The duplicate bridge community in Northwest Indiana is experiencing a growth spurt. The number of tables at the Monday game in Highland and the Wednesday and Saturday games in Calumet Township began averaging 12 early this year.

"It is gratifying to witness an increase in interest and participation in the greatest card game ever invented," said competitor Barbara Walczak.

In January, Lou Nimnicht headed the list of scorers with 11.37 points, followed closely by Barbara Graegin and Ruth Westberg, who also scored in double digits. "Altogether, these three have been playing bridge for 146 years — a testament to the never-ending allure and intellectual fascination of the game," Walczak said.

January's top 50: Lou Nimnicht, Barbara Graegin, Ruth Westberg, Joseph Chin, Zafar Khan, Alan Geller, Alfred Simmons, Trudy McKamey, Indra Gupta, Tom Hallum, Patricia Mikuta, Robert Porter, Alan Filler, John Chmielowiec, Judy Elliott, George Roeper, Carolyn Potasnik, Bob Kellstrom, Helen Miller, Dolores Gerdes, Robert Ferguson, James Angell, Howard Schmid, Yuan Hsu, John Goring, Bill Kilbride, Arlyne Filler, Charles Schultz, Dave Bigler, Steven Watson, Carol Osgerby, Mary Schumm, Catherine Mason, Anne Murphy, Constance Stevens, Wayne Carpenter, Hilda Connor, Barbara Walczak, Madge Kollar, Sharon Snyder, Patricia Valiska, Donald Valiska, Peggy Kiernan, Sandra Trass, Norman Szewczyk, Phil Schulz, Faye Anderson, Dee Raysses, Jennie Alsobrooks and Judy Grambo.

The top 50 players among those who engage in the cerebral sport of bridge scored the highest number of masterpoints during February's thrice-weekly duplicate bridge games in Highland and Calumet Township:

Lou Nimnicht, Howard Schmid, Barbara Graegin, Yuan Hsu, John Chmielowiec, Dave Bigler, Indra Gupta, Al Simmons, Bob Kellstrom, Robert Porter, Ruth Westberg, Judy Elliott, Helen Miller, Steven Watson, George Roeper, Donald Valiska, Carol Osgerby, Carolyn Potasnik, Alan Geller, Patricia Mikuta, Robert Ferguson, Wayne Carpenter, Hilda Connor, Barbara Walczak, Tom Hallum, Alan Filler, Faye Anderson, Charles Schultz, James O'Connell, Arlyne Filler, Catherine Mason, Phil Schulz, James Angell, Dolores Gerdes, Joseph Chin, Robert Schumm, John Kohlbecker, Marilyn Ginzel, Norman Szewczyk, Tom Hodges, Roger Sokol, David Mitzit, Conrad Staudacher, Lynne Kostopoulos, John Ginzel, Mary Pappas, Charlotte Abernethy, Joan Slattery, Judy Selund and Sandra Trass.

The top-scoring bridge players for March in weekly Highland and Calumet Township games, represent some of the finest players and best minds in the area. Even the best players find the game inexhaustible. Barbara Graegin leads this list with 16.42 masterpoints, followed by five others who earned double-digit points — Al Simmons at 13.38, Joe Chin at 12.22, Jim O'Connell at 11.69, Lou Nimnicht at 11.37, and Howard Schmid at 10.46.

The rest of March's top 50 includes: Tom Hallum, Trudy McKamey, Bob Kellstrom, Patricia Mikuta, Zafar Khan, Hilda Connor, Indra Gupta, Alan Filler, John Chmielowiec, Yuan Hsu, Ruth Westberg, Steven Watson, Peggy Kiernan, Robert Schumm, Charlotte Abernethy, Arlyne Filler, Lynne Kostopoulos, Dave Bigler, Carolyn Potasnik, Andree Walczak, Dolores Marshall, Robert Porter, Elnora Washington, Shirley Koch, Alan Geller, Delphine Slater, Wayne Carpenter, Mary Schumm, Anna Urick, Phil Schulz, Jerry Newell, Conrad Staudacher, Marge Hedegard, John Kohlbecker, George Goewey, James Angell, Dave Watkins, Judy Selund, Jane Krueger, Helen Miller, Dolores Gerdes, Robert Selund, Marilyn Rosen and George Roeper.

April's top 50 duplicate bridge players in Highland and Calumet Twp. are led by Joseph Chin with 13.51 masterpoints (which now gives him a total of more than 4,900 lifetime masterpoints), followed by Barbara Graegin and Louis Nimnicht.

The rest of April's top 50 include: James O'Connell, Yuan Hsu, Steven Watson, Ruth Westberg, Zafar Khan, Indra Gupta, Howard Schmid, Trudy McKamey, Dave Bigler, Tom Hallum, Robert Porter, Bob Kellstrom, Patricia Mikuta, Helen Miller, Dolores Gerdes, Robert Ferguson, George Roeper, Dolores Marshall, Wayne Carpenter, Judy Elliott, Barbara Walczak, Alan Geller, William Kilbride, Carolyn Potasnik, Catherine Mason, John Goring, Lois Edelstein, Wayne Hiser, Jennie Alsobrooks, Mary Schumm, John Chmielowiec, Marge Hedegard, Doug Jordan, Carol Osgerby, Alfred Simmons, Edmond D'ouville, Hilda Connor, Andrée Walczak, Michael Devine, Dave Watkins, Shirley Koch, Emelia Alberico, Verge Freeland, Lynne Kostopoulos, Sharon Snyder, Alta Allen and James Angell.