The Delightful Big D

The Spring NABC was held at the Dallas Sheraton and adjoining convention centre in downtown Dallas. While there were some temperature problems, the tournament was well run, with excellent hospitality. There were lots of nearby restaurants or ones that could easily be reached by the DART transportation system. Everything was king sized including the skyscrapers, but I only saw 2 cowboy hats! Attendance was just under 9891 tables which was less than the last Dallas NABC (held before the economic downturn).

One can’t miss event at future NABCs is the opening party on Friday night. Nice desserts and a great band playing 70s and 80s music and nice food.


A very sad item to report was the sudden death of District 1 Tournament Director,  Henry Cukoff.  Henry always did what he thought was right for the players and was well liked and appreciated by those who got to know him, including his fellow directors. He was a fine player in the 60’s and probably would have gone to great hights if he had chosen to play rather than direct. He was also an expert on sports and a rabid baseball fan. He will be greatly missed, especially by the tournament organizers and players in District 1.


At the end of this report, I have included a bridge article by Rod MacKenzie, my favourite and long time bridge partner, who is acknowledged as one of the finest players produced in the Atlantic Provinces. Thank you, Rod.

 I am looking for other contributors. All I ask is that it be at most 1 page long and that it be done in Word. Next one would be needed for my report after the Las Vegas NABC which is in July (please book your hotel room in LV ASAP, to avoid disappointment).

I am also listing major results by District 1 players at the NABC. The list is at the end of this report.

Highlights of the Dallas Board of Directors Meeting

Elections: Rand Pinsky was re-elected Treasurer for a one year term.

Appointments: were made to the Hall of Fame, Competitions and Conventions, Ethical Oversight and ACBL Disciplinary  Committees, and the ACBL Laws Commission.

NABC site: The Marriott Marquis in Atlanta was selected for the Summer 2018 and Fall 2023 NABCs. These NABCs must   follow standard NABC schedule for starting times.

Membership was down 48 as of end of February.                                 

Regional attendance was down 8% with 4 fewer regional, but average table count was up 13%)

Sectional attendance was down 10% and average table count was down 6%. There were 2 less sectionals

STACs table count was down  25% as a result of 3 less STACs and poor weather, but were down only 5% on average. 

Finance: For 2013 net income from operations was $200,740, $22,000 less than the forecast.

IT: Website home page has been redesigned, and it should be launched in June.

Table count: in 2013 was 3,128,529 of which 942,040 was from online games. Jan2013 versus January 2014 was decreased by 2.65%, some of which is due to bad weather.

Grass Roots FUNd games raised $158,841 from Jan 1,2013 to Jan 30, 2014

ACBL Score+ is still behind schedule and $200,000 was committed for it’s compleation and they’re still aiming for roll out sometime in 2014.

Longest Day: will be held again with a goal of 275 clubs participating and raising $750,000.

Strategic Planning:

On line learn to play bridge is being tested and a soft rollout of it is underway later in the year.

On line partnership desk for NABCs and Regionals is being developed.

Tournament Director Structure and training program is continuing under leadership of Sylvia Hardin, HR Director.

A Survey has been  done to understand why people leave ACBL and identify ways to retain members.

Motions approved:

-The proposed play schedule (for NABC events) for the three annual NABCs will be implemented in 2015 on a trial basis, subject to Board approval of any new events.

-Youth and Junior Entries: Juniors under 26 who are full time students and  Juniors under 21will be entitled to $10 per session coupons that can be used for any event. Juniors under 19 will be granted free plays for each session of regionally rated events. Juniors under 26, named to represent Zone 2, for NABCs occurring before the World championship that they were named to, will receive free plays when playing with members of their team or members of another team representing Zone 2.

-A club that charges a membership fee may conduct an open game, but the game must be open to all ACBL members. The Club may allow its own members to play at a reduced fee. The entry fee for a non-club member may be as much as 100% more than a member’s entry fee. I sponsored this motion.

A number of other motions were defeated or deferred

District News

District Meeting: Delegates are invited to the District 1 Annual Meeting which will be held after the afternoon session at the CanAm in Montreal on Saturday, August 16th.

Grand National Teams: The District Finals will be held in Kingston as part of the Split Regional in May. Conditions of Contest are the same as in the past, but the MP limits might have changed. Please look at the Tournament flyer or schedule for detail.

The Longest Day: We hope that all clubs will participate in this program which is a fund raiser for the Alzheimer’s Society. All funds raised after expenses will go to the Canadian Society. ACBL’s event was  acknowledged as one of 2 signature events by the American Alzheimer’s Society. We hope to raise more than last year’s amount of …

Play Nice: This program to promote Zero Tolerance has been well received by clubs. Additional posters are available for clubs from ACBL. Thanks to the Montreal Unit for getting it translated into French.  We are working with ACBL Headquarters to get French posters printed, and we hope to get them to all francophone clubs in the District.

Golden (and Platinum) Performances in Dallas:

The following is a listing of excellent achievements by District 1 players. I am listing the top 25 placings in NABC events (2+ days) and 1st or 2nd in Regional (2 session+ events). As I am doing this manually, I apologize in advance if I missed someone. If you e-mail me, I will correct this in my next report). 52 District 1 players earned Masterpoints in  Dallas.

1)      Vincent Demuy: 5th/8th Vanderbilt KO, , 8th Jacoby Open Swiss (we wish Vincent well as he has moved to FL and

                              won’t be listed  in my reports in the future)

2)      Nick L’Ecuyer and Zyg Marcinski: 7th Platinum Pairs, 17/32 Vanderbilt KO

3)      David Sabourin: 2nd 1st Sat AX Swiss, 2nd 1st Sun AX Swiss, 24th Jacoby Open Swiss

4)      Sylvia Caley: 9th Whitehead Women’s Pairs

5)      Ron Zambonini: 24th  Jacoby Open Swiss

6)      Fred Hoffer: 2nd Senior KO1, 1st in 2nd Sat Daylight Pairs;2nd  2nd Sun Fast Open Pairs.

7)      Marc  Andre Fourcaudot: 1st  Flight X, Sun AX Swiss

8)      Drew Cannell: 1st Wed Compact KO Bracket 2

9)      Gary Bernstein and Hayk Bosnakyan: 2nd Senior KO

10)   Robert Kitchen and Mark Golding: 7th Golder NAP Flight B

  11) Chantal Dube and Josette Levesque: 1st Sat Open Pairs flight B

12) Dingbin Feng and Xinyo Feng: 13th President’s Cup NAP Flight C

         Please see Rod’s  article on the next page.

 Best wishes









Another Average           By Rod MacKenzie

Getting a good board at the club is not as easy as it once was. The players are more competitive and are willing to jstle you from comfortable part scores into uncomfortable higher areas. An example follws

                                                                                       S Axxx

                                                                                       H J

                                                                                       D Jxx

                                                                                       C  J109xx

                        S Q                                                                                                                      S J9xx

                        H 98xx                                                                                                               H AQxxx

                        D xxx                                                                                                                  D Ax

                        C AQxxx                                                                                                             C 7x

                                                                                        S K10xx

                                                                                         H Q73

                                                                                         D KQxxx

                                                                                         C K


The auction was :        W          N           E          S

                                                                   1H        2D

                                       2H          3D         H          3S

                                       4H           4S          All Pass  

As South I reluctantly bypassed my preferred 1S overcall in favour of an obstructive 2D. After each player bid in turn, I could not resist a 3S call. My feeling of joy upon hearing 4H were somewhat diminished by partner’s 4S. Did partner think I actually had my values? Apparently everyone did, as I was not doubled.

West led the 9H to the Ace, gathyering the J (which vitually assured that 4H would fail). East shifted to the c7 to my K and West’s A. I ruffed the CQ return as dummy’s suit became established. I led a S to the Ace as West played the SQ. If that was from QJ doubleton, I would actually make this hand. Not willing to risk it, I led a D from dummyto East’s Ace. I won th D return and now tried to drop the SJ, leaving the following position.






                         -                                                                                                                                   J9

                        xx                                                                                                                                 Qxxx

                        x                                                                                                                                    -   

                        xxx                                                                                                                                -









I ruffed the H10 and played C’s as East could score no more than the SJ. If East refused to riff, I would discard D’s and score my S10 en passant. Minus 50 –  just another average.