Mike Yuen — Mike talks about bridge

Bernie Ludewig (1954 – 2012)

Bernard Ludewig (1954 – 2012)

Bernard Ludewig


We thought we still had so much time!  But now Bernard Ludewig is not with us anymore. He died, which still seems inconceivable to us, on 21. March 2012.

On 24.11.1954, in Marburg, Bernard Ludewig was born as the son of a German father and a French mother. He spent his youth in Marburg, Koblenz and Belgium. From there he headed to Heidelberg to study at a university after having received his “Abitur”. Having grown up with a multilingual family, his studies did not turn out to be very difficult for him. So alongside his studies he still found a sufficient amount of time to optimize his skills in other important parts of his life – particularly in the game of Bridge.

And he became a bridge player and put his heart and soul in it. The list of top rankings he received is long. He could look back upon nine German championships and numerous second- and third-rankings. Even though he loved team play more than pairs’ tournaments, he won his first German tournament in 1987 in the last-mentioned form. His greatest success as a sportsman was the win of the “Rosenblum-Cup” in 1990, the first big title a German team achieved in an open tournament. As the captain of the ladies’ national team,  which played an important role during many world- and Europe tournaments, he also became successful internationally. Bernard Ludewig’s calm and well-adjusted manner as well as his ability as a bridge player is what made him such a convenient captain. More importantly, he was a sportsman with all his heart – fair at all times, but still ambitious.

This personality with all the tolerance, warm-heartedness and serenity was definitely one of his strongest points which made him so unique. Also offside the “bridge table” he was a reliable, attentive and caring friend for plenty of job-related and personal acquaintances, especially for his children Katharina and Stefan, whom he gave everything, and is wife Susanne, who he loved so much and with who he celebrated their twentieth wedding anniversary last year – which is definitely not a matter of course anymore these days.

There are a lot of good bridge players but good partners are rare. Bernard Ludewig was not only the best bridge partner I have ever played with but also a cautious colleague and loyal friend over many years. Even when our career (and bridge-) paths parted, we stayed in touch. Sometimes we dreamed about the good old times together, when we drove to a bridge tournament in his sky blue Peugeot 404, with the last bit of money we could find, always accompanied by Wolfgang Ambros’ music and his “Watzmann”. During all of this time I never heard a single mean word from him, even when he stopped in four hearts with his 23-count hand after my weak-two-opening, going one down, he only said: “I already expected it to be quite close…” And when Georg Nippgen and I accidentally turned off the main fuse while trying to exchange a light bulb and his(Bernard’s) day work vanished, even then he reacted even-temperately and asked: “Which world champion was that?” He couldn’t have possibly known that it was the two of us who tried to solve the problem…

At last it might seem like a bitter irony of destiny that of all organs his heart was the one that failed – and he was a man with so much goodness and heart – and he had to pass away from us way too early.

Obituary – By Jochen Bitschene.

On a personal note.

Bernie was such a nice guy. I enjoyed all the championships we worked to-gather both at and away from the table. Will miss him in The Worlds for years to come.

My condolences to Susie and the family.

1 Comment

Ewa GutmanJune 30th, 2012 at 12:15 am

this is a lovely note…


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