DISTRICT 24 NEWSLETTER                    Alvin Levy                           Volume 99.3
published after each NABC

In This Issue
NYC approved for 2004 Summer NABC
BOSTON NABC Successful
District Players finish high in NABC+ events
Board of Director's Actions
Trials for new Senior Olympiad Championships
Comments on ACBL 2000 Budget
District News
Goodwill Committee Appointments
Upcoming Tournaments

NYC approved for 2004 Summer NABC

ACBL management has recommended NYC as the site of the 2004 summer North American Bridge Championships. The Board of Directors approved the recommendation at their Boston meeting. A contract will be signed with the NY Hilton by year's end, and then we will be off and running to plan a great NABC. NYers will have waited 30 years for another Nationals. The last one was held during the summer of 1974. District 3 will co-host the event with District 24. A committee will be formed to start the local planning. Volunteers will be needed…so even though it's early, let me know if you can help. See District News on p. 3 for more details.                                                                   TO TOP

BOSTON NABC Successful

Boston's NABC site offered players very comfortable and ample playing space. Tournament hospitality was excellent, with plenty of free food given away every night. Many players did a lot of shopping, as they walked, indoors, between the two main hotels, the Marriott and the Westin. There was a good turnout, with a table count of 12,749, about 1,000 over expectations.

Every NABC starts with a Thursday evening charity event. Larry Cohen donates his time and plays with a lucky Patron Member whose name is drawn at random…a good reason to become a Patron Member. There were many other notable happenings at the Boston NABC, including the first running of the renamed Edgar Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs. Many of the events were sponsored, including the Microsoft NABC Senior KOs.

The Daily Bulletins included all section winners. This was a change from the recent past, where only overall winners were listed. Those not at the NABC could follow the activities by viewing the Daily Bulletins on the ACBL Internet Home Page.

Chip Martel was selected as the ACBL's Honorary Member for the year 2000. Chip, a world champion, authority on the Laws, and contributor to many national special bridge committees, was a great choice. It's been an honor to work with Chip on the ACBL's Internet/Computer Advisory committee. He truly gives back to the game.         TO TOP

District Players finish high in NABC+ events

The Non Life Master Pairs was won by new NYers Igor Savchenko, originally from Moldova (formerly part of Russia) and Aviv Shahaf, originally from Israel. As a new partnership they play once a week at the Culbertson Bridge Club, where Savchenko is a part time director.

High District finishers in the Life Master Open Pairs included David Berkowitz-Larry Cohen, 5th, and Michael Moss-Bjorn Fallenius, 6th.

District players that finished high in the Life Master Women's Pairs were Diana Schuld, 5th and Ava Grubman-Linda Rothstein, 10th.

High finishers in the Open Board-a-Match Teams were Nick Nickell, 2nd; Zia Mahmood-Ravindra Murthy, 3rd; Berkowitz-Cohen, 6th; and Sam Lev-Michael Polowan, 8th.

Schuld continued her fine showing in Women's NABC events with a 4th place finish in the Women's Board-a-match Teams. Other high finishers were Susan Wexler, 6th, and Lisa Berkowitz, 8th.

In the ACBL premiere pairs event, the Edgar Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs, high finishers included Lev, 3rd, Zia, 4th, and Aaron Silverstein, 7th.

Another big win for Berkowitz-Cohen. This time is was the North American Open Swiss Teams. Other high finishers in the event included Gary Gottlieb, Winthrop Allegart, 4th, and Mark Feldman, 8th.

The defending champions, Rita Shugart, Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester, and Geir Helgemo won the premiere Team event, the Reisingers. The same foursome won the Open Board-a-Match Teams earlier in the week. A remarkable showing in B-A-M events. District players on the final ten teams were Nickell, 4th, Jimmy Cayne, 5th, Lev-Polowan, 6th, Richard Schwartz, 8th, and Augie Boehm, 10th.

Larry Cohen-David Berkowitz and Sam Lev had three top 10 finishes; and Zia Mahmood, Nick Nickell, Michael Polowan, and Diana Schuld had two top 10 finishes. An excellent showing!             TO TOP

Board of Director's Actions

Higher Tournament Costs
Starting March 1, 2000, the cost of running our local tournaments will be going up. Sanction fees for Regionals/Sectionals/STaCs will go from $3.70/2.60/2.00 to $4.30/3.00/2.30. This represents a 15% increase and a total increase of 20% since 1994. Also a 6.5% increase in Tournament Director session fees, $4 increase in per diem, and a slight increase in supply costs will translate into a cost increase, at each of our Regionals, of approximately $800 plus $0.60/table, and an increase at each of our Sectionals of $50 plus $0.40/table, and an increase at our STaCs of $0.30/table. Passed 14-11. I was a Nay.

Higher Unit Rebates
To slightly offset these costs, starting in 2000 there will be $0.25/member increase to the Unit reimbursement, for all Units complying with the coop marketing program. This results in a reimbursement of $3.75 per member for regular membership and $3.00 for each Life member service fee. Also, all the penalties for coop program noncompliance have been removed. Some, including me, wanted a $0.50 increase.

State Championships
A new Bridge event is approved in principle that would allow for a State or Province Championship. Proposed conditions of contest are being developed and must be further approved. Passed without dissent.

NAOP Flight B new masterpoint range
The NAOP Flight B masterpoint range has been changed to 0-2000 from 0-1500. This makes it consistent with the Flight B Grand National Teams and the Red Ribbon Pairs. Passed 13-12. My motion.

Changes in NABC events
Byes in the Vanderbilt and Spingold are removed. Passed 18-7. I voted Nay. The Competition & Convention Advisory Committee was opposed to eliminating byes.

A two-day NABC+ Speedball Championship will be held, on an experimental basis, opposite the NABC+ IMP pairs at the 2000 summer NABC. The event will be restricted to the General convention chart. Passed 13-12. I voted Nay.

Starting times for NABC events in Anaheim were changed from 8:00 PM from 7:30 PM. Passed 19-6. I voted Nay. By executive committee action, a similar change was made at the Boston NABC.

NABC sites approved
Besides approving NYC as the site of the summer 2004 NABC, the Board approved Honolulu for the fall 2006 NABC, and San Francisco for the fall 2007 NABC.

World Bridge Federation Representation
A major reduction in the reimbursement to our World Bridge Federation representatives that attend WBF events/meetings was reduced from up to 17 days of hotel and per diem expenses to 9 days per diem and 7 hotel nights. Passed 22-1-2. I voted Aye.

Special Worldwide Simultaneous Pairs Championship
In coordination with the WBF two worldwide pairs charity games will be held at clubs during the third week of August, 2000. This will replace the traditionally worldwide pairs games held during the first week in June. Sanction fees will be $10/table. Passed 15-9-1. I voted Aye.

Internet/Computer Activities
The Internet/Computer Advisory Committee's report was received. I chair this committee, and the report can be found on my Web Page at http://members.aol.com/allevy

The 2000 ACBL World Computer Bridge Championships may be held as part of the Mind Sports Olympiad, August 2000. Passed without dissent. I am the originator and coordinator of this event. This year's championships will be held as part of the Orbis World Championships. For details, see the Bermuda Bowl Web site under Events, http://www.bermudabowl.com/

Sanctioned Shortened Club Games
Management will present to the Board at the spring 2000 meeting a plan to allow clubs to hold open games with a minimum of 12 boards. Masterpoints and sanction fees will be at 50%. Passed without dissent.

Bridge Ventures Dissolved
Bridge Ventures Corporation was set up to act as a for-profit corporation, to run prize money events. Up to now the events run have not been successful. The practice of running a cash prize event at the NABCs will be stopped, and the corporation dissolved. Passed 17-8. I voted Aye.                            TO TOP

Trials for the new Senior Olympiad Championships

The WBF has established a Senior Team Olympiad Championship as past of the 2000 Olympiad, to be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, in August 2000. A Trials will be held to qualify a team to represent the USA. USA players born before June 21, 1945 are eligible. The trials will be held from June 21-25, 2000 at the Springfield, MO Regional. Teams must register by May 15, 2000.

Open and Women's Trials
The Open Trials will be held in Memphis at the beginning of June, and the Women's Trials will be held at the Raleigh Regional, May 23-29,2000.

Check your Bridge Bulletin, ACBL Web Page, or call ACBL headquarters, for further information.  TO TOP

Comments on ACBL 2000 Budget

While the ACBL's net worth of $6 million is at an all time high, we will have a 1999 operating deficit of approximately $300,000. This deficit is due, to a great extent, to the added expenses for our new Marketing Department.

The Board has asked management to try to trim their expenses, but that will appear on next year's budget.

In order to keep the 2000 budget at a $200,000 deficit; the Board of Directors has made adjustments in revenue and expenses. All the cuts in expenses are small, but add up. Cuts include a reduction in reimbursements for the Junior Program and a reduction of expenses for the ACBL representatives that attend the WBF meetings.

A motion that the ACBL Board meets only twice a year was rejected. That would have saved $60,000.

In order to reduce the deficit revenue from tournaments was raised. Increases include sanction fees (raising $160,000 in revenue), and Directors fees. The ACBL's cost for running a local Regional Tournament is greater than the fees collected. Raising sanction fees will close this gap.

At the same time the Board awarded Units an additional $0.25/member if they comply with the coop marketing program. This increase could have been higher, but each $0.25 is an added expense of $37,500.

District News

Of course the big news is that we have been given the summer 2004 NABC. The dates are July 8-18, 2004. Much planning will go into this activity, but the good news is that ACBL management will help in every way possible. The league will supply the printing of all materials, including restaurant guides. Also supplied will be a number of rooms for volunteers. The ACBL will arrange for novice speakers, provide promotional material for clubs and players with fewer than 100 mps, provide registration bags and section top prizes, and host a dinner prior to the tournament for key volunteers.

We will also be given approximately $100,000 to spend on certain activities, including: running an Intermediate/Novice program; supplying player entertainment; providing registration gifts; and supplying hospitality for the volunteers.

A planning committee will establish the following committees: finance; caddies; partnership; publicity: hospitality/information; registration; player entertainment; intermediate/novice; program/editor; restaurant guide; advertising sales/sponsorship; special events/tours; pre-tournament hospitality; and transportation/parking. While it isn't mandatory, extra money should be raised to support these activities. Some sponsorship will be available (this will be a priority with me). The last time District 24 was a co-host of an NABC was in the spring of 1991 (Atlantic City). For a three year period before that NABC, Regional card fees were raised $1 to raise money. If, and how much, money is to be raised to support the 2004 NABC will be decided on by the Unit and District Boards. If the money raised isn't spent, it will be returned to the Units and Districts. Volunteers will be needed, so even though it's early, let me know if you can help.      TO TOP

Goodwill Committee Appointments

Appointments to the National Goodwill Committee this year are Karen Allison, Carol Mathews, Irene Payne, and Sue Scholer. Congratulations, and well deserved. It’s always a great pleasure to recognize some of the players that give so much back to the game.


The Easybridge! program has been very successful around the country. It appears to be bringing in new players who eventually start playing at clubs. Edith McMullin is the force behind this activity, and she has been in our District teaching teachers how to run an Easybridge class. I expect to see a few classes starting on Long Island. If any teacher or bridge club is interested, contact me or call toll free 877-765-EASY.


Edgar Kaplan Winter Regional: December 26-30, 1999

at the Crowne Plaza Manhattan (212) 977-4000

call Bill Rosenbaum for information (212) 725-2135

January StaC: January 20-26, 2000

check your local club for information

Long Island Spring Regional: February 23-27, 2000

at the Smithtown Sheraton (631) 231-1100

call Art Brodsky for information (631) 27-6423


Any comments or suggestions? Let me know!

Alvin Levy

22 Hamlet Drive

Commack, NY 11725