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Grand Slammer


Eighth Issue 

Late August 2016 

President’s Message by John Adams 

Where did the summer go? Vacations are nearly over and school has started for many. 

Last chance summer fling is this weekend at the Red Lion Hotel. Get out there and have some fun. No partner is no excuse, we will line you up with one. 

We had a very nice turnout at the memorial game for Kay Fergie on August 21st. Thanks to everyone who came, extra thanks to everyone that brought food, and special thanks to Rachel for doing so much organizing. Already miss seeing Kay at the club, but it's time for new memories. 

I have been told SYSA is taking the entire building on weekends as they hope to host special events for larger contributors. This was expected, yet we were still unprepared. The club needs to find a new home for at least Saturday, and the unit needs to find a new home or time for the unit game. 

I want your ideas on the unit game (time, location, frequency). Email me directly at I meet with the board on August 31st and we will be discussing options, but I expect it to take a couple weeks. The next unit game was scheduled for September 18th. It’s reasonable to expect some sort of change (date/time) or venue. We will keep you posted. 

Seeds for Ideas: Evening vs morning or afternoon. Weekday vs weekend. Weekly vs monthly (yes, we can do it weekly if people want that much bridge). Strata (flighted or stratified). Food/drinks. Lessons. Partnerships, rideshare ? whatever you can think of ?


Washington DC National Board Meeting Report 

Motions: here is a motion that will affect club play 

Opening 1NT with a singleton: It’s officially legal 

The ACBL Board of Directors removed a legal gray area surrounding semi-balanced notrump openers when it approved a change to the definition of a no-trump opening in the General Convention Chart. The change allows players to open 1NT with hands that include a singleton ace, king or queen, and as long as they do not also contain a doubleton. 

Here is the new definition, effective Aug. 1: 

“A no-trump opening or overcall is natural if, by agreement, it contains no void, at most one singleton which must be the A, K or Q and no more than two doubletons. If the hand contains a singleton, it may have no doubleton.” This includes hand patterns such as 5-4-3-1, 6-3-3-1 and 4-4-4-1, in addition to those that were previously allowed, such as 4-3-3-3, 5-3-3-2 and 5-4-2-2. 

The change was recommended by the Competitions and Conventions Committee, a group of players appointed by the Board, in an effort to bring regulations in line with popular and expert practice, said ACBL Field Manager Sol Weinstein, who supervises tournament directors. 

Before, opening no-trump with a singleton was considered a psych. It was legal to do, but players could not have an agreement to open such hands 1NT or 2NT. The lack of clarity was a thorny issue for directors. 

Opening 1NT with a singleton: It’s officially legal 

“Many players were doing it anyway,” Weinstein said, particularly when a different opening would create a problematic rebid. “They decided it’s not right to have a rule that’s contrary to the way opening 1NT with a singleton: It’s officially legal.   

The ACBL Board of Directors removed a legal gray area surrounding semi-balanced no-trump openers when it approved a change to the definition of a no-trump opening in the General Convention Chart. The change allows players to open 1NT with hands that include a singleton ace, king or queen, as long as they do not also contain a doubleton. 

Discussed for years within the committee, but previous proposals have failed because they lacked the simplicity of the new definition. 

“The Laws don’t allow you to limit bridge judgment,” Weinstein explained. “Regulations have to conform to the Laws.” 

The new definition prohibits opening no-trump with more shapely hands, such as 5-5-2-1, 6-4-2-1 or 7-2-2-2. “All of this has to do with your agreements,” Weinstein noted. “That doesn’t prohibit an outand-out psych, but you can’t keep doing that or it becomes an agreement, and an illegal one at that.” 

The change does not impact the one allowable exception of a partnership agreement where 1NT is treated as a 100% forcing opening bid (and not considered “natural” with any distribution). The use of such an unbalanced, non-natural 1NT opening must be alerted

Boise Regional 

Eleven Spokane area players attended the Boise ID Regional which ran from August 8-14. They included Rose Barcklay, Theresa and  

Peter Barthels, Charlie Bennett, Donna Carter, Ginny Davis, Mary Gellner, BJ Kolkman, Susan Norton, Joann Scholtz and Dave Westfall. 

Donna Carter, on a mission to achieve Life  

Master, ended up .01 short. Charlie Bennett and Dave Westfall walked (drove, flew) away from the tournament ending up the top masterpoint winners at 98.23 each. Congratulations to all!

Anne Henrichs Memorial Teams 

ShapeOn Friday, August 19, twelve Eight-isEnough teams showed up to honor the memory of Anne Henrichs. A fine time was had by all. The winners: 

  1. Karen Frogner, Joseph Harwood, William Rottmayer and Gary Matsumoto  

  1. Cristina and Massimo Gallotti,  

ShapeGeraldine Krueger and Billie  


  1. Peter Barthels, Butch Dock, Richard Rivera and Linda Baker 

  1. Joann Scholtz, Susan Norton,  

Marshall Mah and Pam Orne


Play For Kay-August 21 Unit Game 

Twenty-two pairs showed up on Sunday, August 21st, to “Play For Kay” at the Unit-sponsored memorial game directed by David Rottmayer. The potluck started at 12:00 Noon, game time was at 1:00pm, and cake plus warm memories of Kay were served up at the afternoon break. Results of the open pairs game can be viewed at, Unit 448 Clubs, Results. Many thanks to all who participated, contributed and shared! 

Play For Kay-August 21 Unit Game 

Kay’s Corner 

By David & Barbara Corn 

Regarding your remembrances of Kay in the newest Grand Slammer ) 

I can attest to the story about Kay getting blown over in the wind previously. It was within the last 3 years, as I recall, on a Monday or Tuesday evening when the games were still held at the Comfort Inn. 

My wife, Barbara, and I came down to the parking area not more than 3 minutes after Kay had. As I looked down, near where I knew she had parked, I found her broken eyeglasses and part of her false teeth (a bridge) laying in the parking l lot.  

As she only lived a few miles from us up on the South Hill, Barbara and I set out trying to check on her well-being. After a few phone calls, and much searching, we found her, along with her partner and friend, Lea Rogers, at Sacred Heart's Emergency Room.  

Lea had stayed with her for many hours, but eventually had to leave. Along about 2am the next morning, we received a call to see if we could come down and give her a ride home. 

I remember explicitly two more facts. She allowed me to drive her home and open the garage for her, but refused my offer of actually getting her in her house. She was just so proud!!  

Further, she NEVER missed an opportunity to play bridge that week, shiner and all ? 

By Harriet LaCombe 

I hadn’t been playing long at Kay’s game when I told her we didn’t have time enough for lunch. She said, “Harriet, maybe you talk too much.” I started bringing just half a sandwich so I’d get my lunch eaten during the break. 

Another time, my partner opened 1N and, after pondering for a long time, I bid something. When I put my hand down, I very carefully said, “I didn’t have enough for Stayman.” Kay said, “You didn’t have enough to bid at all.” 

Kay and I had a special moment not too long before she passed. We were talking about what a great time we enjoyed having a potluck and playing bridge at the Quality Inn, then watching fireworks. Kay had a big smile on her face and was glad to remember that time we shared.

By Hardyal Singh Virk 

Kay was so affectionate, I always saw my mom in her. She was cool, calm and a good bridge player. Her contribution to the game of bridge in Spokane is tremendous. I will always miss her. 

By Jim Williams 

I have played a bit of party bridge through the years, though not very well. My mother, Betty Ralls Williams, moved here from North Carolina (our home) about 25 years ago. She often played bridge with Kay.  Once, years ago, mom needed a partner and I played with her. Kay was there! 

About 5 years ago, after retiring, I decided to try to improve my bridge by playing duplicate and I showed up at Kay's game. I walked in, introduced myself, and expected to be unknown. Kay came over and said, "Hi Jim, you are Betty's son, welcome!" 

Kay has been a delight to know and a great mentor. She will be sorely missed!!


Driving Miss Kay, conclusion, by Rachel Denk 

Recap: We had a pact that started when Windstorm 2015 hit. And that’s how I came to call the next eight months “Driving Miss Kay.” 

We gradually settled into a routine. Tuesday was invariably banking day and we would pop by STCU so Kay could make her deposit. Although scheduled, I can’t tell you how many times we sailed past the bank without stopping. Once we got as far the river and had to reschedule banking until Wednesday. Another day, we got twelve or so blocks past the bank before we remembered. I quickly turned back toward Manito Park and the bank, telling Kay we were taking the “scenic route.” 

Thereafter, Kay would climb in the car at pick-up and take the banking bag out of her purse, resting it in her lap as a reminder to stop by the bank. There was also a back route we could take to the bank and that route helped to keep us heading for our intended destination. 

Kay and I never talked on the telephone much, knowing we would see each other the next day (except Sundays) during transport time. I implemented the sticky note system. If there was something we needed to discuss, I would write it on a sticky note and post it on the passenger side of the car dashboard. When Kay climbed in the car we would discuss sticky note topics, as necessary. There was nothing momentous here, just things like doctor or dentist appointment, a change in game times, Bridge players calling me if they couldn’t reach Kay, etc., but our communication system kept us on the same page. 

It always made me chuckle when Kay would calculate how many cookies she would need for an upcoming game. I called it “Cookie Conference.” She did all the calculations in her head: number of players times 2 cookies each less the number of cookies left over from the previous game divided by  

12. She would eventually come up with how many dozens of cookies were needed and “Cookie Conference” was then over.  

Kay and I went more places than to and from Bridge. We went to the doctor, the dentist, Walgreens, the medical supply places, etc. I drove her by my house several times, so she could see what was going on there, porch sale by a neighbor, new sidewalks, etc. Once, I parked in the driveway and let my dogs out of the house so she could “meet” them. I am extremely pleased that Kay agreed to play in our 2016 sectionals and our regional. She only played one session in each but she did make it to all of them. 

It must have been some time in December 2015 when Kay lost strength in her legs and opted to use the wheelchair for mobility at the club. She truly appreciated every blessed person who assisted her by opening a door, lifting the wheelchair in and/or out of the car, pushing her to the bathroom, getting her cookies, helping her direct the game, etc.  

Every day when I dropped Kay off at Harvard Park she said, “Thank you.” And every day when I pushed her down the hall toward her room, I gave her a kiss on the top of her head to let her know she was important, appreciated, and loved. There is no more “Driving Miss Kay.” She is missed

Emerald Life Master Pete Pluhta 



The Unit 448 Board changed the upcoming Unit Games schedule to: 

Saturday, September 17; Saturday, October 22; and Saturday, November 19. The new location of these Unit Games will be announced. The Sunday, December 11, Christmas party/Unit Game remains as scheduled. Mark your calendars! 

Happy 1st Anniversary Saint Al’s! 


Dolores Arnold June 14, 1936 – July 28, 2016 

By Karen Eveland 

Dolores Arnold was born June 14, 1936, in Wichita, Kansas. She died July 28, 2016, in Lewiston, Idaho. To say Dolores was passionate about duplicate bridge would be an understatement. She started the Lewis Clark Duplicate Club way before ACBL kept records. Her children don’t know the exact date either but they do remember her ‘calling everyone to make sure they would be at bridge on Thursday’.  Kay Bundy, her long-time friend and partner, now of Spokane, WA, is probably closest with her guess of 1972. 

Kay remembers Dolores as a dear friend. “I know she could often ruffle people’s feathers; but that was just Dolores. She had strong opinions and didn’t hesitate to let you know about them. (Especially true at the bridge table). We traveled the world together--Australia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Far East. She took great interest in all people all over the world; but I think she enjoyed bridge and bridge players most of all.” 

Her other frequent partners the unit will remember were Elaine Barnes and Warren Arnold (it is ironic Warren and Dolores had the same last name but they were not related). They were always ready for a game out of town and played in many tournaments. On one trip home from Missoula, there was a blizzard raging. You couldn’t see the road but that didn’t fluster Elaine or Dolores, one just hung her head out the window and looked for the snow berms on the side of the road and gave the other one instructions (keep in mind they were both in their 70’s). 

Kathy O’Malley remembers Dolores for making overly aggressive ‘4 of a major’ bids and then telling her partner, “I just need one card, one card.” Dolores was looking forward to partnering with Kathy when she retired.  They are both disappointed that didn’t happen. 

I, Karen Eveland, came on the scene in 2002 when everyone in the valley knew Dolores Arnold and her ‘subtle hints’ at the bridge table. She taught us all many valuable lessons sometimes with tears from the ‘student’.  One such lesson was ‘opening opposite opening makes a game—but not always a slam’. Or, ‘you can’t do that’.  ‘Sorry, Dolores, I just did’. 

The Spokane Unit was very important to Dolores just as ACBL was. She served on the board, more than once I am sure. In 2007 she gave the game to me; however, there were strings attached, ‘you have to keep a sanctioned game going in the Lewiston-Clarkston valley and you have to become a director’. I haven’t done the same job as her (I would call everyone, Dolores, but I don’t have our members phone numbers in heaven); but she did instill on me a love of ACBL and bridge. She had a huge heart and gave unconditionally. 






The Grand Slammer
Issue 7 – Early August, 2016
Catherine Fergie Memorial Issue

President’s Message
by John Adams
I am saddened by losing Kay. She was a wonderful lady and a big part
of bridge in Spokane. Please come out and show your appreciation for her
life at the unit game on Sunday, the 21st of August.
The summer is flying by so fast. We only have one month left to
prepare for the Labor Day Sectional in September! This one is four days
long since we gain Monday. Mark your calendars: September 2,3,4,5. If you
need help with partnerships, Lynn Hays wants to help. 509-926-8518. The
rest of us want to help too, just let us know.
We are working hard to bring more players into the clubs. Charlie held
a mentor game on Thursday, July 28th, and with the help of Joe and Kristi
Harwood, we were able to bring six members of the Spokane Club to the
game. Some are playing on Mondays as well, and soon we will have them
playing even more! The feedback was very positive. The key is that we are
all ambassadors to bridge, helping with the process, making players feel
comfortable and being nice. People remember how they are made to feel
while the details of the game may be forgotten. Let's continue to make
players like the feeling of playing bridge with us. Thanks everyone!

Catherine “Kay” Fergie-cont’d
Kay’s career as a bridge player spanned many decades, during
which she owned and directed two club games, and taught,
mentored, and played. She became a certified director in 1975 and
an accredited teacher in 1988. She was always available to help
players at all skill levels with advice and playing time. At the time of
her passing, she had accumulated 7282.69 master points and
achieved the status of Diamond Life Master.
Kay was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in Bridge
from Unit 448 at their annual awards game on March 9, 2014. Her
achievements continued to mount thereafter as she directed her
weekly non-life master and open games, and played in every
scheduled club game, at least two local sectionals and a local
Kay is survived by three nieces and one nephew. She is also
survived by the thriving bridge community she sustained for many

Kay Fergie – December 2015

Kay’s Corner is officially open. Kay’s Corner
was originally an idea presented to me by
Michele Pope. The idea was we would gather
Bridge stories and information from Kay Fergie
and publish them for our community. Alas, Kay’s
untimely passing now makes that impossible.
However, many of us have fond memories of
Kay which we wish to share. We start publishing
these memories with this issue and Kay’s Corner
will remain open until there are no more
memories submitted.

By Judy Hill
I will miss playing bridge against Kay every Wednesday. She
was a special lady and bridge player. I know I often learned
something just by watching her. She will be sorely missed by all who
knew her.
By Louise Saylor
Before Kay moved to Harvard Park, she baked tasty cookies
for the players at her games. On the rare occasion there were
cookies left after the Saturday game, Kay had small bags on hand to
send some to my husband, Bill. (She knew that I did not eat cookies
and took pity on Bill.) When Kay called the house on Friday
afternoon to see if I could play Saturday, the 16th, she told Bill that
she was sorry she could not send cookies to him anymore. Bill did
enjoy those treats from a thoughtful, wonderful baker.

By Mike and Connie Coopersmith
Mike's memory: Kay called others on sighs or a face at the table but
would let you know by her face when your hand was not what you bid.
Connie's memory: don't compliment your partner on how well she did
on a hand at the table. Wait until later. Ok to compliment the opponents at
the time. But complimenting your partner could make them feel bad.
For both of us: her cookies were phenomenal both in taste, uniformity
and variety. Who but Kay would have made the effort week after week to
prepare such delicacies.

By Brenda Simpson
Kay and I went to Tacoma WA in 1988 for the first Teachers
Accreditation Program by the ACBL. The Unit and District paid our fee of
$125 each. Kay taught in her home and after her games for twenty-five plus
years. She was the person who inspired me to do cruises as she was doing.
So when I retired from teaching in 2001, I began teaching and directing on
cruises as well.

Driving Miss Kay by Rachel Denk
I started transporting Kay to and from Bridge the day following
Windstorm 2015. She had earlier accepted my offer for transport
through the winter, but Windstorm hit and we started earlier than
I well recall that windy day. We came out of Bridge (the old
location on East Sprague) and Kay couldn’t walk to her car with all
the wind. She told me she had been blown over by the wind before
and was fearful of that happening again. She was using the walker
at the time and therefore was less stable than had she been seated
in a wheelchair. So we corralled a fellow Bridge player to assist
getting her to her car and tucked the walker in the back seat.

I quickly ran to my car and saw Kay drive off. I followed her car
as that was how I would start for home as well. Just south of the
building, a tree was down and I thought to myself, “Uh oh, this isn’t
good.” Then I instantly made the decision I had best follow Kay
home to ensure her safety. Whatever would a 94-year-old do in the
face of an emergency on the road? Fortunately, our trip up the
South Hill was uneventful but dreadfully windy.
As we pulled up in the Harvard Park drop-off area, I jumped out
of my car to help Kay get into the building. She was so surprised to
see me as she never saw me following her. After I assisted her
inside, I parked her car in her assigned parking spot and returned
her keys to her. It was at that time we decided I should pick her up
the following morning for Bridge and I don’t believe she drove a day
after that. We never looked back. We had a pact. And that’s how I came
to call the next eight months “Driving Miss Kay.” To be continued

A memorial bridge game celebrating
Catherine Fergie’s long life and outstanding
contributions to the bridge community.
• Sunday, August 21, 2016
• Potluck at 12:00 Noon. Cake and cookies at
the break.
• One session pairs game begins at 1:00pm.
This is a Unit game. $7.00 to play. David
Rottmayer is directing.
• Karen Frogner is in charge of the potluck. A
sign-up sheet will be posted at the club.
Cake and cookies will be supplied by the
• Contact Lynn Hays for a partner, if
necessary: 509-926-
• Contact Sue Norton for
Intermediate/Newcomer arrangements: 509-995-4741
• Contact Rachel Denk for everything else: 509-993-5131
• Pass the word to fellow bridge players. Sign
up at the Club. Let’s Play For Kay!

Scheduled Games Line-Up
By Charlie Bennett
Losing Kay Fergie July 16 has led to changes in our game schedule:
Monday 10:00am - non-Life Master Pairs - Charlie Bennett directing
Tuesday 11:00am - Open Pairs - Brenda Simpson directing
Wednesday 11:00am - Open Pairs - Charlie Bennett directing
Thursday 11:00am - Open Pairs - Charlie Bennett directing - this game varies
and will be a mentor game twice per month starting in September
Friday 11:00am - Open Pairs - Dick Yager directing - the last Friday of each
month is a team game - Eight is Enough
Saturday 11:00am - Open Pairs - director will vary, probably Dick Yager during
non-golf season
All of these games will occasionally be in a different format or have a different

Spokane Labor Day Sectional
Put these dates on your calendar: September
2,3,4,5. Please view the flyer on our
website at (left
green tab) or pick up a copy of the flyer at
the club. Thanks

Bridging the Gap by the Editor
This has been a rough month for us all.
We, nevertheless, persist in the forward
motion of playing and directing Bridge,
following the long-standing conduct
exemplified by our own Kay Fergie.
We end this issue on a lighter note by
sharing a couple of Darrell Murphy’s
Niagara Falls vacation photos. Enjoy.







I enjoyed covering for Charlie and Brenda the weeks they were away in June. I directed 3 games, and everyone was delightful. Particularly fun was the 5 table invitational game. We held a nice mini-lesson, bridge and pizza and raised a bit for Alzheimer's. Charlie wants to do more like this, perhaps with some mentoring added.  

The mini-lessons in June focused on 2/1 and XYZ. We are building a broad base of players that are learning these concepts. You don't have to be an expert! Being able to create a game force at a low level keeps you from having to preempt your side just to force to game. Gaining discipline about the values you are showing builds trust and confidence, and creates a foundation for constructive bidding. These practice sessions are very well received. My hope is that we not only develop better players, but we help players develop camaraderie with each other as they learn.  


ImageI really appreciate the efforts of Lea, Joe, and others to expand our community and bring people together. Some of our recent success is helping the local clubs thrive. As players are more confident, I believe it will help our sectionals as well. With Joe's help, Lea is expanding to the Spokane Club. We are open to other venues as well, we just need contacts and invitations! 

  • Do's: Be polite, tolerant, and play XYZ. 

  • Don'ts: Chat about hands when you are late for the next round, grouse at partner (guilty sometimes), play Lavinthal, Odd Even, 1430, or stolen bid. 

  • Do's: Invite a friend out to play, ask questions of the experts, and join them for pizza! And everyone come to the Unit game on July 17th!


ShapeOur Spokane Lilac Sectional was held June 10, 11, and 12 at the Red Lion Hotel At The Park. We were delighted to return to the large room on the main floor after holding the Regional in the basement. This return was accomplished by the Sectional Tournament Chair, Jodi Kimbrell, and much appreciated by the Bridge players.  

We ended up with a total of 97 tables for the tournament. Full results can be visited at This photo was taken on the last day of the tournament after breakdown of the tables, chairs and boards had begun. Better late than never! 

Kudos to Jodi Kimbrell, Tournament Chair, Lynn Hays, Partnership Chair, and McKenzie Myers, Tournament Director, for all their hard work! We now look forward to our Spokane Labor Day Sectional to be held September 2-5 at the Red Lion Hotel At The Park. See you there. 




JOURNEY by Jeanie Wolff 

Never would I have imagined that my two greatest passions today, bridge and painting, would come about because of the challenges of an accident. 

Yes, in the midst of my beautifully normal life with my husband, Fritz, and our four amazing boys, I was in a car accident that caused four herniated discs in my neck and a nine-month recovery at home.    

We lived at Liberty Lake then and had a fitting lifestyle. Two of our boys were in college and two in high school at the time. We all enjoyed skiing, long-distance biking, tennis, etc.  Suddenly, my lifestyle changed and I had new challenges. 

When I was well enough to become bored, I decided to learn something new on the computer since I needed to sit and look straight ahead. Many of my neighborhood friends belonged to a bridge group, so I bought the Omar Sharif Bridge software program and went to work! At the end of six months, I got a call from a friend who seriously insisted she would “pay me” if I would just come hold the cards and bid “anything!” She had eleven players and HAD to have one more. I was sure this was going to be more confusing than the traffic in India, but I went.  

JOURNEY cont’d 

Spending at least a quarter of each hour with Omar day in and day out paid off. I was amazed at what I knew and what I didn’t know. I knew most of what I needed for a social game of bridge as far as conventions and play of the hand, EXCEPT I had not a clue you had to keep track of which hand you are in as declarer and when you are declarer on the computer it is dead silent. And, why worry about learning to keep score? The computer does it for you!   

I played socially and then started duplicate a few years ago and played in my first national team game with a lady from Savannah, Donna Heinsbrook. She was on a quest to get her Life Masters in a year because of an illness. I was so fortunate to know such a special person and to travel with her to the major events for a year and to realize how alluring this bridge game is and how it keeps us socially connected and allows us to keep our minds busy.    

I am thrilled to have discovered bridge in Spokane and Coeur d ‘Alene. Thank you to all the directors who find us partners, promote our club, provide lessons, and keep us on track.  I have appreciated the culture and willingness of people to include newcomers.  

JOURNEY cont’d 

ShapeI look forward to getting to know more bridge friends, playing more bridge, and receiving the Bridge Bulletin with Life Master on it! However, my ultimate goal is to become a more reliable partner and have fun along the way. 


The Penticton Regional ran June 13 through June 19 and  

Spokane was well-represented. Lea Rogers and Gard Hays won the Wednesday Open Pairs; Dave Westfall, Charlie Bennett and team won the Pinot Morning KO’s Bracket 1; David Corn and team won the Friday Evening Swiss Teams; Lou Arevalo and Edward Carlson won the Saturday Penticton Gold Pairs; and, Dave Westfall and team won the Saturday Evening Swiss Teams.  

Other attendees and masterpoint winners include Bill  

McVaugh, Pete Pluhta, David Lyons, Theresa and Peter Barthels, David Barr, Marshall Mah, Jeanie Wolff, Ron Fleming, Dottie Larson, Rita Guzzard, Sally Alex and Joann Scholtz. Lou Arevalo added all our winners’ masterpoints and came up with 616.86.  

Congratulations to all! We’re proud of you. 


It was close to a year ago I played in one of my first Unit games and my first ever individual game. I had so much fun! Somehow the idea of sitting down with a new partner every couple of boards was quite daunting to me. The required “yellow card” set of conventions were unfamiliar as well. I, nevertheless, sat with each new partner and did the very best I could for him/her. I ended up nowhere in the overall standings but I loved seeing a few of the partners I played with do well despite having gotten me on the draw.  

The upcoming Unit game will be held on Sunday, July 17, at 1:00pm, one session. It will be the “yellow card” conventions and an individual competition. David Rottmayer will be directing. Sign up at the club. Let’s have fun! Rachel


Karen and I met in a bridge class in 2001 where we became bridge partners. We developed a close friendship which I will always cherish.  

Through the years Karen and I worked on improving our game by taking a few classes and listening to valued, constructive advice from more experienced players at our bridge club. With the exception of one regional tournament early in our partnership, which I might add was a disheartening failure for us, we have not attended other regionals and thought our becoming Life Masters was not "in the cards" for us. 

The last few months Karen and I attended Lea Roger's bridge lessons. John Adams soon teamed up with Lea to offer intermediate-to-advanced lessons which have been very well received by all who have been taking the classes. We feel that the new techniques and conventions we have been learning and incorporating into our game served us well in the Spokane Regional.  

Karen and I earned our first gold points by winning first place in the first pairs game Friday! We teamed up with Jacqui Ewert and Dave Barr to win the rest of the 18 gold points we won at the tournament. We were so excited! Thank you Jacqui and Dave! Needless to say we caught the bug and feel we might, just might, some day become Life Masters. Is anyone out there volunteering to help us? 


ShapeAlthough I enjoy the intellectual stimulation of continuing to learn a very challenging game, the more rewarding aspect of playing bridge for me has been the special friendships I have made. 

Q By Karen Wilson with Sue Howe 


  • Dear Spokane Bridge Club, 

Thank you for supporting a participant in The Longest Day®! Your generous contribution will help the Alzheimer’s Association to advance Alzheimer’s disease care, support and research. Continue your involvement in the cause by taking action: 

  • Double your effort. 

Many donations can be doubled if your employer has a matching gifts program. Check out our tips on matching gifts for more information about the process. 

  • Sign up to be an advocate. 

Join our nationwide network of advocates and speak up for the needs and rights of those affected by Alzheimer’s. 

  • Start or join a team! 

If you’d like to join us as a participant in The Longest Day, visit our website to sign up if you haven't already. We welcome your support! 

  • Sincerely, 

  • The Longest Day Team 

  • Event/Donation Form:2016 The Longest DayIn Support Of:Bridge Heroes United Date:Jun 18, 2016 2:13:40 AMAmount:$30.00Tracking Code:1796-20141-16531904-6854758Note: Your gift is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. 

BRIDGING THE GAP by the Editor 

June was a busy month. We held our Spokane Lilac Sectional and many of our players headed to Penticton for the Regional. On the home front, we still had a bit better than 200 total tables in regularly scheduled club games. Our page views on the website,, were well over 5,000.  

Our Bridge room at the SYSA Bingo and Events Center building has a new look. We can even add more tables, as necessary, with the new layout.   

Thank you for all our efforts to leave our tables neat and clean at the end of each round and at the end of the session. This month’s reminder is to be sure to leave your windows up in your car and lock it whilst you are playing Bridge. And, as always, don’t leave anything of value in your car that someone might want. Yes, we had a spot of trouble this month and we can avert any future trouble by following the rules. 

Here’s to another great month of Bridge! 




John Adams 

I hope everyone is ready for Bridge, because June has lots of it! We have a STAC (Sectional Tournament At the Clubs) on the 7th, 8th, and 9th. We have a sectional on the 10th, 11th and 12th at the Red Lion, and we have a regional June 13th through Jun 19th in Penticton. And if that's not enough for you, there is also a regional the last week in June in Anchorage!  

Jodi Kimbrell is chairing our sectional, hosted at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park. Lynn Hays is the partnership chair. If you need help finding a partner, please let us know and we will connect you. Call a friend or two and cajole them into coming out! They will appreciate the thought, and it will help us have a better turnout. Remember that coffee at the Red Lion is bottomless ... get your coffee at the coffee stand early and get free refills. Best bargain in Spokane. 

We are looking for a place to store tables between tournaments. We can't keep the extra tables at the club. One option is to pay the Red Lion, but that adds up (cost similar to renting a storage locker). If you have ideas, let us know. Saving expense helps us keep entry fees down! 

I am very excited by the new lessons being offered. Lea Rogers and I are having fun with mini-lessons and moderated bidding on Wednesdays after the club game. Brenda, Doyle, and Lea also have other education offerings (see the “Bridge Lessons” tab on the website). The feedback has been quite positive, and the experience teaching has been rewarding for me.  

I get another few chances at directing in June. I will cover for Brenda on June 7th for the STAC, and for Charlie on June 15th and 16th while he is in Penticton. I am considering doing a mini-lesson before the game on the 16th (10:00 lesson, 11:00 game). I am taking requests for this lesson. 

If you have not had a chance, check out our unit's website One neat feature is the "Unit 448 Members" tab on the left side of the home page. Click on that, then click the “Personal Analysis” tab, then click on your name. You can get fun little charts showing how you have been doing. You can compare with your favorite partners! It also gives you detail on how you have done at the club every day. 

The board has approved additional  Intermediate/Newcomer Unit Games at the Clubs. These will be run quarterly! The last one, on May 15th, drew 9 full tables. 

Charlie is acquiring 3 additional Bridgemates, and working out a process for scoring when we have more tables than Bridgemates. I would appreciate your feedback on how well you like the Bridgemates, and how valuable you find the hand records.  

Please send any suggestions to, and remember that the goal of playing bridge is to laugh and have a good time! 



This month's guest article comes from  

Rui Marques. Rui is the chief TD  

(Tournament Director – ed.) for the European Bridge League, and assistant chief TD for the World Bridge Federation. Rui publishes a monthly article in his unit newsletter, and is a frequent contributor on matters of bridge law. Rui has kindly permitted us to reprint his articles in our Slammer newsletter. 

Three examples of insufficient bids by Rui Marques 

1 – Auction starts with 1♣ 1♠ 1♥. The TD should take the 1♥ bidder (sitting South) away from the table and ask what happened. The TD will learn that the player didn’t see the 1♠ and thought it was a pass. His hand is ♠- ♥Txxx ♦Axxx ♣Qxxxx. 1♥ and 2♥ are both incontrovertibly not artificial. The TD asks also if the player has a call available that has the same or a more precise meaning than 1♥ (namely if a negative double would promise 4 cards in ♥, in which case it satisfies the “more precise”, or “fully contained within” condition). Supposing the answer is yes, then the TD takes the player back to the table and states: “West can accept 1♥. If he does so the bidding continues without further rectification. If not, 1♥ is cancelled. South can replace it with 2♥ or with a double, and in both cases the bidding proceeds without further rectification, or with a pass or some other bid. In this case North will have to pass for the rest of the bidding, and lead penalties may apply”. 

Whenever lead penalties may apply the TD should offer to explain them, stay around until they are applicable. If a lead penalty is coming, intervene before the opening lead to explain the lead penalty options to all players before play begins, and act again when declarer is able to exercise those options. 

Three examples of insufficient bids by Rui Marques - continued 

  1. - Auction starts with: 2♥ 2♠ 2♥/3♥ (the player bids 2♥ and replaces with 3♥ before you can blink). The TD should take the player away from the table and judge if 2♥ was unintended (in which case 25A applies and 3♥ stands) or intended (in which case 2♥ is an insufficient bid dealt with by Law 27). He should also ask if 2♥ and 3♥ are both not artificial and, if not, if 3♥ has the same or a more precise meaning than 2♥, for reasons that are evident below. Let´s suppose that it was intended. Then, Law 27C takes us back to 2♥. Next player can accept it (27A1) and bidding continues, or not accept it and the offender must bid 3♥ (the substitution stands). Now, if 2♥ and 3♥ were both incontrovertibly not artificial (27B1a) or if 3♥ has the same or a more precise meaning than what was intended with 2♥ (27B1b) the bidding continues normally. If not, then the offender´s partner will have to pass for the rest of the auction.  

  1. – Auction starts with: 1♠ 1♠. The second 1♠ bidder immediately says “Sorry, I wanted to bid 1♥. Oh, I didn´t see the opening bid.” This is clearly a case for 25A (unintended call), and not 27. There was no pause for thought, so the offender can substitute 1♠ with a legal call (any). The things he said are authorized information for the opponents and unauthorized for partner.





Brenda Simpson held an I/N Game on Sunday, May 15 at 1:00pm. Nine tables showed up and a grand session of  

Bridge was had by all!



Charlie Bennett has scheduled a NonLife Master game for Thursday, June 16th, at 11:00am at the club. The game will be stratified and have the special designation of “Unit Game at the Club,” thus paying extra master points. Find a partner and sign up at the Club. Or, contact Charlie Bennett for assistance at 926-3771. All Non-Life Masters welcome!! 


The Bridge Lessons tab at has been updated. Either view the updates online or contact your favorite teacher:  

Doyle Crook -- or (509) 5906122 

Lea Rogers -- or 468-1914 

John Adams -- or 240-461- 4260 

Brenda Simpson -- or (509) 9266973 

John and Lea Bridge Lesson May 18th



Our website is We recently reorganized the left green tabs to eliminate clutter and better reflect the organization of our Bridge community. Feel free to browse through the tabs to acquaint yourself with where everything is now located. As most players seem to be looking for “Results,” the most recent results are posted on the right side of the home page. Extensive results that go back months are now located under “Unit 448 Clubs/Results.” Have fun! 




The Unit Game Schedule is located on our website,, under the green tab “Unit 448,” “Unit Games Schedule.” It is reproduced here for your information.  



Jun 6-12, 2016 STaC D19 


Jun 6-12, 2016 Idaho Falls, ID 


Jun 10-12, 2016 Spokane, WA 


Jun 13-19, 2016 Penticton, BC 


Jun 20-26, 2016 Anchorage, AK  


Jun 24-26, 2016 Butte, MT 


Jul 1-3, 2016 Trail, BC 


Jul 8-10, 2016 Anacortes, WA 


Jul 9-10, 2016 Great Falls, MT 


Jul 15-17, 2016 Bellevue [Seattle] 


Jul 16-17, 2016 Portland, OR 


Jul 17-23, 2016 Unit 454 

Progressive Qualifier 


July 21-31, 2016 Washington, DC 


Jul 24-30, 2016 Unit 454 

Progressive Qualifier 


Jul 29-31, 2016 Bremerton 


Aug 5-7, 2016 Billings, MT 


Aug 6, 2016 Unit 454 

Progressive Final 


Aug 8-14, 2016 Boise, ID 


Aug 26-28, 2016 Missoula, MT 


Aug 22-28, 2016 Lynnwood, WA 


Sep 2-5, 2016 Spokane, WA 


his schedule of nearby tournaments is located on our website, 

Spokane, under the “News” tab. It is reproduced here for your information. 




Bill Davis celebrated his 77th birthday at Charlie’s Game (John  Adams directing) on  

Wednesday, May 11, 2016. He is pictured here with his partner, Beth Coones, and his birthday cake. Happy Birthday, Bill!



I miss the group. I learned so much bridge playing with you all. Congrats to Virginia and Pat, both great players and nice to play with. I have paired up with a nice gal from the UK to play at the duplicate club here. We are doing great together and actually raking in the points as well. 

Thanks Rachel for doing a great job with the Grand Slammer. Even though I now am living in Mexico I enjoy reading about the group I played with for the years I lived in Spokane. Please keep me on your mailing list. 

Great bridge, great fun. 

Carol Van Parys 

BRIDGING THE GAP by the Editor 

What a great turnout we had on Wednesday, May 18th! Just imagine 27 pairs, 13 ½ tables, showing up for Charlie’s open game. It was a full house. 

Tracking the tables gives us the following totals: November 2015: 194 ½ tables; December 2015: 234 ½ tables; January 2016:  

241 ½ tables; February 2016: 222 tables; March 2016: 266 tables; April 2016: 178 ½ tables; May 2016: 241 ½ tables. We are back in our earlier range in May following the Regional in April. 

We will have over 29,000 page views on our website by the time you read this issue of the Grand Slammer. This is an interesting phenomenon your editor is at a loss to explain. If any explanation is forthcoming, it will, of course, be reported here. 

I’m ending this issue with a gentle reminder to all of us to leave our Bridge tables neat and clean at the end of each round and at the end of the game. Thank you very much! 



We welcome a new member to the unit board of directors. She is enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable and hard working. Thank you, Rachel Denk, for joining us and helping make our unit better for everyone. If you are reading this message, you already know about the great work she is doing with the Slammer. 
If you have not already done so, check out some of the new education offerings out there. I can already see growth in quite a few players as they learn many of the intermediate level techniques being taught in these classes. There are also beginner level classes being offer to cajole rubber bridge players into crossing over to duplicate, and most recently there is a moderated bidding practice session being offered. Check out the “Bridge Lessons”tab on the website to see if anything interests you. 

Summer is coming soon, and with summer comes our early summer sectionals. We have a tournament in clubs (STAC) that is scheduled June 6-12 and a Spokane Sectional June 10-12. Yes, they overlap. Seems they have overlapped for the past 5 years. Local clubs can still take advantage of the STAC for the first 3 days, and give silver points while comparing results across all of District 19. I made some noise with the D19 schedulers, but it's really up to us to work more closely with them to set the 2017 schedules appropriately. Lou Arevalo runs a wonderful club at St. Al's on Monday evening. Lou has recently accepted an additional volunteer assignment, unit game coordinator. This assignment has a few main roles. One is to handle scheduling of the unit game and help make sure it does not overlap with important local or national tournaments. A second is to ensure that our full slate of 24 unit game allotments get used. To do this, we are allowing the local clubs to sanction certain individual games as unit games. This gives extra master points to the players, and hopefully encourages enough extra players to attend to help the local clubs be more successful.Thanks Lou. I've been asked about Zero Tolerance and if the unit should ask the club directors to enforce it. My answer is pretty simple.We give the club directors full autonomy to handle behavior issues, and so long as they comply with the laws of the ACBL, we want them to run the games as they see fit, because they know their customers. By and large, I am seeing excellent improvement in behavior. A gentle reminder when someone is getting out of hand is a lot better than having a scene and getting people unhappy with penalties. I call this Tolerance. The world needs more tolerance. If a player is a bit cranky (we all are sometimes), tell a joke rather than get mad. If a player comments to their partner, you can ask that they not do it. If a player raises their voice, slams their cards, call the director, but try to remember we are all human. Accept apologies and move on. Lately, I have seen a lot of reason to be happy, folks are smiling, having a good time, coaching a little without being condescending. Awesome, keep up the good work. We are making Spokane a fun place to play bridge.

SPOKANE SPRING APPLE REGIONAL REPORT by Ron Krueger, District Representative
From April 4 to 10 Spokane hosted a regional at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park. It was a great venue with free parking. Matt Koltnow, the director in charge, did a commendable job of keeping things on track, and upbeat. And the apples every day were very welcome.
The tournament chair, who has recently adopted a cloak of anonymity, expresses appreciation to her army of volunteers. Thanks go to Lynn Hays, assisted by Jodi Kimbrell, for handling partnership; Sue Norton for being in charge of caddies; Sue Norton and Joann Scholtzfor handling I/N; Ginny Davis and B. J. Kolkmanfor hospitality; Karen Frognerfor convention card holders; Kathie Hoeneof Anchorage for candy wraps; Mary Gellnerfor name-and-acbl-number stickers; and Rita Guzzard for the Red Wagon stickers.
What could have been better was attendance. At our 2010 regional, we had 836 tables. Matt estimated we'd have 763 tables at this regional. Sadly, we had a disappointing 639 tables.
Many thanks to all of you who participated in this regional. 
One of the premiere bridge teachers in the world, Larry Cohen, has graciously agreed to let us reprint material in the Slammer. Below is the second of a series of articles Larry has written on bridge ethics. On Larry's web site you will find a learning center with all sorts of material to help you advance your game.
Partner Makes a Slow Pass (Part 2 of 2)
In the previous article, we introduced the confusing concept of acting after partner's slow pass. Here is another example: WestNorthEastSouth----1H Pass 2H Pass *Pass?? *Very slow With both sides vulnerable, South holds: K873  K3  Q10872  K2 I love to balance on this auction. If my partner had passed 2H in normal tempo (5 seconds or so), I would be free to use my best judgment. But, after partner's slow pass, I would feel ethicallybound to pass out 2H. I have extra information (partner thought of bidding) that it is safe to bid here. I know my partner doesn't have a bunch of garbage. I should make the ethical pass. I can't let the knowledge that partner has values influence my decision. I'll sleep betterat night with a clear (ethical) conscience if I pass. What would happen if I did balance?
Partner Makes a Slow Pass, cont’d
The opponents have the right to call the director. The director would let the bidding continue and suggest that he be called back after the deal if needed. If the director is called back (my balancing action was "successful") and deems that a panel of my peers (he can actually go away from the table, take a survey and come back to make his ruling) wouldn't balance, then the contract is restored to 2H. Whatever actually happened at the table is "cancelled" and the director determines the score in 2H (leaning in the 2H declarer's direction to give him the most favorable outcome). If the director deems my balancing bid was normal ("everyone" would do it), then the table result stands. For example, if my hand were: K875   6  A765  K764 I could surely balance with a double. Who wouldn't? This hand is possibly worth a double the first time, but certainly clear cut in balancing seat after the opponents bid and raise to 2H.
The guideline on what is "allowable" is fuzzy. It reads as if a team of lawyers all got to put their words into the pot, but boils down to something to theeffect of "an action taken after partner's slow pass is allowable if a normal percentage of the person's peers would have done the same." But, why go there? I prefer to just pass in close cases and not get involved with a director call and maybe takingadvantage of partner's tempo. If I deem it is “close" then I just pass.
Partner Makes a Slow Pass, cont’d
Is it wrong for the opponents to call the director if you take action after partner's slow pass? Are they being obnoxious? No! It is fully within their rights. It isn't rude. Yet, many players are offended when the director is called in this situation. Unfortunately, newer players have trouble understanding all the ramifications and they get intimidated by the director call.
Do we want the director called for these "slow pass and then partner acts" situations only in major tournaments? At a local duplicate game?In a newcomers game? This is a thorny issue where you won't get agreement from the cognoscenti. Here are the two extreme sides of the coin(about calling the director after hesitations):
A) "Director calls for tempo violations ruin the atmosphere and turn people off--don't even think of admonishing players for acting after a slow pass and don't dare call the director." "We don't want a cut-throat atmosphere. This is killing bridge. The people who bid after the slow pass don't even realize what they are doing--they don't understand the ethics involved." "Go easy on them!"
Partner Makes a Slow Pass, cont’d
Contrasted with ...
B) "Active ethics after partner's slow tempo has to be taught toplayers from the very start. Even in a newcomers game, this area should be handled firmly (yet politely) with education and director calls upon violation. If we don't enforce the rules, then why call it bridge?" 
My preference would be somewhere in between A and B. There have been many debates (one catchy article has been called: "If it Hesitates, Shoot it") and if you wish to read about it, you might consider a bridge blogging site suchas (you can even post there and ask for opinions).
I leave you with this true story:
When I was 14 years old and new to duplicate, I was faced with a"huddle/bid" situation. Apparently I passed out of tempo and my 14-year old partner then bid in balancing seat. My opponent screamed (she shouldn't have screamed) for the director. I wanted to cry--I was so embarrassed. I survived (thankfully), but didn't understand what was happening. Ironically, some 30 years later, I was giving a lecture and in the audience was the lady who had screamed for the director.
Virginia Boyles has wanted to become a Life Master for a very long time. She is no stranger to the game of Bridge, having started to play in 1998 after the death of her husband. She has been a regular at Kay’s game for the last eighteen years and has enjoyed other club games, cruises and tournaments as well.
I (Rachel) was part of Virginia’s team at the Leavenworth Regional in October 2015. Although we did well, we didn’t push her into the Life Master achievement. 
So, anticipating the recent Spokane Regional, we put together a strong team with the motto, “Going for the Gold!”In truth, Virginia only need 5+ gold and by the end of Tuesday evening, she only needed .17 gold. But that was assured by our reaching the semi-finals in the knock-outs we would play on Wednesday. We went on to win second place in the Bracket 3 event. The rest of the gold points achieved through the end of the regional were simply icing on the cake and we had lots fun!
Although Life Master has been a long-time desire, Virginia says it is a bitter-sweet achievement as she will no longer be eligible to play in Kay’s non-life master game at the club.
Pat Charles has played Bridge since the 1990’s. As a snowbird to Lake Havasu City AZ, he spent his time getting bored watching TV in the winter months. One day, there was a special TV program by Audrey Grant about Bridge. He said, “By God, get bridge lessons! It’s better than watching football games.”And he did. And he played and played to the tune of 920 master points but never attended a regional competition.
Most recently, Pat found out about our upcoming Spokane Spring Apple Regional and put together a successful team. We now welcome him to the rank of Life Master.
GardHays recalls: “My wife, Lynn, and I visited Pat Charles at Sacred Heart Hospital in the year 2002 or so when he wasn’t expected to live. Pat did recover to rejoin the living and I extend my heartiest congratulations on his achieving his welldeserved Life Master.”
Kay Fergie’sbirthday celebration was a “two-session event.”The first cake and guests arrived on Monday, April 18th, at Kay’s nlmgame. We sang Happy Birthday, ate cake and played Bridge. 
The second celebration took place on Wednesday, April 20th, Kay’s actual birth date, at Charlie’s game. More singing, more eating cake and more playing Bridge were the activities of the day. 
Thank you!
“To all my bridgeplaying friends: A great big thank you for making my birthday extra special. Kay”
Beginning this month Charlie Bennett is offering a monthly ACBL yellow card gamePACBL Yellow card! What’s that? That was my reaction when I first heard the term when the unit had a yellow card individual game about a year ago.It was one of the best unit games we had.Everyone played everyone and everyone played the same cardP.yellow! No alerts and no lengthy discussions every time you changed partners.It was a level playing field as far as conventions and systems went and it was great.I applaud Charlie for trying this at the club level and hope that it is a success.
SAYC (Standard American Yellow Card) is a bidding system based on 5-card majors and a strong 1NT.It is a very basic card and easily used by players at all levels. The beauty of the yellow card is that players know in advance not only their own bidding agreements, but those of their opponents. The game is free of complex bidding systems. CristinaGallotti and I used it for our ladies charity games where partners changed every round and it was great but it is just as useful in a partnershipgame.
COME OUT TO A YELLOW CARD GAME by Gerry Krueger, cont’d
SAYC is a bidding system created by the ACBL in the 1980s for tournament play. The intent was to offer "Yellow Card" events in which everyone played the same system, thereby avoiding alerts and misunderstandings. When online duplicate bridge began in the late 1990's, SAYC filled the need for a default convention card for online bridge sites. Ironically, SAYC is more popular today as a system in online pickup games than the standardized sit-down events which the ACBL originally envisioned. – Download a card and look it over.Come out and support Charlie for trying something different at our club.If you have questions, ask CharlieP.
ACBL Publications •The ACBL SAYC Convention Card(PDF) •The ACBL SAYC System Booklet(PDF) 

Lou Arevalohas put together a schedule of the above games. The schedule will be posted on the website. The next Unit game will be held Sunday, May 22, at the SYSA Bingo and Event Center. It will be a two-session Swiss Team event. 

If a get well card or sympathy card needs to be sent, please contact me, Donna Carter, at 509-951-8586 or via email at I will also see you at the Bridge club.
The Bridge Lessons tab at has been updated. Either view the updates online or contact your favorite teacher: 
Doyle Crook-DoyleCrook@msn.comor (509) 590-6122
Lea Rogers –lear776@comcast.netor 468-1914
John Adams –kjadams1961@gmail.comor 240-461-4260
Brenda Simpson–bsbridge@aol.comor(509) 926-6973
BRIDGING THE GAP by the Editor
I am a Bridge player. I live in District 19 of the ACBL districtdesignations. This district covers Alaska, Washington State, and British Columbia. I am a member of Unit 448 and this unit covers Spokane Washington. I amone of 245 active members in Unit 448. I am a bit younger than the 70-71 average age of our Unit 448 members. I have been an ACBL member for 10 years and have just started my eleventh year. This places me far belowthe average years of ACBL membership for our unit which runs nineteen years. I play Bridge within the Unit almost daily and help make up the increasing number of tables in play: November 2015: 194 ½tables; December 2015: 234 ½tables; January 2016: 241 ½tables; February 2016: 222 tables; March 2016: 266 tables; April 2016: 178 ½tables (remember, we took five days off club games to enjoy the regional). I show a strong interest in our website: and contribute to our 150-200 page views per day as well as over 20,000 page views so far in 2016. As far as my master point status, I join 154 other non-life masters with various amounts of master points and statuses within the non-life master category. I’m hoping to join the 8 designated life masters within the unit and move forward from there to join the 82 members who have achieved status beyond the life master status. Where do you stand?

THE GRAND SLAMMER, Issue 3, late March 2016 



Our Regional starts April 4th! Please welcome our out of town guests to Spokane with warm smiles and introductions. Many of us have signed up for name tags; remember to wear yours! Let's make this the best Spokane tournament ever! 

Congratulations to Dave Westfall on winning the Silver Ribbon pairs at the North American Bridge Championships in Reno. We are proud of you Dave! 

Our new venue across from the arena is very nice. It's noisy at times as the Bingo folks finish construction, but the location is great. Hopefully soon we will be able to use the flat screen monitors in the club. We have discovered a terrific place to gather after the morning game. David's Pizza has half price specials that time perfectly for completion at 2:30. It's located one block South of the arena. Bring your hand records after the game and ask questions about hands that interested you. 

We had a free mini-lesson on XYZ before the Thursday morning game. Twelve people attended the lesson. Please give feedback if you want more of this kind of lesson and if giving the lessons can help grow the game. 

In the past couple weeks, I have had the pleasure of playing with several new partners:  Rachel Denk, Sue Howe, Shirley Freeman, Martha Schwake, and Gayle Carlson. Those were some very fun and challenging games. I want to try to do some recruiting at local area rubber bridge games. If you know of a potential source of new players, ask me to play and I will join you at one of those clubs! We need more mentors! 

As many of you know, I like to train players on ethical obligations at the bridge table. We have to make sure that we keep it fun in the process. Last month we had an article on using the Skip card. I can see several players trying to practice what they have learned. Keep it up! Please be nice if reminding someone who forgot! This month, we have a guest article from world class player and teacher, Larry Cohen. Larry has graciously agreed to let us reprint some of his articles on ethics.  They are fun and informative.   The most important thing to remember though is that we are all human and mess up from time to time. Keep smiling. Try to follow your ethical obligations and assume that your opponents are trying too! We need to make sure everyone that plays our game feels respected, because people remember how they are made to feel a lot more than they remember a result on a bridge hand. 

Please keep those ideas coming! 


One of the premiere bridge teachers in the world, Larry Cohen, has graciously agreed to let us reprint material in Slammer. Below is the first of a series of articles Larry has written on bridge ethics. On Larry's web site you will find a learning center with all sorts of material to help you advance your game. 

This month’s article is entitled, “Partner Makes A Slow Pass.” It is part one of a two-part series and can be electronically found at this link:   



Dave Westfall, playing with a pickup partner, Craig Zalestra from Woodinville, won the Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs at the Reno Nationals. Although Dave has other high finishes in National events, this is the first title for him! Other Unit 448 members attended the Reno Nationals, including Charlie Bennett, Jodi Kimbrell, Pete Pluhta, Lea Rogers, Gard Hays, Jim Lindemann, CJ Rose, Renee Petersen, Richard Carlson and Karen Eveland. 


Just home from Reno – my first NABC with a whole lotta learning and even a few red mps! The fiercely focused card players had to traverse six blocks of casinos, all indoors, connected by skywalks, amid flashing and booming distraction, the likes of which this girl has never! 

I checked into my room just minutes before the first game. At the partnership desk, I found a Terry with twice as many points as I, who was a delightful partner. The next day she called to say her regular pard was delayed and invited me to play two more games. Most generous launch! 

The first breakfast counter offered a couple of Bridge players who bantered about our tournament coinciding with a national bowling event. He said he’d harassed a fellow in the elevator by saying. “Bet I can bowl better than you can play Bridge.” Not sure all of us could say that!  

Saturday was Willa, whose new husb is a life master. They travel the country from tournament to tournament. She has a third of my master points, but was also a winning playmate for the day. 

Sunday I was lucky enough to find Kathleen Rivard in town; she had gone with husb for some basketball by grandson, and the team was knocked out, so she was free to win with me. 

Monday was a Tony from Texas whose wife’s health precludes frequent travel. Between games, we had lunch, and then dinner, and he gave me his insulated cooler for my Ziploc bags of ice as he headed back to his real life. (Refrigerators in the rooms were an additional $6.81 per day!) 

Tuesday was Marilyn, a sparkling New York Jewess who now lives in Colorado. No scratch, but many laughs. She must do Stand-Up on the side….  

Wednesday, a fellow came to the ten o’clock game with alcohol on his breath and didn’t want to stay for the afternoon, so I approached a woman who had been our most worthy opponent.  

Thursday turned out to be my favorite partner: Dixie from Kansas City, widowed four years from a 45-year marriage. She felt instantly like a long-lost sister, and we won in a Gold-Rush game. 

Friday, Sheila had double-booked with me and Dixie, so I propositioned Wednesday afternoon (who shall remain nameless) to see if she might swap to accommodate. She arrived late (always a stressor) in a froth over having discovered her credit cards hacked, but insisted she could focus anyway. Not! She spilled a bidding box, spilled a full glass of water on the table, and played a King after Dummy’s ace, despite having another heart which let declarer win with his eight! MMMmph…. 

Both Sat and Sun were repeat games with Dixie, and we celebrated with a fine meal after the finale. 

23 games and a thousand dollars later (that’s for eleven days’ meals and game fees – not to mention the room and the flight) I’ve also won two mentors. One reports Reno the most uncomfortable tournament venue he’s experienced! Relieved I’m not the only one who found the casinos excruciating, I must admit my room, on the 18th floor, offered a spectacular view of sunrise over the mountains, and a breath-taking panorama of lights after square tables. Did also manage a couple of strolls along the splendid river. Looks like the only thing for me is to follow the river into investing in the next level of our game.  

-- photo – 


April 4-10 at the Red Lion Hotel At The Park. See the printed hand-out or electronic flyer at for the exact schedule of events. Kay’s NLM game will be held on Monday, April 4, at 10:00am. All other club games are cancelled during the regional. 



It should be fitting that my friend Gayle Carlson, who got me into this crazy game, and I, get our Life Master at the same time in Moses Lake in February. We have been friends since 1990 when I moved from Seattle to Spokane, and we started working together in the Cardiac Intensive Care here. Gayle has three girls; I have two boys. Our children were all in the same age range, so we became fast family friends also.   

Fast forward a couple decades and Gayle started bridge as a distraction to some medical issues she was dealing with at the time. I worked in the Post Anesthesia Recovery Room and frequently heard comments about bridge from several doctors and nurses who played the game, none of which meant anything to me at the time. One of my other coworkers and friends was the wife of one of the doctors, Gary Matsumoto, who was also a bridge player.  So I continued to keep hearing about this bridge thing. I even went to Penticton one year with them, but we all went golfing, and Gary would decide by the weather if he would play bridge or go golfing. It was still a mystery to me how that all worked out.   

As Gayle continued to play bridge, she kept telling me I needed to play, that I would really like it, but I continued to not show much interest. After multiple back injuries I finally had to take an early retirement.  At that time in 2009, I decided I would finally break down and take some classes from Kris Motoyoshi at Spokane Falls CC. The next month, Gayle’s husband Duane, and mine, Gordy, would also take some classes so we could all play together. That was pretty short-lived, as our husbands were only interested if there was enough Scotch and food involved.  

Gayle and I continued to trudge on, both being hooked on the game. I never even thought about getting a Life Master status, as not starting until my late 50’s, I thought I be would dead or senile before that ever happened. One day Gayle asked if I would go to a tournament in Seaside as Jay Byrne was trying to finish up getting his gold to get his Life Master. The obvious question to me was, if he wants to get his Life Master, why is he asking me, who maybe has 5 points at that time, to play? Jay was very kind, and asked, “You do know how to play don’t you?” I said yes, but it was all relative. We played our first KO, and had some wins, but I told Jay when he had a chance to get on a more established team to go for it. Our joke is I helped him get his remaining gold and LM, by not playing with him.   

I kept getting dragged to these tournaments, by Ann Henrichs and Gayle, and also played a fair amount at the club, so the master points continued to grow. What seemed an insurmountable amount of points to get, was getting into the range that maybe I can do this! Then my own competitive nature took over and set a goal to get my Life Master. So, with the help of Joe Harwood, who drove over for the day, and Ron Fleming, who has been playing with me at the last few tournaments,  Gayle and I got the last of our points at a great little tournament in Moses Lake last month.  So never think you are too old to set a goal for yourself, even in this crazy game.  

-- Have nice photo of Gayle and a nice photo of Karen -- 



If you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee, there is a game for you. On Thursday evening at 6:00pm, you can play in the Mentor Game at Opportunity Presbyterian Church located at N 202 Pines Road. 

A mentor should be a patient, knowledgeable, player but doesn’t have to be a Life Master … contrary to popular conception. Their job is to assist the mentee, not to teach them new conventions or signals that aren’t standard. 

The novice player is looking for guidance and encouragement.  

If you are interested in either of these descriptions, call Brenda Simpson at 926-6973 or email



“I don't know if anyone will even get this reply, but I want to thank you all for sending me The Grand Slammer! What a great surprise to open my email and get news from Spokane. I have taught many classes here in Ecuador and we play twice a week, sometimes with two tables. My students are turning into good players, and two of them are returning to the States to challenge you all. Hugs from Ecuador....Marcia Brineman” (Published with permission.) 



Doyle Crook, Karen Frogner, JoAnn Scholtz, and Rachel Denk assisted Brenda Simpson with the five attendees. We look forward to seeing these new players in the future! 

-- I have a couple of nice photos – 




Please check the “Bridge Lessons” tab at for an updated schedule of bridge lessons or check with your favorite teacher. 



By Bonnie Kruse and Lynn Hays, March 22, 2016, in Brenda’s game: 70.83% 

By Lynn Hays and Norma Hols, March 23, 2016, in Charlie’s game: 



UPDATE ON NAME TAGS by Karen Frogner 

Hi all,  

It appears the name tags will not get here until the April 4th tournament. David Taylor, who runs the books and bridge items table, is making them and will bring them then. 

 I plan on being there an hour before the tournament start, at 6:00pm Monday, then 8:00am Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so you can pick yours up. Please plan on paying cash; most are under $10 dollars. If you can pick up for other members who might not be going to the tournament, that would be good.  

 It is still possible we might get the name tags before the tournament, but I would just plan on picking them up at the tournament. For those who are not going to the tournament, I will plan another time afterward to deliver any that are remaining. Thanks. 



Sunday, May 15th, 1pm, at 1221 N Howard St. Contact Susan Norton at (509) 995-4741 for  more info or a partner. Brenda Simpson directing. 



Dorothy “Dot” Wisecarver passed away in early March at age 89. Many will remember Dot and her husband Roy as bridge players in not only Kay’s game, but other club games, for close to twenty years. Some may recall that for several years, the Unit reimbursed Dot for supplies only, and she baked various and wonderful cookies for the entire Sectional Tournaments.  Although they left duplicate bridge several years ago, Dot and Roy will be fondly remembered by many of our veteran duplicate bridge players. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Roy and the family. 



Rachel Denk, the newest member of Unit 448, was named Goodwill Member of the Year 2016 for Eastern Washington by ACBL's District 19 (DINO). Ron Krueger, District Representative, presented Rachel with a certificate and a pin to commemorate this honor. The award is given to the person who exemplifies the attributes expected under ACBL's Zero Tolerance policy. However, Ron stated, Rachel goes beyond what is expected by the ACBL. 
Rachel also won the Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs award and the Mini-McKenney award for her category (20-50 masterpoints) for achievements in calendar year 2015. In the photo, John Adams, Unit 448 President, is shown presenting one of those awards to Rachel. The Ace of Clubs award is given to the player who earns the most masterpoints at club games. The Mini-McKenney award is given to the player who earns the most masterpoints from all venues.  
Well done, Rachel. By Ron Krueger 


-- I have photo of John presenting Rachel -- 




This month, Charlie Bennett resigned as a Unit 448 board member.  Rachel Denk accepted the appointment to act as a board member for the remainder of Charlie’s term.

THE GRAND SLAMMER, Issue 2, early March 2016



Thanks to Jodi Kimbrell for running a terrific sectional in February. Thanks to Jackie Biel for her efforts running the upcoming Regional in April! The Red Lion is a terrific venue; we are quite fortunate to have it for our sectionals and regional this year. I hope everyone took advantage of the free refills on the 16 ounce coffees! Best deal in town! For some future sectionals, the board has been tossing around the idea of having three Friday sessions. Do not know if this can work, do not know if there is sufficient demand. It would allow us to have an evening session so folks that work can play one session on Friday. Your feedback is appreciated. If we get enough saying they want it, we will look harder at the challenges (directors, etc.).

Thanks to Lou Arevalo and Charlie Bennett for their investments in Bridgemates. They are now working well at the clubs and we are getting hand records. You are invited to join us after Lou's game on Mondays to review hands (typically Jack and Dan's). Since the Spokane bridge club has moved, we have not yet worked out the best neighborhood gathering spot for these post-game reviews, but hopefully we will soon. If you see Gard Hays or me at the game, ask us and we are likely to find a spot for a bite, a drink, and review of the hands.

This month, I have added the first of a series of articles on bridge laws. I'd like feedback on its usefulness and on other topics you would like to see. Rachel or I will invite other experts to contribute in future issues. This month, we focus on usage of the Stop card.

My congratulations to Karen Frogner and Gayle Carlson on making LM! My congratulations to all the Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKenney winners. (See announcements in this month’s Slammer!)

Good luck to everyone competing at the Reno nationals. I will be covering for Charlie’s games on Wednesday/Thursday the 16th and 17th of March as he competes in Reno. Come to the game an hour early on the 17th. I will be

giving a free mini-lesson on XYZ and taking votes for other mini-lesson topics.

The Bridge Club has MOVED!

The bridge Club has moved to our new location at 1221 N Howard. Thanks to all of you who helped make this possible.

Parking is on the north side of the building. You may also park in the Value Village lot. The bridge entrance is the double doors on Howard.



Spokane Winter Sectional by JoAnn Scholtz

February 12-14 – Red Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane

The Spokane Winter Sectional drew a total of 114 tables over the three day event. One hundred and five players earned a total of 446.70 Silver points.

Friday morning began with five full tables in the 0-299 section. In the afternoon, some of these I/N participants played in the open section. One partnership with less than a ten master point average had a 55.53% game and won 1.47 Silver points. Congratulations!

It was great to see many familiar faces from outside the area. Twenty of these out-of-town players went home with “Silver” and are looking forward to “Gold” at the regional in April. Of course, we are all looking forward to April “Gold.”

Our new tournament location is a winner. The beautiful setting draws us to walk to town for lunch or sit in the bar with lots of boards to discuss while the kitchen serves up some very good food. Thanks to the unit, we had a tasty selection of sweets to go with our morning brew. After lunch, we had a nice platter of veggies to keep us going until 6:30.

Thank you to our hard working board members for a fine tournament.


Oregon Trail Regional – Compiled by Rachel from ACBL Results

February 15-21, Vancouver, WA

Thursday Open Pairs: 2nd – John Adams and Gard Hays

Saturday Open Pairs: 4th – Gard Hays and Laurie Rowe

Saturday Evening Swiss Teams: 5th – Lynn Hays and team

Saturday Fast Open Pairs: Lynn Hays and partner

Flight A/X Swiss Teams: 8th – Catherine Creer and John Adams, Pam

                     Stratton and Gard Hays

Other local bridge players who attended and garnered points:

Gregory Smith, Howard and Evelyn Lewis, and James Lindemann


Moses Lake Sectional – by Lea Rogers with additional compiled information added by Rachel from ACBL Results

Gayle Carlson and Karen Frogner made Life Master in Moses Lake!  Please give big congratulations to the both of them.  

Results for Spokane players:

Friday afternoon:  4th - Theresa Barthels and Peter Barthels

          2nd in B, 1st in C – Ron Fleming and Karen Frogner

Friday evening:  1st - Bonnie Kruse and Brenda Simpson

                           2nd - Gard Hays and Catherine Creer

                         2nd in C - Ron Fleming and Karen Frogner

Saturday morning:  2nd  - Charlie Bennett and Warren Watson

                              6/7 - Brenda Simpson and Bonnie Kruse

                              5th in B - Ron Fleming and Karen Frogner

Saturday afternoon:  1st - John Adams and Lea Rogers

                                  2nd - Bonnie Kruse and Brenda Simpson

                                3rd – Pete Pluhta and Jodi Kimbrell

                                5th – Warren Watson and Charles Bennett

Sunday Swiss:  1st - John Adams, Lea Rogers, Gard Hays and

            Catherine Creer

      3rd - Charles Bennett, Jodi Kimbrell, Pete Pluhta, Warren


      2nd in B, 1st in C - Ron Fleming, Joseph Harwood, Gayle   

                                   Carlson, Karen Frogner



Bridge is a thinking game, and within reason, when you need to think about something, you should do so. Hesitating is not an infraction. Sometimes people treat you like a criminal for hesitating, but that is not the case, you are allowed to think. Breaking tempo however does limit partner's options. Partner needs to avoid taking advantage of whatever information is available through the hesitation. Your opponents are allowed to take advantage of it, so varied tempo can give your opponents an information advantage. Try not to help your opponents by planning your auctions then bidding in proper tempo, but by all means, take the time you need.

After a preemptive bid, it is assumed that everyone will have a problem. After a preemptive bid, you are required to wait 10 seconds or longer before taking a call. This has the effect of masking your presumed problem. All jumps require this 10 seconds, even a jump to 3N over 1N. In practice, we sometimes shorten this a bit to 5 seconds, but insta-passes are a procedural violation.

Before making a jump bid, you should play the Stop card. This is required by the ACBL conditions of contest. Usage of this card is a courtesy to warn the opponents that a skip bid is coming and that they need to wait 10 seconds before taking a call. The Stop card does not affect how long you are required

to wait, it is just a reminder that you will need to wait. If you forget to use the stop card, don't expect protection if the opponents forget to wait.

The following are misconceptions that I have heard many times at the table.

* "If a stop card is used, I wait until the card is picked up." Nope. Always 10 seconds no matter how long the card is on the table.

* "If a stop card is not used, I don't have to wait." Nope. 10 seconds even if the card is not used.

* "If I make a weak bid I should use the stop card, but not if I make a strong bid." Nope. Use the stop card for all jump bids.

* "If partner hesitates, I am ‘barred’ from bidding." You are allowed to make your normal bid. What you can't do is make a strange bid that was suggested by partner's hesitation.

* "Usage of the Stop card is optional, always use it, or never use it." Current regulations are that you always use it.

Remember, we are all here to have fun. Laugh a little at the table!



Please see the 2015 Mini-McKenney Standings UNIT 448 at, News tab. At the same tab are the 2015 Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs Standings UNIT 448. Our unit calls these awards the Kris Motoyoshi awards. It is the award list for points earned in club games where as the Mini-McKenney list is from tournament wins. 


Doyle Crook  - or (509) 590-6122

Doyle is an accredited ACBL Bridge Teacher and does individual, partnership or groups of four player lessons. He recently started a “Bidding in the 21st Century” class at Corbin Senior Center on Mondays at 2:00. He is also teaching “Defense in the 21st Century” at Corbin on Tuesdays at 2:00. Future classes beginning this spring and fall will include Commonly Used Conventions, More Commonly Used Conventions and 2 over 1 Game Force (Audrey Grant and Eric Rodwell). There will also be another Bidding course and possibly a Precision bidding course.

Lea Rogers - or (509) 468-1914

Competitive bidding, takeout doubles, negative doubles, overcalls, Law of Total Tricks and more

Where: 4908 W. Barnes Road

For more information, please call Lea Rogers at 468-1914 or John Adams at 240-461-4260

Brenda Simpson - or (509) 926-6973

Accredited Master Teacher, ABTA

Beginning February: Wednesday 3-5pm

Thursday - Spokane Valley Senior Center

9:30-11:30—Diamond series - Play of the Hand for Intermediate Students

12:30-2:30 - Bidding of the Hand for Beginning Students

Friday @ Valley Senior Center 9:30-11:30—Commonly Used Conventions for Advanced Students



Everyone should have received an email from the ACBL detailing the district level qualifying information from the GNTs. There will be at least two additional club level qualifying opportunities in March (Charlie's Wed/Thur games March 23rd/24th). Ask your club owners if you want more! Contact John Adams if you have questions.




Each year, the Corbin Senior Center holds a “Senior Wellness” fair. We rent a booth space to supply bridge materials and information about classes. This year, as well as last year, we will hold a 2-hour free introductory class to acquaint potential students with the game of bridge. This year, the class will be held on Sunday, March 20, from 1pm-3pm.



Bridgemates have become the de facto score entry method used in US tournaments and bridge clubs. Both Lou Arevalo and Charlie Bennett have purchased the most advanced Bridgemate II for use in their club games. Both think technology is one of the keys to attract and keep younger players.

What is a Bridgemate? Actually, it is a data entry device that replaces paper travelers. It works with ACBLScore to calculate tournament results. But these devices can do more. They can assure that the correct pairs are playing the correct boards at the correct table. The system always knows the vulnerability. They allow hands to be input, hand records to be printed and through Deep Finesse, analyzed potential results.

Bridgemates are only an adjunct to ACBLScore, which does the actual scoring. ACBLScore resides on a separate computer and must be started first. After the director properly sets up the game, Bridgemate software is started in ACBLScore. The Bridgemates must be started at the table by entering the correct table number. The system then asks for each player’s ACBL number. If a player does not know his/her ACBL number, or doesn’t have one, this can be skipped and entered by the director in ACBLScore.

After this initial setup, scores are entered individually using board #. The board number is usually there but can be entered, if necessary. Use the OK key to navigate to the next entry. Then enter the bid using the numerals, suit keys, X or XX, or the pass key, under the K. The direction must be specified N/S or E/W. You press N again and it changes to S. Or press E twice and it changes to W. The result is entered using the North American format – 4S making 5 is 5, down 2 is -2. Press OK and the upper right key changes to ACCEPT on the LED. The opponent should verify and press accept if this is correct. The CANCEL key is used to go back and it will delete incorrect or incomplete entries.

There are cases where the director should be called to correct results or enable features. Bridgemates have many features and we are still in the experimental stage of what to present to the players at the table. Please let either Lou or me know if you have any suggestions.



“Thank you for participating in the Cooperative Advertising Program (CAP) in 2015. We appreciate your efforts in advancing the game.

CAP users are vital to increasing ACBL membership, thus we depend on you continue your commitment to those efforts. Success in growing the bridge community and ACBL Membership is key to further underwriting for your advertising endeavors.

We hope you will continue to encourage players to join the ACBL so that this great program may be sustained.

Your CAP recap for 2015:

New ACBL members recruited: 5

Stephanie Threlkeld

Education and Communications Manager”



Brenda Simpson has mentoring at her Thursday evening games. More details will be given on them when they become available.



April 4 – 10. Red Lion Hotel At The Park.



By Gard Hays and John Adams, January 25, 2016 at the Lake City DBC: 70.83%

By David Lyons and Roma Bucher, February 10, 2016 in Charlie’s Game: 72.61%

By Dave Westfall and Lea Rogers, February 21, 2016, at the Unit Game: 72.40%

By Marshall Mah and Peter Barthels, March 3, 2016, at the Kootenai DBC: 70.60%



Karen Frogner is signing players up for name tags. She needs to get the order in mid-March. If you wish to order a name tag, contact her at:


REMEMBERING STEVE SICKEL (We will use the obit published in the Spokesman Review. I have several copies and a scan I hope will turn out. I cannot drop the obit into this document.)


BRIDGING THE GAP by the Editor

This is my special spot to mention things I’ve noticed in our world of Bridge that might not get mentioned elsewhere. This month, we have new cards and what a delight they are to use. Clean and dry hands will keep the cards in good condition, longer.

I have been tracking the number of tables at club games for the last four months. This information is easily accessible on under “Results.” November 2015: 194 ½ tables; December 2015: 234 ½ tables; January 2016: 241 ½ tables; February 2016: 222 tables. While I understand our club directors would prefer previous notification of their attendance, I simply love the idea that folks feel such a sense of community that they can drop in for a friendly, competitive, session 


First issue 2016 




   Unit 448 held a board meeting on January 23, 2016 at the SYSA Bingo Hall. During this meeting new officers were elected and other Board matters were addressed. The full minutes of the meeting are available at, Board Minutes tab. 




Hello. My name is John Adams and I have been asked to serve as president of Unit 448 for 2016. I hope to serve you well. I have many ideas, some good, some silly.  Hopefully, the good ones will help our unit prosper without too much distraction from the silly ones. I am relatively new to the district (roughly one year) but not to bridge (30+ years). I'd like to thank everyone for making me feel welcome to my new home. I would also like to thank the folks who are giving a bunch of their own time to make bridge in Spokane a success. We know who you are. 


There are a few keys to making bridge successful. The most important thing is that we have to make people feel welcome as you have done for me, next is communication, and finally integrity. I have seen a huge amount of pulling together:  Folks helping others get to games when driving is difficult; Folks finding refuge at the bridge club when their power was out for days at a time after Windstorm 2015. People are socializing after the game, going to the local Pizzeria, or similar, to review hands. Experts are playing with intermediates and newcomers and sharing some of the key concepts of the game. We need more of this type of support! I am talking with club owners about establishing guaranteed partner programs. We want folks to be able to show up at clubs and the unit game and be able to play, never turning anyone away. We need to ensure that driving is not an inhibitor to playing by increasing our informal rideshare network. A couple of the club owners have invested in Bridgemates. This will make production of hand records possible, and will give us the ability to run boards (discuss, analyze, learn) after the session. I encourage you to take some time after the sessions to run boards with our local experts.   This builds camaraderie and is free education at the same time. As far as communication goes, we are getting the Grand Slammer going again, looking to increase email communication, and looking to have flyers for key events. I plan to talk more next month about integrity, and will be scheduling mini-lessons on topics such as bidding box etiquette, authorized vs unauthorized information, and the like. We want a fair game, but we must keep it fun! 


I welcome your suggestions.  Feel free to email me (KJADAMS1961@GMAIL.COM). 


I look forward to a fun year, Thank you!  John Adams 




The last day for Bingo in our current building on East Sprague will be February 21st. Bingo will reopen at the new location – 1221 N Howard – on March 2ndBridge games will continue to be held at our current location until they are moved to the new location some time during that last week of February. The new SYSA Bingo and Event Center was most recently The Tailgater and is located in the Value Village parking lot.  




Unit 448's new website is This replaces the, which is no longer used or updated. Bridgewebs is a British-based system designed specifically for bridge clubs. For the user, it is driven by the emerald green tabs along the left side of the home page. Each entry is either a web page or a drop down menu to other functions - also web pages.  


Let me walk you through some of its features: 

Home Page - this contains buttons for other functions, upcoming events and a short results calendar on the right side 

Grand Slammer - our unit's newsletter - Rachel Denk has become our editor - forward stories, etc to her 

Schedule - the weekly schedule of games in our unit 

Directors - a list of directors in the unit with contact phone numbers 

News Page - news items of importance to unit 448 in concert with the Grand Slammer 

Board Minutes - Latest minutes of the Board of Directors - Bylaws are also viewable here 

Find a Partner - not yet used 

Calendar - list of daily events over the next three months 

Analysis - a look at results for each player 

Useful Links - a clickable list of links to bridge sites and other club pages 


Charlie Bennett is the unit's webmaster. Let him know of problems, omissions, or suggestions. 




Last August, bridge in Spokane took a baby-step towards the future. While many clubs around the country had already begun using Bridgemates at their games, there has been a certain level of resistance here. It has been a hotly debated issue at past meetings and at the 2014 General Meeting, a vote was taken to postpone making any decisions. 


Fast forward to Saint Al's Duplicate Bridge Club which debuted in August 2015. When the doors opened for the first game, there were Bridgemates on the tables. While it took a few weeks for people to get used to them, they quickly gained acceptance and now the players enjoy the speed and accuracy with which scores are entered throughout the evening and how quickly the results are announced at the end of the game. 


Another feature is that after the first round, players enter the boards into the Bridgemates. At the end of the evening, hand records are available which allows for many spirited conversations and the opportunity to see where they might have bid or played the hands better during the game. 


Most recently another club director in the Unit, Charlie Bennett, who took over Mike Coopersmith's games, has also purchased a set of the devices. They will be in use at the Wednesday and Thursday games and may be made available to other directors as time goes by. 


The introduction of Bridgemates in our Unit will make our players more familiar with this handy equipment and better able to understand and appreciate them when they run into them at sectionals and regionals around the country. Thanks to the two directors who helped bring this advance to our local Unit! 




The Spokane Winter Sectional Bridge Tournament will be held February 12, 13 and 14, 2016 at the Red Lion Hotel At The Park, 303 West North River Drive, Spokane. Flyers are available at the bridge club and more information is available at 




Several of the clubs in the unit have decided to host GNT qualifier games in February. This is the first level of a 3-tier event ending in the National Championships in Washington DC this summer. Anyone placing 50% or higher by wins or victory points qualifies to play in the district finals this spring. The event pays quite large masterpoints. It's a Swiss event.   Participating clubs have agreed to connect partnerships into teams where needed. Clubs are free to add GNT qualifiers at any time in February. So far we have Brenda's Thursday game on February 13th, and the Wednesday (Charlie), Thursday (Charlie), and Friday (Dick) games (February 24th, 25th, and 26th) at the Spokane Bridge club, scheduled. The best part is you can play as many as you want! Contact John Adams for details on district level qualifying or pick up a flyer at the Spokane bridge club during club qualifying. Any club is free to add its own qualifier in February ($5.25 per table additional ACBL/District fee). 




All upcoming Club and Unit games are scheduled online at Click on the Calendar tab to view. Line up your partner now! 




   Through the years, we have often thought of moving to Chelan-Wenatchee area for more family time, more sun, great dirt and because it's home for Connie. When both Idaho homes sold in one week in mid-Dec., we took it as a sign to move. With sadness and appreciation for all the friends and good times in Spokane, Jan. 14 marked the end of "Mike's Game" in Spokane. Thank you for everything. We plan to visit often, play in more tournaments, and hone(?) our skills in Wenatchee twice a week. Please come see us in Chelan. Drop ins always welcome: 148 Spader Bay, Mike 509 5991545, Connie 509 7012775, email  

     Thank you Charlie for stepping up. Here's to good friends and memorable hands. 


(I have a nice photo of Mike and Connie but will need assistance dropping it from my computer into this document.) 




My family played poker, then pinochle. I didn't learn bridge until 1962. Welcome Wagon offered lessons in Colorado where I was pregnant with my first child. Moved back to Lakeview, Oregon. Telling my mom about this great game I learned, it turned out she knew. Boy did she know how to play. My sister died of cancer in 2005. That was my excuse to sell all and leave Oregon Territory. Ended up in Idaho and fell in love with everything especially the lake. Now for entertainment, dancing and drinking, poker, pinochle, bridge, bingo and lake play. Oh darn, those duplicate bridge players aren't as ornery as I’d heard. Started with a little getting used to their lying, you know 2 clubs when they didn't have any clubs (later discovered these were only informational bids). Whew. Bingo dropped, pinochle dropped, social bridge dropped, cut back on the dancing and drinking. Got my Life Master in bridge 2015 in Medford, Oregon and am now close to my 500 mark.  


(I have photo on my cell phone) 




The Bridge Education Committee worked with the ACBL and Unit 448 to increase membership. 


  1. The Inlander newspaper has been used for years for ads for lessons in Fall, Winter, and Spring. 


  1. This was the first year to try radio ads from ACBL on the local radio station, “Key 101.” These ads targeted empty nesters. 


  1. Each year, the Corbin Senior Center holds a “Senior Wellness” fair. We rent a booth space to supply bridge materials and information about classes. This year, as well as last year, we will hold a 2-hour free introductory class to acquaint potential students with the game of bridge. This year, the class will be held on Sunday, March 21, from 1pm-3pm. 


  1. For the past 19 years, the Education Liaison’s registration fee is paid by the Unit to the Bridge Teachers’ Convention during the Summer Nationals. This is to enable Spokane to be up-to-date on the latest materials and trends. 


  1. There is a need for mentoring new students. This was cancelled due to lack of mentors in 2015. It will be started again on Wednesday evenings at 6:00pm when we move our location. 


In conclusion, I’d like to invite anyone interested in getting new players to join the Education Committee. Call Brenda at 926-6973. 


From Lea Rogers: 


Lea Rogers had open classes for intermediate and advanced players covering a variety of topics, including bidding, play of the hand and defense. 


John Adams is teaching classes on competitive bidding.  They are Tuesday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. 




Who he was:  A duplicate bridge player from the past returning to the bridge world wanting to improve his game. A quiet, gentle, man, always early, always ready to help in any way.   


Although he was with us for such a short time with his life being interrupted by medical complications, Jess made a name for himself because of his  

enthusiasm for bridge and its challenges. He was always a good partner and competitor. Many miss him. 


 William “Jess” Wilhelm was buried with military honors at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery at Medical Lake.  


THE LAST WORD from the Editor … 


I have had a wonderful time putting together this newest issue of the Grand Slammer. In every single instance, I have received the upmost cooperation from every person I have contacted for “news.” I have discovered we have an excellent community of bridge players. Thank you very much! 


THE LAST WORD from the reader -- SURVEY 


  1. What Unit 448 matters would you like to see published in each issue of the Grand Slammer? 


  1. Do you prefer to receive the Grand Slammer via email or hard copy? 


  1. Do you need one-on-one help with the new website? With With the Bridgemates? With anything not heretofore mentioned? 


Rachel Denk   509-993-5131 (call, but texts preferred)