March Message

March 1, 2018 sequoia No comments exist

What is that structure that suddenly appeared in the middle of our Bridge Center? It is the framework for our initial attempt at installing a sound dampening partition that we can open and close to allow us to present classes and games simultaneously. One of the challenges that we’ve had for many years is the limit on our class and game offerings due to the physical space limitations both at Dana Harbor and at SOCBC. A partition will enable us to provide more opportunities for our newer bridge players to improve their newly learned skills, by offering low master point games, supervised play, barometer games, mentoring sessions and additional classes.
We do not intend to segregate our Open Players and Non-Life Masters by closing the partition during regular afternoon games, but might close the partition with both the Open game and the NLM game on the same side, while we have a special offering for our newer players on the other side of the partition. We hope the partition will be completed in the next few weeks and we will begin to expand the learning and playing opportunities for our newer players. If you have suggestions to improve the partition or its use, please feel free to mention them to me. By the way, we split the window with the partition rather than splitting a light fixture.
Every year, as part of an official ACBL player recognition program the South Orange County Bridge Center honors club members who have won a masterpoint (mp) bracket in one or both of two special races.
The first of these races is known as the Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs. Honorees are the top masterpoint winners who have earned their mps within their respective point category solely through play at SOCBC.
The second race is known as Mini McKenney, and it recognizes club members who have racked up the highest number of masterpoints through their combined play in multiple venues, including SOCBC, other clubs, and various ACBL-sanctioned tournaments, excluding points earned on-line. Play at other clubs, venues or ACBL-sanctioned tournaments is not necessary to win this award.
ACBL’s masterpoint plan appeals to members because it permits members to know their approximate overall ranking relative to that of every other member. Although a complete listing of the large number of ACBL members is impractical, the honor titles that members earn as they achieve various plateaus of masterpoint holdings serve as close approximations of their overall standing. Lists of the top players in some categories and masterpoint races are published in the Bridge Bulletin each year.
SOCBC will be honoring our club winners on Wednesday, March 14, during our afternoon game. Winners have been invited to be in attendance in order to be recognized for their achievements. [Please see the list of first place award winners later in this Bulletin.]
The February Friday Night Light Duplicate and Social Bridge event was even more successful than our fabulous inaugural event, with Eight Social Bridge Tables and Ten Duplicate Tables. The duplicate players welcomed the social players and made sure that they were available to answer bridge questions as well as questions about SOCBC and its game and class offerings. The pot-luck fare was delicious and the atmosphere relaxed and friendly. Players started arriving at 5:45 PM and we finished play before 9:30 PM. Everyone I spoke to had a great time and many were excited about participating in the future and bringing friends to play. We will continue this “happening” on the fourth Friday of the month, the next of which falls on March 23rd. Please email your reservation to Frances Krause at Be
sure to reach out to all your social bridge friends and encourage them to come join us. We also hope more of you duplicate players will put Fun Fridays on your calendars. Many thanks to Frances Krause, who organized, decorated and set up this “Bridge Party.”
Psychic bidding is a part of the game of Bridge. Frequent psyching, in general is not a good practice. A psych is a good tactic occasionally, but more often it is a source of irritation, frequent psyching is a violation of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, an unsportsmanlike tactic, or a combination of both.
SOCBC has a written psychic policy in our Standing Rules. It states:
“While it is understood that psyching is part of bridge, it is the Board’s position that it should not be employed against substantially weaker or inexperienced players.
Whenever the improper use of this technique is brought to the attention of the Director*, the Director is empowered to redress the action via appropriate adjustments to the score.”
*The references to Director are to Game Directors, not Board Members.
Psychs should be infrequent and must be restricted to auctions among players of the same level. We encourage players to report to the game director, any psych bid you experience at the table.
At our next Board of Directors meeting, we plan to further address, penalties for “excessive psyching”, “reading partner’s psychs” and “psyching against weaker or less experienced players.”
We have two new classes starting Monday March 5th and Tuesday March 6th for beginners. Jane’s Monday class is for true beginners with no or very little prior experience. Marti and Ellen’s Tuesday morning Supervised Play is for those who have either taken Marti’s beginning class or those who have had some beginning bridge and believe they can benefit from hands on coaching. Both classes draw heavily from word of mouth – players at the club passing along the details to their friends, relatives and acquaintances. If you love this game, be sure to let others know about the Monday and Tuesday opportunities for newbies!
GNT QUALIFIERS (see insert on page 3)
Plan to qualify to play in the District 22 Trial in April. The winners of the District Trial will represent District 22 in the Grand National Teams (GNT) event in Atlanta. Qualify to play in the District Trial by playing in our weekly Wednesday evening Swiss Team games (except for STaC week and during the San Diego Regional) or our Swiss Teams games on the fourth Sunday of the month. District 22 will hold its two-day GNT Trial qualifying event on April 7th and 8th for Open and B flights, and April 28th and 29th for A and C flights, at SOCBC.
To recognize the accomplishments of our newer players, SOCBC has begun acknowledging Players of the Month for the following categories:
Rookie of the Month – 0-20 masterpoint
Player of the Month – 0-100 masterpoints
Player of the Month – 0-300 masterpoints
Congratulations to January winners Joop Doorn in the 0-20 and 0-100 category, and Alan Buchner in the 0-300 masterpoint category.
Dutch born Joop, pronounced Yope as in “there’s hope with Yope,” relocated from London last August. He played less than a dozen games of bridge back in his teens, but his brother in the Netherlands and his sister in Canada are both bridge fans. He dove right in taking lessons with Sally, Susan, Trudi, Jane, and Robert and playing as much as he can.
Alan is a great example of playing up. Although he qualifies for either section, he plays regularly in the Open game where he partners with more experienced players, learn quickly, earn lots of masterpoints, and has become a rising star at the club. NLM players, take heed – we love having you join us and you are all welcome in the Open game!
Check out our “Star Award” notice board to see the top ten players of each category and the winner of each category. February winners will be announced soon. And have fun participating, competing and socializing in this wonderful game of bridge.
Hoping to lead by example and to protect your health, I missed more than a week of bridge at SOCBC, staying home until I had fully recovered from my cold. Consider others: stay home if you are sick; use our hand sanitizers, (we have installed additional units around the room); wash your hands after using the restroom; wear gloves when serving food; pick up tissues that you accidently drop on the floor or table; etc. We have numerous members with compromised immune systems and a super majority of members who are more susceptible to colds and influenza due to their age. Thank you for your cooperation and adherence to this directive.
Despite my message regarding parking in last month’s President’s Message and my announcement during one of the games, we’ve noticed that some of you are still parking in restricted spaces. When we spoke with several people who parked in prohibited areas, they actually replied that they knew it and have been told before. That is somewhat baffling – if you’ve been told before, and know it is a restricted area, what can we do to get you to comply with the parking agreement?
It is less than a two-minute walk from the permitted spaces to the Bridge Center and we all can use more exercise, so please cooperate, be a good neighbor and park only where permitted. We have more than adequate parking available, if all of our members park only in the approved spaces and refrain from parking in front of or on the side of our building. A good rule of thumb is that if your car is facing a building or facing Avenida Los Cerritos, you are parked in a spot that we should not be using. Please park at one of the two churches shown on the map, on Avenida Los Cerritos, in a handicap space if you have a handicap sticker, or behind the Leasing Office facing the Cemetery. Please consult the map on the inside of the entry door near the Director’s desk or see Janie Matlaf, Bob Cavanaugh, or me if you are unsure as to where to park.
Please remember that at the end of the game it is East/West’s responsibility to return the boards to the table near the storage room and North/South’s responsibility to clean papers and trash from their table and immediate surrounding area. Everyone should return pencils as well. If you don’t do your part, it makes more work for the game director and others.

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