Rising In The Ranks

RankName & City

Junior Master (5)

Carol Crosby, Fort Wayne; Judith Kearns, Granger

Club Master (20)

Jean Chappell-Hoemig, Fort Wayne; Paul Muszik, Crown Point; Rosemary Polizzotto, South Bend;

Sectional Master (50)

Donald Grote, Chesterton; Julie Jarvis, Mishawaka; Kathleen Peterson, South Bend

Regional Master (100)

Ahnee Conner, Fort Wayne

Adv. NABC Master (300)

Karen Drain, South Bend; Robert Enyeart, Fort Wayne



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.




Martha Harris of Highland has met all of the qualifications and has become an ACBL Life Master. She received the final necessary gold points at the Milwaukee Regional. Some of the pivotal players who contributed greatly to her reaching this defining moment in her bridge career were (as told by Martha) —

  • Daryl Fraley was my first partner when my only goal was to enjoy the competition and to have fun. While Daryl played in many tournaments, I lost my partner and decided to quit the game.
  • Stacy Jacobs saved my bacon. She offered to play my card and only change when I felt ready to bid more conventions. She was my “helping partner” who encouraged me to continue playing. Stacy drove an hour each way from Hinsdale for 1 1/2 years on Tuesday — rain, snow, sleet or hail — just to help me to become a student of the game. I am forever grateful for her   loyal kindness.
  • I met Linda Murphy at Crystal Lake on a day when she needed 2.75 gold to make Life Master. We did it! We are forever bonded because we shared her celebration  of earning Life Master! I have learned that Linda is a very special person. She committed to meet me at any tournaments until I reached Life Master.
  • Terry Bauer drove to Milwaukee just to help me get gold points. After we won some gold, I learned that he did not even need gold points, but had made the sacrifice of time and money just for me. What a nice guy!
  • I appreciate my friends from the ABA who played in ACBL when I needed them. Ermine Morris and Liz Cotton helped me to get gold at the University of Illinois. Barbara Mitchum traveled with me all the way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
  • Joe Connelly and I met every year to play in Skokie. What a wonderful tutor!
  • Mary Kocevar played with me in Skokie and turned me on to Mel Colchamiro’s 21st Century Rules.
  • Juwanna Walton is my partner with whom I played the Chicago Nationals where we got points. We continue to enjoy the journey together.
  • Alan Yngve did bridge chat with me and Delphine Slater helped us to strengthen our partnership. She traveled with me to Milwaukee when I needed 0.07 gold. I honor Delphine’s amazing card sense and her commitment to help me become Life Master. I am grateful that we earned 3.72 gold. She set the stage for my next level.
  • The person with whom I played and received my first gold was Philip McPeek from Chicago. I’ve since played with Philip and earned more gold than with any other single player. He has gone the extra step of closing down his vendor booth of books and bridge supplies just because I showed up without a  partner and there was no stand-by at that tournament. He is a young, exciting, fun, fabulous bridge player from whom I have learned much about defensive bidding who deserves my thanks and gratitude



Mary Kocevar of Hobart comments, “Being a Life Master was a personal goal that I am proud to have achieved. As all of you are well aware — you cannot achieve this goal without a good deal of help from others. Starting from learning the game — I would like to thank Dave Bigler for all the instruction he has given me and still gives me. Everyone has been encouraging and helpful — I do mean everyone — all my partners, opponents and directors. I have met many wonderful people and made some great friends. The bridge community is a special group of people. Thanks to everyone!"





Grant VanHorne