates, District 21 is holding a regional in Modesto April 9-15, Modesto DoubleTree Hotel. In addition to all the regular games of Knockouts, Gold Rush, Swiss Teams, Open Pairs, etc., beginning duplicate games (0-99) are held three times a day, as well as a free game on Saturday the 14th at 1:30 for players with 0-5 points. Do not miss this opportunity to play bridge, meet new people, right here in Modesto. Judy Remmers, can help those in the beginning games to find partners, if necessary.
Our local unit is trying to recruit new players and suggested that we have a side game for beginning players. This means you would not play advanced players, only beginners. We will need to have three tables to play 18 boards for players to receive winning points. Please let Judy Remmers, know if you are interested, and if Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday at noon would work best for you. Judy can help you find a partner if necessary.
Bruce Ruskin has reached Gold Master Status going over the 2500 point mark. Congratulations, Bruce!
From The Foothills: This year our annual New Year’s Day Party was won by Catherine Holt & Harry Phillips. The event was hosted by Roger Hanlon and Darryl Rosenheim. Immediately after, a few of our players took off for the regional in Monterey. The only one returning victorious was one of our newer players, Kevin Smith. Congratulations, Kevin!
The players of the month for January were: Monday, Alan & Susan Hamilton with 2.84 points; Tuesday, Alan alone with 1.92 points. The Hamiltons, together, scored the top game 72.92 % on January 19; The Wednesday winners were Bob & Lydia Solomon, 2.31 points and the Friday game once again, Duane & Vicky Oneto prevailed with 2.46 points; Our Tuesday game will now be held at the Senior Center in Sonora at 12:30 p.m., directed by Alan Hamilton.
Newcomers welcome!
On the 29th of January we celebrated Susan Hamilton for becoming a Ruby Life Master, a potluck lunch brought wonderful food and then seven tables of bridge with Bonnie Landis & Dave Jenkins, Duane Oneto & Ann Sturm tying for the top honors. Congratulations, Susan .
Merced Happenings
Betty Brown (age 94) has been suffering from pneumonia. I believe that now she is on the mend and should be back at the tables soon. Margaret Quinn has survived her recent visits to the hospital for tests and is continuing her winning ways at the club. Margaret’s regular partner George Loscalzo seems to have managed to continue his winning ways despite several setbacks with his favorite partner.
Larrie Sweet and Gary Smith have been doing a good job of scooping up masterpoints as well. The club will miss this pair for most of February as Larrie may be out for a few weeks.
Starting in February, the club shall now be using the Bridge Mate Remote Scoring Devices to record the results. This should have several benefits.
1) It displays the players each round before play begins.
2) It computes the score automatically when the contracted and the results have been entered.
3) It requires that the E/W pair approve (verify) the result.
4) The director will no longer make errors transferring results to the ACBL scoring program.
5) The results of the game will be available instantly after the last board has been played.
Top masterpoint winners for January were: George Loscalzo, 2.94; Larrie Sweet, 2.59; Vickie Sweet, 2.59; Margaret Quinn, 2.30; Gary Smith, 2.26.

Monterey 530

By Mary Block

Our beloved Olivia Bigelow passed away on January 4, at the age of 103 and a half. She was a fixture in the NLM games for many years. Olivia was very proud of the fact that she passed her driving test at the age of 100. We all enjoyed celebrating her birthdays together, some of us wearing the colors of her beloved LA Dodgers.
Bob Sokol also passed away in January. He had been a member of the unit board of directors. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis, also a bridge player.
Hetty Eddy asked to share the following with our members: I want to thank the unit for nominating me for 2017 District 21 Goodwill Award. I want to thank Doug Halleen for the suggestion, and Larry Slayton for allowing us to play alongside his open game. I’m very honored to have received this award.
As I remembered back to my beginnings of playing bridge, I was reminded of the frustration of not being able to practice the playing game at my comfort level. It was with this knowledge and the encouragement of Doug Halleen, that I started the “shuffle and play” practice time for beginners and anyone that wanted to get back into the game. The beginners know that every Thursday I will be there to answer questions, support their playing of the game and give them encouragement. This is a complex game, as you all know, and for a beginner can be quite daunting.
Thanks also to Charlotte Wilson for her invaluable assistance.
Continuing on last month’s thread about the unit’s need for volunteers, elections will be held in the month of May for the open seats on the board of directors. Your reporter, along with Kathy Pfitzer (go Bears!) and Heidi Hollman are the nominating committee. Contact any of us, or at least don’t run off if we contact you; we will hunt you down. You should take our interest in you as a compliment.
Put the dates of the May Sectional on your calendars. Friday-Sunday, May 18-20. Start planning your partnerships and alert your out of town friends. Volunteers will be needed for all phases of the operation. We are famous for our hospitality and good food.
We have just a few status changes this month: Roger Barry, William Geary, and Ed Schrenzel are all new Junior Masters. David Ow is a Regional Master, and Peter DeGregorio has reached Life Master status. Congratulations and keep up the good work.
Doug Halleen’s EZ Bridge! classes have started at the Bridge Center on Thursday afternoons. It isn’t too late to start. Just contact Doug at 917-2502.
Starting with the May issue of the Forum, you will no longer receive the dead tree artifact in your mailbox. High printing and mailing costs have forced the Western Conference to take this action. Now would be a very good time for you to go online to ACBL and make sure that your current email address is there, so that you will receive the monthly link to open the e-version. Along the same lines, some of our local members have mentioned that they do not always receive the email blasts that Kurt sends out. You should make sure that is in your address book, so that your email program doesn’t think this important mail is spam and put it in the junk folder. If you have any questions, you know where to find me.
We are 831 384-7800. I am The Foundation is

Palo Alto 503

By Carolyn Chaney

Registration is open for our upcoming intermediate/advanced workshops on May 12-13 with Larry Cohen. On Saturday Larry will teach these defense topics: Second Hand Play and Notrump Defense at Tricks 1 & 2. The Sunday topics are: The Throw-in Play and Finding the Queen. Register at before May 1 for a reduced fee of $85 per day (on May 1 it goes up to $95). The fee includes breakfast snacks and a light lunch and a great learning experience with Larry. Hey, SiVY players aged 18 or younger, Larry and the Peninsula Bridge Education Foundation will pay your fees, so the workshops are free to youth. Wouldn’t it be great to play with your mom on Mother’s Day?
Our fabulous lecture series continues on February 27 when Lynn Yokel teaches Six Hands. On March 13 Frank Smoot will present Raising Partner’s Overcall (good follow-up to Blakely’s talk - see below) and on March 27 Responsive Doubles. I always mix those up, but I can’t go and learn on March 27. Luckily for us, all the lesson handouts are available on our website, often with BridgeBaron files for extra practice, so I can study in my pajamas. If you didn’t make it to Bruce Blakely’s talk on Cuebids by Responder and Advancer, I highly recommend you get his informative handout and play the hands (in your pajamas). I was grateful to learn a way to find out if pard has a weak or strong overcall without getting too high in the auction. Thank you, Bruce!
In other unit news, we will have a pairs unit game on March 31 and Swiss Teams on March 4 beginning at noon (lunch at 11:30). C’mon down. Also, Kathy Harper will teach an introduction to 2/1 Game Forcing on Tuesday mornings, beginning on March 6. If you’ve put off learning 2/1, now is the time to take the plunge; it really isn’t hard.
Do you know some kids entering grades 5-10 who would like to learn our great game? Now is the time for youth to register for 2018 Bridge Summer Camp on June 18-22 in the IFES Hall. By week’s end beginners learn enough to compete in their first duplicate. Those who know some bridge rapidly improve. And everyone has a good time! Many of our advanced youth players got started at camp, and some will be back as mentors. Register here by April 15 for the early bird discount:
Not long ago the E/W pair at our table committed some felony (I think declarer had too many cards at the end) and we had a director call, the fifth one for that pair that day (ouch). Director John came over, grimaced, and said to me, “I’m done dealing with them, you figure it out!”
Don’t you love it when your director has a sense of humor?
Alert: this column will be going digital only in May; will you continue to be a faithful reader? If yes, the next time you see me, say the secret words: “Support Double.”

Reno 473

By Sandy Powell

It is with a great sense of loss that we inform you of Molly Rakestraw’s passing. She was born in 1923 and succumbed to pneumonia on January 22. Wife, mom, and secretary to her husband’s business, she also worked in a yarn shop. Her exquisite sweaters made all of us would-be knitters despair of ever making one as beautiful as hers. Even in the hospital, she was knitting yet another creation.
Molly played with the Reno Bridge Club for many years. She was a model of the bridge player’s ideal, an ideal rarely met by the rest of us. Never did she become angry with her partner and level sardonic criticism. Likewise, if berated by her partner, she simply smiled. Always, she was willing to play with the less skilled and didn’t worry that, when she did, there would be no masterpoints for her that day. Molly’s joy came from playing the game. Win or loose, she always had fun and left the club happy. An accomplished bridge player, she will be most remembered as a wonderful person, serene of temperament, equanimous and always interested in the lives of others. We will miss her greatly.
To some cheerful announcements: Mark your calendars now! The Reno Bridge Club will be hosting two sectionals this year: April 18-21 and August 15-18. As usual, we will play at the Nugget set in the heart of Victorian Square with its shops and great restaurants.
Congratulations to those who have advanced in Rank: Life Master: Ann Little, Marie Ghent, Judy Robyns, Bob Robyns; NABC Master: Jill Wallace; Regional Master: Jane Martin, Bradford Stone, Sandy Powell; Sectional Master: Frederick Kelly, Monica Brandl, Matt Oakley, Marjorie Quaglieri, Stella Russell, Elaine Simkins.
And the big winners this month were: overall - Daniel Green & Emma Miller (68.47%); James Paschal & Paul Blumberg (66.07%); 299er competition - Brad Stone & Sandy Powell (67.86%); Marie Ernst & Mary Aaroe (62.50%); Brad Stone & Elaine Simkins (60.85%)
Emma Miller, who dropped in to play during her winter break from the American University in Washington, D.C. (this month’s top board), deserves special mention. When the Reno Youth Bridge Program began at McQueen High School, Emma then was a junior and learned to play with her friend Matt Oakley under the tutelage of Mike Slattery. Both now are in college but come to play when in town. As partners, they attended the Nationals in Washington, D.C. and Toronto. Already formidable players, those are names to watch for in the future. Also, their success is a testament to the success of the Reno Youth Bridge Program which our club began in 2007. Since then, some 200 students have been introduced to our wonderful game. Some lose interest; for many others bridge will continue to enrich their lives; and, for some, like Emma and Matt, it will be a lifelong passion. Not only has the club been able to introduce bridge to many young people, it has helped them participate in the wider world of competitive bridge by helping to defray travel costs. In the era of mindless video games, teaching bridge to young people who wish to use their minds not only enhances their lives but assures the game continues into the next, and next generations.
Thanks to all in the club who teach in the Youth Bridge Program, and especially to its president, Jefri Donovan, and to the young people who participate in it.
Bridge Guidelines: The Rule of 17. If your partner opens with a Weak 2, opponent passes, and you are undecided about bidding 2NT, use the following guideline: Count your HCPs, add the number of partner’s trump you hold. If the total is <17, pass. If 17 or more, bid 2NT.

Sacramento 505

By Miriam Steinberg

Bridge tournaments can be exciting. But nothing prepared Ronnie McMurdie and John Reynen for their experience at the Hawaii Regional in January. One morning at a pre-game breakfast at their rental house, three cell phones went off with an emergency alert that a missile was imminently landing in Hawaii.
“This is not a drill,” the message warned. “Do not leave the house. Do not go outside. Do not stand near windows,” it warned. Ronnie bemoaned the fact that she had not yet achieved all she wanted to accomplish in life. John’s 9-year-old granddaughter, Gracie, made some phone calls.
No one got hysterical. Since they had nowhere safe to go because the house was all glass windows, they convened in the living room to check on the news. They couldn’t get the tv to work. John just accepted that his demise would be the end of a life well-lived and they waited. Finally after around 40 minutes, they were relieved to receive another alert that it had been a false alarm and their lives had been spared. So John and Ronnie headed over to the hotel, where the game was postponed for about twenty minutes. Negligible conversation amongst the players focused on the missile crisis and the game went on as if nothing had transpired. Apparently, nothing can ruffle dedicated bridge players.
At the same moment, Gary Soules had been watching a Duke University basketball game in his hotel room before the tournament when a very nonchalant announcer came on and said something apologetically like “We’re just interrupting the game to let you know a missile will hit Hawaii in ten minutes. Seek shelter.” They quickly retreated to the lobby where his wife Jan took her jewelry and called her son. After borrowing the sports page from a man in the lobby to avoid boredom, Gary realized he forgot his glasses, went back to his room to fetch them and stopped at the bar on the way back and ordered a drink. The bartender turned to Gary and requested $19. for the drink. Gary was incredulous. “You are going to charge me when the world is going to come to an end in ten minutes?” he questioned him exasperated. The bartender insisted, in fear of losing his job, in spite of Hawaii being obliterated.
Gary gave him his room number and quickly returned to the lobby. Shortly after, they got another phone message that there was indeed no missile after all. Although Jan had understandably panicked, Gary insisted that he knew all along it wasn’t his time to die. After all, he rationalized, why would North Korea blow up Hawaii and risk not sending their hockey team to the Olympics!
Sally Wheeler-Valine has a real love relationship with food, which has been a blessing for District 21, where she has been the hospitality chairperson for the regionals for 14 plus years; her final event was Monterey in January. Sally prepared all the food for the continental breakfasts and the wine receptions, carefully making selections to delight the players. She was usually only able to play evening games, but she or her assistant Marilyn Minden would also fill in on morning games while the other would clean up. “I loved it; I loved the people. It was fun and I like to entertain,” she explained. The best part for her was watching players from different clubs meet each other to discuss bridge. Sally moved to Sacramento in 1963. She played bridge until 1970 and took a break until 1998, and now plays Thursday nights at the Arden Manor Bridge Club at the SBC, where she serves as president. Sally is currently looking for a permanent partner. “Mary Ose was my first partner, then she bypassed me and became a star!” She continued, “I like to play well, but I am not a fanatic. I try not to stress people out at the table. And confusing bids are always forcing!” she interjected.
Sally also served on the board of Unit 505 for five years, serving as hospitality chairperson and as district representative for five years.
In addition to her law career, she serves on the board of directors for Camerata California (choral group), Race for the Arts, Heritage Institute for Family Advocacy and Municipal Maintenance Equipment Entity. In her spare time, she also hosts 5-6 estate sales a year, which she loves for the treasure hunt.
Congratulations to the following new Master players: Richard Wilson, Diamond Life; Linda Rancourt, Sapphire Life; Richard Fabbre, Life; Cynthia Fredrickson, Brian Mansunaga, Advanced NABC; Jeremy Maurer, NABC; Donna Cleary, Mary Kay Hjelmeland, Joela Mueller, Regional; Mike Edelstein, Sarah Robinson, Marc Cunningham, Jan Garfunkel, Diane Goodman, Sectional; Mostafa Eldin, Kasondra Gerth, Lynn Hall, Carole Lindstrom, Ramona Nelson, Terrence Nelson, Bernice Rocca, Sharon Thompson, Mary Tullgren, Darlene Van Pykeren, Carolyn Wasmuth and Madeline Whichard, Junior.

San Francisco 506

By Kimberly Fanady

I am sorry to start off this month’s column with the sad news that one of Unit 506’s most prominent members, Harvey Brody, passed away in mid-January. I will let others catalogue his lengthy service to D21 and his national level bridge record, and write about what he meant to us everyday players. Harvey was a Grand Life Master with numerous major wins to his credit, yet still played in the San Francisco clubs. He was the proverbial grouch with a heart of gold, always gruff and never suffered fools gladly, but pleasant once you won his respect, quick to compliment a good play, and generous with his time and knowledge if you asked a question. I learned a lot from Harvey in my lowly beginner days. I continued to learn from him in my somewhat less lowly later days, both about the game itself and about how to run a good bridge club. Sara obviously brought him a lot of joy. He got slightly, but noticeably, less grouchy after she joined his life. Rest in peace, Harvey; we will miss you.
On a happier note, as promised in last month’s news, we have lots of bragging to do about the triumphs of Unit 506ers at the SF Winter Sectional in January. The tourney was a fine success, with a good turnout and lots of good bridge and good food. Many thanks to our diligent unit board of directors and tournament directing staff who always make the sectional a great event. And San Franciscans kicked butt! Congrats to our winners: in the pairs, Ruth Quigley & Edward Nicolaus, Newcomer; David Sweet & Devlin Delaney, 499er; Gary Mankin & Neil Vaz, Side; Deborah Drysdale & David Gendreau, 1st strats B and C, Side; Donald Lee & Christina Lo, 1st strats B and C, Newcomer; Karl Nicholas & Lee Sherwood, 1st strat C, Side. In the teams, Bracket V, Mary Kay Leveroni, Sue Campbell, Kirsten Beda, Geri Murphy; Bracket II, Anne Derbes, Bob Schwab, Steve Kipperman, and your faithful columnist. Many others had section tops and strat placings.
Nice going, all!          
The unit game schedule marches on with our annual celebration of our Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs winners on March 10. Come cheer for the successes of all our awardees. Lunch is at 11:30, game at noon, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1100 Gough Street at Geary.
All are welcome.
Congrats to our newly ranked: Junior Masters Beate Dietze-Reid, Mark Reed, Fataneh Scampa, and Jean Tepper; Club Masters Lydia Cohen and Suzanne Diamond; Sectional Masters Steven Blumlein and Maureen Fox; Regional Master Bruce Rutan; NABC Master Judith Baer; Life Master Baron Wang; and Bronze Life Master William Zhu. Well played, all!
Welcome to a bumper crop of new members: Chloe Chow, Helen Chow, Nathan Chow, Christian Goetze, Cynthia Koster, Melinda Li, Kyle Lin, Isabella Ouyang, Jerry Ouyang, Denise Wei, and Nancy Yu. We are very excited that eight of these newbies are students in the Cardology Kidz program, and another is a Lowell student in the Center for Bridge Education high school program.
Unit 506 is doing its part to lower the ACBL median age! Be sure to say hello to all of these new members when you meet them at the table.
Finally, good luck to everyone going to Philly, home of the newly crowned Super Bowl champions, for the NABC. Make the Liberty Bell ring again with news of your triumphs! Your peripatetic columnist will be there, running up the Rocky steps in hot pursuit of platinum points. But no cheesesteaks for this vegetarian!
See you at the table.

San Mateo 498

By Fran Gaura

Raindrops could not dampen the spirits of Unit 498 players at the Monterey Clambake. Accolades to our own Raad Bunni who was honored by District 21; he was awarded the President’s Goodwill Award for his outstanding contribution to the game, providing an open access website and by recruiting the greatest number of new members. Check out his website ( for great lessons, quizzes, practice hands and a wealth of terrific information.
Monterey provided plenty of rainbows for our intrepid players. Bringing home colorful points were Ted Richmond, John & Lorelei Greenfield, Jeanie & Katherine Kwong, Janelle Van Rensselaer, Camele Wanat, Arline and James Van Ness, Fred Chasalow, Nancy Palmer, Eleanor Battaglia, Robin Alioto, Jackie Lowenberg, Virgina Wailes, Carol Knowles, Glenna Cook, Cheryl Haines, Robert Crosby, Scott Maa, Akiko Murakami, Arlie Lamb and Ed Frymoyer. If I missed anyone, my apologies!
In the final game of the unit sponsored Mentor-Mentee series held on January 18, the following pairs earned masterpoints: Anna Brown & Arline Van Ness, Lily Preiner & Loretta Baines and Jeanne Urich & Gretchen Schmeeckle. Thanks again to all who participated in this great way to advance understanding of the game. Look for future opportunities to play in Mentor-Mentee games at various clubs in the unit.
High spirits held sway at our first unit game of the year on January 27. Under the capable direction of Raad Bunni both an open and limited section enjoyed an afternoon of bridge, good food and camaraderie. Top players overall were: open - 1st Robert Ng & Ted Richmond, 2nd Sara Foster & Don Friedman, 3rd Robert Crosby & Al Artoux; Limited - 1st Sharon Sloan & Kit Morse, 2nd Cynthia Wener & Jeanne Urich, 3rd Loren Charlton & Janelle Van Rensselaer. Congrats to all.
On February 24 & 25, the foothills will see our popular Winter Sectional at Canada College, where Marc Renson, our tournament chair, is working behind the scene securing our favorite venue and providing for impeccable set-up and world class directing by Lynn Yokel. Taking the lead over our volunteer army will be Gloria & Mike Halliday, along with Loren Charlton. Thanks to Marge Pacchetti, our partnership chair and the usual suspects who provide manpower and support to this undertaking: Joanne Lewin, Donna Pellegrini, Janelle Van Rensselaer, Cathy Johnson, Ginny Zapitz and Jackie Lowenberg. Winners will be noted in next month’s column.
Looking ahead to our good friends the Irish and would-be Irish, our March unit game will be held on March 17. This will be the Ted Richmond Pro-Am championship game and will include an open side game. Along with digging out your green, line up your favorite pro partner for this fun themed event to be held at Fattoria e Mare. Marge Pacchetti will facilitate Pro-Am partnerships, so give her a call. There is sure to be a bit of the blarney heard in the air and maybe a reel or two as players move between tables. As an added bonus, the Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs awards will be handed out at lunch! Don’t miss the fun. Look for the email invite.
A hearty welcome to new unit members Barbara Cohen, Jason Hamilton, Janet Pelinka, Lucy Ballard, Leslie Braker, Martha Dannis, Jennifer Hammer, and Brian Wainwright.
And congratulations to members advancing in rankings: to Junior Master, Irv Agard, Grace Williams, Richard An and Audrey Poppers; to Club Master, Mike Halliday and Kaiwen Wang; to Sectional Master, Kathryn Barnard, Bob Gleason, Eva Klein, Aaron Mayerson, Elizabeth Molumphy and Sharon Sloan; to Regional Master, Katherine Kwong; to Advanced NABC Master, Daniel Sonner; to Bronze Life Master, Philip Grant.

Santa Cruz 550

By Karen Schamberg

Don’t miss the Rising Stars Sectional, March 10 & 11. It’s open to players with fewer than 500 MPs and is being held at the Kirby School in Santa Cruz. Saturday offers two Stratified games each for newcomers (up to 100 MPs) and for pairs (up to 500 MPs). Between the sessions, Bronze Life Master, Ken Martin will give a free bridge lesson. Sunday offers 10:00 a.m. games for Stratified Newcomers and Stratified Swiss Teams. This is an excellent opportunity to garner silver points.
It takes a lot of volunteers donating their time, energy and skills to keep a bridge club running. We honor them at our annual volunteer recognition game. This year included a fabulous lunch, hand analysis and double points as an International Fund game, and a drawing for the artwork that’s been gracing our walls for the past few months.
Congratulations to Joanne Brown & Robin Evenden for their 71.40% day.
Our club had a strong showing at the Monterey Clambake Regional in January. Finishing in the top 10% of MP earners were: Peter Gelfand, Ken Gamble, Les Rabiega, Carol Maggipinto, Jim Slinger and Mick Friedberg.
In the top 20% were Lani Ray, Dick Wasserstrom, Susan Slinger, Carol Avenmarg and Ken Llacera.
Firsts were taken by: Carol Avenmarg, Alan Chase, Steve & Kristin Smith, Monday Swiss Teams; Rick Zinman & Josh Karter, Monday Gold Pairs; Peter Gelfand, Monday Open Pairs; Steve & Kristin Smith, Monday & Tuesday 299er Pairs; Bob Johnson & Sydney Reuben, 1st in C Tuesday 299er Pairs; Peter Gelfand, 1st in A, Tuesday Daylight Pairs; Jonni Faircrest & Sal Turano, 1st in C, Tuesday Daylight Pairs; Mick Friedberg & Joanne Brown, Cannery Row M-W series; and Carol Maggipinto & Ken Gamble, Wednesday Daylight Pairs.
Peter Gelfand was 3rd high scorer gaining 26.95 masterpoints at the San Francisco Sectional.
I love reporting member milestones: Andrew Calciano, Marilyn Calciano, Nancy Ficarrotta, Nancy Kashap, Lester Loops & John Walker, Junior Masters; Shellie Roy, Club Master; Joanne Turnquist, Sectional Master; Robert Johnson, Regional Master; Linda Hanson & Dor Malutta, Bronze Masters; and Mark Maggipinto, Silver Master.
If you know anyone interested in learning bridge or improving their game, ours is the club to visit. Look at this lineup of classes: Beginning Bridge on Monday evenings taught by Sydney Reuben - first class is free and classes continue weekly at $10.00 per session; newcomer games with free lessons by Nancy Wainer on the second and fourth Thursday evenings. Coming soon, Nancy has developed a four session program covering newcomer defense basics. An Advanced Bidding Course with 2/1 as its core is offered by Ken Gamble beginning March 5. Mark Hasey gives free lessons on a variety of topics prior to his Sunday game, and Ken Llacera offers a free class preceding his 99er game on Wednesday evenings.
Now that’s a plethora of classes.
Visit us on Facebook and at As a reminder, the SCBC is a fragrance-free venue; please use unscented, non-perfumed products.

Santa Rosa/Petaluma 509

By Cecelia Zachar

Come join us on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, March 17 & 18, to earn your share of silver. The event will be held at Odd Fellows Hall, Santa Rosa. Saturday we will have Open & 299er Pairs at 10:00 & 2:30. If you have fewer than 20 points and play Saturday morning, your afternoon game is free. Sunday teams are Strati-Flighted. There are three separate games each of which is stratified. Teams with a player with more than 2,000 points will be A or A/X; with more than 300 points will be B, C, or D; and those with no one over 300 points will be E, F, or G. Delicious restaurant sandwiches, with a vegetarian option, will be available for purchase each day.
Spring will be beautiful in Wine Country, so come a day early or stay a day late and enjoy some wine tasting and a picnic. For more information, see
See you at the sectional.
We had another bridge class with World Champion Cris Barrere on January 28. We can’t say enough about how wonderful a teacher he is! The class is free to all, paid for by Unit 509 and the District 21 Education Program. We look forward to Cris’ lecture on Balancing this summer.
The Bridge Gallery will have a six week series titled Bridge Basics II - Competetive Bidding. The evening class taught by Kathy Venton starts Tuesday, March 6, and the morning class taught by Kate Hill starts one month later on Thursday, April 5. The class will cover topics such as preempts, overcalls, and the many varieties of doubles. See their website for details.
On Sunday, March 18, at the Petaluma Bridge Club, John Shribbs is offering a new class, Learn Bridge in a Day, to players who always wanted to learn to play bridge but never had the time. Here’s what the ACBL says about their new class: Move quickly along the initial learning curve.
Participants should include true beginners, those returning to bridge after long absences and those wanting to “test the waters” before committing to formal classes. The concentrated course includes both class instruction and coached play. See a short video. In addition, John will begin a new series of free beginner bridge classes before Petaluma Bridge Club Saturday games starting March 24. freelessons-with-john-shribbs/ for details.
A few players have moved up in rank since the last Forum. Our new Junior Masters are Roy Burnham and Jim Taylor. Beth Hofmann and Katherine Schram made Sectional Master. Nan Halberg earned Life Master, and Wayne Kaneko made Ruby Life Master.
Congratulations, all!
There were three 70%+ games in January, all on Wednesday mornings at the Bridge Gallery. Laurie Vree & Nicole Barnes, 73.33% & 71.67%; Carmen Peace & Helen Strassle, 71.67%.
Congratulations, all!
Petaluma Bridge Club had two huge scores in the International Fund Game on February 3. Nancy Gunn & Bob Klein, 72.82%; and Frances & Jim O’Brien, 72.48%.
See you at the Santa Rosa/Petaluma Sectional on St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Silicon Valley 507

By Ray Yuenger

If you read this column when you receive your Contract Bridge Forum, you’ll have about a month to make your plans to play in Unit 507’s Spring Sectional that starts Friday evening, April 6. Rather than holding the tournament over Easter, we changed the dates this year. You should find the entire schedule advertised elsewhere in this newspaper. It is in two venues again, with the weekend games held at West Valley College and the Friday evening game at the San Jose Bridge Center.
April will be the last time you will see this column on paper, unless you decide to print it out from the online only version of the Contract Bridge Forum that is launching after the April issue. Increasing publication costs have driven this step into the digital future. As explained elsewhere in this newspaper, you won’t receive notice of the existence of a new monthly Forum unless the ACBL has a current email address for you, so please log into your account at and update your email address, if not also the rest of your contact information. This digital transformation will liberate the magazine from the cost of extra pages, so you are likely to see more content, tournament advertisements, bridge puzzles, and topics of general interest to bridge players in the new version of the Forum. I might also get the freedom to complete my column closer than 25 days to publication, allowing more current news.
Operating under the current constraints for the last time, I bring you the results of January’s Monterey Regional. Stratification tops in two-session Open Pairs games were earned by Jason Chiu, Preston Kauk & Dorr Clark and Pangjie Xu. Section tops in the same games went to Thomas Morse, Stephen Tu & Lynn Shannon, Frank Xie, Stephen Tu, Yul Inn & Peter Friedland and Jonathan Yue.
Scoring strat tops in limited pairs games were Roy Tsai, Linda & Will Kenigsberg, Donna Wirt (twice), Dianne Clark & Gay Roper, Ken Wirt & Kenneth Luskey, Warren Kaplan, Kathy Ormseth & Cindy Tolliver, Pat Wong and Joan & George Schlinkert.
Section tops in limited pairs games went to Roy Tsai, Ken Imboden & Paul Nelson, Jennifer Duval & Terry Ahern, Susan Dietz & Jennifer Hiatt, David & Wendy Fotland, Pat Wong, George Welch & Stacie Bowman, Paul Davis, Carole & Bob Woldstad, Anne Bossange & Terry Ahern, Jeffrey Rogers & Sally Hale, Shalini & Rohit Dubey (twice), Linda Rocha & Terry Ahern, Pradeep Verma & Meena Oza and Melody & Chin Chao.
On winning Knockout teams were Jonathan Yue; Tad Yoshikawa; Shailesh Sampat & Edward Lin; and Will Watson & Kevin Rosenberg. Prevailing in their Swiss strats and brackets were Jonathan Yue (twice); Linda Nemmer, Robert Allen, Laurie Faulkner & Anne Bossange; Miwako Wong, Brenna Wundram, Melanie Kakalec & Ray Yuenger; Elenalani Lam; and Regina Norberg & Kathleen Weiman.
At the San Francisco Sectional, in the two-session pairs game, Kevin Rosenberg had a strat top. Mike Cailean had a section top. James Hlavka had a strat top in another pairs game. Prevailing in their Swiss brackets were the teams of Stephen Tu and Elenalani Lam.
At the Livermore Valley Sectional, Lynn Shannon won a Flight A pairs game, while Stacie Bowman & Sheila Martin won a Flight B game. The team of Stephen Tu & Mike Cailean was 1st in the top bracket.
In the District 21 NAP Flight B finals, Rick Jasper & John Wachsman placed 1st with Alan Wood in 2nd. Cheryl Mandala & Yul Inn were 3rd in Flight A, while Jung Hu was 2nd in Flight C with Roy Tsai in 3rd.
I have to apologize for some recycled information in my February column. I looked at the wrong report to congratulate our latest Masters, so the last column repeated what the January column said. So now I’ll congratulate the last two months of new Masters: Jackie Chen, Prince Kohli, Irene Jacobson, Jeanmarie Mariadassou, Gay Roper (Junior); Henry Rivers, Jie-Ren Shih (Club); Linda Kenigsberg, Stan Gum, Kathy Ormseth, Meena Oza (Sectional); Cindy De Santis, Pradeep Verma (Regional); Sandar Erickson, John Wainwright (NABC); Terry Ahern, Vilas Namjoshi (Life); Anne Dudman, Carole Woldstad, Pat Wong, Frank Xie (Bronze); Rekha Nirula (Silver); James Howe, Rick Jasper, Jim Liu, Maxine Lubow (Ruby); Lynn Shannon, Leila Sink (Sapphire).
Does this mistake mean someone else should volunteer to write this monthly column? Step forward and let me know if you’re interested. I’ll be pleased to hear from you after almost two decades on the job.

South County 500

By Kate Hare

Installation of officers for 2018 took place at the Unit 500 Board of Directors meeting in January. There were some changes in some offices: Carla Francis, president; Kate Hare, vice-president; Andy Sass, secretary and Bob Bauman, treasurer.
Several chairpersons were also appointed at the meeting. Olga Swartz was named the new head of the novice committee, acting as support person for new players. Anna Bauman continues to serve as the sunshine chair, responsible for sending well wishes and condolences to members in need. Kate Hare continues to serve as membership chair and has taken on the new duty of recorder, responsible for reporting to the district should disciplinary actions be required. Charlie Conrad replaced Mary Ramos as the electronic contact, serving as the liaison between Unit 500 and District 21. Charlie also serves as the education chair. He continues to work hard to establish new educational opportunities for young and new players. Charlie and Doug Burke are presently teaching a class to young players in Newark.
The unit’s website has also undergone some major changes as well. Bill George has retired as webmaster after 21 years of service to Unit 500. Mike Stambaugh has stepped up to perform this very important service.
It was reported last month the South County recipients of the 2017 Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKenney masterpoint races will be honored at the Unit 500 sponsored Pizza and Pairs game in February. The pizza game did take place in February but the awards were not presented. That ceremony will take place at the April unit-sponsored game. Check the Unit 500 website, and at your local club for the lunch menu and date and location of the April game.
Tournament Trail: The Monterey Clambake Regional took place in early January. Many Unit 500 players attended the always popular tournament this year. The full results have been available for some time on the ACBL website, but some accomplishments deserve recognition here. The following players took 1st place, some more than once, in their respective events: Sarah Simmerman (three times), Peter Cheung (three times) Jennifer Carini & Mike Revera, Charlie Conrad & Mike Stambaugh and Bo, Brent and Rory Xiao (three times) and Lynn Gurnee.
New members and members on the move: welcome to Shel Dujari, Barbara Van Mourik, Hans Van Mourik, Jue Xia and Ryan Zhou, all new members to ACBL and Unit 500. Welcome also, Lynette Marshall who transferred her membership to Unit 500 from Milwaukee. Farewell to Carolyn Darcey, who transferred to the East Bay Unit. Laura Rodriquez transferred to Palo Alto and Don Bierman transferred to Diablo Valley.
Advancememts: Several Master rank changes: special recognition to Fan Tao (Life), Shailesh Shah (Bronze Life) and Carla Francis (Silver Life). Other players who reached milestones were: Valerie Wood (Club), Susan Engelhart (Sectional), Gerry Fisher (Regional) and Brent Xiao (Advanced NABC).
Congratulations to all!

Stockton 510

By Wendy Buchanan

Participation in games was down a bit in January due to the nasty flu bug that has swept our nation. A couple of members avoided the gloomy, cold weather common to our Central Valley location by traveling Down Under or spending time in Hawaii. Those that stayed healthy and braved the elements (ha, ha ... it’s nothing like the east coast!) enjoyed playing the game we love under bright lights and racking up those points.
SBC: Terry Nagode & Elyse Trainor were high scorers of the month with an impressive 71.30% game. Barbara Smart led all scorers for the month of January by earning 5.94 points and nipping at her heels was Doris Ashcroft with 5.45 points.
SBC Intermediate: High scorers for the month were Helen Wood & Lynette Foppiano with a 64.39% game. Also scoring in the 60% range were Earl Jones & Toni Hillman with 63.39% and Sharon Metcalf & Margie Baldwin with 62.46%.
Oak Park: Rose Knutson & Mary Sievers topped the leader board this month with 67.47% & 61.97% games. The father-son team of Walter & Earl Jones also made appearances in the top three several times this month. Team Nutting put in an appearance with a 66.13% game. The Jones Boys were the masterpoint leaders of the month with 5.15 points.
Stockton Bridge Center saw numerous people winning top honors in the Unit 510 Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKenney Awards for 2017. Winning 1st place in both awards were Pete Cobb (0-5), Debbie DeZarn (100-200), Marion Goldberg (200-300), Jack Fitzgerald (300-500), Rose Knutson (500-1000), Lorna Crooks (2500-3500), Joan Garcia (3500-5000) and Bill Nutting (5000-7500). Coming in 1st with a Unit 510 Ace of Clubs award was Lynette Foppiano in the 20-50 category. Debbie Greenberg (20-50) and Wendy Buchanan (50-100) won 1st places in the Unit 510 Mini-McKenney race.
Congratulations to all!