September 2019
You may have been sunning at the shore this summer, but others have been hard at work at the bridge table -- and, though he doesn't make it look like work, Marty Rabinowitz has earned the title of Grand Life Master! (See below) Let's take inspiration from Marty and make the most of all the area tournaments this fall. And be sure to check out our new feature, Direct from the Directors, for valuable information regarding common irregularities at the table. We invite you to submit your questions and we will seek an answer Direct from our Directors!
District 4 Officers  
small margin
  
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.


PRESIDENT 
Meyer Kotkin  
guymath@comcast.net

VICE PRESIDENT 
Dave Kresge   
kresgede@aol.com
 
SECRETARY 
Bill Bauer 
william.baueriii@verizon.net

TREASURER 
Pat Civale
pat@csa-accounting.com  

DISTRICT DIRECTOR 
Joann Glasson 
joannglasson@msn.com 
President's Message

Several District 4 (D4) players were in the limelight in July and August so let me get right to it. John Botzum and his wife Miriam Harris-Botzum, both from Unit 133 (U133) and both Professors of Mathematics, were on the victorious 0-6K Mini-Spingold Knockout Teams in Las Vegas. They played on a four-person team for a grueling six days - two days of qualifying rounds to come down to a 16 team head- to-head four-day single elimination bracket of 60-board matches. Well done! I hear their students got extra homework while they were in Vegas winning this difficult event.

May Sakr (U141) was a member of the victorious squad in the 0-10K Mixed Swiss teams. May has two seconds (2017 and 2018) in the Freeman Mixed Board-A-Match, a difficult NABC+ category National Championship that includes national events with no upper masterpoint limit. Kudos to May both for winning a National Championship this year and an unequalled record among D4 players in National Championships over the last three years.

Winning an NABC+ event is one of the requirements to achieve the highest rank in the ACBL: Grand Life Master (GLM). The other requirement is to accumulate 10,000 points - that's right, 10K master points besides winning a National Championship with no upper masterpoint limit. My friend Marty Rabinowitz (U141) won the Senior Swiss in 2017 and during the August Wilkes-Barre (U120) Regional, Marty won the first three events to go over the 10K masterpoint mark. Marty became the 13th GLM in the history of D4 and is one of nine D4 GLM still living. You can find the list of all D4 GLM here. I am sending a notice to Marty and his lovely wife Gloria (U141) about a new Presidential directive I signed that all new GLM must throw a party with those little hot dogs. Marty doesn't even have to come to the party - just get me eight or nine dozen of those little pigs in blankets (all beef).

Finally, an article by D4's Susan Morse (U141), an accomplished author (two great books you should check out) and actor as well as an up and coming bridge player, will be the cover story of the September ACBL Bulletin. U141 has had the benefit and pleasure or reading Susan's material ever since she took over as editor-in-chief of the U141 newsletter - the PCBA Bulletin. "2NT Yips" is an on the nose, humorous look at the angst caused by the gazillion meanings 2NT has in different auctions and you definitely want to read this article. If you don't want to wait until your bulletin comes, you can find Susan's article online here. I wish I had been smart enough to sign a Presidential directive about having a party and serving little hot dogs when you get an article published in the ACBL Bulletin. That doesn't mean she couldn't voluntarily throw a party. Just saying - I love me those little hot dogs.

D4 and I thank Mary Miller (U112) and Walter Mitchell (U120) and their staffs for coordinating wonderful Split-Site Regionals in August. Both tournaments had wonderful hospitality and the people who attended raved about both tournaments. Preliminary numbers indicate that Rochester (U112) was up about 7% while Wilkes-Barre (U12) was down significantly. I don't have all the numbers yet so you will have to wait for an analysis of why there was a significant decline in attendance at Wilkes-Barre after moving the tournament from the winter to the summer. I can tell you for sure that there was no impact from the split-site Regional. There were two pairs in Rochester that would normally have gone to Wilkes-Barre except for the fact that they had parents who lived in Rochester (I interviewed them). In any case, I will know more when all the data are in.

I attended Rochester for the first three days and then Wilkes-Barre on Thursday and Friday (I originally planned to play in Wilkes-Barre until Sunday, but something came up at home and I had to leave). Mary and Walter were gracious hosts even though they did not serve those little hot dogs I like. I am still trying to work off the weight I gained at their great Regionals.

Shockingly, as I made some new friends in Rochester and Wilkes-Barre I heard some people express doubts about a fat man being the D4 chick magnet. Well, here is photographic evidence of my magnetism. These two young women were walking on the street across from the Cosmopolitan in Vegas in 117-degree heat and immediately gravitated to me, because of either my magnetism or, possibly, the shade I provide. The other man in the picture is Larry Sunser (U112), my D4 appointed chauffer and body servant. Larry has no social skills so I included him in the picture so he would have something to talk about in his rather dull life (which is probably why he looks happier than I do).
 

As always, I welcome all comments and suggestions on any D4 matters and issues. My e-mai l is guymath@comcast.net and my cell is 856.986.5109
From the District Director 
joann glasson

ACBL Board of Directors
The ACBL Board of Directors is composed of 25 representatives from 25 different geographic areas in the United States and Canada. When you have twenty-five people trying to come to a meeting of the minds, it is an incredibly difficult process. In order to increase the efficiency of the ACBL board, it is important to reduce the number of voting members.

In Las Vegas, the Board of Governors passed a motion requesting that a Task Force be formed to reduce the size of the exisiting ACBL board to a more workable number.

The ACBL President, Russ Jones, has asked David Lodge from District 22 (Southern California) to chair the Task Force. I feel this is important move to make the board more efficient, even if it means personally going off the board, and I will be working on the Task Force with Jay Whipple from District 9 (Florida), Margot Hennings from District 6 (Washington DC) and A.J. Stephani from District 11 (Ohio).

Reduction in the size of the ACBL board has been attempted before with little success, so we are facing a difficult challenge, but this group is optimistic that we will bring an acceptable plan to the ACBL Board for their approval at our next meeting in San Francisco.

The goal of the task force is to find a solution that will be acceptable to enough of the twenty-five existing board members to begin the board reduction process. The task force has had several online meetings and is planning a face-to-face meeting before the completion of the plan.

I will keep you posted on the progress of the Task Force.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

2NT Yips
District 4's own bestselling author and actress, Susan Morse, has published an article in the September issue of the ACBL bulletin.

The article has received front page status - make sure to read it and let the ACBL Bulletin editor know how much you enjoyed it so we can be treated to more of Susan's wonderful stories.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.  
District 4 Schedule

Sectionals
Sept.13-15
Sept. 20-22
Sept. 21
Sept. 21-22
Sept. 26-28
Sept. 28-29
Wilkes-Barre PA 
Oct. 4-6
Oct. 12-13
Oct. 18-20
                                 Cherry Hill * note venue change
Oct. 25-27
Nov. 8
Nov. 9
Nov. 11
Nov. 16-17
Dec. 14
Dec. 20
Dec. 27-31

Regionals
October 28- November 3

National
November 28-December 8

STaCs

NAP Flight C   October 5
    NAP Flight A   October 5-6
   NAP Flight B   October 12
For the District 4 full year,  click here

Our Monthly Feature

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

advancing logo
  Larry's Learning Center  by Larry Cohen:
  January, April, July, October

novices only logo
For Novices Only by Marti Ronemus:
February, May, August, November

 
abc logo
The ABC of Bridge by Dave Wachsman:
  March, June, September, December


It's easy to forget that your partner may actually know more than you do -- at least about a particular situation in a particular hand. Dave reminds us to be ready and willing to defer to the partner with the greater knowledge when the occasion arises.

  The ABC of Bridge
        by Dave Wachsman ( david.wachsman@aol.com)
 
Virtually all the ABC articles have focused on Counting, Communicating, and Curiosity. Today we will explore a key concept that is central to success at the bridge table bridge is a Partnership game. Always ask yourself if one partner has a better picture of the combined partnership assets. Whether in bidding or in defense, often it should be obvious to each partner that one player has superior knowledge of the combined assets. When this is apparent, the partnership should defer key decisions to the partner who obviously knows more than the other. The "knowledge" issue is explored below.
 
                                                     North           East-West Vulnerable (MPs)
                                             ♠  J8                   Dealer- East
                                             ♥ J73
                                             108632
                                             ♣ J106
             West                                                       East
         Q632                                                  K10954
A852                                              64
KQ                                                   J95
       ♣ 832                                                 ♣ AQ4
                                                    South
                                             ♠  A7                                  E       S     W     N
                                             ♥  KQ109                           P       1♣    P     1
                                             A74                               1      1NT  2     P        
                                           ♣ K975                              P       P
 
                           Note: NS play 12-14 NT so South's 1NT rebid was alerted as 15-17
                                                                 
Follow the play of the hand and decide whether N or S has the greater  knowledge of the defensive assets. South leads the K which East elects to capture  with dummy's A and North plays the 3 to show his J (upside down count and  attitude). Declarer plays the 2, 8 from N, K from E and S wins the A. South,  unsure if the partner's 3  is showing the J or a doubleton or a singleton, decides  to lay down the A to elicit information from N.
      
North recognizes that with dummy's KQ of , neither attitude nor count is  called for in this situation. The situation screams for suit preference. Since North  wants his partner to under lead the Q  to his J so he can put the J♣ on the table,  North plays the 10 on this diamond trick. South recognizes that his partner has  greater knowledge of the combined defensive assets and therefore plays his lowest  heart to his partner's J . North dutifully returns the J♣ which East finesses and  loses to South's K♣. A club return puts declarer in a position to either play for a  2-2 spade break or play South (the strong no trumper) for an original holding of  AJ7 of Spades. In any event N-S optimized the defense by recognizing which  partner had greater knowledge and respecting that conclusion.
      
Look at the following hand and decide what North should bid. Remember  today's focus is who has the preponderance of knowledge of the partnership's  assets. You are North and have the following hand:
           ♠  AK765 ♥  AKJ10  A84 ♣ 5
Playing IMPS the auction proceeds as follows:
         S       W     N     E
         P       P     1      P
        1NT   P     3   P
         6♣     P     ??         (1NT is forcing NT)
 
What is your call? I'm sure that this auction has never come up before and will  likely never happen again. I suggest that the key to this decision is to ask yourself  who has better knowledge of the combined assets - you or your partner. As you  have accurately described your hand you correctly conclude that your partner who  passed originally has a far better picture than you do. Pass is your call and 6♣ rolls  home as South decided not to start the bidding with a pre-empt holding 8 solid clubs  off the A♣.
    
Adding to your ABC thought process the concept that bridge is a Partnership  game will go a long way to improving both your defensive play as well as your  bidding.
Master Solvers Club

Moderator: Nick Straguzzi

At matchpoints, a swing of 10 or 20 points can make all the difference. This month's problem asks what to do in one of those pesky close call situations.   Check here to discover how the master solvers tackle the problem.



Then visit the MSC website to read next month's problem and submit your answers online: http://d4msc.straguzzi.org
Direct from the Directors

This is a new feature for 4Spot, one we will repeat whenever we have content from either players or directly from the directors. The idea came from Bob Priest, Club Director of U168. Bob contacted 4Spot after the Valley Forge Regional when he once again heard players say, "We don't need to do that anymore," in reference to announcing No Trump range. His own research showed the rule had not, in fact, changed and was unlikely to any time soon. 4Spot decided to ask one of our ACBL Directors, Rui Marques, to address the issue in his official capacity. 

We are inviting all ACBL Directors and players to submit other table rulings and ethics for subsequent issues to  janet.johnson210@gmail.com

We will ask the Directors,  Robert Maier, Marc Labovitz, Rui Marques, Bob Cole and Alan Hodesblatt, to submit responses in rotation. 
*******
District 4 Director Rui Marques addresses a common misconception at the bridge table: To announce or not announce 1NT range as soon as partner opens 1NT.  Read on for the official answer and explanation. 
 
Issue : 1 NT Range -- Do I need to announce the range? Some players believe it is no longer necessary, especially if they play the 15-17 range.
 
Response : This is a misconception that originates in the regulations regarding 1NT overcalls. The Alert Procedures (Rev. 4/16, https://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/AlertProcedures.pdf ) state that "natural 1NT overcalls in the range of 14 to 19 HCP require neither and Alert nor an Announcement. If the top or bottom limit of the natural notrump overcall is out of that range or conventional by an unpassed hand, an Alert is required."
 
However, for a 1NT opening (any range) when partner opens 1 NT you must announce the range (and any caveats regarding, for example, frequent upgrades or downgrades).
 
Rationale : One of the reasons for this is to prevent the creation of extraneous information. For example, right-hand opponent opens 1 NT. You have different systems over weak and strong NTs but did not look at opponent's convention card when you arrived at the table. If you pass, you obviously don't need the information. If you ask for the range or pick up your opponent's card now, you probably need to know, and you are (involuntarily) showing to partner and the opponents that you have a hand that is interested in the information. This is in itself information that is authorized for your opponents, and unauthorized for your partner.
 
The rule about always announcing the 1NT range was created to protect both sides at the table. Please follow it!
Congratulations Marty!
 
Marty Rabinowitz of Garnet Valley, PA reached the rank of Grand Life Master at the Wilkes-Barre Regional tournament and he did it with great style. Marty won the Monday Swiss Teams, the Tuesday-Wednesday Bracketed Knockout and the Thursday Dupli-Swiss. Grand Life Master status is the highest rank awarded by the ACBL and only given to players who have won more than 10,000 masterpoints and also have won a National Championship. Marty and partner Rick Rowland and teammates Bob and Joann Glasson won the Truscott Senior Swiss Teams at the Toronto Nationals in 2017. Marty played with the same trio this week in Wilkes-Barre. The team was augmented with District 4 President, Meyer Kotkin, and partner, Alex Antelope Allen, for the final event.
October PCBA Sectional News

The PCBA October Sectional has moved!  Unit 141 is excited to announce  the PCBA Fall Sectional , which takes place October 25-27, will be held at the Bridge Club of South Jersey. The club offers plenty of space for bridge and plenty of free parking. It's located on the ground floor of the Barclay Pavilion right on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, so the venue is easy to get to with easy access once you arrive.

The Friday morning start time will be 10:30 am to give folks a little extra time to get there. Other than that, the tournament features the same schedule to which you are accustomed.

In addition to hosting daily bridge games, the club offers lessons and beginner's classes. It also hosts non-bridge games, including Pinochle, Mah Jongg, and Dungeons and Dragons. You can find out more on their website    http://southjerseybridge.com/

Unit 141 looks forward to seeing you there and then!

News from Around the Units 
four corners
Unit 112: Central New York
Pat Stadelmaier
pstad145@aol.com

CONGRATULATIONS  to our Unit 112 members on their new master point rank achievements:


Junior Master
 
Colleen Kaminski, Elmira
Sandy Nelson, Rochester
Neelima Sheth, Vestal
 
 
Club Master
Jonathon Brown, Oneonta
James Burns, Rochester
Rola Cotran, Fayetteville
Debra Maier, Pittsford
Roger Monaco, McDonough
Sectional Master
 
Anne Field, Horseheads
Kim Laurion, Rochester
Lee Laurion, Rochester
Regional Master
Joann Cardamone, Utica
Martha Gilchrist, Fairport
Joseph Grimaldi, Utica
Georgia Schadt, Oneonta
Carol Schilling, Fairport
NABC Master
 
Ellen Hammer, Manlius
Richard Hartz, Jr, Deerfield
Susan Randall, Chocton
Life Master
 
James Patton, Pittsford
Bronze Life Master
 
Susan McCartney, Honeoye Falls
 
Silver Life Master
 
Robert Dewey, Fairport
 
Gold Life Master
 
John Hemmer, Syracuse
 
 
******** BIG GAMES AT CLUBS ********
Mohawk Valley Bridge: 8/8 9 T - 72.92% - **Leah Gabelman and Judy Slater**
Elmira Duplicate Bridge: 8/14 8 T - 73.81% - **Ed Schussler and Jim Cooke**
Mohawk Valley Bridge:   8/15 8 T - 72.02% - **Fred Hicks and Judy Slater**
******** Club Directors Please email me games over 70% ********
 
September Sectionals
September 21-22
Mohawk Valley Sectional
North Utica Senior Center      50 Riverside Drive       Utica, NY
 
Saturday 9/21   10:30 Stratified Open Pairs
                                      299ers Pairs (0-100, 100-200, 200-300)
                            2:30 Stratified Open Pairs
                                      299ers Pairs (0-100, 100-200, 200-300)
Free lunch between sessions on Saturday.

Sunday 9/22     10:30 Swiss Teams   Open and 299ers
2 session play-through
Pizza available Sunday (2 slices and a soda) $5 person
 
September 28-29
Rochester Fall Sectional
Webster Columbus Center      70 Barrett Drive       Webster, NY
 
Saturday 9/28       9:45 AM Lesson by Roger Woodin  
                              10:30 Stratified Open Pairs (2 sessions*)
                                        Stratified NLM/499er Pairs (2 sessions*)
                              2:30 Stratified Open Pairs (continuation*)
                                      Stratified NLM/499er Pairs (continuation*)
         *Pairs can opt to play a single morning or afternoon session
 
  Sunday 9/28         10:30  Stratified Open Swiss Teams - 2 session play - through                                                           Stratified NLM/499er Swiss Teams 1 session                   
Lunch available Sunday $6 per person
 
Did you qualify for Flight B or C in the North American Pairs Finals?
Plan to play in the finals - Flight C - October 5th - Vestal Bridge Studio & Rochester
To play at Vestal Contact Mary Poplawski OR at Rochester contact RABA Website
Flight B - October 12th - in Johnson City at the Binghamton Sectional -
Contact Mary Poplawski mpoplawski@stny.rr.com
 
Plan ahead to attend the Binghamton Sectional - October 12 and 13
                                         Waterloo Sectional - November 16 and 17
 
Hats off to Mary Miller and her committee for planning the District 4 Regional in Rochester. Thank you to our players for supporting this event.
A highlight of our regional is the hospitality following the afternoon sessions. After years of chairing the hospitality committee, Sandy Stockton and Kathie Landon have decided to step aside.
                 Thanks ladies!!        
*See you next year in Syracuse for our Regional *
  For more information check out our website.
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania 
Doreese Torrey
doreeset@gmail.com
 
Hello Unit 120!!
WOW!! We had an incredible number of Non Life Master players who won gold at the Woodlands. Following in alphabetical order, congratulations to:
Beverly Bright 2.78                      
William Buchin 2.65
Linda Churla 1.05
Sally Harris 8.52
Fran Hofherr 6.80
Harold Koehler 7.47
Begona Kowet 4.52
Costas Lambropoulos 8.46
Marie Lewis 1.73
Marla McNabb 1.05
Alice Mehlman .97
Janet Morganthou .97
Cecily Meyers .97
Peggy O'Keeffe 5.82
James Post 5.84
Stanley Smulyan 2.65
Christopher Stephens 2.94
Louisa Stephens 2.94
Judith Stillinger 5.78
Larry Taren 2.65
Victoria Tarleton 2.90
 
Unit 120 also has some great achievements for the month of August to announce as well.
New NABC Master:   Mokhtar Elbassuni, Stroudsburg
New Regional Master: Anne M Russell, Skytop
New Sectional Master: Mary Ellen McCormick, Forty Fort
New Club Master: Brooks Eldredge-Martin, Towanda
New Junior Master: Paul Ricker, Scranton
 
Well Done Everyone!!!
 
SEPTEMBER
All of us know the poem that helps us keep our months straight, but where did it come from? The rhyme has been attributed to many different sources, including Mother Goose, but a Welsh scholar may have uncovered its earliest source.   It turns out that the poem actually dates back to 1425. However, the words have changed slightly over the years. In 1577, the poem read:
                              Thirty dayes hath Nouember,
                               
Aprill, Iune and September;
                              
Twentie and eyght hath February alone,
                               
And all the rest thirty and one,
                              
But in the leape you must adde one.
However, since we don't use that sort of grammar these days, the words have changed slightly over the years. The most common version used today is:
                               Thirty days hath September,
                              
April, June and November;
                              
All the rest have thirty-one,
                              
Excepting February alone.
                              
Which only has but twenty-eight days clear
                              
And twenty-nine in each leap year.
Whatever version you use, Groucho Marx once said, "My favorite poem is the one that starts "Thirty days hath September", because it actually means something". And for most of us, if not all, it means our childhoods, and one of our earliest encounters with poetry and rhyme.
 
Lets all get out to our local bridge clubs to socialize and play!
See you at the bridge tables!
Unit 121: Berks Montgomery 
Brian C Snyder 
484-838-0977
4spadesdoubled@gmail.com

On Saturday September 7 Unit 121 will start a game for 0-500 players. This game will run alongside the already existing open game. It 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.   CLICK HERE for more information.

Unit 133: Lehigh Valley 
Lois Fuini
lafuini@yahoo.com

Happy Labor Day!


Unit 133
While enjoying your Labor Day picnics, please remember the day 
was originally organized to celebrate labor association strengths and their contributions to the economy. Today, on the first Monday in September, it gives workers a day of rest and celebrates their contributions to the American economy.

Congratulations!
New Rank Achievemen ts
New Junior Master
Paul Barilla
New Club Masters 
Joan Frame
Laura Rabenhold 
Nancy Trawin
New Sectional Masters
Lee Stanley
Jean Weiner
New Regional Master
Bryan Snapp
New Life Masters
Sara Gainey 
Mike Kohler
New Bronze Life Master
Freda Witmer
New Gold Life Master
Miriam Harris-Botzum

Thriving Collaboration Between  Lehigh Valley Bridge Association and Lehigh Valley Active Life

Rick Dougherty, Executive Director LVAL and 
Jim Kenny, President LVBA
As we age, and especially following retirement, social connections can diminish and adhering to a healthy lifestyle becomes much more important. Much of what we attribute to the effects of aging are more often the effects of social isolation and poor lifestyle choices.

Lehigh Valley Active Life and Lehigh Valley Bridge Association collaborate to help seniors gain strength, balance, and endurance, engage in creative activities, and provide mental stimulation to ward off decline in cognitive functioning. These socialization activities are all an important component of good health.

LVAL provides space for opportunities to learn and play the game of bridge.  Older adults who enjoy mentally stimulating games, like bridge, may have bigger brains and sharper thinking skills. In return, LVBA provides funding to support the many excellent programs provided by LVAL. 

Recently, the collaboration added  four new successful bridge opportunities for newer, less experienced players. The partnership continues to grow. Working together, both organizations are better able to provide a healthier lifestyle for the community in a safe and comfortable environment.

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 lafuini@yahoo.com . or view the flyer for the event at http://web2.acbl.org/Tournaments/Ads/2019/09/1909112.pdf .

Mentor/Mentee Game
Thursday, October 3, 2019
Lehigh Valley Active Life - 12:30pm
This Over/Under 300 Masterpoint event gives mentees and other players an opportunity to play in a Swiss Team game at their local club. Each pair within the 4-person team must have at least one player with less than 300 points. The game serves as a finale to the 6-month Mentor/Mentee program and a lead-in to the LVBA Fall Sectional, October 18, 19, 20, 2019. For more information, please contact Mike Kohler at michael.h.kohler@gmail.com .

Unit 133 Fall Sectional 
Lehigh Valley Active Life 
1633 Elm St. Allentown PA
October 18, 19 - Friday and Saturday, 10am and 2:15pm, Stratified Open Pairs and 0-500 NLM Stratified Pairs. 
October 20 - Sunday, 10am-with lunch break, Stratified Open Swiss Teams two session playthrough or 10am single session 0-500 NLM Stratified Swiss Teams. 
 Free lunch, coffee, tea, and snacks every day. For more information, please contact Pat Saeger at ps1035@verizon.net .

Upcoming Events
  • Allentown 0-100 and 0-500 NLM Tournament - Saturday, September 21 at LVAL at 10am
  • 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 12noon
  • In Memoriam - Open and NLM Pairs - Sunday, December 8 at LVAL at 1pm 
Unit 141: Philadelphia 
Howard Kahlenberg
howard.kahlenberg@gmail.com

So, as you may have seen elsewhere in the 4Spot, we are going to be holding our October sectional at the South Jersey Bridge Club, at the Barclay Pavilion on Route 70 in Cherry Hill. The date remains the same, October 25 - 27.

Special thanks to Bernadette, the Manager of the Club, for hosting us. She has done a great job of building up the club. The club is in a new, bigger space, and we think that you will like the venue.

Congratulations to the newest Unit 141 Life Masters -
Don Baker, John Bravo, Michael Freedman, Glenn Fuhrman, Lois Hockman, Richard Kamensky, Karen Prince, Arthur Seidner, and Mollie Slattery.
Congratulations also to other unit 141 Members who have made the following achievements:
Gold Life Master - Yacob Rubinstien and Ken Salter
Ruby Life Master - Lisa Mita, Amy Ross, and Peter Schulman
Silver Life Master - Bharat Rao, Lori Westler, and Bruce Young
Bronze Life Master - Michael Carver, Lois Hockman, and Jeffrey Sprowles
Advanced NABC Master - Charles Goldman and Gordon Prager
NABC Master - Philip Freidenreich, Wendy Hart, Michael Leonard, Sue Machler, Stephen Porter, Harvey Rothfeld, Robin Siegel, and Susan Vineberg
Regional Master - Sandra Bomze, John Canterbury, Sherry Garfinkle, Ida Jackowski, William Sprague, Jim Thompson, Mary Tompkins, and Patricia Walsh
Sectional Master - John Blasdale, Alicia Brown, Michael Gibson, William Gormley, Madhu Goyal, Pepper Herman, Nancy Macmillan, Karen Mann, Drucilla McMullen, Diane Michaud, Marianna Nolan, Patricia Opderbeck, and Martha Robinson
Club Master - John Aukstikalnes, Dolores Bonafiglia, Jeanne Burd, Leslie Guth, Cliff Jackson, Amit Jajodia, C.R. Kiesling, Mark Levin, Patricia McCann, Jane Pelullo, Carole Pursell, Linda Schelke, Jackie Topaz, and Marc Topaz
Junior Master - James Aylsworth, Susan Bergin Wilson, Dianne Carson, Naren Chawla, Kristen Fireman, Jane Jarrett, Bruce Kraig, Tamara Kraig, Louise Land, Janet Leech, Shirley Mason, Anne McAlaine, Bruce Pedretti, Thomas Schaffer, and Peter Scheintoch

Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania 
Jeanne Gehret 
jeannegehret@comcast.net

CONGRATULATIONS to these Unit 168 members on their new masterpoint rank achievements:
 
Sectional Master:
Patricia Andrews, William May, Minerva Shindler
Regional Master:
Bobbie Goodyear
NABC Master:
Nancy Hershey
Life Master:
Frank Doub
Ruby Life Master:
Jack Hund, Todd Thorsen
Sapphire Life Master:
Bonnie Heilig
 
UNIT 168 NEWS :


News From Harrisburg:
Many of this month's games are International Fund Games, which pay extra points. A few of our special games are highlighted below, with the full game schedule available on our website (link below).
9/2:     Labor Day Open Game, picnic lunch at 11 am, game at 11:30. No evening                     game this day!
9/7:     Brunch and Bridge, brunch at 10:30 am, game at 11. FREE for all HBC                        members!!
9/11:   Wine and Cheese Open Game, 6:30 pm
9/13:   Dinner Game Reservations Required! ,
    Wine & Cheese at 5 pm, game at 5:45. Dinner mid-game, dessert to follow
            Dinner features steak and corn on the cob
9/25:    Monthly Swiss (Open and 0-1000), dinner at 5:45 pm, game at 6:30.
9/28:    Continental Breakfast and Bridge at 11 am
 
Carpeting in the main playing room will be replaced soon. Announcements will be made on any game cancellations during the project. 
 
Please visit the HBC website for club information and a complete schedule: www.bridgewebs.com/harrisburg  or call us at 717-737-4461.
 
Wacky Hands & Gadgets - by Dave Bort
 
Two-Way Drury with Kokish Segue, or Splinter with Italian Cuebids Into Kickback, Versus Michaels, with Maybe Unusual Over Unusual
 
This month, we'll look at only one hand, but in greater depth, and with an eye towards competition. The deal is:
West : KQ8654 None 98 KQ975     East: T97 J2 QJ752 J83
    North: 3 QT84 AT43 A642           South: AJ2 AK97653 K6 T
 
Result : Making 7, double-dummy, on any lead (everyone at the table led either the spade or Club King, the two most natural leads, and all the declarers did indeed make 7).
 
Discussion : The bidding was not captured, but only one of the opposing pairs managed to bid a small slam, with several not even trying.
 
These hands made me wish my partner and I had held the North/South cards, so... let's pretend. We'll switch seats with the opponents and try to do better in the bidding.
First, let's consider the case where the (now pretend) opponents are silent. In that case, the bidding could proceed:
SCENARIO #1 :
North (me)South
Pass(1)     1H(2)    
2D(3)        2S(4)
4H(5)        4S(6)
5H(7)        5S(8)
6H(9)        Pass(10)
 
Notes :
(1) Not quite enough to open. (I would if my QH was the KH)
(2) I'll start with 1H, planning to rebid 3H, to show my 5-loser hand.
(3) Reverse Two-Way Drury - shows my invitational hand, with 4 Hearts (where 2C would show an invitational hand with 3 Hearts)
(4) Kokish Three-Way Game Try - OK, if you've got an invitational hand, partner, let's see how well we fit. Any bid I make, other than 2 of my original major, is a Kokish bid, from among:
2S = Asking whether you have a help suit (i.e. an honor or two, or shortness)
2N = Spade shortness
3C = Club shortness
3D = Diamond shortness
So, this bid of 2S means, please tell me if you have a suit in which you would have accepted a Help-Suit Game Try (if I had made one).
(5) I have help of one kind or another (whether honors or shortness) in all the other suits, partner, so I'll just bid game. Clearly, if you need help somewhere, I've got it!
(6) Kickback - OK, tell me about your keycards in Hearts (the 4 Aces and the King of Hearts).
(7) Two keycards and the Queen of Hearts.
(8) Great, we've got all the keycards and the Queen, so tell me about your outside Kings.
(9) No outside Kings.
(10) I'm not really sure about your Spade holding, and this is only a club game, so I'll settle for a small slam.
 
Discussion : That was better; at least we reached slam.
Let's see if we can do even better (still with silent opponents). Consider the following bidding sequence:
SCENARIO #2 :
West : KQ8654 None 98 KQ975     East: T97 J2 QJ752 J83
    North: 3 QT84 AT43 A642           South: AJ2 AK97653 K6 T
 
North (me)South
Pass(1)     1H(2)    
3S(3)        4S(4)
5H(5)        7H(6)
 
Notes :
(1) Not quite enough to open. (I would if my QH was the KH)
(2) I'll start with 1H, planning to rebid 3H, to show my 5-loser hand.
(3) Splinter - I have a singleton or void in Spades, partner, with four of your Hearts!
(4) Kickback - wow, OK, tell me about your keycards in Hearts.
(5) I have two keycards and the Queen of Hearts.
(6) I can count 13 tricks, partner, given that you have a stiff Spade and 4 trumps for ruffing a couple of my Spades. Yee-haw!

Discussion : Well, that was easy! It sure did help to hear about North's Spade singleton.
Now, let's consider the case where the opponents are not so compliant. Then, the bidding might proceed:
SCENARIO #3 :
West : KQ8654 None 98 KQ975     East: T97 J2 QJ752 J83
    North: 3 QT84 AT43 A642           South: AJ2 AK97653 K6 T
 
West    North (me)  East  South                                                            
         Pass(1)        Pass      1H(2)     
2H(3)   2S(4)        Pass(5) 3S(6)
Pass     4C(7)         Pass      4S(8)
Pass     5H(9)         Pass        5S(10)
Pass     6H(11)       Pass      Pass(12)
Pass
 
Notes :
(1) Not quite enough to open. (I would if my QH was the KH)
(2) I'll start with 1H, planning to rebid 3H, to show my 5-loser hand.
(3) Michaels Cuebid - Spades and an unspecified minor, probably 5-5 (or more extreme).
(4) Unusual Over Unusual (or Michaels) - they may have Spades, partner, but I have 10+ points, with support for your Hearts.
(5) Too rich for my blood - and we're vulnerable - I'm out of here!
(6) That sounds good. I'm not sure we've got all that much, but let's check, since we can do it without going over game. I have a first- or second-round Spade control (an Ace, King, singleton, or void).
(7) I have a 1st- or 2nd-round Club control.
(8) Kickback - that sounds promising, OK, tell me about your keycards in Hearts.
(9) I have two keycards and the Queen of Hearts.
(10) Great, we've got all the keycards and the Queen, so tell me about your outside Kings.
(11) I have no outside Kings.
(12) OK, let's give it up. At least we found a small slam.
 
Discussion : That was harder! West's interference was countered by North's Unusual Over Unusual-style cuebid, but results were still uncertain above the small slam level. Perhaps North succumbed to SNTS (Shiny New Toy Syndrome, pronounced snits) where players are tempted to use a newly learned convention, even though something else may be more appropriate.
 
So, what if North had kept their eye on the prize and pressed on, over West's interference?  
In that case, the bidding might proceed:
SCENARIO #4 :
West : KQ8654 None 98 KQ975     East: T97 J2 QJ752 J83
    North: 3 QT84 AT43 A642           South: AJ2 AK97653 K6 T
 
West    North(me)  East   South
           Pass(1)       Pass     1H(2)    
2H(3)  3S(4)         Pass(5) 4S(6)
Pass    5H(7)         Pass     7H(8)
 
Notes :
(1) Not quite enough to open. (I would if my QH was the KH)
(2) I'll start with 1H, planning to rebid 3H, to show my 5-loser hand.
(3) Spades and an unspecified minor, probably 5-5 (or more extreme).
(4) Splinter - They have Spades, partner, but I have a singleton or void in Spades, with four of your Hearts!
(5) Too rich for my blood - and we're vulnerable - I'm out of here!
(6) Kickback - wow, great, OK, tell me about your keycards in Hearts.
(7) I have two keycards and the Queen of Hearts.
(8) I can count 13 tricks, partner, given that you splintered, with 4 trumps! Whoopee!
 
Discussion : Well, that was easy again! Even though West tried to interfere, North's splinter bid made South's deliberations very straight-forward.
 
Now, let's consider the final case with opponents Really Not Compliant At All.
Then, the bidding might proceed:
SCENARIO #5 :
 
West : KQ8654 None 98 KQ975     East: T97 J2 QJ752 J83
    North: 3 QT84 AT43 A642           South: AJ2 AK97653 K6 T
 
West    North(me) East  South
           Pass(1)      Pass     1H(2)    
2H(3)  3S(4)         4S(5)   ?(6)
Pass    ???
 
Notes:
(1) Not quite enough to open. (I would if my QH was the KH)
(2) I'll start with 1H, planning to rebid 3H, to show my 5-loser hand.
(3) Spades and an unspecified minor, probably 5-5 (or more extreme).
(4) Splinter - They have Spades, partner, but I have a singleton or void in Spades, with four of your Hearts!
(5) Uh oh, looks like they have a game in Hearts, partner, let's get in the way (vulnerable or not - maybe they'll forget to double).
(6) I'm not sure, partner. I could double, but we'd need to put them down two, doubled and vulnerable, to get better than our non-vulnerable game score, and I'm not positive we can do that. Given our indicated 11-card Heart suit, it's not hard to think one of them is void in Hearts, so we'd get zero Heart tricks on defense against their Spade game. Plus, if I bid 4N to ask for keycards, I'm not sure we wouldn't get too high. What to do....
 
Discussion : And, so it goes. Who knows how South would really bid next. It could depend on so many things. The bottom line is that if one wants to find extreme slams, then showing extremes of shape can be an effective way to find them. The Spade splinter bid was instrumental in helping N/S to decide that 7H was "in the cards". With such powerful information, even West's attempt at competition (with 2H) failed to slow N/S down. But, East's continuing efforts at competition (with 4S) really made life difficult for N/S, by forcing them to make a decision at such a high level.

Moral of the story for N/S: have tools available to bid your shape and strength effectively.
Moral of the story for E/W: get into the bidding and make life difficult for the opponents.
Moral of the story for both: Yes, yes, moderation is important, but after all, if you Never Go Too Far, isn't that, by definition, an Extreme Position? After all, too much Moderation leads to an Excess Deficiency!
 
References include :
1) "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know", by Barbara Seagram & David Bird, Chapter 19: Reverse Drury, with the addition of the 2D bid to show an invitational hand with four of partner's major (hence the name "Two-Way Reverse Drury").
2) For Kokish Three-Way Game Tries (note that my partners and I play that these are on, regardless of any competition):   https://users.cs.fiu.edu/~pestaina/Kokish3wayGameTry.pdf
3) "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know", by Barbara Seagram & David Bird, Chapter 10: Splinter Bids
4) "25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know", by Barbara Seagram & David Bird, Chapter 20: Ace-and-King (Italian) Cue bidding, and note the following quote from Jeff Meckstroth, in response to a question from the author: "I don't know about [calling them] Italian, but the Correct Way to play cue bids is to show first- or second-round control."
5) For Kickback (shows Kickback using either 0314 or 1430 responses):   http://www.bridgeguys.com/Conventions/kickback_jeff_rubens.html
6) "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know", by Barbara Seagram & David Bird, Chapter 16: Michaels Cue bids and Unusual No Trump, except note that Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell advise against paying the Min-Max treatment, thinking it's more important to convey one's two-suited holding to partner as soon as possible.
7) "25 More Bridge Conventions You Should Know", by Barbara Seagram & David Bird, Chapter 21: Unusual Over Unusual, except that, for Michaels cue bids, note that because only one of the opponents' suits are known, only one cue bid is available.
 
Stay tuned next month, for more wacky hands & gadgets.
Unit 190: Delaware 
Ala Hamilton-Day 
alabridge@gmail.com
 
 

September 26 - 28   Rehoboth Beach Sectional  at Epworth  METHODIST Church
 

 
 
You will not want to miss the Rehoboth Beach Sectional at the Epworth METHODIST Church (just off U.S. Route 1) at 19283 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth DE 19971. This new location comes with new dates, running from Thursday September 26th through Saturday September 28th. This is a beautiful time of year to visit the beach, but it is the famous hospitality which just has to be experienced!


PLAYER ADVANCEMENTS
JUNIOR MASTER : Elizabeth E. Bacon and Gail D. Tolpin
CLUB MASTER :   George Dellinger
SECTIONAL MASTER :  Joan M. Carson and Peter R. Hartogensis
REGIONAL MASTER Jack Holmes, Jonathan Lawlor, Louise    Roselle and E. Donald Shackleford
NABC MASTER :   Sugi Hayes
LIFE MASTER :   Marcia H. Abbott and Prem V. Premakumar
BRONZE LIFE MASTER Lee B. Davis
GOLD LIFE MASTER Cindy C. Rowland
 
A patient bursts into a doctor's office, "Doctor, I believe I'm a deck of cards!" 
The doctor calmly replies, "Go sit in the waiting room, please, I'll be dealing with you later."

HUNT VALLEY REGIONAL
Top Unit 190 masterpoint winners
Mark              Henderson   42.32 Wilmington  DE
Melody          Henderson   23.40 Wilmington  DE
Barbara         Rhoades        23.28 Wilmington  DE
Robert           Haas               21.33 Haddonfield NJ
Debbie           Schenkel       20.72 Centreville    DE
Judith             Cronin           20.72 Wilmington  DE
Kurt                Engleman     19.34 Avondale      PA
Robert           Taylor            15.48 Newark         DE
Anne              Taylor            15.48 Newark         DE
Perry              Mitchell         12.39 Ocean View  DE
Trina              Williams        11.39 Bethany Bch DE
Gail                 Levy               11.39 Lewes            DE
Andrew         Stayton         10.67 Rehoboth Bch DE
Linda              Szilagyi          10.62 Georgetown DE
Peter              Wise               10.62 Georgetown DE
Nancy             Ferguson      10.49 Hockessin     DE
Kelley             Wilson           10.49 Avondale      PA
Karin              Schwenk       10.49 Downingtwn PA
_______________________________________________________________
 
__________________________________________________________________
For news and results from around Unit 190, check out the Unit 190 website and click on the links below:

Unit 217: Susquehanna  
Jim McKeown
jcm@psu.edu

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 | September 2019 | Editor: Janet Johnson | janet.johnson210@gmail.com