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All comments by Allan Graves
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Ron is a truly great guy. We regularly converse about our shared passion for Pro Hockey
He likes the Sharks. I have followed my team for over 60 years both in minor and NHL hockey but also they must hold the pro record for futility in any sport , so I will leave them nameless. Wait till next year.
Dec. 14, 2019
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Steve it is not what you call it , it is what it is . It is similar to the issues that determine if you are an employee or a contractor . If you give a nice watch to a friend on their birthday it is a gift . If you give the same watch to the governor you don’t know well who is involved in a zoning issue relevant to you then it is a bribe .
Nov. 26, 2019
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In my opinion this issue has been one of the most damaging to the health of the ACBL. First there is no law restricting non profits from using a franchise model That the ACBL has based its decision making process regarding clubs on Peter Rank without getting a professional analysis of atlernative approach is very sad. .Second why would anyone want to own a bridge club that serves the players that have bought into the ACBL master point model as a reason to play and the ACBL then grants a master point sanction to a church basement , no overhead ,game next door. to skim the cream of your players by undercutting you by 75% ? ? You know if you had a chat with all 25 board members individually they would agree that healthy full service clubs are critical to the ACBLboth in service and in introducing keen and skilled non competitive players in their community to ACBL masterpoint duplicate. They would mostly agree that the cost of insurance and other legal matters would be worth it if full service clubs were encouraged to invest time and capital in order to be active in their recreational market without fear of being undercut by unfair competition. Obviously there are some devils in the details but I am talking generally. Any good franchise consultant could work up a good plan for a franchise or quasi franchise model that would enable full service clubs in markets that would support them while not closing down small clubs that were serving smaller or restricted markets.
The problem is that 25 people are often conservative and therefore risk adverse and the opinions of Rank are used by nay sayers to quell any initiative. A small board based on merit would immediately begin revamping the ACBL club model. It would be a first step no brainer. It is not the fault of the current board. It is the fault of the governance model itself.
Nov. 25, 2019
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The most egregious ACBL policy failure has been its complete reluctance to make owning a bridge club a good investment. It costs money to provide a good club committed to good service and market expansion. They do not offer any market protection whatsoever to a club owner who is willing to invest in their club. They will give a full master point and club support sanction to a a twice a week operation in a church basement charging 25 % of what the full service club in nice premises has to charge to make. even a meagre profit. The competitor club offers nothing to the health and future well being of bridge. Why then would anyone invest in a bridge club ? Consequently clubs are content to wither and die as the current aging owners simply play out the string. This would be the very first issue that a lean Board of directors selected for business merit would address .The individual 25 ACBL board members, good bridge people one and all , would mostly agree that club support is critical but the devil is in the details with any such policy shift and therefore it is dead on arrival with such a large group required to support it. It is the system of governance that is destroying the clubs and therefore the ACBL . The ACBL is it's clubs. People go to a club for a variety of reasons but the main ones are the recreational activity itself , to socialize with old friends, to make new friends , all of this centered around playing bridge with their skill peer group in a nice and pleasant place. Such a place requires initial capital and its maintenance and expansion requires ongoing investment managed by business acumen.
Nov. 18, 2019
Allan Graves edited this comment Nov. 18, 2019
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Takeout is standard . The management is not and should be alerted
Nov. 18, 2019
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David , not to worry “ A moment to learn . A lifetime to master “ truly describes bridge . Hamman once told me “ the best of us are bad , the rest are hopeless “ Bridge will always be compelling , we can rest assured of that .
Nov. 16, 2019
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I support the motion for most of the positive reasons put forward by my fellow concerned bridge players. It is a critical first step that we begin to move to a smaller board that can begin to deal with the host of major problems facing the world of bridge , both the card game and the mind sport.. I urge all board members to please pass this motion and urge all Bridge winner readers who support the motion to contact your unit boards and ACBL director to encourage them to support the motion.
Nov. 15, 2019
Allan Graves edited this comment Nov. 15, 2019
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I played a few events with Kenny . Great player. We were only casual friends as we ran in different circles but I always enjoyed his company. This is sad .
Nov. 12, 2019
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I missread the problem. LOL I would pass . No reason to take a position on this hand. The partnership bid is to Pass.
Nov. 8, 2019
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If I was a coach I would ask my pair to play a regional without any ace asking conventions except 4NT last train when obvious . That would give them more confidence to “bid a hand out “ if the decision to keycard or not was close .
Oct. 30, 2019
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Two and three suiters are best opened naturally if at all possible . Surely 1C is completely possible I can’t imagine a second choice to 1C .
Oct. 29, 2019
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Passing 1C would be dubious
Oct. 29, 2019
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I would agree. All Krystofs books are very poorly translated.
I don't know why to tell you the truth as the hands are properly edited and the material compelling
Oct. 25, 2019
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yes you are getting some benefit in your life from bridge
It is pennies a day to belong to the main tournament organization.
Oct. 25, 2019
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Singleton K OK as it has some positional advantage. If I have 12-14 I prefer to rebid 1NT with a singleton in Responders. suit if the alternative is to rebid in 5 card minor or new suit minor within 12-14 NT range. Raise M on 3 support OK. ( many will prefer not to do this but as long as Partner is aware then they can FG with 2 way and then rebid their suit ) In general your rebid should point to most likely game and best limit your hand.
However opening 1NT with a Singleton A is extremely poor in my opinion. The evaluation is very different than it is for a singleton K for game slam decisions and part scores are best bid out via one suit opener. Even 2NT I would avoid.
Oct. 21, 2019
Allan Graves edited this comment Oct. 21, 2019
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Well , when you get down to the end game there would still be the 4-4 vs 5-3 major suit probability which is compelling enough to warrant reflection. especially if the opening leader was capable of deception ( and it was on their card as a slam tendency) A player looking at only 12 HCP in dummy opposite a 19+ to 21 opening and 3 hearts in their hand ( 50% not to have the Jack ) and putting Spades KJX in declarer if the lead is top. Well they might just try for the quick kill as the spade King is possible for partner. Certainly it would not be a smooth duck unless the hearts were known to be stopped. This was my point about table feel as complementary to analysis and why I responded a second time to a new post to this hand. Table feel as declarer is part of the game and my experience of my partner was that hands like this were made . These hands are one of the myriad of reasons that make bridge such a compelling and ultimately unfathomable game. Michael Rosenberg added a very important component about illusions , deceptions and assumptions which complemented nicely the interesting and humorous fantasy post by the Swedish fellow.
Oct. 14, 2019
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Contract Bridge is the ultimate risk/reward whist family card game. Its form of betting for tricks and a risk reward scoring structure so perfectly conceived that it is basically unchanged since 1925
.Good bidders have always bet tricks governed by the risk reward principle inherent in the scoring structure Trumps are good ways to take tricks,
I think perhaps your definition of expert community must be different than mine for , to say that expert bidders did not understand betting tricks within the context of risk reward scoring is , with all due respect, ludicrous. They have understood that since 1925 .
What has evolved though is the appreciation that a lot of the perceived risk is often an illusion and therefore bids that look for fits at low level in order to compete at higher levels and/or establish a defense / opening lead were becoming increasingly more common.

Within the rank and file constructive bidding was becoming much better and that has continued today. However the gap between the middle 70 % of the field is now much greater. That is to say that now, the bottom 15 % of the ACBL do not know how to play bridge at all and the gap of skill between the next 15% and 70-85 is significantly greater . This is because in 1965 99 % of the bridge playing public did not play , nor want to play, ACBL duplicate .therefore relatively speaking , the weaker tournament players were decent players and the average age was certainly less than 40 . The weaker players were also aware of the highly competitive nature of tournament bridge I have been playing bridge for 60 years and ACBL for 55 so I can attest to that through direct experience. I was always one of the youngest tournament players and now that I am seventy that is still the case.
Even as we speak, the game of bridge is dying. The average age of the ACBL is creeping to 75 .Alas no one seems know what to do about it.
You might do well to consider the 99 % to 1% I mentioned earlier and reflect upon everything that truly means. Until we understand what that meant then and sill means now. ,all attempts to “ save bridge ” will fail.
Oct. 14, 2019
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I had the pleasure of being Jill's partner for the 550 hands or so hands we played and she almost never misjudged the cards or distribution as declarer. ( not surprising as she is one of the all time best ) . Even in the expert games that Rosenberg frequents surely you might assume that RHO has the ACE . Therefore ,the slam is cold if you can judge the end position after normal play. For eg RHO will show with 8 major suit cards and therefore rates to be 4-4 rather than 5-3 . For additional backup Martens analysis was particularly cogent for who is getting squashed and how. You will at least reflect when the Spade jack is discarded . Combining table feel with basic probability and simple assumptions gets it done most of the time and the New York times plays are best left to others. You do have to see it though. I suspect that some of the unsuccessful declarers after a spade lead, as we all have done from time to time to be sure, overlooked all the nuances of the end position at trick one.
Oct. 13, 2019
Allan Graves edited this comment Oct. 13, 2019
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Responder does not Blackwood. but rather continues to pinpoint control location and good agreements regarding shortness. Jump preferences and jump raises defined as to what kind of extras. To what level are various auctions forcing ?. Once you do that the whole thing falls Into place. The point about two suiters is important.
Controls and strength, then fit as opposed to fit then controls and strength. You pick your horse and ride it. Partnerships that play a controls system often bid better over 2C opener not because the method is necessarily superior but because they have actually discussed what the auctions mean and made useful agreements regarding the later rounds of bidding.
Oct. 9, 2019
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Yes great player and a good guy
Sept. 30, 2019
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