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All comments by Christina Lund Madsen
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I will be honest. I often tell players like Meck to smile - and worse things. Mostly I do it in a way that makes it come naturally. I flirt shamelessly with my male opponents (if they are up for it) and often with my female too (they are less cooperative than the male). For me it is a way of communicating.

Yet I am convinced that if a man acted the way I sometimes do, he would be banned for his behaviour.

Another point. Being a cute, young girl like Sylvia (I used to be young) makes it easier to get male partners for a one tournament stand (no sexual implications). Though I am quite certain it is not because of our bridge skills.

I am not certain whether my above points support or contradict Ida's post…
June 26, 2016
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Frances, I understand your point but that is because you see it from a bridge player's perspective. The title and point of the interview was love in bridge (though I did ask her a bridge question at the beginning).

You can see the same in the other “love in bridge”-videos like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw13QvaodVs

I am a journalist and my job is to entertain, not report about bridge hands etc. Others do that. The reason they ask me to come is to make this kind of interviews. Sometimes I make a “real” interview but mostly it is player chats and not “official videos”.

An expert like you might want to hear about bridge all the time, but 95 % of all bridge players would rather be entertained by these videos. They can read the bulletin and watch BBO to get their bridge fix.
June 26, 2016
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I was part of the camera crew during the European Championships, but only for the last 5 days. The team consisted solely of local Hungarians who did not play bridge. They had challenges finding stories and interviewing bridge players without any knowledge of the game.

I saw the “women accessories” video from home and immediately wrote the person responsible that if they posted such a video, they also had to make one called male accessories. That never happened and the video has now been removed since it was offensive to all the women who want to be taken seriously as bridge players.

Ida and I texted each other about this video and I remember she wrote “I cried inside when I saw that video”.

I arrived at the championships to assist the camera crew finding stories and interviewing players. I saw they had a title called “pretty girls” on the project board and I told them they could not make such a video without making one with “pretty boys” as well. They told me it was just a working title and I never saw the material.

The video was posted by them through their own channels, never by the EBL. As soon as the person in charge of communication saw it, he told them to delete it immediately and from then everything had to go through him before publishing.

I was personally surprised that the camera crew, bridge players or not, did not see that both videos were degrading for women. I do not know if there is a cultural difference from Scandinavia (where Ida and I are from) and Hungary.

I have no problem with videos about accessories as long as we also make videos about men's sandals.

For me the solution is not zero tolerance. It is meaningless political correctness.
You cannot force people to change their perspective and that is what is needed.

I also do not want men to stop admiring women in the bridge world. I just wish you would also admire us as bridge players.

I actually don't mind being underestimated at the bridge table. It gives me more points. I love the face of a male opponent after I smack him for 800. It makes me feel a bit like a predator in disguise. The victims always look like they have been deceived - and they have, but only by their own prejudice.

What does bother me is that it is much more difficult for me as a women to find partners and teammates for open events. And that even some of my friends do not see me as an equal or care about my thoughts about bidding theory.
It makes me want to fight till I have beaten them all.

My main frustration is that the perception of women's bridge is reinforced by the authorities. In WBF events, women have to sit south and east. I am clueless as to how anybody at administrative level can think this is ok. Maybe part of the explanation is that all of them are - men.

We have women events. I am sure it does not support our ambitions but they exist and I play them, but if I had the possibility I would only play open events. I recognise that at top level men are much better than women. But it does not mean a woman cannot become the best player in the world.

But I see some development.

EBL has changed the rule about having fixed seats for men and women i mixed events.

I love when women are given and take the chance to play in the open events, and I celebrate on behalf of my sex every time Sabine wins an open event. I do not think there are any men at the highest level who underestimate her anymore. Most men I know say things like “She doesn't really count as a woman”. I think she is the only woman in the world to have achieved this.

And at the last national I had the pleasure of playing against Morse and Kasle (whom I did not know beforehand) and as I sat down at the table, one said to the other: “Look out for this one”. I replied “Don't blow my cover!”

That was a first for me.
June 26, 2016
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Since I made the interview with Marion I can tell you that the only reason I asked her that question originally was because the non-bridge playing local Hungarian camera crew had made a video about pretty girls (that I had not yet seen and did not know the content of but I was pissed off thus trying to balance it by focusing on hot guys).

I even explained my reasons in the interview, but luckily the other video was never posted by the EBL and immediately taken down when the EBL person in charge saw the content.

If it offended you men that we talked about hot guys, I as a represent of women rest our case.
June 26, 2016
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I think it is a pity the most prestigious pair events are not open to everybody. If the purpose is to maintain a high level, it is contradictory for me that you are not allowed to play all conventions in those events (like 2D multi).

But really I just want to applaud you, Max for your inclination to play in the toughest events. It is the best way to learn quickly and will certainly support your development as a bridge player much more than placing in less prestigious tournaments.
June 2, 2016
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I think all pre alerts are bloody bullshit and should be vaporized once and for all.

As an opponent (as declarer) it is your own responsibility to enquire about the opponents methods rather than assuming everyone else plays as you do.

I like courtesy alerts especially versus weaker players but by no means should it be mandatory.

And allow 2D multi in all events. I am much less inclined to play the big national pair events because I cannot play the system I normally play.

People should not be encouraged (not to say forced) to play the same system. The beauty of the game lies within the endless possibilities.

The current rules of the ACBL create obstacles for the development of bridge and especially for the US players who never play outside of the US and are thus not inspired by exotic and imaginative methods. Plus they will have a disadvantage playing in any international competition by not being used to defend against the for them unusual methods.

Dixi.
May 20, 2016
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Trust me, the dress code in itself has a massive impact on the ambience. Everybody becomes so excited and happy.

I dare say you will not regret it if you come.
May 9, 2016
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I thought it was an act of a gentleman not to display my misplaced (R)Ds, however I think if you want the fame, you also take the shame :-)
And yes, it was exciting, but not nearly my most action packed set in Reno…
March 24, 2016
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Hi Oren,
Did you notice who you were playing against? :-)
Besides, my hand was AQT9x, xxxx, K42, x. Hence my RD. I knew the D wasn't based on good spades and you and your partner were both passed hands (and it was one of my last chances to RD in that event)
March 24, 2016
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You rock. Wish I were a junior.
Jan. 22, 2016
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I think this is so sad. Just because you scream louder, it does not make it true.

I wish they would quit this unsustainable fight and prevent themselves from further embarassment and try to picture a new life not revolving around bridge.
Dec. 17, 2015
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I am heartbroken, yet touched by your wish to praise me, Roy.

I had the time of my life playing that tournament with you.

I simply don't understand it. Josef did so well with me. All these players are all so good. They don't have to cheat to win. Can someone please tell them? They are good enough as they are.

You don't have to ask me before making such a decision. I am with you all the way.

Sept. 19, 2015
Christina Lund Madsen edited this comment Sept. 19, 2015
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This is where I totally agree, yet disagree with Joris. I agree that playing bridge on tablets would limit the game to be much more about technique.

But when I try to explain the profoundness of bridge to outsiders, I ALWAYS say that it is not only about statistics and technically correct plays.

One of the beauties about bridge is exactly the psychological game and I think that is why so many top players here life Hampson, Meckstroth, Fredin, Boye, Tony, Tom, Vince, I could go on and on, would never support a solution as the proposed.

Most of best players in the world don't like playing online. Ask Geir Helgemo or even better your countryman and personal hero Sjoert Brink how they feel about this. If you want more I can give you Dennis Bilde and Fredrik Nyström and the list never ends…

If this proposal becomes reality, you would beat me 8 out of ten times. If I get to be your screen mate tomorrow I would put my money on the blonde ;-)
Sept. 18, 2015
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Yeah Jeff! A friend and I were waiting for you to wake up since we were sure you would be on “our” side :-)
Sept. 18, 2015
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Att.: James

This is not about me, however I am provoked by your assertion of my insecurity both as a person and as a bridge professional.

I believe you have never met me neither at the bridge table, nor in real life. Stress is my constant companion, I have so much adrenaline in my body that even those of my friends in favor of drugs tell me never to use any. I redouble more than anyone you ever played against, which illustrates my approach to life.

Yet it hurts me deeply if anybody thinks badly of me. If you think that self assure people will not be affected by accusations that they are cheating, my guess is that your knowledge of human psychology is not your strongest feature.
Sept. 18, 2015
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I could not agree more with Huub. The best moment for me at a tournament is when I pick up the cards on the very first board.

Playing electronically will hurt the game much more than the cheaters ever could.

Sept. 18, 2015
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James: To me injustice has no number.

And if you were to accuse me, I would lose much sleep. How would everyone else know you are wrong and believe me if I state my innocence?

My situation would be no different from our “third” pair.
Sept. 18, 2015
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I think the ones enhancing the whispering by claiming they “know” the third pair and suggesting people to write them to know the identity should spend a night outside in the cold rain.

I have heard the rumors too and did not (want to) believe them. I have talked to several people analyzing hours and hours of videos not finding ANY hint whatsoever of cheating from this pair.

Before Sabines post today I even talked to some of the analysts about the need to go public about this rumored third pair, who is for now (and hopefully forever) acquitted. None of us have the right to ruin the reputation and possibly lives of innocent people.

For me it is not worth catching three guilty pairs if one pair is unjustly convicted by the public opinion. I know I am probably alone with this point of view.

If we suddenly find ourselves suspecting and accusing anyone who makes controversial leads, bids or play, we also ruin a part of the beauty of bridge.

If people are suddenly scared to underlead an ace due to the fear of being suspected of cheating, the hunt for cheaters has failed.

I make strange leads, I make (very) controversial bids. People have called me crazy or lucky - and some more flattering things. Maybe now they will call me a cheater.

Sept. 17, 2015
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Oh, I just received a message from Geir Helgemo saying he will now step in as captain of the Danish women's team since the open team stole our captain because Geir and the guys withdrew.

Such a gentleman!
Sept. 16, 2015
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The Danish Bridge Federation is indeed sending the team listed above.

I would like to add two things:
Firstly that Monaco has been extremely cordial towards us in this matter by letting us know as soon as the decision was made from their part and by telling us to go win! We wish them the same in the transnationals.

Secondly some might miss Dennis and Morten Bilde from the line up; sadly they were not able to go with such short notice.

We would like to say thank you to our Scandinavian friends for the support in this matter. It is such a pleasure to feel both Sweden and Norway rooting for us to go.

See many of you very soon in Chennai!
Sept. 16, 2015
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