District 24 Newsletter....................Alvin Levy....................Volume 07.1
Published after each NABC

St. Louis spring NABC

The St. Louis NABC's table count was as approximately as expected, at 10,232 tables.  The playing space was quite good and the hotels were also quite adequate.  There were good restaurants within walking distance, but the best restaurants required a moderate taxi fare.  The downtown area near the playing site left something to be desired and the main attractions were limited to the "Arch" and the Brewery.

Repeat Editorial, shortened

Nothing against Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Denver or St. Louis, but they are not cities where our players flock to!  Holding NABCs in exciting cities that our players would want to visit even without a bridge tournament, greatly enhances attendance and player enjoyment.

This also affects our financial health.  For example, the 2004 NABC cities, Reno, NYC and Orlando, brought three exciting sites, near record attendance and healthy profits. The total 2004 NABC table count was 42,881. The 2003 NABC cities of Philadelphia, Long Beach and New Orleans produced 7,382 fewer tables.  Profits from our 2004 NABCs were $482,000 higher then from our 2003 NABCs, $921,000 compared to $482,000.  The 2005 NABC cities, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Denver, produced an even lower table count and profits were approximately $500,000 less then in 2004.

This summer's NABC in Nashville and fall NABC in San Francisco offers two cities that offer exciting attractions.

ACBL State of Affairs

We had a $1,000,000 deficit over the past three years.  Some of it planned, most of it not planned.  The loses were due, to a great extent, to poor budgeting.  The ACBL is still in good financial shape, with assets of $6,750,000.

Membership is up slightly at over 157,000.

The ACBL product store has been sold to Baron Barclay Bridge.  Our arrangement with Baron Barclay will generate approximately $200,000 per year in income for the next 7 years.  The sale will lead to a reduction of staff and lower storage space.  In addition, our Marketing Director has left and our CFO has been removed as CFO.  We are about to sell the ACBL headquarters in Memphis but will remain at the location for the next 20 months.  A new location is being sought and while it may be in, or near Memphis, it might be in another city in the U.S.

From the ACBL website...

Hall Calls Three (including two from District 24)

Zia Mahmood, Kerri Sanborn and Alan Sontag have been elected to the ACBL Bridge Hall of Fame.  Induction ceremonies will take place during the 2007 Summer NABC in Nashville.  The winners of the Blackwood and von Zedtwitz awards will be announced later.

Zia is one of the most colorful and recognizable personalities in the bridge world.  He is a 10-time North American champion and four-time ACBL Player of the Year.

Sanborn, a retired stock trader, is a six-time world champion with 18 North American titles.   She and Barry Crane won the World Mixed Pairs in 1978 by five boards.

Sontag, a full-time player, won the Bermuda Bowl in 1983 and 2001 and the Rosenblum in 2006.  Author of The Bridge Bum, one of the most popular bridge books of all time.  He has 16 North American championships.

St. Louis ACBL Board of Directors Actions

Replacement of Worldwide Bridge Pairs Contest:

A motion to end our involvement with the World Bridge Federation's Worldwide Bridge Pairs and replacing it with a similar ACBL event was rejected.

Albert H. Morehead Library Foundation:

A non-profit tax-exempt foundation will be established for the purpose of acquiring, preserving and exhibiting objects and material related to bridge and to maintaining a Hall of Fame.

Six and one-half day Regionals:

A Regional may now be up to 6-˝ days.  In addition, a one session event that is held for either the ACBL Charity Foundation, the ACBL Educational Foundation, the Junior Fund, the International Fund or the Canadian equivalent to these, may be scheduled the afternoon before the start of a 6-˝ day Regional.

In effect, any Regional event may start on the first evening of a 6-˝ day Regional.  Currently, only Regional KOs and one-session events can take place on the first evening.

Four Session Board-a-Match Teams:

Four Session Board-a-Match Team events will have a maximum carryover of 5 boards (reduced from 7 boards).

Special Club Games:

A motion to change the cost of club “special” games to $2/table and lower the masterpoint award from 100% sectionally rated to 75% sectionally rated and limit the number of games a club could hold was defeated.  Currently, a club can hold an unlimited number of special games.  These games can combine sections and award Sectionally rated black masterpoints (overall awards are approximately 3 times regular club games and can be as high as 10+ masterpoints, depending on the table count, for one session).  In addition to the sanction fee of $0.74/table there is a $4/table charge.  The $4/table goes to the Junior Fund for special games in February, the Charity Foundation or a charity of the club’s choice for games in April, the International Fund for games in September, or any of the above games in other months.

The Board of Governors, after an appeal from Diana Schuld, voted to have the ACBL Board reconsider limiting the number of special games that a club can hold.

Grand National Teams and North American Pairs Eligibility:

Last year the Board voted to limit participation in the top flights of the NAOPs and GNTs to a players District of residency, rather than the District that the player was a member of.  A GNYBA member of long standing, who played bridge and/or worked in NYC but resided outside NYC in New Jersey, was only eligible to play in District 3’s GNTs and NAOPs.

This was changed to the following:

1. Snowbirds.  Any member with seasonal residences who spends more than half of the GNT qualifying period (September 1 – February 28) in a District other than that of principal residence any play in the District of seasonal residence.

2. Residing in a neighboring District.  Players who live near a District border and who are members of a Unit in a District in which they do not reside, may seek permission to play in the Unit/District in which they are members.  A player seeking this exception must have been an active member of the Unit in the District in which they wish to play for at least 5 years continuously prior to the start of the competition and must not have played in the GNT in another District for that period of time (excluding the 2006/2007 GNTs).  Once permission is granted the player cannot change Units unless his/her physical residence changes.

3. Multiple Domiciles.  A player with multiple domiciles should apply for a one-time choice of District in which they wish to play in the NAOPs and GNTs.  Once a player chooses a District, he/she cannot play in the GNTs or NAOPs of another District until they no longer have a domicile in the District they originally chose.

NAP Reimbursement to District Winners:

A fixed dollar award will be given to District winners rather than the current award of certain expenses.

When there are three qualifiers in a District Flight the awards will be $700 per person for the winners and $300 per person for the second place finishers.

When there are four qualifiers in a District Flight, the first and second place finishers will receive $700 per person and the third place finishers will receive $300 per person.

In addition, there will be no entry fee for the NABC level event.

The defenders are invited to play and receive $700 per person.

Roy Welland leads New Yorkers that shined at St. Louis NABC

Roy won the Silodor Open Pairs and the Vanderbilt, and with those two wins also won the Mott-Smith Trophy for winning the most masterpoints (380) at the spring NABC.

High District finishers follow...note the first five places in the Silodor Open Pairs:

North American Open Pairs, Flight A: 2nd, Glenn Milgrim - Chris Willenken. (Another second.  In 2004 Glenn and Chris missed first by .03 match points.)

Silodor Open Pairs: 1st, Roy Welland; 2nd, Zia Mahmood; 3rd, Winthrop Allegaert - Jaggy Shivdasani; 4th, Jim Krekorian; 5th, Mark Feldman; 10th, Sam Lev.

Silver Ribbon Pairs: 8th, Ruth Stober - Diana Schuld.

Lebhar IMP Pairs: 3rd, Michael Moss; 8th, John Hurd - Joel Wooldridge; 11th, Michael Rosenberg; 15th, Kevin Bathurst; 16th, Adam Wildavsky.

Whitehead Women’s Pairs: 2nd, Valerie Westheimer; 9th, Lynne Tarnopol - Jacqui Mitchell; 14th, Malle Andrade - Jill Levin; 15th, Sylvia Moss - Judi Radin.

Vanderbilt KOs: 1st, Christal Henner-Welland - Roy Welland - Bjorn Fallenius; 3rd, Jimmy Cayne; 5/8th, Nick Nickell; 5/8th, Alan Sontag; 5/8th, Mark Feldman - Martin Fleisher; 9/16th, Robert Levin - Steve Weinstein - Zia Mahmood - Michael Rosenberg; 9/16th, Joe Grue; 9/16th, Michael Moss - Chris Willenken; 9/16th, Sam Lev.

Jacoby Open Swiss Teams: 1st, David Maidman - Marin Marinov; 2nd, Michael Moss - Brian Glubok; 5th, Jimmy Cayne; 14th, Michael Polowan - Chris Willenken; 15th, R Jay Becker; 16th, John Fout; 18th, Sam Lev.

Machlin Women’s Swiss: 3rd, Jill Levin - Debbie Rosenberg; 7th, Laurie Vogel - Lynne Tarnopol - Gail Greenberg - Jacqui Mitchell - Amalya Kearse.