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

Joint U526 and U539 NLM sectional
Upcoming events
Date Spacer Event
October 25-26  - NLM Sectional (flyer)
October 27  - Stratified Open Pairs
November 10  - Stratified Open Pairs
November 24  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2019 Schedule

October NLM sectional

The San Diego and La Jolla units are once again holding a joint non-life master (NLM) sectional at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center on Executive Drive in UTC, Friday and Saturday, October 25–26. Game times are 9:30 am and 2 pm both days. There is plenty of parking and $5 lunches will be available each day. This tournament will use electronic scoring which means all results will include the contracts and opening leads. Note: you must not be a life master and must have fewer than 750 masterpoints to play in this tournament.

Quite new to bridge and not yet sure you are ready for a tournament? We have a separate 0-50 masterpoint pairs event just for you!

Celebration of Life for Bette Cornelius

Bette Cornelius, 18 years-old

Bette Cornelius passed away on August 5th. Jill Seagren, with help from the unit, hosted a Celebration of Life for Bette before the September 22nd unit game. Listen to the speeches and see the pictures from the slideshow on Bette’s memorial page.

Ron Huffaker passed away

Ron Huffaker passed in his sleep Tuesday September 10th. He will be missed!

Ron Huffaker

Ron was a strong player who usually partnered with his wife Mary and less frequently with his brother Harold. In 2009, Ron and Harold won the Mini Blue Ribbon Pairs at the fall NABC in San Diego. In recent years, they often teamed with Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin. Mary and Ron’s contributions to hospitality are uncountable.

Ron was acquainted with Mike Lawrence at Berkeley around 1970 when four card majors were still the norm. He only converted half way. 1♠ promised five but 1 only promised four. The Huffaker’s 1 openers have picked off more than a few of their opponent’s heart suits. Among other things, we are losing a bit of bidding diversity. But at the table, Ron will be remembered for his card play. Like Lynne O’Neill, Ron played the spots off the cards.

Election Results


Our annual meeting and election was held on August 11th. It would normally have occurred on the second Sunday of June but it got displaced by our sectional which we were unable to hold on Memorial weekend due to scheduling issues.

The unit board has ten members with staggered two year terms. Terms expired for Lynne Andersen, Bob Brobst, Gail Dunham, Ron Ignelzi, and Mary Scott Knoll. All sought reelection. Jill Seagrean also ran for the board. The “vote for up to 5” ballot totals were Lynne Andersen (28), Bob Brobst (28), Gail Dunham (32), Rob Ignelzi (8), Mary Scott Knoll (28), and Jill Seagren (24). Therefore, Jill Seagren will replace Ron Ignelzi on the board.

Rank advancement

Elaine Chan is now a Sapphire LM (3,500 MP). Jill Seagren and Carol Abramowitz are now Ruby LMs (1,500) and Deborah Goldsmith achieved this rank as well a month earlier. These two ranks were added in 2015.

Manoochehr Bahmanian becamge a Gold LM (2,500 MP) at the very end of 2018 and David Oakley reached Emerald LM (7,500 MP) near the start of the 2019. Marin Garin became a Silver LM (1000 MP) in February.

Club update

Adventures in Bridge (AIB) was forced to relocate in the spring after a dispute with other shopping tenants over the use of parking and a subsequent visit by the San Diego fire Marshall who deemed the facility to be too crowded. The owner Wirt Gilliam says both these matters were discussed when he negotiated the lease and that he had two witnesses to these negotiations. After being shutdown for several weeks, AIB reopened at 9025 Balboa Ave, a bit further east, but with the limited schedule of a Friday night game and Saturday open and 1999er barometer games. Wirt is looking into expansion options.

Meanwhile, the Soledad Club added an ACBL sanctioned game on Wednesdays at 11:30 am starting on April 10th with Kathy Moyer as director.

The San Diego Bridge Club added a Thursday game at 10:30 am, at the same location on Home Ave as their Tuesday morning game. All their games are now at the Home Ave location because the other Masonic Lodge along Adams Avenue is being renovated. Check the San Diego Bridge Club website for details.

Recent Results

October 13th winners: Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger (Flt A), Michael Farber and Myrna Blaufarb (Flt B), Ursula Kantor and Lynne Anderson (Flt C)

September 22nd winners: Cameron and Mary Cotton (Flt A), Carol Murphy and Batia Kvashny (Flt B + C)

September 8th winners: Robin Rodger and Sam Madison-Jammal (Flt A), Jane Petering and Marianne Klayman (Flt B), Jianguo Tan and Tianze Tan (Flt C)

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
October 13  - Stratified Open Pairs
September 22  - Stratified Open Pairs
September 8  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2019 Results 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
2009 2008 2007 2006
  Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
Mon Aft

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

Rodwell Files book cover

More hands: The Anti-Finesse Force, Tricky Trump Defense, Criss-Cross Ruffing Clash Squeeze, Trim Squeeze, Risky Loser Discard, Stiff Honor Lead, and Safe Hand Endplay, 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

Maritha Pottenger’s “Teaching Points” short form write ups. Using BridgeTab on Amazon Fire Tablets.

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

2019 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.