Remember the blue publication that arrived in your mailbox, several 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.
Changes to 0-750 Game Promotion
The $5 promotional rate for the 0-750 game ended April 28, 2013. However, at the April meeting the unit board established a new policy to help continue promoting the 0-750 game. If you qualify for the 0-750 game but end up playing in the open game and paying for it (as opposed to using a free play) because there are not enough players for a separate 0-750 game, you will receive a free play for a future unit game, good for two months from the date of issue.
We have also added an “Ask the Expert” session at the end of the game. Stick around until the open game finishes for a 10-15 minutes of Q&A. So far Bill Grant, Chuck Wilson, Barbara Norman, Suzanne Lebendig, Roger Doughman, and Maritha Pottenger have volunteered to answer questions.
2012 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results
The 2012 La Jolla Unit Masterpoint Race Winners are final. Peter Clark also won his bracket at the district level. Bill Grant was second in his bracket at the district level. Elaine Chan’s son, Alexander Prairie, won the national 200-300 Mini-McKenney bracket with 614.85 MP. Alex now lives in Washington, D.C. His regular partner Sylvia Shi won the national 500-1000 Mini-McKenney bracket with 891.78 MP.
New 0-750 game in 2013
We introduced a new stratified 0-750 MP game in 2013, starting January 13th. The game runs concurrent with our regular open game.
Fiscal Commentary 2011-2012
Want to know more about the unit budget? Read Fiscal Commentary 2011-2012, which details what is involved in our budgeting and why FY 2011-2012 differed significantly from the previous year.
The board would like to thank David Oakley for our most recent financial audit, which he performed at no cost to the unit.
2012 Holiday Party
For the third year in a row, the Holiday Party was held at the La Jolla Country Club (flyer) on the second Sunday of December.
November 2012 NLM Sectional
This event was small, four tables in the morning and eight in the afternoon, but the players had a good time and several of them commented on what a nice venue we have at the Soledad Club. The unit board feels this was an important first step in greater outreach to NLM players.
October 2012 Awards Ceremony
The October 14th unit game was preceded by an awards ceremony, hosted by Charlotte Blum our new Membership and Awards chairperson. Photos.
Paul Darin and Steve Johnson win D22 Flt A NAP
If you have been paying attention you may have noticed our unit game director Paul Darin and former board member Steve Johnson getting in practice sessions around town. Their practice has paid off with a D22 Flt A North American Pair (NAP) victory. Good luck at the nationals!
Roy and Mary Green retire in San Diego
Have you said hello to Roy and Mary Green? They recently retired in San Diego from Boston and have been coming to our unit games since July. Old-timers might remember that Roy was the ACBL CEO from 1992 - 1998. His achievements included five profitable fiscal years, creation of the Membership Assistance Department and the Bridge Hall of Fame, and prompter delivery of the Bridge Bulletin.
Alex Prairie’s Team Wins Flt C Grand National Teams
Sylvia Shi, Alexander Prairie, David Soukup and Hakan Berk
|Elaine Chan’s son Alex Prairie finally transferred from the La Jolla unit about a year after taking a job at the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. But we can still treat him as an honorary member, especially now that he was part of the District 6 team that won the Flt C Grand National Teams at the 2012 Philadelphia NABC on July 16th. Alex partnered with Sylvia Shi. Since their teammates are both about 15 years old, Elaine thinks they may be the youngest team ever to win the GNT.|
2012 Election Results
By voice assent, Joyce Bailey and Charlotte Blum were elected to the board at the June 10th Annual Meeting and Election game. Bill Grant, Matthew Kidd, and Chuck Wilson were reelected to the board. This brings us back up to a full 10 member board after operating with only 8 board members for several months. At the July 8th board meeting, Matthew Kidd became president on a coin toss after two rounds of a 5-5 deadlock. Randy Fadem is vice-president. Chuck Wilson and Marge Hughes remain our treasurer and secretary respectively.
Lynne Newman and Randall Dougherty won the Weiss Trophy, the first time for both of them.
Broadway Does Bridge production at the 2012 San Diego regional
Theater once again returned to the San Diego regional. If you want to download a copy of the video, right click on this video link and choose “Save Target As” (for Internet Explorer) or “Save Link As” (for Firefox) then sit back for a while until the entire 154 MB file finishes downloading. Once you have downloaded the file, double click on the file to play it. Note: this website is not setup for streaming video. If you just click on the link, it may seem like nothing is happening for several minutes and although it should eventually play in your MP4 viewer, e.g. Windows Media Player, you will not have a permanent copy.
Dorinda Lindvall prepared all the food for the Valentines Party on February 12th. Thanks you Dorinda!
At the next unit game on the 26th, Gillian Cook and Manzoor Khan, prepared a six course Indian meal. We had 27 tables for that game, seven higher than the long term average.
2011 Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs results
The 2011 La Jolla Unit Masterpoint Race Winners are final. Carolyn Casey was also the District 22 Mini-McKenney winner in her bracket (0-5 MP) and Elaine Chan was second in the district in her Mini-McKenney bracket (500-1000 MP). Maritha Pottenger, a regular player in our unit games from the San Diego unit, won the district Ace of Clubs in her bracket (5000-7500).
Shuffle, Deal, and Cook Youth Bridge Fundraising Cookbook
Inspired by the youth bridge camp at the Bridge Academy, Mary Scott Knoll talked a group of us into putting together a fundraising cookbook for youth bridge. The books have arrived from the printer just in time for the holidays and are available at many local bridge venues and at district regionals. The cost is $10. Get your copy of Shuffle, Deal, and Cook today.
Although the Bridge Academy’s games and adult teaching are for profit activities, the youth teaching is a 501(c)(3) non-profit registered as the San Diego Bridge Academy for Youth and now a full member of the Balboa Park Education Council which runs the Summer Camp Program. The cookbook committee hopes numerous San Diego area bridge teachers will take part in expanded 2012 summer bridge camps.
ACBLmerge Talk and Publicity
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 (, , 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.
2011 Holiday Party
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 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?
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
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.
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.
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. Read more.
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.
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
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 starting writing a series of articles on bridge for examiner.com 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?
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
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.
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
Put some faces on the ACBL movers and shakers.
Lena Jelusich reaches 10,000 masterpointsLena 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.
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
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.
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 MemorialRobleigh 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 SectionalAttendance 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
Unit member David Oakley has reviewed Fred Parker’s Win at Duplicate Bridge.
A Star is Born at the Nationals
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.
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.
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.