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.
June sectional schedule
Friday (7th) and Saturday (8th)
12 pm & 5 pm – Stratified Open Pairs 0-2000/5000/5000+ (single sessions)
12 pm & 5 pm – Straified Pairs 0-500/1000/1500 (single sessions)
12 pm – Starified Pairs 0-100/100-200/200-300
10 am – A/X Swiss Teams 0-5000/5000+
10 am – B/C/D Swiss Teams 0-750/1500/3000
12 pm Stratified Open Pairs 0-1000/3000/3000+ (single session)
The Saturday events will be regionally rated, which means all masterpoint awards will be 27% higher than normal for a sectional.
Note: the 299er events on Friday and Saturday are only at noon. We did not hold a 299er pairs event last year but attendance patterns from last year’s sectional on the 12 pm and 5 pm schedule indicate we can support a 299er event in the noon time slot. We will hold a 299er event at 5 pm on either day if enough 299er players indicate they will stay for it.
New games at local bridge clubs
The temporarily closure of Adventures in Bridge, pending its relocation, has prompted other clubs to add games. The Soledad Club is adding an ACBL sanctioned game on Wednesdays at 11:30 am starting on April 10th with the exception of April 17th which falls during the San Diego regional. Kathy Moyer will direct.
The San Diego Bridge Club has added a Thursday game at 10:30 am, at the same location on Home Ave as their Tuesday morning game. They have also added a Friday 10:30 am game at the Masonic Center. Check their website for details.
Gail Dunham becomes a Gold Life Master
Board member Gail Dunham became a Gold Life Master (2500 MP) during the San Diego regional. Freda Anderson brought a fancy cake to celebrate the occasion at the May 12th unit game. Congratulations, Gail!
2018 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results
The 2018 La Jolla Unit Masterpoint Race Winners are final. Ramey Farah (50-100), Deborah Goldsmith (300-500) and Elaine Chan (2500-3500) convincingly won their Mini-McKenney brackets. Deborah Goldsmith also won her Mini-McKenney bracket at the district level, well ahead of Wayne Gorski from Mission Viejo, and Ramey Farah (200-300) won his bracket in the district level Ace of Clubs.
Maritha Pottenger’s “Teaching Points” online
16 new write-ups, covering September, added November 29th; 26 new write-ups, covering October, added November 30th; 9 new write-up covering November, added December 4th. There are fewer write-up than usual for November because Maritha was teaching bridge on a cruise for part of the month.
Maritha Pottenger has a new series of short form bridge writings which she calls “teaching points” based on bridge mistakes she observes around town. If you ask, she will include you on her e-mail list and send them to you a few times per week. The La Jolla unit is also collecting these online, with plans to add new batches every couple of weeks. Maritha writes quickly in bridge shorthand. Thanks to the Maritha Automated Rectification in Translation Helper Accessory (MARITHA) software, the versions posted online are automatically translated to semi-formal bridge writing, complete with suit symbols and other niceties.
Maritha has also 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 available online in PDF form.
Blue Team cheating scandal revisited
The Italian Blue Team (“Squadra Azzura”) dominated world bridge for over two decades, winning 16 world titles from 1957–1975. They were long dogged by accusations of cheating that were never properly investigated by the World Bridge Federation. Recently, Avon Wilsmore meticulously combed through the tournament records and presents a strong case that the team cheated in his forthcoming book Under the Table (The Case Against The Blue Team). Avon presents many details in his lengthy Bridge Winners article The Talk That Never Was: The Blue Team Rule.
As a both bridge player and a student of statistics I find the evidence damning even from the article alone and expect that the book will drive the nail in the coffin. Kudos to Avon Wilsmore for his heroic effort.
May 12th winners: Jim Johnsen and Patrick Chen (Flt A), Steve and Jill Seagren (Flt B + C, 3rd Flt A).
April 28th winners: Lynne Feldman and Steve Cooper (Flt A), Avram and Susan Ninyo (Flt B), Bridget Poizner and Ray Hilbert (Flt C)
April 14th winners: Judy and Norton Rimer (Flt A), Charles and Marjorie O’Malley (Flt B + C).
Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
What is the worth of AKQxxx? — a geeky tale of probability and simulation.
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 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.
Contacts and Board InformationE-mail the Webmaster, E-mail the La Jolla Board, Contact a board member, Board Members, Governance, Minutes, Financials
2019 Annual Masterpoint RacesU526 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.
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 (, 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.
Marvin French resurrected
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.