NEBridge - President's Letter: May 2015

Welcome Home, Snowbirds!!

It’s so great to see so many familiar faces back home now from winters away in warmer climes. Welcome back! We certainly had a rough winter, and we are all happy to have it behind us as we enter into a great summer of bridge activities.

The summer starts off in high gear with the club qualifying games for the North American Pairs Championships during the months of June, July, and August. These games pay hefty masterpoint awards and are flighted for qualification to the district finals. At the District Finals, October 17-18 in Sturbridge, only players of comparable skill levels compete against each other. New Englanders have done extremely well in this and the Grand National Teams competitions. On a personal note, for me and Shome Mukherjee, it was a very special honor and privilege to represent District 25 in the National Finals in New Orleans this past March – and an extra special thrill to finish 1st Overall!. Maybe this year, it will be you and your favorite partner’s turn to win! But you can’t even compete at the District Finals in October if you don’t qualify at a club game during the summer months, so make a point to schedule one or more games at local clubs for this great event.

Our first warm weather regional will be held during the week of June 23-28 at the very conveniently located Radisson Hotel at 11 Tara Blvd, Nashua NH. “NH” perhaps should stand for Not Hard to reach – from practically anywhere in New England – and beyond. The hotel is right at Exit 1 on Rte 3. Nashua is at the southernmost part of the state - extremely close to the Massachusetts border. It’s less than an hour away from Boston. For folks coming up from southern Connecticut, it is a little longer drive than Sturbridge, but the hotel is fabulous, there are lots of restaurants within a couple miles of the hotel, and we’re not talking about driving in a winter blizzard, in New York city traffic or on the Cape. This is summertime and it is a beautiful and enjoyable drive with smooth sailing, the whole way. And don’t forget – NH has no sales tax! Great time to do some shopping. Last year was our first year back to this locale and we had some issues with lighting and food service, but we have assurances from the hotel that these problems have been solved – so please come to Nashua. It promises to be a great tournament. On Wednesday between sessions, we will continue our popular Expert Panel discussions of Gold Rush Pairs hands with NHBA’s Wayne Burt, CBA’s Harold Feldheim, and EMBA’s Mel Marcus and Glenn McIntyre. On Friday at 9:15, Harold Feldheim, author of “Winning Swiss Team Tactics” will highlight some of the key topics from his book. One big special new event that we planned for Nashua is the Saturday night Pro Am. This will be held at 7:30 PM, LM’s are invited to play with NLM’s with fewer than 500 points – and the entry fee is only half price! Should be a really fun event for all. Hope to see you there.

In August, the NABC Summer Nationals will be held in Chicago. Our four GNT Teams who won the district qualifier in the Open, A, B, and C flights will be representing us there. We wish them luck and hope New Englanders continue the fine track record of performance they have demonstrated across all flights in this and other NABC events. A, B, and C champions will be provided free entry fees in Chicago for the first 2 days of the competition. In my opinion, this doesn’t go quite far enough – but it is a step in the right direction.

It’s easy to get to Chicago. Hope to see lots of D25ers there!

The summer ends on a very high note with our most popular tournament in Warwick, RI during the week of September 1st thru 6th. The location is ideal, most folks are back from their summer vacations and our snowbirds haven’t headed south yet. Hope to see you all there as well. Make your reservations early for this, as the hotel is sure to be sold out.

Just want to close by thanking all those who have responded to my recent request for volunteers in such an overwhelmingly positive nature. It’s very gratifying to see so many new faces volunteering to help out at our clubs, on our various unit boards and at our sectional and regional tournaments. Volunteers are clearly the lifeblood of our organization. Thanks very much for your continued support.

Hope everyone has a great, safe and enjoyable summer!

Mark

Mark J. Aquino, Sr.
President, New England Bridge Conference
ACBL District 25