March 2018

What happens on March 8th? You got it! Philly Nationals start. Check out the NABC website for lots of helpful information from schedule to restaurant guide to hospitality and entertainment to logistics and more. Since last month's 4Spot, there are even more new things happening with special bridge events and entertainment so scroll down to read more. 

Philly Nationals now offers an easy opportunity for you to play hands with or against many, many luminaries, including Meckstroth, Rodwell, Sontag, Berkowitz, Zia, Shi, Hamman, and many more. It will happen in the Rubber Bridge Room, so check it out!

District 4 Officers  
small margin
Questions? Comments? Concerns?
Contact your District 4 board members.

Meyer Kotkin

Dave Kresge
Bill Bauer

Pat Civale  

Joann Glasson 
President's Message

It's here! The Philadelphia North American Bridge Championships (NABC) start March 8th  and run through March 18th . There are events, programs and entertainment for everyone. Many local players will join National and International stars in premier National Championship events like the Platinum Pairs and the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams (KO). There are ten NABC+ Championships up for grabs and if you are so inclined, Go for the Platinum! There is also a full daily schedule of Regionally rated events (Gold Points) including Gold Rush Pairs or Teams every day, as well as a full schedule of I/N events. If you need a partner, no worries - there are dedicated desks for I/N partnerships, Regional partnerships and National event partnerships. Chairpersons Joann and Bob Glasson and their Tournament Committee have planned extraordinary programs, speakers, treats and entertainment galore including a Sunday night Stroll on the Boardwalk with free hot dogs, cotton candy and arcade games. Visit the Philadelphia NABC website  here for more details and information. I am under strict orders to attend all three performances of the University of Pennsylvania's acapella group, the Counterparts.
There is another advantage to attending the Nationals this month. It will give you a chance to practice for what Dave Treadwell would have called the Main Event - the Wilmington Regional on Apr 30 - May 6. Wilmington is the first D4 Regional of the year and will be the first D4 tournament to run the new, more equitable KO format that has a first day Round Robin or Swiss qualifier for a second day KO phase. In this event, the (minimum five) team brackets will be more equitable so that all the teams in a bracket will have a similar number of masterpoints instead of some of the wide-ranging masterpoint brackets in past KO. Additionally, all teams that enter are guaranteed to play both sessions of the qualifying day - no more being knocked out in the first session and having to play in a one session side event. The four teams that qualify for the KO phase will also play two sessions that day as there will be a playoff for third and fourth. I will write more about the new KO format in my article next month. You can find the Wilmington Regional schedule and other information here .
There is a Philadelphia NABC every eight to nine years and every time I play in a Philly NABC, I get nostalgic. Many friends from across the country will be coming to Philadelphia for the NABC and I look forward to catching up with them. But I always find myself thinking about friends and partners who have passed or are no longer able to play because of health concerns. I remember them now and hopefully, I will always remember them. They are part of my bridge culture and history and had profound effects on my game and my personality. Many of the events at the Philly NABC are named after people who were integral parts of my bridge community. I can't imagine what I would be like if I hadn't met Dave Treadwell, Norman Kay, Charlie Gray, Howie Cohen and others too numerous to mention.
Speaking of nostalgia, I found the picture below in the March 7, 2003 NABC Bulletin. Some of these old friends have passed and some have less hair and slightly larger bellies, except for Rick Rowland who is in fighting shape and making a run against me for D4 Chick Magnet. I was hoping the picture would bring back some fond memories for you.

As always, I welcome all comments and suggestions. My e-mail is and my cell is 856.986.5109.
From the District Director 
joann glasson
Philadelphia NABC

When you read this report we will be days away from the NABC and I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia.

For the first time ever at a North American Championship, we will have a Rubber Bridge Room that will have continuous games on Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm. Entry is free. The only requirement is that you be an ACBL member and we are making the ACBL's new $8 temporary memberships available at the door if you are not yet one of us.

From 10 to 12 each day, some of the best players in the world will sit in and play a few hands - Gary Cohler, Eric Rodwell, Bob Hamman, Zia, Jeff Meckstroth, Sylvia Shi, Jerry Helms - will sit-in, just to name a few. Here's your chance to play a hand or two with a bridge luminary.

Players can cut in at any time.  Click here for the house rules. Tom Smith will be hosting the event which will be held in Room 403 on the fourth floor of the Marriott.  Please spread the word and encourage social players to come to the Marriott and share the excitement of playing in an NABC.


District 4 has another first this year. Meyer Kotkin, Mike Giesler. and John Dickenson have collaborated on a new format for knockout events at our regionals that will make the events more equitable and more fun for everyone. Additionally, the new, albeit experimental format will guarantee that all teams that enter the event will play both sessions on the first day. No more one session and done if you lose. The first of these experimental knockout events will be held at the  Delaware Regional, April 3 - May 6 2018.

Teams will be grouped in brackets with a similar number of masterpoints, so that no team will be forced into a bracket that won't be a comfortable level of competition. The size of the brackets will not be determined by splitting the field equally, but by grouping teams together based on the total number of masterpoints. So, the top bracket (which is open to all teams that voluntarily want to play in the top bracket) might have 6 teams or it might have 8, but it will have players with the largest number of masterpoints. Similar equitable bracketing will continue down to the last bracket.

On the first day of the new two-day knockout event, players will play a Round Robin or Swiss team qualifier, and the highest scoring four teams will go into a knockout phase on day two. All players get to play all day on the first day.

On the second day when only four teams in each bracket remain, the teams that lose in the semi-final will play off against each other to get an overall third place and fourth place award. That ensures that all teams that reach the KO phase of the event will play all four sessions.  Click here for the conditions of contest  prepared by Meyer.

See you all in Philadelphia!
District 4 Schedule
March 8-18  
April 7-8
April 7-8
April 30-May 6  
May 7-12
June 25-July 1
Syracuse Regional
August 13-19
District 4 STaC
August 20-26
NAP Flight C
October 13
NAP Flight A
October 13-14
NAP Flight B
October 27
Lancaster Regional
October 29-November 4
December 10-16 
Philadelphia Nationals: March 8-18  
With just about a week to go until the start of Nationals, we still have breaking news.

1. An exciting new feature: The Rubber Bridge Room. Enjoy relaxed bridge with top experts from around the world and players from the Hamilton Club, the country's oldest rubber bridge club. The "RBR" will be located in Room 403 on the 4th floor of the Marriott. You can drop in anytime between 10 am and 9 pm Monday-Friday March 12-16, but expect to see the experts between 10 am and noon. Play is Chicago-style with cut-ins after four deals, no partners needed. Cost is free for ACBL members; $8 will cover non-members for the entire week. Full information at the Philly NABC website. Don't miss this amazing opportunity !

2. Great tour opportunity: Bridge players can enjoy the Big Bus tour at a great discount. Get $12 off the $32 fee for their on-and-off bus tours around the city just by showing your convention card at the Tour Desk in the Marriott lobby.

The bridge will be great, but our NABC is about much more than bridge! There's hospitality every night, starting Thursday, and fantastic entertainment nearly every night. 
* The Jersey Tenors on Friday, March 9
* stroll the Boardwalk right in the Marriott on Sunday, March 11 
The Counterparts will wow you with their vocal stylings on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday March 14-16. You will need a free ticket to guarantee a seat, but it's easy to grab one from the Information desk on the 5th floor of the Marriott.

Questions? Click here to find out who to contact and how. The local committee is happy to help, so please call or email if you need any help at all.
For all the information, check out the Philly NABC website. See you soon in a week!
Unit 141 and D4 Seminar Prepares
Newer  Players  for Tournaments
Remember what it was like the first time you played in a tournament? Are you still waiting to give tournament play a try? 

On February 25, nearly 50 newer players attended a day of activities at Valley Forge Bridge Club to help make that transition easier. With the support of District 4, Unit 141 organized the first of what we hope will be many such events around the district. The goal was to prepare and excite players for the upcoming Nationals, as well as our district's many sectionals and regionals. The seminar included talks on a variety of tournament-related subjects (from filling out a convention card to handling director calls), a panel discussion with questions from the players, and a "mock" Swiss Teams to accustom players to that format.

Many thanks to Unit 141 I/N chairs Joan and Bill Goldstein for coordinating the event as well as Dave LeGrow, Joann Glasson, Ed Kung, and Mike Giesler for all of their time and effort in making the event a success.

News from Around the Units 
four corners
Unit 112: Central New York
Pat Stadelmaier
Unit 112 Sectional
April 7-8
Unit 112 I/N Sectional
April 20-21
Unit 112 Sectional
June 2-3
Unit 112 Sectional
July 14-15
Unit 112 Sectional
September 8-9
Unit 112 Sectional
September 29-30
Unit 112 Sectional
October 20-21
Unit 112 Sectional
November 10-11 
Spring is in the air and we are looking forward to the Spring NABC in Philadelphia March 8 to March 18.

March 15 and 16 (Thursday and Friday) Unit 112 is sponsoring a Knockout Team Event in honor of our dedicated Club Managers and Players.
Good luck to our Unit 112 pairs that have qualified to participate in the North American Pairs Event -
Flight C- Stephen and Holli Mast
Flight B - Lynn Ackerman and Mary Miller
      Edythe Kraus and Ellen Ryan
      Tom Aridgides and Dick Tuttle
Congratulations to our players achieving their next Masterpoint level:
Junior Masters - Mary E Burns Rochester NY
                                       Dr Sarah Liebschutz   Pittsford NY
                                  Ellen Thorton   Fayetteville NY
Club Masters - Anne Field   Horseheads NY
                         Paul Hagar   Maryland NY
                                 Joseph Nicholson   Endwell NY
Sectional Masters - Mary Helen Cathles   Lansing NY
                                         Mahlon (Gene) Hauber   Elmira NY
                           Steve Hiscox   Oneonta NY
                         Allen Presby   Unadilla NY
Regional Masters - Donald Boyce   Groton NY
                                       Gregory Liebner   Vestal NY
                                           Roxann Roberts   Leicester NY
                                   Mark Tevelow   Vestal NY
Life Masters - Stephen Mast   Corning NY
                           David Morris   Hastings NY
Bronze Life Master- Jo Ann Filipe   Fairport NY
Gold Life Master- Dolores Schwartz   Pittsford NY
Emerald Life Master- Roger Woodin   Rochester NY
Save the Date
                  April 7 and 8                                         April 20 and 21
        Rochester Spring Sectional                     Webster 199er Sectional
            Knights of Columbus                                       Century Club
70 Barrett Drive Webster, NY                566 East Ave. Rochester, NY                                                                                                           
Unit 120: Northeastern Pennsylvania 
Fay Pacchioli

March 2-4
Unit 120 Sectional
June 8-10
Unit 120 Sectional
October 5-7
2018 NABC March 8 - 18 - Philadelphia - Unit 120's volunteer day is Tuesday, March 13th, so there will be a lot of familiar faces around that day to root for those playing. Looking forward to seeing you all there. Beth Rosenthal got a few Club Directors together and organized a Seminar at Wesley Village for newcomers who were going to play in their first National Tournament. The Seminar was programmed for players with fewer than 200 points although those with more than 200 points were allowed to attend. It was Free and anyone with less than 200 points was eligible to win a free two night stay at the Marriott to encourage our newer players to get their feet wet at a National. I am sure all of us remember our first National. Two of our under 200 point players from the Honesdale Club were convinced to go to the seminar as one of them has been in our beginners class since the beginning of summer 2017 and we thought it would be beneficial to them. They traipsed off to the seminar, loved it and won 2 Free nights in the Marriott and will be attending the NABC on March 16 - 18th . So wish Antonette Finelli and Carol Rick good luck if you see them.   They will be playing in games specifically stratified for players with similar point counts.  
Beverly Bright and Jane Bovard qualified on the local level and will be playing in the PRESIDENTS CUP FLIGHT C NORTH AMERICAN PAIRS on Sunday.  We all wish them good luck.
           ACE OF CLUBS - 2017                    MINI MCKENNEY - 2017
0 - 5            Rob Schanker, Lake Ariel                      Rob Schanker
            Harold Koehler, Dallas                                Harold Koehler
            James Post, Hanover Twp                     Jian Chen, Tobyhanna
            Rita Groves, Pittston                                          James Post
            Antonette Finelli, Lakeville                            Rita Groves
5 - 20            Roseann Tedesco, Moosic                      Roseann Tedesco
            Mary Ellen McCormick, Forty Fort          Mary Ellen McCormick
Kristen Armstrong, Dallas                                    Kirsten Armstrong
            David & Patty Frischholz, Hawley        David & Patty Frischholz
20 - 50   Louisa Stephens, Scranton                        Louisa Stephens
                Marla McNabb, S. Abington Twp                Marla McNabb
                 Janet Morganthau, E. Stroudsburg            Janet Morganthau
                    Elizabeth Vucic, Poyntelle             Kelly Sherry, Mountain Top
                   Kathleen Burns, Throop       Susan Hildebrand, Albrightsville
50 - 100  Christopher Stephens, Scranton              Christopher Stephens
                   Begona Kowet, Lords Valley                     Begona Kowet
                   Betsy Hattersley, Hawley                    Anne Pelak, Kingston
100 - 200  Linda Churla, Waverly                                    Linda Churla
                 George Clark, Clarks Summit     Victoria Tarleton, Bear Creek
                      Marie Lewis, Dallas                                        Marie Lewis
200 - 300   Beverly Bright, Scott Township                   Beverly Bright
                     Fran Hofherr, Swoyersville                        Fran Hofherr
                   Wanda Cristali, Scotrun                               Wanda Cristali
300 - 500    Joe Distini, Clarks Summit                             Joe Distini
                    Arthur Kibbe, Clarks Summit                        Gretchen Jack
                   Gretchen Jack, Cape Canaveral, FL            Arthur Kibbe
500 - 1000   Bill Burns, E. Stroudsburg                            Bill Burns
                       Lynn Gonchar, Naples, Fl                    Kathryn Shumaker
                       Diane Berkowitz, HawlHHHHHHawley                   Martha O'Connor
1000 -1500   David Forth, Stroudsburg                        David Forth
                       Stanley Smulyan, Fort Myers, FL            Walter Mitchell
                       Helene Megargel , Lake Ariel            Bill Orth, Sugarloaf
1500 - 2500   Carole McCallum, Newfoundland            Stephen Tillman
                       Stephen Tillman, Shavertown               Carole McCallum
                       Sara Eisner, Scranton                               Sara Eisner
2500 - 3500   Judith Argento, Naples, Fl                      Judith Argento 
                       George Marcy, Kingston                      Marlene Meyer
    Marlene Meyer, Scranton                    George Marcy
3500 - 5000   Carol Drewniak, Conyngham             Carol Drewniak
5000 - 7500         David Meyer, Scranton                       David Meyer

HawlHHHHH                             PLAYER ADVANCEMENTS
JUNIOR MASTER -       Brooks Eldredge-Martin, Towanda
CLUB MASTER -           Mary Ellen McCormick, Forty Fort
                                          James Post, Hanover Twp.

District 4 now maintains and enforces a fragrance policy that includes the smell of smoke, fragrance and body odor. All clubs should be following this policy as well as sectional and regional events . It is important that all players are in compliance with this policy which is critical for the health and enjoyment of all players. Players must refrain from wearing any of the following:   cologne, after shave lotion, perfume, perfumed hand lotion, fragranced hair products, and or similar products.  Strong scents including fragrances, the smell of smoke and poor personal hygiene violate the Zero Tolerance Policy.  

2018 CALENDAR - 
March 2- 4 - NEPA Sectional Tournament, WilkesBarre
April 7 - Grand National Teams - Flt. A and C
April 7 - 13 - STAC
April 15 - April 22 - Unit 120 Group Trip to Gatlinburg
April 21 - Grand National Teams - Flight B
June 1 - 3 - NEPA Sectional Tournament, WilkesBarre
July 9 - ACBL wide Instant Matchpoint Game - Gold pts
September 9 - ARCHITZEL MEMORIAL GAME, Beach Lake
October 5 - 7 - NEPA Sectional Tournament, WilkesBarre
October 13 - North American Pairs - Flight C
October 27 - North American Pairs - Flight B
October 31 - ACBL Instant Matchpoint Game - Gold pts
December 10 - Honesdale Holiday Party
Club Directors - Get your scheduled dates in to me so we can publicize your special events. Early publicity does increase attendance.

Unit 121: Berks Montgomery 
Brian C Snyder 
April 6

December 21

Our President's Day Unit Game was held Wednesday February 21 at The Jewish Cultural Center. Vicky and Ellis Sokoloff won 1st  overall. Our next Unit Game will be for St. Patrick's Day on Thursday, March 22 at Sacred Heart Villa.
Our next Intermediate-Newcomer Sectional will be held Friday, April 6. This is for Non Life Masters with 500 or fewer Masterpoints. Click here for more information.
Congratulations to the following members for achieving their next Masterpoint Rank:
Club Master - Romaine Schwartz
Sectional Master - Barbara Swales, Tom Swales
Life Master - Nancy Machusick, Elaine S. Van Briggle, L. Irish Murphy
Unit 133: Lehigh Valley 
Deepak Khanna

April 27-29
Unit 133 Sectional
October 19-21 
We are sad to report the demise of two members of our Unit--Lawrence Young and Lewis Schor. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families.

Calendar Announcements:
Every Thursday (for eight weeks), beginning March 22 , 4:45 PM Brookside Country Club; Sara Gainey will be offering the third Series of Lessons (8-Series III). For details contact Sara Gainey at 610-417-5982.  
Sunday, April 8 , 12:00 PM, Brith Shalom, Macada Road, Bethlehem; Unit Game, Open and NLM events.
April 26 A mentoring team game at Lehigh Valley Active Life, 12:30 PM. Facilitator Mike Kohler-610-554-7602, A more experienced player will pair with a newer player; two such pairs will comprise a team.
May 19 NLM Sectional at Lehigh Valley Active Life, two separate Flights: 0-100 and 0-500. Lunch will be provided, further details maybe found on the ACBL website.
The following players recently attained higher bridge masterpoint ranking: Junior Masters :  Richard Hyman, Susan Keller, and Carol Turoczi;  Bronze Life Masters : Lynda Shoeninger, and Todd Wachsman.
The Unit-Game of February 4 (Souper Bowl) helped raise significant amount of money and food for Second Harvest Food Bank. In the NLM section (yes, we had a separate NLM section-yippee...eee!) Pat Saeger and Karen Myers were the winners, while in the 'other' section Arnold Kritz and Ben Yang were the winners. A total of twenty-two pairs competed in the event.
On February 22, Sara Gainey organized a mentee-mentor game at the Brookside Country Club. It was an enjoyable affair with stimulating conversation and a good dinner (sans alcohol though). E J Krall and Keith Ordemann were the first amongst fourteen winning pairs .  
Congratulations to all our achievers!

Bridge for the Newer Players:
While a lot more remains to be done, we are proud to report that the Unit is increasingly making concerted efforts to facilitate beginner bridge. For instance, Jim Kenny, the president of Unit 133, has himself been taking keen personal interest in ensuring that newer players have an opportunity to be exposed to team game format of bridge (IMP scoring). And this is only the tip of the iceberg. The mentee-mentor program with Mike Kohler at the helm, Sara Gainey's beginner bridge lessons and games, the upcoming NLM Sectional Tournament are some of our other beginner bridge initiatives. Again, while we are very encouraged, please let us not rest until our ranks swell up to at least 350 members. And once that milestone is achieved, we must keep marching on trying even harder!
At all our Sectional Tournaments and Unit Games, we plan to have a separate NLM section and hope our newer players will enthusiastically participate in them. If we do not muster enough tables for the NLM event, American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) rules will obligate merging of the NLM event with the Open event. Please do not let that happen.
Unit 141: Philadelphia 
Joan Warren
April 13-15
Unit 141 congratulates its New Life Masters and all those who reached new designation levels. 

Gold Life Master  
Estelle Bogart
Sidney Gordon

Ruby Life Master  
Jean Ann Dockray
Margery Steiner

Silver Life Master
Susan  Morse
Stephen Vineberg

Bronze Life Master  
Lisa Mita
Milind Vase
Eileen Zakuto

We hope to see you at the NABC in March. There are several sessions in honor of local Unit 141 members. Come play in them.

The Unit 141 Annual Meeting will be Sunday April 29 at 10:30 am at Green Valley Country Club. Look for flyers in your clubs soon with details and watch your email for information. One free sectional play for New Life Masters, Mini McKenney and Ace of Clubs winners who attend. Sign-up required.

Unit 168: Central Pennsylvania 
Jeanne Gehret
March 23-25
Unit 168 NLM Sectional
May 12  
August 12
News From Chambersburg :
Plan ahead and join us at the Chambersburg Sectional, scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, June 14, 15, 16. Click on this link  for game information, directions, and contacts for the tournament.
News From Harrisburg :
Special games in March include:
  • Saturday, 3/3 - 11:30am - Lunch & Bridge (soup & sandwiches)
  • Tuesday, 3/6 - 11:30am - Birthday Party to celebrate Jim Green's 93rd!!
  • Wednesday, 3/7 - 6:30pm - Wine & Cheese Open Game
  • Sunday, 3/11 - 12:30pm - Ladies' Swiss Teams (pre-registration required)
  • Saturday, 3/17 - 11:30am - Lunch & Bridge (serving corned beef & cabbage); free for all HBC Members
  • Monday, 3/19 - 12:15 (lunch at 11:30am) - ACBL-Wide Senior Pairs Game
  • Wednesday, 3/28 - 6:30pm (dinner at 5:45pm) - Monthly Swiss Teams Game
Special Notes:
  • Many March games at HBC will be charity games (ACBL and local, which is Downtown Daily Bread), where extra points will be awarded
  • Plan ahead for our first 0-1000 Swiss Team Game on Friday, April 27.
Please visit the HBC website for the full schedule of games: 

News From Lancaster :
Special games at Maple Grove in March include:
  • Monday, 3/5 - 12:15 - Unit Game - extra points!
  • Monday, 3/19 - 12:15 - ACBL-Wide Senior Pairs Game. Join all the 60+ year olds in North America for a day of extra points and extra fun!
  • Wednesday, 3/21 - 12:15 - Unit Game - extra points!
Come out and play with us! For partners, call Andie Sheaffer at 717-581-1003
News From York :
March special games and workshops at the Bridge Boardroom are shown below:
  • Monday, 3/5 - Morning & Afternoon are Unit games - $1 extra
  • Tuesday, 3/6 - Afternoon is Unit game - $1 extra
  • Wednesday, 3/21 - Morning & Afternoon are Unit games - $1 extra
  • Saturday, 3/24 - 6pm - Saturday Night Special game; pre-registration requested
  • Wednesday, 3/28 - Evening is Unit game - $1 extra
  • Tuesday, 3/13 - 9:30-11:30; Establishing Looooong Suits
  • Friday, 3/16 - 10-noon; The Crummy Dummy
  • Tuesday, 3/17 - 9:30-11:30; Negative Doubles
Special Note: The Bridge Boardroom will be closed on Friday, March 30
CONGRATULATIONS  to these Unit 168 members on their new master point rank achievements:

Club Master:
Patricia Andrews
Sectional Master:
Ivan Hileman, Cindy Mueller
Regional Master:
Suzanne Geubtner, Georgianne Hess
NABC Master:
Patricia Latshaw
Advanced NABC Master:
Matt Sherman
Bronze Life Master:
Mary Simmons
Silver Life Master:
Ruth Ellen Maddock
Wacky Hands & Gadgets - by Dave Bort
Flexible Flannery
In a recent afternoon club game, white-on-red (aka opponents vul, us non-vul), our opponents held:
       North: K73 Q9 QT2 K9875       South: 54 T7 98653 AT64
while my partner and I held:
       West:  QJ96 K65432 AK J       East:    AT82 AJ8 J74 Q32
North opened with a Pass, and the bidding proceeded as follows (with the opponents silent throughout)
       West       East
       2D(2)       2N(3)
       3S(4)       4H(5)

(1) Let's see, 9 losers, 12 points, and two quick tricks. Usually I bid with two out of three, from among: (1) 7 losers, (2) 12 points, and (3) two quick tricks, but this hand just doesn't look to have many tricks. Plus, I'm in second seat, where I'd like to have a more solid hand to bid, so I'll let this one go (and be prepared to apologize, if we miss something).
(2) Flexible Flannery, showing 11-15 HCP, with Spade/Heart distribution being either 4/5, 4/6, or 5/6.
(3) Forcing; Tell me more about your hand, partner. This from among other options, including:
Pass = poor hand, but with 6+ Diamonds, 2H/S = to play, 2N = tell me more, forcing, 3C = to play, with 6+ Clubs, 3D/H/S = invitational, 3N = to play, 4C/D = transfer to H/S (with no high cards to protect from the opening lead, or to follow-up with 1430), and 4H/S = to play (with something to protect, and no need to go slamming).
(4) Shows 4/6 in Spades and Hearts (leaving both strength and minor distribution unspecified), from among:
3C = 4/5 S/H and 3 or 4 Clubs, 3D = 4/5 S/H and 3 or 4 Diamonds, 3H = 4/5 S/H and 2/2 in the minors, minimum (11-13), 3S = 4/6 S/H, with strength and minor distribution unspecified, 3N = 4/5 S/H with 2/2 in the minors, maximum (14-15), and 4H = 5/6 S/H, with strength and minor distribution unspecified.
(5) Looks like we have a double fit in the majors, so since I have 12, I'm bidding the game. Good Luck, partner!
Making 6H, where both aggressive and/or foolhardy bidders would be rewarded, because both the Spade King is onside and the Heart Queen falls. Lucky, but it probably shouldn't be bid. Still (all together, now!), it's Better to be Lucky Than Good!
Rule of 234 + Modified Ogust = Slam in the East?!?
In another recent club game, red-on-red (aka both vul), with me the dealer, I was up to my usual tricks with the Rule of 2-3-4 (the Losing Trick Count version) in first seat (where I have a little more leeway than in second seat, though way less than in third seat). Partner and my version of the Rule allows me to open at equal vulnerability with no more than 8 losers (see my December '17 4Spot article for more on the Rule of 234). Our opponents' hands were pretty modest, holding:
       North: KT32 9873 T72 53        South: Q7 QT2 KJT854 4
while partner and I held:
       West: J6 AKJ - AKQJT762       East(me): A9854 654 AQ6 98
The bidding proceeded (with the opponents silent throughout):
       West                       East
                  2N(2)                  3C(3)
                  3D(4)                  3S(5)
                  6C(6)                  Pass(7)
(1) Showing 5-10 points, with no more than 8 losers. Yes, with two Aces, this is probably not the best bid for this hand (partner could miss a game, not realizing I have such outside strength), but you asked, so this is what actually happened at the table.
(2) Forcing; Tell me more about your hand, partner.
(3) Modified Ogust, revealing only a 5-card suit, from among: 3C = 5 cards, 3D = 6 cards, minimum, and 3H = 6 cards, maximum
(4) I'm undeterred by your 5-card suit, partner, tell me how strong you are.
(5) Maximum, from among: 3H = minimum, and 3S = maximum
(6) This could work, partner, since I only need 2 tricks from you. Bet you'll be surprised by my bid!
(7) Wow, yes, I am surprised, but I trust you enough to pass!
Making 7 on the lead of the Diamond 8. I didn't actually have enough other entries (only the Spade Ace and two high Clubs) to toss a Spade on the Diamond Ace, then ruff Spades and finally toss the Heart Jack loser on my long Spade, but the opponents must have helped by tossing the wrong card somewhere in the play. Let people wonder how the Club slam was bid from the East!
Stay tuned for more wacky hands & gadgets in April. You can't make this stuff up (well, the hands, anyway)!
Unit 190: Delaware 
Ala Hamilton-Day
Unit 190 Sectional
June 1-3
July 26-28
Unit 190 Sectional
September 14-16
Unit 190 Dave Treadwell Sectional
December 27-31 
LOOK OUT! IT'S COMING!  THE DELAWARE REGIONAL (April 30 to May 6). The wonderful hospitality, the array of expert lecturers and presenters, the easy access, and the fantastic bridge, make this regional tourney one not to be missed. Mark your calendars now for this superlative tournament.


REGIONAL MASTER : Steven M. Katz and Brenda Vogel
LIFE MASTER William F. Lorelli and Thomas N. Tully
BRONZE MASTER William F. Lorelli
SILVER MASTER : Judith M. Gwaltney

A dyslexic man walks into a bra . . .

Unit 190  ACE OF CLUBS  and MINI-MCKENNEY  Winners
             ACE OF CLUBS            MINI-MCKENNEY
0 - 5                 Michael Vogel                                                Michael Vogel
5 - 10               Debbie Schenkel                                                Mark Nehra
20 - 50            Sugi Hayes                                                            Sugi Hayes
50 - 100        Diane Gordy                                                            Marilyn Haskins
100 - 200     Richard Weissmann                                Richard Weissmann
200 - 300         Mary Reilly                                                            Mary Reilly
300 - 500          Tina Brinsfield                                                Pat Tylander
500 - 1000         Francis Bizzoco                                                Francis Bizzoco
1000 - 1500     Caroline Hughes                                                Dorothy Hand
1500 - 2500   Mark Henderson                                                Mark Henderson
2500 - 3500        Robert Maier                                          Robert Maier
3500 - 5000          Bernard Rehberg                                  Bernard Rehberg
5000 - 7500          Randall Berseth                              Randall Berseth
7500 - 10000         Marie and Peter Filandro               Richard Popper
10000 +              Rick Rowland                                       Rick Rowland                                   
February 9 - 11
Top DSBA Award Winners

1. 16.23 Rick Rowland
2. 16.23 Greg Burch
3. 14.90 Richard Popper
4. 8.87 Jeff Ruben
5. 7.63 Tamara Holm
6. 7.63 Kim Holm
7.   5.98 Randall Berseth
8.   5.36 John Strange
9.   5.07 Kurt Engleman
10. 4.82 Marie Filandro
11. 4.82 Peter Filandro
12. 4.72 Alan Horowitz

A retrospective on the great Dave Treadwell, who will be honored at the upcoming Philadelphia NABC, some news from the Southern reaches, as well as some articles and jokes, can be found in the relatively recent February Dummy. For news and results from around the Unit, check out the work of webmaster extraordinaire Mark Henderson and click on the links below:
Unit 217: Susquehanna  
Jim McKeown
Unit 217 Sectional
June 1-3
Unit 217 Sectional
September 21-23
Congratulations on the following rank advances!!
Carolyn Kay M Lundy to Junior Master, Angela Sykes to Regional Master, Jess Goodman to Silver Life Master, Gene Waltz to Gold Life Master, Cary Breech to Ruby Life Master, and Jim McKeown to Emerald Life Master.
Congratulations also to our 2017 Unit 217 Ace of Clubs and Mini-McKinney winners:
Ace of Clubs
0 to 5
Judith Barrile
Judith Barrile
5 to 20
Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher
20 to 50
Gerald Arcuri
Gerald Arcuri
50 to 100
Sally Manning
Sally Manning
100 to 200
Marilyn Goldfarb
Donald Dascher
200 to 300
Craig Netzley
Mary Lisko
300 to 500
Joanne Johnston
Joanne Johnston
500 to 1000
Jess Goodman
J Donald Hollinger
1000 to 1500
Jacqueline Humilovich
Jacqueline Humilovich
1500 to 2500
Michael Anesko
Michael Anesko
2500 to 3500
Judy Stein
Judy Stein
3500 to 5000
Sarah Soster
Sarah Soster
   Plus two other guys in uncontested higher brackets.
Please join us for our next sectional June 1 - 3 at the Boalsburg Fire Company, 113 E. Pine Street, Boalsburg, PA 16827 . Please note the new location.
Our Monthly Feature

The 4Spot features fantastic contributors, on a regular rotation:

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For Novices Only by Marti Ronemus:
January , April , July, October

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The ABC of Bridge by Dave Wachsman:
  February, May, August, November

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  A Spot 4 the Advancing Player by Jay Apfelbaum:
  March, June, September, December

Click here to read last month's article: The ABC of Bridge. Marti returns next month with her regular column.
Click on any blue month above to read recent articles. 
Master Solvers Club

Moderator: Nick Straguzzi

Monster hands -- love them or hate them, they always set the heart racing. What would you do with this month's beast when the pesky opponents get in the auction?

First, click here to read the analysis of this month's problem.

Then visit the MSC website to read next month's problem and submit your answers online: 
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4Spot | March 2018 | Editor: Allison Brandt |