Berkeley/El Cerrito/Richmond 497

By The Beer Dude

This is the last Forum to come to your “snail mail” box; give ACBL your e-address to continue to get this publication delivered to your e-inbox! If you’re a 100% analog “Luddite” who plays at our club (hello, Trudie!), I’ll be glad to print you a copy once I save it to my flash drive & transfer to the club computer. The e-version will be a work in progress for a while, but I expect that we’ll not see any more results & pix from non D-21 Regionals, which I hope will leave us columnists more space. Editor Rich will figure it out; he’s good @ his job.
We have bragging rights on the recent “BigHeart” ACBL-wide charity game held Wednesday, February 21 (afternoon club games only)! Eric & Dick shot 71.5% @ the club, which got upgraded to 72.09% when matchpointed across the entire field of 684 tables in play; they were #1 overall & picked up 30 red points (which neither of them need as long-time LM’s) for their fine navigation of a lot of freaky distributional hands. Big Kudos to my housemate & our good buddy.
2 unit games, which were back-back because of the way I schedule them (see our website for dates). Wednesday, February 28, our good-friend “aliens” from U502, Sandi Davis (D21 secretary) & photographer extraordinaire Roseanne Smith whupped up the 7 tables; trailers: Shahla & Aki 2A, Eric & Dick 3A, Doug Handler & Seiko Hazanow 4A, Jack Shiffer & Chet Young 5A, Gerda Janos & Marcia Mattoon 1B, Meg Gallaway & John Love 2B, & Prez Joyce & Ercan Turken 3B. Friday, March 2 drew 7.5 tables, which Jack & Aki topped, chasers being: “RoJo” 2A, Eric & Vicky Chen & Dick Lamar 3/4A, Tamms 1B, Marcia & Shahla 2B, & Narvelle Handy & Linda Ward 3B. Just one April game, Friday 6th.
In-Out/Rank mover-uppers: Welcome new members Mingyang Zhou & Xinchon Zhu, plus transfers-in Judy Nielsen from Santa Cruz & Trudie Sinclair from South County. Trudie’s an interesting case; she lives in Emeryville (U502 turf, which she once was in), but plays mostly in our games & U502 unit games; she gave up driving to Hayward/San Leandro. Andrew Sinclair is our newest Sectional Master (50+); Bruce Tuttle (who plays primarily @ tournaments, NAP’s, GNT’s) hit the 5K for Diamond LM.
At da club, Eric was MP champ; Meg & John tied for NLM, as they scratched all 3 Wednesdays they played together. No club championship game this month; StaC games coming in May (dates on our website).
Kudos to ACBL for matchpointing the February 21 charity game across the entire field. I hope that StaC game chairs decide to do the same. Why? Simple, doing so makes the individual games’ sizes irrelevant! The smaller the table count, the easier it is to score a high % game. I’d love to see the StaC table counts from the clubs where the Western Conference top 5 in all strats came from so I could analyze the data & prove my point.
Happy April Fools’ Day Easter, have fun telling your grandkids that the Easter Bunny got lost & couldn’t make it :)
Tweak beerman1949@gmail.com to brag/gripe/suggest; unit info (including early look at this column) & game results available 24/7 @ www.berunit497.org


Carson/Tahoe 465

By Carole Sill

This last month we had several players on vacation. Roxanne Hart spent time in Viet Nam and surronding countries. Otis and Betty spent a month in Arizona and Nick and Leona also spent time in Arizona, meeting up with friends and playing lots of bridge. The practicing must have paid off because she made the best score of her life playing with Bob Langson. They made 74.7 masterpoints. Congratulations.
The top winner for the Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs award was Robert Garret, who was in the 5000-7500 category.
Congratulations to 30 other players that also qualified.

Diablo Valley 499

By Lisa Assoni

In 1904 auction bridge, known for a time as royal auction bridge, was developed where the players bid in a competitive auction to decide the contract and declarer. The object was to make at least as many tricks as were contracted for, and penalties were introduced for failing to do so.
I was introduced to bridge by happenstance. I was in Pleasant Hill with my husband eating lunch at this Italian Pizzeria. We had just consumed an entire large pizza, and needed a walk. Taking a stroll, through the shopping area, next door was a Bridge Center. Curious, I walked past, and this gentleman approached me saying he “recognized me from my television show.” I peeked inside, and he introduced himself as the owner, Ron Oswang. He could tell I was inquisitive, and offered to give me an introductory book on Bridge Basics. However, it had come with contingencies. I must read it, and attend a class. I gave him my phone number with the promise I’d be there. I knew nothing, nada-about this card game, and didn’t even bother to open the book.
About a month or so later, I got a call from Ron reminding me of the upcoming class. With reluctancy, I attended. When the teacher began to explain the game, I kinda got it. You turned tricks, some sort of rubbers, and got points. Wow, scratching my head, this is a little weird! Should I go, or should I stay. Hum. Well, after two hours of instruction, I finally was able to comprehend that bridge is an amazing game. It takes your brain for a train ride. You board, take a seat, and settle in. The train runs smoothly for a while, then it makes unpredicted stops, and shakes you up a bit. However, the ride is always rewarding, because you’ve put forth the effort to board the train, with the hopes of reaching your destination.
Truly, It’s been a lifesaver for me. With Ron’s encouragement, I did learn to play bridge. I’m so grateful.
Our Unit 499 is blossoming. A lovely garden was planted by Bruce and Shari Johsobaugh. It brightens our day, as all can enjoy looking through the enormous window that displays an array of plants and colorful flowers. Two bird feeders entice little finches and other species to drink and eat. It’s eye-candy for all to enjoy.
Also many thanks to the three wise men. Mike Bandler, Bruce Johnsonbaugh and Mark Humphrey, who have done so much to continue to “Make our Day.” and have held steadfast in making C.C.B.C. our home away from home.
Andy Fine, who’s ran our mentoring program for many years, and worked diligently to assist us bridge players. Andy handed over the menu to Karen Corburn. She’s also a board member, and is skilled at bringing people together, and hopes to do just that. There’s a wonderful, detailed article posted in March e-Declarer that explains every nuance that entails how the program works and why we Need You. Please check it out.
Also, a shout and tout about the following folks who made Life Master. Shelley Bagg and Mel Chaplin. Congratulations. Rosemary Hagman and Kathleen Young earned a strong metal, beautiful Bronze. Ruby, a brilliant stone, went to Blair Hoffman. Then the lovely Emerald scored big by Robert Munson. Kudo’s to you all. Job well done.
Don’t forget about our Larry Cohen event coming in May. All the info and application is available at our website www.diablovalleybridge.com
The e-Declarer tells all.
Ciao Bella

East Bay 502

By Sandi Davis

Ilert! This is the last Unitscope report that will be in the newspaper form you receive at your home. If you want to continue getting unit news from Unit 502 and other units you need to update your contact information with the ACBL to include your email address to receive a link to the digital publication of the Forum.
The recipients of the 2017 Mini-McKenney and Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs awards are as follows: honorees for Ace of Clubs are: Michael Haritos (0-5), Richard Springer (5-20), Don Levine (20-50), Ken Rice (50-100), Karen Cabrera (100-200) Amy Hansell (200-300), Russell Kirshenbaum (300-500), Susan Boyers (500-1000), David Snyder (1000-1500), Joye Sidoti (1500-2500), Norman Marks (2500-3500), Cole Powell (3500-5000), Susan Wiebe (5000-7500), and Nick Wiebe (7500-10,000). The honorees for the Mini-McKenney are: Marilyn Chilcote (0-5), Richard Springer (5-20), Don Levine (20-50), Stephen Bess (50-100), Amy Bess (100-200), Amy Hansell (200-300), Russell Kirshenbaum (300-500), Steven Drucker (500-1000), David Snyder (1000-1500), Joye Sidoti (1500-2500), Jessica Lai (2500-3500), Stephen Kennedy (3500-5000), Eric Leong (5000-7500) and Nick Wiebe (7500-10,000). Congratulations on a great year.
We are still trying to increase attendance at the Saturday games at the center and encourage you to consider using this as a mentoring opportunity. There are a lot of newer players that would love the opportunity to learn from more experienced players in a friendly environment. Try it!
At the February 18 unit game, N/S Allan Harris & David Snyder claimed 1st OA with Michael Gosnell & Kathrine Loh winning E/W. At the March 4 unit game, OA winners were N/S Otto Edor & Gunnar Niemi while E/W Peter Bonfanti & Grant Vance won their direction.
Congrats to all!
We welcome new members Frank Kelly, Jeff Larson and Eric Lindquist to the unit. Best wishes to Amy & Stephen Bess as they move to Truckee. There are also rank advancements to be recognized. Brent Cohen is now a Junior Master, Pam Sawyer and Richard Springer are now Sectional Masters, Joseph Held reached Life Master and Sarla Purohit has achieved Bronze Life Master.
Well done.
The Big Heart charity game held on February 21 was played across the U.S. and Canada and Unit 502 had winners. In the 0-500 Cathy Smith & Franklin Silver achieved coveted red points. In the Open, Carol Warren & Larry Schaleger, Lynne Bromley & Donna Rolle, Carol Smith & Cathleen, Nadine Levine & Peggy Rourke, Russ Rector & Susan Boyers, Amy Hansell & Lisa Euphrat, and Susan Kovacevic & Carol Scott all finished in the national standings.
Also, let’s recognize the players that had 70+% games in February: Russ Rector & Catherine Molnar, Katy Kahn & Fran Friesen, Anne Aoki & Susan Trebach, Andre Fergeix & Rajeev Gupta, and Marilyn Teakle and Jeff Fountain. Awesome!
On the tournament trail, we had some winners at the San Mateo Sectional in February. Kerry Abbott, Julie Burnet, Hank Sigal and David Mack won the Bracket 4 Swiss Teams. Amy Hansell & Lisa Euphrat and Jeff Fountain & Lili Basset finished in the overalls of the Sunday Stratified Pairs, Greg & Grant Vance finished in the overall of the two session pairs on Saturday. At the Livermore Sectional, Susan Boyers, David Snyder, Ed Seputis and John Eidinger won the Bracket 2 Swiss Teams, and Bruce Berman, Robert Horwitz, Kathy Wolf, and Russ Kirschenbaum won the Bracket 3 Swiss Teams. Great job!
Finally, good luck to everyone heading to Philadelphia for the Spring NABC!
Next month Tom Pajak will be writing the first column for the new digital Forum so if you have any news or you’d like to see your name in print, email him at tompajak999@gmail.com and let him know what’s on your mind.

Fresno 522

By Laura Da Costa

The Fresno Winter Sectional (on President’s Day weekend) was a great success! Overall we were down some tables from last year’s amazing Winter Sectional, but we still had a large total number of tables. As with last year’s Fall Sectional, we had an especially successful Swiss Teams game with 17 teams participating (10 teams in the open side and seven teams in the 499er game), and everyone of those teams won some silver points! Thanks to all that attended; we hope you had fun. As tournament chair, I want to thank Dianne Barton Paine (tournament director), Mary Lou Pease (partnership chair), Jackie Finn (hospitality chair), and Kay Chrisman (who made so many sets of boards). Refreshments were plentiful in this tournament. Our appreciation goes to all who put the time and effort into making sure that we had food for the games and lunch items for our short breaks between sessions. I especially wanted to thank those who helped Jackie with the Sunday lunch: Kay Chrisman, Deb Petersen, & Belva Quattrin. The Friday afternoon game was the 9th Annual Mary Jo Davila Memorial game, winners in the open game were (N/S and overall) David Haberstich & Mark Stern and (E/W) Richard Meffley & Farid Assemi. The winners for the 499er game were (N/S and overall) Jane Bragg & Rosalie Jorgensen and (E/W) Jason McAlexander & Deborah Kemp. The President’s Award winner was Richard Meffley, and top 99er winner was Kathryn Miller.
The 9th Annual Anniversary Lunch and Charity Game is scheduled for April 8. As we did last year, the charity game will be to support the “March for Babies.” Come enjoy a lunch, a game, and a party.
Also, at the time I write this article, April 29 is scheduled to be a Pro-Am Teams game. These potluck lunch & Swiss Teams game are one of our more popular events. If you never participated in a team event, this is a great opportunity to see how these games work.
There were quite a few 70% games in February. Two pairs from Oakhurst. First Dana Brown & Wally Wallace, 71.85%; Burke Zane & T. Srinivasan, 73.44%. In Madera, Gay & Larry Slates, 71.88%. In Fresno, most of the 70% games came from one pair in the same game.
Steve Johnson & Margot Cegielski earned the honor three times in the Tuesday evening lesson/99er game in February: 72.92% 6th, 70% on 20th, and 75% on 27th. The only other Fresno player to have a 70% game was Joycelyn Kauder, who earned 71.43%.
Congratulations to Angie Heisdorf (new Bronze Life Master with 500 masterpoints).
Finally, welcome to new member Clint Hudson of Fresno.

Livermore Valley 501

By Rosemarie LaFrancesca

We are lucky to have several top notch players who regularly play at our club. This makes our games more than just any old card game. By playing against top level players, we learn much. Jean Barry, our District 21 Treasurer, is one who always graciously answers any questions and gives tips on various elements of the game; you wouldn’t expect someone with over 10,000 points to do so, but she is a great advocate for the game.
Jim and Pat Leary, our Aces of Clubs in two categories, are the N/S team to beat at our club. They recently were in the Top 25 of the NABC Mixed Swiss Teams, earning over 94 MPs. It takes many of us years to earn that many. Pat also was in the Top 25 for the Whitehead Women’s Pairs; way to go Pat & Jim. Another top player, Franklin Lowenthal has shared his knowledge numerous times by offering commentary and lessons from interesting tournament hands. Frank has been absent from the bridge table as he focuses on his health. We wish Frank well.
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 First 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 www.livermorebridge.com You will find a calendar of events there; you can also find Paul’s bridge tips and publications via www.pfdubois.com/publish There are links to neighboring units if you want to travel to your next bridge game.
Our yearly meeting was held and three expiring board members agreed to serve another two-year term. Thanks to Anne Lindl, John Engstrom, and Art Mirin; they wisely appointed 99er Jacky Polsen to fill the slot created by Nancy Blasingame’s upcoming move to Georgia. The club is in very good hands!

Marin 508

By Gail Haar

Your intrepid reporter is cruising the Nile as the deadline for this Forum issue arrives, so look for an extra long column next month. In the meantime, congratulations to Tracey Bauer, who was awarded a D21 Presidential Goodwill award for her volunteer project of starting a social media presence for bridge. Tracey worked with the ACBL on utilizing their tools to market our game. She created a social media presence for both Marin’s Unit and District 21 and maintains them on a daily basis. Congratulations also to Arti Bhargava who was named by the District 21 Board to Second Alternate to the District Director. At the Riverside Regional Bruce Noda & team won a Bracketed Swiss 1, and Bill Bailey, Arti Bhargava & team won a Bracketed Swiss 2 and a Compact KO Teams.
The Marin Spring Sectional on April 21 & 22 will include events for everyone from novices to open players. Go to www.marinbridge.org to see the flyer for additional information. This weekend is a highlight of the unit’s calendar and you won’t want to miss the excellent food, the excellent bridge and the excellent playing venue. Worldwide lecturer and champion bridge player Larry Cohen will be teaching in Marin Thursday, May 10. His last visit sold out, so be sure to go to www.marinbridge.org for details and to register.
And remember, in bridge and in life, “Support with support.”

Modesto/Merced/Sonora 529

By Gail Vick

Modesto’s regional will be April 9-15, and will be fun for all. The location is great, many restaurants within walking distance, a movie theater for those who want a break from bridge or the Gallo Theater Arts Center, also within walking distance, as are shops and the McHenry Mansion.
The hotel is wonderful and can compete easily with hotels in the Bay Area. Tons of parking all close by, and of course, a lot of bridge. All events are listed on the ACBL website. Whatever happened on the flier? How did Visalia appear as a side pairs game for Modesto’s Regional? I will never know, as this is Stanislaus County, and Visalia is in Tulare County, north of Bakersfield/Kern County, south of Fresno County. Modesto, Turlock, Ceres, Patterson, Riverbank, Oakdale, Hughson, Newman, Crows Landing, and Waterford are included in Stanislaus County, should anyone wonder.
Top players for the month, in masterpoints were Traudi Kofler, Ralph Jungwirth, Trelle Uhl, and Chris Brown. Ralph Jungwirth & Trelle Uhl had the highest score for the month at the unit game with 66.82%. Robert Rodenheizer & Traudi Kofler took 1st in B, and Libby Longstreth & Sharon Cole finished 1st in C. Traudi Kofler & Robert Rodenheizer had a 64% game to be 1st overall in A, with Traudi Kofler & Frank Frohman at 62.50% to capture 1st in B, and Barbara Page & Gail Vick took 1st in C with 59.26%.
Sunday Beginning/Intermediate Group high scores were Pat Gallo & Barbara Bogart with 63.53% to be 1st in A, and not far behind were Libby Longstreth & Chris Barkley with 62.96%. Neil & Sharon Von Tersch took 1st in both B & C with 59.26% for the month of February.
Modesto had another Friday Night Fun Bridge on the 23rd. Winners North/South were Jan Mastenbrook & Imogene Engebretsen 1st, Sherrie Barakatt & Gail Vick 1st in B, E/W Barbara & Jim Page 1st in both A & B, with Terry Sciabica & Jeff Gaudio placing 1st in C.
Mary Alice Willey and Faye Solomon, long time duplicate bridge players, have passed away. Mary Alice was very active in many philanthropic organizations, as well as being in the Marines at a young age during WWII. Both were very passionate about bridge and will surely be missed!
From the foothills: Twice during the month of February Susan & Alan Hamilton had the top scoring games, 68.75% on Tuesday, the 13th and Friday the 23rd.
The players of the month are: Monday, Tom Wright with 1.56 points; Tuesday, Alan Hamilton 2.21 points; Wednesday, Duane Oneto 3.49 points; Friday, Yvonne Tiscornia 2.10 points. Congratulations, all.
Merced Happenings: Top masterpoint winners for February were: Robert Frohman, 5.51; Gary Smith, 3.52; John Ellery, 3.47; Frank Frohman, 3.14; David Terry, 2.57.
Dennis Northern & Larry Sweet both had surgery this month and will be sorely missed during March as they will (both) be recovering.

Monterey 530

By Mary Block

Unit members are being recruited to serve in board of director positions which will be open in June. The nominating committee consists of Mary Block, Heidi Hollmann and Kathy Pfitzer. Contact any of the three before May 1 to volunteer yourself or a worthy friend. The voting will take place during the month of May and the results announced at the annual membership meeting the second Sunday in June.
The unit welcomes two new members this month: Mary Castagna and Perry Grey. And a special greeting to Joe Truskot, returning to duplicate bridge after an absence of some years. We hope he will find time in his retirement to play often with us. Julie Stein has transferred into the unit from Florida.
A number of our members have reached higher rungs on the masterpoint ladder: Cyril Yansouni is now a Junior Master. Neville Kirby and Ron Lawson are Club Masters. Louse Barnard and Lynn Farris have reached Sectional Master status. Carol Sendell is now a Regional Master. Xiaoxu Ning has reached Advanced NABC Master status. James Pond has jumped up to Life Master and, at the same time, Bronze Life Master. Silver Master status has been achieved by Tom Eby and Fred Quadros.
Our fond memories of Olivia Bigelow, who passed away in January at age 103 ½, will be carried on by her generous financial bequest to the unit. The money will be put to good use for improvement projects within the bridge center.
Doug Halleen reports that the EZ-Bridge! program has started with three-plus tables of students either learning the game for the first time, returning, or transitioning from social bridge. Doug’s Tuesday afternoon open game continues to entice NLM players who play in the morning to play in the afternoon with his all-day discount.
Remember that the sectional is coming up May 18-20. Morning and afternoon pairs sessions on Friday and Saturday and Swiss Teams all day on Sunday, with pairs in the morning.
Volunteers will be needed.
This is the last hard copy issue of the Forum, which will now be published online only. To ensure that you continue to receive the worthwhile information, make sure that your email address is up to date both with ACBL (acbl.org) and the local unit.
The Mentoring program will be starting later in the spring/early summer. This is valuable for giving beginning and intermediate players the opportunity to learn from more advanced players who are willing to share on a one-to-one playing basis. The mentors find satisfaction in passing on their knowledge and in playing for half-price in the three games they mentor. In addition, the mentoring advances the growth of the unit and the social aspects across boundaries. There are two categories of mentoring: beginning players matched with intermediate players and intermediate players with advanced players. I have been both a mentor and mentee and find both roles to be satisfying. Teaching is also another way of learning. There will be sign-up sheets with details posted at the bridge center.
We are www.montereybridgeclub.com 831 384-7800. I am maru0407@comcast.net
The Foundation is www.montereybridgeeducation.org

Napa/Solano/Sonoma 512

By Tom Sheahan

The hardest part of writing this column is when we lose a player ... especially when it’s a longtime friend. That was the case last month when Preston Shackelford passed away. Preston had beaten a deadly cancer last year only to have it return over the Holiday Season. It never affected her disposition as she was one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. “I feel great!” was always her response when asked how she was no matter how she felt. We could all learn a lot just from observing Preston.
She will be greatly missed.
We have a very important game coming up on Wednesday, April 18, in Sonoma. That will be a Pro-Am game where we match players from the Tuesday 499er game with someone that plays regularly in the open games. We’re trying to encourage players from that game to move up and try our game. So please! Be as courteous and helpful as you can to the newcomers. The biggest reason most of them don’t play in our game is because of intimidation. A snap of a card, a sigh, or a look might chase away a player for good. A look around the room tells us that yes, we do need some more players to move up. That’s way more important than a good score on a hand.
See Molly Johnston for details about playing in that game.
Our unit will be having its annual election for officers in June. There are three slots open and currently only one nominee. It’s a three year term and if you’re interested, see Don Powell for more information.
Congratulations to Sigrid Price who garnered her 6000th point recently! She joins Randi Montin, Gerry Fox, and Russell Quinnell as the only members of our unit in that high stratosphere. Congratulations also go out to Kathleen Smith who recently went over 2000 points.
Multiple winners was again the norm in February in club games:
In Rio Vista, it was Sue Vogtlin & Bob Lohse winning twice and Larry Epner & Xiao Gong also joined the winners circle.
Gerry Fox & Tom Jacobson were three time winners in Sonoma with one of their games a 73%. Jim & Frances O’Brien also won twice. Other winners were Brooke Farkas & Lois Dickerson, Nancy Rude & Nancy Johnson, and Barry Samuel & Shirley Blum.
First place honors in Napa went to Tom Jacobson & Sigrid Price, Larry Page & Joanne Wegsten, Theila Smith & Nancy Rude, and Dan Harp & Richard Tebay. The unit games went to Don Powell & Gary Henry, and there was a tie between Gerry Fox & Tom Jacobson and Sigrid Price & Nick Wiebe.
The move of the Napa games to the Pelusi Center has been cancelled until further notice.

Palo Alto 503

By Carolyn Chaney

I cannot believe it has been a year since director Walter Miller passed away. He would be so glad to know that Gabi Bowling is now skillfully directing his Tuesday and Wednesday games at the Unity Church, making terrific tuna fish salad and other tasty homemade treats (sorry Walter, but you needed a lesson here) and continuing to remind us to treat our partners and opponents with respect. Walter, we hope that wherever your spirit now resides, you are still thinking slam and enjoying a good game of bridge.
Don’t forget to register for our Larry Cohen workshops on May 12-13. One of the topics is “Finding the Queen.” Kantar tells this story: “Expert P. Hal Sims had the reputation of never misguessing a queen in a two-way finesse position. He found himself missing a queen while playing against two ladies, and he finally announced that neither one of them has it. Sure enough the queen was on the floor.” Hope Cohen’s lesson will help me be this good! Anyway, register at paloaltobridge.org SiVY players ages 18 and younger, your fee is paid up, courtesy of Larry and the Peninsula Bridge Education Foundation!
In other unit news, we have some interesting topics lined up in our Tuesday 9:30 a.m. lecture series. March 27: Frank Smoot: Responsive Double; and April 17: Brian Samuels: Splinter Bids. Frank is also starting a new Thursday night Intermediate IV (read Advanced Intermediate!) class on March 29. Get ready for bidding, defense and play concepts that are, well, more advanced.
On the current PaloAltoBridge calendar only one unit pairs game is scheduled, for March 31, and none in April, because every weekend has a nearby sectional or regional. Lotsa silver and gold points. On April 29, SiVY will hold its high school tournament at the Bayshore Club; Youth, register by March 30 to receive a T-shirt, etc. On May 5, there will be a Non-Life Master Sectional at our club. Sign up or request a partner at our website.
At a club game, my partner opened 1♥, followed by 2♦ (me), 3♦ (her) 3♠ (me), 3NT (her). West led a spade to my dummy, which held these spades: ♠5432. I complained to West, “You aren’t supposed to lead spades after I bid them.”
To which West replied, “I can’t do it before you bid them.” Touché.
Reminder: 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.” So far, only one person has whispered those words, promising to read the digital version.
We do love our newspapers.

Reno 473

By Sandy Powell

Reminder: If you are planning on attending the sectional hosted by the Reno Bridge Center, April 18-21, to take advantage of the discounted room rates at the Nugget, you must reserve your room(s) by April 4. Use the GACBL code at 800 648-1177 to make reservations. Hope to see you there.
Congratulations to Gil Ramirez who, this past month, attained the rank of Diamond Life Master! Gil’s is a formidable achievement: the worldwide ACBL membership is 160,319. Only 2,273 players, or .014%, currently hold the Diamond Life Master rank. Even more remarkable is that Gil only learned bridge when he was already in his mid-thirties.
After learning the game in the seventies, Gil played very little in the eighties. When Gil attended his first ACBL National Tournament in 1990, he had a scant 200 points. He came in 2nd in the teams game and walked away with 15 points in golds and reds. Two years later, he became a Life Master. With that goal achieved, Gil was ready to quit. It was his wife Jan who teased him into trying to achieve even more, and now we have a Diamond Life Master of whom we are most proud.
Can anyone achieve what Gil has achieved, especially in such a relatively short time? Well, it helps to be a chess prodigy. Gil learned to play chess at age 11. In 1956, he won the CA State Championship and the CA Open Championship and tied for 1st in 1958. At age 17, Gil won the US Junior Championship. He was considered a stronger player than his then peer and competitor Bobby Fischer. In 1959, Gil joined the Air Force. Stationed in Madrid for five years, he supplemented his military pay by becoming a professional chess player. He was paid to play on teams and traveled, all expenses paid, to Spain’s many beautiful cities. Returning to the US, Gil earned a B.A. degree in Humanities and (not unsurprisingly) Math at San Francisco State University. In the 1971 Open, Gil remembers feeling sorry for his opponent and concomitantly, his self-realization that he had lost the drive to win. Increasingly, he was adjourning games since ... 12 moves in ... he knew what the outcome would be. By this time, too, he had married and was raising a family, so he left the world of professional chess behind, but, thinks, had he not married he would have become a “chess bum” making his living as a paid chess professional. What the chess world lost, the bridge world gained! Gil has been playing with the Reno Bridge Center since he and Jan retired here in 2001.
From sharks to pups.
Over the past year, the Reno Bridge Center, under the new ownership of Don Rogers, has made a highly successful effort to draw newer players into the duplicate bridge world. Don deserves accolades both for providing newer players with the skills they need to advance as well as an atmosphere where they feel comfortable coming to learn and play.
People, have fun. And that, after all, should be the primary purpose of the game.
On Wednesday mornings, Don coaches interactive sessions designed to teach newer players bridge judgement and logic. Instead of formal lessons, bridge hands, randomly selected, are distributed. Participants bid and play the hands but leave their bidding cards out. After the hand is finished, players discuss why they did what they did. What bidding communication went wrong between partners? How could the hand have been played to make the contract? How did they misjudge their opponents’ hand?
They learn to avoid future mistakes through a critical analysis of their play, not by memorizing bidding rules and conventions. Attendance at these sessions has boomed to five tables. Some 20 neophyte bridge players are learning that bridge expertise derives from thinking and judgment, not rote memorization, and they have fun doing it.
This session is followed by a bridge lesson on various topics provided by Wayne Gordon who also teaches classes through our community college TMCC. In the afternoon, the game is restricted to individuals with <1000 masterpoints. Since that game still is too intimidating for some (not all) newer players, Don has recently introduced a Friday game restricted to individuals with <299 masterpoints. That game is increasingly drawing participants from the Wednesday morning coaching session. Learn and play in an always friendly and helpful atmosphere is Don’s mantra, and it’s working.
After all, the great whites once were shark pups.
High scores this month:
In the 299er competition, Stephanie McCarty & Stacey Day had the top game with a whooping 76%. followed by the highly impressive scores of 64.58% (Brad Stone & Patty Kletcher) and 61% (Earlene Martin & Jackie Mann).
Congratulations, Stephanie & Stacey.
In the overall competition, it was a closely fought battle between Lin Goldstein & Charlotte Falk (71.80%) and Michael Schwimmer & Jackie Chandler (71.50%). Jackie, it should be noted, by masterpoints, still is a pup ... making this score all the more impressive.
Finally, we sadly inform you of Mona Fleischmann’s passing. A life-long Reno resident, Mona worked at the downtown library where she greeted every patron with a warm and friendly smile. Once she retired, she brought the same sunshine to every table of bridge she played.
Bridge Guidelines, The Rule of 8:
Your partner opens 1NT, you hold a 4-3-3-3 hand and eight points. Do you pass or bid 2NT? This guideline works more often than not: count how many cards you hold of 8 or better. If you hold 8 or more cards with at least a value of 8, bid 2NT. If not, pass.

Sacramento 505

By Miriam Steinberg

You may have heard Dick “Stormy” Jones across the crowded room during many a local bridge game (former partner and Sacramento bridge icon Joe Farley nicknamed him because he “yelled and screamed a lot” according to Stormy). He was recently honored by winning the 2017 Joe Farley Award which is earned by playing a minimum of 75 games per year and having the highest percentage of wins (out of approximately 270 players) at the Sacramento Bridge Center. In this instance that included 48% of every game he played, mostly with his two main partners, Ted Muller and Ronnie McMurdie.
Stormy hails from Portland and started playing bridge after the service while he briefly attended the University of Oregon in Eugene. His mother connected him with the nearest duplicate bridge club in Salem shortly afterwards and he quickly jetted to becoming one of the top players in the Portland area. He is largely self-taught, benefitting from kibitzing some strong players from the area. He also recommends some books that were helpful along the way: Five Weeks to Winning Bridge by Alfred Sheinwold, Play of the Hand by Louis Watson, and Killing Defense at Bridge by Hugh Kelsey.
He met his first wife, Kathy, a local bridge player, and they moved to San Diego in 1968 to start a bridge club that unfortunately never got off the ground. Dick ended up working in real estate and they had a son, Jeff (who now lives in Idaho). After divorcing in 1971, Stormy moved in with Joe Farley and his kid brother, Marvin Arnold, sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags at the Warren House apartments in Sacramento. Shortly after, he met his second wife, Sandy, (who was “a hack bridge player, but a good person”) with whom he was married for 22 years until her passing. He worked as a loan officer for awhile before resuming a career in real estate and later worked for Joe Farley in the insurance business and at one point bought and sold used cars. After meeting her through an ad, he married his third wife, Betty. They were together for about 20 years before her tragic death.
Dick is one talented and sharp guy who instantly succeeded at playing duplicate in the Portland area. “At times,” he shared, “We would win nine games in a row! I was a natural; I was very lucky.” He is equally good at Standard American and 2/1, but prefers 2/1. However, he added, he believes “You have an edge with the Polish Club System,” but lamented, “I am too lazy to learn it!”
Although he has less of a desire to play bridge these days, he still “enjoys beating up on the locals,” but has no interest in attending regionals. He greatly respects the opinions of his longtime partner, Ted Muller, and they have had a successful partnership. He also does well with a more recent partner, Ronnie McMurdie; they recently won six times in a row. “Bridge has been good to me; I’ve met a lot of good people. If I couldn’t play bridge or golf, I would probably just sit home and rot,” he joked. Dick is also an accomplished golfer (which he took up at 40) and has won city and county tournaments as well as the Pepsi Tour.
Congratulations to the following players on their Master milestones: Silver Life, Jane Pivetti; Bronze Life, Alvin Farrar, Ken Hajek, Jim Loftus; Life, Kathy Beasley, Jim Bowman and Cynthia Frederickson; Regional Life, Bob Dorian; Sectional, Patricia Morgan, Nick Smiley and Kevin Smith; Club, Page O’Connor; Junior, Kathy Anapolsky, Carol Catinari and Allison Russell.
Ted Muller & John Blubaugh had a 74.40% game on February 27 at the SBC. They have averaged 58.47% in the 25 games they have played together during the past year.
The Spring Sectional will be held May 4-6 at the Orangevale Community Center. Dave Willmott and Sam Sandusky are the co-chairpersons.

San Francisco 506

By Kimberly Fanady

Hope all you intrepid souls who ventured to the Spring Nationals in Philly last month enjoyed yourselves and came home stuffed with cheesesteaks and covered in glory and masterpoints. Your faithful columnist will report on the NABC (and hopefully glory and masterpoints) in next month’s column. Stay tuned!
Our clubs have some fun events coming up. The Sunset Club presents a $5 Fifth Friday game on March 30; the fifth Friday of the month, where you can play for $5, 50% off the usual table fee. QuickTricks will hold its annual Pro/Am on April 23. This very popular event pairs newer players (0-299 MP) with experienced players (300+ MP). Check out the club website, www.quicktricks.org for all the details. Our clubs are a great place to play; come on out!      
The 2018 unit game schedule marches on with a pairs game on April 7, followed by next month’s edition on May 19. Attendance permitting, the game will have three sections, open, 499er, and 99er, if attendance warrants. Light lunch at 11:30, game at noon at St. Mary’s Cathedral, at Gough and Geary.
All are welcome.
Congrats to lots of Unit 506ers on their recent Master rank advancements: new Junior, Neale Grasham and Paul Steiner; Club, Lori Chang; Sectional, Kirsten Beda; Regional, Geri Murphy; NABC, Herbert Graves and Donna Neff; Life, Bruce Osterweil; and Sapphire Life, Edmund Wu. Good going, all!
Welcome as always to our new members: Shirlee Baner, Daniel Bergerac, and Gail Murphy; and transfers: Tom Belshe from Marin and Jim Hargrove from the East Bay. Keep an eye out for all these newcomers, and say hello to them at the table.
Finally, we sadly say goodbye to Silver Life Master Alice Wright, who passed away on Valentine’s Day. Alice was an avid bridge player, member of Unit 506 for almost 25 years, and a lovely person whose gracious presence at our tables will be much missed. Our condolences to her family and friends.
Happy Easter, Passover, and Spring, everyone! See you at the table.

San Mateo 498

By Fran Gaura

When the temperatures on the Peninsula drop to February lows, what is the best way to stave off the cold? Players filling 213 tables over the February 24/25 weekend at Canada College answered the question by participating in the Unit 498 Winter Sectional. A great turnout! Thanks to all who joined in the fun.
A tradition at our Winter Sectional is the awarding of the Art Weinstein Memorial trophy to the winners of the newcomer pairs game. A very special congratulations to two of our own Unit 498 players whose names will be engraved on this trophy: Sharon Sloan & Gina Wegner.
And 2nd place in that competition went to Kathryn Barnard & Penelope Sibun.
Great job!
Other Unit 498 members were among the overall winners: in Saturday Stratified Open Pairs, Jon & Lorelei Greenfield, 2nd, Claude Hughes & Ayako Narumi, 4th, Fred Chasalow & Gail Dunham, 6th; 299ers, Jackie Lowenberg & Virginia Zapitz, 1st, Karen Wisialowski & Anne Baxter 2d, Doriane Heyman & Virginia Maclean, 6th; in 299ers, Jackie Lowenberg & Robin Alioto, 2nd.
On Sunday, Unit 498 members earning silver were: Open Pairs, Ted Richmond & Robert Ng, 3d; Bracketed Swiss Team 1, Marc Renson’s and Marcus Ballinger’s team, 1st; Team 2, Stephanie Singer’s team, 2nd; Team 5, Bob Chang, Mike Dotterweich, Mike & Gloria Halliday, 3rd, Doriane Heyman, Cathy & Steve Nessier, & Virginia Maclean, 4th.
Congratulations to all!
If April showers come our way, you can dry off at our next unit game scheduled for April 21, at Fattoria e Mare. This game is a fundraiser for Peninsula Youth Bridge (PYB). As mentioned in previous columns, PYB is supported by our unit as a way to ensure the endurance of duplicate bridge well into the future by teaching High School and Middle School players the game. Contributions made at the April 21 game will assist this effort.
Keep your eyes open for news about the June 21 The Longest Day event which will involve clubs from San Francisco to Palo Alto. A fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, this year’s event is being planned now and novel fun activities are under development. Fred Chasalow is again spearheading the event, with a Unit 498 crew of Janelle Van Renssalaer, Marge Pacchetti, Loren Charlton and Jackie Lowenberg lending their creative and energetic spirits to the endeavor. Stay tuned!
Under the auspices of Unit 498, we can enjoy duplicate bridge almost every day of the week at one of our clubs. Be sure to check our website for a schedule of games and bring a friend along to enjoy the fun! Our website is: unit498.com
Welcome to new Unit 498 members: Leslie Ballinger, Melody Butterworth,
Maria Corradino, Orene Kearn, Jeanne Sedgwick and Ann Silver. Advancing in rankings this month are: Susanne Lauridsen, to Junior Master; Suzanne Vuko to Club Master; Carol Tessler to Regional Master; Janelle Van Rensselaer to NABC Master; Lorelei Greenfield to Advanced NABC Master; Jon Greenfield to Life Master; and Ted Richmond to Emerald Life Master. Great achievements, all!
When a player who graced Bay Area bridge tables for 50 years passes from our lives, it is appropriate to note that sad event: Zakir Mohammed (Zak) passed away on February 4. This talented Diamond Life Master was a generous exemplar of all that a duplicate bridge player should seek to emulate. His presence will be sorely missed.

Santa Cruz 550

By Karen Schamberg

Last month I featured a lineup of classes offered at Unit 550. Coincidently, the Monday night Beginning Bridge class has been so successful that Sydney has added a second class on Wednesday evening. As long as I’m on the subject of lessons, there’s two other classes underway: Ken Gamble’s Advanced Bidding and Nancy Wainer’s Basic Defense. These classes require sign-up with the instructor. There are also free lessons preceding games on Monday evening, Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, Thursday evenings (bi-monthly Newcomer Game) and Sunday afternoon.
The annual recognition game is Saturday, April 21, with a 10:00 a.m. start time. At this game, the unit winners of the Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races are recognized and given their awards. There will be a separate section for 299ers.
Unit 550 offers games most days and several evenings. We host games for every level of player. Open Pairs games are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday daytimes and Thursday evenings. Monday evening’s game is for 199er Pairs, Tuesday evening welcomes 749ers, Wednesday evening is a 99er Pairs game, Thursday morning is a 749er game and Sunday afternoon is a NLM or Mentor game. Check our website and bulletin boards for further information.
High scores in club games were earned by: Irma & Peter Andrews, 71.43%; Robin Evenden & Joanne Brown, 71.40%: and Ken Llacera & Mick Friedberg, 70.37%. A high score in club beginner games went to: Richard & Susan Pearce, 75.69%.
My deadline for this column was just ahead of the Santa Cruz Rising Stars Sectional so I’m looking forward to reporting the results in the May Forum.
Two of our “stars” did well at the San Mateo County Winter Sectional. Jonni Faircrest & Lani Ray took a 1st in the Sunday Open Bracketed Swiss and finished in the top 10% of MP earners.
Congratulations to them.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of two former members, Pat Arnold and Paul Hashfield. Our condolences go out to their loved ones.
Did you know that we have a Sunshine Lady at Unit 550? If you would like the unit to send a greeting card to someone who is ill or in need of encouragement, if a member needs our support or just to know that they are missed, contact Diana Schilling.
To see the complete Unit 550 schedule and calendar, or to contact one of our club owners, please visit our website at www.santacruzbridge.org and be sure to visit our Facebook page. As a reminder, the SCBC is a fragrance-free venue, Please use unscented, non-perfumed products,

Santa Rosa/Petaluma 509

By Cecelia Zachar

By the time you read this, our Spring Sectional should have come and gone. I’m sure all players had a great time, and I look forward to congratulating the winners in the next Forum.
Our own Erwin Linzner is headed for the Big Time. He’s on a team with Jessica Lai, Dmitri Shabes, Greg Vance, Drew Hoskins, and Len Vishnevsky. They played four grueling days of bridge to beat 14 other Flight A teams, and earned the privilege to represent District 21 in the GNT A finals in Atlanta this summer. Go team, go!
On April 15 we will be toasting our Mini-McKenney and Ace of Club Award winners before our unit game. Our 1st place winners for Mini-McKenney were Bob Goetzinger, Cathy Netz, Gail Whooley, Karen Aabel, Tony Jackson, John Shribbs, Conrad Larkin, Larry Spanier, Patricia Hertz, Chris Flindt, Kathy Venton, Nancy Gunn, Sara Rothmuller, and Bob Klein. Ace of Clubs 1st place winners were Bob Goetzinger, Kim Fusch, Gail Whooley, Karen Aabel, Tony Jackson, Jim O’Brien, Kathy Juarez, Nancy Stetson, Patricia Hertz, Chris Flindt, Kathy Venton, Patricia Gittings, Evelyn Holtz, and Bob Klein. The complete list of winners and runners-up can be found at www.acblunit509.org/masterpoints-2/
Congratulations to all!
The Santa Rosa Bridge Gallery will be offering a one day class called Learn Bridge in a Day on Saturday, April 21, 12:30-5:00 p.m. The ACBL says: “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, five hour course includes both class instruction and coached play.” Workbook and snacks are included in the $40.00 fee. To register for the class, go to www.santarosabridge.com/register-for-learn-bridge-in-a-day/
For more information or to volunteer as a table helper, contact the instructor, Kathy Juarez, at lbiad@sonic.net, or call 707 591-5015.
The inestimable Kate Hill will be teaching two classes at the Bridge Gallery starting in early April. First is a six week series starting Thursday morning, April 5, titled Bridge Basics II - Competetive Bidding. The class will cover topics such as Preempts, Overcalls, and the many varieties of Doubles. Kate’s second class, Two Over One Game Force, is a 7 week class on Tuesday mornings starting April 10. See www.santarosabridge.com/classes/ for details.
Three players have moved up in rank since the last Forum. Lawson James is our newest Club Master, Ed Flowers made Sectional Master, and Gloria Hersch made NABC Master.
Congratulations, all!
We had two big scores in the February 3 International Fund Game. Nancy Gunn & Bob Klein chalked up a healthy 72.82% while Jim & Frances O’Brien came very close with 72.48%. These scores should qualify them for district and possibly national awards for that game. Other big scores in Petaluma include Jim & Frances O’Brien, 73.51% on February 1 and Ellen Schiller & Robert List, 74.48% on February 17. At the Bridge Gallery, Madeline & Terry Welsh scored 72.50% twice, on February 14 & 21.
Please join us on April 15 when we roll out the red carpet for our Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs winners to accept their awards.

Silicon Valley 507

By Ray Yuenger

This will be my last column that exists basically in print, the next ones will be in the virtual reality of the Internet, unless you choose to print a copy of the first all-digital Contract Bridge Forum. I believe that if you are a current member of District 21, you’ll receive an email from the ACBL regarding the availability of this new edition, but that works only if you’ve provided the ACBL with current contact information.
I did speak with some players at my club who were disappointed about the imminent disappearance of a print edition. If you don’t have or use a home computer, you might not have an email address or the ability to download and print a paper edition. When we were discussing this problem, one player’s partner told her that it was time for her to get an iPad. Tablets are easier to read than smartphones.
Last month’s Forum had a flier for our Spring Sectional to be held on April 6-8. I apologize that the flier didn’t list the Sunday start time as 10:30 a.m., the same as it always has been. The error should be corrected elsewhere in this edition’s version of the flier.
Looking back at recent tournaments, at a Palo Alto Non-Life Master Sectional, Pamela Meckenstock & Judy Macarthur prevailed in a pairs game, in which Pradeep Verma & Meena Oza had a stratification top. Calix Tang won one 49er game, while Monica Bacon-Proctor & Bill Roman won the other, with Maggie Leach & Holly True earning a strat top.
At the San Mateo Sectional, Stephen Tu placed 1st in the two-session Open Pairs, while Jim Liu had a strat top, Will Watson had two section tops and Pangjie Xu had one. In limited pairs games, Judy Macarthur and Pamela Meckenstock placed 1st and James Hlavka had a section top. Jung Hu had a strat top in a single-session pairs game. The team with Brenna Wundram & Dee Ann Hansen prevailed in their bracket, as did David Mack’s team. Henry Zhang, Wei Chen, Yin Lin & Michele Liu were 1st in their strat.
Congratulations to the unit’s newest Masters: Monica Bacon-Proctor, Will Kenigsberg, Bill Roman (Junior); Frank Christopher (Club); Donna Wirt (Sectional); Edward Lechner, Cindy Tolliver, Jonathan Yue (Regional); Jackie Hiatt, Kevin Huang, Joan Schlinkert (NABC); Rohit Dubey, Shalini Dubey, Barbara Weber (Life); Nitin More (Bronze); Ron Baron, Laura Walters (Silver).
I’m saddened to report the passing of Frank Lowenthal. He was a regular participant in local sectionals. I also finally obtained confirmation of the December passing of Martholo “Marti” Jefferson, one of the unit’s newer players.
The unit still hasn’t selected a date for the summer membership meeting, dinner, and unit game but it is usually in July. Members of Unit 507 will be asked to vote on a proposed change to the by-laws of the unit. The topic of the change, in fact, is how to change the bylaws. Currently, the only method allowed is by a vote of the membership of Unit 507, after assembling at least 15% of the approximately 690 members to vote.
In light of declining attendance at membership meetings, the board is proposing another method for changing the bylaws, as follows: “Amendment to the bylaws may also be made by the unit board of directors. A proposed amendment must be submitted in writing at any meeting of the unit board of directors. If approved by a two-thirds (2/3rd) vote of those present and voting, it shall be published as determined by a majority of the board of directors then present and voting. After the proposed amendment has been published and posted for at least 30 days, the unit board of directors shall again consider the proposed amendment at a meeting of the board. If the unit board of directors approves the proposed amendment by a second 2/3rd vote of those present and voting, the amendment shall become effective immediately.” In other words, the board itself is empowered to make changes in the bylaws after published notice to the membership. I hope you see the value in this change.

South County 500

By Kate Hare

The first Unit 500 sponsored event of the year, the Pizza Lunch and Pairs Game, held in February, was a fine success. Fifty-four players filled 13 ½ tables. It was a comfortable crowd for the Redwood Bridge Club at the Aitkin Center in Castro Valley. There were plenty of masterpoints available. The 1st place winners in the open section took home 3.5 MPs. The 1st place winners in the NLM section, Tina Chen & Bill Hammerback, earned 1.24 MPs. More than half the pairs, a total of 14, took points home that day. There was also plenty of food. Everyone had their fill of Mountain Mike’s Pizza, green salad, salty afternoon snacks and hot and cold beverages; all provided courtesy of Unit 500. For dessert, a cake was served in honor of retiring Unit 500 webmaster, Bill George.
The recipients of the 2017 Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKenney masterpoint races will be honored at the next Unit 500 sponsored event which will be held this month. At the time of this writing, the date, place and menu had not been determined. By now you should be able to find the details, if you haven’t already, at the Unit 500 website,www.unit500.org or look for more information and sign-up sheets at any local club. Signing up beforehand is appreciated if you plan to attend. The board of directors can estimate the amount of food to provide and avoid waste if they get a count prior to the event.
Tournament Trail: It has been a quiet couple of months for tournaments within driving distance of Unit 500. A few South County players attended the San Mateo County Winter Sectional in February. While no Unit 500 player placed 1st in any event, several players earned substantial awards. Ming-Xiang Li (7.08), Jesse Liu (2.72), Daniel Claassen (2.30), Bo Xiao (1.77), Rory Xiao (1.63), Kevin Patterson (1.04), Bill Hammerback (1.04), Shailesh Shah (.75), Andy Sass (.28), Drayton Swartz (.28), and Terry Gardner (.28) were among the winners.
Congratulations, all!
The District 21 final for the NAP contest was held in San Jose in February. Brent Xiao & partner ranked 4th and Bo Xiao & partner ranked 11th out of 72 pairs competing. Their very impressive high ranks made them both eligible to compete in the national event at the Philadelphia Spring NABC in March.
Well done, Brent and Bo.
New Members and Menbers on the Move: Welcome to Myles Zhang, newest member of Unit 500. Welcome also Jack Chang who transferred his membership to Unit 500 and farewell Norma Bozzini who transferred her membership to Palo Alto. With these changes the membership in Unit 500, as of March 1, totals 205 players.
Master Advancements: There were a few Master Rank changes: Bill Hammerback (Club), Kevin Patterson (Sectional) and Alan Davis (Ruby Life).
Congratulations, all!

Stockton 510

By Wendy Buchanan

On February 12 we dedicated our game to the life of Lee Hanson on what would have been her 100th birthday. This extraordinary woman was a long-time director, teacher and exemplary bridge player at the Stockton Bridge Center. Mary Sievers arranged a wonderful lunch in her honor and a plaque was hung to commemorate her contributions to our club.
On that particular day, we also applauded the return of Pam Kitto who had been out for a year battling an illness. Welcome back, Pam! We’re delighted to have you back at the table.
Congratulations to Joan Garcia who recently became a Diamond Life Master, a significant milestone in my book. Other milestones reached this month include Wendy Buchanan (NABC Master) and Joe Velasquez and Janis Morehead (Club Masters).
SBC: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Team Nutting was the February masterpoint leader with 5.99 points, and that’s in a short month. The same team posted the top score with a 72.07% game.
SBC Intermediate: Jerry Barnes & Carol Hakeem were the top scorers this month with a 65.27% game. We were pleased to have newcomers Doug Mason & Carol Bonadurer place 1st in their direction in one of the games and Jim & Marcia Laird do the same in the other direction.
Oak Park: We welcomed Bhagya & Gopal Charibhagya from New Jersey to our Wednesday game. As usual, Bill & Ann Nutting posted the high score with a 71.69% game as well as being the top winners earning 6.24 masterpoints in February. Remember, February’s a short month!