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All comments by Brett Kunin
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Rich: I do agree that Ken will be missed. I found it absolutely amazing how he could win with some of his students (many of whom could barely follow suit). Although I never got to play against Barry Crane, Ken was, by far, the best matchpoint player against whom I ever played.
I kibitzed him in the semi-final of the Reisinger about 25 years ago (I don't remember whether he won the event), when one Board-a-match team played the other for 64 boards. He had 11 high level decisions to make, and got every one of them correct – an amazing performance against the best.
Nov. 13
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Pass - partner has already denied a major, and unless he/she bid 1n with a good 10, game is unlikely
Oct. 29
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I think Cornelia, earlier, made a good point that with 4-4 in the majors, there is no need to open 1N with a singleton minor suit ace, as you can pattern out; I would never do so with a major suit singleton. I reserve opening 1n with a minor suit singleton, and a 3/4-4/3-5-1 or 3/4-4/3-1-5
pattern, with a 15-16 point 6-loser) hand, such as KJx,AJxx,QJ9xx,A or a 5-loser hand in which the suit quality is the two suits is not suitable to reverse, such as
AKJ,Qxxx,A,QJxxx.
Oct. 25
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Harold was indeed a character, but he always had a good joke to tell, and was a great family man, caring deeply for his children and grandchildren. We played as teammates several times at east coast regionals, and I was proud to have called him a friend. He will be missed.
Oct. 7
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Chris: Usually every 4th or 5th regional I attend, I “run into” two good Flight A players who have never played together, and, rather than argue endlessly about “systems”, agree to play BWS – more power to them.
Quite frankly, I believe many of the last two series of amendments to BWS are not consistent with the “norm”, nor integrate well with the system.
Sept. 27
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Gary: I am in complete agreement with your first paragraph.
Sept. 27
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Cameron: For both philosophic and political reasons, although I would NEVER go to China, I agree that there is real risk for citizens of certain countries to go there (particularly with the US-China trade war). That being said, ANY country should have the right to bar a convicted felon from attending certain international events, with the obvious exception of attending certain events at the United Nations in NYC – that being said, it would also apply to the both the US and Canada. – What is “good for the goose” should also be “good for the gander”.
Sept. 15
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Don: So what if there is a “lawsuit in the wind”?? Case law has well established (including a decision by the US Supreme Court) that private organizations can discipline their own members as they choose, provided they do not otherwise violate the law (i.e, discrimination based upon a “prohibited” category). Our unit faced such a lawsuit at our recent disciplinary action, and had it dismissed on motion. Our unit (like the ACBL) has insurance to cover our legal expenses in the event of suit, and with that “in place”, no Unit, District or the ACBL should be deterred from “doing the right thing”.
Sept. 2
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Rob: Our unit, 140 (central NJ), has almost 3,000 members.
Although I appreciate that we can apply for “Asst. Dist. Recorder” status (which I will recommend), I do not understand the logic in eliminating a Disciplinary Chair at the Unit level(particularly given the ineffectiveness of our District in dealing with Disciplinary matters) – quite frankly, I think it is a grave error, and passes the decision to the District, when the Unit will have more knowledge to make an intelligent decision as to whether to proceed with charges. Perhaps it is wise for extremely small units, but our Unit is the size of several districts. You can consult Sabrina Goley as to the competence of our Unit in dealing with a disciplinary problem before you were appointed as ACBL Recorder, with appeals all the way to the ACBL (in which we prevailed, by the way, with almost NO SUPPORT WHATSOEVER from the ACBL). An important question: DO WE HAVE THE OPTION TO RETAIN A DISCIPLINARY CHAIR?

I would sincerely appreciate your response,in detail, either publicly or privately. Thank you.

Brett Kunin, Tournament Chair, NJ Bridge League
Aug. 30
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Gil: I don't know if there is a reasonable solution to the problem you pose. A former partner of mine and I, before the introduction of the current chart system, used to play 2 over 1 as non-forcing, and 1nt in response to a major as forcing and unlimited. (I believe that is no longer permitted except in the “top 2” charts.) The system we employed was LTC based, and what we did was:
1M - 2 same major was a 3-card L/R, whereas 1M-1n-2any- 3 of same major was a 4-card L/R. The major suit structure part of the system would still be permissible in all charts.
Aug. 25
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Steve: I agree wholeheartedly with going back to a 9:30 start time. In addition, as a purely voluntary organization, we incur few expenses, and coffee and bagels is not too much for ask for at breakfast time. It does NO GOOD to save a small amount of money if attendance is poor.
Aug. 19
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Randy: I cannot speak for Regional rates, although I believe they are the same. At the Unit 140 Sectional (central NJ) two weekends ago, the rates for ACBL directors were $159., $169., and $189., depending on their experience level.
Rates for local directors, if permitted by the ACBL, are somewhat less (and usually negotiated between the Tournament Chair and local director), although I have often seen
that function delegated to the ACBL. Because our Unit does not sit more than 35 tables per session Friday and Saturday, and less than 40 teams on Sunday, 2 ACBL directors works for us.
Aug. 14
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AGREED - One of the chief purposes of having a highly questionable action recorded is to prevent any such pattern occuring on a regular basis…How else is a Recorder to know????
July 29
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Melanie: As to your proposal, District 4 has adopted a modification of the KO approach you suggest – NO TEAM is eliminated after 1 round.

I am Tournament Chair in Unit 140 (central NJ). 20 years ago, on Sunday, we ran, concurrently, A/x, B/C/D and 299'er Swisses. With reduced attendance, we changed to a Bracketed Format, which is EXTREMELY popular. (We are blessed with excellent ACBL Directors, and I ask them to make logical breaks in the Brackets, based on total team mp's. (We are not rigid about 8-team brackets, and all teams are invited to join the top bracket, irrespective of points.)
We have been lucky enough to have the Princeton collegiate team participate in our last 2 A/x Swisses, and I have been advised by their coach (a NYC professional bridge player) that they have feel they have benefited from the rigorous competition, and had long discussions about hands played.
July 19
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I find the discussion interesting… My take is: Since the ACBL has been almost UNIFORMLY unsuccessful for the past 7 years in hiring any top management position, why not try something new???
June 2
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Rainer: I agree that psyching against inexperienced players is the worst of sins. At our club, I have no qualms about an occasional psych against the best pairs in the room, but I would NEVER do so against a “C” or even a “B” player.
May 28
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I abstained, because I objected to the form of the question – it depends on what system you have agreed to play, not doing a ranking. With most of my partners, I play SUCTION (which would show a 1-suiter in d's, OR both majors). I agree that in the absence of discussion, you are asking partner to lead a club if on lead, or shift to a club if he gets in.
May 28
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Don: In response to your query, the answer is NO. D3 schedules 4 regionals per year (only 2 of which “break even”, or better). Over the past 6 years, several sites
(7 tournaments) have incurred huge losses for the District (over $10k each), and I fear that another large loss will be incurred in June, which will lower their cash reserves to 40% of our Unit's. As the largest Unit in the District, I have scheduled the maximum permitted 4 of 6 Grassroots sessions per Sectional for some years, so that some of our cash flows to the District. Unfortunately, that revenue is only a drop in an ocean…
May 24
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TY, Ed. I'd like to think we have one of the hardest working and active Unit Boards in the East, for a Unit with 3000 bridge players. In addition, although our District is in deep financial trouble, 140 finances are in excellent shape, despite the attendance loss at Unit-wide events experienced by us (and nationwide).
When I was Unit Prez last year, I had to insist that the Tournament Chair accept the aforementioned $100., when I knew he had spent, without asking for any remuneration, more than 3x that much.
May 21
Brett Kunin edited this comment May 21
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To Ed and Steve Bruno: Ed, your cynicism is unwarranted. In Unit 140 (central NJ) board members receive no remuneration (except for an “optional” $100/yr to the Tournament Chair, whose expenses for transportation and other items are 2-3 times that amount); I hardly considered a bagel during our Sat. 9 AM Board mtgs to be a “perk”. The owner of the club at which we meet contributes the coffee, at her own expense.
Our 21 member Board not only does the “usual” things, but has one of the largest Youth teaching programs on the east coast, active in 10 middle and elementary schools.
For any person who does charitable or community service, virtue should always be the sole reward.
May 21
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