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Unit 116 Mentoring Program

 Youth Bridge

UPDATE -May 19, 2019

At the present time, we have 31 students participating in our Youth Bridge program. Our new set of lessons began on May 5, 2019. Currently, we have 10 beginner students, 9 intermediate students and 12 advanced students taught by three teachers. What’s interesting is that this year three of our beginner students were promoted to the intermediate group and two of the beginner students were actually promoted to the advanced group.

As of May 6, Kathy Pollock is directing a game for beginner players who have 0-20 master points. It is held on Monday nights from 7 pm-9:30 pm. and will continue all summer. A few of our students have attended Kathy’s class already. I feel confident that in the weeks ahead a number of our students will be taking advantage of this game. It is such a great opportunity to practice what they have learned in class.

Also, at this time, eight of our students have registered for the Youth NABC to be held July 25-27 in Las Vegas. Others are still contemplating whether to go or not. As of June 30, Jim Gullo will be teaching a class entitled “Preparing students for Las Vegas”. It is open to other students as well.

As we all know, Jim accompanies the students to the Youth NABC each year to give our students support. He works with them before the games and he goes over each hand after the games. Thus, he teaches as well and hopefully the students learn from their mistakes.

Again, many thanks for those of you have participated in the program.
  Click on this LINK to see a slideshow and check the Buffalo News article HERE 

NEW: Slideshow from Las Vegas Youth Nationals 2019


Carol Bedell   - (
Youth Bridge Coordinator

Unit 116 is continuing the Bridge Mentoring Program for beginner / intermediate players willing to enter open competitions and achieve their goals.

To be eligible, the “mentee” has to have less than 300 MP.

Mentors are players with 2500+ MP.

The pair is required to play 5 times until the end of December 31, 2018 at any of the Unit sanctioned clubs (see a list of clubs with their playing schedules at the unit web site www.unit116.com) or at unit events and Open Unit 116 Sectionals.

The Mentee pays full fare, and the unit covers the Mentor's entry fees. (Pair needs to keep track of games they play together for Unit reimbursement of Mentor's entry fees). New this time is that the Mentor can coach a pair of Mentees by playing in the same field and providing analysis for his pair of Mentees.

Deadline for Mentee sign-up is June 30, 2018. Mentees are encouraged to approach Mentors of their choice regarding the program. The program will run from July 1 to December 31, 2018.

For sign-up, details and questions please contact Dian Petrov by email or (716) 688-1226

Good luck and have fun!


What is the Unit 116 Mentoring Program?

The mentoring program is established to have more experienced players (Mentors) to help newer /advancing players (Mentees) to improve their bridge experience and enter Open games at Unit 116 ACBL Sanctioned clubs. 

Who can participate?

Unit 116 ACBL members in good standing with masterpoints below 300 willing to enter open club games, learn, have fun and achieve their bridge goals.

How do I participate?

Mentees need to register by email or phone (leaving a message is fine) before June 30, 2018 with Dian Petrov by email or (716) 688-1226

• • •

Unit 116 Student Bridge Program

Update on school bridge program

This past Sunday May 20, 2018, we resumed bridge classes for beginner and advanced students at The Bridge Center of Buffalo. The classes are held from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm on Sundays. The lessons will continue for eight sessions. The last class will be held July 15, 2018. Currently, we have 10 students in the beginner class and 11 students in the advanced class. Three students in the beginner class were promoted to the advanced class (for the first time) and three more students signed up for the beginner class. We have had at least seven referrals since our January classes began. Also, I now send out homework with a few bridge basics that will be useful for students taking our beginning classes for the first time. Fred Yellen is teaching the beginner class and Jim Gullo is working with the advanced class.

A Youth NABC will be part of the national tournament in Atlanta. There will be four games for students 19 and under. These will be held August 2nd and 3rd. We have 8 students attending the Youth NABC and Jim will be there to prepare and supervise our students. We are purchasing special shirts with the Buffalo logo for students participating in these games. (Jim will have one as well.)

To get students ready for Atlanta, we have a mentoring program. Adults playing with our advanced students will have the cost of their game refunded. All students who are part of our program have been given free membership to The Bridge Center of Buffalo. There is an open game Thursday nights and Saturdays beginning at noon for mentors and students who are still in school. Students are invited to play in non-life master games, sectionals and other special games (the annual picnic and annual meeting). In the summer, when students have availability, they can play in all games with each other or a mentor.

Last year, we had seven students attending the Youth NABC in Toronto. They did very well. This year getting points will be more challenging since a few of the students have five points or more which puts them in a higher bracket. We all wish them GOOD LUCK.

Carol Bedell
Youth Bridge Coordinator


  Fred Yellen and Jim Gullo  with the Unit 116 students at  2017 Toronto Youth North American Bridge Championship.


Four players from the summer classes for middle and high school students at the Bridge Center of Buffalo found success in the Youth North American Bridge Championship Tournament July 20 to July 30 in Toronto. Tyler Mu, Daren Liu, Colleen Stewart and Michael Passucci won four times in their divisions.

Eight students from our Youth Bridge Program participated in the Youth NABC in Las Vegas, July 25-27. They are pictured below. All students received section tops in their level.

Here are the final results:
Colleen Stewart and Michael Passucci—11.75 master points
Daren Liu and Tyler Mu—9.21 master points
Leondina Passucci and Luna Liu—2.01 master points
Tiger Li and Andrew Jiang—1.85 master points

Our students are very excited and are already planning their trip to Montreal where the nationals and Youth NABC will be held in 2020.

I want to recognize our wonderful youth bridge teachers; they are Sharon Benz, Jim Gullo, Elaine K and Fred Yellen. I also want to thank our bridge buddies who volunteer on Sundays; their presence makes everything run smoothly.

Finally, I want to send special kudos to Jim Gullo. This year he taught a new class which was well received called “Preparation for Las Vegas”.  He attended the Youth NABC and worked with the students. He met with them before each game and went over the hands after each game. I know his presence made a big difference! Thank you, Jim.


Slideshows from Las Vegas Youth Nationals 2019:

Link1 and Link2

Carol Bedell   - (
Youth Bridge Coordinator



A Word from Ethan Xie

 eth During this year’s annual meeting, Carol has asked me to talk a little bit about my experience in the youth bridge program... I first got involved with bridge 3 years ago when I was about nine years old. I was taught by my father and I started going to the club about half a year later. I met Jay Levy who became my first mentor. Besides Jay, I have also learned from Davis Heussler, Chong Min, Linda Burroughsford, David Hemmer, Glenn Milgrim, Penny and Peter Shui, and many others. I would  like to thank this club for the help they gave me all these years.

This year, I decided to use my free time to go and give back to my community. The youth bridge program offers kids an opportunity to learn how to play bridge. The flow of this game is very interesting, because it combines a little bit of luck with skill, and that is what entices children. Many children think chess is boring because of how much work it takes to calculate all the possibilities. That is where bridge shines. It combines Yahtzee and chess, forming a game that keeps one in the action with its unpredictability and challenging skill. The youth bridge program excels at teaching kids this mechanic. The teachers always tell them that sometimes times get rough, in, for example, a 5-0 break in trump. However, if one can overcome this hurdle with skill, the payoff is tremendous. They relish in the satisfaction and play more and more, causing them to get better and better, which not only helps them, but also helps keep this game alive.

I have attended 3 or 4 youth bridge lessons. The students seem to like
 the bridge and it is obvious they are having a good time.
Thank you.



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