Monterey Bridge Club Unit530
Release 2.19o
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Pages viewed in 2021


Total Master Points Earned 1/1/2020 to 12/31/2020


Andy Goodman



Betty Jackson



Ray Boehne



Anthony Muller



Charles Messenger



Helen Rubin



Richard Papst



Bill Cohen



Joel Reimnitz



Charlene Reimnitz



Wayne McIntyre



Sally Reed



Jeannette Stern



Robert Dubroff



Alan Hedegard



Lauren Upson



Laura Gherman


Rhyme Your Way To Better Bridge

The play of the card from third hand high, denies the one below it.

When partner makes a takeout double, jump with 10 or you're in trouble.

When the dummy's on your right, lead the weakest thing in sight.

When the dummy's on your left, lead to heft.

If you have nothing, bid nothing.


Welcome to Monterey Bridge Club Unit530
Scott and Boz get top score at Valentine's Day Game

Bozidar Boncich and Scott Hanham were the top scorers at the Valentine's Day game supporting Unit 530. The pair achieved a score of 140/65.59% playing E-W hands. They win a free game donated by Unit 530. The game was organized by the board of directors of Unit 530 in an ongoing effort to provide an income source for the Monterey Bridge Club. Alan Hedegard, game director, will donate the proceeds of the game to the Unit. Thirteen tables competed for the Double Point ACBL game where top scores received both red and black points.

Betty Jackson and Ray Boehne were top scorers in the N-S hands getting 129/60.09%. Karen and Ray Mok were second in the E-W hands (125.50/58.84%) and Trulee Ricketts and Maja were second in the N-S hands (121.50/56.83). Charlene and Joel Reimnitz won a pair of bridge books as a consolation prize.

One of the enticements of the game was a special prize going to any pair that bids and makes 4 Hearts. It turned out that every pair bid and made 4 Hearts during the game. If you didn't let us know. The special prize? Our heartiest thanks for playing.

Introducing Chuck Messenger

Welcome to my column. Let me give a short introduction for those of you who have never played with or against me. I grew up in Salinas, went to Salinas High School, graduating in the class of 1985.  My parents taught me bridge when I was in junior high school, but I didn’t start playing duplicate until my senior year at the Naval Academy, when, on my summer cruise, I did a foreign exchange program with the Chilean navy. The Chilean Naval Lieutenant who was in charge of the three of us midshipmen (I was the only one from the Naval Academy) asked about our hobbies and I told him bridge was one of them.  He was aware of a regular bridge game on the Naval base, and got me hooked up. 

My first time playing duplicate was in Spanish. We predictably did miserably and my partner walked away quite disappointed that he had answered the call to come out and play with me that night. But I was hooked. Once I graduated, I found a duplicate club in my area and I have been learning ever since. I spent my early bridge time in San Diego, cutting some very big teeth in the shark pool of Adventures in Bridge.  I learned from the good players very quickly, taking my lumps. I spent most of my mid-career playing in a couple of tournaments a year, and not much in club games because I had a job and a family.  I had a long time tournament partner in San Diego who died of cancer and I didn’t play for several years. I moved back to Salinas in 2008, and played regularly in the Tuesday evening game until the pandemic. I am currently a Ruby Life Master.  In this column, I am going to attempt to shed light on problems in bridge that I see people struggling with and offer tools that will allow you to compete with better players and make better decisions.

Competitive Bidding

The first topic I am going to take up is one I see over and over again with my partners, competitive bidding. I am going to describe the problem, and then in subsequent columns offer you ways of thinking and some bidding tools that can help you in these situations.  The question of whether to compete and how to compete comes up in a lot of hands. When playing matchpoints in particular, when to compete and when it is necessary to double for penalty become very important if you want to get 60 and 70% on those boards instead of 30 and 40%.

As players develop, I see an evolution in their strategy of competing. Younger players seem afraid to compete, partly because they may be timid to start with as they are just learning the game and partly because they feel a stigma about “going down” in a contract.  As these players start to mature, they look at score sheets and see that they are getting bad matchpoint results because -50 and -100 are getting good scores while they are letting their opponents get 110 or 140. Then, I see these players start to “over-compete,” either because it is an “auction,” and they don’t want to lose out or because they have seen the bad scores from letting the opponents make 2 or 3 when they could be going down 1 instead. Actually, the opponents were going down in their 3 level contract, and you were going down in your 3 or 4 level contract as well. This is what is called a “phantom sacrifice.” One very fine player I know, who is really good at “judging” most things, has a bad habit of these phantom sacrifices. I tease him about it and, as a result, he has become much better at discerning when is the right time and when isn’t. This can be a very tricky landscape.

Future Columns

Over the next several columns, I hope to cover the various competitive situations and give you some tools to help you figure out when it is right to compete and when not. First, I am going to do a column on competing for part-scores. This is the most common situation. I want to help you not only on deciding when to compete on the technical merits but also on thinking forward to the next bid. So, if you decide to compete, you have a plan for what to do if the opponents continue to push you. Following on that, I will do a column on game-level sacrifices—when you should make them, when you should double them, and when you should take the push. There is an expert “unwritten rule” here taught to me by Bob Crossley at one of his bridge boot camps that I find very useful here. 

Then I hope to do a column showing you the various tools for distinguishing between what is a game invitation and what is just competing. When the bidding goes 1S-X-2S-3H-3S is that a game invite or just not wanting to let them play 3H? If that’s competitive, how would you invite game? There are tools for this sort of situation, because this problem is not only a beginner/intermediate problem. 

So, next column I will get into when you should compete for part scores, and when you shouldn’t, and when you should double for penalty. I will also try and include scoring caveats in what I tell you. The rules in general I will give you are for matchpoint scoring, and I will explain when strategy should change in IMP, or team, scoring. 

Also, I am always open to topics you would like me to tackle. I have experience with a broad set of bidding tools, I have played weak NT with and without a forcing club system, I know most conventions and I can research what I don’t know. 

Until next time.

Chuck Messenger, February 2021

Coming Soon From ACBL
Coming Soon From ACBL
Locally Directed Games Everyday


We can no longer just use the word "transfer." We now must include the suit we are transferring to. For example, "Transfer to Spades."

Traditional Support Doubles and Re-Doubles are no longer alertable.

Direct Cue Bids (with the exception of Michaels) must now be alerted.

Uncontested jump shifts no longer require an alert.

Instead of saying “could be short” when bidding 1 Club, for example, you now must specify the number of cards in that suit: “Could be as short as one” etc.

Check out the January 2021 ACBL Bulletin (page 35) for a complete listing of the changes.


When asked what your bid means, never give the name of the convention! (i.e. Cappelletti, DON’T, Precision, etc.)  Instead, you must describe your hand. There are NO secrets in the bidding.

Don’t be just a SLUG!  Add your full name to your BBO profile.  We all like to know who we are playing with at the table, since we can’t see you,

If your BBO rating is "3" or more, you're no longer a "Beginner."

Each pair must have a convention card posted.  Unless, of course, you are subs or newly paired. In this case, you must announce your systems at each table.

Please pay attention!  If your name is highlighted in YELLOW, it’s your turn to bid or play, unless you are the dummy.

Learn to use the BBO Chat function judiciously.

The "Table" setting is best for greeting your opponents which you should do regularly. Use it for magnanimous congratulations to the opponents especially when you witness a challenging hand well played. If subs are playing, thank them for joining the game.

The "Private" setting is best for discussions with your partner about the bidding or play of a game, or the sorry state of the world. As in Face-to-Face games, no one wants to hear you bickering or gloating. If you make a negative comment about your partner or the opponents, double check to make certain the right chat mode is on. Remember: sarcasm doesn't work well on these chats.

The "Lobby" setting is great for announcements, such as congratulating high point getters and special games,


Stay home and play bridge online.  We want to SEE ALL OF YOU back at the club when it reopens. Sheltering at home gives you an opportunity to play more and hone your skills.

Covid 19 Safety Protocol

Due to the CDC Guidelines for preventing the spread of the Corona Virus, all face-to-face games have been canceled until further notice. Please visit and then follow the "Competitive" and "ACBL Virtual Games" links. Monterey Unit 530 directors run daily games. A portion of their fees may help to support the Unit.

Special Message
Special Message

Greetings from the Monterey Bridge Center

On behalf of the 300 plus members of Unit 530, it's my great pleasure to welcome you to our website and hope that we can provide you with easy-to-find information. Please bookmark this page and visit it often because the information is likely to change on a daily basis.

As you may know, the website is a work in progress and many of its features are not fully operational.

Trulee Ricketts, President

In Memoriam

With condolences to friends and family, we announce the passing of the following Unit 530 members in 2020.

Fran Cava, Susan Creveling, James Didion, Alex Henderson, Jill Leach, Judith Lesieutre, James Pond, Mary Quenette, Larry Slayton, and Walter Thorpe.


Larry Slayton Remembered

I think one of the best tributes to Larry that shows admiration and affection with humor is the inscription on his birthday cake that Brad Dow brought to the bridge center for his last birthday at the club: The Best Director Since Hitchcock. RIP Larry, you are missed and loved by many. -- Joyce Newell
I remember Larry as being a Special Club Owner in that he spent extra time to make everyone in his game “family”. It started with his banquet that he took pains to prepare way ahead of his game.  One could arrive one half of an hour before Board One and people would be visiting and munching  and you would be lucky to get a seating.  And if you were last, his efforts to have no sit-outs, calling on Brad Dow to fill out a table with him and introducing a computer that had robots as opponents if Brad already was seated with a partner.  He was kind and instructive to all in his director calls and I can still hear him at the end of a game.  “Go Giants”. He was a Prince. -- Trulee Ricketts

Well before Larry started directing or playing at the bridge clubs, I worked with him at CTB/McGraw/Hill.   He was very well respected and just a great guy.    But he really came alive when he had more time for Bridge.  At our office there were bridge games in the library, cafeteria and lots of our staff played. Larry was always eager to help you get a partner for his games and was fair and kind to everybody.  Truly he will be missed. --  Sharon Larson
I remember how Larry graciously welcomed me with a smile into the open game when I was a “newbie” I always felt welcomed by him in all of his games. He was always gracious to me when he was my partner. His passion was baseball, particularly his beloved Giants. We all know Larry had a hearing loss but he probably used it to his advantage when there were some contentious rumblings over some plays at the table. He took Bridge seriously of course, but he regarded it as a game to be enjoyed. -- Pat Heller
Larry was always considerate, an accommodating director and was offered help willingly. He loved Bridge and wanted everything good for our unit. I remember asking him in the early days how to defend against Precision - he said to interfere if possible! Before he died he asked that I take over his Monday and Thursday sanctions - I just hope to make him proud from the beyond. I’ve signed up for the director course (at last!) and will be joining the ranks in April. (I can’t pretend that my “buffets” will rival Larry’s but I’ll do my best to keep you nourished!) -- Maja
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Congratulations: Job Well Done

Latest News from Unit 530

The Unit welcomes the following new members: Donald Fennell, Joan Aldrich, and Sandra Berris.  Patricia Barr, Francene Tabak, and Anthony Miziko have transferred into our Unit from other Units. Rank changes within the last three months have been reported:  Eleonore Gutierrez, Karol Matheson, Russel Planitzer, Archie Robinson, Deanna Woodhour, and Ruth Kunsir are new Junior Masters.  James Dirgin, Marie Louie, and Lynne Weatherman are Club Masters.  Mano Singham, Rosalind Fisher, and Sam Callaway are Sectional Masters. (Personal note:  When I became a Sectional Master and proudly shared that achievement with a non-bridge playing friend, her comment was “Does that mean you wrangle sofas?”) Kelly O’Keefe, Fran Soskins, and Jim Chibidakis have reached Regional Master.  Gerry Kapolka, is a Bronze Life Master, and Chuck Messenger is a Ruby Life Master.  Sharon Larson is a Silver Life Master.  Congratulations to all and keep on earning points.

Our Unit now has Virtual BBO games every day of the week.  The schedule is posted on the Unit website at the address at the end of this article.  Thanks to Joe Truskot who is our new Web Master and will be keeping the site current.  You should all check the site out on a regular basis because that is the way we will be communicating for the time being.

Details are still to be worked out for a Holiday Event, a Zoom party to be held following the virtual game on Saturday, December 12 at 10:15 a.m.  Watch your mailbox and check the website.

Hope you are all well and staying safe.

Mary Block, Editor

17th February 2021
11:15 a.m.
Director: Susan Mazzei
18th February 2021
10:15 a.m.
Director: Susan Mazzei
19th February 2021
12:30 p.m.
Director: Jim Lauderdale/Betty Jackson