Welcome to the website for ACBL Unit 526 (U526). We are the La Jolla and Beach Unit in District 22 (D22) of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). Our games are held at 1 PM on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at the Soledad Club at 5050 Soledad Road in Pacific Beach (See also the Interactive Google Map of major San Diego clubs). We tradeoff the occasional fifth Sunday with San Diego Unit 539. If you play bridge but are unfamiliar with duplicate (tournament) play, check out Karen Walker’s introduction. Completely new to the game? Check out the ACBL’s Learn to Play web page.
2015-2016 Annual Financial Report
The 2015-2016 unit annual financial report is available in summary form with comparisons to the previous three financial years and also in a month-by-month form showing month-by-month income and expense.
The unit showed a profit of $375.35 for FY 2015-2016 which is lower than the $820.36 profit in the previous fiscal year. May sectional profit was $673.84, about $300 higher than the previous fiscal year. But during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the unit incurred one time legal expenses of $617.50 to clarify our tax exempt status with the state of California. The unit is now confirmed as a 501(c)7 (Social Club) exempt organization since 1984. Roughly $750 of investment income get us in the black. The unit would like to thank our treasurer Barbara Blake for the careful preparation of these reports, a sensible investment strategy, and for taking on the rather tedious job of clarifying our exemption status with the state of California.
The average table count was 16.6 for FY 2015-2016, down from the 17.0 table in the previous year, but still higher than the concerning dip to 15.6 in FY 2013-2014.
Unit board changes
The unit board is finally back to its full strength. At the July board meeting, the board appointed Susan Koshkarian to fill a long standing vacancy. Susan will serve out a term than ends in the summer of 2018. In August, Val Frager stepped down and was replaced by Gail Dunham who was appointed to serve out a term that ends in the summer of 2017. Gail has helped so much with hospitality, particularly at our sectionals, that it just seems like she has been on the board before, but this is actually her first time serving. Welcome aboard Susan and Gail.
Tournament Travel Distances
How far do players travel to NABCs and regionals? Does travel behavior vary significantly from district to district? Can tournaments be classified into types based solely on the shape of their travel histograms? What kind of regionals do we run in D22? See the results for all the 2015 NABCs and regionals.
GCC now allows 1NT with a singleton A, K, or Q
As of the Washington D.C. NABC, it’s official: you can have a partnership agreement permitting opening or overcalling 1NT with a singleton ace, king, or queen. Previously this was considered a psych and therefore could not be a partnership agreement. This change to the General Convention Chart (GCC) brings the ACBL into alignment with a practice embraced by many experts. Read the full announcement.
Tournament Table Counts
The ACBL held 1266 tournaments in 2015. How does this breakdown in terms of NABCs, regionals, sectionals, and STaCs? What is the table count of a typical regional or sectional? To what extent does district participation in tournament play vary in terms of average number of sessions per player in a year? Is it correlated with club participation? Does the tournament schedule affect participation? See the results.
Maritha Pottenger’s handouts online
Maritha Pottenger has created many one or two page bridge handouts in the course of teaching bridge in the San Diego area for several years. 42 of them are now available online in PDF form (13 added February 27th). Check back regularly for more.
January 8th winners: Lynne O’Neill and William Grant (Flt A), Janice Joerger and Mike Munson (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Ramey Farah and Victoria Haines (Flt C, 4th Flt A).
December 11th winners: Lynne O’Neill and William Grant (Flt A), Merrel Olesen and Robert Stevens (Flt B + Flt C).
November 27th winners: Christopher Young and Judy Rimer (Flt A), Robert Brobst and Matthew Kidd (Flt B + Flt C).
Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
**Revised Sunday at 8 pm: This event was originally matchpointed separately in each section and ranked across both sections for the overalls. It has been revised to be matchpointed and ranked across both sections, consistent with the usual way the unit game is handled after checking with our substitute director to make sure there wasn’t a reason it had been scored in the nonstandard manner. Incidentally the standard method is much better supported by ACBLmerge because at the time ACBLmerge was developed the former scoring method was not understood as a possibility.
*Revised Sunday at 8:40 pm: a 420 was on the wrong side on board 17 for Cooper-Cooper vs. Poizner-Obradovic. This change breaks a 6/7th place tie in the overall rankings. Revised again Monday at 4:30 pm: the score for Domurat-France vs Atkinson-Petering was incorrect on board 8. BTW, the odds against South’s second order Yarborough on board 13 are 16,960:1.
What is the worth of AKQxxx? — a geeky tale of probability and simulation.
More hands: The Bridge Goddess Thumbs Her Nose, “Down Ten” John, Necessary Shape, The Self-Forced Declarer, Shifting Forces, The Two-Six Dream, The Submarine Ruff, Suicide King, Curiously Wrong-sided, Triumph of the Intermediates, and Lady Lavender. Hand Index.
Days of Thunder, a review and discussion of Eric Rodwell’s The Rodwell Files: Secrets of a Bridge Champion and a close look at one of the many fascinating hands presented therein.
ACBLmerge, ACBLgamedump, and Bridge Results
ACBLmerge 1.3.5 was released on November 19, 2014. It adds full support for Mac OS X. ACBLmerge 1.3.4 was released on November 7, 2014. This is primarily a bug fix release, including the fix of several bugs in the par calculation. Double dummy calculation is now faster and clicking on a board number in the recap sheet navigates to that hand in the main report. Read more.
Since December 2011, Philippe Lamoise, a bridge player in the North County unit, has been developing the Bridge Results website and I have been making many improvements to ACBLmerge to integrate with the functionality provided by his website. Now it is easy for club directors, club managers, and tournament officials to upload game results using a web interface without knowing anything about running ACBLmerge. Read more about Bridge Results.
Programmers may be interested in the more recent ACBLgamedump utility for directly reading ACBLscore game files, based on the ACBLscore game file format documentation (reverse engineered). This utility is tied to the future of ACBLmerge and has been used by Bridge Results in recent times to generate de novo reports.
Contacts and Board InformationE-mail the Webmaster, E-mail the La Jolla Board, Contact a board member, Board Members, Governance, Minutes, Financials
2016 Annual Masterpoint RacesU526 Mini-McKenney, D22 Mini-McKenney, National Mini-McKenney
U526 Ace of Clubs, D22 Ace of Clubs, National Ace of Clubs
The Mini-McKenney counts total masterpoints earned for the year and the Ace of Clubs counts only masterpoints earned at clubs as opposed to sectionals, regionals, and nationals. There are multiple brackets for each race based on the number of masterpoints a player has at the start of the year.
Find news that has migrated off the homepage on the Table Talk page or the Youth Teaching and Masterpoint Notes blogs. Unit News published in the Contract Bridge Forum is also available on our website. The Education & Resources page contains many links to rules and regulations, San Diego players, bidding and card play, online play, and even a bit of humor. The Free Bridge Software page has descriptions and links to some great free programs. The Analysis Projects page links to some in-depth analyses of bridge data, including the The Payoff Matrix.
The Conventional Wisdom series (, 1.6 MB) from the ACBL Bulletin explains how to fill out a Convention Card accurately. Unlike the version on the ACBL website, our version has the entire series in a single document, complete with an index.
Marvin French resurrected
He is baaaack! Or at least his website is. The webhosting contract for Marvin’s original website lapsed in 2015, a few months after his death. Shortly after Evan Bailey passed away I told Marvin that I had vacuumed up a copy of Evan’s website so that I could re-host it after the webhosting contract lapsed. Marvin was happy to hear that and hoped I would do the same for him after he “kicked the bucket.” So here you go, Marvin!
Marvin French’s many contributions to bridge literature include Squeeze Refresher, his Bidding Handbook (Four-Card Majors: Western Natural Updated), Defense Handbook, AmBIGuous Diamond Bidding System, Skeleton Bidding System, Party Bridge Guide, Beating the Experts, Fairness in Duplicate Pairs Games. Five vs. Four, and other bridge articles. He also wrote about blackjack, literature, and reasoned skepticism.