Table Talk 2017

woman whispers into a man's ear

Remember the blue publication that arrived in your mailbox more than ten years ago? With the advent of our web site, we no longer publish Table Talk. More information about the La Jolla & Beach Unit 526 can be found on the website than we could ever include in a one page newsletter, like Table Talk.

When flying was classy (and expensive)

A game of bridge on a United Airlines flight in the 1930s
Enlarge This ImagePlaying Bridge on United Airlines in the 1930s

Bridge Diplomacy

Here is an interesting excerpt from Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story by John Bloom:

There was no better example of the Galvin [CEO] way of doing things than Motorola’s complete domination of the Chinese market. All the groundwork for the move into the People’s Republic of China had already begun in 1979, when Patrick Choy, the company’s senior financial executive in Hong Kong, introduced Premier Deng Xiaoping to the game of bridge. Deng loved the game so much that in 1981 he agreed to send a Chinese team to the Motorola-sponsored Hong Kong Inter-City Bridge Tournament. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal until you realize that it was the first time in history that Chinese and Taiwanese officials had gathered together in public at any event. Just as Dennis Dibos was expected to play golf with the right people, Patrick Choy was expected to practice “bridge diplomacy.” Galvin then decided to beat the Japanese into the Chinese market, not by going head-to-head in China but by taking away Japan’s foreign partners. Motorola aggressively developed business among the “four little dragons”—Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore—so that when the time came for to move into mainland China, it was the company full of “sincerity and love” for Asia (yes, they actually used those words), unlike the Japanese who were perceived by the Chinese as rip-off artists. Once they gained the trust of the right people, Galvin told his Asian executives that their next goal was to rewrite the Chinese government’s rules, including—and this is no exaggeration—the Chinese national constitution. China required all foreign companies to form joint ventures with Chinese-held entities and outright forbade wholly owned subsidiaries. Galvin said Motorola wouldn’t be playing this game. It took years to get what he wanted… but when Motorola finally opened a semiconductor factory and a two-way radio factory in the city of Tianjin, it was the first foreign-owned company allowed to operate in China without Chinese partners.

Annual Meeting and Election


The unit board has ten members with staggered two year terms. 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, were reelected on June 11th. Things also remained the same a month later when the unit board picked its officers for the year. Matthew Kidd, Ursula Kantor, Barbara Blake, and Bob Brobst remain president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary respectively.

Ninth year of teaching at La Jolla High

The ninth year of bridge teaching at La Jolla High ran from May 15th through June 14th, 2017. This year, Ron Ignelzi, the unit Education Chair found three teachers. Jill and Stephen Seagren taught two periods for the second year in a row, and after a taking a break for a year, Sandra Gagnon was back for two periods in a different classroom.

This year’s teaching schedule was 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 taught 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).

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.

Rank Advancement for David Abelow, Elaine Chan, and Robert Garin

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.

2016 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results

The 2016 La Jolla Unit Masterpoint Race Winners are final. Ramey Farah (0-5), Deborah Goldsmith (100-200) and Diana Marquardt (2500-3500) convincingly won their Mini-McKenney brackets. Ramey Farah also won her Mini-McKenney bracket at the district level barely edging out Patrick Howlett from Nipomo, CA and Deborah Goldsmith won her Ace of Clubs bracket at the district level and was second in the Mini-McKenney.

2016 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 fourth annual President’s awards at the January 22, 2017 unit game based on the unit game results for 2016.