September Report


District Direction

By Ken Monzingo

National Board Representative


Bridge 2020 – a Cyber Space Odyssey


Imagine this: It’s Fall of 2022. You need just 1400 more masterpoints to reach Laser Beam Life Master status. Off to the regional you go. After you Google Earth the playing site you walk into the host hotel armed with two items – your SlimLine SmartPhone and an ID card which fits snugly in your Data I-watch.

Google maps the hotel layout for you and issues instructions to the bridge room location. Upon entering, you stop at any of the 12 Director E-stations, touch the screen and select your desired event. Next you swipe your ID card, and the monitor spits out your playing section and seat assignment. Seeding is done automatically as the station locates you in the data base. No money or check passes hands, since your bar-coded card works as a bank card and your pre-deposited ACBL balance is reduced the amount of the card fees required.

Ready to play now, the circular Spinner in the table center spits out your hand, perfectly sorted. All bidding is done electronically on the small touch screens in front of each player, but the play of the cards remains the traditional way, since electronic bridge removes any chance of a revoke. As your opponents move to another table the next pair’s names appear on your screen along with their evaluated ratings and masterpoint totals. This fades out and their convention card appears on view for the remainder of the round.

All director calls are answered by the Robot TC on your screen. Scoring is done Barometer style across the field, and your position is known immediately by touching the screen’s scoring app.

Too bad, today you had 51.7623% to award you only 376 MPs for the session. Better luck next time. No need to fret, the World-Wide Cell Phone I-STAC starts tomorrow.

Don’t laugh! Some of these innovations were discussed in the July Technology Committee meetings during the Summer NABC.

New Orleans

Aside from my attempted surreal future look at bridge, we on the ACBL Board and Tech Committee made major strides with management towards improving and/or replacing two outdated operational headaches: ACBL Score, and the ACBL web site. We are not there yet, but new ones are coming. Thankfully.

I don’t have much more to say about the New Orleans NABC. The weather was stifling, but it was a national tournament and the Cajun Creole food, although expensive, was mouth-watering.

Attendance was a disappointing 11,000 tables - 2000 less than the Fall NABC in cool San Diego.

Nice Things

However, some very nice things happened there. The Goodwill Committee delivered a stirring tribute to their fallen leader, Aileen Osofsky of Phoenix (and New York). The speeches, led by committee co-chair Bonnie Bagley, were so inspiring it was hard not to tear up. I couldn’t.

Another nicety: the league’s Charity Fund donated $5K to a shelter in New Orleans, and another $5K to the local SPCA to help the unfortunate people and animals that have struggled through both Katrina and the devastating oil spill.

Fifth Regional

I was finally successful in acquiring a fifth regional sanction for our district. To do so we rewrote the entire4 ACBL tournament allocation chapter. At the moment, pending district board approval, we’re probably using it for Ventura, October, 2011.

Another possibility is to use the extra sanction for a future “Regional at Sea” out of San Diego Harbor - a new phenomenon that is catching on fast. What a gas that would be.

Incidentally, a little warning: If you’re thinking of future dates for your unit sectionals, please get the request in to Betty Bratcher soon. No more than one year out - new rules passed for date protection.

Senior Mixed Pairs

For the November Fall NABC a new national event has been established: the Senior Mixed Pairs, to be played in four sessions, two qualifying on Wednesday, two final sessions Thursday. The good news is that winning it will qualify you for Grand Life Master status, unlike the new 70+ Super Senior Pairs which does not.


Although the New Orleans board issues were, at times, extensive, very few affect us personally - at least in my opinion. However, to view all these, and the voting of the 25 District Directors, go to the ACBL web site at or to mine at

If you don’t agree with the way I voted on any issue, let me know. Might help.


The real art of conversation is not just to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at that tempting moment. –Anonymous