December 2017

Another year, another year of bridge. Welcome to the last 4Spot of the year. We hope it's been a good year for you and yours. Happy Holidays!
Here's another chance to try out our Master Solvers Club, here at the top of the newsletter. Starting in January, you can start fresh with a new score and see how you do for the year. You'll find MSC, this month and always, in its usual spot at the bottom of the newsletter. Use this month to try both our problem and our easy online submission.   
1. Here's the current problem. 
2. Click here to read the analysis.  
3. Go to the MSC website ( for next month's problem and the online submission form. Remember: The year-long challenge starts again in January; submit regularly and you can earn glory and the respect of your peers. 

District 4 Officers  
small margin
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.

Meyer Kotkin

Dave Kresge
Bill Bauer

Pat Civale  

Joann Glasson 
President's Message

[Welcome to the new D4 President, Meyer Kotkin, who started his term at the board meeting in Lancaster. We have always appreciated his leadership, innovative thinking, and humor in past roles--most recently as Unit 141 Tournament Chair and Valley Forge Regional Chair--and look forward to those qualities as he now heads the district.]
It is an honor and privilege to have been elected President of District 4 (D4). I have very big shoes to fill in replacing Dan Boye, who served exceptionally, tirelessly and with distinction during the last two years. On behalf of the District and myself, I want to thank Dan not only for his service to D4 as President the last two years, but also for decades of service, volunteerism, and commitment to D4 and bridge. I told Dan that I would need his advice and counsel going forward which might explain why he immediately bolted for the NABC in San Diego.
I learned to play bridge almost 40 years ago. Like many of you, I was introduced to the game by people needing a fourth. I was in the computer center at Cornell University waiting for my FORTRAN program on punch cards to run (yes, for you young 'uns out there, there really was a time we used paper tape and punched cards to program a computer) when some players drafted me for a bridge game. I played for a little less than a year in Ithaca (Unit 112) and was hooked. I left for graduate school in Ann Arbor (District 12) where I played for two years before taking a job with the US Army in Philadelphia (Unit 141) in 1980. I did not play for six years in order to give my wife, Gretchen, a chance to prove that I loved her and our two boys, Josh (duplicator for many tournaments) and Ethan (member of the ACBL Junior Corps), more than bridge. Without reporting on the results of that experiment, I note that I resumed playing in 1986. There are many, way more interesting D4 member stories on the D4 Website ( When you have a moment, I encourage you to visit the D4 site and consider contributing your own bridge story.  
As I begin my tenure as President, I want to assure you that I have an agenda that I have already begun to implement by forming key committees on topics I consider critical to the future of D4 and bridge. I will report on that agenda, the concomitant committees and my feelings on D4 and ACBL policies, directions and initiatives in the coming months. For my first article, however, I want to discuss my first promise to you: TRANSPARENCY.
D4 has eight Units. Each Unit has a Board of Directors as does the District itself. Except for Conduct and Ethics cases, there is nothing that the District or Unit Boards do that is not open and documented for member viewing and comment. If you want to know something or comment on something, contact a local Unit Board member or a District Board member, including me. I will try to attend every D4 Regional and a good number of Sectionals, and if you see me and want to talk about something related to D4 matters (no, I didn't drop the stiff K offside either) I would welcome the opportunity to talk. If I don't know the answer I guarantee you that I will find the answer for you in a timely manner. You can also email me at or call me at 856-986.5109. Unless I am being help prisoner at at all you can eat buffet, I will get back to you with an answer and/or comment as soon as I can.
On behalf of myself, Gretchen and the boys, my bridge family, and D4, I want to wish you and your families, a happy, joyous and healthy holiday season. During this magical month, where there seems to music in the air and more palpable feeling of fellowship and goodwill, I ask you remember and help in any way you can those less fortunate than we are -- the elderly, and active duty and veteran members of the US Armed Forces. Please consider giving someone the gift of the joy of bridge by taking them to a club game or just sitting with them around the kitchen table and playing some rubber bridge. 
From the District Director 
joann glasson
Technology and the ACBL
When we play bridge at a club or tournament the scores are processed in an antiquated program called ACBLscore. Several years ago the ACBL tried to revise this program with not very good results. Two million dollars were spent on the project and the result after two years of work was not usable. ACBLscore is so old that it is impossible to find anyone to maintain it and we live in fear of it crashing and burning, so the time has come to completely revamp the way we score our games.
In addition, the ACBL has been operating with all membership data information on something called an AS400 instead of using modern "cloud" technology. Forgive my lack of technical expertise, but I am told this is also an outdated form of technology that should been changed a long time ago.
Last year, Jay Whipple wrote an article in the July issue of the ACBL Bulletin explaining what we are trying to do now to replace ACBLscore and bring modern technology to the ACBL. If you are interested in the details you can find the article in the ACBL Bulletin archives. This has not been an easy or inexpensive process, but I think I can finally say that our membership will soon be able to see some results of the efforts.
The biggest challenge was to create a separate masterpoint engine that would take the scoring results from scoring programs created outside of the ACBL and transfer the information to our membership data base. With this program almost completed, all scoring will be converted into USEBIO (Universal Standard for Exchange of Bridge Information) format so that it can be uploaded to the "cloud".
What you will see over the next year or two will be new scoring programs used at your local clubs. These are existing software programs created outside of the ACBL. ACBL is testing each of these programs to make sure it will do everything a club needs to do and also have the capability to transfer the game results to the new masterpoint engine.
Some of these programs that will supplement or replace ACBL score are:
EBU/JSS Score (English program)
Magic Contest (Swedish program)
Bridgescore+ (Nicholas Hammond program)
Bridgest (Italian scoring program)
What we will see at tournaments in the near future:
KO and Swiss team results projection for NABC and most Regionals instead of the papers and displays we now see on the wall.

Electronic ticket purchase (both on-site and in advance) for NABCs and most Regionals. The ACBL has partnered with a company called "Purple Pass" that will manage the process of online entry purchases.
I am confident, under our new CEO, Bahar Gidwani, that we are moving in the right direction in technology and for the future of our game.
District 4 Schedule    
November 23 - December 3   
February 12-18 
March 8-18  
Grand National Teams Flight A 
April 7-8
Grand National Teams Flight C 
April 7-8
April 30-May 6  
May 7-12
Grand National Teams Open Flight  
May 19-20
Grand National Teams Flight B 
May 19-20
Lancaster Report   
The Lancaster Regional ended the week at 1667 tables, a slight increase over 2016. In an era of declining regional attendance, the uptick marks an accomplishment for the tournament organizers and all of you attendees to note and be proud of. 
The District 4 Board and players across the area take this opportunity to thank John and Deb Klinger, who step down this year as co-chairs of the Lancaster Regional after decades of service, for their tireless work on this tournament and in many other areas. There aren't enough kind words to thank them for their patience and effort putting together this tournament year in and year out. We wish them well and hope that our hearty "thanks" conveys the deep appreciation felt by all. 
D4 Charity Report 
These themed cakes come from Unit 121's Sacred Heart Villa as a token of appreciation for an ACBL/District 4 charity grant. (You can read more about Sacred Heart Villa in Brian Snyder's Unit 121 report below.)   
District 4 recently distributed $30,000 as seven separate $4500 grants across the district to a variety of worthy causes. The funds came largely from the ACBL Charity Foundation and
some from District 4. To qualify, the receiving organizations must be registered 501(c)3s and not bridge related. The request for donations must come from an ACBL member in good standing. A maximum of seven charities may receive funds. The full list of recipients is:  
Unit 112       The Neighborhood Center
Unit 121       Sacred Heart Villa
Unit 133       Lehigh Valley Active Life Center
Unit 141       Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia
Unit 168       Ecumenical Food Pantry
Unit 190       Modern Maturity Center
Unit 217       Centre Volunteers in Medicine
Our thanks to April Uhlenburg for coordinating the effort and all of the unit presidents and contacts who helped distribute the grants. 
Philadelphia Nationals Arrive in March!   
Getting pysched for Nationals? Yep, it's in Philadelphia in March -- no planes, maybe a train. The dates are March 8-18, 2018. There are events for players of ALL levels, including people who have never even played before. (Tell your friends.)  
There's a ton of info available here at the Philadelphia Nationals website. 
Keep in mind a few points of interest: 
* The first weekend offers special opportunities for players with fewer than 300 masterpoints.
* a special "Learn Bridge in a Day" seminar 
* welcome events and great hospitality.
* sponsorship and advertising opportunities
News from Around the Units 
four corners
Unit 112: Central New York
DeWitt Henricks
Unit 112 Sectional
April 7-8
Unit 112 I/N Sectional
April 20-21
ACBL Charity Fund grant helps buy gymnasium equipment-
Mohawk Valley Bridge Association members present a $4500 check to Sandra Soroka, executive director of The Neighborhood Center in Utica, NY, to fund the purchase of equipment for the center's new gymnasium. The center provides programs for children and youth as well as mental health programs. From left: Richard Hartz, Paul Olhbaum, Billie Olhbaum, Sandra Soroka, Unit 112 president DeWitt Henricks, Betty Youmans, club president Ann Smallen. Betty is a NC board member and submitted the grant application.
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania 
Fay Pacchioli

Unit 120 Sectional
March 2-4
APRIL 15 TO APRIL 21, 2018
COST $920.00 (dbl. occ) - $1295 (sin. occ)
Fay Pacchioli, 407 Sunset Forest Drive, Hawley, Pa. 18428
For info or questions, email Fay @
We are hoping we can get enough players to get this bus on the road. We will have a definite decision if the bus is going before Christmas. If cancelled all checks will be returned.
JUNIOR MASTERS                                                        
Rita Groves
Harold Koehler
James Post
CLUB MASTERS                                                       Angie McDonough
SECTIONAL MASTERS                                                       Kelly Sherry
REGIONAL MASTERS                                                       Begona Kowet
LIFE MASTER                                                                         Helen Tanski
BRONZE LIFE MASTER                                                       Helen Tanski
SILVER LIFE MASTER                                                       Kate Shumaker
Unit 120 was well represented at the Lancaster Tournament. JoAnn Maugher and Bill Burns came home with the most points - 26.05. They won the Tues/Wed bracketed knock-out for 17.05 with a pick up pair. On Friday in BC pairs, the y were 2nd in C for 8.58 pts. David Forth and Gillian Chase placed 4th in C for 4.83 pts. and brought home a total of 6.40 pts. There were 59 tables in the BC pairs.  Arlene Andrews, Gene Waltz, Judy Stein and Craig Netzley came home with 13.67 pts. Taking 6th place in the Wednesday afternoon Swiss Teams and third place in the Tues/Wed Bracket 1 knockouts.
Fay Pacchioli came home with 9.58 pts. Playing with pick-up partner Paul Romano taking first place in C in Monday morning charity pairs for 2.88 pts. In the Tuesday morning side pairs, playing with pick-up partner John Kuharetz, they came in 19th in A for 1.61 pts.   Fay picked up a team for the Tuesday afternoon swiss and came in first in B for 5.06 pts.   Wednesday morning playing with pick-up partner Al Mannon they came in 2nd C in the side game Series for 1.61 pts.
Kate Shumaker came home with 3.88 pts. In the Tues Gold Rush pairs, Beverly Bright and Jane Bovard came in 9th for 2.55 pts. and brought home 4.05 pts. In the Wed AM pairs, Mary Ellen Petcavage and Anne Pelak were first in A & B for 2.49 pts. In the Wed evening side game, Fran Hofherr and George Marcy were 4th in B for 1.68 pts. and brought home a total of 3.16 pts. Pat Rosenthal came home with 1.48 pts, Jean Olcese .99 pts. and Bob Reed 3.38 pts. Leslie Sloan and husband Costas came home with .38 pts. Costas is one of our new novice players.  
Unit 121: Berks Montgomery 
Brian C Snyder 
Unit 121 I/N Sectional
December 15 

Unit 121 Sectional
May 31-June 2  
On Tuesday November 21 a special Upgraded Club Championship Game was held at Sacred Heart Villa. The purpose of this game was to celebrate Sacred Heart Villa as the recipient of a Charity grant from ACBL. Sacred Heart Villa has been our Unit's headquarters since 2012. They have been very accommodating and have gone out of their way to make us feel comfortable. Among other things, they installed heavy gauge wiring in our bridge room to support air conditioning. We have been very happy at the Villa and were thrilled to be able to present this grant from ACBL to them.

On Saturday November 24 we held our Annual Meeting and Unit Game.  Awards were presented at the Meeting. The Amy and Dewight Hartman Award was presented to Albert Bingaman for being the play with over 100 masterpoints who won the most masterpoints in Unit games during the past year. The Mini Hartman award was presented to Keith Ordemann for being the player with fewer than 100 masterpoints who won the most masterpoints in Unit Games during the past year. Two members achieved Life Master since the last Annual Meeting. They are Doug Chaney and Philip Presby. Congratulations to them!

These members have advanced in their ACBL masterpoint rank:

Junior Master - Dr. Michael Perilstein

Club Master - Barbara Perilstein

Silver Life Master - Dale H. Richards

An Intermediate Newcomer Sectional (for Non Life Masters with 500 or fewer masterpoints) will be held at Sacred Heart Villa on Friday December 15.  More information on this and other Unit Events can be found at
Unit 133: Lehigh Valley 
Dave Kresge

Unit 133 Sectional
April 27-29
The unit held its annual meeting and holiday party on 12 November.  Newly elected officers were Jim Kenny, President; Stan Yellin, Vice President;  Mimi Lengel, Secretary; and Dave Kresge, Treasurer.  Newly elected board members were Lois  Fuini, Deepak Khanna, and Bryan Snap. The unit thanked outgoing board member Joe Miller for his service.

Winners of the annual unit trophies (most masterpoints in unit games and unit sectionals) were Barbara & Michael Dopera (0-50), Craig Bailey (50-100), Betsy Cutler (100-300), Arup Mukherjee & Bagisa Mukherjee (500-1000), and Dave Kresge (open).

Julie Brooks, charity representative for our unit applied for charity grants that the ACBL had offered to each district. Seven units in the district were awarded grants for their charities, the district voted to increase the respective grants to $4500.  Our unit voted to add $500 to the grant making it $5000 for our charity the Lehigh  Active Life Center. The unit will present the check to the active life center at the 10 December 2017 Unit pairs game (2:00PM). This game is the Memoriam Pairs game in memory of those members who passed away during the past year. Please plan to attend this game.

The  district is hosting the Spring Nationals, each unit is  requested to  staff  a volunteer day at the Nationals.  Those members of our unit who volunteer receive a free play for that day. The volunteering does not interfere with your ability to play.  Those wishing to serve or wishing more details please contact Mary Ann Sharpless. Our unit's volunteer day is Saturday 17 March. Thank you.

There were a number of our unit NLM's who did very well at the recent Lancaster Regional, including Betsy Cutler, Betty Abrams, Lois Fuini, Kay Hays, Judy Cary, Freda Witmer, and Michael Dopera. Congratulations to all. Congratulations to Jeanne  Kuerbler for becoming Silver Life Master and to Paul Irvine for becoming Ruby Life Master.

This will be my last report for the 4 spot. Deepak Khanna will be reporting in the  future. Please forward to Deepak anything you would like to have reported in the 4Spot.     
Unit 141: Philadelphia 
Joan Warren
Unit 141 STaC
December 4-10
Bala Sectional
January 5-7  
Bala Sectional
April 13-15 

Unit 141 congratulates its New Life Masters and all those who reached new designation levels. 
New Life Masters  
Cheryl Stark Abrams 
William Goldstein 
Lisa Mita 
Alison Shoemaker

Sapphire Life Master 
Joan Brandeis 

Gold Life Master
Edward Alcoff
Bob Muhlhauser

Ruby Life Master
Doris Grabel
Carl Perchonock

Silver Life Master
Gina Bresler
Thomas George
Dale Richards

Bronze Life Master 
David Jungblut 
Bill Schlaepfer

Under the sponsorship of Unit 141, the ACBL and District 4 has awarded a $4,500 grant to Cancer Support Community of Philadelphia, which is a center that offers support groups and programing to men and women and their families in our area who have been diagnosed with cancer. CSC is located in one of the old Philadelphia mansions in our beautiful Fairmount Park.  
The center offers social bridge, as well as other activities, as a way to promote social connection for individuals whose lives have been impacted by cancer. They offer the opportunity to learn bridge as a way to promote family connection. The center has pledged to hire an instructor with some of the grant money, as well as prizes and refreshments. Big thanks go to Diane Carroll, who provided the proposal and to April Uhlenburg , who headed up the District 4 Committee.
The ABA Winter Sectional Tournament will take place in Atlantic City Dec 4-11 and we encourage you to enjoy this tournament. For information, click here for the flyer. 
Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania 
Jeanne Gehret

Unit 168 Sectional
January 26-28
Unit 168 I/N Sectional
February 4
Unit 168 Sectional
March 23-25
Unit 168 NLM Sectional
May 12 
Stepping Aside with a Huge THANK YOU to All
(A personal message from Deb and John Klinger)
You may have heard that we are retiring as Co-Chairs of the Lancaster Red Rose Regional. It took us 24 years to come to our senses. It has been a wild ride and we've loved it.
We started in the early 80's working for Eleanor Alboum and Phil Monyer. Years later Lorie Krause and Doris Klein took over. We were still on the committee. Cancer took our dear friend Lorie. We worked with Doris for another year and took over in 1994.
One of the greatest benefits of Bridge is getting to know good people. We cannot ignore naming committee members who worked with us to have many successful years. All seriousness aside, you probably gave us all the credit... Truthfully, it has been the committee that has set Lancaster apart from other tournaments.
At first, it was Roger and Vera Maurer, Bill and Susan Grover, Ralph and Gerry Calabrese and Don and Marion Marlette. Charlie Slupe gave out drink tickets for over 40 years! He kept every unused drink ticket and presented us with a trash bag filled with over 50,000 tickets when he retired. Classic Slupe! George Love was there at Registration. Galen Graham wrote 'Galen's Corner' for the Bulletin. Trudy Gaston was 'Our Girl Friday', but she was also there the rest of the week helping.
As time and players moved on, new friends became part of our 'family'. Russ Weimer, super-caddy Claire Weimer, Tom Coxey, Gerry and Becky Weiss, Andie Sheaffer, Dian Wise, Kay Crawford, Barry Gorski, Jeanne Gehret, Rick Rowland and Pat Civale. Outside advisors were John Marks, Bob and Joanne Glasson, Meyer Kotkin, Bob Priest and Linda Ivanoff. These are all great people who gave their time to us to make your tournament experience memorable. Thank you committee!!!
We also had the privilege to work with nearly 40 different District 4 Presidents. Ray Raskin, Craig Robinson and Joanne Glasson operated as District Directors. This spring will be John's sixth and Deb's fifth NABC involvement. John caddied the 1972 NABC in Lancaster while being an unemployed hippy. Hippiness didn't pay well.
The 2018 Lancaster Regional will be better than ever. Jeanne Gehret and Tom Coxey have been coerced .... pardon us, have volunteered to keep things moving forward. We have the greatest confidence in these two. Good people. Smart. Hard-working. Best friends.
Please, make your plans now to join the fun, October 29 through November 4, at the Nook! It is going to be a super time. We'll be there.
Love to all and thanks for the memories,   John and Deb Klinger
News From Lancaster :
December 18-22 will be a whole week of Club Championships and Holiday Parties at the Maple Grove Community Center! Games will offer e xtra points and it's sure to be extra fun! Don't miss out... if you need a partner, contact Andie (M,W) or the Klingers (Tu,Th,Fr)
CONGRATULATIONS to these Unit 168 members on their new master point rank achievements:
Club Master:
Jane Edgar Freet, Janet Shaffer, Connie Sturm
Sectional Master:
Gail Hamilton, Patricia Kaufold
Regional Master:
Cathy Brown
NABC Master:
Jack Thorp
Advanced NABC Master:
Frank Doub
Life Master:
Kathy Myers
Bronze Life Master:
Kathryn Gaither
Silver Life Master:
Kathryn Markley, Irene Schmehl
Ruby Life Master:
Silvia Herman
Gold Life Master:
Richard Braunstein
Diamond Life Master:
John Albright
Wacky Hands & Gadgets - by Dave Bort
(Scary) Fun with Rule of 2-3-4 Preempts
Perhaps still slightly groggy during a recent morning club game, no-one vulnerable, I fanned my hand as Dealer to find:
              East:   97643   Q5   A   T9875
Using our partnership preempt agreement, the Rule of 2-3-4, using LTC (Losing Trick Count), I figured out our Rule number (by adding the "magic number" 7 to our Rule number, 2 for non-favorable vulnerability, 4 for favorable, and 3 for equal vulnerability, either both white or both red), which was 10 (7+3, at equal vulnerability). Then, subtracting the number of losers from my hand (which was 8), the answer (10-8) told me the highest bid I was allowed to make, which in this case was 2.
Now, hearing the chorus of traditionalists among you, saying "Wait, you can't use LTC until you know you have a fit (8 cards) with partner!", I can happily report I've researched the appropriate probabilities formulas and done the math: when you have 6 cards in a suit, the odds of partner having at least 2 cards in the suit (for, um, an 8-card fit) are actually about 84% (don't make me find my slip of paper for the exact number), and even with only 5 cards, the odds of partner having at least 3 cards in the suit are still something like 65% So, with 6 cards, you essentially Do have a fit, with better odds than only needing one of two finesses to be on (which is 75%), and even with only 5 cards, you'll have a fit about two-thirds of the time (better than a single finesse). Note that for extra safety (and with a grateful nod to traditionalists), we do want our 2nd-seat preempts to be sound. Anyway, dispensing with the unwarranted caution about LTC not applying to preempts, and with partner's hand being:
West:   KT85   9876   KQT76   None
the bidding proceeds:
West                   North                  East (me)                  South
                                                      2S(1)                  Pass(2)
Pass(3)                  X(4)                  Pass(5)                  Pass!(6)
(1) Scary, yes, and would be better if the opponents were red, but at least we're white, and the odds of Spade strength being concentrated in only one opponent's hand are not high (and cueing the mantra: "It's only a game")
(2) With reasonable but detectible hesitation, indicating some level of indecision about passing. By the ACBL Laws, her partner isn't allowed to take guidance from such hesitation, but I'm allowed to use such information, and I'm now worried about her Spade holding.
(3) As agreed. I've asked partner to NOT routinely raise my preempts, because it confirms to the opponents that we have a fit, so they then know two things: (a) that they have a fit, and (b) that at least one of them is most likely short in our suit. Automatically raising a preempt can help the opponents, so we Don't Do That - instead, we Let the Preempt Do Its Work!
(4) To his credit, opponent ethically makes his double without any discernible emphasis, holding:
     North:  None KT43  J86542 AKQ
(5) Uh oh, I might be in for it!
(6) Holding: AQJ2  AJ2  93 J432, South had a choice to make. Going for penalty, so be it!
(7) Good Luck, partner (uh oh)!
Made 3 (with a doubled overtrick, for a cold top!) on the lead of the Diamond 9. Winning my Diamond Ace, I lead a low trump. South goes up with the Ace, in order to lead her last Diamond (definitely not best). I take the King, throwing a Heart, and play the Queen, throwing my last Heart from hand and expecting South to ruff, which she does with the 2. South then leads a Club to put her partner in for a Heart return, but it's too late, and I can now start a relentless cross-ruff of red suits and Clubs, as South is forced to use her high trumps for ruffs, rather than pulling mine!
Since the club in which we played provides hand records for all games, I know from the informative double-dummy analysis that the opponents have a NT game, and that, given double-dummy defense, we can't even make a 1S contract. So, even if doubled and defended perfectly, down 2, we only lose 300, compared to N-S's 3N game. Sometimes, Preempts Work! Sometimes they're even a top! But, it helps to have discipline, and this Rule of 2-3-4 provides 100% discipline (in its way) for the opening preempt, so Responder can decide how many "cover cards" they have for Opener's reported number of losers. And, Opener might even have fewer losers than their bid indicates, since we try not to "lie" about the traditional length by more than 1 card, e.g., we'll bid at the 2-level with 5 cards, or the 3-level with 6 cards, but never (scratch that, usually not!) at the 3 level with only 5 cards (an occasional 3C comes to mind, but that's another story).
Slow-Walking a Preempt to a Top
Just two boards later, in the same club game, red-on-white, I heard my partner, the dealer, open 1H, while my hand was:
East: AKT83  JT98  T87  7
According to our Rule of 2-3-4 preempting style (see the first hand, above, for details), when red-on-white, partner is guaranteeing no more than 7 losers in her hand. I look at my hand, and decide I have a reasonably solid four (4) "cover cards" (i.e., cards that will "cover" one of partner's losers). What are they? The Spade A-K and two (2) Club ruffs can be expected to cover 4 of Opener's losers (to count shortness as a ruff, aka a cover card, we need two more trumps than the shortness - so, here, with 4 trumps and a stiff, I can count 2 cover cards). With partner saying she has no more than 7 losers and I have 4 cover cards; sounds like a game to me (7-4 equals only 3 losers, aka making 4 in our major)! But, thinking we may have game, I decide to play it cagey. I don't want to play in 4H... I want to either play in 4H doubled or have the opponents compete to 4S, which I will double (look at my Spades)!  And the bidding proceeds:
West                   North                  East (me)                  South
2H(1)                  X(2)                  3H(3)                  X(4)
Pass(5)                  Pass(6)                  Pass(7)
(1) Showing no worse than a 7-loser hand, when red-on-white (aka we're vul, they're not)
(2) Preferring to have four Spades, North is nonetheless willing to double, holding: Q62 3 Q932 AK653 (with only 11 points, but it is a 6-loser hand)
(3) Almost immediately going against my earlier advice to partner. I had actually ended that advice with: "Don't routinely raise preempts... unless it's right!" In this case, I think it's Very Right; I want to appear to be simply raising the preempt; then, if I later re-raise to 4H, I'm hoping to either draw a double, or that they'll bid 4S, so I can double!
(4) Denying four Spades, South offers her partner a choice of minors, holding: J94 Q4 AKJ5 QJ84
(5) Partner knows better than to raise her own preempt (unless it's right!)
(6) Probably grateful not to end up in a 4-3 Spade fit, and thinking they don't have a minor-suit game, North decides to try for a vulnerable penalty
(7) Oh boy, 3HX, that's even better! Good Luck, partner!
Making 4 (with a doubled overtrick, for another cold top!), on the lead of the Club Ace. As it turns out, partner actually mis-bid, because when holding: 75 AK7652 64 T92, West has an 8-loser hand, so she can't open, in our system, red-on-white. But, with a 9-card fit, the trump Queen falls, and with Spades splitting 3-3, partner can ruff a third Spade, leaving two good Spades in dummy, and losing only two Diamonds and a Club.
Unit 190: Delaware 
Ala Hamilton-Day
Unit 190 Dave Treadwell Sectional
December 26-31
Unit 190 Sectional
February 9-11 
T H E D A V E T R E A D W E L L E N D- O F- Y E A R S E C T I O N A L
Par-tee!! PAR-TEE!! On New Year's Eve!! Come check it out! And for those days between Christmas and New Year's Day, starting on Wednesday, December 27th, calling all bridge players who are looking for some fun, food, merriment and masterpoints. The camaraderie is great, the stratified bridge is top-notch, and Alexis is providing the light lunches, which means that the Bridge Studio is the place to be. Hope to see you there!
SECTIONAL MASTER : Elizabeth M. Janairo and Mark A. Nehra REGIONAL MASTER : Cindy Hoadley and Janice P. Newkirk
NABC MASTER : Nancy D. Ferguson and Karin Schwenk
BRONZE MASTER :   Janelle L. Gmitter
SILVER MASTER : Thomas H. George
What's the difference between a smart bridge partner and a stupid one?
Not much. They both think that they know everything.
Check out the November Dummy for some interesting articles and Unit 190 news.
Unit 217: Susquehanna  
Jim McKeown
Congratulations on the following rank advances!!
Janie Irwin to Junior Master, Vasundara Varadan and Joyce Wilson to Club Master, and Susan Fletcher and Jocelyn Rodal to Sectional Master.
We held our Fall Sectional in Williamsport PA on October 6 through 8. Barbara Mateer - David Hoover and Donald Dascher - Marilynn Henry won the Friday pair games. Zachary Madden - Zachary Scherr and James Van Etten - Jess Goodman won the Saturday pair games. Mary Ann Churba, Ed Bissell, Carol Reitz, and Jim McKeown won the Sunday Swiss. James Van Etten, David Hoover, and Barbara Mateer were the overall master point leaders. Thanks to chairperson Judy Stein and co-chairperson Mary Ann Churba for an enjoyable tournament.
Please join us for our next sectional June 1 - 3 in State College at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 780 Waupelani Drive, State College, PA 16801.
Our Monthly Feature

The 4Spot features fantastic contributors, on a regular rotation:

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For Novices Only by Marti Ronemus:
January , April , July, October

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The ABC of Bridge by Dave Wachsman:
  February, May, August, November

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  A Spot 4 the Advancing Player by Jay Apfelbaum:
  March, June, September, December

Click here to read this month's article: A Spot 4 the Advancing Player.
Click on any blue month above to read recent articles. 
Master Solvers Club

Moderator: Nick Straguzzi

Have at it! Another great puzzle from MSC Master, Nick. Remember -- we have online submission so the whole process is as easy as pie.

First, click here to read the analysis of last month's problem.
Then visit the MSC website to read next month's problem and submit your answers online: 
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4Spot | December 2017 | Editor: Allison Brandt |