April 2021
Well, the days are longer and everything is looking a little brighter for bridge-lovers, too! The GNTs, for instance, are back after a year-long hiatus. True, the play will be online, but still, you can once again compete to play for D4 at Nationals, winning coveted GOLD in the process. Check out the details here. The President and the District Director's messages, below, have more good information on the GNTs so read on, and good luck!
District 4 Officers  
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.

Jeanne Gehret

Betsy Cutler

Bill Bauer 

Pat Civale 

Joann Glasson 
President's Message
I’m an April Fool for Bridge!

I’ve been enjoying the warmer days and dreaming about spending lots of time outdoors now that I’ve gotten to thoroughly know the inside of my home. Like many of you, thriving through the pandemic has included much online bridge. In fact, you might even say I am a fool for bridge (my partners may alter that statement to simply read “I am a fool”). And yes, I’ve made my fair share of bungled bids and foolish plays at the table. These are not embarrassments, but learning experiences of the highest order (like putting your hand on a hot stove!). So I will not be deterred by those blunders, but encouraged that something new has been learned! I hope you feel the same way.
Mary Miller
Sadly for bridge, ACBL membership during the pandemic continued to decline, including D4 membership. Turning this trend around requires a push from each of us. Did you know that beginner bridge courses are being taught virtually throughout D4? Mary Miller (left), our Education Chair, has taken the lead in this effort by reaching out to D4 teachers and assisting them in the transition to online classes. According to Mary, the advantages of online instruction are so great that she plans to continue teaching online permanently. We need to continue to reach new players to retain and grow membership, and here’s how you can help. Check out the D4 Education and Bridge Lessons page. Then get going - talk to your friends, your neighbors, your family - and sign them up for a beginner bridge class.
If you’re a bridge teacher and want to know more about the advantages of virtual instruction, contact Mary Miller at mary.miller028@gmail.com

During May, the D4 GRAND NATIONAL TEAMS (GNT) events will be held virtually. With so many incentives, 2021 is THE YEAR to try your hand at GNT’s.
·        Entry fee is $25 per team/per session (a steep discount from $60 in prior years).
·        Qualifying masterpoints are AS OF August 2019!
·        PLUS, if 8 or more teams enter for Flight B or Flight C, 2 teams from the Flight will move on to the National event.
·        PLUS, exclusively for FLIGHT C players – a special FREE Zoom seminar will be held on April 11 where D4 experts will share team game information and winning strategies. You should have received an email filled with details (I hope you attend!).
·        PLUS, winners representing D4 will have 100% of their National Event entry fees paid by the District.

That’s a lot of plusses! Don’t be an April fool! Get your team together and register! The entry deadline is 2 weeks prior to each event. Have more questions? Contact our GNT Coordinator, John Dickenson, at dickenjb@gmail.com.

Take care, be safe, and I’ll look for you around the table,

I welcome your comments or suggestions (jeannegehret@comcast.net)
From the District Director 
SPRING!! It's starting to feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

The ACBL has put out a schedule for the phased reopening of face-to-face bridge: The schedule has bridge clubs starting to reopen, Sectional Tournaments being staffed on a case by case basis in the third quarter of 2021 and Regional Tournaments being staffed on a case by case basis in the fourth quarter of 2021. The first NABC since the pandemic started is scheduled for November in Austin, Texas.

ACBL Board of Directors
One result of the pandemic is the Board of Directors have been able to meet more frequently on Zoom, holding monthly meetings instead of the usual 3 times a year.

Because of a computer snafu, I arrived a bit late to the ACBL Board Meeting last week. That resulted in my being re-elected as ACBL Treasurer....
The good financial news is that the ACBL has produced $3.2M excess of revenues over expenses for the year ended 12/31/2020, increasing the assets of the organization to $17M+.

The plan is to spend a chunk of it next year on increased education and marketing, I/T investments and continued protection of our game online.

The Grand National Teams are coming next month - get your teams ready for this fun online event that is held in 4 flights - Open, Flight A, Flight B and Flight C. Because the GNT wasn't held in 2020, the ACBL has frozen the date for Flight qualification at August of 2019. If you have any questions, visit the District 4 website or contact the GNT Coordinator, John Dickenson at dickenjb@gmail.com.

Stay well and please contact me anytime with any questions or concerns: joannglasson@msn.com
District 4 Schedule
Because of COVID-19 related uncertainties about when tournaments can safely resume, please check the ACBL calendar listings. Phased reopening of tournaments is expected as the year (and herd immunity) progresses.

ACBL has cancelled all STaCs through the end of July. Therefore, the D4 STaCs scheduled for May 3-9 and July 26-Aug 1 are cancelled

For a full year D4 calendar, click here.
For the D4 virtual club calendar, click here
For a 2021online event schedule, click here
Our Monthly Feature
The 4Spot features fantastic contributors, on a regular rotation:
Larry's Learning Center by Larry Cohen:
January, April, July, October
For Novices Only by Marti Ronemus:
February, May, August, November
The ABC of Bridge by Dave Wachsman:
March, June, September, December
Did you ever get into a bridge slump? It's a rare player indeed who can respond, "No, never." Larry Cohen has a six-step program for stopping the slide. While developed for in-person play, the basics hold equally true for online play. When the going gets tough, give Larry's tips a try.
Master Solvers Club
Moderator: Nick Straguzzi
April Fools' Day prompted this submission, a monster of a hand equally monstrous to bid. There is no foolproof response, but how would you tackle this knotty problem? When you're ready, see what the panel suggests.
Then visit the MSC website to read next month's problem and submit your answers online: http://d4msc.straguzzi.org
News from Around the Units 
Unit 112: Central New York
Betty Youmans
Unit 112 Congratulates Its Advancing Players!

Junior Masters
Marie Duink, New Hartford
Guy Hoffman, Ithaca
Barbara James, Binghamton
Gail Schmidt, Chadwicks

Club Master
Barbara Dewall, Trumansburg

Sectional Masters
Margaret Bryan, Cazenovia
Martha Lasley, Newfield
Donna Montgomery, Fairport
Ann Morris, Oneonta

Regional Masters
Annmarie Kinnan, Jamesville
Janet McLoughlin, Fayetteville

NABC Master
Toby Cook, Bergen

Advanced NABC Master
Priscilla Brown, Rochester

Bronze Life Master
Lois Lane, Horseheads

Silver Life Master
Roger Newell, Fairport

Ruby Life Master
David Waterman, Canandaigua

Gold Life Master
Mary Walsh, Syracuse

Unit 112 applauds its 2020 ACBL Online Masterpoint Races winners:
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania 
Doreese Torrey
Hello Unit 120!! Please check back next month for up-to-date news and, in the meantime, stay well.
Unit 121: Berks Montgomery 
Brian C Snyder 
Check back next month for unit news. In the meantime, stay well!
Unit 133: Lehigh Valley 
Lois Fuini
With the official start of Spring, our thoughts are turning to getting together outdoors with friends and family to try to experience our new normal. Along those same lines, Unit 133 is pleased to announce the formation of a new committee to explore the safe and efficient return of face to face bridge. The committee has several areas to investigate including timing, safety, location, protection supplies, fees, equipment purchases, and the communication of the plan for all our clubs and players. We realize this plan may look slightly different for each location, but as club owners and managers, we will do our best to make it as uniform as possible. At this time, we don’t know exactly what the new normal for face-to-face bridge will look like or exactly when it will happen, but we wanted you to know we are working on it and will keep you posted.

                              New Rank Advancements 
New Club Master
Bruce Fosselman
New Sectional Master
Patricia Squire 
New Regional Master 
Robert Serfas
New NABC Master
Barbara Dopera

“Souper” Bowl Sunday Final Donation
We are pleased to report our exact amount donated to Second Harvest Food Bank for “Souper Bowl Sunday this year is $947.66. Some of these funds were a result of bridge games online, however most of the donations were from our generous members. This contribution will provide 5682 meals to our neighbors in need. Thank you to everyone who helped organize and market this special event, thank you to those who played in our games and thank you to those who donated. It takes everyone working together to make this event successful.

Online Swiss Teams 
Unit 133 tried Online Swiss Teams for the first time in February. Everyone enjoyed this new opportunity provided by ACBL and BBO.We are grateful to ACBL and BBO for continuing to provide opportunities for new and different ways to move forward in the world of competitive bridge.
Winners tied for first place:
Paul Irvine
Margaret Irvine 
Stephen Cooper
Yacob(Jacob) Rubinstien

Kathy Vogel 
Janet Chaiken
Janet Morganthau 
Grace Sutherland

Our members are looking forward to playing Swiss Teams again in March.
Unit 141: Philadelphia 
Howard Kahlenberg
I am pleased to report that, as of this writing, I have not been served any lawsuits, or been kicked off of Bridge Base, as a result of my artistic commentary last month. In case you were wondering.

I have resisted for a while mentioning any of the ongoing investigations of online cheating, but if you read Bridge Winners, you may have found yourself reading through a bunch of ongoing posts about people being found cheating and being subjected to various penalties. If you want to exhaust and sadden yourself, try reading through the entire list of comments about just one of these cases. Without getting into the specific of cases, or thoughts over appropriate punishment (please don’t email about them), I do want to note my primary emotion: sadness.

In happier news, the past month in player achievements:
Congratulations to one new Life Master this month:
Randee Braslow of Wynnewood! I have been lucky enough to get to know Randee and Mr. Randee (Norman) over the course of the last few years, and she is the nicest person I know to make Life Master since…well, in a really long time. As a doctor, Norm is a front line worker to whom we should all be thankful. So here’s to the Braslow’s!

New Ruby Life Master (1,500 points) – Ruth Peskin
New Silver Life Masters (1,000 point) - CJ Fitts and David Silberman
New Bronze Life Masters (750 points) – Gerald Abelow, Lauren Dougherty, and Donna McCloskey
New Advanced NABC Masters (300 points) - Janet Chaiken, Anne Pearl, and Kathy Vogel
New NABC Masters (200 Points) - Norman Braslow, (yes, THAT Norman Braslow), Judy Cohen, William Hankin, and Brendan O'Malley
New Regional Masters (100 points) – Dorothy Miller and Donna Oliver
New Sectional Masters (50 points) – Harold Katz, Joseph Moseley, Leslie Purple, Paul Ruth, Roy Schwartz
New Club Masters (20 points) – Patricia Carstensen, Deborah Evans, Anita Ficken, Shauna Flynn, Judith Frankel, Joanne Guiniven, Larry Kimble, Richard Levine, Janis Nadler, Constance Opfell, Barbara Peoples, Sara Rafalin, Roberta Tretiak, Carolyn Vodoklys, Robert Wilford, Ellen Wood, Karin Wren, Pamela Yih
New Junior Masters (5 points) – Janet Epstein, Leslie Lane, Jane Norvell, Thomas Pajak, Elizabeth Tomlinson
Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania 
Jeanne Gehret 
Thanks to Bob Priest for submitting the following news:

Unit 168 is celebrating the announcement in the March ACBL Bulletin of our first ever Grand Life Master. Bruce Silverstein currently resides in Scottsdale Arizona, but spent most of his lifetime playing bridge in Lancaster and other clubs in Unit 168. 

Becoming a Grand Life Master requires not only 10,000 master points, but also winning an Open rated national event.  Bruce was a member of a local team (including Ken Meyer, Ed Shapiro and Gene Gardner, deceased), winners of the three-day NABC Fall Nationals Swiss Teams event in 1989 (now named the Keohane North American Swiss Teams). That NABC Nationals was the last of three held at the former Host Hotel in Lancaster.

The March Bulletin also announced Melvin Lubart as our 5th Platinum Life Master. Congratulations!
Unit 190: Delaware 
Ala Hamilton-Day 
We’re doing it again! Want to win a Door Prize?
Now on to April Anarchy (which follows March Madness) with flighted Pair games, every Saturday in April. It was great fun seeing all of our friends who played on BBO in January and February, and then the team games in March. Come and play in the April Fools Funnery Games, again on Saturdays at 10 AM. Players outside of Unit 190, but who have played in Unit 190 games in the past year, can play and enjoy the added masterpoint awards if they pre-register, so come join in the fun!

For those of us who don't know everyone or don’t remember faces they haven't seen for close to a year, we are trying to connect faces to the BBO IDs. So here is the deal: send a selfie or other recent picture of yourself to Soley Kristjansdottir (siggasoley@gmail.com), together with your BBO username. By submitting a picture, you agree to have it posted or linked on the Unit 190 website with your name and BBO ID.  We will post your picture AND you’ll be eligible for a door prize of 25 BBO dollars in each subsequent Saturday session in which you play. Three door prizes will be awarded to players in that Saturday game, and whose selfie was received by midnight the night before.

Some photos have already been submitted. You can see them here. We look forward to “seeing” you online at future tournament sessions, at 10:00 EST each Saturday for Pair games in April on BBO. 
JUNIOR MASTER: Kristin E. Haroldsdottir and Stefan H. Haroldsson
SECTIONAL MASTER: Darlene J. Bolig, Marie L. Mackay, Rohan Mandayam and Kusum B. Patel
REGIONAL MASTER: Francis B. Jacobs
NABC LIFE MASTER: Phyllis A. Lochiatto
Flight A
Flight B
Flight B
Flight C
For news and information about the fabulous April Fools Funnery Games, pictures of players, the Door Prizes, the winners of the three flights of the Delaware State Championship Pairs, the Shuffles games on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30, the February Dummy and other happenings, check out the Unit 190 website and click on the links below:
Unit 217: Susquehanna 
Jim McKeown
Since our earlier sectional was canceled, we hope to hold our next tournament in Boalsburg in October.
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4Spot | April 2021 | Editor: Janet Johnson | janet.johnson210@gmail.com