|Did you strike it rich in Vegas? Whether yes or no, there are plenty more opportunities to come. You can mine for gold in San Francisco this fall, or closer to home, plan on attending Regionals in Rochester, Wilkes Barre and Lancaster. The Spooky Nook (Lancaster) hotel rooms are going fast, so you may want to contact partners and make reservations soon!
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.
I will be in sweltering Las Vegas from 16 July to 29 July for the Summer North American Bridge Championships (NABC). Twenty-two other D4 players and I will arrive early for the National Finals in our respective flights of the Grand National Teams. Trust me, 117 degrees in the shade is enough to scare any fat man like me but even worse, I take a couple of medicines that warn me about being out in the sun and heat. Luckily, I hear tell of strange, possibly mythical places in Vegas, where, if I were to gamble, I could get free drinks brought to me by scantily clad beautiful women. As the D4 Chick Magnet, I feel duty bound to risk life and limb to report to you, and my fellow D4 players at the NABC, on these institutions that supposedly provide free hydration. I decided to write this article before I leave for Vegas so you will have to wait until September to hear from me about the successes of D4 players at the Summer NABC.
Fear not for my safety, though. I have a compelling reason to survive the desert heat conditions, free alcohol, fabulous shows and all-you-can-eat buffets. August bring us the D4 Split-site Regional in Wilkes-Barre (U120) and Rochester (U112). Wilkes-Barre Tournament Chair Walter Mitchell (U120) and Rochester's Burt Garrell Regional Chair Mary Miller (U112) and their respective Tournament Committees have planned great tournaments and hospitality so finalize your plans with your partners and teammates to attend. When you see me at these tournaments, feel free to ask me details about how I survived tropical Las Vegas.
A natural question would be why is D4 running a Split-site Regional? The answer is rooted in history, some of which I am fuzzy on but I will give it a shot. Decades ago, the ACBL limited each District to a maximum of four Regionals. Even then, when Regional attendance throughout the ACBL was way higher than it is today and the Lancaster (U168) Regional was the largest Regional in the country, the ACBL realized that there were too many Regionals and that the plethora of choices eventually would have a negative impact on Regional attendance. However, to accommodate large area Districts like D4 that wanted to keep more than four Regionals in order to have Regionals close to their widely dispersed members, the ACBL later introduced the "loophole" of a Split-site Regional. Under the original concept, the same events (in those days basically Knockouts, Open Pairs and Teams) were played simultaneously at both sites. Overalls in Open Pairs and Team events were based upon the percentage score at each site with a snaking allocation of top overalls where the highest percentage at the two sites was declared first overall, second and third were the two highest percentages at the other site, and some other arcane rules were used for the other overalls.
D4 wanted their largest Regionals to remain single-site regionals so D4 designated Lancaster (U168) and Philadelphia (U141) as recurring annual single-site Regionals, and designated Syracuse (U112) and Rochester (U112) as alternating yearly single-site Regionals hosted by U112. That left only one D4 Regional Tournament slot open each year to accommodate the traditional Regionals of Wilmington (U190), Harrisburg (168) and Wilkes-Barre (U120). Each of these were designated to be a triennial tournament so there were four solo-site D4 Regionals each year and there were no split-site Regionals in D4. For reasons that I cannot remember, in 2010, D4 made Wilmington and Wilkes-Barre alternating bi-annual tournaments usually in March, and Rochester a split-site with Harrisburg every other year usually in August.
When I became President in 1848, um, sorry I meant 2017, I commissioned a report on everything related to our tournaments. You can read that very interesting and encyclopedic report here. That report recommended we swap the times of Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre, mainly because Wilkes-Barre had not infrequently suffered severe winter weather that significantly affected tournament attendance. That is where we are today, except for the fact that Harrisburg lost its venue for 2019 (so there was no Harrisburg solo-site Regional in March) and as I write this, they still have no venue for 2021.
August is also the last month to qualify at a club for any or all the three flights of the North American Pairs (NAP). Almost all clubs are running at least a couple of NAP qualifiers and some clubs run two solid weeks of afternoon and evening qualifiers. District 4's NAP Coordinator, Dr. John Dickenson (U141), posted excellent instructions and Conditions of Contest here. The Flight A and B District Finals are on different weekends so if you have qualified in both Flight A and B, you can play in both District Finals to increase your chance of winning a place in the National Finals and a stipend from D4. The Flight C finals on Oct 5 - 6 (same weekend as Flight A) will be played at clubs throughout D4. John will soon be posting a list of clubs hosting the Flight C finals but any club can sign up to be a host, so if your club is not on John's list, ask the club manager to sign up so you can play in the comfort and convenience of your home club.
As always, I welcome all comments and suggestions on any D4 matters and issues. My e-mail is
and my cell is 856.986.5109
From the District Director
Las Vegas NABC
Las Vegas was HOT!! The Cosmopolitan Hotel was a great spot for an NABC. Although a bit pricey, there were lots of food options and the rooms were really spacious with every amenity. Attendance is exceeding projections as of Friday. The final numbers aren't in, but as always, Las Vegas was a popular site for an NABC. The board met for three and one-half days, right up to the first NABC event on Friday and a lot was accomplished.
ACBL Educational Foundation
All special club games played in the month of February will now go to support the Educational Foundation. The ACBL Educational Foundation was spun off as a separate 501(c)3 organization to promote the game of bridge, but requires donations to achieve its goals.
The ACBL has neither the staff nor the dollars needed to promote the game of bridge. The Educational Foundation is our best hope to keep the game alive for future generations, so please give the organization your support by playing in the February fund games.
You can also help in this effort if you are an Amazon Prime member by purchasing through Amazon Smile Click on the link below, designate ACBL Educational Foundation, and Amazon will donate a small portion of every purchase to the ACBL Educational Foundation. Make sure when you are purchasing that you go to the Amazon Smile page.
REACH, Regional in Clubs, allows participants to win GOLD points at their local club. The initial sign up fee is $30, which allows participants to play in up to six games during the week, using their best two games to qualify for overall awards.
REACH is not just good for the players - it's good for our clubs - the last time that REACH was held club attendance for the week increased 30%.
Specific conditions of contest and financial analysis were done for REACH events. Management is authorized to hold REACH events whenever practical without needing board approval. The best time on the calendar seems to be the week just after each NABC.
The REACH that will be held in clubs July 29 - August 3, 2019 will benefit the Educational Foundation.
Club Appreciation Games
Club Appreciation Team Games and Upgraded Club Championships will now award 25% Gold masterpoints, up to a maximum of 1 masterpoint; remaining awards are black. Currently the 5% gold points for club appreciate team games are capped at .25. One small step towards showing support for our teaching clubs that are our lifeblood. This will help reward clubs that are recruiting new members. An upgraded club championship now can pay up to 1 gold point.
Management had good news in the June 30 financial report. In the first half of 2019, Joe Jones and his team have reduced expenses $698K from the same time last year. Management is projecting operating revenue over operating expenses of $750K for the year, going a long way to balancing the losses suffered in 2018.
The Finance Committee heard presentations from Nancy Boyd on efforts to more efficiently manage the tournament operations staff. All full time directors are now required to work 300 sessions annually. An analysis of overtime costs is also being done in order to manage overtime more effectively. This is important since there is a gap between what the ACBL is billing for the tournament directors and the acual cost of those directors. This gap is likely to result in the raising of fees to regionals and sectionals for the directing staff. Management is hoping the control this increase by the more efficient scheduling of tournament staff.
Dan Storch, head of marketing, gave an update on the new marketing initiative. Red Rover, an outside vendor, has been hired to produce a new website just for new bridge players. The website will be completed by September and the plan is to use social media to send new prospective players to the site, which will promote bridge as a fun game to try.
The new Finance Director, Peyton Dodson, gave a presentation on the financial outlook for the next five years. 2020 is projected to have modest gains with three NABCs that are held in smaller cities (Columbus, Montreal and Tampa). If membership and tournament attendance continue to decline and expenses continue to rise, profitability will disappear in 2021 and the years after so the new initiatives by the ACBL marketing department and the Educational Foundation are needed to reverse the decline.
Susie Cordell, Director of I/T, has done a terrific job of researching and planning a payment system for tournaments that will replace Purple Pass.
Purple Pass, the credit card system seen at District 4 regionals, is costly to administer. The ipads are bulky and need to be shipped from Horn Lake to each regional. The replacements will be small gadgets that cost only $25 each and will hook to the tournament director's mobile phone. They will have the capability to take credit card payments for entries quickly, with no signature required, and are not dependent on good hotel internet to function. The cost of the credit card processing fees will be billed to the local tournaments that use them.
When the next Pianola renewal comes up, the cost of the service will be passed to the local units and districts that are using the service. This was originally planned to be done after the first year, but the ACBL has absorbed the cost longer than expected.
The ACBL will no longer be sending out email blasts for tournaments so this function will be handled by the locals. District 4 has access to Pianola and has the ability to send email blasts for our sectional and regional tournaments and will continue this service.
Management vs. Board Responsibilities
Discussion was held in both Governance and Finance about the distinction between board and management responsibilities. I will be proposing a motion in San Francisco that will change the current codification and make all ACBL fee changes management responsibility, with board approval, as part of the budget process.
Finance is also requesting management to provide a breakdown of revenue vs. expenses for NABCs and regional and sectional tournament in an effort to align revenues and costs in these areas.
The temporary membership that was instituted last year has not been successful, so a new free guest membership will be introduced this year. The new guest membership comes with limited benefits, but will hopefully attract new members by increasing awareness of the ACBL.
BBO Robot Daylong Tournaments
A motion was passed to increase the number of daylong robot tournaments offered by BBO from 2 to 4 tournaments a day. This will generate increased revenue in sanction fees for the ACBL and give players more opportunities to win masterpoints.
The age for the Super Senior Pairs has been raised from 70 to 75 years and the age for all senior events is being raised from 60 to 65 over a six year period.
Titles Removed from Cheaters
A motion was passed to remove the names of players convicted of collusive cheating from all NABC events. A second motion to move the second or third place players up into the vacated position was narrowly defeated. I voted for the second motion as well, but I do understand the position that, particularly in team events, it is difficult to restore equity.
Unit Recorder and Disciplinary Chair
The functions of the Unit Recorder and Unit Disciplinary Chair are eliminated. All disciplinary matters previously handled by Units will be referred to the Districts Recorder and/or Disciplinary Chair. The goal is to centralize handling of these matters. Many units in the ACBL are too small to insure having qualified members for these positions.
A bylaw Change to make the Executive Committee more flexible was defeated by one vote. Bylaw Changes require 2/3 of the board to pass.
This was introduced by the Governance Committee as a first step in an attempt at board restructure. I voted for the bylaw change.
A motion to require ACBL board members to itemize expenses up to $3,000 in order to receive reimbursement instead of the current $3,000 payment without itemization was defeated. I voted for this motion.
District 4 Winners at the Las Vegas NABC in National Events
Bruce LM-6000 Pairs: 30 - Hank Youngerman
NABC 0-10,000 Pairs: 8 - Michael Shuster; 9 - Rhoda Prager
Von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs: 34 - Rick Rowland, Marty Rabinowitz; 100 - Jay Apfelbaum, Meyer Kotkin
Truscott Senior Swiss Teams: 11 - Richard Popper; 12 - Meyer Kotkin, Jay Apfelbaum; 14 - Bob Glasson, Joann Glasson, Marty Rabinowitz, Rick Rowland
Wagar Women's Pairs: 12 - Patricia Civale, Daisy Goecker
Wernher Open Pairs: 15 - Douglas Dye, Kenneth Chatzinoff; 74 - Louis Glasthal
Spingold: 17/32 - Connie Goldberg
0-6,000 Mini-Spingold KO Teams: 1 - Miriam Harris-Botzum, John Botzum; 5/8 - Hank Youngerman
Baron Barclay National Youth Pairs: 12 - Brandon Fong
0-2,500 Mini-Spingold: 3/4 - David Venetianer
0-10,000 Mixed Swiss Teams: 1 - May Sakr
Roth Swiss Teams: 38 - Connie Goldberg
District 4 Top 10 Winners in Regional Events
Thursday International Fund Swiss Teams: 1B - Larry Plotkin, J. Brill, Steve White, Peter Schulman
Thursday B/C Pairs: 10 - Terry Patton
Educational Foundation Pairs: 3 - Ala Hamilton-Day
Educational Foundation KO 2: 2 - Larry Plotkin, J. Brill, Steve White, Peter Schulman
Friday Gold Rush Pairs: 5 - Michael Xiong, Bin Qiang
Sat 299er Pairs: 1 - Michael Xiong, Bin Qiang
Sat Open Pairs: 1 - Bharat Rao, Kenneth Chatzinoff
Sat Gold Rush Pairs: 2 - Robert Haas, Michael Haas
Sat Side Pairs: 7 - Judy Robbins, Caroline Hughess
Sat. Swiss Teams: 2 - Benito Garozzo
Sunday Open Pairs: 5 - Ken Chatzinoff, Doug Dye
Sunday A/X/Y Swiss Teams: 1 - Benito Garozzo
Sunday A/X Swiss Teams: 6 - Miriam Harris-Botzum
Monday Side Game: 6/7 - Barry Dehlin
Monday Gold Rush Pairs: 6 - Robert Haas, Michael Haas
Monday Side Pairs: 7 - Linda Ivanoff, Robert Priest; 9 - Hank Youngerman
Monday Compact KO 1: 2 - Miriam Harris-Botzum
Monday Compact KO 3: 1 David Venetianer, Barry Dehlin
Friday-Saturday KO 1: 3/4 - Connie Goldberg
Monday-Tuesday KO 1: 3/4 - Mary Lee
Tuesday A/X/Y Swiss Teams: 10/11 - John Dickenson, Susan Morse
Tuesday A/X Pairs: 6 - Andy Kaufman, Neal Satten
Tuesday B/C Pairs: 9 - Robert Haas, Michael Haas
Tuesday Fast Pairs: 5 - Judith Argento
Tuesday Side Swiss Teams: 6/7 - Michael Shuster
Wednesday Gold Rush Pairs: 1 - Robert Haas, Michael Haas
Wednesday Swiss Teams: 1 - Gary Hillenbrand, Paul Irvine
Thursday Side Game: 7 - John Dickenson, Alison Shoemaker
Thursday A/X Pairs: 10 - Amal Dasgupta
Thursday Youth Swiss Teams: 3 - Michael Haas, Brandon Fong
Thursday A/X/Y Swiss: 4/7 - Connie Goldberg
Thursday Open Pairs: 8 - Daniel Boye
Collegiate Pairs: 6 - Jonathan Baumel
Saturday Swiss Teams: 1 - Frank Feng
Saturday Cardrook Pairs: 3 - Andrew Jin
Collegiate Pairs Championship: 2 - Jonathan Baumel
Saturday Open Pairs: 2 - Daniel Boye
Satuday Swiss Teams: 5 - Dara Dinner, David Walker
Sun Side Game: 2 - Michael Shuster
Sat/Sun KO 2: 3/4 - Howard Kahlenberg
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
November 28-December 8
NAP Flight C October 5
NAP Flight A October 5-6
NAP Flight B October 12
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
Focus on Focus
by Marti Ronemus
I thank my family for helping me learn to stay focused. I have three younger sisters and grew up in a VERY noisy environment! When I was in college, there was no such thing as those nice quiet little study booths they have now...you studied in the dorm room with the door open to the parties raging in the hall. Distracting? Oh yeah. And I always worked for companies that had that "open door" policy. Sure, walk right in... I only LOOKED busy. Humph.
To people who grew up like this and to the "younger" generation who can't study without radio or TV on in the background or earbuds, silence isn't as necessary for focus. So... what is?
We teachers know that student focus will improve with time and practice, but meantime, here's a roadmap to help you. Mental rituals of attention...that is the secret.
Here's a checklist that illustrates what that means.
- When taking cards out of the board, notice who the dealer is and who's vulnerable. Not only will this help analyze the hand (Opener? Likely to be third-seat?), but prevent bidding out of turn.
- When sorting the hand, follow the late Harry Lambert's advice: Categorize your hand by distribution... "I have a 5-3-3-2 hand."
- Count points and decide if it is a minimum, intermediate or maximum hand. What will be the opening bid? And what is the REBID??? You need to plan for that also.
- As the bidding proceeds, VISUALIZE the hands. "East opened and has a 5-card Spade suit. Has to have 12+ points. Partner overcalled Diamonds at the two-level. He has at least 10 points and a 5-card or better decent diamond suit. That's 22 points, minimum, accounted for. I've got 10 points. That's 32. West can only have a max of 8 points." SEE their hands. FOCUS on what they're saying. SAY it - silently, of course. Later in the hand, recalling the shape of all the hands will be much easier.
- Whether declarer or defender, ANALYZE the opening lead. Is it the top of trash? Does it promise an honor? Is it the top of touching honors? Does it show a 4-card suit? How does it square with visualization so far? What does it mean to the YOUR hand?
- If declarer, stop to make a plan. How many tricks are needed? Where will they come from?
- And then finally, declarer OR defender, after each trick, re-check the information. Did trump fall in three rounds? Someone showed out early? A queen dropped unexpectedly? Partner signals a high-low? What does each trick/card mean and how does it change the original hypotheses?
If you are constantly comparing the results so far to your original visualization, attention won't wander...you're too busy. Attention wanders when the mind isn't engaged or is distracted. You won't be thinking three tricks ahead (or behind), because you're analyzing the results of THIS one...did it follow expectations? Did it give NEW information? Did it wreck Plan A?
Let's focus on visualizing and checking constantly against reality. If your mind occasionally wanders and takes a little trip, using this checklist might help you return to the table.
If you have any other tricks to be present, please let me know. I want to hear from you and love to share ideas, hands and opinions. email@example.com
Master Solvers Club
Moderator: Nick Straguzzi
Sometimes you just want to book a quick flight out of town -- but the Director insists you stay at the table. What would you do in this potentially lose-lose situation?
to read the analysis of this month's problem.
NAP Qualifiers continue in August
Ask your club director when NAP (North American Pairs) qualifiers will take place. Qualify in June, July or August and you will be eligible to play in the
in the fall. The winning pair will receive $1400 to go to the spring NABC, with dollar amounts for runners up, as well.
News from Around the Units
Unit 112: Central New York
to our Unit 112 members on their new master point rank achievements:
Barbara Burns, Fayetteville
Gillian Epstein, Syracuse
Anne Karolyi, Ithaca
Edward Winckler, Apalachin
Clover Drinkwater, Ithaca
Steven Gersz, Pittsford
Betsy Hartnett, Fayetteville
Constance Patterson, Ithaca
Marsha Raines, Pittsford
Andrew Tomash, Rochester
James Galvin, Rochester
Martha Gilchrist, Fairport
Alberta Jackson, Newfield
Elizabeth Patton, Pittsford
Mary Silky, Syracuse
Sandra York, Brooktondale
Note to players
when you advance your rank check your email from our secretary (sandjack) for a free play!
********BIG GAMES AT CLUBS********
Mohawk Valley: 6/20 11 T - 71.06% - **Judy Jensen & Stanley Shapiro**
Mohawk Valley: 7/2 9.5 T - 71.41% - **Paul and Billie Ohlbaum**
Mohawk Valley: 7/9 10T - 70.37% - **Betty Youmans & John Gazak**
********Club Directors Please email me games over 70%********
to our Rochester Sectional Winners:
17.0 tables based on 29 Tables
Flight A - Jay Levy, Amherst NY; Robert Cannizzaro, Fairport NY 65.5%
Flight B - Courtenay Footman - Lawrence Kidder, Ithaca NY 57.15%
Flight C - James Easton, Williamsville NY; Marilyn Wortzman, Buffalo NY
499er Pairs Saturday
- 9.5 tables
Dave Tomer, Rochester NY; William Hennessey, Fairport NY 63.26%
Flight C Manjula Mehta - Jagat Mehta, Pittsford NY 55.57%
Sunday Open Swiss Teams
- 20 Tables
Flight A - Dian Petrov - Sharon Benz, Buffalo NY; Christine Urbanek - John Sinclair, Tonawanda NY
Flight B - Lawrence Kidder - Courtenay Footman, Ithaca NY
Ornit Grossman, Ithaca NY; Richard Hurd, Freeville NY
Flight C - James Patton - Elizabeth Patton Pittsford NY
Ishwar Mathur, Pittsford NY; Shawna Saunders, East Rochester NY
Sunday 499er Swiss Teams - 6 Tables
Flight A & B - Sally Hume - Richard Hallagan, Fairport NY
Carolyn Cass, Rochester NY; Carol Krause, Pittsford NY
Flight C - Coby Valensa - M Carol Schilling, Fairport NY
Luke Valensa, Fairport NY; Robert Valensa, Webster NY
See You at our Rochester Regional
Mark your calendars for our Fall Sectionals
Mohawk Valley (Utica) Sept 21-22 Webster Sectional Sept 28-29
Binghamton October 12-13 Waterloo Nov 16 - 17
For more information check out our website.
Burt Garrell Regional
Henrietta (Rochester), New York
August 5 - 11, 2019
Host Hotel - Playing Site RIT Inn & Conference Center
5257 W Henrietta Road
For more information check out our website.
at your local clubs STaC Games August 26 - Sept 1
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania
Hello Unit 120! I hope you are all enjoying the "dog days of summer."
We have a lot of exciting news to announce.
First remember the Unit 120 Regional is being held at the Woodlands in Wilkes-Barre
August 5-11. There is still time to make reservations and/or plans to attend!! Anyone
who is willing to partner with, or needs a partner, please email Fran Hofherr at
Click of the attached links for more information and schedule of events.
Recently Unit 120 held our sectional at the Quality Inn in Wilkes-Barre. Sunday,
April 7 was the Pro Am Swiss game. Here are pictures of the winners.
Judith Argento (not pictured Sarah Eisner, David Meyer, Stephen Tillman)
Michael Lo, Teresa Chek, Dean Nasson, Sarah Saltus
Harold Koehler, Janet Morganthau, James Post, Grace Sutherland
Well Done Teams!!!!! Congratulations!!
And speaking of Congratulations, Wahoo to the following achievements!
New NABC Master, James B Post of Hanover Twp, PA (pictured above)
New Regional Master, Harold F Koehler of Dallas, PA (pictured above)
New Sectional Master, Roseann F Tedesco of Moosic, Pa
Speaking of "Dog Days of Summer," they historically run from July 3
to August 11
and were not named for man's best friend but because the Dog Star, Sirius, rises at
or near the same time as the sun causing heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, and
SOOOOOO, what better way to rid yourself of the "Dog Days of Summer" than to join us at the Regional!!! Hope to see you there!
See you at the Bridge Tables!!!
Unit 121: Berks Montgomery
Brian C Snyder
Our next Intermediate Newcomer Sectional (0-500) will be held Friday August 23 at Sacred Heart Villa.
for more information.
On Saturday September 7 Unit 121 will start a game for 0-500 players. This will run alongside the already existing open game. The game will be held at 10 AM at Sacred Heart Villa. Please contact Brian Snyder with any questions.
Sue Wessner will host a bridge cruise November 9-20, 2020.
for more information.
Congratulations to the following on their advancement in the ACBL Masterpoint Ranks:
New Club Masters: Lila Gleitman and John Small
New Sectional Master: Toeruna Widge
Hello Unit 133! I hope you are staying cool in this summer heat!
If you are looking for a break from the hot summer sun, please join us at one of our air-conditioned games!
New Rank Achievements
Carol A Turoczi
New Club Master
Beth L Dimler
New Regional Master
Mike Kohler and
New Life Masters
Unit 133 thanks outgoing treasurer Dave Kresge for his service and welcomes new treasurer
Dave Kresge, long time member of the Board for Unit 133, and Treasurer for 15 years has resigned his responsibilities as Treasurer. Dave is a twice past President of Unit 133 and current Vice President of District 4. As a result of Dave's efforts, Unit 133 is fortunate to be in a sound financial position. He has negotiated beneficial contracts for the Unit and assured that Unit-sponsored events are profitable. Dave has been a true mentor for the Unit's Board and Officers and has promoted bridge for all people. Our thanks to Dave for all he has done and continues to do for bridge.
Succeeding Dave is Paul Irvine, a recently retired electrical engineer who also worked as a consultant for a Legal Firm. Paul is a longtime bridge player. Both Paul, and his favorite partner, his wife Peg, have played bridge in many countries. We welcome Paul to the Board and thank him for agreeing to volunteer as the Treasurer of Unit 133. We wish him the best in this new endeavor.
(Thanks to James Kenny for this information.)
Unit 133 Fall NLM Tournament
Please join us for our second annual Fall 0-100 and 0-500 NLM tournament on Saturday, September 21 at Lehigh Valley Active Life in Allentown. Games are scheduled for 10:00am and 2:00pm with an hour break for a delicious lunch. Come early to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and socialize with your fellow players. Register now with your partner for $50 per pair. The fee includes lunch, snacks, coffee/tea and entry fees. Preregistration, which is required, is currently open. Thanks to those of you who have already reserved your seat at one of our tables. Please register early! We look forward to meeting and greeting you in Allentown. For more information, please contact Lois Fuini at
. or view the flyer for the event at
Unit 133 Players Earn Silver in Massachusetts
In late July, eight players from Unit 133 traveled to Massachusetts
in pursuit of silver masterpoints . We are proud to announce all our players who attended, representing the Lehigh Valley Bridge Association, earned silver points.
Betty Abrams, Deb Butz, Betsy Cutler, Mike Kohler,
Mimi Lengel, Naim Rizk, Linda Schoenenger, Mary Jo Stofflet
August STaC Games
Mark your calendars for STaC Games in August. Earn silver points at our home clubs.Thanks to
for scheduling the STaC games and to our
for facilitating them.
Monday, August 26
0-100 game and 0-500 game, 12:30pm at LVAL in Allentown
Wednesday, August 28
Invitational game, 10am at Lehigh Country Club in Allentown
Thursday, August 29
0-299 game & Open Pairs game, 12:30pm at LVAL in Allentown
Friday, August 30
Invitational game, 12:30pm at LVAL in Allentown
- Summer STaC Games - August 26, 28, 29,and 30 in Allentown
- Allentown 0-100 and 0-500 NLM Tournament - Saturday, September 21 at LVAL
- Mentor/Mentee Game - Thursday, October 3 at LVAL at 12:30pm
- Allentown Fall Sectional - October 18-20 at LVAL
- Annual Dinner - Open and NLM Pairs - Sunday, November 10 at Brookside Country Club at 12 noon
- In Memoriam - Open and NLM Pairs - Sunday, December 8 at LVAL at 1pm
Greetings from beautiful (not really, IMO) Las Vegas, where the Nationals are in their last day as I write this. Congratulations to all of the Unit 141 members who did well, especially Meyer Kotkin and Jay Apfelbaum, who placed 12 in the Senior Swiss, and Bob and Joann Glasson and Marty Rabinowitz, who placed 14
Congratulations also to the players who have achieved the following ranks in ACBL-Land.
Diamond Life Master - Mitch Snyder
Sapphire Life Master - Marie D Crompton
Ruby Life Master - Edward Ritvo
Bronze Life Master - Marianne Beezer
NABC Master - Rex A Saffer
Regional Master - Michael Haas, Jean C Wells
Sectional Master - Diana M Currie, Jay F Harter, Walter R Stromquist
Club Master - Michelle Clemens, Joanne Cooper, Roselee Feinour, Gloria Salmansohn, Sherry L Shapiro, Carolyn M Stephan, Barbara Vondercrone, John K Vondercrone
Junior Master - Ken Beckelman, H Billie V Horwitz, Sally L Kern, Katharine Link, Julie Meyer, Betsy K Muzina, Mimi Nolan, Sharon O Neill, Lorraine A Revello, Meryl S Rose, Jeffrey Tarnoff, Joanne Tarnoff, Hideko Welsh
Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania
to these Unit 168 members on their new masterpoint rank achievements:
Jean Eiding, Richard McMullen, Kim Tucker, Mary Wyatte
Marlene Arnst, Karen Gayman, Ruth Kline, Paul Sekula
Jinan Bahia, Norman Bergel, Lee Morrison, Judith Reynolds, Jenny Riccio, Sharon Sherban
Advanced NABC Master:
Bronze Life Master:
Barrie Callahan, John Ferranti, Ronald Zimmerman
Ruby Life Master:
Jeanne Gehret, Michael Young
UNIT 168 NEWS
- Saturday, Aug 3 at 11:00 AM - Brunch & Bridge open pairs NAP Qualifier (advance registration required)
- Tuesday, Aug 6 at 7:00 PM - open pairs ACBL-wide Junior Fund game
- Friday, Aug 9 at 11:30 AM - 0-1500 Swiss teams Club Championship (advance registration required)
- Thursday, Aug 22 at 6:30 PM - Swiss teams social mixer (advance registration required)
- Saturday, Aug 24 at 11:00 AM - Continental Breakfast - open pairs NAP Qualifier (advance registration required)
- Week of Aug 29 - all games are STaC
The White Rose Bridge Club is proud to have raised over $700 for the Longest Day fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Foundation. We had the special game, of course, but also raffled donated prizes. Our generous members reached deep into their wallets.
Our Wednesday morning mentor game continues to grow and pleases both newbies and their proctors. Everyone learns, including the mentor, when he has to organize an explanation of why this particular thing "is a thing."
Cathy Brown, certified ACBL instructor, will offer yet another course of ACBL-designed programs, beginning Wednesday, August 7 at 1:00 p.m. This class will focus on the convention card: what do we need and what can we do without. There is no charge for this class, but the cost of the related book is the students' responsibility.
- Congratulations to Barrie Callahan on reaching Bronze Life Master status. Way to go!
- We're also proud of, John Albright, who had a "Big Game" at 82.77% recently. He is a former club president and a wonderful bridge teacher who ran a bidding contest everyone enjoyed. He deserted Central Pennsylvania for Florida but remains an active member.
- Mel Lubart has decided to come out of retirement to once again practice optometry. More work means less play, and we wish him luck.
- We have recently lost our dear friend, Charles Sourber. A dapper gentleman, Charles loved playing and being anyone's best partner. We will miss him dreadfully.
Our address is: 904 Lancaster Ave., York, PA 17403. For additional information about the White Rose Bridge Club, including upcoming games and lessons, visit our website at: http://whiterosebridge.homestead.com/
Wacky Hands & Gadgets
- by Dave Bort
Modified Ogust After Rule of 2-3-4 Preempts
In a matchpoints game just yesterday, Board 11 was none vulnerable, and our opponents held:
North: 983 Q942 T872 K6 South: A62 T63 KQ9 J742
while partner's and my hands were:
West: KJT754 J8 4 QT93 East (me): Q AK75 AJ653 A85
After South's initial Pass, the bidding was (with the opponents silent throughout):
(1) Let's see, partner, I have something like a 7.5-loser hand, and with our Rule of 2-3-4 preempting system (where for unfavorable, equal, and favorable vulnerabilities, I add the number 2, 3, or 4, respectively, to the "magic number" 7), I saw we have equal vulnerability, so I added 3 to 7, then subtracted the number of losers in my hand, yielding the highest number I was willing to bid. So, for this hand, 3+7 - 7.5 = 2.5, and since we don't have a 2.5 bid, I'll keep things low. I'm also adhering to our associated guidelines, where we (usually) don't lie about the expected length of our long suit by more than one card, and where we only allow two "flaws" in first seat and one flaw in second seat, with third seat being less restrictive, and fourth seat being a more typically historical "intermediate" hand of 11-14 points, and where "flaws" include such attributes as four cards (or three to a top honor) in an unbid major (1 flaw), two Aces (2 flaws), a void (2 flaws), suit length, or suit quality, where the latter two, if deficient, count as 1 or two flaws, depending on vulnerability.
(2) Well, I've done the math backwards, partner, and I see that, according to our system, you've got no worse than an eight-loser hand, i.e., 3+7 - 2 (your bid) = 8 (the most losers you could have). Well, my hand looks like it has 5 "cover cards" in the context of Spades (cards that can "cover" one of your losers). We may have game, so tell me more about your hand.
(3) Confirms a six-card suit, with a minimum hand, from among: 3C = 5-card suit, 3D = 6-card suit, minimum (5-7), and 3H = 6-card suit, maximum (8-10). I remember that if I had bid 3C, showing a 5-card suit, and you had responded 3D, I would then have bid 3H or 3S, to show a minimum or maximum hand, respectively), or if you hadn't been happy if I only had 5 cards, you could have bailed at 3S.
(4) All right, partner, conditions seem right, so this might work... here goes. Good Luck!
: Making 5, on the (slavish, fourth-down) lead of the Heart Two (which, at least this time, didn't cost N/S a trick, since the double-dummy result showed it makes 5S on any lead).
: Since our preempting style frequently allows us to make weak-two bids with 5 cards, this relatively easy version of Modified Ogust appropriately accommodates that aspect of our preempts.
1) "Rule of 2-3-4", available from the author, upon request. This is similar to the approach discussed by Larry Cohen but is more aligned with a Losing Trick Count/Cover Card approach.
2) "Modified Ogust", available from the author, upon request. This is a simplified version of an approach used by Jeff Meckstroth & Eric Rodwell, one of the world's strongest partnerships.
Exclusion Blackwood - Danger, Will Robinson, But Just the Ticket!
In a matchpoints game this Spring, Board 16 was E/W vulnerable, and our opponents held:
North: 95 QT963 95 AK83 South: 42 J75 T3 T97642
while partner's and my hands were:
West: A8 AK2 KJ642 QJ5 East (me): KQJT763 84 AQ87 Void
The bidding proceeded (with the opponents silent throughout):
(1) Implying 18 or so points, or a 6-loser hand (with a balanced 7-loser hand, we tend to bid 1NT, with a balanced 5-loser hand, we tend to bid 2NT, and with a balanced 6-loser hand, we tend to bid a suit, then jump to 2NT).
(2) New Minor Forcing, says nothing about Clubs; asks partner to (in priority order) (a) bid the other major, with 4 cards, (b) support responder's major, with 3 cards, (c) bid their strength (which becomes somewhat less meaningful after opener's 2N rebid, since their range is tighter than if they had rebid 1NT).
(3) Denying 4 Hearts or 3 Spades.
(4) We'll be playing in Spades, partner, understand?
(5) Right-o, partner, Spades it is! Hmmm, I'm pretty strong, given that you opened, but I can't start Roman Keycard Blackwood without a Club control, so I hope we don't make too many.
: Making 7, on the reasonable lead of the Heart Jack. Unfortunately, bidding 4 and making 7 was only good for a 50% board (someone bid the slam and made 7, and someone bid 6N, but went down).
: Unfortunately, my partner and I had never agreed to play the exotic, but extremely dangerous, Exclusion Keycard Blackwood. But, if we had, the bidding could have gone:
(1) Exclusion Keycard Blackwood. Since 3C after 1D would be a splinter (showing a singleton or void in Clubs), bidding a level higher than that is Exclusion, asking partner to show their keycards, without including the suit used for the Exclusion bid.
(2) Showing 3 keycards, not counting anything in Clubs, in the context of Diamonds, from among the step bids: 1st step (here, 4D) = 0 keycards (KCs), 2nd step = 1 KC, 3rd step = 2 KCs, without the Queen of Diamonds, 4th step = 2 KCs, with the Q, and 5th step (albeit, fairly unlikely in our lifetimes, but here we were!) = 3 KCs.
(3) Grand-Slam Try - do you have any undisclosed extras to tell me about, partner?
(4) Why, yes, I have the King of Hearts that we haven't yet mentioned. OK, here we go with the grand, partner!
(5) Since we've already ruled out Clubs, and all the other high cards are accounted for, you must be showing the Heart King, so let's put this in the best possible suit - sorry if we're only now mentioning what I want to be the final suit at the seven-level, partner!
(6) Wow, OK, a totally new suit at the seven-level, that is a surprise, but I'm going with "trust your partner".
: Exclusion Blackwood hands are extremely rare, and the potential for catastrophic understandings is high, but for experienced partnerships for which nothing but the best approaches will do, it can solve some otherwise fairly intractable bidding problems. Not for the faint of heart.
1) Roman Keycard Blackwood, The Final Word (5th Edition), by Eddie Kantar, Chapter 5 (Exclusion for the majors) or Chapter 16 (minors). As I've suggested before, this book simply must be in your reference library!
Stay tuned next month, for more wacky hands & gadgets.
September's Southern Delaware Sectional is "a new place with new dates." You will not want to miss this year's Rehoboth Beach Sectional, now located at the Epworth Presbyterian Church just off U.S. #1 in Rehoboth Beach. The new location provides plenty of room, plenty of parking and is right in the middle of tons of restaurants and shopping. Better yet, check out these new dates as this tourney runs from Thursday September 26 through Saturday September 28. This is a beautiful time of year to visit the beach but without the traffic and the seasonal hotel rates.
The best thing about this tournament, though, is the wonderful southern hospitality you will experience. With our dynamic duo of Barbara Saulsbury and Mickey Debellis heading up the Hospitality team, you know that there will be plenty of mouth-watering food all weekend long. Finally, the great folks of "Lower Slower Delaware" are anxiously looking forward to showing all of our visitors a great time. Mark your calendars today!
RACE LEADERS AT MID-TERM
ACE OF CLUBS
0 - 5 Pamela Folz Elizabeth Bacon
5 - 20 George Dellinger George Dellinger
20 - 50 Peter Hartogensis Ann Biehn
50 - 100 Michael Vogel Michael Vogel
100 - 200 Sugi Hayes Debbie Schenkel
200 - 300 Judith Cronin Judith Cronin
300 - 500 Karin Schwenk Karin Schwenk
500 - 1000 Debbie Schell Debbie Schell
1 - 1.5 Kurt Engleman Kurt Engleman
1.5 - 2.5 Sigridur Kristjansdottir David Venetianer
2.5 - 3.5 Mark Henderson Mark Henderson
3.5 - 5 Bernard Rehberg Bernard Rehberg
5 - 7.5 Alessandra Graves Andrew Stayton
7.5 - 10 Randall Berseth Randall Berseth
10,000+ Rick Rowland Rick Rowland
Well, to be frank, I'd have to change my name.
Mark R. Conheady and Susan D. Royce
Jean D. Gandek
Beverly Greenberg and Michael Vogel
Teresa E. Spicer
SILVER LIFE MASTER
Patricia C. Brown.
My political platform: Legalize Marinara
VALLEY FORGE REGIONAL
Top Unit 190 masterpoint winners
1. 91.23 Rick Rowland
2. 25.24 Karen Pollak
3. 23.69 Caroline Hughes
4. 23.14 Kurt Engleman
5. 23.14 Bernard Hughes
6. 20.35 Peter Wise
7. 20.35 Peter Harris
8. 20.35 Paula Varrassi
9. 20.35 Linda Szilagyi
10. 19.91 Steven Blomstedt
11. 18.75 Herbert Chalek
12. 18.00 Melody Henderson
13. 15.94 David Venetianer
14. 15.49 Mark Henderson
For news and results from around Unit 190, check out the Unit 190 website and click on the links below:
Please join us for our next sectional September 20 - 22 at the Willamsport Bridge Club, 1042 High Street, Williamsport, PA 17701. Unit 217 will also hold its annual membership meeting between sessions of the Sunday Swiss.
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4Spot | August 2019 | Editor: Janet Johnson | firstname.lastname@example.org