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All comments by Christina Lund Madsen
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As a European woman who just crossed the Atlantic to participate in Atlanta I would like to give my opinion regarding women's events.

First of all: There is no doubt that eliminating women's events will do great damage to the professional female players. Furthermore I think that a lot of female players who are not top players and would never dare dreaming of winning an open event would be sorry not to have the chance to achieve some glory in competition with other women. I base this point of view on conversations with female players in Denmark where I come from.

Is that a valid argument for having women's events? If it encourages more women to play bridge, I definitely think so.

The format: This is where I would make some changes. I agree with Gavin that gathering a team and travel a far distance to play possibly only one day in a women's knockout is not optimal. My suggestion is to change the Wagar into a round robin followed by knockouts between the first four. It would extend the tournament and give the weaker teams a chance to at least get some experience and compete with the teams at their own level.

It is hardly a coincidence that there are twice as many women's teams participating at the spring swiss than the Wagar knockout. However I would also extend the spring swiss to two days of qualification. In 2012 I was sent to Memphis representing Denmark in the women's event; however it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, since it is simply too much money to spend for our federation for a two-day tournament (one had we failed to qualify).

I know that these conditions are the same for the Vanderbilt and the Spingold; however there are lots of pick-up tournaments for the open. Of course the women can compete in the same events, however some women may not like to compete in open events (as some women do not like to compete in women's events).

As for rewarding the best female pair in an open field, for me personally I would feel downgraded. I would want to win and be rewarded on the same premises as men if I played in an open event. However I may not be representative for women in general since I seriously believe I will win a open event some day.

Me and my partner have chosen not to play the women's teams in Denmark after winning it five years in a row. However this is most likely for the opposite reasons of the low participation in the Wagar, since the opposition simply was too weak because all the best women due to time challenges had chosen to only play in the open league.

I think that as long as sponsors and strong players participate in these events, it is suicidal to women's bridge to terminate them.

As to mixed events it seems they are enjoyable for all, and frankly I do not understand why there is not a mixed swiss or knock out and only a board a match mixed teams at the nationals. It looks obvious to add it to the fall program (with mixed pairs in the spring and board a match in the summer) and perhaps having a mixed team event might fly some more women in for the women's teams, as several people suggest.

The mixed teams are highly popular in all European tournaments and also transnationals as in Lille and the world mixed teams next year in China.

I hope to see the ACBL renew the women's events and add a mixed teams as soon as possible.

Aug. 14, 2013
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Just a quick comment:
a) you are probably right - range plus not knowing the suit
b) Even opponents WITH agreements have challenges dealing with multi - I sometimes do myself when facing it - that is part of the charm

About creating swings both ways: Again, I can only say that from my experience we only swing one way - we haven't missed games or slams (however we may a few times have been in game with 3MA being the limit, but that is our aggressive style to blame rather than the multi) and we never laid a number.
However I did have a difficult lead recently - had to choose between 985 in spades and 742 in hearts - Being on lead is perhaps the only situation where not knowing the suit can be a disadvantage, however as stated earlier our wide ranged multi-use is destructive to say the least and bears no demands to suit quality, so if you can't tell which major to lead, try your own suit instead.

My last comment as to your point about opponents playing against multi all the time: Multi is highly popular in Denmark and widely abused by players of all skill levels. Yet I dare say that only a handful have all the necessary agreements, and they are all in contention for the national team…
July 17, 2013
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I play multi according to the same principles as Kit;
1. No strong options (and it has happened more than once that we have passed a 2D multi NV on a balanced hand with no points)

2. Lots of agreements about what to do in competition. Also we play Multi as 0-10 (2-11 VUL) so after a 2NT enquiry we can show a minimum, medium and maximum hand. To me one of the dangers of Multi is that it strikes right back if you lack agreements, especially about what you do when the opponents interfere.

3. For us playing Multi allows us to open hands we would never dare if we had to open 2M. Like QT98xx, xx, x, xxxx first seat vul we would usually open 2D (unless we for some reason don't feel like it) but not 2S.
Opening 2D gives us the option to get out in 2H or 2D (we play that 2D (D) RD is relay to 2H to get off in our own suit and 2H is P/C). The opponents will often be more likely to bid their own suit if they don't know our suit and the biggest advantage is that it can be difficult to catch us unless the opps have very good agreements - a classic example is 2D (D) 2H (P/C) D = ? Penalty or T/O? I am constantly amazed how many high level pairs don't have an agreement about this. And let's say you play D as T/O and have AQT9 in hearts and a king on the side. Then you have to pass and hope partner doubles again if the opponents do indeed have hearts, and it can be very unpleasant for partner with a minimum hand, having already doubled once.s

Our success rate is huge. Our opponents miss games, slams, and I cannot in this instant remember a time we got caught where the opponents couldn't make at least game in return.

We have also had good experience preempting on crap hands after 2D (P) with only 2-3 or 2-4 in the majors (NV)

My experience playing against multi is also that it is poisonous. I just pulled myself off the podium in the women's pairs at the recent European Championships in Ostend because I raised my partner's jump to 6 clubs to 7 in a complicated bidding sequence after a multi-opening.

Finally I would like to state that although I think it is very difficult to handle a multi opening, I think it is outrageous that it is suddenly allowed to consult written defenses. I think remembering your defense to multi is the same as remembering your NT-system.

Best regards,
Christina Lund Madsen
July 13, 2013
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Love it! See you all there
June 13, 2013
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Ok, I got some details about the appeal. Apparently the explanation was that 3NT DENIED 3 and 4 - it was a misunderstanding between HH and not a conscious decision to hide the good 4-card -suit.

Having a wrong idea about declarer's distribution induced Welland to lead a spade and misled the defense during the whole hand and so the committee must have decided that with the correct information the defense would have prevailed.

I have no opinion on this matter personally, however I am very fond of dramatic endings to bridge matches :)
March 22, 2013
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Hi Debbie, I heard it from Dennis Bilde, the young and talented player on Auken's team.
I have no idea when the comittee met, however they could have met around nine since I am quite certain I heard the news immediately and posted it here the second I heard.
I am in Denmark and assumed that most of you would still be sleeping:)
March 22, 2013
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Dean, do you know for a fact this is what the misexplanation was about or do you conclude from the BBO-broadcast? Of course neither Helgemo nor Helness is obliged to show their spadesuit, however I doubt that being the only issue, since in that case their wouldn't be a case of misexplanation.
March 22, 2013
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I would like to reply shortly to your comments as a private person, not a representative of the CBI. I appreciate your interest very much.

Dear Barry. I am slightly surprised to hear you have not heard of the tournament before. However it is only held every second year, the first time in November 2010. Stephen Garner wrote an excellent report from the tournament that was published in the ACBL bulletin at the fall nationals the same year.
It is the first time I have posted news about the tournament on Bridgewinners; however other bridgesites such as newinbridge.com, http://csbnews.org/ and Neapolitan Club have written more than once about this year's edition.
Now you and all Bridgewinners' followers know about the tournament and I hope you will all appreciate the info.

Dear Phil. To me it does matter in the sense that I consider Sabine equal to any man. That is why she is participating in this tournament. That we mention that she is considered the strongest female player is merely an expression of pride having her as a participant and info to anyone not knowing her name and reputation.

I would have liked more female players participating, however it is my clear impression that the more female players, less the prestige. I would very much like to see that more women would get the chance to prove their worth by being invited to a tournament such as this. However women should not be invited because they are women, but because they have earned an invitation being brilliant bridge players.

I long for the day a female pair wins an open event - not least if I were part of the pair.

Best regards,
Christina

Jan. 12, 2013
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I'm from Europe and I think we will be slaughtered by the US, which in my eyes is a great team, although Levin-Weinstein and Meckwell are conspicuous by their absence.
I look especially forward to watching my hero Joe Grue and my favourite Bridge Camp-partner Joel Wooldridge in action.
Sept. 9, 2012
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Just a quick reply concerning the practical issues: I imagine that there will be a scoreboard in the room (like there is a clock) that shows the score in imps after the played amount of boards. Players should not focus their energy on what they played in the other room and thus not see the score of a specific board. So there is no need to play the boards simultaneously. It is exactly the same principle as following the running scores as we already can during major championships.

The score should be from the results entered in the Bridgemate. Of course that can be a problem with typing errors, but maybe the players will be better at checking the scores or in major KO's a TD may have time to check the score during the match.

How the players will deal with it is their issue and exactly the challenge I want to propose. If they get distracted it is their problem. In my opinion it will bring a new psychological dimension to the play.

I was provoked by hearing about how Steve Weinstein knew the score and therefore wasn't allowed to play the last board. I just don't see the problem as long as all players know the score. If he knows that he is up by ten, he might be passive, if he knows he is down, he might be aggressive. Either way pressure is added.

Of course this is mostly interesting in close matches and the idea is meant for KO-matches, since knowing the score in a RR is not quite so important (although it would be interesting at the end).

Perhaps some matches might even become closer because the team down 70 imps become more creative. Wouldn't it be great if all matches were close?
Aug. 2, 2012
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It is allowed to be only two pairs in international events. Why should we encourage bridge teams to play socially rather than tactically? Would that not simply lower the general level? Think about how many players never leave the bench in the European Football Championship in these days. I played in Dublin, and we were never near qualification for VC in Bali, but according to the last butler (which I agree often can me misguiding because of differences in opponents' level) we would have had good chances of qualifying had we played only with two pairs - and actually there were so few teams in the women's event that it would have made more sense instead of playing only 20 boards a day. I think it will develop bridge in the long run to be allowed to use the players tactically - and also encourage more sponsors since it would increase their possibilities of achieving good results.
June 26, 2012
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But there is a Ryder Cup. The Warren Buffett cup in the same years as the Ryder Cup.

I disagree regarding what the sponsors do for bridge. It is BECAUSE of them bridge becomes more and more spectacular, because without them the players would not be able to spend all of their time playing bridge. It is even more evident when you look at which countries do well in the international championships. It is always the countries with a lot of professional players, and I don't believe that those players were necessarily better than the am's before they became pro's. Rather they got an opportunity based on a good result and grasped it.

I think in the future it will be even more difficult for countries only with amateur players to do well in international competitions. They simply don't have the same opportunities to develop their skills.

I would rather see more sponsors and thus more professional players and briliant bridge.
July 31, 2011
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I can help with the second row right picture. At the left it is Martin Schaltz from Denmark. His screenmate is Pierre Zimmermann, who is partnering Franck Multon with his back to the camera. The guy scrathching his chin is Morten Lund Madsen, also from Denmark.

Concerning the icelandic pair in pictures 2 and 5, the blond-haired is Bjarni Einarsson. The no-haired I suppode to be his partner Adalsteinn Jorgensen.
July 31, 2011
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