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 La Jolla and San Diego unit NLM sectional
Upcoming events
Date Spacer Event
September 24  - Stratified Open Pairs
October 8  - Stratified Open Pairs
October 13-14  - NLM Sectional at JCC (flyer)
October 22  - Stratified Open Pairs
Full 2017 Schedule
District 22 and 23 tournaments

For the second year in a row, the La Jolla and San Diego units are holding a joint Non-Life Master (NLM) sectional (this year without the Coronado-Chula Vista unit). Board member Barbara Blake found a great venue, the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) at 4126 Executive Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037. Unfortunately it is a little too small for a regular sectional but it will be great for the NLM sectional. There is plenty of onsite parking and good handicap access. Mike Koscielski from the San Diego unit is once again the tournament chair and our very own Lynne Anderson is handling partnerships. Call or text her at (858) 353-3119. Davis Bennett will direct.

Note: Sectionals and sectional tournaments at a club (STACs) are not the same. Both award silver masterpoints, but the sectional payout is 22% higher (11/9) as a result of a masterpoint formula change in early 2105.

When flying was classy (and expensive)

A game of bridge on a United Airlines flight in the 1930s
Enlarge This ImagePlaying Bridge on United Airlines in the 1930s

Tournament Travel Distances

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

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.

Bridge Diplomacy

Here is an interesting excerpt from Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story by John Bloom:

There was no better example of the Galvin [CEO] way of doing things than Motorola’s complete domination of the Chinese market. All the groundwork for the move into the People’s Republic of China had already begun in 1979, when Patrick Choy, the company’s senior financial executive in Hong Kong, introduced Premier Deng Xiaoping to the game of bridge. Deng loved the game so much that in 1981 he agreed to send a Chinese team to the Motorola-sponsored Hong Kong Inter-City Bridge Tournament. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal until you realize that it was the first time in history that Chinese and Taiwanese officials had gathered together in public at any event. Just as Dennis Dibos was expected to play golf with the right people, Patrick Choy was expected to practice “bridge diplomacy.” Galvin then decided to beat the Japanese into the Chinese market, not by going head-to-head in China but by taking away Japan’s foreign partners. Motorola aggressively developed business among the “four little dragons”—Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore—so that when the time came for to move into mainland China, it was the company full of “sincerity and love” for Asia (yes, they actually used those words), unlike the Japanese who were perceived by the Chinese as rip-off artists. Once they gained the trust of the right people, Galvin told his Asian executives that their next goal was to rewrite the Chinese government’s rules, including—and this is no exaggeration—the Chinese national constitution. China required all foreign companies to form joint ventures with Chinese-held entities and outright forbade wholly owned subsidiaries. Galvin said Motorola wouldn’t be playing this game. It took years to get what he wanted… but when Motorola finally opened a semiconductor factory and a two-way radio factory in the city of Tianjin, it was the first foreign-owned company allowed to operate in China without Chinese partners.

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

September 10th winners: Ron and Mary Huffaker (Flt A), Charlotte Blum and Tom Sauer (Flt B, 2nd Flt A), Bob Brobst and Matthew Kidd and (Flt C, 3rd Flt A)

August 27th winners: Steve and Kitty Cooper (Flt A), Jeremy Fields and Ying Lin Gu (Flt B), Carolyn Casey and Marilyn Peters-Dunn (Flt C).

August 13th winners: Andrew and Patricia Loh (Flt A), Abe Gleiberman and Janice Joerge (Flt B), Jill Seagren and Susan Monken (Flt C).

Recent results
Date Spacer Event
September 10  - Stratified Open Pairs
August 27  - Stratified Open Pairs
August 13  - 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 at 11:45 am on Monday. Zachary Scherr reported two mistakes that had significantly boosted his partnership’s score. Board 10 has been corrected to +200 for Reiss-Haine vs Dorsey-Scherr and board 14 has been corrected to +140 for Bennett-Johnsen vs Dorsey-Scherr.

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

Rodwell Files book cover

The Anti-Finesse Force new tout

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

The Anti-Finesse Force.

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

2017 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.