Karl Gohl


By Neil Kimelman


Karl passed away peacefully, with his wife at his side, on August 26, 2022. I had the honour of calling Karl my bridge partner, and more importantly my friend. Karl was one of a kind. His mixture of decency, passion, humour, competitiveness, humility and loyalty is unmatched in my experience. Here is part of his story.

Although I had seen him around, I first met Karl at a sectional Swiss team, around 2005. We were playing against each other in the last round for the championship. When he came to our table I was taken aback. Karl’s size is a bit intimidating, and mixed with his high octane competitive spirit was a little scary. We competed fiercely during the seven boards. I am not sure who won, but we talked about the hands afterwards. This scary dude was in fact just very intense at the table, and I soon realized, a wonderful person away from it. In fact we hit it off so well we starting playing together in 2005, and we soon became a regular partnership.

Unwavering optimism and zest for life and bridge

Karl always had a twinkle in his eye. He addressed all with respect and had a way to make instant friends. Many a times we were in restaurants, bars, or at the table, and Karl started to engage others in conversation. It could be politics, sports, climate change or how to make the best apple pie crust. Karl had a wide knowledge on so many subjects, and a respectful and fun way of engaging people.

Karl was a teacher by profession. He taught math, physics, and science for about 30 years, both at the high school level, as well at the Assiniboine Community College.

I asked around and one of Karl’s good friends and bridge partner, Alex Bertrand shared the following story with me. As a young lad (11 to 12 years of age) Karl played cards with the old men of the North end of Winnipeg. They played for small stakes and Karl became very proficient at winning enough money to pay for his lunch.  Since he was a young kid they called him Charlie.  This name stuck when he started to play duplicate bridge since some of those old men also played duplicate.  The old guard for most part has passed away but Maureen Marsh to this day refers to Karl as Charlie. 

He would not hesitate in trying new experiences. When in St. Louis for the 2007 NABC we visited the St. Louis Arch and faced the choice of riding it to its apex (did you know you could go inside of it?). Despite the very close quarters, apparent slow ascent, and having a bit of claustrophobia, Karl said sure, why not.

I remember sitting with him in our hotel room at a CNTC qualifying in Thunder Bay, him sipping the Irish Mist liqueur he adored, and talking for 15 minutes, whether it was better to play the seven of spades or the eight of spades on a particular deal. He showed humility in all conversations, whether he was right or wrong.

Karl loved his bridge. He loved analyzing hands and bidding methods. He was always looking at obscure international publications, gleaning ideas from these publications. When we started making up our convention card I was astounded by Karl’s knowledge of a variety of gadgets.  In fact we started to play conventions no one else locally, or for that matter across Canada, were playing. These included Transfer Lebensohl, Catsfeet, Miser, and Klinger. Eventually, many of the top Winnipeg experts started playing these systems, when they saw how successful we were in using them.

Karl has had many Regional wins and overall finishes in Canadian Championships. He is ranked 2817 (about 10,000 players listed) in the World Bridge Federation All Time Open Rankings. This puts him as the 73th highest ranking Canadian on this list, and the 2nd highest Manitoban.

Probably his great success was the 2010 World Open Pairs final, played in Philadelphia. After 5 qualifying and 5 semi-final sessions Karl and I were the only Canadians to make it to the finals. 300 pairs started playing the qualifying with about 130 advancing to the semis. In the semis 50 odd pairs dropped in from the Rosenblum to make it a 182 pairs, of which only 49 qualified for the finals. With the medal winners dropping in from the Rosenblum the field consisted of 72 of the strongest pairs in the world.

Karl was playing great, inspired bridge, and he was not intimidated by our famous competitors. Three of our hands got written up in the Official World Championship book. We bested the best players in the world many times, with several 70 tops, and scored better than all other 36 E-W pairs in the 3rd final session! After 3 of the 5 sessions we were in contention, but Karl caught a very bad cold that night, and we dropped out of the running. Despite that, Karl fought hard and earned much respect and made new friends.

In the first session of the final, Karl demonstrated excellent judgement in bidding 6♠. We scored 53 out of 70:


Gohl Kimelman
♠KQJ975 ♠A42
♥82   ♥AJ1076
♦K9873  ♦AQ
♣Void     ♣1096
1♠     1NT (15-17)
4♠      5♦


When his wife Ann called me with the news of Karl’s passing, she shared a couple of pieces of information with me that spoke volumes. First, Karl did not want to burden any of his bridge friends in the last few years, when he had many health problems. He knew he was dying, so took the time to say goodbye to Anne, and to try to comfort her, and give her some final requests and suggestions for life after him.

But right to his last night Karl maintained a nightly reading routine in bed before going to sleep. First he read passages from the bible. Then he read excerpts from his favourite bridge book.

Rest in peace my friend, and I hope to see you on the other side.


Karl and me in St. Louis 2007








Our Tuesday evening supervised play will be resuming next week, on September 20th. Entry is $5, and includes a lesson, handouts and an opportunity to play for a couple of hours with supervision by more advanced players where you can ask questions. Frequently the hands will be related to the lesson so that you will have an opportunity to practice what has been presented. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, focused on having fun and improving your play. There is no requirement to attend every Tuesday - just come whenever you can. You are welcome to come with or without a partner.

In order that we can have a 7pm start, please arrive by 6:45 so that folks can sign in and get a name tag. 

If you know you are coming, please respond at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that we can set up the appropriate number of tables and be sure to have sufficient volunteers available.

Bridge Manitoba requires double vaccination so bring your card. It is a “Mask Friendly” site. Please respect your opponents and partner by following their wishes, so bring a mask as you may need it. You may also wish to bring your own beverage.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 20th!

Jeff Gosman 

We are back! Bridge Manitoba will be hosting a Fall Classic Sectional at Soul Sanctuary this October.  The tournament will run for 2 days, Friday (pairs) and Saturday (Swiss teams), October 21-22. Card fees are $10/session for players with more than 50 MPs, and $5 for those with less than 50 MPs. In addition, those players with less than 20 MPs will have a free lunch included with their card fees! For more information please click here.

For partnerships and registration, please contact our tireless ladies, Deloris at 204-795-4361 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Marielle at 204-231-6021 or 204-228-9400. We hope to see you there!

In order to provide our members with a larger variety of games and a larger number of tables at each game, beginning Monday, September 12th we will be amalgamating our Virtual Club games with those of Saskatoon, Regina, and Prince Albert. Beginning September 12th, players wishing to register for any of the games, including those of Bridge Manitoba, Ambassador, and KW, will find the games on BBO by searching for "vacb137844". Once you have found the game you wish to play in, you can register for it in exactly the same way as you do now, at the same cost as you are paying now (4 BB$ for regular games, 5 BB$ for ACBL Special Events with higher MP rewards and higher sanction fees).

Note that the days/times for our current games will not change, but there will now be many additional options. Several of the new games being offered are "limited games", meaning that they are only available to players with less than a certain number of MPs, similar to our KW Monday evening 0-199 virtual game. The level of MPs for the game will be prefixed by "U" in the title. For example, a game whose title contains "U500" will accept players with <500 MPs.

Below is a schedule of all of the virtual games that will be available for our members starting September 12thPLEASE NOTE that all start times listed below are in Manitoba time.


  • Monday @6:30 p.m. U200  (KW)
  • Monday @7 p.m. Open (KW)
  • Tuesday @12 p.m. Open (Ambassador)
  • Tuesday @8 p.m. U300 (Saskatchewan game)
  • Thursday @2 p.m. U500 (Saskatchewan game)
  • Thursday @8 p.m. U300  (Saskatchewan game)
  • Friday @12 p.m. Open (Bridge Manitoba)
  • Friday @8 p.m. U1500 (Saskatchewan game)

On November 6th, when  Daylight Savings Time ends, the start times for the Saskatchewan games above will change. An email will be sent out at that point to clarify the new times.

When our players play in any of the above games, the net proceeds are paid to Manitoba, so please come out and support us!



Bridge Manitoba held its Annual General Meeting last month and a follow-up meeting to elect its board executive. Please welcome your new Unit 181 board:

Ray Hornby - President
Marsha Kimelman - Vice President
Marielle Brentnall - Treasurer
Shirley Galler - Secretary
Doug Fisher - Past President
Deloris Ankrom
Gerri Hewitt
Dave West 
Gloria Woloshyn

We also welcome Paulette Desaulniers as our new Special Events coordinator.

Thanks again to our Past President, Doug Fisher, who helped keep us afloat during the last couple of difficult years. 

Thursday's game boasted 12 full tables at Soul Sanctuary. We look forward to a strong and exciting return to bridge in the coming year.