Table Talk 2008–2011

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.

ACBLmerge Talk and Publicity

ACBLmerge Logo

Ken Monzingo, our District National Board Representative, asked me to give a talk at the D22 board meeting in Palm Springs about ACBLmerge and what is required to post the full results for a regional. The talk Rich Results with ACBLmerge (PDF icon, Microsoft PowerPoint icon, 3 MB) is available online. Many ACBL leaders were in attendance, including our new CEO, the past and current presidents, and the tournament managers for the Gatlinburg and Las Vegas regionals, the only two regionals with higher table counts than Palm Springs.

ACBLMerge 1.2.3 made its Canadian debut in the huge Penticton regional. This article is excerpted from the Friday Penticton Regional Daily Bulletin

2011 Holiday Party

St. Nicholas riding a candy cane

For the second year in a row, the Holiday Party was held at the La Jolla Country Club (flyer) on the second Sunday of December.

This year we gave preference to players who regularly attend our unit games. The cost was $20 for players who had attended at least five La Jolla unit games in 2011 through Oct 9th; otherwise it is $25.

Mary Huffaker is a D22 Area III Goodwill Nominee

From the November 2011 issue of the Contract Bridge Forum:

Mary Huffaker

Mary Huffaker. Mary is from Unit 539 San Diego. She is the epitome of a good volunteer: she can do almost anything and she does it without anyone asking! She served on the Unit 539 Board as an outstanding Hospitality Chair. She’s a great cook, and attendance grew at the games “because the food is always so good.” Even now, Mary always steps up and fills the empty spot.

The game of bridge inspires Mary’s helpfulness at any location. When other units have games, she can be seen (very quietly, I might add) picking up after people, folding bidding boxes, helping wherever needed. Where there is a game with newer bridge players in attendance Mary always quietly answers any questions and offers a welcoming attitude. A fine example for us all.

It’s all true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Congratulations Mary.

Want to Contribute to the Website?

steaming coffee cup next to a pen and pad of paper

Want to contribute to the website? You don’t need to know a thing about website programming. You just need to be a writer. E-mail me your bridge related article, editorial, hand commentary, tournament report, etc, and I’ll do the rest. Need to include cards, bids, hands, or hand diagrams? Read more. You can also send me pictures.

Mike Weber Retires

The August 28, 2011 game was Mike Weber’s last as our unit game director. After more than five years as our director, he has retired from his day job and is moving to Portland, Oregon where he will continue to direct bridge. Thanks Mike! Paul Darin will be our new director.

I want to thank Mike for his prompt delivery of the electronic hand records at the end of each game. This made it possible to post ACBLmerge integrated results in a timely manner.

The Social Network

social network depicted by red and blue people connected by dotted line

Who plays with whom? How often? How well do they do on average? What percent does your partnership need to average to be in the top 10% in a game? Who is promiscuous? For an in depth look at our social network, read more.

Attendance Statistics

red and white five pointed star with blue ribbon with Attendance Award written on it

Freda Anderson wins the “award” for best attendance for the last two years. She attended 47 (90%) of the 52 most recent unit games. She is followed by Fumie Graves (46), Phyllis Pankow (45), Sally Ishihara (43) and Tom Tatum (43). Nearly 500 people have played during the two year period, but ~200 players account for 90% of the table count and just 59 regulars account for 50% of the table count.

Club Update

In July, Adventures in Bridge moved to its new location, 6150 Mission Gorge Road, Suite 122, SD, CA 92120, less than a mile away from the previous location.

On August 1st, the Esplanade Club changed hands from Donna Wood and Paul Foster to Jade Barrett’s corporation, Tournament Bridge Services and has a new website. Paul Darin has been hired as the club manager. Donna intends to continue helping at the club for about a year.

2011 Election results and Budget

By voice assent Marge Hughes was elected to the board at the June 12th Annual Meeting and Election game. Randy Fadem, Ron Ignelzi, and Janet Ansfield were reelected. The July 10th board meeting officer election results are Randy Fadem (president), Matthew Kidd (vice-president), Marge Hughes (secretary), and Chuck Wilson (treasurer). Gary Mollenkopf has resigned from the board.

Chuck Wilson presented the annual financial report at the July 10th game. The unit lost approximately $4500. Read more.

On August 28th, the board unanimously voted to suspend free plays for board members, effective September 1st. This will save ~$50 per game.

Debbie Gailfus and Alan Gailfus won the Weiss Trophy for the second year in a row and their fourth time total. It was a squeaker though: Mac Busby and Suzanne Lebendig were only 0.15% behind, followed by the first time partnership of Jeremy Fields and Matthew Kidd, 0.51% behind.

2010 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results

The 2010 La Jolla Unit Masterpoint Race Winners are final. 2010 was a poor year for the unit – no one won at the district or national level.

ACBLmerge gains Face View feature

ACBLmerge tooltip illustration showing player's face and number of masterpoints

Do you have trouble keeping track of names and faces? No need to be embarrassed anymore! The 1.2.1 release of ACBLmerge introduces Face View. Just hold your mouse cursor over a player’s name to see their picture and approximate strength.

In order to introduce the feature I have uploaded faces for many unit game regulars. For some of you I have your “happy” face and for others I have your “game” face. As an amateur photographer I like both styles. If you would like to have your picture added or wish to submit a different picture please e-mail the picture to me. If you prefer that your picture not be used, e-mail me and I will remove it from the face database promptly. Eventually, I’ll try to automate picture management through some web forms, but I’m not there yet.

New bridge directories have arrived

The 12th edition (2011) of the printed bridge directory is now available. La Jolla Unit members may pick one up free of charge at any unit game. Extra copies are available for a small charge. Non-unit members should pick one up in their unit. There are many changes since the previous edition was published in 2006. The La Jolla Unit is happy to report that we had a 67% response rate from our members for updated information, the highest of the five participating units.

Larry Sherman writes a series of bridge articles

Larry Sherman

Larry Sherman starting writing a series of articles on bridge for in January 2011. He says his objective is to introduce the game to a broader demographic. His audience is primarily internet savvy people twenty to sixty years old. Have general interest bridge stories you would like to share? Please let him know.

Where are the bridge players in the Patchwork Nation?

Patchwork Nation

In 2010, journalist Dante Chinni and statistician James Gimpel published Our Patchwork Nation. Seeking to move beyond the simplistic blue and red states paradigm, they examined the nation’s 3,141 counties in terms of race, education, income, religion, and politics to get a flavor of local perspectives. They identified 12 different community types based on “common experiences and shared realities” which they breezily named boomtowns, campus and careers, emptying nests, Evangelical epicenters, immigration nation, industrial metropolis, military bastions, minority central, monied burbs, Mormon outposts, service-worker centers, and tractor country. How well is bridge doing in each community? Read more.

2010 Holiday Party

St. Nicholas riding a candy cane

The Holiday Party was held Sunday December 12 at the La Jolla Country Club (flyer), a great venue. Brunch was held in a room with a spectacular ocean view and the bridge was played across the hall with a view of the golf course. View the pictures.

It turns out that even country clubs are not immune from difficult economic times. Janet Ansfield, on behalf of the unit, was able to negotiate an excellent rental rate. Thank you, Janet.

Get Listed!

Address book

The San Diego bridge units are putting together an update to the printed directory which was last updated in 2006. Alice Leicht is heading up this substantial effort. The submission deadline has been extended two weeks to December 14th. Please print out the submission form and mail it in. Many bridge clubs also have copies of the form. Want to advertise in the directory? Talk to Alice.

Board membership changes

BJ Petersen, Dorinda Lindvall and Bob Walters resigned from the board at the end of August 2010. Chuck Wilson was appointed to fill the vacancy created by Dorinda Lindvall and assumed her duties as treasurer. Chuck had previously served on the board for many years in multiple positions. Billie Greene was appointed to the board at the October 10th meeting.

World Bridge Series Championships

World Bridge Federation logo

The World Bridge Series Championships (WBSC), the world’s biggest and most prestigious bridge competition was held in Philadelphia, PA, USA, October 1-16, 2010! It was the first such event to be held in the United States since 1994 and approximately 100 nations were expected to participate in the world series, represented by thousands of the world’s best players competing for world titles. Along with the WBSC, the ACBL District 4 hosted a World Bridge Federation Regional tournament to enable bridge players of all levels to share in the excitement! The World Youth Team Championships also took place in Philadelphia at this time. ACBL & WBF masterpoints were given out for these events.

Judy Rimer and Maritha Pottenger from San Diego made the journey and wrote a tournament report.

Card fees increasing to $8

dollar sign

The board voted unanimously to raise the card fees to $8 effective August 1, 2010. No one enjoys paying more but we are still one of the cheaper (and more competitive) games in town. The sanctioned games at the Soledad Club have been $8 for at least two years. Recently, Adventures in Bridge increased their card fees to $9. Some games in North County are $10. Curious where you card fees go? Read Budgeting 101.

Esplanade Club's first birthday

First birthday cake

The Esplanade Club in Solana Beach celebrated its first year in business on June 26, 2010. Congratulations to Donna Wood and Paul Foster.

2010 Election results

By voice assent at the June 13th Annual Meeting and Election game, Cass Donovan, Bill Grant, Matthew Kidd, Dorinda Lindvall, Gary Mollenkopf were elected to the board for the 2010-2012 term. Please welcome Gary Mollenkopf who is new to the board. Bill Grant and Matthew Kidd were reelected. Cass Donovan had been serving on the board by appointment due to the resignation of Diana Marquardt year (appointments end at the next election). Dorinda Lindvall had served previously on the board from 2004-2007.

Steve Johnson and Manoochehr Bahmanian are stepping down. However, Steve will continue to write the unit news for the Contract Bridge Forum. Thanks Steve!

Technological Advancement

Bridgemate II scoring device BridgePad scoring device

Our January 2010 sectional had Bridgemate machines for electronic scoring. This was the first time I had seen them used at a sectional but the director in charge (DIC) provided them for a small fee and informed me that they had been standard in southern California tournaments for about six months. The 2009 San Diego NABC featured both Bridgemate and BridgePad machines for scoring in what I presume was a trial prior to standardizing on one or the other. Both seem to work well from a player’s perspective though Bridgemate might be a little more with it — the BridgePad website still has a logo that states, “BRIDGEPAD Scores BIG at the NACB” as though they weren’t very familiar with our tournaments. This misspelling persists several months after I informed them about it.

Now local clubs are adopting the technology. The co-located Redwood Bridge Club and San Diego Bridge Academy recently purchased shared Bridgemates. The June 2010 Contract Bridge Forum unit news reports that the North County Bridge Center in Escondido recently purchased both Bridgemates and a PlayerBridgeDealer 4 card dealing machine. This dealing machine is state of the art at 6 seconds per board and does not require barcoded cards. I asked for a quote back in January 2009 and it came to slightly more than $4000. Thus for the unit games we are still better off paying Adventures in Bridge to deal our hands. But large clubs should definitely consider purchasing one.

High school teaching

Rick Simpson helps a La Jolla High student learn bridge

The La Jolla unit taught bridge to La Jolla High students in May for the second year. This year’s effort was led by board member Randy Fadem with much help from the greater San Diego bridge community. Read the full story or view the pictures. In parallel Bill Grant taught bridge at Chula Vista High, his tenth year doing so. Bill and Randy were featured in a cover article of the May 29th issue of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Bridge Guys and Dolls promotional pictures

Vicki Nardone and Gary Mollenkopf

View promotional pictures for the performance of Joel Hoersch’s Bridge Guys and Dolls, which had two performances at the 2010 San Diego regional. Many cast members from the performance of My Fair (LOL) Lady at the fall 2009 NABC returned for Bridge Guys and Dolls. Promotional Poster.

Put some faces on the ACBL movers and shakers.

Lena Jelusich reaches 10,000 masterpoints

Lena Jelusich crossed 10,000 masterpoints in April. That is quite a lot. In November 2010, she finally appeared in the life master milestones section of the Bridge Bulletin.

Elaine Chan wins the 2009 National Ace of Clubs

The 2009 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results are final. See the listing of La Jolla unit winners. Elaine Chan has won the National Ace of Clubs in her bracket (200-300) by over 30 MP, avenging last year’s loss of first place by only 2.89 MP. She is also second in the Mini-McKenney race, ~40 MP behind Lenore Cavallero of Hillsborough, CA.

The April 2010 Bridge Bulletin quotes Elaine as saying, “I wasn’t to trying win. I’m just one of those goofs who loves to play.” But Elaine says this quote is misleading. She meant that she wasn’t try to win the Ace of Clubs or Mini-McKenney award but is certainly interested in winning at bridge.

Club News

The San Diego Bridge Academy put up a website in January. They are located in the same facility as the Redwood Club but are a separate organization. The club has evening games on Tuesdays and Saturdays and afternoon game on Thursday. A lesson precedes the Tuesday game.

Did you know the Scripps Ranch bridge club has been hiding in plain site for over a year? Matthew Belau says the stealth is deliberate. They are not listed on the ACBL’s website because they don’t want to get too big, having only a 12-table capacity, already hitting 11 tables on some Mondays.

Bridge Parties of Yesterday

Carmen Fullbright

Take a trip down memory lane. David and Pauline Oakley have provided the unit pictures of their bridge parties from 1972 and 1973. See how many people you remember! Have pictures of your own? E-mail the webmaster.

Masterpoint Reform

light bulb

As a lead up to the January sectional, I wrote a couple of articles about the ACBL reward system (Masterpoints or Glory, Against 499er, 799er, 999er Events). Since then I found Robert Frick’s masterpoint reform website that covers the matter in detail. Mathematically inclined visitors may wish to head directly to the page titled A Formula for Masterpoints. If you care about this issue, bear in that we have a new president, Rich DeMartino, at the ACBL. Now is a good time to speak up.

Robleigh Lindvall Memorial

Robleigh Lindvall passed away December 14, 2009 after a long illness. He served on the La Jolla board for several years and often did hospitality for our big parties. Many remember the flowers he frequently brought to the club. A memorial was held on January 24, 2010 at 11:30 am before the unit game. Read the memories.

Also, Joanie Vanderslice passed away in the middle of December after a long illness. She had been a very active player and a bridge teacher.

January 2010 Sectional

Attendance was a disappointing 152 tables but those who did show up had a great time and ate very well. Those who watched football missed out. Nate McCay was the overall masterpoint winner, earning 13.50 MP. View the full results and some of the recipes.

2009 Holiday Party

The Holiday Party was held at the Beach and Tennis Club at 2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037 (map).

Unit member David Oakley has reviewed Fred Parker’s Win at Duplicate Bridge.

A Star is Born at the Nationals

Nate McCay stars in My Fair (Little Old) Lady

The La Jolla Unit’s very own Nate McCay was the male lead in the production of Peter Rank’s musical My Fair (Little Old) Lady at the Fall 2009 Nationals held in San Diego. View the pictures. Bill Grant played a Very Vocal Bridge Player. Several members of the San Diego unit also appeared on stage. The show ran five nights during the first half of the Nationals.

Other unit members were also involved in the Nationals. Alice Leicht was the volunteers chairman. Suzanne LeBendig was responsible for pre-tournament hospitality. Debbie Gailfus was the ACBL concierge. Diana Marquardt was seen helping at the registration desk.

First Place Winner

Congratulations to Ron Huffaker who won the Mini Blue Ribbon (0-5000 MP) with his brother Harold. That victory was worth 60 masterpoints! Ron and Mary belong to the San Diego Unit but they are regulars in both our unit games and the Soledad Thursday evening game. Lynne O’Neill and Pat Chapman were 9th in the same event. Susan and Avram Ninyo won a 45 table A/X side game. Paul and Harriett Finger won a Bracket 4 KO. Maybe there is some hope for couples who play bridge.

Big overall masterpoint winners in the unit include Steven Johnson, Charlotte Blum, and Bill Grant. David Oakley has compiled a full list for San Diego county players.

Halloween Potluck

The Halloween Potluck costume winner was Diana Marquardt as the Queen of Hearts. George Soules as a Celebrity Chef and June & Otto Newman together as Bridge and Disciplined Partner were tied for second place.

Everyone contributed many wonderful hot and cold dishes, dessert and a bountiful day was had. George Soules' tasty hot chile casserole with tortillas was noteworthy. The decorations provided by Gail Dunham were beautiful and very festive.

Ed Layton Memorial

Ed Layton, long time unit member, board member, and bridge teacher, passed away peacefully at his home, September 17, 2009. A celebration of his life was held September 27th before the unit game. Full story.

2009 Election Results

By voice assent at the June 14th Annual Meeting and Election game, Janet Ansfield, Randy Fadem, BJ Petersen, and Robert Walters were elected to the board for the 2009-2011 term. Ron Ignelzi was reelected. They will be joining Manoochehr Bahmanian, Bill Grant, Steve Johnson, Matthew Kidd, and Diana Marquardt whose terms finish in 2010.

Janet Ansfield is returning to the board. BJ Peterson is a long time La Jolla resident and player. Bob Walters recently transferred into our unit, but he has been a regular in the Thursday evening Soledad game for several years and has played in many unit games. Randy Fadem arrived from Boston last November where he had previously served on a unit board.

David Oakley and David Walters won the Eric Weiss trophy, an annual award for the election game.

La Jolla Unit teaches bridge at La Jolla High

In May 2009, Bill Grant, David Oakley, Matthew Kidd, and Bob Walters taught bridge to two classes of seniors at La Jolla High during the “downtime” between AP exams and graduation. Full story.

Mark Freundel Memorial

Mark Freundel passed away March 16, 2009. Various memories. A memorial was held 2-4 pm, June 14 at Adventures in Bridge.

Elaine Chan nearly wins the 2008 National Ace of Clubs

The 2008 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results are final. See the listing of La Jolla unit winners. Elaine Chan just missed winning the National Ace of Clubs race in her bracket (5-20) with 140.30 MP, 2.89 MP behind the leader. She claims this is because she spent time with her kids over the holidays but that’s no excuse because they both play bridge!

New Faces at the Newcomer Game

There were about ten new faces at our Newcomers Game on January 25, 2009. Welcome all!

Regina Hickey and the Bridge Legends

Regina Hickey has sent the La Jolla Unit pictures of her with Charles Goren and Billy Eisenberg.

Dayou Zhou Interview

Read Dayou Zhou’s interview with the La Jolla Unit in 2007 after being congratulated for winning the National 100-200 MP Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs masterpoint races with totals exceeding the leaders for all categories within the La Jolla Unit 2006 Masterpoint Races!

Frank Sweeney Tribute

We do not normally publish information about members who have passed away. However some of our former members made significant contributions to our Unit and to bridge in Southern California. This letter from Helen Sweeney to Rob Lindvall is such a nice tribute to Frank that there is no more to add.