Rising In The Ranks

RankName & City

Junior Master (5)

Edward Bower, Roanoke; Dale Edington, Fort Wayne; Rita Fink, Long Beach; Linda Urschel, Mishawaka

Club Master (20)

Deborah Aschbacher, Fort Wayne; Dr. James Lane, Chesterton; Clare Shoaff, Fort Wayne

Sectional Master (50)

Dr. David Barkmeier, Plymouth; Gloria Bates, South Bend; Kristine Brubaker, Fort Wayne; David Himmelhaver, Fort Wayne; Kathy Klein, Columbia City; Patricia Manning, Michigan City; Teresa Nelson, Fort Wayne; Michael Ridenour, Fort Wayne; Donna Tieman, Granger; Gerry Wardzinski, South Bend

Regional Master (100)

Mary Ennes, Valparaiso; Merrill Crull, Granger; Charlie Halberstadt, Valparaiso; Sharon Kolski, Elkhart; Barbara Lawson, Valparaiso; Anita Nunemaker, Elkhart; Ron Richey, North Webster; Richard Will, Valparaiso; Sally Will, Valparaiso

Adv. NABC Master (300)

Philip Eyermann, Churubusco



Terry Bauer of Portage was awarded his Life Master certification earning 500 masterpoints in four years. Terry was truly focused on learning new ideas to make his playing always better. He and Bill Birk were involved in many tournaments where they were constantly challenged. Terry recalls some of the steps along his journey —

With encouragement from my family I decided to try duplicate bridge at a club rather than online. I really appreciated the warm welcome and necessary assistance from members at the club in Chesterton. Dottie Hart volunteered to be a regular partner, and that made playing so much more enjoyable. Alan Yngve was a great director for a new player like me, and I soaked up a lot of info from his advice, example and mini-lessons. He also introduced me to Bill Birk who patiently mentored me while I learned to use basic conventions and how to play in tournaments. Dee Marshall encouraged me to expand my playing experience to the club in Highland, and I have enjoyed playing with her regularly. While I enjoy the competition and challenge that bridge provides, the best part of the last four years has been the wonderful people that I have met. Many players have shared hints and advice, pointed out my errors or just have beaten me up at the table (but always in a good way) so that I had to improve my play. All have been super friendly, while still competitive, and shared their lives with me. I hope to enjoy this game for many more years.

Terry’s most frequent partner is Bill Birk, who makes the following comments — One of the concepts utilized in the 2 over 1 game force bidding system is the idea of “fast arrival”. Terry has lived up to the concept of fast arrival as he has arrived at the ranking of Life Master very quickly. He has succeeded through a combination of his many hours spent reading and playing bridge in live competition and on BBO, being augmented by his logic skills. Terry is known for his quiet concentration and pleasant demeanor at the table. I have been especially blessed to have had Terry as my main playing partner for the past three years. Our local clubs are fortunate to have Terry as a competitor and his Unit 154 as its new president.




Glen McGeady


GLEN McGEADY, Long Beach

Bill Wendt





JOHN KOHNE JR., Fort Wayne



ALAN YNGVE, Chesterton

Alan Yngve from Chesterton has become a Silver Life Master — 1000 masterpoints. What is most impressive is that as the director he most often partners with players who come without partners and whose skills are of lower level than his, yet somehow brings out the best in them.

Alan comments, “So — I seem to have reached 1000 masterpoints. It was bound to happen since they are only additive. However, I’m currently in a serious slump.I’ve made some poor decisions (or at least ones that don’t work out) that have sent me back 'to the books’. It seems that I need to do this with some regularity to right my sometimes tilted ship, but I enjoy the study — so it’s not wasted time. I hope all the many players I have sat with enjoyed their time at the bridge table with me. I remember all of you, but admit that you are too numerous to list. Now to see if I can earn that ‘next’ masterpoint with you!

John Polles writes — “Alan is my Lafayette bridge partner and being the modest fellow that he is, I had no idea that he recently made Silver Life Master until I was asked to write something.

Those who know Alan know that he has developed an interesting bidding scheme he calls Demand Minor. The first time I played the system, I was anxious to get it right. As luck would have it, we had no call to use the system until the last table of the evening against a well-known pair of senior life masters. One of our opponents became agitated with our bidding — not understanding it and believing he was being taken. (Now I am very anxious.) Finally in a fit of pique he challenged Alan by asking if Alan’s system wasn’t just another name for the Montreal Relay. Alan with a hint of a smile simply answered that it was a little similar — but only better! Modesty only goes so far. Don’t mess with Alan.”







Trudi McKamey of Ogden Dunes, who probably appears at bridge games per week more than almost all of our players, has advanced to another level — Ruby Life Master with 1500 masterpoints — and we were thrilled to celebrate her newly-acquired status with her. Trudi comments that she loves the game, she tries to improve and she loves her bridge family. We are her primary family away from home. Trudi comes to us from Austria as the only person from her family to come to America. She has no children and no in-laws living close by.

Her regular partners comment thusly — “Playing with such a nice and pretty lady like Trudi is truly a joyful experience. She is not only a good bridge player, but also a very kind and wonderful human being. I want to thank her for being so nice to me when we are partners and who never complains about my bridge playing or behaviors.” (Yuan Hsu) 

“Your achievement is proof of your commitment, dedication and drive for excellence at the bridge table. Your success also comes from your continual striving for accurate bidding and improvement in best play of each hand. Trudi continues to enjoy playing with several partners, providing refreshments at special club events and traveling to many top-level tournaments.” (Bob Porter)



YUAN HSU, Hammond

Yuan Hsu of Hammond has joined the ranks of Ruby Life Master — 1500 masterpoints. He has advanced to the top 88% of ACBL players in masterpoint holdings and is among the 7% of players in the Ruby Life Master category. Yuan says that he likes to play bridge, not only because it is a fun game, but also because you meet a group of very nice and friendly people. He thanks his partners effusively, but actually thanks all the members of our bridge clubs for giving him such a joyful time in playing bridge with you all.

Trudi McKamey comments that “I always look forward to my game with Yuan — he has real card sense. He will bid on a shoestring — and make it! We both made Ruby Life Master at the same time, but Yuan got there so much faster than I.”

Barbara Walczak adds, “Yuan always has his sights set on the prize. He is determined to win every trick possible after he makes a well-thought-out plan of how to accomplish the goal. I have the utmost confidence in him as a partner — knowing that his play will produce the best attainable outcome — and he can predict that outcome with uncanny certainly long before the hand is finished. He does have an affinity for mathematics!”




Dave Bigler of Hobart is congratulated on his meteoric rise to Gold Life Master — having been awarded this prestigious recognition for acquiring 2500 masterpoints! It has been an arduous, though delightful, adventure to reach this significant milestone.

Dave has offered a multitude of lessons throughout the years — whenever and wherever — all without remuneration. He often comes to the game with bags of food, again without remuneration — but with gratitude from us. He signed up as a “pro” to help increase Alzheimer’s donations. Nine players signed up to play with him, and he accepted them all. In fact, he doubled their games with him (two for the price of one), and he collected $240 for Alzheimer’s. He is willing (or more so, he is enthusiastic) to partner with new players to the game — no matter how elemental their skill level is — and those newbies leave having had a successful experience.

Dave has many supporters. Yuan Hsu described the most special attribute about Dave — that he always takes care of new players. “He did that for me when I first joined our club. He taught me a lot of new tricks and conventions. He took me to many tournaments and helped me get my Life Master status.”

Mary Kocevar stated that not only is Dave a wonderful instructor, but he is generous with his time and expertise. “Any time that I need help or have a question about bridge, he is willing to help out. Dave is also a great partner. He really understands the game and is fun to play with."

This tribute to Dave is not just having accumulated points, but in giving back to the betterment of bridge in our community and, consequently, good for the game ACBL-wide.

Jack Spring