Soledad Awnings
Dan Dayani and Bette Cornelius
Christmas Party
Recording Scores
Bridge Tables
Page hit counter

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
Date Spacer Event
July 27  - Stratified Open Pairs (Logan Trophy)
August 10  - Stratified Open & 0-750 Pairs
August 24  - Stratified Open & 0-750 Pairs
Full 2014 Schedule
District 22 and 23 tournaments

Hundreds of students will gather this summer in Las Vegas to compete in the annual Youth North American Bridge Championships. Players 19 and younger will play for fun, trophies and scholarships.

Players of all skill levels are welcome, with special events for those new or just learning the game. For the more serious player, up to $4000 in scholarship prize money will be awarded.

This event is free to all ACBL members, and membership is only $15 for those who would like to join. Preregistration is now open. More information.

2014–2015 unit board officers


The unit board elected its officers for the 2014-2015 term at the July 13th board meeting. Matthew Kidd will remain president. Ursula Kantor is our new vice president, Barbara Blake is our new treasurer, and Lynne Anderson is our new secretary.

At the June Annual Meeting and Election game, Barbara Blake and Ursula Kantor were elected and Cass Donovan, Bill Grant, and Matthew Kidd were reelected to 2014-2016 terms.

Ralph Baty passed away

Ralph Baty

Ralph Baty passed away on June 25th. He served on the San Diego Unit board for many years and was tournament manager for many of their sectionals. His passing is a big loss for the San Diego bridge community. Ralph frequently played with Sally Ishihara in the La Jolla unit game and on Thursday nights at the Soledad Club.

There will be a Celebration of Life ceremony for Ralph at Adventures in Bridge on Saturday July 19th from 5–7 pm.
Biography and memories.

Michael Levine, silver life master

Charlotte Blum, the awards chairman, presented a silver life master award to Michael Levine at the June 22, 2014 unit game.

Michael regularly plays with his wife Gerri at the Soledad Club and at Adventures in Bridge. They used to play on OKbridge where they went by drapeman and lcutie respectively. Michael received the [Caitlin] Angelfish OKbridge award for his friendliness in the online tournaments and when he served a table.

Congratulations, Michael!

Letha Couch passed away

Letha Couch passed away on June 4th. Biography and memories.

The summer solstice also marks the one year anniversary of the burial of my friend Olly who vanished on Blà Bheinn in the Isle of Skye early in April of last year, a fantastical event seemingly more from a Gabriel García Márquez novel than reality. He was 33 and had a daughter just eighteen months old. Olly was not a bridge player but he was a fantastic Scrabble player. You may feel some kinship with him in these memories that I wrote for his daughter Thea.

Hello from Alice Leicht

Alice Leicht’s daughter, Elaine Nishime, contacted the unit in June with memories and minor corrections for the Marvin French memorial. She reports that Alice is now enjoying the next 15 months or more in Miami with her younger daughter, Karen. Life in assisted living in Florida is amazingly luxurious! Alice is enjoying her golden years in Hazel Cypen Center. Feel free to contact Alice thru Elaine at or directly at (cut-and-paste of the e-mail addresses may not work due to spam prevention measures).

Elaine says, “My mom really misses bridge and everyone! This was the passion of her life…teaching, reading, history, traveling, food and BRIDGE—not necessarily in that order!

Esplanade Club closes

Donna Wood receives a singing telegram

Sadly, the Esplanade Club closed on May 18th, a victim of high rent in north county. But a group of club regulars made sure it ended on the right note for club manager and former owner Donna Wood. Read more.

Essential bridge books

bookshelf with books on it

We live in a golden age of bridge literature. Even a starving graduate student could pick up an excellent library of used bridge books for under $200. What are your essential bridge books? I’ve searched though my extensive bridge library and made up my list.

Seventy percent session hoopla

70% game celebration

Shake a stick in the bridge world and you’ll probably hit a list of partnerships who had a 70% or better session in the last month. How hard is it to have a 70% or better session? How much harder does it get in strong fields? How much easier is it for strong partnerships to break the 70% barrier? Read more.

Notes from Kantar’s Modern Bridge Defense books

Now and then, it’s good to review things you may have forgotten, never really learned, or which slowly evolve. I wrote up some notes after quickly reading Kantar’s two volume set Eddie Kantar Teaches Modern Bridge Defense and Eddie Kantar Teaches Advanced Bridge Defense, both published in 1999.

Partnership Variability

Part of a roulette wheel with ball in number 7 slot

How much variability does the field create in matchpoints? How variable is the performance of a typical partnership? What is the range of variability? Are stronger partnerships less variable? Is some degree of variability good for the game? Read more.

The Payoff Matrix

2012-2013 payoff matrix

Payoff Matrices for the Esplanade Club games and for the Eastlake Bridge Club games are now available for every session using data from the entire 2013 calendar year.

San Diego unit game and combined La Jolla and San Diego unit game results for 2012-2013 were posted earlier.

See which regular partnership is the strongest partnership in the La Jolla unit game. Find out which partnerships payoff to other partnerships and which partnerships over/under-perform against other partnerships after the disparity in skill is factored in. Learn what has changed over the last six years? Read more.

Are you bidding enough slams?

Slams are not that rare. 13.6% of hands contain a slam in at least one seat. How well do strong partnerships bid slams and what types do they bid? Read more slam statistics.

Read the Bridge Bulletin online

Reading on an iPad

Update: It’s Alive! The experimental viewer is no longer experimental. The ACBL adopted it as part of their major website overhaul, released in June. I worked with the ACBL to make this happen, sharing code and the database. The official version is here and can also be reached via the “Bridge Bulletin Online” link under the “MY ACBL” section at the bottom of the ACBL homepage.

For several years it has been possible to read the Bridge Bulletin online from the MyACBL portal. But you are out of luck if you have a device like the Apple iPad that doesn’t run Adobe Flash. And quickly flipping through months of a single feature, e.g. The Real Deal, is very tedious. Searching more than one issue at a time is impossible. The new experimental Bridge Bulletin viewer addresses these issues. Give it a try.

Recent Results

Sailboat guided by a bridge compass Full results for the 2014 San Diego regional, (also Irvine and Las Vegas).

June 22nd winners: Sally Ishihara and Sue Kane (Flt A + B), Paul Alesu and Matthew Kidd (Flt C).

June 8th winners: Steve and Kitty Cooper (Flt A, winning the Weiss Trophy), Ying Lin Gu and Kathy Moyer (Flt B + C).

July 13th winners: Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin (Flt A + B), Marion Flood and Michael Rice (Flt C).

Date Spacer Event
July 13  - Stratified Open Pairs*
June 22  - Stratified Open Pairs
June 8  - Annual Election (Open Pairs)
May 24-26  - Sectional
Full 2014 Results 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
  Looking for Soledad Club results instead?
Mon Aft Thu Eve

*Revised Sunday at 10:30 pm: An incorrect +1470 on board 5 for Johnson-Busby vs. Pottenger-Hartman was corrected to +140. Revised again Monday at 3 pm (board 9). This revision undoes the swap of the 2nd and 3rd place overall winners resulting from the first revision.

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, and Shifting Forces, The Two-Six Dream, and The Submarine Ruff. 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 and Bridge Results

ACBLmerge Logo
Bridge Results Logo

ACBLmerge 1.3.3 was released on July 26, 2012. New features include the ability to write BridgeBase LIN files and enhanced data mining support for pairs games. Several important bugs are also fixed. 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.

At the December 2012 board meeting in Palm Springs, the District 22 board decided to use Bridge Results for all District 22 regionals.

What’s New

Esplanade Club closed. Seventy percent game statistics. Essential Bridge Books. ACBL Bridge Bulletin Viewer (documentation). Lead Solver software. ACBLscore game file format (reverse engineered).

Contacts and Board Information

E-mail the Webmaster, E-mail the La Jolla Board, Contact a board member camera icon

Board Members, Governance, Minutes, Financials

2014 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.

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.