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 22  - Stratified Open Pairs
September 12  - Stratified Open Pairs
September 26  - Stratified Open Pairs

The San Diego unit is hosting the August 29th fifth Sunday unit game online, which will be a fund raiser for the Ray Sachs charity.

Back to online bridge

Matthew Kidd

The La Jolla unit board has decided to discontinue face to face bridge. Please play in the U539 hosted online unit game at 1 pm (open game, early for limited games). Starting in September, the La Jolla unit plans to host our own online games on our Sundays, complete with concurrent limited games. The experience should be similar for regular unit game players even if the title of the 1 pm event is different.

Regrettably, the misinformed and stupid have snatched defeat from the jaws of scientific victory. Concerns about and actual adverse outcomes from the Delta coronavirus strain have worsened since the joint U526 and U539 survey in June. Breakthrough cases are happening, at least one has been reported at both the Redwood and Soledad Clubs. The good news is that the vaccines have worked very well. Breakthrough coronavirus cases have seldom resulted in hospitalization, let alone death. But the demographics of our group put us at greater risk. Sadly, Kathy Byrne reported on the death of her bridge partner Joe Morello this month from coronavirus despite him being vaccinated.

It didn't have to be this way, but here we are.

I worked in two biotech startups. I did bioinformatics similar to that necessary to develop the mRNA vaccines. Speaking as a scientist, the mRNA vaccines are a great advance, a simple, safe, and precise approach to vaccination, the culmination of four decades of marvelous biotechnology advances since the advent of DNA sequencing and the discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The science behind the mRNA vaccines is way more interesting than the aggregate of all the lies and misinformation spread about them.

Vaccination rates are high in California among the 65+ year-old age group. As of August 21, the CDC COVID-19 Data Track website indicates that 78% are fully vaccinated and 97% have received at least one dose. But only 66% of Californians 18+ years-old are fully vaccinated, and nationally the full vaccination rate is only 62%.

We used to ask some to die for the country. Now we only ask you to live for the country. Get vaccinated. Get your family members vaccinated. This is no time for nonsense.

Resumption of face to face bridge

The La Jolla unit resumed face to face bridge on August 8th, one month later than originally stated in the D22 Connection. The San Diego unit will resume face to face bridge September 5th or later. Check the San Diego unit website for updates.

The August 8th game was free! We had eight tables. Welcome back.

All players must present proof of vaccination at their first visit or in advance by e-mailing a clear photo of their vaccination card to Bill Grant at Note: cut-and-paste may not work for Bill’s e-mail address due to automated e-mail address harvesting prevention measures. Even you have presented your vaccination card at the Soledad Club you still must present it once at a unit game. The Soledad Club and La Jolla unit are separate entities.

Due to city of San Diego restrictions, there will be no hospitality until further notice. However, players are welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks.

Based on the results of the combined La Jolla and San Diego survey, we will space tables slightly further apart and keep windows and some doors open for good ventilation.

2019 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results

The 2019 La Jolla Unit Masterpoint Race Winners are final. Ramey Farah (300-500), Deborah Goldsmith (500-1000), Murray Warmath (1500-2500), and Elaine Chan (2500-3500), convincingly won their Mini-McKenney brackets. Ramey Farah (300-500) also won the district level Mini-McKenney, scooting 30 MP ahead of Julia Nadal from Santa Barbara and placed second in the district level Ace of Club. Deborah Goldsmith (500-1000) was third in the district level Mini-McKenney.

ACBL Live über alles

by Matthew Kidd

Starting in February, clubs (and units) must upload their results through ACBL Live for Clubs. February 9th was our first use of the system, with results e-mailed to subscribing players within two minutes of the upload at 4:40 pm, immediately after the game. However, we will continue posting results on the unit website because the ACBLmerge results presentation has some advantages over the ACBL Live for Clubs presentation.

All the unit game ACBL Live results are here. Choose the Links → ACBL Live menu at the top of the unit website to find the ACBL Live pages for other local clubs.

Overall I think ACBL Live for Clubs is a big achievement for the ACBL. I have posted a long article on Bridge Winners about ACBL Live for Clubs and what I perceive to be its shortcomings. I arranged a teleconference with the ACBL shortly after the fall NABC. They seemed receptive to implementing many of my suggestions but are fighting fires from the ACBL Live transition that will tie them up through the spring NABC in March. In all likelihood, the unit will continue to post ACBLmerge results well into 2020.

Club table counts revisited

If you are interested in ACBL demographics, take a look at Club Table Counts Revisited. You can even download the data and crunch the numbers yourself.

Recent Results

August 8th winners: John Howard and Lawrence Sherman (Flt A), Matthew Kidd and Robert Brobst (Flt B), Bobbie Tobias and Craig Caldwell (Flt C)

March 8th winners: Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger (Flt A), Marianne Klayman and Jane Petering (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Bob Brobst and Matthew Kidd (Flt C, 3rd Flt A)

February 23rd winners: Alan and Debbie Gailfus (Flt A), Jeremy Fields and Linda Gu (Flt B), Peter Clark and Jimee Wood (Flt C)

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
August 8  - Stratified Open Pairs
March 8, 2020  - Stratified Open Pairs
February 23, 2020  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2020 Results 2019 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

2020 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.