La Jolla Bridge (Unit 526)

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.

Upcoming Events

Four bridge players playing outside
Upcoming events
Date Spacer Event
August 14  - Stratified Open Pairs
August 28  - Stratified Open Pairs
September 11  - Stratified Open Pairs
September 16-17  - Joint Unit NLM Sectional (flyer)
Full 2016 Schedule
District 22 and 23 tournaments
Joint NLM sectional logo

The La Jolla, San Diego, and Eastlake / Coronado units are holding a joint NLM sectional in September.

2016 Election Results


Four unit board terms (plus one vacancy) expired in June. At our Annual Meeting and Election game on June 12th, Barbara Blake, Bill Grant, Ursula Kantor, Matthew Kidd were all reelected in an uncontested election.

At the July meeting, the unit board chose to keep most of the current set of officers for 2016-2017: Matthew Kidd as president, Ursula Kantor as vice-president, and Barbara Blake as treasurer. Bob Brobst replaced Lynne Anderson as secretary.

Tournament Travel Distances

Histogram with a clip art car and clip art airplane takeoff superimposted

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.

Al Silverman passed away in June

Al Silverman

Al Silverman passed away in June, another loss from the era of Marvin French, Evan Bailey, and Anne Terry.

David Oakley wrote a short biography and some memories.

Lynne Feldman becomes a Grand Life Master

Lynne Feldman

Unit member Lynne Feldman became a Grand Life Master sometime in April, probably at the April 24th unit game where she picked up 0.92 MP to show a total of 10000.43 MP on the May 2016 masterpoint database, given that she didn’t subsequently earn masterpoints at tournaments or AIB before the reporting deadline.

Platinum LM requires 10,000 MP with the usual varied pigmentation requirements. Grand Life Master requires additionally holding a national title, i.e. winning a nationally rated event at an NABC. Lynne holds four(!) national titles and five second place finishes. Her titles are the Mixed BAM Teams (1979, in a three-way tie for first), the Machlin Womens Swiss (1986, with teammates Jan Martel, Lynne Pollenz, Roberta Epstein, Rozanne Pollack, and Sue Picus), the Womens BAM Teams (1988, with teammates Lisa Berkowitz, Rozanne Pollack, and Sharon Osberg), and the Whitehead Womens Pairs (2008, partnering with Chris Benson).

Lynne joins locals Rhoda Walsh (Carlsbad), Kitty Cooper (Lakeside), Leo Bell (Carlsbad), Steve Cooper (Lakeside), and John Strauch (San Diego) in the elite Grand Life Master club.

Tournament Table Counts

scatter plot of average number of regional vs. sectional sessions per player in 2015 by district

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.

A bad idea returns

outstretched hand

Should D22 players financially subsidize NABC hospitality for the Fall 2017 San Diego NABC? It didn’t seem logical in 2015 and it doesn’t make any more sense in 2016. Read more.

Telling it like it really is

The Hotel Circle concept seems to be the result of some quarantine movement in urban design. We will isolate you from all that is nice about our city, and you will pay extra for the experience because you will be at the mercy of your hotel for all your needs. It is a concept where everyone wins except the guest… The resorts themselves sit recessed from the access road like great concrete castles, all ringed by monstrous unfilled parking lots.… Within this wasteland, we stay at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center. Read more.

You know the place well. Benjamin Lorr has the guts to tell it like it really is.

Club Table Counts

king of clubs silhouetted by club card symbol with jagged red arrow superimposed and a space like grid in the lower half of the image

The ACBL has just over 3000 clubs. How many tables does a typical club have in a year? What is the distribution of club table counts? Which ACBL districts has the highest number of club sessions per member? To what extent do the biggest clubs dominate the total club table count? Do big clubs significantly raise a districts average number of club sessions per player? See the results.

An ACBL Redistricting Proposal

Map of proposed ACBL redistricting

At the unit and district level, one member one indirect vote is rigorously enforced. This falls apart completely at the national level where all significant policy decisions are made. Representation is far from equal. Each district has one vote on the national board of directors but district populations vary from slightly over 3,300 to just over 20,000 (D9 – Florida). This suggests redistricting is long overdue.

While we are at it, let’s shrink the size of the board, killing two birds with one stone, to create the leaner meaner decision making machine that our times require. Read more.

Unit game results available on Bridge Results

The unit games results are now also available on Bridge Results for 2015 and 2016. These are permanently linked from the yellow menu bar under Events → On Bridge Results. The Bridge Results presentation includes the standard ACBLmerge format used on the unit website but also includes additional features such photo galleries of winners (example), a hand by hand viewer, and inclusion of the results in player pages (example).

History of Unit 549 (San Diego North County Inland)

Rex Latus has done a good job writing up the history of Unit 549. We should try to do this for our own unit. Volunteers? Do I hear volunteers?

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.

Recent Results

July 24th winners: Elaine Chan and Michael Mezin (Flt A + B) winning the Bill Logan trophy, Matthew Kidd and Thomas Herzog (Flt C).

July 10th winners: Ron and Mary Huffaker (Flt A), Scott and Carole Nelson (Flt B), Robert Mann and Supriyo Datta (Flt C).

June 26th winners: Lynne O’Neill and William Grant (Flt A), John Lagodimos and Kathie Angione (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Barbara Blake and Patricia Wilkey (Flt C).

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
July 24  - Stratified Open Pairs
July 10  - Stratified Open Pairs*
June 26  - Stratified Open Pairs**
Full 2016 Results 2015 2014
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
2008 2007 2006
  Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
Mon Aft Thu Eve

*Revised July 11th at 6 pm. Board 17 was corrected to +130 for E-W for Pottenger-Darin vs. Sherman-Woodworth to establish equity after a revoke was clearly determined to have occurred but not until after the event had concluded. For Law nerds, under Law 64B6, there is no penalty for a revoke not bought to the attention of the director before the round has ended, however Law 64C equity must be restored, i.e. the non-offending side must be assigned the most reasonable result that would have occurred without the revoke.

**Revised June 27th at 6 pm. Board 16 was corrected from +200 to +100 for Kidd-Herzog vs. Jordan-Jordan. This changes caused the 2nd and 3rd overall in Flt B to swap positions.

What is the worth of AKQxxx? — a geeky tale of probability and simulation.

Rodwell Files book cover

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 Logo
Bridge Results Logo

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.

What’s New

Al Silverman biography. Tournament Travel Histograms. Tournament Table Counts. ACBL Redistricting Proposal. Club Table Counts.

Contacts and Board Information

camera icon E-mail the Webmaster, E-mail the La Jolla Board, Contact a board member, Board Members, Governance, Minutes, Financials

2015 Annual Masterpoint Races

U526 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.

Other Resources

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 (PDF icon, 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.

If you encounter a Zero Tolerance incident at our unit game or any of the clubs within our unit, please fill out our U526 Zero Tolerance form and return it to Bill Grant, our unit recorder.

Various articles: How to be a Fast Player, Essential Bridge Books, Notes from Kantar’s Modern Bridge Defense books, Esplanade Club Closes. Tolstoy Understood Bridge Players.

Marvin French resurrected

Marvin French

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.