A Message from Our President - July 17

We are now settled in our new home in Plainview Village Shopping Center and enjoying the space and opportunities that this new center affords us. One of the most exciting ways that the new space benefits us as an organization, is the ability to host our Sectional Tournament in house. This not only makes logistics easier but saves us about two to three thousand dollars each tournament. Another benefit is that we are not constrained by anyone from bringing in good food from home to share. Feel free to bring any sort of snacks or goodies.

I hope that each of you has found a partner for the sectional tournament, and a team for the team events. Marianne Thomas is the partnership chairperson to contact if you need help finding a partner or team members. We will have pairs on Friday, Knockouts and Pairs on Saturday, and Swiss Teams on Sunday. There will be a separate 299er Swiss game on Sunday, so the novice player will not be "thrown to the wolves". This tournament awards silver points and will be a good way to get your colored points without traveling.

We have had great success with our Mentor/Mentee program. This program of having a more seasoned player play with a less experienced player has brought different levels into the open games, has increased attendance, and allowed players of all levels to get to know one another. I think this is one of the best teaching tools our club has ever used and we will continue to have it in three month increments two to three times per year. If you have not participated in the program, we will be beginning a new three-month cycle in July. See the board for sign ups or let Verna or Candi know that you want to be involved.

I would like to broach one more topic that I feel is germane to this conversation. Many of you have asked why we work so hard to have people leave the back room and play in the open game. You should know that we understand that people come to our club for a myriad of reasons and each of their reasons should be respected. While the "back room" is a safe place for the beginning player, it is not a place where a player can grow, as they become more experienced. As long as each person playing recognizes that, then they should choose the place in which they feel most comfortable and happy.

This philosophy changes, however, if you plan on playing "out of town" in Regionals in our district, ie Ohio or Indiana. When you go there to play, the "C" players, against whom you are playing, have been playing against people in their club with 30,000 and 40,000 points. This gives them a distinct advantage over you. When I first began playing, I was lucky enough to be invited to play with Kit Overpeck, Mike Sloan, a pro, and Mike's client. I had 125 points but was thrown up against some other pros with 30,000 to 40,000 points. Once you have done that, coming back to an open game in our club was not very daunting and I enjoyed a good measure of success. In addition, I learned so much from watching what the pros and good players in our club were doing. I was like a sponge, soaking it up.

I hope from all of this, that you will know that I want each of you to succeed and to enjoy whatever level of bridge you play and everything our club can bring to you. You are the Louisville Bridge Club and we are so glad that you are here.

Welcome to Louisville Bridge Association!

The Louisville Bridge Club, Unit 117, offers games every day and night except for Tuesday and Saturday evenings, when there are occasional special events. For more information call the bridge center, or the director for the game you prefer.

Thank you for all of the comments on the new LBA web site. They have been mostly very positive with a sprinkling of suggestions how we can make it better, and a few complaints about "things not quite working right on my system or device". As you will note, not all of the links are currently active but will soon be on a staggered rollout effort. If you click on a link and nothing happens, just assume it is not yet active.

Let me offer some suggestions for making your experience more enjoyable:

  • While we implemented as simple as model as possible, we adhered to the 80/20 rule in that the site will work as intended on 80% of the systems out there. We are working on the remaining 20%. We will NOT however, guarantee that the site will work as intended on older systems and browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 or earlier, nor EVERY mobile device out there. We jave a mobile device version in the works but it will be at least six months before it is implemented. So, once again, please be patience while your volunteers work to make this a reality.
  • If you see something that doesn't seem quite right, refreshing your browser will usually fix it. if that does now work, you may need to clear your browsers temporary files by either deleting them or rebooting. We will eventually have a FAQ / Help section that addresses these type of issues but in the interim please contact me or Bill Toutant for further information.

Finally, anyone who has news that would be of interest to the unit members please send it along to me, Bill or Vangie. This also includes singificant rank accomplishments, obituaries, tournament results, just about anything. Also, I am once again doing the Midwest Monitor for Unit117 so please send anything to go out there to me as soon as possible.

...From the Diary of a Bridge Savant...

I have played in many of the top-level pair events the ACBL has to offer, and I have had my usual mix of successes and failures. I have finished in the top ten of the entire event, and I also have finished last on the first day. Interestingly enough, it was with the same partner. I have many stories of amazing feats and abysmal failures. The greatest of these events-- and the event that holds the most value for me-- is the North American Pairs (NAP).

Most pair events held by the ACBL have only a limited number of participants. Most of these events have about 300 pairs. Compared to the total membership of the ACBL, the number of pairs participating in the event is negligible. The NAP is different. The NAP is a grassroots event with three levels of qualification. The first level is the club level. The second level is the unit level. (ed. note-- D11 does not require unit qualification. This means there are only club and district level qualifications.) The third, and final, level of qualification is the District level. This means that any player that participates in a Club-level qualification game has participated in the entire event. Fundamentally, this participant has had a direct role in determining the winner of the entire NAP event.

The most interesting aspect of the NAP is the removal of wolves and sheep. In many of the other pair events, a participant will play against both the elite of the ACBL and those who just want to say that they participated. In these events, there are no stratifications or differing levels of competition. In the NAP, however, not only are there three different levels-- these levels only compete against themselves. There is the top level which is over 2500 points. There is the middle level which is between 500 and 2500 points. Finally, there is the bottom level which is less than 500 points. In addition, a life-master cannot play in the bottom level.

For these reasons and more-- of all the major pair events-- I find the NAP the most pleasing. It sets something within my soul alight to be able to compete solely against people approximating my own level. This, to me, is the truest test of my ability-- can I successfully compete when there are no wolves and no sheep.

This diary entry will remain on the home page through August when the NAP qualifying games conclude. Additional diary entries can be found in the intermediate section under Lessons & Seminars.

Tribute to Joe

A very important message from our web site developer and manager:

I hope you like the new LBA web site. I highly welcome suggestions for improvement or change. My primary goal is to make the site easy to access and navigate. Over time, we will be adding many new features including a history page with many old photos and stories, a bridge problem page where anyone can share a story involving a bridge problem, a blog, and much, much more.

I would like to dedicate the new site to Joe Wright. Joe is a long-time LBA member who tirelessly toiled for many years to ensure that members had a way to look up game times and results, as well as receive timely news. This is not an easy job and all of us owe Joe a big THANK YOU for everything he has done over the years. He is now retired and enjoying other facets of life including now finding time to actually play some bridge. Thank you Joe. I could not have gotten this far without you having blazed the trail.

- Ralph Letizia, Web Site Manager

Mentor/Mentee Celebration

If you participated in the spring Mentor/Mentee program, we will have a pizza/bridge celebration on Tuesday, June 21, at 6:00 PM at the bridge center, game at 7:00 PM. If you plan to attend, please sign up on the sheets on the white board at the bridge center. We need an accurate count to make boards and order pizza. Thank you so much for sharing in this wonderful program.