|Have you ever wanted to try the District 4 Master Solvers Club, but couldn't overcome inertia or find a stamp? Well, Nick Straguzzi and the 4Spot have now made it so easy that you'll all want to join the fun. You can now make your MSC submissions to the monthly problem online! Yes, online! Scroll down to our MSC section for a link to the easy-access website and to learn all about it.
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.
We are one month into 2017 and the NFL Season will be over next weekend. With one less activity (although some people do not consider Fantasy Football an "activity"), we could use a replacement activity for the weekends. District 4 offers a tremendous opportunity for entertainment and competition with our upcoming Regional Tournaments. District 4's 2017 tournament schedule kicks off in The Woodlands Inn & Resort in Wilkes Barre during the week of 2/27 - 3/5. Walter Mitchell has once again organized a tournament and a committee to ensure an enjoyable playing experience for our players. While it may seem distant at this time, Spring training, the start of the baseball season and District 4's 2
nd opportunity to participate in another one of the District's Regionals can be enjoyed in either Harrisburg or Rochester during the week of May 1-7. It isn't too early to make your reservations at either site to ensure securing accommodations. While no longer considered a "split Regional," both Bob Priest and Mary Miller have assembled their committees to facilitate an outstanding bridge experience with convenient and comfortable playing sites but also after game hospitality for all players to enjoy. All of these tournaments offer event schedules for all levels of playing ability. Mark the dates and make plans to attend any/all of these events which promise to be entertaining and enjoyable.
Grand National Team competitions will occur on the following weekends: Flights A & C: 3/25-26; Open & Flight B: 4/8-9. See the District website for further details. Participate in these exciting events with winners of each flight qualifying to represent the District in the National finals in July at the Summer Nationals in Toronto.
As 2017 rounds into shape, your District 4 Board of Directors welcomes your comments and suggestions as to how the District can create a more enjoyable bridge experience for our players. If you have ideas/suggestions as to how we can better serve you, please send your comments to me at
. On a similar note, we tried to create a recognition program for individuals who have made
bridge experience enjoyable. Please take a minute to recognize a "bridge champion" you have played against or with by sending their name to me and how that individual created an enjoyable bridge experience for you.
In conclusion, thank you for making all of District 4's tournaments a success and equally important for making District 4 a player-friendly District. Hope to see you at the tables.
From the District Director
Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 District 4 Masterpoint Races - these awards are presented to the players in three categories who have won the most masterpoints playing in District 4 events. Each winner will receive a $100 check in a presentation at the Valley Forge Regional.
The Dave Treadwell award for players with unlimited masterpoints was won by Barry Gorski.
The Jeanne Fisher award for players who began the year with fewer than 2,000 masterpoints was won by Gary Hillenbrand.
The Jane Segal award for players who began the year with fewer than 500 masterpoints was won by Claire Rolin.
for a full list of the District 4 stars in each category.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Wilkes-Barre Regional - February 27 to March 5.
February 13 - 19
February 29 - March 5
March 25 - 26
March 25 - 26
April 8 - 9
May 1 - 7
May 1 - 7District 4 STaC
June 26 - July 2
August 28 - September 3
October 30 - November 5
February 27-July 3
The first District 4 Regional for 2017 is set to begin February 27th in Wilkes-Barre. Located at the popular Woodlands Inn & Resort, the tournament features a wide variety of events, including Gold Rush almost every day! And for those who don't want to play deep into the night, there are several 18-board matches after dinner. Click here for the website and complete information.
Tournament Chair Walt Mitchell has brought back his acclaimed team of Bill Orth (partnerships) and Ellen Preece (hospitality). Candy Kuschner is DIC
, ably assisted by Bob Cole & Mark Labovitz. Rooms are just $99+, and include a full breakfast. Make your reservation NOW, before the bridge rate goes away. See you in Wilkes-Barre!
Get ready for the GNTs -- the Grand National Teams -- a grassroots event played in four flights that can win you cash and a chance to play in a national event! Flights A and C play on March 25-26; Flights B and Open play on April 8-9. All events take place at the Valley Forge Bridge Club.
For more information, including pre-registration information and the conditions of contest, link to the flyers for each flight:
News from Around the Units
Unit 112: Central New York
Unit 112 Sectional
Unit 112 Sectional
There is no Unit 112 report this month. Check back in March for updates and information.
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania
The workers in Unit 120 are working very hard to get ready for a wonderful winter getaway at the fabulous Woodlands Inn and Resort when they welcome everyone to join them for the Wilkes-Barre Regional Tournament from February 27th to March 5th. Special rate of $99 includes breakfast and the rate will be honored until February 1 so get your reservations in now. After February 1, the special rate is on space-available basis. Gold Rush events and well-known speakers all week. Free shuttle service to the Mohegan Sun Casino and Free Parking. Great snack Buffets. Outstanding accommodations with a fun and relaxing atmosphere and a wide variety of Restaurants nearby. Tournament Chairman is Walter Mitchell and partnership chairman is Bill Orth. On Tuesday, 0-5
masterpoints play free. All events are tobacco, vape and fragrance-free.
The Stroudsburg West End Club was privileged to host Italian Conte Fausto Terlizzi this past month. Fausto invented an electonic box for each player to use to bid as well as to score (and it could do away with bid boxes, but not shown to us). Fausto planned to meet with a representative in New York to introduce it to the United States. He was here for 6 weeks to visit his family, but actually he lives in Australia.
The top three players for the year for the Stroudsburg Club were 1. Bill Haynes 2. Judy Stillinger and 3. Mary Kernaghan.
Club directors are always needed and the Honesdale Club has added a couple new directors in the past year. Jim Mazeika, Waymart, has been an assistant director in the Honesdale Club for the past year and also took the TAP course and has been teaching a beginners class in the club and will resume teaching again in the spring. Jim winters in Florida. Bob Bryden, Lake Ariel, recently passed his directors test and we call him the Director in Training at the club and he is doing a super job. Chris Stephens, Scranton, also passed his Directors Test and is working with Jack Burns in the Clark Summit club.
For those who like to never miss the Architzel Unit Party held at the Central House Resort in Beach Lake - the date for 2017 is Sunday, September 24th, so mark your calendars now. Its always a super fun day, the food is excellent, the scenery is lovely, and you can even have a drink. Two games of bridge or stay for one session only.
I love writing about accomplishments, so if you achieve a new milestone in your climb to reach life master status or higher, please let me know so I can include it in my monthly news. This month I am happy to report that JoAnn Mauger from Effort achieved the rank of Ruby Life Master (1500 MPs ), Jessie Barrett, Bangor and David Forth, Stroudsburg, achieved the rank of Silver Life Master (1000 MPs).
It's wonderful to write about making Life Master or above, but we all remember how we started and it's also wonderful when you make Junior Master (5 points), Club Master (20 points), Sectional Master (50 points with 5 Silver), Regional Master (100 points with 5 red, gold or platinum and 15 Silver) and NABC Master (200 points with 5 gold, 15 red, gold or platinum and 25 Silver), so let me know if you are notified that you have achieved a new rank so we can let the bridge world know. We know how hard one has to work to achieve it.
Our sad news for the month is the loss of some of our wonderful bridge friends. Lois DeGennaro, Shavertown, passed away in September and Lois was a partner of Nancy Brown, and Nancy passed away 5 days before Lois. Recently in January, we lost Barbara Reid of Scranton and Suzanne Pusateri of Clark Summit. I had the pleasure of running into Sue at a Sectional in Florida a couple years ago and my partner and I had the pleasure of playing with her and Pat McDonough in a Swiss Teams. We also partnered up for a few games to try to help Sue make Life Master which she was successful at achieving in 2016. Her smile and love of life were so contagious and she will be sadly missed at the Honesdale Club.
Keep warm everyone. Hope the roads stay open so we can get out to our weekly bridge games and send me your news. If you have a friend who has had a set back and is recuperating, let me know and we can do a card shower.
Unit 121: Berks Montgomery
Brian C Snyder
Our members and Board of Directors are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of our past President, Sue Wessner. Sue was presented with a plaque commemorating all her efforts. Thank you, Sue!
Our first Unit game of 2017 was the "Good Luck" Unit Game held on Thursday January 12 at Sacred Heart Villa. We had 9.5 tables. Flight A winners were Alfred and Travis Crump. Flight B winners were Heather Bittenbender and Wally Eckton.
Congratulations to the following members for achieving their next rank in the ACBL:
New Sectional Masters: Evelyn Drezner and Glenn D Trayer
New Regional Master: Sara J Gainey
New Advanced NABC Master: Doug R Chaney
New Silver Life Master: Vicky Sokoloff
Unit 133 Sectional
The unit held a very successful fall sectional in October. Top point winners were Dave Kresge, Barbara Miller, Valerie Barber, and Ray Raskin. The next unit sectional will be held at the Lehigh Active Life Center on 28 April to 30 April. Flyer will be on the district web site shortly.
The unit held its annual meeting and holiday party on 13 November at the Brookside
Country Club. As usual, it was a very well attended affair that consisted of a great luncheon buffet, followed by the annual meeting and unit pairs game. Newly elected board member Betsy Cutler and newly elected officers were Stan Yellin, President; Jim Kenny, Vice President;
Dave Kresge, Treasurer; and Mimi Lengel, Secretary. Winners of the unit's annual trophies were 0-50 Betsy Cutler; 50-100 Karen Myers; 100-300 Mike Kohler; 300-1000 Bagisa Mukherjee; and Open Dave Kresge. The trophies are awarded to unit members who obtain the most points in the unit games and unit sectionals.
The next unit game is Sunday 5 February 2017 at the Lehigh Active Life Center at 2 PM.
It is the souper bowl charity pairs game in support of the 2nd Harvest Food Bank. All game proceeds plus collected can goods are donated to the 2nd Harvest. The next unit game (which is also a unit board meeting) will be on 26 February at the Temple in Bethlehem at 1 PM. It will be the popular pro-am pairs game. Players come and sign up and the field is divided in half and the players are then paired up by random draw. It is a very popular and well-attended event.
The unit had its annual memorial game in December in honor of all unit members who had passed away
during the year. All the proceeds and additional donations were given to the designated charity, which is the Lehigh Active Life Center. $318 was raised for the center.
The unit was saddened by the passing of members Myrtle Engle and Ned Huber.
Despite the arrival of snow, the attendance at the January 6-8 Sectional at Bala Country Club was impressive. Our players did a good job getting on the roads Saturday and enjoyed the snowy view of the golf course as well as the competitive bridge. The next Unit 141 Sectional is March 31-April 2 at Bala Country Club. Come play and hopefully we will have spring breezes.
An impressive 19 tables played an I/N Sectional at Raffles on January 21. Watch for future I/N events on the PCBA website.
The Unit elected officers for 2017:
Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania
Have you set your 2017 goals for bridge? Perhaps you want to learn a new convention or maybe reach that next masterpoint rank. Whatever your goal(s), make a plan and then approach it with resolve and consistency. Remember when frustrating times arise (and they will), use them as learning opportunities. Most importantly - don't ever give up! Best of luck with achieving your bridge goals, whatever they may be!
February Special Games at the Harrisburg Bridge Club:
- The monthly "Birthday Game" is planned for February 12. A light lunch will be served at 12:30, with game time at 1pm. Dessert will be available during the game (birthday cake, of course!)
- A member "Thank You Game" will be held on Monday, February 20, beginning at 10:30am. This game is free for all HBC members.
It's coming! The Blue Hen Sectional runs from February 24th through 26th at the Bridge Studio. Events for all levels of ability. Delicious lunches (nom nom nom) are planned for between sessions and pds are assured with reasonable notice. Click the link above for details.
A 299er Sectional
Tournament will be held on March 7 at the Bridge Studio of Delaware. Eligibility for this event is limited to rising bridge players who have not achieved 300 masterpoints at the time of the event. Click on the link above for details.
"Eight is Enough" is coming to Wilmington and Lewes on April 29th. Stay tuned for more info.
"I haven't spoken a word to my bridge partner in years. She hates to be interrupted."
ADVANCEMENTS IN RANK
Eleanor S. Maroney
Sally A. Humphrey
Mary Pat Urbanik
REGIONAL LIFE MASTER
Mary Jo Chandler
NATIONAL LIFE MASTER
Edna P. Bosworth
William F. Lorelli
Carroll B. Shannon
Janelle L. Gmitter
Tamara C. Miles
SILVER LIFE MASTER
Jean K. Brown
Caroline C. Hughes
DIAMOND LIFE MASTER
Francis A. Taylor, Jr.
"Eddie Kanter asked Mike Lawrence if he knew all of the new conventions. He answered, "No, not exactly. I bid 3NT as fast as I can and hope it is not a convention."
Do you fondle before commitment? Please check out ACBL Director Sandy Cerato's column on Bidding Box Rules in this month's issue of The Dummy. This issue also contains Pieter Van Bennekom's challenge to "Bring it on, Jeff!" and hand analysis by Unit 190's Webmaster Extraordinaire Mark Henderson.
Unit 217 Sectional
There is no Unit 217 report this month. Check back in March for updates and information.
Our Monthly Feature
The 4Spot features fantastic contributors, on a regular rotation:
For Novices Only
by Marti Ronemus:
, April, July, October
The ABC of Bridge
by Dave Wachsman:
February, May, August, November
The Advancing Player
by Jay Apfelbaum:
March, June, September, December
Click here to read this month's article.
Dave: The ABC of Bridge
Click on any blue month above to read recent articles.
Master Solvers Club
Moderator: Nick Straguzzi
This month marks a revolution in the Master Solvers Club -- online submissions! You can read the new monthly problem at the MSC website and then submit your answers right there online. No delay, no stamps, no fuss. Participating in MSC couldn't be easier or more fun, and I encourage everyone from experienced solvers to new puzzlers to give it a try. Many thanks to our amazing moderator Nick Straguzzi for this leap forward.
to read the analysis of last month's problem.
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4Spot | February 2017 | Editor: Allison Brandt | firstname.lastname@example.org