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1 2011

2 CHANGES With online publication comes some welcome changes to our publication: 1) Space is no longer an issue; 2) Flyers from each of our tournaments are included at the end of the on-line issue - see the index on the Page 33; and 3) deadlines are shortened - next issue (March) submissions will be due February 12. DISTRICT 4 WEBSITE Unit Websites acblunit112.org nepab.com unit121bridge.com lvbabridge.org philadelphiabridge.info unit190.org unit217.nepab.com EDITOR Elaine Landow 2556 Morris Road Lansdale, PA PRESIDENT WALTER MITCHELL 1ST VICE PRESIDENT TOM WEIK 2ND VICE PRESIDENT BOB PRIEST SECRETARY BILL BAUER TREASURER RICK ROWLAND DISTRICT DIRECTOR CRAIG ROBINSON All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of the editor. 2 District 4Spot

3 PRESIDENT S MESSAGE WALTER S. MITCHELL, JR. Having inherited the gavel from the highly successful presidency of Rick Rowland, let me first congratulate him and any who worked tirelessly on developing the revised Tournament Policies and Procedures. Now players at any District 4 regional should see consistency and be able to rely on the same conditions as they play from New York State south to Delaware. We are also fortunate that Rick has agreed to continue as District Treasurer and Bill Bauer as Secretary. I feel like the young ensign whose captain has just turned over to him the ship s bridge command for the first time. All committee chairs, who are among the best we ve had since I became active on the district level, have agreed to continue for another year. If I can just manage to keep the ship on course Make plans now to attend the NABC in Philadelphia this summer (July 12 July 22). This is as close as a NABC will ever be to most of our members. Each of the District s eight units has been assigned a day to provide at least 31 volunteers for the hospitality, registration, partnership and prize desks. If you haven t been notified, please contact your unit chair or John Marks at Congratulations to the district winners of the North American Pairs championships! A : David Hoffner/Martin DeBruin; B : Karen Xia/Samuel Yake; C : Karin & Craig Smith (67% overall). They will represent District 4 at the NABC in Memphis next spring. Best of luck, and bring home the trophies! December

4 DISTRICT DIRECTOR S REPORT CRAIG ROBINSON Reflecting on my year as ACBL President, it has been quite a good year. The major challenge was to find a new CEO to replace Jay Baum who chose to retire as of June 30, Jay and I made an agreement that if we could get someone to start earlier that he would step down and act as a consultant until his retirement date and also that if it took longer he would stay on until at least the end of First step was to choose a search committee which turned out to be a committee of eight including myself and fellow board members Sharon Anderson, Egan MN; Bruce Blakely (chair), San Rafael CA; Joan Gerard, White Plains NY; Dan Morse, Houston TX; and Rand Pinsky, Valencia CA. We then added two bridge playing CEOs, Steve Beatty, Mill Creek WA and Bob Blanchard, Scarsdale NY. We set up a couple of rules. The CEO must be a bridge player, have high level managerial experience and must be willing to work at headquarters in Horn Lake, MS. We advertised in many bridge publications and on the internet bridge sites. And then we waited and wondered what we would get. Finally someone applied. He was a CEO, had a great work record, and lived in the Memphis area. We thought it was a made up resume, it looked so good. We searched the internet and within 24 hours we had more information on him than we would ever need. It is scary what all is out there about people. It is now February and more resumes came trickling in. We set up a rating system and all eight of us rated the individuals. We would later use the ratings to determine who we would interview via a conference call (which usually lasted about two hours). But the Spring NABC in Louisville was about to start, so I would be running my first Board meeting. The meeting was fairly uneventful and the tournament was great. The city of Louisville was lovely and the tournament was very well run. The Volunteer Dinner was at Churchill Downs and was the best venue of any dinner to thank the volunteers who make the NABCs run smoothly that we had ever had. Well the resumes kept a coming and the interviews began. 4 District 4Spot

5 Most of the interviews were good, we had found some possible candidates (our dream candidate eliminated himself by wanting more money than we could afford). We made a decision to spend a weekend in Las Vegas and interview the finalists. This was an effort to save money because we, too, had a budget. I am not sure anyone ever counted the applicants, but we received about 85 resumes, interviewed about 35 by phone (we broke into two fourperson teams), and interviewed 12 in Las Vegas over two 12 hour days. This was working very well, and some felt we might be able to have a candidate to present to the Board for approval in Toronto although Seattle still seemed a more reasonable target. We had to get references and do background checks and assure ourselves that we had the right man (yes, we had one female candidate, but at the eleventh hour she backed out and decided not to come to Las Vegas). Exit Craig, I was about to embark on a 36 day tour of clubs East of the Mississippi. I had already been to New England for five days and visited six clubs there. I went to MIT which was originally scheduled at the end of the 36 day trip but I moved it into April so the visit would be when school was in session. MIT had eight tables but only one student played although most of the players were former students. The tour was great, the players were very appreciative that the President of the ACBL was visiting their club. However, I was there not to be appreciated but to say thank you to the clubs for recruiting 12,000 new members every year. I was able to stay in touch with the Search Committee during this trip. From the beginning the committee felt Robert Hartman was the man! But we had our reference checks and background checks and we also gave candidates the opportunity to visit Horn Lake on their own if they wanted. Sure enough one candidate withdrew. We offered Robert Hartman to come to Toronto for Board approval. 5 District 4Spot

6 Now as President, I also got to negotiate both an amendment to Jay s contract and negotiate a contract with Robert. I managed to get those contracts done before Toronto. Clearly having Robert meet the Board was the most important happening in Toronto. The Board unanimously approved him. A gentleman named Nicholas Hammond was also in Toronto and met with some members of the Board there. He will become an important person in this year also. I left Toronto and stopped at the Liverpool regional on the way home. A week at home, and then I was off to a 44 day adventure to the West. This started with a flight to Fargo, ND. I had never been to Fargo, I had a great time there. Elaine would join me in Kansas City and then leave from Dallas to go home for the Valley Forge Regional (and an earthquake and a hurricane). Meanwhile the tour was going great and I was able to contribute some to the selection of Nicholas Hammond as the project manager of the ACBLscore rewrite. This would be the third major part of my year although most of the programming if we proceed will be done in Texas is a great bridge state. I visited seven cities and saw seven great bridge clubs. It was hot, however, with the average high temperature reaching 107 degrees which was nothing compared to the 33 rd time this year it hit 110 degrees in Scottsdale. Elaine retuned in Los Angeles and we proceeded up the coast to Vancouver, BC and then swung over to Sand Point, ID for the 99 th club. I have been basking in failure ever since wondering where I would go for #100. Home for three weeks before going to the Netherlands for the World Championships. I represented the ACBL at their meetings. The six USA teams all qualified out of the 22 team events (Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup (Women) and D Orsi Cup (Senior) into the quarterfinals. The Netherlands was fun but I was glad to be home even if only for a week before going to Lancaster. It has been a great year, I am now on my way to Seattle for the Fall NABC. Happy Holidays to everyone. I am not sure but I believe I will have been on the road for about 210 days this year. I am looking forward to spending 2012 in District 4. 6 District 4Spot

7 From The Four Corners CENTRAL NEW YORK 112 Walt Gable At the time I am writing this message, I have about six weeks left in my second term as Unit 112 President. I have learned a great deal as the unit president, much of it positive. These positives include my increased respect and gratitude for the many people who do their unit tasks faithfully year in and year out, and my observation that the unit today is working more united today than what may have been true. Most of the past two months have been a personal ordeal for me, with a shoulder injury, then a hospitalization for another problem and the sudden death of a sister-in-law. I had not traveled to play a game of duplicate bridge in over 10 weeks. In that long period of time, I realized just how very much I missed being at the table with so many wonderful people that I have come to know and love for many years. Playing this past Wednesday night was like going to a welcome home reception and seeing friends that I hadn t seen in a small forever. I make these comments because I really feel that the local club games are the heart and soul of duplicate bridge. They have a warmth and vigor that sectionals and regionals and certainly online bridge simply do not have. Starting January 1, 2012 the new officers of the Unit 112 Bridge Association will be Mike Mihevc, president; Walt Gable, vice president; Margaret Clark, secretary; Warren Marsland, treasurer; and DeWitt Henricks, at-large member of the Executive Committee. I want to close by expressing my personal thanks to the outgoing unit officers. Mary Miller, Deb Suller, Laura Krauss and Margie Spence have been faithful in their sharing of opinions, etc. when I 121 December

8 have turned to them for advice. I especially want to single out Laura Krauss who is completing a few years as unit treasurer. She is the proud new mother of a son and has new responsibilities and joys that necessitate her no longer being treasurer. Thank you, Laura, for your fine work as unit treasurer. Enjoy that son! NORTHEASTERN PA 120 Walter Mitchell Heartfelt congratulations to Karin & Craig Smith, who with a whopping 67% game ran away with the District 4 North American Pairs C championships. The tourney was held at several club sites around the district with more than 50 tables in play. The Smiths will proudly represent D4 at the NABCs in Memphis next March. Phyllis Brandes & Jill Fragin came in fourth. Kudos, also, to Phyllis, Mary Ann Gower and Kim Michelstein, who achieved their Life Master milestone playing with Jill in a knockout event at the Lancaster Regional. A 15-table pair event marking their accomplishment included a lovely lunch at the Wilkes-Barre JCC. Make your plans now to attend the NABC in Philadelphia July 12 -July 22. Registration Chair, Ray Depew, needs 35 volunteers for Unit 120 Day July 20 th to help with registration, prizes, partnerships, and hospitality. Please notify Ray or me of your availability. A free play is offered to those who volunteer, and you won t miss a minute of playing time. If you are a seasoned player, please reach out to the intermediate/newcomer with an offer to play. Newer players are often intimidated by those who seem to be better than they, so your effort will be well rewarded with gratitude from the player(s) and thanks from me! 8 District 4Spot

9 BERKS MONTGOMERY 121 Sue Wessner We held our Annual Fall Sectional at The Inn At Reading on September The Masterpoint winner was Tom Weik. Many thanks for such a wonderful job done by our tournament coordinator, Louise Remley. Congratulations to Barry Gorski & Albert Bingaman for placing second in Flight A at the North American Pairs Event Finals. They will compete in the National Finals in Memphis TN in March. The following people have advanced to new levels: Jr. Master: Betsy Kiddy; Sectional Master: Bill Schadler and Dutch Chelius; Regional Master: Noel Szundy; NABC Master: Maxine Hornberger; Bronze Life Master: Icy Cohen. LEHIGH VALLEY 133 Dave Kresge The Unit held its annual meeting and holiday party at the Brookside Country Club on November 13th. Officers elected were Frank Kuebler, President, Charles Campbell, Vice President, Mimi Lengel, Secretary, and Dave Kresge, Treasurer. John Schwartz was thanked for his service as President and Jane Havighurst thanked for her service as Secretary as well as retiring board members, Walt Bell, and Ron Hutchinson. Annual Trophy winners were: Dan Benson, (0-50), Mimi Lengel (50-99), Gary Hillenbrand (100+, NLM) and Don Swan (Open). Major masterpoint winners at the recent unit sectional were: Pete and Marie Filandro, Don Swan, Richard Clausen, Tom Kriz, John Dickenson and Valerie Barber. The unit will hold its annual memorial game (pairs) at the Lehigh County Senior Center on Sunday, December 18. The unit annual Souper Bowl Charity game which has in the past been recognized by Channel 69 will be on Sunday, February 5 at 2:00 PM at the Lehigh December

10 County Senior Citizen Center. Other unit games are Monday January 2 at 7:00 PM at the temple in Bethlehem. This will be a pro am pairs game where the field will be split in half and random assignment of partners. There will be a stratified board-a-match team game on Sunday, January 15 at 2:00 PM at the Senior Center and on Tuesday, February 21 at 7:00 PM there will be a pairs game, also at the center. For the three pairs games, partners are guaranteed, so please come out and support your unit games. Congratulations the unit's newest Life Masters, James Kenny and Charles Campbell, and also congratulations to Gary Hillenbrand for becoming Bronze LM, Ed Spitzer for becoming Silver LM, and to Paul Irvine for becoming Gold LM. The unit was saddened by the passing of Jane Beitel. PCBA 141 John Marks This was fourth year that the Philadelphia Unit hosted the District 4 Summer Regional in King of Prussia; however, this year we were forced to hold the tournament at a new location. When the Valley Forge Convention Center terminated our contract because of ongoing renovations and construction in the Convention Center we were fortunate to find the Dolce Hotel and Resort Valley Forge to hold this tournament. The tournament was held in late August which is two months later than it normally would have been scheduled. The tournament drew 454 less tables than last year. There were basically two reasons for this decrease in attendance: first, the month of August was filled with neighboring regional tournaments and second, the impending hurricane caused us to cancel the Sunday events. At any rate, it was a pleasure this year to hear positive and flattering comments about our tournament and the facility at the Dolce Hotel and Resorts Valley Forge even though the attendance was poor. At this time it is appropriate to thank Joan Brandeis, Dennis O Brien, Joann Glasson, Ala Hamilton Day, and Tom Purl for the preliminary work they did for the tournament. Although a few problems may have arisen during the tourna- 10 District 4Spot

11 ment, they were addressed immediately and most everyone was satisfied. Next year these problems will be avoided. The next Valley Forge Regional will be held February 27 to March 4, 2012 at the Dolce Hotel. There should not be any hurricane warnings at this time of year. Hopefully, there will be no snow blizzards and that the snow birds will be back from Florida. In 2013, we will be back to our normal dates, namely the day after Father s Day. Note: if anyone has any suggestions or complaints concerning the Regional Tournament, please let me know at Surveys were taken at this tournament three years ago concerning the starting times and types of events. A majority of the participants favored the earlier staring times (2-1) and the team games, especially the Knock-Out events. This year we added a full schedule of the Golden Opportunity Events which were a big attraction. Other than the poor attendance, the tournament was successful by every count. The morning bagels and the evening hospitality were well received. Joan Brandeis, Hospitality Chairperson. Ala Hamilton- Day, the Intermediate / Newcomer Chairperson, put together an excellent program for the players who have less than 300 master points. With the pre-game lectures and talks, prizes, trophies, etc. her time and effort were appreciated by all the IN players. Other members of Unit 141 who contributed to making the Regional the success that it was were: Partnerships: Tom Purl; Pre- Duplication: Tom Sakaguchi; Daily Bulletin: Elaine Landow (Editor); Ala Hamilton-Day (I/N Chairperson), Mitch Snyder, Dave LeGrow, Al Pecarsky, and Estelle Bogart. The Head Directors Doug Grove and Sol Weinstein and their directing staff along with the Caddy Master, Jill Dorman and the caddies did an excellent job and also contributed to the success of this regional. Mark your calendars for future Philadelphia Regionals at the Dolce Hotel and Resorts Valley Forge: March 5 to 11, 2012 (Early because of the Philadelphia Summer 2012 NABC, July 12 to 22, 2012); June 17 to 23, 2013; June 16 to 22, 2014 Top five overall players at the 2011 Valley Forge Regional Tournament were: Marty Seligman (91.66), Mark Lair (91.66), Rick Rowland (60.73), Doug Dye (57.83), Thomas Weik (55.55). The September (9 11) Fall Sectional was held at the Crescent Shrine Building in Westampton, New Jersey. The site was an excellent facility December

12 to hold a bridge tournament and the hospitality was great. However, because of the poor attendance at this site, the Crescent Shrine, although a great facility, will not be used again in the immediate future. Abe Pineless (11.82), Corey Krantz (11.70) and Meyer Kotkin (10.90) were the top players at the September Sectional. The October (14 16) Tournament was held at the Fireman s Memorial Hall in Conshohocken, PA. This is a good facility to hold the tournament and the hospitality was again great. Friday Evening, a Pro-Am game was run. The turnout for this event was very good and the event was a huge success mainly due to the efforts of Joan Brandeis. This was our best attended tournament of the year. Ken Cohen (27.99), Rick Rowland (21.02) and Daisy Goecker (16.67) were the top players at the October Sectional. Elections for a third of the Unit 141 Board of Directors will take place during the January Sectional at Fireman s Memorial Hall in Conshohocken, January 6 to 8, One sad note from our Unit was the passing of Linda (Hutchison) Boritz. Linda was the founder of the District 4Spot and the PCBA Review and was the first Editor of all the District Regional tournament Daily Bulletins. Linda served a number of years on both the Unit and District Board of Directors and served as President of District 4 for a year. CENTRAL PENN 168 Kelly Zeller Hello again Unit 168 Members. Mark your calendars with these upcoming events: Sunday, Dec 4 th - Annual meeting & GNT the Harrisburg Bridge Club - Starts at noon, Dinner and the Annual Unit Meeting are between sessions. Jan Harrisburg Holiday Inn, New Cumberland Feb 5 th - York NLM Bridge Boardroom Apr Lancaster Sectional, War Memorial Bldg, Leola, PA 12 District 4Spot

13 Apr Chambersburg May 12 th - Harrisburg NLM - No point limit - Harrisburg Bridge Club June 29 - July 1 - York Sectional - Springetts Fire Hall Great Regional, Debbie & John Klinger! Seriously, how many Regionals do you attend where you receive beverage tickets for a free coffee or soda? And, the hospitality was sensational. The Regional is held around the same time every year, make sure to mark your calendar for In Closing, I would like to wish everyone a Wonderful Holiday Season. Make the most of the time with Friends and Family. DELAWARE 190 Marie Filandro It s Holiday time again.and time for our annual Dave Treadwell Sectional. The tournament this year will be held from Tuesday, December 27th through Saturday, December 31st once again at the Bridge Studio in Wilmington. Lots of events are planned. See the unit 190 web site or the Bridge Studio web site. For those of you needing silver points to achieve your Life Master ranking, the tournament provides a great opportunity to meet your 2011 goals. And it s a great time of year for everyone to enjoy some bridge after the Holiday rush. We hope you will also join us in February 2012 for our annual Blue Hen Sectional, also at the Bridge Studio. This tournament is scheduled for February 17 - February 19. As the time for the tournament approaches, check the unit web site listed above for details. Hope to see you at both of our sectionals. In September, the DSBA held annual elections. Our new officers are Trina Williams, president; Bill Everitt, vice-president; Jess Stuart, Treasurer; and Bruce Gwaltney, secretary. Jeff Ruben remains on the Board as past president. Other members of the Board of Directors are Julie Hockersmith, Tammy Holm, Harold Jordan, Mike Mocella, Barbara Rhoades, Rick Rowland. Paula Varrassi, Carl Wil- 13 District 4Spot

14 liams and me. As I reported last issue, the DSBA has been working during this year to revise both our unit bylaws and our certificate of incorporation. The bylaws were approved during a special membership meeting at our September sectional. In order to have enough members present to have a quorum and vote, the unit arranged to charter a bus from Sussex County to bring members to Wilmington. That worked out so well! It was wonderful for our upstate and downstate members to have the opportunity to meet, play bridge, and accomplish a needed unit task. Sincere thanks to those who rode the bus from Sussex County - and to everyone who came out to play and vote. Since the Board has approved the proposed certificate of incorporation, our goals have been reached. Kudos to our newest Bronze Life Master, Mary Boyd. Best wishes for a very Happy Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy 2012! SUSQUEHANNA 217 Jacqueline Humilovich The members of the Williamsport Bridge Club once again warmly welcomed the visiting participants at the Susquehanna Sectional Bridge Tournament in September. The Hospitality Committee, headed by Judy Stein, Fred and Sandy Gilbert, Ann Day, and Marie Koch organized a bountiful and delicious menu throughout the three days. The winning pairs and teams were: Fri. AM: A/ Kevin Burns-Jim McKeown; B/ Elaine Fuller-Connie Bamer; C/ Lorraine Lecce-Helen Shaffer. Fri. PM: A/ Ed Bissell-Mary Ann Churba and Fred Gilbert-Sandy Gilbert (Tie); B/ Susan Nichols-Nancy Pfeiffer. Sat. AM: A/ Melvin Lubart-Albert Bingaman; B/ John Watts-E Jane Watts; C/ Marie Koch-Marie Zurinsky. Sat. PM: A/ Raymond Depew-Tom Henson; B/ Doris Plotts-Herbert Stratton. Swiss: A/ Melvin Lubart-Kevin Burns-Jim McKeown-Albert Bingaman; 14 District 4Spot

15 B/ William Elgar-Bonnie Elgar-Everett Weiermiller-Shirley Weiermiller. Top 3 Masterpoint Winners: Kevin Burns, 12.30; Ed Bissell, 11.92; Jim McKeon, Make plans to attend the Spring Out of Winter Tournament that will be held March and April 1 at the Williamsport Bridge Club. Happy Holidays! District MP Race Leaders through November 6, 3011 Mini McKenney Ace of Club 0-5 Richard Rosenfield 5-50 Forbes Tuttle Nancy Chorpita Patricia Jardin Kathy Kutschera John Waters Kathryn Markley Gary Hillenbrand Kenneth Spear Bitsy Klein Suzanne Goldberg John Dickenson Steve Valencic Elaine Clair David Abuhove Corey Krantz John Sheaffer Meyer Kotkin Arnold Selig ,000 Tom Weik Rhoda Kaufman over 10,000 Ken Cohen J & S Swanson 15 District 4Spot

16 DISTRICT 4 MASTER SOLVERS CLUB HENRY BETHE, DIRECTOR A sparse set of responses. Probably my fault because I did not send the problems out but relied on both panelists and solvers to read the column and respond. Didn t work. But because of that all responses are included in full. Problem 1. IMPs, Both VUL, Dlr E South holds S H AQ10763 D 1062 C QJ86 West North East South P?? 2H 25 (3½); 1H 18 (2); 3H 13 (1); P 9 (½) In the golden olden days we were counseled not to open weak twos with a void because that made partner s evaluation harder. Obviously that has gone the way of all flesh. At the WC virtually everybody would have opened either 1H or 2H. 3H with the moth eaten suit and pass would have attracted little support. Shuster: 3H. The modern trend is to open this hand type with a onebid, but I still prefer to have more in the way of defense when I hold sub-minimum high card strength. For me, the issue is between 2H and 3H. The suit texture argues for the weak two, but the extra shape and playing strength convince me to make the bigger bid. Raskin: 2H If the opponents have S this might make it more difficult for them to compete or easier for us to evaluate our combined assets. It does look like you want to get partner off to a H lead if you are on defense. Foster: 2H I don't like it, mostly because of the void, but all other possible bids or pass seem worse. Marty Bergen advises something like "if it looks like a weak two bid in a major, bid a weak two in the major, regardess." If my partner complains later, I might claim that I mistook one of my baby clubs for a spade. Praha: 2H. When partner bids 2NT, I can bid 3S (good hand, good suit) playing Ogust, and 3C playing feature. This hand is not good enough to bid 3C, and passing gives opponents a free run. B. Cohen: 2H - seems pretty close to an ideal vul weak two bid: I've got 16 District 4Spot

17 good hearts and I'm at the high end of the range (with a different vulnerability and seat, I would consider 3H with this hand). Wachsman: 2H. While I avoid opening weak 2's with a void, this hand warrants an exception. It may be the only chance to suggest a heart lead while presenting a potentially viable strain with which to compete. Filandro: 2H, if we have agreed on Ogust. I am well-placed to respond good suit, good hand if partner bids 2NT. Note that Filandro offered a second answer (below) if we agreed to play features over a 2NT inquiry. This is a fairly strict definition of a feature, namely a side Ace or King. I believe that QJxx is a fine feature. Straguzzi: 2H. Seems like a normal hand for a vulnerable weak two. Not quite enough in honor tricks to open 1H, no reason to distort with 3H (particularly in second seat), and the spade void isn't nearly enough of a flaw to pass. Glassons: 2H. We play that our opening 2H bid in second seat is sound since partner hasn't had a chance to peep and is likely marked with values. 2H has the added advantage of taking away one level of bidding since lefty is likely to be long in spades. HARRIS: 2H. In real life, this is the bid. I am not passing or psyching spades. I have a good suit and am showing a value bid. 3H is not right vulnerable with a 6 losing trick count. K. Cohen: 1H. Even though I only have 9 points, I have a potentially a very good trick taking hand. If you open this hand 2H you may easily go plus 170 for minus 10 IMPS. Hands that have voids are just so much more powerful than most give credit for. If you change your Spade holding to a stiff King, most would open because you have 12 points, but that is a much worse playing hand. If you treat a void like an Ace, you will do so much better in bidding most suit contracts correctly. Schwartz: 1H. What s the problem? Teukolskys: 1H. Too much danger of missing a game if you pass a hand with this playing strength. If partner drives to game because of his KQJx of spades, that's too bad. But we only need about 8 useful points outside of spades for game to be on a finesse. Filandro. Pass, if we have agreed on "feature"- or if we are "undiscussed" due to our lack of time for pre-game discussion. I am not quite worth an opening one-bid, but I would hate to open 2H and have to show "no feature" with such a promising hand. December

18 Problem 2. IMPs, Neither Vul, Dlr W South holds S AQJ102 H 6 D AKJ92 C 74 West North East South 1C 2H* P?? Weak 2S 25 (5); P 16 (2); 3C 3 (0) Shuster: 2S. I just need the heart ace and two trumps to give us a play for 4S, so passing is too committal. If partner persists with 3H, I will give up there. Foster: 3C. This is a very risky bid trying to find 3 NT. If partner rebids 3 hearts I will pass. Praha: P. NV at imps, I see no reason to bid further on what is a potential misfit where we rate to lose at least 1 spade, 1 heart and 2 clubs. Raskin: 2S. Looks like the hand is too strong to not make a try for game. It might be right to bid 2NT and get a better idea of the combined assets, but that might shut us out of the S suit and my S holding is good enough to play opposite xx. B. Cohen: 2S - seems like a good start - I'll be well positioned to bid 3D over likely 3C competition. Wachsman: 3C. It is important to show a very strong hand while giving partner a chance to bid 3nt with club stoppers. K. Cohen: P. Remember partner is Non Vul. You also only have 1 trump. What is a typical hand Partner is likely to have? xx KQJxxx xx xxx. With this hand Partner may or may not make 2 Hearts. There is no reason to raise the contract, or look for some type of game. This may be your last chance to get a plus score. Schwartz: P. Don t like any of the other calls. I run the risk that partner has 3 spades to the king and the ace of hearts. But partner never has the right cards when I bid, only when I pass! Filandro. 2S. A comfortable choice. Teukolskys: 2S. Every now and again partner will hold 3 spades and a useful heart suit, so we have to make a try. Probably would pass in 18 District 4Spot

19 matchpoints. Glassons: 2S. Our hand is too good to not think that we have game prospects in one of our suits. Over partner's likely 3 H rebid, we will bid 4 D. Straguzzi: 2S. The auction hasn't gone very well so far, has it? I believe that 2S is constructive and non-forcing in BWS, and that's all this once-promising hand is worth at the moment. If partner passes, even a 5-1 fit should play okay with my strong trump suit, possibly even better than a 6-1 fit in hearts. Both a cue-bid and a pass are too extreme, though it wouldn't shock me if one or the other was the winning call. HARRIS: Pass. No reason to bid with 3 1/2 tricks. It can only lead to trouble. The only reasonable contract for EW is 3C or 3NT which will be doubled for a non-heart lead or the AH (if held) at 3CX. On the actual hand partner had x/aj9xxx/xxxxx/x. The board was played at eight tables. At seven of them the auction started this way. At the eighth this hand overcalled 3H. Heart contracts took 9 tricks, losing three hearts and a club. At three of the eight tables our problem hand chose to bid 2S and heard partner bid 3D. All of these scored 420 in 5D. Problem 3. Matchpoints, N-S Vul, Dlr N South holds S KQ8532 H J108 D A92 C J West North East South -- 1D X XX 1S P P?? (A) Do you agree with XX? No 5 (5); Yes 3 (2) Shuster: No. Redouble is on my short list of worst bids ever made for me in bidding contest (well behind a couple of psyches!) Straguzzi: No. I prefer 1S. This is our deal, and I have a lot to describe, starting with a good prospective trump suit. Foster: I disagree with the redouble. I would have bid 1S. Praha: strongly disagree with Rdbl, I'd bid 1S B. Cohen: No - I would have bid 1S and supported diamonds later. December

20 Teukolskys: No! Redouble should show shortness in partner's suit and the ability to double two of the opponent's suits. Should bid 1S. Schwartz: No. I would have preferred to get the information exchange started with 1S. K. Cohen: NO. When you have a 6 card suit, it is better to just bid it. Remember it is standard to play new suit forcing. Glassons: No. We would bid spades naturally over the takeout double.suit forcing at 1 level. Raskin: Yes - Not enough to force to game and this might give us the most options as the auction progresses. Filandro: Yes. Low-level penalty doubles are often lucrative. This hand qualifies because I was prepared to pass if partner had doubled a 1H run-out by West. If my hearts and clubs were reversed I would not have passed a double of a 1H run-out so I would have bid 1S in lieu of redouble to start getting my shape across. Wachsman: Yes. The XX shows strength while allowing the most bidding space. HARRIS: Agree. Too good for a 1S call. I tend to agree with those who thought 1S would work better on most hands than XX. (B) What Now? X 20 (7); P 17 (0); 1N 11 (0); 2D 9 (0); 2N 7 (0) Straguzzi: X. No alternative in my book, as this is the only way to show that I have spades after the redouble (and it's not like I have anything else to show, like four hearts or real diamond support or either rounded suit stopped.) 2S would show game-forcing values but deny a spade suit long and strong enough to propose playing for penalties; I doubt very much that king-queen-sixth qualifies. For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure West's spade bid is a psych, because it would leave partner with a spade void -- he'd probably have taken some action at his second turn. Now can I please take back that silly redouble? Shuster: X. I don't expect this will end the auction, but I might as well expose LHO's psyche before bidding 4S, lest partner think I'm bidding exclusion or something. Praha: X. When LHO (who has evidently psyched) runs, I can bid spades. If LHO's spade bid is natural, we have them by the throat. Glassons: X. What else could we possibly do now? Partner's pass should suggest a willingness to defend, but our count says she is void 20 District 4Spot

21 in spades, so maybe she is planning to pull the double. If she pulls to 2 diamonds, we will raise diamonds. Raskin: X. Might miss a game but might also be heading for a great score. K. Cohen: X. This is not what I expected to happen. This hand is very difficult to compute. For the time being, I am going to make a penalty DBL, because I expect partner to have some type of a weak shapely opener. Partner knows we are Vul and they are not. If he has a void, I would expect Partner to pull. If he has a stiff, I would expect him to pass and lead it. Dummy is likely to have Ax of Spades, and a strong enough hand to make a takeout dbl,(possibly 16+) 2425 pattern. Filandro: X. I have no reason yet to expect a psyche. Schwartz: X. Given I didn t like the XX on the first round, I must admit I can now X this for penalty which will describe what I have that is, 10+ points and quite a few spades. I expect partner has a spade void and she might want to bid on, but at this point I think I ll tell her what I have and let her make the next guess I should at least be well positioned for the post mortem. She can see the vulnerability as well as I can. Teukolskys: X. Given the redouble, we now must follow through. Partner will presumably pull the double, but should have a reasonable hand because he didn't bid immediately. Wachsman: 2NT. This bid clearly shows the spade stopper, points, and permits North to better describe his hand. B. Cohen: 2D. I am pleased with the turn of events - I now "know" my partner is void in spades and has at least 5 diamonds for his opening bid - we are in a good position to punish them if they get active at this point. HARRIS: X. Our only likely games are 3NT, 5D, or possibly 4H. EW should be really hurting at 1SX and I do not see an easy way for us to arrive at a good game unless partner pulls the double, showing a distributional two-suiter. It was unanimous among the panel. First of all, what do we know about the hand? One thing we know that partner does not have a highly distributional hand. If she did, she would have bid in front of us. It would be useful to know whether advancer s pass of 1DXX would be penalty many people play that after one of a minor. If so, advancer might have chosen to bid 1S on a three-card suit with or distribution. My belief is that someone will run if I double, either partner or advancer or doubler. So the best result available to me might well be defending 1S. Undoubled. Which is why I gave a score to a call not selected by anyone. The 1S contract would go down three, 150 for us, which was better than we could December

22 get playing 3S, 2N, or defending 2CX. Partner was and the doubler Problem 4. IMPs, Neither Vul, Dlr N South holds S J9852 H 10 D K1094 C K109 West North East South -- 2C P 2D* P 2H** P 2S*** P 3H P 3N P 4C P?? * Waiting ** Kokish: strong hearts or gf balanced *** forced 4D 25 (4); 4H 14 (0); 5C 13 (1); 6C 11 (1); 4S 10 (1) Shuster: 4D. Partner doesn't merely have independent hearts or he would have bid 3H over 2D. Partner's hearts are longer than his clubs or he would have bid 3C over 2S. Partner is also sufficiently unbalanced that he doesn't wish to pass 3NT. Despite these constraints, partner is still wide ranging. He could hold AQx, AKxxxx, ---, AQJx OR --, AKxxxxx, x, AQJxx and a lot of hands in between. What IS clear is that if partner has a diamond fragment, we will be much happier than if he has a spade fragment, so I'll let partner know where my most useful outside card is. Foster: 5C. I judge my hand to be of minimal help to my partner, who seems to hold a two suiter in hearts and clubs. I prefer clubs. Praha: 4H. Tough problem - if partner has a two suited hand with hearts and clubs, with his 2C opener based primarily on distribution, then 4H is right. If partner has 6-4 (or even the occasional 5-4) in hearts and clubs, 4NT rates to play better. Raskin: 4S. Why didn't I bid 3S over 3H? This is a fairly decent hand and the S suit is certainly biddable. Teukolskys: 4D. The CK is worth about 20 points, so we have to make a cue bid. Partner will probably trot out Blackwood next. He's most likely 7-4 (maybe 6-4) since he didn't bid 3C over 2S. Filandro: 5C. With pleasure. I would never want to be lower with 3 22 District 4Spot

23 second-round controls - yet I can't encourage higher with two fast spade losers. If partner has solid hearts and was making an advance cue bid, I am happy to make a return cue bid. If he has clubs, he will have at least 5, since I do not believe in introducing a 4-card suit at the 4-level. Schwartz: 6C. Partner has a big two suiter, so don t think I can settle for less than 6C. Not sure how to investigate for 7C (4N might be construed as natural), maybe partner will be clairvoyant if the grand is on. K. Cohen: 6C This is a very difficult hand. What does Partner have? Perhaps A, AKQxxx, x, AQJxx. If he has this, or something similar, the only slam that is favorite to make is 6C. It is always a good thing to visualize what Partner is likely to have before making a difficult decision. It is very difficult to almost impossible to construct a hand that you are off the first 2 tricks. Maybe if you think it out a little, this difficult hand becomes a lot easier to figure out. Wachsman: 4H. Assuming partner has very good hearts, I will settle in the most likely successful game contract. B. Cohen: 5C - (assuming no prior agreements that would make 4C anything other than a second suit) my clubs are obviously much better than my hearts and I wouldn't want 4D to be taken as showing the A - the J of spades is surely worthless and the K of diamonds may have little value so 5C it is. Glassons: 4D. Since partner's previous 3H bid showed a one-suited hand, 4C should be a cuebid confirming hearts as trump. We will cooperate by cuebidding our diamond control and over partner's 4H bid we will pass and over partner's 4S bid we will bid 5C. Our King of clubs must be a good value. Straguzzi: 4D. Let's see...in Kokish, partner could have bid 3C at his third turn to show hearts and clubs. So, 4C cannot show a true two-suiter. Perhaps he has (say) seven strong hearts and four clubs, or perhaps, as I prefer, he has a self-sufficient heart suit and is cuebidding. If he meant 4C as Gerber, ahem, he and I will need to have a little chat after the session. Fortunately, no matter what he meant it as, 4D is the correct call -- a diamond control, a Last Train cue-bid showing useful values, or (*shudder*) no aces. I wish all of my partners' mystery bids were this easy. HARRIS: 4D which should show interest in a slam. Partner has shown a 2 suited hand and this indicates club interest because I did not make a forward bidafter 3H. There is no reason to show a long December

24 suit at the 4 level with a probable misfit in D. Read Mike Shuster s comment. He covers most of what I want to say. I would expect partner to be at least two cards longer in hearts than in clubs, and would not be surprised to find her clubs not to be a real suit. In fact partner had a great hand: A/AKQ9xx/Ax/AJxx, and 6H is an excellent contract. You won t get there if you bid 4H, but if you bid 6C you will certainly play in that seriously inferior contract. Nick Straguzzi and the Glassons scored 100. Well done. I would have scored 85. Best among the solvers were Raghu Rajkumar at 91 and Lynn Harris at A 3B 4 Score Panel Bob and Joann Glasson 2H 2S 1S X 4D 100 Nick Straguzzi 2H 2S 1S X 4D 100 Ros and SaulTeukolsky 1H 2S 1S X 4D 93 Michael Shuster 3H 2S No X 4D 88 Ray Raskin 2H 2S Y X 4S 83 K. Cohen 1H P 1S X 6C 70 Pete Filandro P/2H P Y X 5C 69 Solvers Raghu Rajkumar 91, Lynn Harris 89, Prahalad Rajkumar 80, Barry Cohen 77 John Schwartz 70 Did You Hear.. About the student in class who had xxx opposite AQJ in dummy. She leads low and puts in the jack which holds. She plays the ace next. Teacher asks why she didn't take the finesse again? She says: "You told us that only one of two finesses work." 24 District 4Spot

25 MASTER SOLVERS MARCH 2012 PROBLEMS Send your answers to by January 1, Please include your name in the . Problem 1. IMPs, Neither VUL, Dlr S South holds S --, H A95, D K1062, C AQ9863 West North East South C 1S X 3S?? Problem 2. MPs, N-S Vul, Dlr W South holds S AK10954, H K, D 92, C QJ74 West North East South P 1H P 1S 1N* 2H** 3D?? * Minors, more shape than ** Support X was available Problem 3. IMPs, E-W Vul, Dlr E South holds S K653, H J10, D A5, C Q10973 West North East South P P 1H P 4H P P X P?? Problem 4. IMPS, Both Vul, Dlr N South holds S AQ, H AQ5, D AK92, C 7632 West North East South -- P 1C?? 2012 DISTRICT 4 GOOD WILL COMMITTEE APPOINTEES JANE BALL Doylestown PA DAN BOYE Farmington NY 2011 DISTRICT 4 ACBL CHARITY COMMITTEE APPOINTEE APRIL UHLENBURG King of Prussia PA 25 District 4Spot

26 February 27 to March 4, 2012 VALLEY FORGE REGIONAL TOURNAMENT Mark your calendar and reserve the following dates: February 27 to March 4, 2012 for the Valley Forge Regional Tournament to be held at the Dolce Hotel and Resort in King of Prussia. This tournament site is very conveniently King of P r u s s i a PA located for all players in the district and the surrounding districts and this will be the second year that the Regional Tournament will be held at this location. There will be plenty of parking spaces available around the facility and in the parking garage for either those players who choose travel back and forth each day; or, those who decide to stay over each night for the reasonable room rent rate of $ per night. The hotel staff will be very helpful and will cater to the bridge players to satisfy their various needs. Players who will be traveling back and forth each day should park in the parking garage near the entrance to the lower level of hotel s convention center. All the guestrooms are equipped with coffee makers, hair dryers, voice mail, individual climate control, computer hook-ups with sitting area and writing desk. The hotel has two restaurants that will also be catering to all the bridge players. T. Burke s Restaurant serves American cuisine for dinner seven days a week from 4:00 PM 11:00 PM. Restaurant Three 01 serves breakfast and lunch. Hospitality provided by the tournament committee will be available Tuesday through Saturday during the day. The District President, Walter Mitchell, will also host the bridge players in an open suite each evening. Make sure you read the Daily Bulletin on line and announcements and signs that will be posted in the playing area. Many types of events are available to accommodate the levels of ability and wishes of the players. All the major events will start at 10:00 AM and 2:45 PM every day. Why 10:00 AM and 2:45 PM? This was the consensus (2 to 1) to a survey taken a few years ago; over 500 players took part in this survey. Evening events (7:30 PM) are available for those who cannot get enough Bridge. The evening sessions will hold K/O teams, Compact K/O Teams and Side Series Pair Game. A Stratified Pairs will be held on Wednesday (2/29/12) at 2:45 PM and 7:30 PM. Golden Opportunity Pairs will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; the Golden Opportunity Swiss Teams will be held on Thursday. Golden Opportunity events are scheduled for 10:00 AM and 2:45 PM. A full Intermediate/Newcomer program will be provided and man- 26 District 4Spot

27 aged by Intermediate/Newcomer Chairperson Ala Hamilton-Day (Unit 141 and District 4). Experts that are attending the tournament willing be giving formative instructions to the players before each Intermediate/Newcomer session. One day during the tournament, all I/N participants are invited to an reception. I/N single sessions events are scheduled as follows: Monday Evening 7:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 AM/ 3:00 PM /7:30 PM Sunday 10:00 AM /2:00 PM The masterpoint limitations and ranges for the Stratified and Strata- Flighted events were increased last year. These ranges are as follows: A. Stratified Events: 1. Stratum A: Stratum B: Stratum C: B. Strata Flighted Events (Tuesday through Friday): 1. Stratum A: Stratum X: C. Golden Opportunity Events: 1. Stratum B: 300+ to Stratum C: D. Strata Flighted Team Game (Sunday) 1. Flight A: a. Stratum A: b. Stratum X: (a guarantee min of 40%) 2. Flight B: a. Flight B: (Round Robin Brackets) It should be noted that the last three Valley Forge Regional Tournaments and this one was not scheduled in our traditional time slot. The last three tournaments were scheduled to fit in with the Valley Forge Convention Center s time slots. Last year the VFCC canceled their contract with us and we were lucky to find the Dolce; but it was too late to change the lousy dates at the end of August. This Tournament is scheduled in February/ March our traditional dates would be too close to the Philadelphia Summer NABC in July. Starting 2013, we will be back to our traditional dates, namely, the starting date will be the day after Father s Day. Please check the District 4 web site ( for more detailed information. All of us on the Tournament Committee are looking forward to seeing you again this year and certainly there are enough activities to keep the most avid bridge player occupied and enthused for the seven days. John G. Marks, Tournament Chair 27 District 4Spot

28 28 District 4Spot

29 A Spot 4 the Advancing Player by Jay Apfelbaum This is a continuing series of articles written for the advancing player. I welcome any questions or suggestions about future articles. Please send them to the publisher. Who knows? You may be mentioned in a future article! Since beginning this series, I have been asked about several conventions. Keep asking! Your questions give me direction about what the next article should be about. This article is about how to bid the Impossible Hand. Let us begin by explaining that there is no system of bidding to account for every possible opening bid. There will always be some hand that is impossible to bid. The Flannery convention was an early effort. Playing five-card major suit opening bids and a forcing 1NT response, the opening bidder was frequently strapped for a rebid after a 1NT response. Opening 2D showed an opening hand with four spades and five hearts, and solved that particular problem. However, it meant there was now no good way to open a weak two-bid in diamonds. You are playing a modern variation of a five-card major suit opening system with 2C being the strong opening bid and pick up: A A A K 8 3 A K As dealer, vulnerable against not vulnerable, what do you open? Let us consider the choices. We can open either minor suit at the one level, One Heart, Two Clubs, or 2NT. None of these choices will allow us to accurately describe this hand. Any one-level opening bid risks everyone passing. We could easily make a game opposite a very weak hand that happened to have the right distribution. Suppose partner has five diamonds including the Queen and no other honors. 3NT should make 90% of the time, and we will be left at the one-level. Opening One Heart runs the additional risk of playing in a seven-card fit where a minor suit contract is superior. Opening Two Clubs merely postpones the problem. Opening 2NT certainly denies a singleton, and we have the risk of partner insisting on playing in spades with a weak six-card suit. We could easily make 3NT and go down in a Four Spade contract. So, how do we solve these problems when the impossible 29 District 4Spot

30 hand comes up? First, do not blindly make a choice. It is time to think about the possibilities - what can go right on a given choice and what can go wrong. Let us use this hand as an example of this thought process. If we open at the one-level the auction is likely to end with three passes. If partner manages to bid anything, we might do all right. Over a response of One Heart, we can force to game; but that might not be enough. Over a response of One Spade, we can bid 3NT, but that risks missing a fit in hearts or either minor suit. Opening Two Clubs is even worse because we will be at the two-level or higher and in no better position to judge what to do. Over a Two Diamond response, we can bid Two Hearts (showing a five-card suit) or 2NT (23-24 hcp). The only positive of opening Two Clubs is that partner will know we have a very strong hand. This guarantees that partner will not pass, but there is no certainty that partner will have a strong enough hand for whatever will be our final contract. Opening 2NT also shows a very strong hand. It does not suffer from many of the negatives of opening Two Clubs. We will be able to get to a reasonable contract on virtually any hand where partner does not have either a reasonable hand with a poor six-card spade suit or a very poor hand with a five -card spade suit. We will have to accept a four-level transfer, but we could bid 3NT after a three-level transfer. Partner should get the idea that we do not want to play in that suit. Other auctions will proceed normally. We get to a heart game when that is right or to any minor suit contract. We can also find 3NT when that is a reasonable contract. Do you think you will never have a hand that is impossible to bid? They happen all the time! Partner opens One Diamond and you hold: 4 Q J K J There is no good bid here. 1NT with a singleton spade? Two Clubs with only seven hcp? Raising diamonds with only three-card support? The best choice here is One Heart on your threecard suit. The only really bad thing that could happen is a raise by partner with only three-card support. That does not happen very often. How about A J K J void? This is an opening bid, but is One Diamond or One Spade the better choice? Will the form of scoring or the vulnerability matter to December

31 you? It should. At favorable, I am much more likely to open One Diamond. Regardless how many hearts my opponents might bid, I can show my spade suit. At unfavorable, it is nowhere near as safe to bid diamonds first. If the opponents get to Four Hearts before my next bid, I will have a big problem because at that vulnerability it might not be safe to keep bidding. There are many hands that are impossible to bid. The next time you see one (and you will!), take your time and figure out how to plan your bids to minimize the chance of getting yourself into a bad contract. Remember that your partner will imagine what you have based on what your bids mean, and not what you intend them to mean DISTRICT 4 NORTH AMERICAN PAIRS WINNERS Flight A David Hoffner, Smithville NJ - Martin DeBruin, Egg Habor NJ Barry Gorski - Albert Bingaman, Reading PA Richard Morgen, Havertown PA - Bill Parks, Macungie PA Flight B Karen Xia, Exton PA - Samuel Yake, Paoli PA Brad Barry, Phoenixville PA - David Amsterdam, Wayne PA Lewis Rothberg, Pittsford NY - Douglas Spiker, Henrietta NY Flight C Karin Smith - Craig Smith, Pocono Pines PA Charles Meister - David Rife, Martinsburg WV Michael Young, Stewartstown PA - Russell Williams, Hanover PA December

32 RED ROSE REGIONAL Lancaster PA October 31 - November Corey Krantz, Drexel Hill PA Kenneth Chatzinoff, Cinnaminson NJ Thomas Weik, Reading PA John Sheaffer, Lancaster PA Carl Berenbaum, Elkins Park PA Ed Bissell, State College PA Craig Robinson, Lansdale PA Randall Berseth, Bear DE Jess Stuart, West Chester PA Meyer Kotkin, Cherry Hill NJ

33 Tournament Schedule December 5-11, 2011 District STaC Clubs December 27-30, 2011 Unit Dave Treadwell Sectional Pg. 34 January 6-8, 2012 Pg. 35 January 7-8, 2012 Unit Syracuse Winter Pg. 36 January 27-29, 2012 Unit Harrisburg Sectional Pg. 37 February 5, 2012 Unit York NLM Pg. 38 February 10-12, 2012 Unit February Sectional Pg. 39 February 17-19, 2012 Unit Blue Hen Sectional Pg. 40 February WILLIAMSBURG VA REGIONAL District 6 Pgs FEBRUARY 27 - MARCH 4 VALLEY FORGE REGIONAL Pgs December

34 34 District 4Spot

35 35 District 4Spot

36 36 District 4Spot

37 37 District 4Spot

38 38 District 4Spot

39 39 District 4Spot

40 40 District 4Spot

41 41 District 4Spot

42 42 District 4Spot

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