District Director's Report
July 2006 ( Rich DeMartino)

Chicago NABC

The Chicago NABC was held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in a lovely part of the city, very near Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile, with all of its well known stores and architecture. Attendance was 13,373 tables, slightly lower than the pre-tournament projection of 13,500 tables. The playing space was first rate for the NABC events and adequate for the Regional events. All of the playing space was on two adjacent floors of the Hyatt, which is ideal.

Never having been in Chicago previously except in the airport, I was very impressed with how lovely this part of the city is. There are numerous outstanding places to eat, either a short walk from the playing site or a relatively inexpensive cab ride away. The only serious complaint I heard is that several players had difficulty obtaining rooms at the main hotel and either had to pay higher room rates and/or travel further than desirable.

The biggest news at this NABC is that eight District 25 players won National Championships, six for the first time. The Flight B GNT was won by Allan Wolf, Russell Friedman, Frances Schneider, and Bernard Schneider from Connecticut. Geof Brod, Steve Earl, Jay Stiefel, and Rich DeMartino won the Senior Swiss Teams (first NABC win for Geoff and Steve). New England players dominated this event, with 13 players finishing in the top seven overall, a magnificent performance.

Finally, Dick Budd and Doug Doub won enough masterpoints to become New England's eighth and ninth Grand Life Masters. Congratulations to all of the above players. Well done.

Top Ten Finishers in NABC Events from District 25

GNT - Flight B

Allan Wolf, Ridgefield CT
1st
Russell Friedman, Wilton CT
Frances Schneider, Riverside CT
Bernard Schneider, Riverside CT

GNT - Flight C

Michael Ring, Cambridge MA
5th/8th
Victor K. K. King, Cambridge MA
Lorraine Cable, Dorchester MA
Ann Bergschulte, Lexington MA

Bruce LM - 5000 Pairs

Natalie Bassil, Boston MA
10th
Roger Johnson, Waltham MA

Senior Swiss Teams

Geof Brod, Avon CT
1st
Steve Earl, Avon CT
John Stiefel, Wethersfield CT
Rich DeMartino, Riverside CT

Steve Becker, Old Greenwich CT
3rd
Larry Bausher, Hamden CT

Simon Kantor, Agawam MA
4th
Richard Budd, Portland ME
Pat McDevitt, Brookline MA

Walter Fontaine, North Providence RI
6th
Tony Petronella, North Kingston RI

Frances Schneider, Riverside CT
7th
Bernard Schneider, Riverside CT

NABC+ Fast Pairs

Doug Doub, West Hartford CT
2nd

John McLaughlin, Melrose MA
6th
Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA

Open Swiss Teams

John McLaughlin, Melrose MA
6th
Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA
Steve Gladyszak, Chelsea MA
Richard Budd, Portland ME

HIGHLIGHTS OF ACBL BOARD MEETING

Financial Status

As reported previously, the budget for the 2006 calendar year is a net profit of $63,000. For the first four months, income exceeded expenses by $110,000, a favorable result. To address the problems which surfaced late last year, Management has assured the Finance Committee and the BOD that they have implemented several actions to improve their performance in budgeting and forecasting.

Directors and Officers Insurance Coverage (D&O)

On July 10, the BOD voted to purchase D&O Insurance from the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company that covers all ACBL Units and Districts as well as the ACBL. Previously, Districts and Units had the opportunity to purchase D&O coverage on an individual basis but few had done so (to the best of my knowledge neither the District nor any Unit in Disrict 25 had purchased this insurance). The insurance covers Unit/District officials as well as committee members for actions taken in that capacity.

To qualify for coverage, the District President and Unit Presidents must sign a waiver form. My opinion is that each Unit should sign this form and send it in as quickly as possible. Our lawyers have raised a couple of concerns that are documented in the materials sent to you. If you need further clarification of the issues, please call the insurance agent or me. Whatever each Unit does is up to the Unit but I urge all Unit Presidents to take care of this matter as quickly as possible. In order to receive coverage retroactive to July 11, the target date for submitting the form is July 26.

Senior KO Teams

As reported in my last report, a recommendation was made that beginning in 2007 the Senior Knockout Teams at the Fall NABC would start on Friday instead of Sunday. This recommendation was accepted by the Conditions of Contest Committee and approved by the BOD. In my view, starting two days earlier will have two benefits: (i) the finals will be completed no later than the day before Thanksgiving; and (ii) there will be no conflict with the 6 session Reisinger BAM or Open Swiss Team events which start on the last Friday. I know that all the District 25 players who frequently play in this event favor the earlier start date.

Senior Events - Age

As I reported at the last New England Delegates Meeting, a motion was again made that the minimum age for playing in ACBL Senior Events shall be 60 years of age. If accepted, this motion would have been phased in over 5 years. Although there is clearly some merit in changing the age, there are many reasons it is best to leave well enough alone, especially in our District. Fortunately, the motion failed 17-8.

NABC Appeals

The following motion was made: ACBL Tournament Directors shall hear and rule upon all appeals filed at North American Bridge Championships. All NABC+ appeals shall be heard by Tournament Director Panels in a manner similar to regional appeal hearings. All conduct and ethics matters shall be referred to and heard by the NABC Tournament Committee or their assignees.

Prior to the Board meeting, several top players familiar with the appeals process commented, with about 2/3 in favor of keeping the current system. There are certainly valid arguments on both sides. My belief is that unlike baseball, where good eyesight and a knowledge of the rules is all that is necessary for an umpire to do a good job, in some bridge decisions, expert knowledge of the game is required, which many of our directors simply do not have. The motion failed 13-12.

As usual, full minutes of the meeting including how each Board Member voted will be posted pn the ACBL website within the next few days.

TOP 25 MASTERPOINT WINNERS Chicago NABC

   
Name
Total Points
Points Won in
NABC Events
1.
  Geoffrey Brod, Avon CT
147.91
147.50
  Stephen Earl, Avon CT
147.50
147.50
3.
  Richard Budd, Portland ME
144.27
89.89
4.
  Douglas Doub, West Hartford CT
134.33
126.92
5.
  Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA
127.44
95.39
6.
  John Stiefel, Wethersfield CT
124.85
116.97
7.
  Rich DeMartino, Riverside CT
117.35
110.20
8.
  John McLaughlin, Melrose MA
94.49
94.49
9.
  Frances Schneider, Riverside CT
93.33
33.33
  Bernard Schneider, Riverside CT
93.33
33.33
11.
  Pat McDevitt, Brookline MA
78.75
51.16
12.
  William Braucher, Billerica MA
70.97
34.86
13.
  Simon Kantor, Agawam MA
69.99
59.00
14.
  Stephen Gladyszak, Chelsea MA
69.80
67.76
15.
  Melvin Marcus, Waltham MA
66.62
36.40
16.
  Victor King, Hartford CT
64.98
42.91
17.
  Larry Bausher, Hamden CT
63.72
56.25
18.
  Steve Becker, Old Greenwich CT
61.20
56.25
19.
  Russell Friedman, Wilton CT
60.58
  Allan Wolf, Ridgefield CT
60.58
21.
  Sheila Gabay, Newton MA
60.43
34.08
22.
  Daniel Colatosti, Waltham MA
59.20
15.87
  John Malley, Pascoag RI
59.20
15.87
24.
  Dave McClintock, Lexington MA
54.60
1.68
25.
  Jason Rotenberg, Fairfield CT
53.13
1.77

The Fall NABC will be held from November 16 through November 26 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort and Spa in Honolulu, Hawaii. This is the first NABC in Hawaii in over 20 years. Room rates at the main site range from $150 to $250 but I understand that the $150 and $250 rooms are already sold out. For those willing to take the 12 hour plane ride, this promises to be a great site for an NABC.


Rich DeMartino
District Director