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.
|May 26-28||-||Sectional (flyer)|
|June 10||-||Annual Meeting & Election
Stratified Open Pairs
|June 24||-||Stratified Open Pairs|
|Full 2018 Schedule|
|District 22 and 23 tournaments|
Note: The sectional includes Memorial Day (Monday), with the same schedule as Saturday. Some people have been confused by the “SAT MAY 26 / MON MAY 28” presentation on the flyer.
Annual Meeting and Election
The unit board has ten members with staggered two year terms. Terms are ending in June for Barbara Blake, Bill Grant, Ursula Kantor, Matthew Kidd, and Susan Koshkarian. If you would like to run for the board please contact Matthew Kidd or any other board member. The election is held at our annual meeting and election game on June 10th.
ACBL CEO Bahar Gidwani canned
by Matthew Kidd
The national board of directors canned the ACBL CEO, Bahar Gidwani, after only ten months of service. The ACBL made an official announcement on the Bridge Winners website on April 30th. No specific reasons were given. Nor could I obtain any information verbally from our district director David Lodge, or two other district directors whom I know. Meanwhile the online rumor mill churns—see ACBL Search Committee Up and Rolling and ACBL CEO: Post-Mortem.
Lacking facts, I cannot call this decision wrong. But it is certainly surprising. Mr. Gidwani seemed highly qualified on paper. He had acquired several hundred masterpoints, enough to understand our game and the people who play it. He came across as reasonable and intelligent in the e-mail correspondence I exchanged with him prior to this announcement. By all accounts, Mr. Gidwani had been successful in business and therefore was not beholden to ACBL politics, which is perhaps a clue to what unfolded.
What bothers me about this announcement is the utter lack of transparency. Four years after the ACBLscore+ debacle, the membership has not been given any accounting of what really happened. No one on the board or at headquarters took any responsibility and there is no indication that any lessons were learned. The board immediately hid behind a legal smokescreen as the rumors swirled. I feel that history is about to repeat itself.
In the corporate world, the company’s board protects the shareholders and shareholder value at the expense of the customers. Customers unhappy about a lack of transparency have little recourse but to take their dollars elsewhere. But we are different. We are members of an organization, effectively both customers and shareholders. The unit, district, and national boards serve us and are accountable to us.
We have little reason to erect legal shields. There is no real reason not to be transparent or put ourselves in situations where we can’t be transparent. We don’t even have any serious competitors and the barriers to entry relative to the benefits—financial, altruistic, reform, etc—are high. Moreover we enjoy a natural network effect with masterpoints; customers flock to eBay because it has the largest market, bridge players accumulate ACBL masterpoints because this market has the biggest bragging rights.
The handling of Mr. Gidwani’s dismissal and the ACBLscore+ debacle are discouraging to those of us in bridge administration. And every year our average membership age increases 0.44 years which makes it harder to find enough volunteers. We cannot afford unnecessary black clouds. I highly encourage you to contact David Lodge at 760-328-2004. Understand that he had not assumed office yet when Mr. Gidwani was hired. The issue is transparency.
2017 President’s Awards
Continuing his emphasis on partnerships and statistics rather than individuals and what the late great Victor Mollo called monster points, unit president Matthew Kidd presented the fifth annual President’s awards at the January 28, 2018 unit game based on the unit game results for 2017.
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.
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.
May 13th winners: Timothy Flaherty and Junko Hemus (Flt A), Jeremy Fields and Ying Lin Gu (Flt B), Robert Mann and Supriyo Datta (Flt C).
April 29th winners: Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger (Flt A), Donald Davidson and Ramey Farah (Flt B + C).
April 22nd winners: Timothy Flaherty and Junko Hemus (Flt A), Alana Shapley and Chris Hastie (Flt B), Bridget Poizner and Raymond Hilbert (Flt C).
Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
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
2018 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.