May 2019
Need or want shiny colored points? May is the month to plan, because June offers up silver and gold. Make your plans for the District 4 STac June 3-9 (silver points) and the Philadelphia Regional at Valley Forge June 24 to 30 (gold points). It's not too early to start thinking about reserving partners, teammates, and even a hotel room.
District 4 Officers  
small margin
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.

Meyer Kotkin

Dave Kresge
Bill Bauer

Pat Civale  

Joann Glasson 
President's Message

District 4 ( D4 ) has another National Champion. Lou Glasthal (U141) captained his team to victory in the 10K Knockouts in Memphis. Lou is an excellent player and fierce competitor, and just as importantly, he is the epitome of an ethical, principled and courteous bridge player. He is also one of the nicest people I have ever met. Well done, Lou, and thank you for making me look prescient. On the day of the 10K Final, the official ACBL photographer was taking the pictures of the two teams that made it to the Knockout Final since the ACBL always publishes pictures of the first and second place finishers in every National Championship event. I told the photographer and the ACBL Bulletin editor that Lou's team was going to win and Lou made sure his team did not disappoint me, which we all know would have been worse for Lou and his team than losing in the Finals. You can see Lou's picture on the D4 website here.

April also saw teams competing in the D4 Flight A and Flight C Grand National Teams (
GNT) Finals for a $2K stipend and free qualifying entry in to the National GNT finals in Vegas in July. Flight A winners were Peter Kyper (U141), Elaine Clair (U141), Paul Amer (U190) and David Venetianer (U190). The Flight C winners were Frank Feng (U141), Michael Xiong (U141), Mark Donovan (U141) and Jerry Jia (U141). Good job, all. Eleven teams entered in Flight A but only five teams entered in Flight C. This is surprising because D4 heavily publicized that the ACBL would allow us to send two teams in Flight C (and in the upcoming Flight B) to the National Flight C GNT finals if eight or more teams had entered, and D4 would have given each team a $2K stipend. 

Dr. John Dickenson (U141) did his usual great job organizing and running the event and he worked just as hard on the upcoming Flight B and Open Flight D4 Finals on May 4 - 5. However, for reasons I don't know or possibly don't understand, there does not seem to be a lot of interest among eligible Flight C players in playing in the GNT Finals and earning a significant stipend as well as a chance to play in a National Championship that requires District pre-qualification. I would love to hear from players eligible for Flight C as to what D4 can do to spark interest in this wonderful team event.
I hope that you have made or are making your plans for playing and partying at the Philadelphia Regional at Valley Forge on June 24 - 30, 2019. The all U141 Volunteer Tournament Committee made a couple of changes for 2019 including serving a free breakfast and lunch from Tuesday through Sunday and changing the session start times to 10AM, 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM. There is still a free expanded Intermediate/Newcomer lecture at noon on Monday, June 24, followed by a free relaxed game for players with fewer than 20 masterpoints. As usual, there will be the world famous D4 Dupli-Swiss (everyone plays the same boards each round and there are hand records after each session) on Thursday and Sunday as well as Gold Rush and Mid-Flight (fewer than 3K masterpoints) every day of the tournament (Monday through Sunday). Also returning are the two-day Bracketed Swiss-KO events that allow more "equitable" and "comfortable" brackets, and also guarantee that all teams that enter the four-session event will play at least two sessions on the first day of the event - no more losing in the first session of a two-day, four-session Knockout. 

The flyer, full tournament schedule and Welcome and Information Bulletin with more details on all the 2019 Philadelphia Regional at Valley Forge features, are here. The Philadelphia Regional at Valley Forge still accepts credit cards for all entries and the ACBL arranged that the charges will now appear as ACBL Entries instead of the confusing PurplePass of last year.

There appears to be a shortage of qualified and certified Club Directors to run games at the clubs in our District. On the D4 website there is a flyer for a Directors Training Course that will be run by Dave LeGrow (U141) at night on 25 - 27 June during the week of the Valley Forge Regional (24 - 30 June). This gives interested people a chance to play during the day and take the course at night. For more information, please contact Dave a t . The class is limited to 12 students so register early.
The President of U120, Bill Orth, and Sectional Tournament Chair Walter Mitchell (U120) were generous and gracious in inviting me to attend U120's first Non-Life Master Sectional. Walter was running a Pro-Am Dupli-Swiss on Sunday of the Sectional and I was invited to be a "Pro." I am sure National Champion Lou Glasthal would argue I should have been an amateur but as my Bronx friends would say, dem's the breaks. The Dupli-Swiss was extremely well received by the Non-Life Masters and attendance on Sunday was 50% higher than a normal U120 Open Sectional Sunday regular Swiss. I had the honor, privilege and pleasure of partnering with a true American hero - retired Master Sergeant Warren Todd (U120) who has been awarded the Silver Star and Purple Cross, as well as a slew of combat and service ribbons, for selfless service to our country and for valor and bravery in combat. Playing with Warren made my year. Warren has been playing for a little less than a year but by the look on his face and the way he talked about the game it was clear that he truly loves the game and he gets such joy from playing. I wish I could again feel like he did when he found out we won some small number of masterpoints. Warren told me he plays four times a week - three times at ACBL clubs and once in a social game - and hopefully, he and I will get a chance to play again.

I am sure that Master Sergeant Todd and my dear friend, Top Sergeant Tom Purl (U141) will join me, other D4 veterans and millions of Americans at 3PM on Memorial Day in stopping whatever we are doing (including playing bridge) and standing for the National Moment of Remembrance for America's fallen soldiers and their families. During this minute of silence, let us remember, acknowledge and honor all the soldiers, police, firefighters and first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us and keep us free.

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 
joann glasson

Memphis Board Meetings
Memphis was a great town to host an NABC. Bridge play was held in the Convention Center close to all the downtown hotels. There were lots of wonderful restaurants. The number of tables in play beat the estimates. The local committee did a wonderful job on hospitality. Players also had the opportunity to visit the bridge museum at the ACBL offices. There is some talk about returning on a regular basis to this location because of the proximity to ACBL headquarters, allowing ACBL staff to assist in the event and attend Board of Directors meetings.
The Operating and Capital Budgets for 2018 were officially approved at this meeting and the bottom line is good, showing a projected excess of income over expenses in 2019 of $621K. Our new Executive Director, Joe Jones, has been working hard to streamline operations and get expenses under control. We had some large one time expenses in 2018 to make up for, but I am optimistic that we are moving in the right direction.

New plans are in the process to incentivize teachers and clubs to increase membership. Our clubs and teachers are the lifeblood of the organization and it is imperative that we find ways to reward them for bringing new players into the game. New dollars have been allocated in the budget towards this end.
A new plan for restructuring the governance of the ACBL was introduced. The plan would reduce the size of the board from twenty-five to nine members. The nine member board would be responsible for financial and strategic decision making. This plan will take four years to implement since New York law does not allow any elected person's term to be shortened. The ACBL is incorporated in New York and is subject to New York's non-profit regulations.

Under this new plan the Board of Governors would be replaced by a Senate composed of two members from each District and this new body would be charged with all bridge-related matters.  I am in favor of any reasonable plan to reduce the size of the current board of directors. Having served almost three years on this board I can testify to the difficulty of governing with a large board.
A motion was passed that forbids players convicted of premeditated collusive cheating to ever be readmitted to the ACBL. An additional motion that was passed forbids the ACBL Board of Directors or management to consider readmission of a player after expulsion for a period of 10 years after the conviction.  A presentation was made to the ACBL Board by Steve Weinstein and Brad Moss requesting that names of convicted cheaters be removed from all ACBL records and that the pairs and teams who finished second be moved up and declared winners of these events.  A motion allowing the voluntary relinquishment of these titles by teams that won events with players who were later convicted of collusive cheating was passed. The Motions suggested by Brad and Steve were tabled til Las Vegas in the hope that teams will step up and voluntarily set things right.

A new Masterpoint Committee was appointed that includes District 4 member Harold Jordan. This new committee will meet electronically and take over the work previously done by ACBL board members.

A motion to make the ACBL provide child care at all NABCs was defeated. My personal view is that the ACBL should not be in the child care business, but management has stated that they will provide child care when possible.

Lots of District 4 players did well at the Memphis NABC - Congratulations to all and a special shoutout to Lou Glasthal, whose team won the 0-10,000 KO event!!
District 4 Winners at the Memphis NABC  in National Events
0-10,000 Knockouts: 1 - Louis Glasthal
Baldwin North American Pairs - Flight A: 10 - Meyer Kotkin, Jay Apfelbaum
Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs: 13 - Martin de Bruin, David Hoffner; 44 - Richard Popper
0-10,000 Swiss Teams: 10 - Bharat Rao
Kay Platinum Pairs: 26 - Connie Goldberg
Lebhar IMP Pairs: 20 - Richard Popper; 45 - Philip Goulding, David Hoffner; 47 - Dan Boye, Larry Sunser; 55 - Joann and Bob Glasson
NABC+ Fast Pairs: 18 - May Sakr
Jacoby Open Swiss Teams: 8 - Marty Seligman
Silodor Open Pairs: 23 - Connie Goldberg
Smith LM Women's Pairs: 6 - Donna Morgen, Patricia Civale
Rockwell Mixed Pairs: 32 - Bob Glasson, Joann Glasson
District 4 Top 10 Winners in Regional Events
Thursday Open Pairs: 2 - Marty Seligman
Educational Foundation KO Bracket 1: 2 - Benito Garozzo
Friday Gold Rush Pairs: 3 - Michael Minoff, Glenn Fuhrman
Friday-Saturday KO Bracket 2: 2 - Alison Shoemaker, Lisa Mita, Deborah Crisfield, Helen Walker
Saturday Afternoon 299er Pairs: 3 - Patricia Estadt, Ron Price
Saturday Morning 299er Pairs: 4 - Patricia Estadt, Ron Price
Saturday Compact KO Bracket 1: 1 - Benito Garozzo
Saturday B/C/D Swiss: 1 - Michael Minoff, Glenn Fuhrman
Resnick Open Pairs: 9 - Randall Berseth, Anne Taylor
Monday Open Pairs: 1 - Bharat Rao
Monday-Tuesday KO 3: 1 - Lisa Mita, Alison Shoemaker
Tuesday Side Pairs: 3 - Wayne Rosenberger, Andrew Rosenberg
Wednesday Morning 49er Pairs: 1 - George Kieffer, Barbara Kieffer
Wednesday Swiss Teams: 5/6 - Benito Garozzo
Wednesday Open Pairs: 7 - Neal Satten
Saturday Swiss Teams: 4/5 - Mitchell Snyder, Susan Morse, John Dickenson
Saturday Compact KO Bracket 1: 2 - Marty Seligman
Sunday Side Pairs: 3/4 - Dennis Wick
Sunday A/X/Y Swiss - X: 4/5 - Ala Hamilton-Day, James Carroll
Sunday Side Pairs: 2 - Caroline Hughes, Thomas Hughes
Sunday Bracketed Flight B Teams 2: 2 - Deborah Crisfield, Lisa Mita, Helen Walker, Alison Shoemaker
Sunday A/B/C Swiss Teams: 5/6 - Marty Seligman
Sunday Evening Swiss Teams: 1 - James Carroll, Ala Hamilton-Day
Sunday Afternoon 299er Pairs: 4 - John Early, Barry Daubenspeck
Saturday Daylight Open Pairs: 8 - Michael Zeller
Friday Compact KO 1: 4 - Marty Seligman
Thursday Morning 49er Pairs: 2 - George Kieffer, Barbara Kieffer

Please feel free to contact me with any questions on this and any other matters of concer n.
District 4 Schedule

Note:  Blue text indicates a link to a tournament flyer. Not all tournaments hav e posted information yet, but 4Spot will provide links as they become available.
May 11
May 18
May 24
May 31-June 2
May 31-June 2
June 1, 2
July 13
July 13-14
August 11

August 5-11
August 5-11
October 28- November 3

July 18-28 

June 3-9
June 10-16
August 26-Sept.1
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

This month, Marti shares fun stories of new players and invites you to share yours! 

I'm always interested to hear how people find their way to our Alternative Universe. One little story shows that Fate is real. Bridge has some outstanding "top athletes," and one of these is Zia Mahmood.

When Zia was 24, he had returned to Pakistan from living in London and became interested in a young woman he knew only slightly. Finally she agreed to meet him, but the bad news was the venue was a bridge party. He had, of course, told his date that he could play. 

To avoid disaster, he dove into Alfred Sheinwold's Five Weeks to Winning Bridge for three days, and to his surprise, found the book interesting. Of course, he performed embarrassingly badly at the party -- but became sufficiently intrigued by the game that his attention was diverted from the girl and that was almost the last he saw of her! He plunged into bridge and today is one of the world's finest players.  

His strong feeling is that the age when you begin to learn bridge really doesn't matter. The three most important talents are a logical and clear-thinking mind, card sense, and a positive mental attitude. Ideally, a mixture of Solomon, Nick the Greek and Muhammad Ali! You can read more about his adventures in The Bridge World and also in his wonderful book Bridge My Way, published by Matt Granovetter.

Now, this doesn't mean that if you aren't logical and clear-thinking, you can't play bridge, by the way. I know dozens of people lacking those qualities who have great fun every day.

Enough of great players and back to us. A very good friend of mine told me about how she got into the game:  "It happened that I first discovered tournament bridge because an NABC was held down at the Sheraton in Washington D. C. No one from my neighborhood would go with me but I was excited and went alone. Back then they held an Individuals Game on the first day and you didn't need a partner. The way it is set up is this: You and three other people are assigned a table, you make the hands, hastily try to decide on what conventions you are playing (not a problem--I didn't know any), play with your assigned partner, then W, S and E rotate around the table so everyone has a different partner. You do this one more time and then everyone leaves the table and moves to four different tables and repeats the process. So even if you do badly with a partner, he doesn't have to play with you again. Perfect! 'How hard can it be?!' has always been one of my mottos. And it wasn't. It was great! At least for me.

"I was breathless at the sight of what seemed like 1000 bridge tables on the convention floor. Wow! There was a pounding in my ears, my heart was beating erratically, but I cheerfully took my place. Things seemed to go all right to me, except for one partner who got angry. I doubled a 3♥ contract, thinking she could take it out or leave it in. Unfortunately, she wasn't aware of my inner thoughts and they made it.  
'Why did you double?', she raged.  
'I thought you would take it out if you couldn't stand it,' I explained. 
'I didn't know we were playing Responsive Doubles!' she yelled.  
(Oh my gosh, I didn't know what that was...)  'I thought everybody played Responsive Doubles!' I replied.

"I was disappointed to see I was bottom of section that afternoon (I thought I'd played very well...), but I raised that to just below average that evening. A triumph!"

I remember back to my first NABC at Lancaster.  As we waited to start it, everyone was nervous, like horses before a race.  I guess something was amiss at the Director's desk because they left us at the starting gate for what seemed like an eternity. Finally my left hand opponent, a very nice lady, blurted out, "If a nuclear bomb were to hit now and bury us all, the archaeologists digging us up in a thousand years would wonder what activity we were engaged in and probably decide this was a penal colony and this was a form of torturous punishment!"

So there you have it. Stories about what brought us to this minute. I'd love to hear how you wandered into this universe. Let me know a t
Master Solvers Club

Moderator: Nick Straguzzi

Overcalling 1NT with a singleton King? It's perfectly legal, but what would you do?

First,  click here    to read the analysis of this month's problem.

Then visit the MSC website to read next month's problem and submit your answers online:
The 2019 Annual PCBA Membership Meeting and Jane Segal/Sonny Jaspan Trophy Game is at Bala on May 19th. 
Silver Points at Clubs!
June 3-9, 2019
ST aC = Sectional Tournament at Clubs, and like all Sectional tournaments, the awards are silver. It's your chance to win lots of silver points playing in a familiar setting. The next District 4 STaC week will be held June 3-9 when many clubs will run STaC games in place of their regular games. Check here or with your club manager/director to see if your club is running STaC games. Good luck!
Calling Future Directors

ACBL needs you -- find out how  you can become a Director in just four (4) evening sessions, held at the Valley Forge Bridge Club during the week of the Valley Forge Regional. 
Outgoing ACBL President Speaks Out

2018 was a difficult year for the ACBL. Jay Whipple, the president of the Board of Directors during that time, recently published a sobering letter in the District 9 newsletter (where he still serves at District Director) reflecting on the year and his ideas about the future. The letter was republished on and is of interest to all ACBL members. The link to Bridge Winners, where you can also read comments about the letter, is here. The original text is reprinted below.

Lessons I learned while on "sabbatical" as President (of the Board) of the ACBL...

During my one-year tenure as president in 2018, the ACBL had one of the most financially disastrous years. Ominously, we have reach the tipping point and it is downhill from here. Membership and play are declining at an accelerating rate. New members are struggling to see the value of our offer and "the feet on the ground," our clubs and teachers, are feeling undervalued and unsupported. We are imposing impossible demands on our staff and volunteers to continue a model that is broken in many ways.

ACBL Board Size: 8 is enough and 25 is too many. The communication and coordination challenges of managing our current governing board are daunting at best. The board election process does not afford us access to the best and brightest of our ranks let along equitable representation of our membership. Time is running out to get this right. If we were starting all over, the best governance model would be 9 board members elected at large without regard to geography and politics, but rather experienced business professionals dedicated to ensuring the future of bridge.

Consultants: The business of bridge is amazingly complex and esoteric. We do not fit standard models and attempts to use outside consultants, especially in the area of technology have resulted in million-dollar debacles. We continue to run our back-office on aged platforms at great risk. The latest attempt to migrate to an industry standard product cost us close to two million dollars had to be abandoned along with the individuals responsible.

Volunteers & Staff: As members, we continue to demand low prices and yet expect high qualify services from our staff and volunteers who run tournaments. Whether they are local club directors and teachers or our Tournament Directing staff, the people who make things work are at a breaking point and are not going to take it anymore. They deserve respect and appropriate compensation for their labors. We are not going to attract and retain talent if there is little opportunity for reward.

Clubs: Clubs and regular members (the only real profit centers) are unfairly shouldering the burden of all these excesses. Who do we think is going to pay for the $800K loss for the Hawaii NABC when players use AirBnB to evade paying their far share of hotel playing space? Why should the elite 5% of the membership enjoy low entry fees (at least 30% too low) that are subsidized by the rest of us? Why are the units redirecting the lion's share of the 11% membership rebates to their sacred Sectionals and Regionals while the clubs have to close? Clubs who generate members are no properly compensated for their efforts and have no mechanism to build equity in their businesses. For-profit clubs generate the largest number of new members and yet are treated like pariahs by the not-for-profit ACBL. Can we really expect the future of bridge to be sustained by cooperatives and "life-style" club models?

What's Next? Things probably have to get worse before there is an imperative and accountability to fix these structural imbalances and inequities. We need to reassess the realities of our aging demographics and aging volunteer base. It is not going to get any easier putting out heads in the sand. Our members deserve a high-quality product and should be willing to pay for it.
News from Around the Units 
four corners
Unit 112: Central New York
Pat Stadelmaier

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

Junior Master
Susan Dreyer, Norwich
Linda Hobart, Canandaigua
Pauline Tracy, New Hartford
Lori Vanderlinde, Fairport
Kenneth Winkler, Victor
Club Master
Margaret Bryan, Cazenovia
Kathy Dodd, Oneonta
Sharon Hamer, Rochester
Ann Morris, Oneonta
Sectional Master
Donald McCoy, Sackets Harbor
Leon Schofield, Fairport
Angela VanDerhoff, New Hartford
Jeffrey Weiss, Ithaca
Pamela Wheaton, Sidney
Regional Master
Peter Chin, W Henrietta
NABC Master
James Patton, Pittsford
Life Master
Irving Memis, Vestal
Linda Pickens, Oswego
Bronze Life Master
Irving Memis, Vestal
Linda Pickens, Oswego
Unit 112 General Meeting was held at our Rochester Sectional in April.
Mini-McKenney winners were presented with their medals. Ace of Club winners received a certificate.
Sam Maitra received an engraved pen congratulating him on his achievement of Platinum Life Master.
Our "snowbirds" were welcomed home and everyone enjoyed a weekend of bridge.

Congratulations to our Rochester Spring Sectional Winners
Open Pairs   17 tables / Based on 33 tables
         Flight A - 1st Sam Maitra, Rochester - Douglas Ross, Pittsford                      
                         2nd Paul Cherin - James Bailey, Fairport
         Flight B & C - 1st Padmanabh Kamath - Edmund Reppert, Rochester  
                                  2nd Sudhir Patwardhan, Etobicoke,ON - Tina Howe, New York
499er Pairs - 14 tables
Flight A&B - 1st Elizabeth Patton - James Patton, Pittsford
Flight A - 2nd Lawrence Holmes, Webster - Diane Dana, Ontario
Flight B - 2nd William Wooster, Fairport - Warren Tessier, Rochester
Flight C - 1st Jeffrey Weiss - Anita Bellucci Weiss, Ithaca
                           2nd Judith Peterson - David Peterson, Rochester  
Sunday Open Swiss Teams - 24 Tables
        Flight A - Roger Woodin - Sam Maitra, Rochester 
                         Douglas Ross, Pittsford - David Hunt, East Rochester   
        Flight B -  Barbara White - Barry Rudner, Rochester
                          Richard Keller, Rochester - Bruce Toder, Fairport
        Flight C - Gary Gottermeier, Fairport - Graham Holroyd, Webster
                          David Waterman, Canandaigua - Stephen Singer, Spencerport
Sunday  Morning 499er Swiss Teams - 6 Tables
     Flight A & B -  Coby Valensa - M Carol Schilling, Fairport 
                              Luke Valensa, Fairport - Robert Valensa, Webster   
     Flight C -  Nancy Mason, Pittsford - Lori Vanderlinde, Fairport
                      Martha Gilchrist - Noreen Incavo, Fairport

Looking for Silver Points?
Henry Bethe Ithaca Sectional
Kendal at Ithaca - 2230 N Triphammer Rd - Ithaca, New York
Tournament Chair Bob Simard - 315-656-3204
Saturday June 1 - Stratified Pairs Two Sessions     10:30 & 3:00
199er Pairs (3 table Minimum)     10:30 and 3:00 (single sessions)
$10 per session
Sunday June 2 - Stratified Swiss Teams    10:30 Play Through
Stratified by Average - A 1500, B 500 - 1500, C 0-500
$80 per team
Contact Information & Partnership -
Sharon Durr    281-740-3999 c, 607-319-0479 h
STaC Week coming June 3 - 8. Be sure to play bridge at your clubs that week for silver points!
Play bridge for Alzheimer's the week of June 21 - check to see if your club is planning an event. Check this article next month to find out what clubs in our Unit are participating.
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania 
Doreese Torrey
Hello Unit 120!! Well, the Sectional was a huge success. Thank you to all who attended and/or assisted in the success. Following are the masterpoint winners list, a photo of the overall Swiss team winners and a few impromptu photos of the tables as well as a sneak peak of the "goodie table" that is always one of the things Unit 120 tournaments are known for. Thank you to Ellen Preece and her hospitality team and to those of you who contribute to the table (you know who you are!).  
Apr 06-07, 2019

Sat AM NLM 0-500 Pairs - 9.0 Tables

Fran Heim, S Abington PA; Begona Kowet, Lords Valley PA
Marie Lewis, Dallas PA; Anne Pelak, Kingston PA
Helene Elko, Larksville PA; James Haley, Pittston PA
Robert Wojack, Pittson PA; Lee Allen Fett, Dallas PA
Alice Mehlman, Roseto PA; Cecily Myers, Stroudsford PA
Robert Reed, Danville PA; Ferguson John, Elysburg PA

Sat AM 0-100 Pairs - 4.0 Tables

Beth Dimler, Orefield PA; Gilbert Deleeuw, Douglassville PA
Warren Todd - Bernard King, Dallas PA
Mary Ellen McCormick, Forty Fort PA; Roseann Tedesco, Moosic PA

Sat Aft 0-100 Pairs - 4.0 Tables

Brooks Eldredge-Martin, Towanda PA; Joan Hudyncia, Wysox PA
Beth Dimler, Orefield PA; Gilbert Deleeuw, Douglassville PA
Harold Koehler, Dallas PA; Rita Groves, Pittston PA
Warren Todd - Bernard King, Dallas PA

Sat Aft NLM 0-500 Pairs - 9.0 Tables

Gerald Arcuri - Kathleen Arcuri, Benton PA
Linda Churla, Waverly PA; Marla McNabb, S Abington Twp PA
Woody Wolston, Hope NJ; Gillian Chase, Lincoln Univ PA
Robert Reed, Danville PA; Ferguson John, Elysburg PA
Barbara Shaffer, Kingston PA; Victoria Tarleton, Bear Creek Twp PA
Helene Elko, Larksville PA; James Haley, Pittston PA

Sunday Pro-Am Dupli-Swiss - 18 Tables

Craig Bailey, Macungie PA; Bagisa Mukherjee - Arup Mukherjee - Lee Stanley, Bethlehem PA
W Burns III - Janet Morganthau, E Stroudsburg PA; JoAnn Mauger, Effort PA; Grace Sutherland, Danielsville PA
James Post, Hanover Twsp PA; Alan Fierverker, Kingston PA; Harold Koehler, Dallas PA; Stephen Tillman, Shavertown PA
Beth Rosenthal, Shavertown PA; Marie Wildman, Wappingers Fls NY; Victoria Tarleton, Bear Creek Twp PA; Joe Distini, Clarks Summit PA
George Mansour - Stephen Mansour, Scranton PA; Marie Lewis, Dallas PA; Kathleen McCarthy, Kingston PA
Robert Reed, Danville PA; Jean Olcese, Coal Township PA; Ferguson John, Elysburg PA; William Buchin, Weatherly PA
Alice Mehlman, Roseto PA; Guinevere Ritter, Nazareth PA; Mimi Lengel, Easton PA; Cecily Myers, Stroudsford PA
John Gindhart - Betsy Hattersley, Hawley PA; Joan Winters, Beach Lake PA; Clara Kelly, Honesdale PA


Five Fun Facts About Spring:
  1. The first day of Spring is called the vernal equinox. The term vernal is Latin for Spring.
  2. The first Spring flowers are usually daffodils, dandelions, lilies, tulips, iris and lilac
  3. During the Spring, birds are more vocal as they sing to attract mates and ward away rivals.
  4. Honeybees are more likely to swarm during Spring.
  5. If you stand at the equator on the first day of Spring, you'll see the sun pass directly overhead. This happens only twice a year-the first day of Spring and the first day of Autumn.
MAY you all bid and make 7NT.
 See you at the Bridge Tables!

Unit 121: Berks Montgomery 
Brian C Snyder 
Our annual Pro Am Unit Game was held Saturday April 6 at Sacred Heart Villa. First overall winners were Tom Kimmel and Jack Berry with 61.81%.

Sue Wessner will be hosting a bridge cruise from May 9 - 18, 2019. CLICK HERE for more information.

Our Spring Intermediate-Newcomer Sectional Tournament will be Friday May 24 at Sacred Heart Villa. CLICK HERE for more information.

Congratulations to the following players for their advancement in the ACBL Masterpoints Ranks:
New Junior Master - Jill Cardamone
New Sectional Masters - Gilbert Deleeuw, Shirley Lutz

Unit 133: Lehigh Valley 
Lois Fuini

                      Happy Spring Unit 133
Whatever celebrations you enjoyed this spring, we hope they were happy and healthy! It was good to see so many of you at our Spring Sectional, and we hope we will see you again at our NLM Sectional on May 18th.

Mentor/Mentee Game
 The Mentor/Mentee Game on Thursday, March 28 was well attended. Fourteen tables enjoyed a pleasant afternoon playing Swiss Teams. For some it was a first time experience, but because of the volunteers on standby assisting with the scoring and table movement, it was a great experience. Thanks to the two-thirds of our board members who supported it.

Since our players want to try Swiss Teams again, we have scheduled another game for Thursday, October 3, 2019. Please mark your calendars.

Overall Winners:
1st - Michael Adelizzi, Chuck Campbell, Jim Kenny, Mary Ann Sharpless
2nd - Bill Franczak, Arup Mukherjee, Bagisa Mukherjee, Lee Stanley
3rd - Kristine Burfeind, Guinevere Ritter, L Irish Murphy, Diane Saylor

Thanks to Mike Kohler for organizing the event, Mimi Lengel for providing the delicious desserts, Mary Ann Sharpless for helping arrange teams and Pat Clarke for assisting our players with scoring and moving to the correct tables.

Unit 133 Spring NLM Tournament
Please join us for our second annual Spring 0-100 and 0-500 NLM tournament on May 18th at Lehigh Valley Active Life in Allentown. Games are scheduled for 10 am and 2 pm 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

June STaC Games
Mark your calendars for STaC Games in June. Earn silver points at our home clubs.
Monday, June 3rd
0-100 game and 0-500 game, 12:30pm at LVAL in Allentown
Wednesday, June 5th
0-50 game, 9:00am at LVAL in Allentown
Thursday, June 6th
0-299 game & Open Pairs game, 12:30pm at LVAL in Allentown
Open game, 6:45pm at Brith Sholom in Bethlehem
0-100 game, 6:00pm at Brookside Country Club in Macungie
Friday, June 7th -
Invitational game, 12:30pm at LVAL in Allentown 
Thanks to Betsy Cutler for scheduling the STaC games.

Special Offer at Country Club Duplicate Games
Our three Unit 133 country clubs have announced a special offer for first time guests, especially beginner and intermediate players. Try each country club game one time for FREE! Note: The free entry pass does not include the $13 cost for lunch.
Location: 901 Willow Lane, Macungie
When: Every Tuesday,  November - March
           1st and 3rd Tuesday, April - October
Time: 10am - 2pm
Director: John Schwartz
Location: 2319 South Cedar Crest Blvd.  Allentown
When: 2nd and 4th Wednesday, April - November
Time: 10am - 2pm
Director: Bill Forrester
Saucon Valley
Location: 2050 Saucon Valley Road, Bethlehem
When: 2nd and 4th Thursday, January, March - October
           1st and 2nd Thursday, November, December, February
Time: 10am - 2pm
Director: Sylvia Hand

Unit 133 - Meet Your Directors!
Bill Forrester
Bill believes that "beyond knowing the laws and mechanics of the game, the director needs to be fair-minded and remember the players are the important part of the game. A pleasant environment is key and a good sense of humor always comes in handy." Bill is always willing to substitute for another director and patiently help his players when they have questions.

Sara Gainey
Sara began playing bridge on a cruise ship. Looking at 13 days across the Atlantic with no ports-of-call, she decided to take bridge lessons from the cruise director/teacher, George King. Fast forward 100 masterpoints. Sara found an increasing frustration with her lack of understanding of the laws of the game. Barry Griswold, Director/ Mentor/ Friend, encouraged her to become a director. In 2015, Sara traveled to Denver for the ACBL Club Director course with Priscilla Smith. Today, Sara directs at various club games and NLM tournaments. In 2016, she took the ACBL TAP course and is currently teaching beginner and intermediate students. She believes "every director develops their own style, but the best directors employ humor and compassion to competently and fairly apply the Laws." Sara connects with each of her players in a positive way and proactively ensures a fun and fair playing environment for ALL.

Sylvia Hand
For many years Sylvia played Pinochle with a group of friends. Four of them, including Sylvia, decided to learn the game of bridge. In the mid 1970's they registered to take bridge lessons at the Allentown YWCA from Director Michael Chiapas. As Sylvia's game advanced, she was fortunate to have Else Gerbert as a mentor/teacher. Else saw the potential in Sylvia's ability and encouraged her to study to become a director. After becoming a director, she co-directed the games on Friday and Saturday at the Lehigh Valley Active Life Center. Active In 2007, Sylvia became the director of the duplicate bridge game at Saucon Valley Country Club. Currently, she continues to direct this game where she provides a fun environment where players are treated fairly and with respect. She feels "the most important part of being a good director is preserving the integrity and respect of the game of bridge."

John Schwartz
John began playing bridge in 1983. After playing and competing for 25 years, he decided to become a director. He began directing in 2007. What encouraged John to become a director was his foresight to see the need for directors. He was playing regularly at a game that needed another director and looking ahead he thought it seemed like a future need for the various games. Currently, John directs at the Bethlehem Bridge Club and also at the Brookside Country Club in Macungie. He feels a good  director needs "the technical background (table movements, the laws, the scoring program, etc), but the main role is to keep the game running smoothly. This can often be a challenge due to slow play, behavior issues, or computer glitches." John does a good job making this happen in a kind, but firm way. He always takes the time to help players understand the laws and all their options, especially those who are new to duplicate.

Thanks to Bill, Sylvia, Sara, and John for their willingness to take the time to help with this article. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated, caring directors in our unit. More to come about the rest of our directors next month.
Unit 141: Philadelphia 
Howard Kahlenberg

It's not too late to register for the 2019 Annual PCBA Membership Meeting and Jane Segal/Sonny Japan Trophy Game.  This year's event will take place at the Bala Country Club (2200 Belmont Avenue in Philadelphia, in the event you haven't been there.) Brunch begins at 10:30. After the game will be the Annual Meeting of the Unit, which is a great opportunity to hear about the state of Unit; more importantly, it's an opportunity to fete the Unit winners of the 2018 Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKinney contests for 2018. (Please see last month's issue of the 4Spot for a complete list of the winners.)

After brunch, stay to compete to win the Jane Segal/Sonny Japan Trophy Game. Named after two illustrious former members of the Unit, it's the only unit game of the year to afford you the opportunity to have your name engraved on a trophy. Come see if you can dethrone defending champs Estelle and Alvaro Ronderos.

To sign up, email Past President Extraordinaire Joan Warren at . Brunch and the game are only $30; if you just want to dethrone the Ronderoses, you can play in the game for $15.

Congratulations to all who made Life Master, or achieved a new LM category, in April.
New Life Masters:
Steven Rellis
Gail Ruth
New Diamond Life Master:
Phyllis Burstein
New Sapphire Life Master:
George Subt
New Gold Life Master:
Nancy Walchek
New Ruby Life Masters:
William Coren
Dara Dinner
Judy Robbins
New Bronze Life Masters:
Beth Milton
Sandy Tilney

Finally, from the "Nice Guys Finish First" Department - Congratulations to Lou Glashtal for winning the  0 -10,000 Knockout Teams at the Memphis Nationals. I have played against Lou many times and have been lucky enough to have him for a teammate a couple of times. He is truly one of the nice guys in bridge. (This is [barely] not an oxymoron.) He has also dropped every stiff king offside that I have held against him for the last 2 years. I may have to start sitting to his right!
Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania 
Jeanne Gehret
CONGRATULATIONS to these Unit 168 members on their new masterpoint rank achievements:
Club Master:
Lydia Fritz, Tony Zettlemoyer
Sectional Master:
Sadik Akay
NABC Master:
Karen Pagano
Silver Life Master:
Susan Kennedy
Sapphire Life Master:
Charlie Wooten
Wacky Hands & Gadgets - by Dave Bort
Bidding the Elusive 20-Point Grand!
In a recent matchpoints game in Sterling, VA, Board 14 was none vul, and our opponents held:
       North: JT2 84 Q92 AQ542            South: K965 3 KJ4 KJT73
while partner's and my hands were:
       West: 84 KJT72 AT8753 None     East(me) AQ73 AQ965 6 986
The bidding went:
       West              North      East(me)        South
   1H              X
4H(1)            Pass           Pass(2)     Pass
(1) Well, I've got 5 trumps, an Ace, and a void, so this should be a reasonable bid.
(2) OK, if you say so, partner.
Result: Making 7, on the (slavish, 4th-down) lead of the Club 7, which was in a four-way tie for a top board.
Discussion: It was East-West's first time playing together, so neither partner wanted to be too outrageous. But, look at what could have happened:
       West                       East(me)
       4C(1)                       4S(2)
       5S(3)                       6C(4)
       7H!(5)                    Pass(6)
(1) Splinter, showing a game-forcing hand (classically, 13-15 playing points, or using a Losing Trick Count/Cover Card approach, showing 4 cover cards for partner's assumed seven-loser opening hand), with a singleton or void in Clubs.
(2) Kickback, 1430 for Hearts. Note that by partnership agreement, Kickback can also be played to use 0314 responses.
(3) Even number of keycards (almost always 2, in our Bridge lifetimes), with an unspecified void (except it's pretty clear where the void is, in this auction!), from among: 4N = 1 or 4 keycards, 5C = 3 or 0 KCs, 5D = 2 KCs without the Queen of Hearts, 5H = 2 KCs with the Q, 5S = even number KCs with an unspecified but believed-to-be-useful void, 5N = odd number KCs with a Spade void, 6C = odd number KCs with a Club void, and 6D = odd number KCs with a Diamond void.
(4) Third-Round Control-Ask, a grand-slam try, requesting partner to bid a grand slam if they have a third-round control (a Queen, doubleton, or even a singleton in an unbid suit). Normally, partner may have room to identify the suit in which they hold a third-round control, but here, bidding space has been compressed by the splinter bid, so partner will have to think hard.
(5) Well, if partner's making a grand-slam try, they certainly know where my two keycards are, and my void. And, they must, in turn, have the Spade Ace. Further, they must be encouraged by knowing I have the Diamond Ace. So, I'm thinking that my third-round Spade control might be just what partner's looking for, so here goes!
(6) Great, partner figured out I was looking for a Spade doubleton, so given that, and what the remaining distribution must be, I think I can ruff long Diamonds in my hand until I make them good. We'll know soon!
Result for this imaginary auction: Making 7 (as actually happened at the table).
Discussion: Maximum partnership performance can be reached only with the effective use of informative bidding tools, combined with logical, deductive thinking. Yes, rules are necessary and helpful, but thinking is essential; asking yourself "What is partner trying to do?" can be critical during the bidding process, as well as on defense.
References include:
1) "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know", by Barbara Seagram & David Bird, Chapter 10: Splinter Bids
2) Roman Keycard Blackwood, The Final Word (5th Edition), by Eddie Kantar, for the Third-Round Control-Ask (and the Second King-Ask, and the Suit-Ask in Minors, and more). Buy it! Be there or be square!
3) Keycard Responses with a Void, available from the author upon request, tailored for a partnerships' Ace-Asking (Roman Keycard Blackwood, 1430, Redwood, Minorwood, Kickback, or more exotic agreements) and keycard choices (1430 or 0314), when playing something other than straight RKB or 1430.

Stay tuned next month, for more wacky hands & gadgets.
Unit 190: Delaware 
Ala Hamilton-Day

DIAMOND STATE SECTIONAL September 13 - September 15
Menus and delicacies have been the topic of recent conversations. The question, still unanswered, is what delectable foods will be served on at the annual meeting on Saturday, September 14th?
BRIDGE AT THE BEACH September 26 - September 28
Rehoboth is the site for this Southern Delaware tourney, which is famous for delicious home-baked cakes and goodies, as well as that lavish Southern hospitality. Mark your calendars now for this great event!

Paul Amer,  David Venetianer 
Elaine Clair, Peter Kyper

JUNIOR MASTER :   Richard Read
CLUB LIFE MASTER :   Curt W. Novak
SECTIONAL MASTER : Ann H. Biehn and Joan Graves
LIFE MASTER:Jill L. Itzkovitz
BRONZE LIFE MASTER : Jill L. Itzkovitz
SAPPHIRE LIFE MASTER : Elizabeth E. Mallon
The April Fool's Day Beer Card Winner
Rick Rowland
UNIT 190 at the MEMPHIS NABC  

1. 51.57 Benito Garozzo
2. 33.17 Richard Popper
3. 18.81 Anne Taylor
4. 18.40 Ala Hamilton-Day
5. 13.25 Mark Henderson
6. 11.94 Robert Taylor
7. 11.84 Melody Henderson
8. 8.28 Randall Berseth
9. 7.82 Caroline Hughes
10. 7.82 Thomas Hughes
11. 2.81 David Venetianer
12. 1.42 Elizabeth Akana
13. 1.42 Paul Akana
14. 1.12 John Strange  
Well, to be frank, I'd have to change my name.

Unit 217: Susquehanna  
Jim McKeown
Congratulations to Charnell Havens as a new Sectional Master!

Please join us for our next sectional May 31 - June 2 at the Boalsburg Fire Company, 113 E. Pine Street, Boalsburg, PA 16827.
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4Spot | May 2019 | Editor: Janet Johnson |