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
December 11  -  Holiday Party Pairs (flyer)
January 8  - Stratified Open Pairs
January 22  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2016 Schedule
District 22 and 23 tournaments

2016 Holiday Party

ribbon and holly

The unit holiday party (flyer) will be held December 11th at 11:15 am at the La Jolla Country Club. Early reservations are recommended because we can only accommodate 100 players. The cost is $25 per player if you have attended at least six La Jolla unit games in 2016; otherwise $30. If you are not sure whether you qualify for the discount, check this list.

2015-2016 Annual Financial Report

Financial spreadsheet logo

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.

Joint unit NLM Sectional was successful

Joint NLM sectional logo

The joint La Jolla, San Diego, and Coronado-Eastlake NLM sectional held September 16th and 17th (Friday and Saturday) was a success, both in terms of table count and financially. We had 64 tables, an average of 32 per day. This was a little better than the 54 tables over two days at the La Jolla NLM sectional last year at the fabulous location of the Beach and Tennis Club. It also comparable to recent San Diego unit NLM sectional table counts of 51, 57, 71, and 62, all of which ran for three days rather than two days. And the 32 tables / day average exceed the 13 year San Diego area NLM sectional average of 25 tables / day. Financially, the units are collectively ahead about $400, considerably better than the break even or even small loss the unit have taken individually on NLM sectionals.

Co-chairs Mike Koscielski, from the San Diego unit, and John Dusharme, the Coronado-Eastlake president, did the bulk of the work. This was Mike’s first tournament, so special congratulations to him. Only now can we tell him that he purchased a 10-pack of tournaments. Lynne Anderson from our unit handled partnerships. Matthew Kidd designed the tournament logo and posted the results. The unit also provided the laptop for scoring and all the table placards.

Participation was good from all three units, 20 players from the La Jolla unit, 43 from the San Diego unit, and 28 players from Coronado-Eastlake unit. Factoring in the disparity in unit membership, it works out to 6% of the La Jolla unit membership, 6% of the San Diego unit membership, and 17% of the Coronado-Eastlake membership. The last percentage is undoubtedly high because the new Knights of Columbus venue was close to the Eastlake players and Kathie Angione did a good job encouraging the regulars at her club to attend. We picked up an additional 20 players from the two north county units, 16 more players from Southern California (as far away as Palm Springs), and 7 from more distant lands.

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

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.

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

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.

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

November 27th winners: Christopher Young and Judy Rimer (Flt A), Robert Brobst and Matthew Kidd (Flt B + Flt C).

November 19th winners: Open: Lynne Newman and Randall Dougherty (Flt A), John Howard and Patricia Lane (Flt B tie), Liliane Kirchhoff and Stuart Sechriest (Flt B tie), Mike Koscielski and Sharyn Pyrz (Flt C); 0-750: Anne Bradley and Geneva Murphy (1st); Beverly Wilson and Liz Kinnebereg (2nd).

November 13th winners: Ken Monzingo and Maritha Pottenger (Flt A), Alice Lane and Barbara Schulte (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Gigette Caldwell and John Howard (Flt C).

October 23rd winners: John Lagodimos and Kathie Angione (Flt A), Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Willie Kiang and Ed Tsu (Flt C).

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
November 27  - Stratified Open Pairs**
November 19  - Bridge for the Cure (Open)*
November 19  - Bridge for the Cure (0-750)*
November 13  - Stratified Open Pairs
October 23  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2016 Results 2015 2014
2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
2008 2007 2006
  Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
Mon Aft

**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.

*The unit apologizes for recent commentary that conflated the reputation and spending priorities of the national Susan G. Koman foundation with that of Susan G. Komen San Diego which actually hosted this event, in a manner that unfairly disparaged the latter organization. Laura Farmer Sherman, speaking on behalf of Susan G. Komen San Diego, notes that Susan G. Komen San Diego is a stand-alone 501(c)3 with a its own governing board, has a low 13% administrative expense, a higher than average percentage (25%) funds donated to research through the national organization, and spends the bulk of the remaining funds in San Diego providing uninsured and underinsured women and men with education, free mammograms and diagnostic services, transportation to and from appointments, meal delivery for a patient and her entire family during the course of treatment, temporary financial help for all of her life’s needs, reconstruction and plastic surgery, patient navigation and care coordination.

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

2016 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.