ACBL Unit 539
San Diego

Serving the San Diego Bridge Community

Notice of San Diego Special Meeting: February 16th at 1:00 p.m.

Notice to all members of San Diego Unit 539: At 1:00 p.m. on February 16, 2020, there will be a Special Membership Meeting at the Soledad Club to vote on a revision to the Unit's bylaws.

You can find the proposed new bylaws and a side-by-side analysis of old versus new in the "Latest News" section below. All Unit members are entitled to vote on this proposal.

Appreciation Party scheduled for January, 5th, 2020 at Soledad Club

Everyone is sure to have lots of fun at this year's Appreciation Party hosted by our Unit 539 - catered lunch, door prizes, and your chance to win big points!

Since last year's date change was so well received, we decided to host the Appreciation Party (formerly known as the Holiday Party) in January again. This year's Appreciation Party is scheduled for Sunday, January 5 at the Soledad Club. The fun starts at 11:30 AM with bridge starting at 1:00 PM.

As part of the Unit's long standing tradition, all players who participated in 12 or more unit games in 2019 will be eligible to enjoy this event at no cost! Check the Appreciation Party Eligibility List posted under Latest News on the home page of the Unit's website for the loyal players who were able to support our Sunday unit games.

Non-playing partners/spouses are welcome, and of course this event is NOT limited to Unit 539 members. This is our way of saying thank you to all bridge players for playing with us this year.

Hurry and get your reservation form in no later than January 2, 2020.

 Flyer and Reservation Form

Spring Sectional starts on THURSDAY, February 27!

Along with ocean breezes, change will be in the air for the Unit 539 Spring Sectional this year! We're running the tournament THURSDAY through Saturday, February 27- 29 at Marina Village, so mark your calendar.

Over the decades, San Diego's 3-day Sectionals have hosted a combination of Pair, Swiss Teams and Knock Out events. Occasionally, we have changed the schedule, the location, the format, mostly in response to your feedback. Attendance has guided our offerings which is why we removed team events a couple of years ago from the menu and settled with Pairs only on Fridays and Saturdays, and Teams only on Sundays (with a single session afternoon Pairs session) for those Sunday Unit game regulars who enjoy their 1:00PM Sunday game.

With the steady decline of our Sunday attendance - our surveys indicate that you reserve Sundays for private time and family enjoyment - and the knowledge that our players are missing playing Swiss team games since AIB is not operating in full service mode, we decided to experiment with a new format by introducing Swiss Teams on Thursday as the main offering that first day. Here's your chance to re-form your Tuesday or Thursday team and come out to Marina Village to play a double session Swiss! Plus you get to play with your peers, either in a Bracketed Team event limited to 2000MP per player, or in the A/X/Y where you can place in one of 3 strats. Thursday's lunch break will feature a catered hot lunch provided by none other than the San Diego Catering Company, a good value meal not to be missed. But.... If Teams isn't your thing and you prefer the strategies of Matchpoint playing, we will also offer two single session Open Pairs game at 10:00 and 2:30.

The schedule remains unchanged on Friday and Saturday, with Pairs being the centerpiece: 299ers, 1499ers, and Open.

A bonus for you that Sunday as well. If you're one of those die-hard bridge players who can still play some more, or if you don't want to miss your Sunday game, join us at the Soledad club that Sunday, March 1 for our post-Sectional Unit game.

See the flyer for more details, and please contact us for additional information!

 Event Flyer

Florence Seltzer (1920-2019)

We are sad to report that Florence Newmark Seltzer passed away on Saturday, October 26 at age 99 from a cerebrovascular stroke. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Norman Seltzer, having celebrated 69 years of marriage. She leaves behind two children, 4 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

San Diego's bridge community gathered prior to the November 17 Unit game to celebrate the life of one of its cherished members, Florence Seltzer. Organized and sponsored by Jill Seagren, we were treated to a spread any bubbie, especially Florence, would be proud of: bagels, lox, cream cheese, toppings, corned beef on rye, coleslaw presented by Marianne Klayman, along with brownies baked by Judy Rimer. Bridge friends not even playing in the game such as Evie and John Coufal and Robert Rosenblum came to pay their respects.

Beginning with Jill, one by one, friends including Ron Heller, Larry Sherman, Judy Rimer, Beth Granby, and Anita Reiss shared memories of Florence. Many of these memories conjured up a portrait of a caring wife to Norman, and a Jewish mother not only to her own children, but to the family that she adopted after Norman passed, the San Diego bridge community.

We will all miss Florence, both at and away from the bridge table.

Ron Heller, a close friend and bridge partner, has this to say: I played on Fridays with Florence for 30 years. She was a remarkable bridge player until the very end. Her wit, extraordinary memory, and zest for life were evident. When she was at the bridge club, she was always noticed and she enjoyed holding court there. She had a few very close friends from the bridge world. Jill Seagren, her confidante and close friend, was with her almost constantly during her last 4 days reading to her and keeping her company. This past year she played regularly with Marty Bloomberg and was always searching for a good game. She will be missed by those who knew her. A fond farewell!

Larry Sherman shared these memories: Florence was probably my favorite opponent. She always sat in the North/South direction. If the movement was such that I missed her table I truly felt I had been short changed. She would have me bring her coffee, and in exchange paid me off in pretzels. I recall one time when she was leaving Adventures in Bridge when it was located on Mission Gorge Road after the game. As she backed her Caddy out of the parking space, I witnessed a collision between her and Bert Waxler. Surely a case of an elderly driver with a blind spot being hit by an elderly nearly blind driver. They each exited their vehicles and asked me to weigh in on who was at fault. I would sooner have been called to make a director ruling at a table of 4 screaming players than to have had to make judgement against either of these two. I will miss Florence a lot.

Lamya Agelidis also had a connection with Florence that not many others did: We have been patrons of the same hair and nail salon on Friars Rd for years and I would run into her every couple of months there. Florence had a standing appointment there on Saturday mornings, rain or shine. All the stylists loved her, talk about holding court there! More than once did I witness her charming all who surrounded her with her anecdotes and her life lessons. She was as elegant walking in as she was walking out of that salon. Nobody could believe that such a vivacious, life-loving, witty, smiley-eyed lady was in her late 90s. Florence, may you Rest In Peace.

Marty Bloomberg, another good friend of Florence's, contributed the following: I've known Florence and Norman since 1998 when Leila and I moved to San Diego. Florence and I were bridge partners for 10 years, playing several times a week for the last 4 or 5 years. Driving to bridge was always an educational experience, especially during the 30 minutes to Eastlake (her favorite club). First we discussed important news from the Wall Street Journal and Union Tribune which she read before 9:30 when I picked her up. She then gave me the the latest from the Economist and Bloomberg Magazine, pointing out articles I should read to discuss next week. Even towards the end when she was ill and I was visiting her, the first question she would utter was: "what's happening with the impeachment"? One of the memories I'd like to share is our birthday celebration ritual: She always wanted to pay when Leila and I took her to birthday dinners. I sort of lost - I paid for dinner and Florence left the tip. No point in arguing with her when she made her mind up. I got even--she took me for birthday dinners and I left the tip. That was Florence!

Florence was true to her husband's memory till the end. Norman remained the "love of her life" for ever, after 60 years of marriage. She passed as I know she wanted, her children and grandchildren all surviving her (very important) and she did not become an invalid. I assured those who asked if she was getting good care that her son Brian would accept nothing less. Brian assured me that she never suffered, was not in pain, and I think she was incapable of being depressed. Florence always drove home from bridge with the window down - she loved the wind and she loved life.

Jill Seagren shared her thoughts as well: I met Florence 19 years ago at AIB. We had an immediate connection and became fast friends outside of bridge. She was my role model: independent, smart, well educated, loved her family and did not cook. I started taking Florence out to lunch and they would last 4-5 hrs. We never ran out of issues to talk about. She was well connected in the Jewish community and we had many mutual friends and acquaintances. Florence graduated from SDSU and law school. She loved politics and fought for change in LGBT legislation. She was a devoted wife to Norman for 68 years. Mother to Brian and Eileen and grandmother to Jordan, Justin, and Matthew. I love and miss Florence.

Congratulations to the 2019 Summer Sectional Winners

The San Diego Summer Sectional ended on August 3, and for the first time in memory, one player virtually swept away all competition. With two overall wins, two second overall wins in Open Pairs, and third place in the Swiss Teams event, Rick Roeder brought home the bacon with 43.93 MPs. Roeder attributes his success to choosing good partners and teammates: Mac Busby and Iftikhar Baqai in Open Pairs, and Sam Madison, Lynne Feldman, and John Coufal in the Swiss Teams event. Congratulations to all these fine players.

Other Swiss Teams winners were Marshall-Timblo-McCay-Patel, Reid-Savage-Spiro-Yim, and Thomas-Miyata-King-Daniels. Other Open Pairs winners on various days included Ralph Tribbey/Rodolpho Veinbergs, Mac Busby/Greg Chaffee, Joe Houde/Andrew Loh, and Lynne Feldman/Sam Madison.

In 1499er Pairs the winners were Richard Hill/Patrick Staley, Doug and Peggy Magde, Raj Patel/Ed Zevely, and Avi Schneller/Bill Lietzow. The 299er games saw the pairs of Ed Kaufman/Peggy Trader, Selby Winkler/Paula Duncan, Gordon Ritchie/Kevin Dolan, and Janet Booth/Susan Mumenthaler take home top honors in the various time slots.

We hosted a total of 226 tables, which is a drop from last August's sectional table count of 232.6. It takes a lot of work and a lot of people to put on a Sectional. Thanks go to all the volunteers and workers-seen and unseen-who made this event possible.

They include Mario Hernandez for help with set-up and transportation, Evan Ziegler for helping Marge with partnerships, John Lagodimos for allowing us to use his bridge tables at no cost, and finally to Kevin O'Neill who worked very hard the entire weekend. Special thanks to Paul Darin who directed all three mornings for our Sectional saving the Unit additional ACBL expenses.

Results are available as usual under the Calendar tab from the Home page. Use these links to see the top master point holders among Open players, 1499ers and 299ers. Congratulations to all winners, and thank you all for coming out and supporting your local Sectional.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next Sectional early March 2020. Stay tuned for more!






Rick Roeder



Lynne Feldman



Sam Madison



Mac Busby



Andrew Loh



Joe Houde

Full List



Ho Ming Yim



Mark Spiro



Patrick Staley



Jill Seagren



Richard Hill

Full List



Ho Ming Yim



Patrick Staley



Gary Miyata



Edward Zevely



Wayne Sottosanti

Full List

Ron Huffaker (1938-2019)

We are sad to report that Ron Huffaker passed peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday September 10, 2019.

At the time of his death, Ron was a diamond life master (6600 mp) as well as the top-ranked player in the unit, according to Chris Champion's (Colorado Springs) bridge power ratings.

Ron frequently won bridge events at local bridge clubs, sectionals, regionals and North American bridge championships. Ron, playing with his brother Harold, won the Mini Blue Ribbon Pairs at the 2009 fall NABC in San Diego. This was an all-consuming three-day event.

David Oakley shared the following memory:
Ron and I played pairs together for several years, and he and Mary were frequent Swiss team team-mates; hitting the overalls many times at Sectionals and Regionals. Somehow the Huffakers would always come back with a +800, when we missed game of slam; or a minor suit slam bonus, when our opponents just bid 3NT. Our best performance was at the 2010 San Diego Regional, when with David Walters we won the Sunday Swiss; interrupted by an earthquake, which apparently shook up the other teams.

Playing with his favorite partner - his wife, Mary - they also won the Unit's Tribute Trophy in 2018.

Ron and Mary's contributions to the bridge community and specially our Unit are immeasurable. Tireless, they both served selflessly. Regularly before the unit games, Ron was the helper in the kitchen, taking orders from the chefs, chop this, arrange that. At the end of the unit games, Ron would be in charge of the unpopular collection of the trash and taking it to the dumpster, a thankless task he always volunteered for. He had his special assignments at our Sectionals too: those meticulously cut, multi flavored doughnuts that used to get us through the morning hours at bridge? Ron would be the one who would bring them in early and cut them up... But Ron's special contribution to the Unit's kitchen offering is unequivocally his Egg Salad. He would bring in his mixing bowls, his seasonings and put his magic touch to produce everybody's favorite egg salad.

Ron will be sorely missed by all.

Sunday, Feb 02, 2020


San Diego 999er Unit Game


San Diego Unit Open Pairs

Online Directory Drive

One thing we are certain of is that everybody likes a complete phone and email directory. Our goal is to have one San Diego directory shared by the five units in San Diego County. It is online, since a paper directory is not cost effective unfortunately. With your help, we can get there. Again, we can't publish your contact details without your written approval, so just send an email to contact one of your Board members to share any contact changes with us.

Online Directory

Get Your Results As Soon As They're Available!

Unit 539 is publishing the game results on

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Latest News!


Side-by-side Comparison of Current and New Bylaws Provisions (109 KB)


Bylaws Revision 2020 (82 KB)


Mazatlan Sectional in Sinaloa, Mexico (390 KB)
Mazatlan Sectional is scheduled for Jan 23-26, 2020. It's a great little ACBL sanctioned tournament on the Pacific Ocean that is ideally suited to people in the southern US who are not far away from Mazatlan and want to take a January bridge-break. See attached tournament flyer.


Notice of Special Meeting (40 KB)


Forum Article (90 KB)
By Stuart Showalter

District 22 Forum

For interesting Bridge news and information use this link every month for the latest issue:

District 22 Forum Monthly Newsletter

Looking for Partners for Unit games?

Our website has a Partnership Desk feature - Just select the Navigation Tab on the left of this page, enter your basic profile, and our partnership chair will start searching for a match! Try it, and let us know what you think!

Alternatively, if you decide last minute that you're looking for a game, just contact Lamya Agelidis, 615-887-1012, our Partnership Chair, who will be happy to get you a partner for Unit Games!

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