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
May 28  - Stratified Open Pairs
June 11  - Annual Meeting & Election
Stratified Open Pairs
June 25  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2017 Schedule
District 22 and 23 tournaments

The May 28th unit game will be held at Adventures in Bridge (at 1 pm—the usual time) due to a wedding at the Soledad Club.

June 11th is your chance to win the Weiss Trophy game which is always held immediately after our annual meeting and election.

Ninth year of teaching at La Jolla High

The ninth year of bridge teaching at La Jolla High will run from May 15th through June 14th, 2017. This year, Ron Ignelzi, the unit Education Chair, has found three teachers. Jill and Stephen Seagren are teaching two periods for the second year in a row, and after a taking a break for a year, Sandra Gagnon is back for two periods in a different classroom. The unit would appreciate volunteers starting Wednesday May 17th.

This year’s teaching schedule is very convenient, two consecutive periods in each classroom, Sandra Gagnon teaching in Ms. Mender’s classroom and the Seagrens teaching in Mr. Kinsel’s classroom. Both classrooms are located in the Science and Technology building and highlighted in this campus map.

Period 28:25 - 9:20 amRoom 904Ms. Menders
Period 39:33 - 10:31 amRoom 904Ms. Menders
Period 39:33 - 10:31 amRoom 907Mr. Kinsel
Period 410:36 - 11:34 amRoom 907Mr. Kinsel

We are teaching the material from the Bidding and Play of the Hand books of the ACBL Bridge Series. Please contact Jill Seagren at 858-254-5550 or if you would like to volunteer for the later periods and contact Sandra Gagnon at 702-802-1738 or if for the earlier periods. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Note: the top of the map is east rather than north and the grey buildings represent second floors rather than separate buildings. The address is 750 Nautilus Street, La Jolla, CA 92037 (local map). Parking can be tight in the area, so allow time to walk a block or two.

Annual Meeting and Election


The unit board has ten members with staggered two year terms. Terms end in June for Lynne Andersen, Bob Brobst, Ron Ignelzi, Mary Scott Knoll, and also Gail Dunham who was appointed to fill out the vacancy created by Val Frager’s resignation.

If you are a member of the unit and would like to run for the unit board, let Matthew Kidd or any other board member know prior to the June 11th annual meeting and election.

Rank Advancement

David Abelow
David Abelow
Elaine Chan
Elaine Chan
Robert Garin
Robert Garin

David Abelow, Elaine Chan, and Robert Garin all reached major milestones at the start of the year.

David Abelow became an Emerald LM (7500 MP). It’s just a matter of time before he hits 10,000 MP, at which point he will bypass Platinum LM and go straight to Grand LM because he has already achieved a national title by winning the Flight A North American Pairs (NAP) in 2007, partnering with Richard Wegman. In presenting his award, unit president Matthew Kidd said, “there are players you know are good and then there are the ones you have to worry about. I’ve played against David a few times and he is one of the ones to worry about.”

Elaine Chan became a Gold LM (2500 MP). Mr. Kidd recounted that his former partner Anne Terry, herself any excellent player, had once said about Elaine, “that woman always manages to fix me,” which he noted that while a complaint, is also a very high compliment. At the time Elaine had only a few hundred masterpoints. Imagine the trouble she causes today!

Robert Garin became a Silver LM (1000 MP). Robert and Marie Garin are some of the nicest opponents and were regulars in the Thursday game at the Soledad Club until that game ended. They travel frequently to France and have taught bridge on cruise ships.

Warning Unheeded

Cover of a booklet from the early 20th century warning about the dangers of college for girls including the risk of forming unladylike habits such as smoking and card play
Enlarge This ImageEducation and bridge are dangerously correlated

Fortunately none of our members heeded these early 20th century warnings.

Tournament Travel Distances

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

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.

Recent Results

May 14th winners: Ron and Mary Huffaker (Flt A), Lawrence Sherman and Victoria Haines (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Edward Brilmyer and Susan Wightman (Flt C, 3rd Flt A)

April 23rd winners: Bernie and Carey Simkin (Flt A + B + C), Liliane Kirchhoff and Rick Roeder (2nd Flt A)

April 9th winners: Ray Boehne and Betty Jackson (Flt A), Robert Moore and Sue Boyle (Flt B, 2nd A), Carol Brager and Ursula Kantor (Flt C, 3rd A)

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
May 14  - Stratified Open Pairs
April 23  - Stratified Open Pairs*
April 9  - Stratified Open Pairs**
Date Spacer Event
Date Spacer Event
Full 2017 Results 2016 2015
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
2009 2008 2007 2006
  Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
Mon Aft

*Revised April 24th at 6 pm: The pair names for N-S pairs 7–9 in section A were incorrectly assigned in a cyclically rotated manner. This is now fixed. There may also be some scoring errors involving these pairs; investigations are ongoing. Revised again April 28th at 10:30 am: corrected two scores, board 1 for Byrne-Sauer vs. Hartman-Pottenger was changed from +420 to +400 and board 13 for Byrne-Sauer vs. Kirchhoff-Roeder was changed from -180 to -120. The board 13 correction drops Kirchhoff-Roeder from 2nd to 4th place overall.

**Revised April 10th at 8 pm: Board 17 had two scoring errors for the matchups Wilson Jr-Norman vs Chaffee-Busby and Bennett-Johnsen vs Abrams-Matz. These corrections slightly reorder some of the winners from Davis Bennett and Jim Johnsen and lower.

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

Milestones for David Abelow, Elaine Chan, and Robert Garin. 2016 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results.

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.