Berkeley/El Cerrito/Richmond 497

By The Beer Dude

Wrote this before & after I played 2 sessions Friday @ Monterey (w/the editor of this paper); snuck it in slightly past deadline so I could check the daily bulletins (thru Saturday, which include results from the day before). If you made the overalls on Saturday/Sunday, you’ll see your name(s) somewhere else in here. So far (only NLM’s reported to save space): Sandy & Catherine Warren 2nd overall Monday afternoon 299er Pairs; they topped the Wednesday aft 299er w/a nice 68.37%. Board member Carrie Stoltzfus (with a U502 partner) was 6th o/a in Tuesday Gold Rush (<750 MP) game. Marcia Mattoon won the Friday-Saturday Bracketed KO w/3 Oakland players (Lisa Euphrat-Sarla Purohit-Amy Hansell).
Just the last game of the year (Friday 12/29) for unit games. Invaders Lois Flock & Ernie Scosseria shot a 70.24 to win the 6.5 table (1 winner; I play “bouncing pair” movement that limits the sit-out to 2 boards) game. Lamar & I were 2nd; Jan Straus-“H” 3rd; the aforementioned Carrie & Catherine 4A/2B; & Marcia Matton-Sarla Purohit 3B. February games are Friday 2nd & Wednesday 28th.
In-Out/Rank mover-uppers: Welcome Carole Laskin (from Long Island, NY). 2 new Jr Masters (5+): Kathleen Mathews; 3 new Sectional Masters (50+): Christopher Adams, Andre Fargeix, & Sandy Warren.
At da club, Lamar was the MP champ; Carrie was top NLM. February club champ game is Wednesday 14th. Electronic scoring is working well & allows me to post a matrix of what everyone played each board at; we don’t have a dealing machine, so we can’t do hand records. Dealing machines are far too expensive, given that they’ve been around for 15+ years. The ones that use bar-coded cards are cheaper, but the cards are expensive & horrid to look at, as you who’ve played D21 regionals well know.
Finally, Don’t OD on chocolate on the 14th, & may we have received a lot more rain than we did in December. Bring on March Madness & spring training!
Tweak beerman1949@gmail.com to brag/gripe/suggest; unit info & game results available 24/7 @ berunit497.org

Carson/Tahoe 465

By D. Marie Bresch

happy New Year 2018! We are looking forward to lots of bridge and special games.
Our Unit 465 board held election and some new faces have appeared. Ed and Cornelia Gould have joined us. Ed volunteered to establish a website for the unit. It is in the process of being developed. I will let you know the address when it is completed.
We also have some new members: Welcome Helmut Banse and David Jones.
Our unit game for December and the Christmas Party was a happy event; it took place early in the Holiday Season because of holiday travel. Results: N/S 1A/B, Naomi Zimbler & Sue Gerat, 60.12%; E/W A1, Sheldon Zimbler & Gary Nitberg, 69.40%.      
Travelers to visit family over the Holidays: Nick & Leona Pchelkin & Gladys & Rich Turrsini.
One of our long time members, Aleeta Jones & husband will be moving this month to Minneapolis, Minnesota, due to illness. You will be missed Aleeta; hope you will find another group of happy bridge players. Safe trip!
There will be a change in our news reporter; it will be Carole Sill. Thanks for taking my place, Carole. Bye!

Diablo Valley 499

By Lisa Assoni

The New Year is already in its second month. If you’ve made a resolution, most folks give up by early February. So, don’t be a quitter, especially in bridge.
A New Year, and new beginnings for all. However, time passes quickly, or for others, very slowly. Though February is the shortest month of the year, it often feels like the longest, especially in cold, dizzily climates. So, make the most of this mini-month, beginning at the bridge table. When the weather outside is frightful, skedaddle to your local bridge center. You’ll be nice, warm, and cozy, while playing your favorite card game.
Now, if we only had fireplaces.
Unit 499’s website,diablovalleybridge.com has a mentoring program listed on the right side of the home page. If you’re interested in volunteering to mentor for this program, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact Andy Fine, mentoring program director. Any mentee can feel free to contact him to find a mentor. Oh, did I mention the word mentor? Seriously, we can all use a little help from our friends. If interested, please email Andy atAFine963@aol.com
We’re thankful for Judy Keilin who served on the Unit 499 Board of Directors from April 2009 to December 2017. If you see her at a game, please thank her for all of her years of service on the Unit 499 Board of Directors. Just so you know, Judy is still going to be the editor of the e-Declarer. We are so very fortunate to have her as a member of our unit.
I’m really looking forward to the year ahead! We’ll have our Spring Sectional on April 28-29, 2018. Larry Cohen will give a seminar on May 16. We’ll host our Fall Sectional on November 10-11, 2018. Please mark your calendars now for these special events. For the latest hot-off-the plate news, check out our website at www.diablovalleybridge.com
District 21 recently selected Anne Hollingsworth as a 2017 Goodwill Award recipient. Unit 499 will hold a luncheon and game later this year to honor this appointment. A well deserved honor.
Congratulations, Anne!
Bragging rights to the following bridge partners: Married for 59 years, and not looking their age, is extended to Sheilah and Harry Fish. What a cute, kind couple. You’re beautiful.
I also wanted to share another extraordinary pair. Piled up high for admiration are bridge players Eldonna Dayton and Joyce Goodman. They’ve been partnering for over 23 years. Eldonna will be 95 in April, and Joyce is also a senior. About 25 years ago, Joyce met Eldonna at the Senior Center in Concord. Joyce went there to play Whist, but discovered they were playing bridge. She was invited into the group, and encouraged to take lessons. Eldonna eventually needed a new partner, and Joyce stepped up to the plate. These wonderful, high-spirited women are both Life Masters. Eldonna is a Bronze L. M. Both the girls take this game quite seriously.
Today, Joyce is retired from the Alameda County Social Services, serving for over 38 years. And Eldonna is still working. She’s a legal assistant, bowls in a weekly league, is a notary, volunteers at her local Senior Center, and plays bridge three times a week. Joyce couldn’t brag enough about her dear friend. Yikes!
These ladies are fine examples of how life should be lived. No complaining, smiling faces, cool as a cucumber when playing bridge, and an inspiration to all. It’s been said by me and others, “I want to be like Eldonna when I grow up.”
Go, girls!
More kudos go to the following Bridgers. Bronze was won by Jeanne Cohan and Cynthia Kight. Silver went to Lorrain Grawoig, Gold to Bradley Komsthoeft, and the brightly coveted diamond went to John Miller. Awesome!
Signing off with good news.
Ciao Bella, Lisa.

East Bay 502

By Tom Pajak

Because of the required lead time to submit these columns, I’m writing this the first week of January while memories of the 2017 Unit Holiday Party are still fresh. It may seem weird to readers why I’m bringing up “old news” but I need to brag a little and praise your unit board for putting on such a premier event on December 17. The East Bay Community Bridge Center was filled to capacity with 96 players comprising sections A, B, & C. This large game was capably directed by Mark Kornmann who kept the pace lively and players moving. Winning in the open game N/S were Betty Kael & Susan Boyers, with 2nd taken by Otto Edor & Gunnar Niemi. In the E/W direction Steven Drucker & Russ Kirschenbaum took 1st, with Susan Wiebe & Roseanne Smith in 2nd. In the Non-Life Master section: 1st N/S, Steve & Amy Bess and E/W by two instructors J. J. Kael & Fred Schwartz. Following these in 2nd were Kerry Abbott & Julie Burnet N/S, and Mary Jacobi & Nancy Mangini, E/W.
At the conclusion of the game, everyone enjoyed the scrumptious banquet managed by Amy Bess and her cadre of elves who prepared several turkeys and hams, molds of mousse, yams, salads, gravy, veggies, rolls, desserts, and beverages all to the gustatory delight of the players. A loud cheer goes to Amy for her excellent coordination of this biggest (and difficult) annual event.
Special thanks also to Jasmine and Jayden for their help in the kitchen, keeping things running clean and smooth.
If you’ve been to any tournaments recently, you’re aware that ACBL Live FastResults will email you notification of your performance quickly at the game’s conclusion. I’m sure Grant Vance and Jessica Lai were delighted when Fast Results informed them that they’d accumulated 75 masterpoints for their play in the San Diego NABC, with half of those being coveted platinum points. The same goes for David Snyder & Susan Boyers winning 1st overall at the East Bay Sectional in November; this occurred in their very first time playing in the A/X game, known for its really tough competition. It didn’t stop there for David & Susan; they also grabbed 1st overall in the December Western Conference Holiday STAC with a 71.73% game.
Very well done, all of you!
Remember that there will be two Saturday games at EBCBC, starting at noon on February 10 & 24. You’ve been asking for a game on Saturday and the Bridge Center wants to provide them, but, if you want to play, you’ll need to let Betty Kael know in advance. She needs to plan for the amount of coffee and snacks and other logistics, so come and try our Saturday sessions; remember to pre-register first. The Sunday unit championships (extra masterpoints) will be held on February 4 & 18, as always on the first and third Sundays of every month. These are stratified open games where players of all levels are welcome to compete. Your unit board charges only $7.00 and also provides a free lunch prior to the game. Winners receive a free play if they cash it at another unit game within a month’s time in the future.
Are you artistic? Do you know someone who is? The 2019 Fall NABC (Nationals) will be held in San Francisco in November of next year, and the event needs a logo. This logo is the mascot of the event and will appear on all advertising and media releases. We’re looking for a graphic artist who’d like to submit their work to help promote this major event of next fall.
Ideas? Suggestions? Submissions? Let Jim Leuker know: 415 824-6399.
Let’s welcome Carol Alliger, Fran Friesen, and Jakob Karstens who’ve recently transferred into Unit 502. And let’s applaud these players for their advancement in rank: Leslie Delugach, Keith Evens-Orville, Gretchen Griswold, Marsha Ryle, John Vallerga (Club Masters); Kathleen Clancy (Sectional); Susan Bailey (NABC); Steven Drucker (Bronze); Ed Seputis (Gold).
Larry Bowerman will be next month’s author, so if you have any juicy news to share let him know and you’ll get to see your name in print.

Fresno 522

By Laura Da Costa

Hope you are planning to attend the Fresno Winter Sectional this month. It is coming up soon, Presidents Day Weekend (16th-19th). The tournament will be Friday through Monday: three pairs game sessions scheduled for Friday, two pairs game sessions for Saturday, a double session Swiss Teams on Sunday, and two pairs games scheduled for Monday. All morning sessions will start at 10:00 a.m., and afternoon games will begin at 2:00 p.m. The Friday evening Fast Pairs will begin at 6:30 p.m. Make your plans to support our unit and have some fun at the same time by joining us for one or more sessions. Need a partner or another pair for the teams game? Contact our partnership chair, Mary Lou Pease, 559 288-2340 or marlou121@comcast.net
The Unit 522 Christmas Party and end-of-the-year meeting occurred on December 10. We had one Open Pairs game with 11 tables. The winners for this Holiday STAC game were N/S, Patrick Carroll & Richard Meffley and E/W, Robert Durbrow & Gloria Fitzgerald. Bob & Gloria’s score earned them 42nd place out of the 235 tables participating in this Sunday afternoon STAC game. The unit board provided the lunch with the main dish prepared and served by Jackie Finn & Deb Petersen; a wonderful tri-tip roast.
Also, at the Christmas Party, our Distinguished Service Award was given out. This year’s recipient was Marion Austin who has worked on reorganizing our bookkeeping and setting up a budget for the clubhouse, a major job!
Don Austin, our treasurer, also received accolades. He was our nominee for the District 21 Goodwill Award. A well-deserved honor for his many contributions to our club including negotiating a new contract for the rental of the Shaw clubhouse. We have recently been informed that the district has awarded him the Goodwill Award.
More good news from our district. Each year our unit can nominate a charity to District 21 to be considered for part of the district’s charity stipend. We are very pleased that our chosen charity was one of four recipients of the award this year. Camp Sunshine Dreams, a summer camp for children with cancer, will receive a check for $1250!
For New Year’s Eve, the unit had a Fast Pairs unit championship game. Just three tables participated, but it was still a fun and quick afternoon game (starting at 1:00 p.m. and ending before 3:30). Winners were Jane Bragg & Rosalie Jorgensen.
Just three pairs ended the year with a 70% game. In Oakhurst, Ken Doig & T Srinivasan, 72.02%; in Fresno. Naguib Abdallah & Victor Greener, 70.83%; and Margaret Mahaffey & Laura Da Costa, 72.27%.
Congratulations to Pat Huston, who reached the rank of Bronze Life Master (500 MPs).
See you at the sectional!

Livermore Valley 501

By Rosemarie LaFrancesca

The groundhog will tell us if spring is arriving sooner or later. I wish the groundhog could tell me which way to finesse for the queen of trump! After all the hard work putting on the sectional, the board and committee can relax. A special Thank You to Jacky Poulsen for taking the initiative in ordering name tags for our members; after playing 11 years in Livermore, maybe I’ll finally learn everyone’s name.
This is the month for our elections, so let’s have some volunteers to serve on the board. The meetings are rare and the tournament details and to do list are easy to follow. Hey, Jacky, we could use you on the board!
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.
I first learned bridge during the lunch break in the faculty room from an elderly history teacher. She taught using rhymes. Here are a few “Phoebe-isms:”
• When the dummy is to your right, lead the weakest suit in sight.
• When the dummy is to your left, lead through heft.
• Don’t be cute, lead partner’s suit.
• The lead of top of three small is worst of all.
• The one who knows, goes.
• You will lose face if you underlead an ace.

Marin 508

By Gail Haar

Welcome to our newest Unit 508 members Christopher Barnes, Janine Bradley, Geoffrey Fletcher and Janey Kuhl. And congratulations to those moving up in rank: Shirley Ehrlich (Junior Master); Michael Nistler (Ruby Master); and Diane Williams (Gold Master.)
Headline news! The Holiday Party in December raised $70,533 for Homeward Bound of Marin. Many, many thanks to David Smith (a long time unit member) for his double match of membership contributions. Thanks to the generous donations of Unit 508, 4.66 deserving local residents will be housed, closed and fed for an entire year. Homeward Bound does extensive job training including food service and their folks did an amazing job setting up, carving and serving and then cleaning up. All our members had to do was relax and enjoy the bar, the bountiful buffet and an excellent afternoon of bridge. The organizing committee headed by Kathy Sanders and ably assisted by Bill Yeast, Cindy Blum, Diane Howard, et. al., did their usual efficient job (how do they make it look so easy?) and Peggy Tatro with Jim Oser directed the happy, occasionally rowdy crowd with aplomb.
Some of us took a break from the holidays to travel to regionals with good results. In Rancho Mirage, Susan Angel, Jean Marchant, Jeanne Radtke & team won an evening Swiss; Arti Bhargava, Bill Bailey, Jim Griffin and team won a Thursday-Friday KO; and Stan Green and partner won a Saturday side game. Carol Liss and her team won a Thursday-Friday Swiss in Glendale.
Many Marinites are in Monterey as I write this, so stay tuned for those results next month.
Those of those who stayed at home in December produced some huge games: Bill Bailey & Robert Haar (77.31%); Michael Hartnett & Nancy Ferguson (73.41%); and Larry Quenzer & Peter Sager (70.58%).
And a human interest story to end on, contributed by a local director. “When someone from out of town calls to say that they are interested in playing and need a partner, I attempt to find out what level of player they are. One question is: how many masterpoints do you have? Obviously not a true indication of their skill, but a good starting point. A local player shared a funny story along those lines with me. When she first settled in San Francisco and went to a bridge club to play in the novice game she was asked “What is your point count?” She responded “13 points to open the bidding.” Only later did she realize what the actual question was about and how funny her response was!

Modesto/Merced/Sonora 529

By Gail Vick

Lee Maddocks & Frank Frohman dominated the month of December in A with a 70.83% game, Larrie Sweet & Dennis Northern won B with 65.28%, and C players Barbara Page & Gail Vick at 59.72% finished 1st in C (winning 1st in both A & B on the 21st) and not far behind were Chris Barkley & Libby Longstreth winning at 59.63% on the 28th, as were Connie Arnold & Judy Remmers closing for 1st on the 14th at 58.52%.
The Pro-Am tournament at the unit game was a great success. Finishing 1st in A/B/C E/W Galen Neptune & Marcia Laird 65.26% (1st overall) and N/S, Mickey Holt & Trelle Uhl with 62.29%, taking 1st in both A & B, and Sandra Dieker & Mike Saeler took 1st in C N/S.
Friday Night Fun Bridge was another festive Christmas event for the Holidays. Results were Jan Mastenbrook & Imogene Engebretsen 1A, Chris Barkley & Libby Longstreth 1B, and Marcia & Jim Laird 1C.
The Sunday beginning & intermediate group also had a Christmas celebration with a fun afternoon of bridge, food and prizes for all in a bidding competition, with Barbara & Jim Page being first in the “Bidding War.” Being a hunter, Jim took the fly bazooka gun zapper, reminding me of Ralphie in A Christmas Story, with the excitement Jim had in getting the gun, showing again that the delight of the little boy never leaves grown men, a wonderful trait. One had to smile with the joy that he received. Judy & Wes Remmers took 1st N/S in both A & B as well as being high overall. Joyce Rudesill & Gail Vick placed 1st E/W in A, and Barbara Barnewolt & Betty Beard finished 1st in B, N/S.
Pat Gallo & Dee Heller had a 66.67% game to take all on December 31, an early New Year’s eve gathering.
In the Mini-McKenney Race 20-50 points, Sherrie Barakatt is ranked overall at 117 and 417 in the Ace of Clubs race, and 1st for the Modesto Unit. In the 50-100 range, Mike Saeler ranks overall 91, and 1st in the Modesto Unit. Lee Maddocks in the competition for 1500-2500 ranks 1st for Modesto, and overall at 324 as well as 447 overall in the Ace of Clubs race. Kathy High ranking 313 overall for online bridge 1000-1500 division.
Top point earner for the month was Frank Frohman with 5.62 points, with Bruce Ruskin, Ray Adams, Dave Terry, Judy Remmers, and Robert Frohman following behind with 3+ points each.
From The Foothills: Our annual Christmas Party was once more held at the Saddle Creek Clubhouse. A wonderful brunch was served and then 14 tables of bridge. Vicky & Duane Oneto were winners N/S and Bob & Lydia Solomons, tops for E/W.
For the month of December the Solomons had the best game at 72 %.
The players of the month for the Monday game were Bonnie Landis & Dave Jenkins; For Tuesday, Alan Hamilton; Wednesday, Dave Jenkins; Friday, Vicky & Duane Oneto.
Merced Happenings: Margaret Quinn is back at the bridge table after a well-deserved rest at her daughter’s house.
Top masterpoint winners for December were: George Loscalzo, 3.39; Larrie Sweet, 3.32; Robert Frohman, 3.18; Dennis Northern, 2.88; and Gary Smith, 2.55.

Monterey 530

By Mary Block

Lyde’s annual New Year’s Eve Party was, once again, the happy place to be Sunday evening on the last night of 2017. The early start and early departure format is always a big hit with our demographic. Maja & Wally Thorpe were the overall winners. All levels of players made up the sixteen tables.
A special shout-out to the spouses and significant others who were good sports to play their one duplicate game of the year.
The unit welcomes four new members this month: Julie Anongos, Albert Lau, Sara Myers, and Kate Spacher. We hope that you will enjoy the game and our Bridge Center as much as we all do. We have just a few rank changes this month: Jeff Riehl is now a Club Master, our two favorite doctors, Charlene & Joel Reimnitz, have reached Advanced NABC Master status, and our hard-working unit president, Debbie Davis is now a Silver Life Master. We are sure that you have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy both the process and the rewards.
This column is being written in the middle of the Clambake. There is nothing really to report so far other than that there are quite a few familiar local names at or near the top of the standings in the daily report.
There are new EZ-Bridge classes starting soon at the Bridge Center. Check the unit website or contact Doug Halleen at 917-2502.
In the spirit of the New Year, a few things to consider. Thanks to all the club owners/directors, without you, we would have no reason to exist as a club. Thanks to the teachers and mentors who help provide for the future of the game. Thanks to all who volunteer as board and Foundation members. And to the rest of you, consider serving in one way or another. If a formal, year-round option is not your thing, at least help out with the regional. It isn’t necessary to be a board member to serve in a valuable manner.
For intermediate and experienced beginners, think about playing up in open games. The Life Masters really don’t bite (well, some may, but they have had all their shots.) For the Life Masters, consider participating in the mentorship program later in the year. And, for all of us, it doesn’t hurt and can only help to act as role models.
We are www.montereybridgeclub.com 831 384-7800. I am maru0407@comcast.net The Foundation is montereybridgeeducation.org

Napa/Solano/Sonoma

512 By Tom Sheahan

As I’ve possibly mentioned before, we have one of the great units in the bridge world. The main reason for that is of course the players in it. Never was that more evident than in the Holiday Parties we had. The unit decided to throw a holiday extravaganza at the Elks Club in Napa with Sigrid Price coordinating everything and it was a grand success! The Elks Club was a terrific venue for a game and immediately following the game, Sigrid and Russell Quinnell bought a drink for everyone which included spouses and significant others. Bridge players and a free drink is a marriage that was made in heaven! It was another highlight to meet the other half of players that you had not met before. Following that, there was an excellent sit down dinner catered by the Elks. Everyone was very pleased with their meal and the club was abuzz with superlatives talking about the event the next week. Thank you Sigrid! We are very lucky to have her in our unit. She is on the unit board and the VDBC board, substitutes teaching classes in Gerry Fox’s absence, and runs the annual sectional for our unit. Be sure to give her a big thank you for all she does!
The annual Sonoma Holiday Party also lived up to its usual standards! Marge Sheridan, John Coulston, and club president Sandy Hicks coordinated the event and did their usual great job with holiday decorations. A big thank you to them for the effort they always put out. Let’s not forget our usual MVP in Eileen Holsten! Eileen was in charge of the food which is second in the minds of bridge players only to a free drink and she did her usual great job. Eileen is another very valuable member of our unit. She has been in charge of the food for countless years for our sectional events and we have a wide reputation for excellence in that regard. It’s a very difficult job and Eileen handles it with ease. She is another player that we are very lucky to have in our unit! Thank you Eileen!
With all that partying going on, we still had time for some bridge games and here our your winners in December: it was only fitting that the unit Holiday Party game was won by Sigrid Price & Russell Quinnell. Larry Page & Anita Pensler prevailed in the other game. Sigrid & Russell were victorious in another Friday Napa game as were Larry Page & Joanne Wegsten, Jim & Francis O’Brien, and Don Powell & Phil Shoemaker.
There were only six games in Sonoma last month and Tom Jacobson gave himself a present by winning three of them, two with Gerry Fox of which one of them was a 71% game, and one with Panette Talia. Red Falk & David Segal, Denny Olmsted & Jack Zeller, and Don Powell & Marsha Horowitz were your other winners.
First place in the Tuesday 499er game went to Doris Hearn & Helen Herbaugh, Dennis Sturdevant & Brooke Farkas and there was a tie between Sherry Shone & Dolores Jaquez and Anne Bryan & Joan Clark.
Rio Vista winners included Sue Vogtlin & Bob Lohse, Jim Monaghan & Paul Rosenburg, and Alan Morris & John Shick.
Good luck and get well to Lois Lourie who recently had a knee replaced. She expects to be timed in under 12 seconds in the 100 yard dash in a couple of months.
Alert! Sunday unit games in Napa will be held on January 21 and February 4 & 18. The Napa Senior Center will be closing for a couple of months in March so the games will be moving to a different location - probably the Pelosi Building in Napa College which is located in Kennedy Park. Stay tuned for further info.

Palo Alto 503

By Carolyn Chaney

Stop! Yes, at Unit 503 we still have to stop for 10 seconds after RHO makes a skip bid, even without the stop card. During that interminable time, we study our hands, as though we planned to overcall 7NT. What to do with all this free time? Well, if you hum Happy Birthday under your breath, that is just about 10 seconds. I’m open to new song suggestions.
We all enjoyed our lovely complimentary Christmas Party/Potluck in December. Thanks to a great team for organizing and Will Watson for directing. We elected our new board: Dan Thatte (president), Leslie Altick (secretary), Kip Kado, Anne Keyser, and Geraldine MacDonald. Dave Puryear (vice-president), Susan Zhang (treasurer), Alan Polish and John Schwartz are returning. We recognized Kevin O’Leary for his service to the unit and Chuck Lane for sportsmanship, and we thanked Todd Makler for his years of service as treasurer. Best of all, we generous Palo Alto players raised $1597 plus a table-full of toys for the Community Services Agency. And $3157 plus a barrel of food for Second Harvest. Yay!
Do you know someone who would like to learn our great game? Youth players should check out the SiVY website and hit one of the pizza parties: www.siliconvalleyyouthbridge.org
Also, starting February 22, Kathy Harper will teach beginning bridge at our Bridge Center on Thursday mornings. Don’t miss our free lectures on Tuesday mornings. Bruce Blakely will tackle “Cuebids by Responder and Advancer” on January 30. “Table Rules, Etiquette and Director Calls” are continued on February 13 by Heather Mac Gregor and Ray Yuenger. Maybe they will explain some of the more arcane new rules. Then, on February 27, Lynn Yokel will do another lesson using six hands.
We will be hosting a Non-Life Master Sectional (silver points!) on Saturday, February 10, with pairs games at 10:00 and 2:30. Come morning or afternoon or both to play with your peers in the 49er, 199er, or 299er sections. No partner? Contactwww.alan.cummings@stanford.edu
Sign-up is needed at www.PaloAltoBridge.com, so do it today!
We will soon know the results of the Mini-McKenney masterpoint race for 2017. Several of our Silicon Valley youth are right up there in the standings for District 21. In the 100-200 MP race, six of the top eight spots are held by SiVY players: Cornelius Duffie, Stephanie Youngquist, Brent Xiao, Rory Xiao, Arthur Zhou and David Zheng. Stella Q. Wan is #4 in the 20-50 race. We have lots of Palo Alto players doing well, so have a look at: www.web2.acbl.org/as400/mpraces/district/2017/mm21.htm
I am writing this from Monterey, where many of our Palo Alto friends are playing and having a terrific time. But yesterday one of our Palo Alto pairs came to our E/W seats, plopped down and said what a relief it was to not hear squabbling from N/S opponents; their first three tables had been a war zone. Let’s all remember to play nice (especially to our pards) and to call the director when an opponent gets out of line.

Sacramento 505

By Miriam Steinberg

Congratulations to Unit 505 member Dave Willmott who received a 2018 Goodwill Award at the Monterey Regional from District 21 for his dedicated service and contributions to the bridge community!
Dave Willmott found his passion for bridge 72 years ago at the age of 10 after his father returned home from four years of internment in Switzerland and introduced the game to his four children, which Dave embraced with enthusiasm. Dave grew up in London until the age of 12, when he moved to Alberta, Canada. During a stint in the Canadian Air Force, during which time he developed the guided missile and worked on radar, Dave continued playing bridge.
After meeting his future wife on a bus trip from Chicago to Detroit and a long distance romance, Dave got married, moved to Chicago, had three children and pursued his first career at American Hospital Supply, where he repaired lab equipment.
He eventually completed a degree in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he resumed playing bridge. While working at Western Electric, a subsidiary of AT&T, Dave played sanctioned ACBL games in the workplace. He later became so immersed in his new career at Intel, which took him to Santa Clara, Arizona, Malaysia, New Mexico, the Philippines, Korea and finally ending up in Folsom, he was forced to put bridge on the back burner for around 20 years. After he retired in 1998, he eagerly plunged back into the bridge world with a vengeance. (“It keeps you alive when you have an interest in life,” shared Dave).
He quickly became involved with the Citrus Heights Bridge Club, which later evolved into the Folsom Bridge Center. Dave has generously donated his time and expertise to all aspects of the bridge community. He became the interim director of the Folsom Bridge Center after Barbara Morman retired. Through his leadership, he was instrumental in putting a new club together at a bigger and better site. Previous to that, seeing a need to update the technology at the FBC, he gifted the club sets of cards, dealing machines and Bridge Mates. He formerly wrote the newsletters and currently does the computer work. He also became a director 4-5 years ago.
Dave’s involvement with Unit 505 has been invaluable, serving as vice president and currently serving as tournament co-chair. A Sapphire Life Master, Dave has taught bridge at retirement homes and fills in for other teachers. Dave is kind to advancing players, feeling it is the duty of better players to help the less experienced. In addition, he is eager to look for ideas to attract new players, especially the younger generation. He continues to play in tournaments with his regular partner, Nancy Cook.
When not playing bridge, Dave can be found skiing, hiking (he has climbed all 63 Ogul Peaks in the Tahoe area), wine tasting and attending dining groups with his wife.
We welcome our new and returning Unit 505 board members: Katherine Ewing, Ed Estberg, Jim Coke, Sam Sandusky, Pat Ingoglia, Miriam Steinberg, Margaretha Lagos, Craig Stalker, Marc Grunseth, Sharon Neff, and Harry Struthers. Dave Willmott and Sam Sandusky will continue as tournament co-chairs. I encourage you to contact us with any of your questions and concerns. We also encourage positive feedback!
The next unit game will be February 18 at noon with an 11:30 a.m. potluck at the FBC for Swiss Teams. The Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKenney Awards will be given out. Please register in advance by contacting the FBC at 916 353-1139. The entry will be $40.00 per team.
Congratulations to Bill Sanford & Tom Zinkle for a 74.35% game on December 23. Hey, that one almost made the Bridge Bulletin!
We really look forward to the Non-Life Master Sectional which will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 & 11, at the Sacramento Bridge Center, 2035 Hurley Way. There will be pairs games at 10:30 and 3:00, as well as Sunday at 10:30 for a single session 99ers game and a 10:30 double session Swiss Teams game. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the SBC at 916 925-6322 or by contacting director Ted Muller at ted@tedmuller.us or signing up directly at the SBC. A delicious lunch will be provided. If you need a partner, please contact Marc Grunseth at 971-3988 or Miriam Steinberg at mirsteinbergsac@gmail.com or 916 607-4947.

San Francisco 506

By Kimberly Fanady

Our always wonderful San Francisco Winter Sectional in January was, once again, a winter wonderland! Unfortunately, my deadline was too early to include the results here. Check back next month for proclamations of the triumphs of Unit 506ers. Lots of San Franciscans did well in the Monterey Regional last month. Take a look at the results on ACBL Live or the District 21 website to see the names of the victorious. Congrats, all!
The 2017 unit game schedule kicks off with a pairs event on February 10. Lesson at 10:45, light lunch is served at 11:15, and game time is noon. The unit now hosts (attendance permitting) three separate sections; open, 499er, and 99er. Something for everyone! All unit games are at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1100 Gough Street at Geary, and all are welcome.
Check the unit website at unit506.org for more dates and info. Join us.
QuickTricks’ very popular Easybridge! lesson series began at the end of January. It’s not too late to join the class, which runs into May. Lots of QuickTricks regulars got their start in Easybridge! – send your friends and family along to learn our great game, and they could become bridge fiends just like you.
Go to the club website at quicktricks.org for the full schedule and details.
Congrats to our newly Master ranked: (Junior) Eric Bishop, Marc Lorenzen, Forrest Rice, Adam Ross; (Regional) Ethan Fingerman, David Sweet; (NABC) Howard Neckel; (Bronze Life) Eric Ratner; (Silver Life) Helene Ettelson, Stephanie Rogers.
Well played, all; keep winning those points and climbing that ladder!
Welcome as always to our new members Charles Michalopoulos, Melissa Standen, and Wayne Tse; and transfers Brian Drell (Silicon Valley), Christopher Redlich (San Mateo), and Laura Starto (Greater New York). Be sure to say hello and welcome to these new players when you meet them at the table.
We sadly say goodbye to Doug Keller and Ellie Green, who both passed away late last year. Doug was a long time Unit 506 and QuickTricks member and always a friendly, pleasant presence at our tables. We saw him less after his retirement to Napa, but he always said that he left his bridge heart in San Francisco. Ellie played at Pips and the unit games, and loved the game.
They will be missed. Our condolences to their families and friends.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! A good bridge partner is a pearl beyond price, so cherish yours. Pass over her mistakes (remember, if she were perfect she wouldn’t be playing with you), cheer her successes, bring her coffee and a cookie, and you’ll have a lot of fun and accomplishments together.
See you at the table.

San Mateo 498

By Fran Gaura

The month of January is named for the Roman god, Janus, who faced both forward and backward. Keeping that perspective in mind, this column will provide a look back to some great news items and a look forward to some terrific upcoming events.
A look back: Celebrating the Holiday Season, Unit 498 hosted our Annual Holiday Party at the new and welcoming venue, Fattoria e Mare, Burlingame. The game drew a crowd of dedicated players who, under the capable direction of Raad Bunni, moved through the boards at a holiday pace, concluding the afternoon with a buffet provided on the restaurant’s patio.
Taking top honors were: overall open 1st, Rajan Jeyakumar & Daniel Raider; 2nd, Robert Ng & Ted Richmond; 3rd, Edward Hornung & Virginia Wailes: Limited group 1st, Kit Morse & Sharon Sloan; 2nd, Gloria & Mike Halliday; 3rd, Joanne Gates & Virginia Zapitz.
Congratulations to all!
An innovative format introduced to Unit 498 has been the Mentor-Mentee game in which less experienced players had the opportunity to work with Mentors, playing in a sanctioned game. This program has been managed by Joanne Lewin. The last Unit 498 sponsored session of this program occurred on January 18. Thank you Joanne for your hard work. And a special thanks to the Mentors for their patience and fine coaching.
A look to the future: Mark your calendars for our first unit game of the year at Fattoria e Mare set for Saturday, January 27. The game is coordinated by Janelle Van Rensselaer and Marge Pacchetti. For Super Bowl fans this game is planned to not interfere with the game; so be here or be left out in the cold. Table fees will include a lunch prepared by the restaurant before the game.
Our food critics have applauded the restaurant’s efforts, so treat yourself to a fun afternoon during the quiet month of January.
Circle the dates: February 24-25 in Valentine’s Day red! Those are the dates for the San Mateo County Winter Sectional held at Canada College. This is a venue with everything going for it; a location with ample parking, and a full service cafeteria/grill. The competition for the Art Weinstein trophy (for players under 100 MPs) will once again be held Saturday morning.
Add to that the directing skills of Lynn Yokel. Look for the flyer for this event on the Unit498.com website.
The Bayshore Bridge Club, guided by Pattie Frederick, continues afternoon open games and has recently added classes for beginners and on the topic of slam bidding for all interested. The BBC also has a Thursday evening Barometer Game which offers a unique format for the game which everyone should experience! Check the website for details.
On January 31, Jennifer Kuhn’s Peninsula Duplicate Bridge Club will start Wednesday duplicate games at Fattoria e Mare. Games will be open with handicap scoring. The afternoon game will start at 12:30 p.m., and the evening game will start at 6:30 p.m.
For more information, please visit peninsuladbc.com or contact Jennifer by email at jkuhn@peninsuladbc.com
PDBC is happy to arrange a partner for you if you need one.
Reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations, please visit peninsuladbc.com/reservations
Raad Bunni’s San Mateo Bridge Center Tuesday & Friday morning 299er games continue to grow in popularity. In addition, SMBC will initiate a Thursday afternoon game at Fattoria e Mare on January 25, 2018. This is an Open/499er game, handicapped (with enough open players a separate section will be available). The game starts at 11:30 with table fees $10.00. Box lunches prepared by Fattoria e Mare will be available for $5.00 and assortment of soft drinks for $1.00.
Raad has also re-commenced his semi-private lessons on Play of the Hand. These two hour sessions are Wednesdays from 10:30-12:30. See the SMBC website for full details. This class gets high praise, and is well worth a try!
For information on all games under the auspices of Unit 498, check our website.
Looking toward the future of our favorite past-time, the Peninsula Youth Bridge group is awhirl with activity thanks to the dedicated work of Janelle Van Rensselaer, Mary Bates, Jeanie Kwong and a host of other volunteers. The group has established a new venue for advancing youth bridge by bringing the game to Bowditch Middle School in Foster City as well as maintaining the classes already established in Burlingame, Hillsdale, Mills and San Mateo High Schools.
As the number of young people learning increases on each campus, the need for assistants grows. If you are interested in sharing your love of the game with the next generation of players, please contact Jeanie at penyouthbridge@gmail.com to volunteer. The rewards in seeing these young people master the game are inestimable.
And special thanks to all involved for making this program a great success.
As this column goes to bed, the Monterey Regional has concluded. Many Unit 498 players will have participated in that great regional, so stay turned to next month’s column for notes of their success at that venue.
Also look for updates on new additions to our unit roster and on advancements in level in our edition arriving late in February.


Santa Cruz 550

By Karen Schamberg

Unit 550 loves its volunteers and every year we honor them with a Volunteer Recognition game. This year it’s on Saturday, February 3, and includes not only a free game, but a free lunch. A list of eligible volunteers is posted in the club and sign up is required.
Another event to add to your calendar is the Rising Stars Sectional on March 10 & 11 which is open to players with fewer than 500 MPs. It will once again be held at the Kirby School in Santa Cruz. On Saturday there will be two sessions each of stratified games for newcomers (up to 100 MPs), and for pairs with up to 500 MPs.
Between the sessions, Bronze Life Master, Ken Martin will give a free bridge lesson.
Sunday will see 10:00 a.m. games for newcomers, and for Stratified Swiss Teams.
This sectional is an excellent opportunity to garner silver points.
The final games of 2017 are in, and the best average percents for the year have been tabulated. Hearty congratulations go out to Jim Slinger, Phil Rodriguez and Robin Evenden, who were the top 3 in the open division and to Sydney Reuben, Steve Smith and Thomas Burke who were tops in the NLM division.
Jim Slinger’s 60.26% is the first time someone has averaged over 60% for an entire year. A listing of the top 20 players in both Open and NLM divisions can be found on our website on the Accolades page.
High scores in club games were earned by: Phil Rodriguez & Robin Evenden, 70.05%: David Harken & John Walker, 70.24%; and Andrew & Marilyn Calciano, 71.77%.
Two of our members are traveling and earning MPs. Janet Tainty & Linda Hanson took a 1st in the Wednesday-Thursday KOs and ended up in the top 20% of MP earners at the Fall NABC in San Diego. At the Palm Springs Regional, they made 1st in the Thursday/Friday Knockouts, and ended up in the top 10% of MP earners. Well done, Janet & Linda.
We were saddened to learn of the passing of our member, Sue Giottonini. Sue will be missed by all of us who had the privilege to know her. Thank you to Diana Schilling for keeping us informed when members and their families are ill or in need of encouragement.
Unit 550 offers free lessons prior to a number of games. Free lessons will precede the newcomer (0-5 MPs) and the 749er games on February 8 & February 22. Wednesday (99er) and Monday (199er) evening games begin with a free lesson, as does the Sunday afternoon Non-Like Master game.
To see the complete Unit 550 schedule and calendar, to get information on our Mentor Program or to contact one of our club owners, please visit our website at 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

S

eems like the Holidays were just yesterday! Unit 509 had another lovely Holiday Party at the Oakmont Golf Club. We had a total of 13 ½ tables in the open game and 15 in the 499er. The food was great, the weather superb, and the atmosphere sparkling. It was fun seeing so many beautiful people having good times on Sunday afternoon.
First place in A went to Joanne Pransky & Debbie Tesler, N/S, and Bob Klein & Asher Nathan, E/W. In B, winners were Mary Lyons & Robert Rottmayer, N/S, and David & Joan McDonnell, E/W.
The unit had its annual election. Newly elected board members are Tony Jackson, Jan Conklin, and Cathy Wagener.
We are looking forward to our Spring Sectional, March 17 & 18, at Odd Fellows Hall, Santa Rosa. It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
For more information, see acblunit509.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Sectional-Spring-2018-final-final.pdf
In late 2015, Unit 509 lost Larry Hansen, one of its finest players and finest people. A man of great integrity, Larry brought out the best behavior in the people in the room with him. Larry had been a PhD student in mathematics and used that talent in the study of bridge bidding systems. In the months before he died, Larry saved his library of what he judged best bidding practices on Dropbox and asked us to share the link with his friends. This library is intended for experienced players who want to fine tune their bidding system with their favorite partners. The library can be found at dropbox.com/sh/99hszjaf89vx5ys/AAAF4=Xn0-l7K6C_QhvekUpF0a?dl=0
Another of the good guys, Fred Blatt, passed away late December. I heard he’d been playing at the club for years and years and always sat at 1N. A sweet man, he will be missed.
The Bridge Gallery will be completing their Absolute Beginner bridge class in February. Their superb teachers, Kathy Venton and Kate Hill, will start a 6-week series titled Bridge Basics II - Competetive Bidding early March. It will cover topics such as Preempts, Overcalls, and the many varieties of Doubles.
See their website for details: santarosabridge.com/classes.htm
John Shribbs will teach several free classes on doubles at Petaluma Bridge Club in February before the Saturday game. In March, he will have a special class titled Learn Bridge in a Day. Details found at: petalumabridgeclub.com
A few players have moved up in Master rank this month: (Club) Henry Gaw, Mark Rudow; (Sectional) Jan Lee; (Regional) Judith Brodsky, Jan Conklin, Lynda McGuire. Congratulations, all!
There were four 70%+ games in December. Christ Flindt & Bob Klein, 74.4% in Santa Rosa and 71.67% in Petaluma; Ellen Schiller & Robert Liss, 76.99; Bob Klein & Sara Rothmuller, 70.35% in Petaluma.
The new Unit 509 website is now here. Hoorary! Here’s the url: acblunit509.org

Silicon Valley 507

By Ray Yuenger

Last month I had a lot to report. Not so much this month. One regular focus is on the recent tournament success of members of Unit 507. Recent is a relative term, because the column is published at least three weeks after it is written. Today, for example, the Monterey Regional is half over. Instead of breaking up my report of that tournament, it’ll appear in next month’s column.
Sone unit members played in the Palm Springs Regional. Barbara & George Roupe placed 1st in two limited pairs.
In lieu of local sectionals in December, there was what is called a sectional tournament at the clubs. The following players had games above 65% in STAC games: Lynn Yokel, James Hlavka & William Bushnell, Will Watson, Carole Dietz & Tina Pearson. The ACBL is testing a similar event, a Regional Event At the Club House (REACH). If this event reaches the San Jose Bridge Center (pun intended), you’ll hear about it on the svbridge.org website.
Congratulations, new Masters: Brandon Ge, Rajeev Gupta, Rakesh Gupta, Radhakishin Thawani (Junior); Kathi Congistre, Limin He, Jeff Weaver (Club); Amar Chunder (Silver); Neal Webb (Ruby), Peter Friedland (Platinum).
As time advances, so do table fees. For 2018, table fees at the San Jose Bridge Center are increasing to $11.00. If you want to combat the fee increase as a player, talk your friends into playing in the club and increase the attendance.

South County 500

By Kate Hare

The Holidays are over and 2018 is in full swing. This year promises to be an exciting one for Unit 500. All the local clubs are thriving and the bridge educations program is growing as well. Charlie Conrad and Doug Burke are continuing their classes for junior high school students with the sponsorship of Silicon Valley Youth Bridge. There is enthusiasm and parent involvement in the program and weekly attendance averages four tables. Many of the young players have already joined the ACBL. For more mature students, Charlie is teaching Standard American and 2/1 classes at Blackhawk. The program started on January 12. Contact Charlie Conrad if you would like more information about any of his classes.
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 on February 16 at 11:30 at Marina Community Center in San Leandro. To see the list of winners, check the ACBL website, acbl.org, select “Races” on the home page and follow the prompts to view Mini-McKenney and Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs races results.
New Members and Members on the Move: Welcome to Andrew & Sarah Liang, new members to ACBL and newest member of Unit 500. Farewell to Carol Alliger who transferred out of Unit 500.
Advancements: There were two changes in rank: Sidney Ho and Jesse Lui are now Junior Masters. Congratulations to both of them!
Board of Directors: Changes were made in the board of directors at the general membership meeting in December; thank you to Charlie Conrad for his time as president, to retired members Mary Ramos and Don Bierman for their service on the board and to Olga Swartz who graciously agreed to serve. Olga is a very enthusiastic member and will no doubt be a great asset to the board. Service on the board is open to any Unit 500 player who has a desire to contribute his or her time and talent. It is a fun opportunity for anyone who wants to help. Current board members are: Carla Francis, president, Andy Sass, secretary, Anna Bauman, Bob Bauman, Linda Duchscherer, Bob Hamilton, Kate Hare, Jeff Lamparter, Shailesh Shah, Olga Swartz and Jean Wood. Thank you to all of them for the work they do for Unit 500.
Memoriam: Sadly, Unit 500 lost two long-time and popular members. Kunio Okui and Jim Groh will be greatly missed by all who knew them. Condolences to their families and friends. You can view their obituaries at legacy.com

Stockton 510

By Wendy Buchanan

H

appy 2018, Stockton area bridge players! May you find this year a prosperous but fun one at the tables enjoying the company of fellow bridge nuts while earning a bumper crop of masterpoints.
SBC: Bill & Ann Nutting led the club in 2017 masterpoint earnings. Bill earned 83.36 with Ann lagging behind with 82.81 points. Bill must have snuck in a game while Ann was home sewing her beautifully crafted tops.
Well played, Nuttings!
This same pair also headed the December race with 10.32 points. They were also the high scorers for the month with a 79.69% game. Mort Horn & Glo Klinger Williams scored an impressive 73.20% in one of our Sunday games.
Rank: Carol Hakeem is now a Sectional Master and Cissy Hilken earned Regional Master status. Congratulations, ladies!
SBC Intermediate: Speaking of Carol Hakeem, she & Jerry Barnes were the high scorers for N/S with a 67.37% this month, while Lynette Foppiano & Joyce Cates earned a highly respectable 64.71% game E/W.
We welcomed Maxine Fruey to our Thursday game and continue to enjoy her presence (Oak Park, too).
Oak Park: Dennis Del Paine & Mort Horn topped the Oak Park leaderboard all four Wednesdays. Their highest percent game for December was 72.33%. They also led the masterpoint race earning 7.99 points. Oak Park welcomed Lynn Holmes to our game. Best wishes to all SBC/Oak Park players this year!