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All comments by Dave Feldman
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The Vu-Graph coverage was outstanding all week long. Thanks to Jan, the voice and print commentators, and the best Vu-Graph operators I can remember. Special praise to Oren, who was outstanding in providing details about what the players were saying and how they were acting (while still getting the cardplay right).
May 15, 2016
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Judy, Remember when the ACBL convention card had a box for psychs, and we had to check one of three boxes: frequent, seldom, and never. I believe the working definition of “frequent” was approximately one psych per session (or was it once per day in a 2-session event?).
April 11, 2016
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The world needs more Feldmans!
April 2, 2016
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Now THIS is how to lower the age of bridge players!
March 1, 2016
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I have a strong preference for a business redouble. Passing to force a redouble takes partner out of the auction if LHO bids over a pass. You want him to be able to double a runout from LHO.

So we play:

XX = business

Pass=denies the ability to make a penalty redouble and usually shows any one-suiter that isn't interested in game. Partner usually redoubles over the pass but is allowed to bid a good 5-card (or longer) minor suit. Any bid by me ostensibly shows a 5+ card suit, with one exception. If I bid 2C and it gets doubled, a redouble by me shows short clubs, usually exactly 4=4=4=1.

All 2X bids show that suit and a higher-ranked suit, at least 4-4.

2N = minors.

We can't play 1N X and have to decide what's best when we have 4-3-3-3- hands.
Feb. 11, 2016
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Not quite, Peter. The Thursday column was in response to already exhibited bad behavior, not an attempt to forestall abuse.Thus Jeff's “particularly the first few days of the tournament.”
Dec. 7, 2015
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Word from hourly wage workers at hotels trickles up to management. In the case of employee abuse, unions often get involved, too. I'm sure the management of the hotel doesn't relish complaining to ACBL brass about how badly its members behave. The ACBL imposes many problems on hotels, not the least massive traffic periods. I know the ACBL has a hard time convincing staff that the hotel really is going to get a huge demand for dinners at 5:00 p.m. and the bar will be dead at 10:00 p.m. and hopping at 11:30. When the staff levels aren't up to the job,bridge players get justifiably grumpy and unjustifiably hostile.

Many of the “chain” hotels are managed by Marriott or other chains, and owned by investors or individuals, who talk to each other. I have no idea whether we've ever lost hotels (and in some cases, only one hotel in a city might be capable of hosting a national) because of our misbehavior, but I wouldn't be surprised.
Dec. 3, 2015
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This is a subject dear to my heart. During the last nationals in San Francisco, I was talking to one of the cash concession workers at the Marriott during an evening session. She was in her 60s, and had worked at this location for more than 20 years. WIth resignation, she said that the ACBL was the worst-behaved group she had ever seen. She invited me to stay behind her and observe the behavior.

It was an eye-opener. With notable exceptions, about the best she could hope for was a grunt of recognition when she waited on players. Many whined at her about the cost of the goods or the absence of their particular favorite fresh fruit or beverage. A smaller number were outright abusive, yelling about short waits or issues that were clearly not controlled by these workers.

Flash forward to New Orleans this year. I befriended a bartender at the main bar at the host hotel. I was embarrassed by the way she (and the rest of the crew) was treated by bridge players. Two weeks later, I was back at the New Orleans Marriott for a slightly smaller convention (3000+) and the contrast was stark. The bartender was buoyant. The bar wasn't as busy but her tips were higher. She said the staff was just recovering from shell-shock after almost two weeks with bridge players.

Although the sloppiness of bridge players is far from admirable, what rankles the hotel employees (and their management) is the abusive behavior. Hourly workers are not subhumans. We should strive to treat fellow bridge players well, but let's also have zero tolerance for thoughtless behavior away from the table, too.
Dec. 3, 2015
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“I think talking through one's thought processes would help some players and hurt others.”

Michael, I'm not clear what you mean by the above.
Nov. 29, 2015
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The ACBL results link seems to be up and running so far this tournament, but I greatly appreciate these updates, BW. Thanks!
Nov. 28, 2015
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I think Ed nails the crucial element, and why “semi-forcing” doesn't bother me. If 2N and 3N responses to 1M are conventional raises, and 1N carries the freight of many hands that range from 5-14 HCP, it is far better to alert the 1N than the rebid by opener.
Nov. 21, 2015
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Where is Michael Clark when we need him?
Nov. 11, 2015
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You have much to be proud of, Mariusz.
Nov. 7, 2015
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Peter, Cal won. Rev is smiling.
Nov. 2, 2015
Dave Feldman edited this comment Nov. 2, 2015
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Laura, I just want to add that whenever I see that there is a new post from you, I know that there will be something worth reading, and provided without frills or prejudice. Thanks!
Nov. 1, 2015
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Go Bears! See you on Vu-Graph.
Nov. 1, 2015
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Pat, be careful what conclusions you make, though. On a percentage basis, women's entry into traditionally male specialties has outstripped, say, obstetrics and pediatrics, by a wide margin. My father was a physician, and befriended several most of the women in his medical class at Northwestern. Many were prevented from entering traditionally male specialties.

The same pattern can be found in stats for lawyers.
Oct. 31, 2015
Dave Feldman edited this comment Nov. 1, 2015
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Pat, Check out page 17 of this link: https://www.aamc.org/download/313228/data/2012physicianspecialtydatabook.pdf These breakdowns were as of 2010, and includes physicialns 60 years older than current medical students. The breakdown of medical students in 2015 would be radically different. For example, practicing neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons are overwhelmingly male<10%, but nearly half of them are 55+ years old.
Oct. 31, 2015
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