Unit 216 & Des Moines Area Bridge
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Dec 3, 2021 22:35 CST
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Nov 29, 2021 18:42 CST
November 4th 2021 Minutes
Nov 18, 2021 12:18 CST
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Feel free to contact Bud Stowe with any suggestions or updates.

News Page

This page has information and news of interest to the members.

For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".

Note older news items are "archived" in the Old News Items section.

New Alert Procedures

New Alert Procedures:

Late last year the ACBL announced some changes to their alert procedures.
You may wish to review these changes here.

Last updated : Nov 29, 2021 18:42 CST
District 14 Grand National Pairs


Congratulations to:

David Nelmark & Phil Hayne for being top in C's (16 mps)

Susan Hamel & Barry Judkins were 2nd (12 mps)

In the A's Pete Wityk & Richard Freedman were 5th for 15.36 mps.


Tournament Overalls


Last updated : Oct 3, 2021 21:10 CDT
Dennis Ashby

Dennis Ashby has metastaic melanoma that is far advanced and not curable. My heart goes out to Dennis and his family.

A note from Dennis:

I have settled in at Taylor House Hospice at 3401 East Douglas in Des Moines, IA. This will be my final repose as I await death. All prayers and well wishes are greatly appreciated. I welcome visitors for the time being. I am sometimes very awake and very much enjoy conversation to keep my mind off my minor aches and pains. I sometimes labor to maintain my breathe while visiting and need to take a rest, but very much enjoy the conversation. Contact Carolyn Cline Ashby to arrange a convenient visit at 515-771-9820. Small groups are welcome. No limit to people here. We also have a private outdoor patio. Masks required in common area but not in room.

Last updated : Aug 29, 2021 20:10 CDT
The Return To Live Bridge

Live Games:

Due to the most recent CDC guidelines on COVID-19, people entering the Bridgehouse in Cobblestone Square-

   1. Must provide proof to have completed a Covid-19 vaccination protocol at least 2 weeks ago.

   2. Masks are NOT required but you are welcome to wear one and follow other safety measures.

   3. No food or smoking is allowed in the building.

   4. Please return chairs under tables as you found them.

One other thing. We will be using new BridgeMate scoring pads (like often used at tournaments).
We may have glitches initially, so please be patient with Nancy & Gregg till we get things working smoothly.

Specail Awards on the Return to Live Bridge:

A> First Lead Out of Turn (Won Tuesday 6/1 by Charlotte Hubbell)

B> First Call Out of Turn

C> First admitted error due to having a card in the wrong suit.

And the top "Return to Live Bridge" award goes to:

D> First revoke.

Last updated : Jun 20, 2021 22:30 CDT

Hooray for Joan Anderson!

Joan, now of Laguna Woods, CA, has reached 10,000 points
and is now a Platinum Life Master. Congrats, Joan. We all miss you!


Last updated : Jun 19, 2021 20:31 CDT
May 7th announcement on reopening

May 7th planned reopening announcement:

The Bridge House will reopen on Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

In order to enter the building, everyone will be required to provide proof of vaccination - NO EXCEPTIONS! Your second or last shot will need to have been at least 2 weeks before coming to play. We will keep a running list, so basically it will just be the first time that you come to the bridge house that your card will be required.

Before we return, the building will undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitization, and it will be cleaned 1-2 times per week once games resume.

We want to keep exposure for our members to any and all viruses to a minimum. Therefore, everyone must wear a mask. It has been decided that drinks will be acceptable, but you are not to drink at the table. Please excuse yourself when your round is done and then take your drink to a socially distanced area or outside in order keep germs at a minimum. Coffee will be offered. No food will be permitted in the building.

It is unavoidable to have people touching the same items - most notably, cards, bidding boxes and the BridgeMates. Everyone will need to supply their own hand sanitizer. It is now readily available in stores and can be carried in your purse or pocket.


We are excited to have the chance to finally play in person! We will review all of these policies after the first month to see how well they are working for everyone. Our goal is to make this as safe and painless for everyone.


We hope to see you soon.

Last updated : May 30, 2021 13:37 CDT
Last BBO Schedule Before Reopening

BBO Games:

This was the BBO Schedule for last few months up to May 31, 2021:

1:00 PM   0-1000

6:30 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM  0-300

1:00 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM 0-1000

1:00 PM 0-500

Last updated : May 30, 2021 13:40 CDT
About Bridge Center Donations

Bridge House Donations:

There is another article further down below asking to help the Bridge Center during this pandemic period. Please check it out.
Please direct any questions or concerns to Ron Neilsen.

Updates have been placed on the the News Page as they come in.


Checks should be made out to:
Bridge House Corporation

and to assure proper delivery mail directly to:

Lee Slorah
9650 Forest Ave
Clive  IA 50325

Last updated : May 30, 2021 13:38 CDT
Playing Bridge on Bridge Base Online (BBO)

Online Info:

RESULTS for all the recent Virtual Club Games. (<-- best route to results directly on BBO)

NOTE: In order to get Results for any BBO game uploaded, I need the BBO credentials of someone who played in the event. I do not have many for the 0-300 group.


Concerns for setup and/or parnerships should be directed to Nancy Wilson (515)710-0808.

Or Rich Newell (515)518-0029 can help with BBO questions/issues.


How To Use BBO:

Here's a thorough tutorial on How To Use BBO(11+ minutes)

The self-alert method used on BBO is often confusing for newcomers.
Here's a short video that helps explain how it is used.
If you're still unsure how to alert on BBO, please view this (2+ minutes).

Want to know what those numbers are on people's BBO profile?
Here's the explanation.

BBO Usernames are now shown on the Members Details (listing) in the Members Only Section
They are sortable here too! (So you can order by BBO Username to find out who's who easier!)

BTW, if results only show your BBO Username and are not converted to your real name, you need to modify your profile in Members Only -or- contact Bud and let him know.

Last updated : May 15, 2021 21:13 CDT
Last 2020 News

Sad News:

Dee Wilson has passed away. His contributions to the Unit/District and as a long-time club owner will be missed.
Condolences to Nancy and her family. Evidently, due to the times, there will be no service.

It is with heavy heart that I note my dear friend, neighbor, ex-coworker, and very gracious Terry Swanson passed away last night. She will be missed by us all.

Steve Mosena, Bonnie's husband passed away last Saturday.


Interesting News:

Pete Wityk received a Christmas card from John Jackson who currently is residing in Chicago area. Pete has his address for any old-timers that might be interested. {I'm not sure which John is older (Jackson or Gustafson).}

Last updated : Jan 11, 2021 09:49 CST
Update From Corporation

Dear Fellow Bridge Players,

     We continue to thank all who have generously contributed to our paying of rent and utilities.  We have a balance of $12,294.47 in the checking account, which will keep us solvent until March or April.

     Ron Nielsen, our president, has negotiated for a $500.00 abatement and a $800.00 deferment with our landlord for the next six months.  Our payments will now be $2,300 instead of $3,600 plus utilities per month. 

     We realize that when we return to the bridge house our numbers will be down, but we feel our landlord will work with us until we have some normalcy.

     Wishing you all a very happy holiday.  Stay safe and healthy.


                                               The  Corporation Board

Ron Nielsen, Lee Slorah, Bob Yeates, Jim McGinn, Dianne Swieskowski, and Jessie Chance

December 21, 2020

Last updated : Dec 21, 2020 12:22 CST
Some September-October News

Some More Sad News:

Sad to report that Gary Reed has passed away.

I have been informed that Elaine Elsner has passed away.

Also, Bill Tracy passed away recently.

I've been informed that Bill Kent is in final stages of cancer. He will be moved to a hospice this week.
He had been a bridge icon of Unit 163 and will be missed.


Gloria Edman has become a new Life Master and at the Bronze level.
Congrats, Gloria.

And Liz Rosenthal has also just become a Life Master.


New Bridge Classes Announced:

Rich Newell plans on giving bridge lessons via Zoom.
Check out details within the Bridge Classes menu section.

Last updated : Oct 24, 2020 09:49 CDT

November 5, 2020 Update:

Dear Fellow Bridge Players,

     The Corporation Board  wishes to thank all of the people who have contributed so far to the fund to keep the bridge house solvent.  We appreciate your willingness to help out financially during this pandemic..  We are doing everything we can to keep our facility so we will have a place to resume play.  

     Our expenses are $4100 per month. This includes rent, CAM (common area maintenance) and utilities. 

     So far our contributions have amounted to $12,600.00.  This will help immensely the next couple of months.  Ron Nielsen has met with our landlord in an effort to get a reduction in rent for the remainder of the pandemic.  

     We hope you are all staying safe and healthy.


                                          Bridge House Corporation

Ron Nielsen, Lee Slorah,  Bob Yeates, Jim McGinn, Dianne Swieskowski, and Jessica Chance

The Greater Des Moines Bridge House

("A 501.3(c) Corporation")

Greetings to fellow bridge players! We are hopeful that you are doing well and staying safe during this Pandemic.

As most of you are aware, the game owners have not had bridge games at the bridge house since March of 2020. The Bridge House Corporation continues to pay rent on the facility. This has resulted in a significant cash drain of the resources of the Bridge House Corporation. Our long-term plan was to have cash reserves to handle a short term period where games could not be played. In June, we approached the landlord to see if we could get some relief in our rent. They provided a $500 a month decrease to us for the months of July and August. This still leaves us $2,500 a month short of our monthly obligations. We have explored options to apply for grants or forgivable loans, but we have no payroll and most of the programs have been directed to job protection.

Many Players' have contributed to the Bridge House Corporation enabling us to furnish and decorate our current facility. We appreciate the generosity of our players. We have invested over $100,000 in our current facility. The Board of Directors met this last week to discuss what options we have during this pandemic. As fiduciaries, we take our responsibility very seriously as it relates to the contributions made by players.

We currently have enough reserve funds to pay rent for about two to three months. At that time, our reserve funds will be exhausted and probably face eviction and potential litigation for the balance of the rent. At that time, we would probably lose our entire investment in the facility. This places us in a quandary. We risk losing a $100,000 investment and will not have a facility to play bridge when it is safe for all of us to play. We are going to meet with the landlord and ask for more consideration, but they are not under any obligation to make further concessions.

We are reaching out to all of you to share our current dilemma and propose a plan to help us through this difficult time. As Board Members, we have played two to four times a week on average. We are willing to commit to making a monthly contribution of that amount to the Bridge House Corporation. This obviously is not enough to cover the monthly costs until we are able to get back into operation.

Most of you have played bridge one to four times a week. That cost was $7 or on average $15 to $20 a week. Would you join the Board in making a contribution of what you would normally spend on bridge until we are able to get back to live play? If we had 60 players contribute $50 a month, we would be able to exist until we can all get back to playing bridge at the bridge house.

We miss all of you and the time we share playing and competing in bridge. Please give thoughtful consideration to this proposal. We are attaching a pledge form that you may return if you are able to contribute.

A form for which to make a pledge can be found here:


Last updated : Nov 5, 2020 11:14 CST
Free Store Busy This Week
Free Store Busy This Week

The FreeStore has been busy this week.

Here's an article from the Des Moines Register:

Helping Cedar Rapids residents recover from the storm

You'll find Mike Smith, Tom Olsson, and Mark Beckwith in the above photo.
Several other pictures are in the Register article.

Harry Swanson and the FreeStore work hard to offer assistance where needed.

Last updated : Aug 28, 2020 10:03 CDT
Roger Krebs

Some Sad News:

Roger Krebs had a stroke a few weeks ago. He is back home now and we all wish him well. If you would like to send get well wishes, Lois & his address is:

2909 Woodland Ave Apt 218
Des Moines, IA 50312


Last updated : Aug 21, 2020 09:52 CDT
Previous BBO Schedules

This was the Revised September BBO Schedule:
(Mid September through late October)

1:00 PM   0-750  
6:30 PM   0-500

6:30 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM  0-300

1:00 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM 0-1000

1:00 PM 0-500

This was the September BBO Schedule:

1:00 PM   0-750  
6:30 PM   0-500

6:30 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM  0-300

1:00 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM  0-750

1:00 PM 0-1000

1:00 PM 0-300

This was the Revised August BBO Schedule:
(Effective August 14th on)

1:00 PM   0-750  
6:30 PM   0-500

6:30 PM  0-1000

1:00 PM  0-300

1:00 PM  0-1000
6:30 PM  0-2500

1:00 PM  0-750

1:00 PM 0-1000

1:00 PM 0-300


This was the August BBO Schedule until August 13th:


1:00 PM   0-750 

6:30 PM 0-300



1:00 PM 0-2500

6:30 PM 0-1000



1:00 PM  0-300



1:00 PM  0-1000

6:30 PM 0-2500



1:00 PM 0-2500



1:00 PM 0-1000



1:00 PM 0-2500

1:00 PM 0-300

This was the July Virtual Club Calendar:

Open Pairs Games:
1:00 pm Sunday
1:00 pm Tuesday
6:30 pm Thursday
1:00 pm Friday

0-1000 Pairs Games:
6:30 pm Tuesday
1:00 pm Thursday
1:00 pm Saturday

0-750 Pairs Games:
1:00 pm Monday

0-300 Pairs Games:
1:00 pm Sunday
6:30 pm Monday
1:00 pm Wednesday

This was the June BBO Calendar:

Open Pairs Games:
1:00 pm Sunday
6:30 pm Monday
10:00 am Tuesday
6:30 pm Thursday
10:00 am Friday

0-1000 Pairs Games:
10:00 am Wednesday
2:00 pm Friday
10:00 am Saturday

0-750 Pairs Games:
2:00 pm Monday

0-300 Pairs Games:
2:00 pm Tuesday
2:00 pm Thursday
2:00 pm Saturday


Online Info:

RESULTS for all the recent Virtual Club Games. (<-- best route to results directly on BBO)

Note: The Results are now being converted to the old familiar format we have used for the club games. 

However - in order to get the boards, I need the credentials of someone who plays in the event. Even though several of you have been kind enough to send me your BBO password, this is getting harder and harder to do, as our games keep getting smaller and smaller and are played with no one I have a password for. I'll keep trying to finish out June at least as best I can, but may quit after that if no one is interested in seeing results posted here.


Concerns for setup and/or parnerships should be directed to Nancy Wilson (515)710-0808.

Or Rich Newell (515)518-0029 can help with BBO questions/issues.

Last updated : Oct 26, 2020 12:17 CDT
Judy Erikcson

Judy Erickson:

As you may know, Judy took a bad fall (broken neck) in February. Her last few months I suspect have been quite a bit worse than the rest of us. But she's recovering, due back home soon, and has a birthday coming up June 26th. So - why not cheer her up and send her a get well / birthday card? Her address is:

1006 13th St Unit 214
Dallas Center, IA 50063


Last updated : Jun 25, 2020 10:53 CDT
John Gustafson Reaches 20,000 Master Points

John Gustafson Countdown:

John turned 96 April 6th. Happy Birthday, John!

And Now John Gustafson has surpassed 20,000 master points.
He is a Grand Life Master two times over!


Add Gus94 to your friends list on BBO, and chat him a Big Congrats!

Terrific tribute to John Gustafson at Minnesota Bridge

Don't play onliine? Send John congrats by email.


Last updated : Apr 30, 2020 12:56 CDT
Some March News

Ewa Pratt said that her husband, Tim, was diagnosed with COVID 19 on March 29. She has talked to the Department of Health, and Ewa is considered an unconfirmed case of coronavirus. Tim (who does play bridge) had not been at the bridge house, and has fully recovered. Ewa has one week of quarantine left. Please be aware that if you played at the bridge house during March, that you may have been exposed to the virus, since Ewa had played during that time.

Evie Mintzer has returned home after 7 months of therapy.
She continues with in-home nursing care.
She will not be playing bridge again I am told.

Last updated : Apr 3, 2020 15:05 CDT
Fred Moore Note

Fred Moore sent a note to Jim McGinn recently:

"Hope someone there remembers me. Moved to a nice suburb (city) of dumb Atlanta 20 years ago.

I play 3 times weekly at a "great" club - 3 blocks away. For 11 bucks - all drinks, snacks, and lunch. Some days we have 3-4 grand life-masters. Tough game.

My last letter to Dr. John was returned. New address?

John Jackson is now in some type of care center. Joan passed away in August. John is 96-97; I'm 91.

The best to all,
Fred :-)

Phone 678-547-0784"

Last updated : Mar 10, 2020 14:51 CDT
President's Letter - March, 2020

Thank you to everyone who took the time to let the Unit Board know about your feelings on the Sectionals. We have changed things up for our next sectional, which runs from Friday, May 1 – Sunday, May 3. First, the date was changed – we are now playing on the first weekend in May, instead of the last in March. Let’s hope that by then the winter weather has gone for good, and all of the snowbirds will have returned.

The Thursday night game has been eliminated – the attendance for the Eight is Enough team game did not warrant paying the extra fees for the director. The start times for Friday have been changed from 10:00 and 3:00 to noon and 6:00 pm. We hope that this will enable working people to attend the evening game, and still finish up at a reasonable time. We hope that it will encourage out of town people to drive up in on Friday morning and play the rest of the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday will be all pair games – there will be no Swiss teams on Sunday. The start times for those games will be 9:30 and 2:00. By adjusting the times for the games, we hope that people will be more inclined to play in the second game, as we have had some pretty steep drop offs in attendance during the afternoon games. The goal is to have play end by 6, so the entire evening is still free.

Please encourage your friends and partners to attend the sectional – a fun way to earn silver points and support Unit 216. See you May 1 – May 3.

Carolyn Sabroske

Unit 216 President

P.S. Something that seems to be causing confusion at club play – Opening one trump requires that your partner announce the point range of the bid. Since we use bidding boxes, you are supposed to tap the Alert card or strip when that announcement is made. If you play transfers, your side must also announce that and use the Alert card or strip. If you have any questions, please refer to the January 2020 Bridge Bulletin, page 36.

                                                                                                                                         March 2020

Last updated : Feb 18, 2020 12:35 CST
President's Letter - February, 2020

Etiquette is a vital part of bridge. We all need to remember and follow the laws of duplicate bridge (please see the ACBL website if you are interested in reading/learning all of them – it is a mere 103 pages long!).

Often times, we make mistakes, whether we are beginners, intermediate level or expert players. If you feel that a mistake has been made, your first responsibility is to politely call for the director. “Director, please” has a much nicer ring than DIRECTOR!

Please be aware that we all have the director called on us, it is a part of the game. It is preferable to call the director as soon as an irregularity is noticed, so that players are not making incorrect assumptions or rulings.

It is natural to want to talk about a hand after you are done playing – but please be aware that you could be passing unauthorized information to your others. If you and your opponents have a discussion about a hand, the talk about the lay of the hand or the bidding, for instance, can be overheard by people at nearby tables. Likewise, if you and your partner are debating a point in a previous hand at the snack table or even in the restrooms, other players may learn something that they can benefit from later in the game. By limiting discussions, you can ensure that the game runs in a more timely manner.

Courtesy at the table extends to how we treat our opponents and our partners. Please be considerate of other people’s feelings – show some patience if your opponent violates one of the laws, and politely explain what they can or cannot do. It is possible that they are not aware of some of the esoteric laws. Gloating can take many forms – including thanking an opponent for playing a card (I know that I am guilty of that) – as if they had a choice. Please try to be a considerate opponent, and not gloat.

Together we can make this game even more fun than it already is!

Carolyn Sabroske

Unit 216 President

                                                                                                                                         February 2020

Last updated : Feb 18, 2020 12:34 CST
Hawkeye Holiday Sectional

Dr. John Gustafson edges out Richard Friedman, Toby, Rich, and Valerie Laing for overall

Master Point Winners


Here's event results from the Hawkeye Holiday Sectional held January 9th-12th, 2020:

Event Results

Last updated : Jan 12, 2020 17:15 CST