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
February 26  - Stratified Open Pairs
March 12  - Stratified Open Pairs
March 26  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2017 Schedule
District 22 and 23 tournaments

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 his 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.

Unit board changes


The unit board is finally back to its full strength. At the July board meeting, the board appointed Susan Koshkarian to fill a long standing vacancy. Susan will serve out a term than ends in the summer of 2018. In August, Val Frager stepped down and was replaced by Gail Dunham who was appointed to serve out a term that ends in the summer of 2017. Gail has helped so much with hospitality, particularly at our sectionals, that it just seems like she has been on the board before, but this is actually her first time serving. Welcome aboard Susan and Gail.

Tournament Travel Distances

Histogram with a clip art car and clip art airplane takeoff superimposted

How far do players travel to NABCs and regionals? Does travel behavior vary significantly from district to district? Can tournaments be classified into types based solely on the shape of their travel histograms? What kind of regionals do we run in D22? See the results for all the 2015 NABCs and regionals.

GCC now allows 1NT with a singleton A, K, or Q

As of the Washington D.C. NABC, it’s official: you can have a partnership agreement permitting opening or overcalling 1NT with a singleton ace, king, or queen. Previously this was considered a psych and therefore could not be a partnership agreement. This change to the General Convention Chart (GCC) brings the ACBL into alignment with a practice embraced by many experts. Read the full announcement.

Tournament Table Counts

scatter plot of average number of regional vs. sectional sessions per player in 2015 by district

The ACBL held 1266 tournaments in 2015. How does this breakdown in terms of NABCs, regionals, sectionals, and STaCs? What is the table count of a typical regional or sectional? To what extent does district participation in tournament play vary in terms of average number of sessions per player in a year? Is it correlated with club participation? Does the tournament schedule affect participation? See the results.

Maritha Pottenger’s handouts online


Maritha Pottenger has 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 now available online in PDF form (13 added February 27th). Check back regularly for more.

Recent Results

February 12th winners: David Abelow and Martha Roth (Flt A), Ying Lin Gu and Larry Sherman (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Ben Domurat and Frederick France (Flt C).

January 29th winners: Carolyn Casey and Marilyn Peters-Dunn (Flt A + B + C), Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger (2nd Flt A)

January 22nd winners: Elaine Chan and Jennifer Prairie (Flt A + B), Matthew Kidd and Ruth Ng (Flt C).

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
February 12  - Stratified Open Pairs*
January 29  - Stratified Open Pairs**
Date Spacer Event
Date Spacer Event
January 22  - Stratified Open Pairs***
Full 2017 Results 2016 2015
2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
2009 2008 2007 2006
  Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
Mon Aft

*Revised Tuesday February 13th at 10 pm: on board 25 for Peters-Dunn-Casey vs Shapley-Shapley a 150 was confirmed to have initially been scored on the wrong side. This correction has a minor impact the rankings.

**Revised Tuesday January 31st at 8 am: on board 17 for O’Neill-Grant vs. Anderson-Dunham a 450 was confirmed to have initially been scored on the wrong side. This correction has a minor impact the rankings.

***Revised Tuesday January 24th at 1 pm: on board 14 for Mason Carter-Ishihara vs White-Kerbel, E-W asserted that the 430 was on the wrong side, an assertion that seemed fairly likely to be true and was not denied by N-S who did not reply to an enquiry. Moreover, it seemed very clear that both scores for Tatham-Hennessy vs Zechman-Ritchie on boards 15 and 16 were wrong, i.e. that 630 E-W on board 15 was on the wrong side and that 430 for N-S on board 16 was also wrong sided and actually 630 for E-W after adjusting for the vulnerability.

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

Rodwell Files book cover

More hands: 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

Al Silverman biography. Tournament Travel Histograms. Tournament Table Counts. ACBL Redistricting Proposal. Club Table Counts.

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

2016 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.