DISTRICT 24 NEWSLETTER        Alvin Levy        Volume 01.2

 Toronto NABC ninth largest ever

Toronto always hosts a successful NABC and this year was no exception.  Attendance was 1000 tables over estimates at 16,080.  Toronto is a popular site because of its reasonable prices, outstanding and convenient restaurants, and big-city attractions.  The playing areas were very comfortable.  On the negative side, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, at which most of the Regional events were held, was hard to find even after you had been there once, and the free evening food snacks were like most airline food…not very good.  I hope we get that right in the summer of 2004.

 Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

The Hall of Fame annual banquet took place on the first day of the NABC, July 19.  The current yearly selection process starts with nominations from the Hall of Fame committee.  There are two nomination categories, living and deceased players.  Living nominees must be at least 60 years old.  Ballots go to the top masterpoint holders, journalists, and administrators.  The top vote getter in each category is elected.  Others elected, with a maximum of two in the living category, must be named on at least 50% of the ballots cast.  The nominating committee also selects two Hall of Fame inductees - the recipients of the von Zedtwitz and Blackwood awards.

Eric Murray and Sami Kehela were joint winners of the von Zedtwitz award and our own Alan Truscott was awarded the Blackwood award.  The living members elected this year were Lew Stansby and Richard Freeman.  Three deceased persons also were added to the Hall of Fame – NYer Peter Leventritt, Bobby Nail, and Sally Young.

District 24 Players shine in NABC+ Events

Steve Weinstein and Bobby Levin captured the Life Master Pairs title.  Sam Lev finished 10th.

Jill Levin won the Wager Women’s KO teams.  Finishing 5/8, but on different teams, were: Judi Radin-Sylvia Moss; Laurie Vogel-Gail Greenberg-Susan Wexler-Margie Gwozdzinsky; Lisa Berkowitz.

Placing second in the Spingold were Michael Moss-Fred Chang.  Other top finishers were Nick Nickell, 3rd, Richard Schwartz-Larry Cohn-David Berkowitz-Zia Mahmood-Michael Rosenberg, 5/8, and Jim Krekorian-Winthrop Allegaert, 5/8, Sam Lev 9/16, and Adam Wildavsky, 9/16.

The newly established Mini Spingold I and II had a reasonable attendance with 72 and 36 teams respectively.  Placing 5/8 in the Mini I were David Paul-Sandy Rosen-Mildred Di Falco-Edythe Crinnian and placing 5/8 in the Mini II were Reisha Berkowitz-Gail Levy and also 5/8 were Alan Goldman-Ken Lowenstein.

NABC Senior Swiss Teams had John Solodar finishing 9/10.  NABC Fast Pairs high finishers included: Jim Krekorian, 7th; Ira Ewen-David Gurvich, 8th; Peter Weiden, 9th, and last year’s winners Aaron Silverstein-Chris Willenken, 11th.

Red Ribbon Pairs high finishers include: Robert Beinfield–Kelley Hwang,  3rd; Roberta Magnus, 13th, David Moss-Andrew Rosenthal, 14th.

There are a few District celebrities that always in the news at our NABCs.  Aileen Osofsky, Goodwill Committee chairman, can always be found spreading goodwill at our NABCs, and is always making the headlines in the Daily Bulletin.  Larry Cohen is the prize to some lucky Patron Member at every NABC, playing with them in the opening Thursday evening Open Pairs.

Interesting Items from the Toronto NABC

CEO David Silber announced that he would be leaving the ACBL, effective July 31, 2001.  Wayne Hascall, District 12 Director, will take over as interim CEO on a voluntary basis.  A search committee is in place.

Next year’s ACBL president is George Retek, District 1 Director from Montreal.

The ACBL will develop a nationwide bridge program directed at the after-school educational and extra curriculum programs.  The Educational Foundation contributed $80,000 for start-up funds.  Most of the funding is to come from government, corporate and private grants.

The Competition and Convention Committee has recommended some changes in the Alert procedure.  The 3-year moratorium on Alert changes is over.  One change considered is to announce the range of all opening NT bids.

Disciplinary Cases heard by Appeals & Charges Committee

1.   In the matter of Dan Requard’s (ACBL number prior to resignation L712249) request for readmission: the request is denied; future request for readmission may be heard at or after the summer 2002 meeting of the ACBL Board of Directors.

2. In the matter of Howard Piltch’s (ACBL number N966671) appeal of the decision of District 25 Disciplinary and Appellate Committee’s decisions, the committee affirms the factual findings of the committees, but finds that the previous discipline is excessive under ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations (CDP)  guidelines. Therefore, the discipline shall be reduced to a public reprimand and 30 days probation. Mr. Piltch is deemed to have already served 30 days probation in this matter. [Howard Piltch has been disciplines twice in a 24-month period and therefore has incurred an additional 2-year probation.]

3. In the matter of Unit 192 appeal of the finding of the District 1 Disciplinary Committee with respect to a claim on behalf of Jonathan Ferguson and Jeff Smith, the committee affirms the District 1 Disciplinary Committee decision. The GNT subsidy payments/repayments  required by the District 1 Disciplinary Committee, including Ian Nicholson, must be paid by September 1, 2001.   In the matter of the trophies and prizes withheld from Ferguson and Smith, above, each party shall produce, at the time of submission of the GNT payments/repayments, a list of prizes and trophies, which they believe to have been withheld. If the two lists are different, the District 1 ACBL Board of Directors member (or his designee -- such designee may be a committee) will mediate the matter and make a final and binding decision as to what prizes and trophies are due Ferguson and Smith, above, from Unit 192. The final decision and issuance of the prizes and trophies must be completed by September 15, 2001.

Received by the Board.

Item 012-03: Hearing on Division of Unit Funds

In the matter of equitable division of Unit 128 funds stemming from the division of Unit 128 to form Unit 102, the committee finds as follows:

A.                 That Regulation number 983-50 is applicable to this dispute;

B.                 Based on evidence presented by Units 128 and 102, an equitable division of Unit 128 assets is $12,250.00 in cash to Unit 102 with the remainder of the assets to be retained by Unit 128.

C.                 That Unit 128 produce a $12,250 check from Unit 128 payable to the

ACBL. The check must be received at ACBL Headquarters in Memphis no later than August 10, 2001. ACBL management is instructed to send, within 5 business days of receipt of the check from Unit 128, an ACBL check in the amount of $12,250 to the Unit 102 Treasurer.

Received by the Board.

Item 012-04: Election Protest

In the matter of the investigation of the protest of Bernice DeYoung in filing her declaration of candidacy for District 9 ACBL Board of Directors’ Representative, this committee finds that her written declaration of candidacy was not received prior to June 1, 2001 as required by regulation and finds that Ms. DeYoung did not meet the standards of a timely finding for candidacy.

The ACBL Board upholds the findings of the Appeals and Charges Committee.

Carried.  Abstain: 1, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13,15, 18, 23, 25


A break-even budget was planned for 2002.  This was before CEO David Silber’s departure. The cost of a search and other added expenses, if any, cannot be determined at this time.  The ACBL’s annual budget is approximately $6,750,000.

Special situations affecting the 2001 actual expenses include an increase from $60,000 to over $100,000 for legal fees, WBF dues based on $0.50 per member from $0.10 (an additional $60,000), a subsidy to the newly created United States Bridge Federation (USBF), and an estimated cost of $75,000 to convert ACBL score from DOS to Windows.  With the sale of our old office building the budget for 2001 is expected to be at a break-even point.

Sanction fees for Regionals, Sectionals, and StaCs have been increased for inflation, all going up approximately 3%.  Effective 4/1/02 sanction fees will increase …for Regionals from $4.45 to $4.60, for Sectionals from $3.11 to $3.22, and for STaCs from $2.38 to $2.46.

Actions by the ACBL Board of Directors

Legal Actions
A new 3-session KO was approved for Regionals.  Masterpoints would be reduced by 30% from the current schedule for 4-session KO events.

At our last meeting we in Kansas City we passed a motion to disallow members to be represented by legal counsel in front of disciplinary hearings.  In Toronto this motion was rescinded.

Also passed in Toronto was a motion that allows the ACBL to suspend a player who files a civil action against the ACBL, if certain conditions are met. These conditions include (a) a judgment in favor of the ACBL, (b) a dismissal of the action be the court, (c) and failure of the member to prosecute the case within six months of filing. Suspension shall be lifted if the member pays all costs incurred by the ACBL.

Bermuda’s request to compete as part of the WBF’s Zone 5 was granted.  Bermuda will still be part of the ACBL.

Internet and Computer Activities

The FunBridge.com World Computer Bridge Championship, the fifth annual ACBL hosted World Computer Bridge Championship, was held as part of the Toronto NABC.  As you know I originated the event and have the been the coordinator ever since its inception.  This year FunBridge.com sponsored the event putting up $5,000.  Last year Microsoft Network Gaming Zone sponsored the event, and I am now in the process of exploring the sixth annual WCBC most likely to be held in Montreal as part of the 2002 WBF World Championships.

A new program, Jack, from the Netherlands won the championship in convincing style, beating Micro Bridge from Japan in the final 64-Board KO 136-84.  For a complete write-up please see the official website at http://members.aol.com/allevy/Toronto.

Of special interest is the mystery of one of the “almost” contestants…Jeremy Claptrap from New Zealand and his Hoogli program.  In all likelihood Claptrap is a virtual person.  Evidence on his creator is still being gathered.  The mystery may soon be solved and the guilty party exposed.

Check your masterpoint total online. Go to the 'Members' option on the ACBL Home Page at www.acbl.org.

District News

Congratulations to Kent Mignocchi who earned the right to represent the United States in the 2001 World Junior Championships in Brazil.

All our Board of Governors members were at the meeting in Toronto.  Board of Governors members are Diana Schuld, Ruth Stober, and Larry Ascher, as well as first alternate John Solodar, and second alternate Adam Wildavsky.

any comments, suggestions, criticisms, get in touch with me…

Alvin Levy
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