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All comments by Giorgio Casinovi
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If you don't mind my asking, who are your alma maters? Just curious if it may be possible to jump start bridge programs there …
April 15
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I read that the towers have been spared, but the spire collapsed, at least partially.
April 15
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The tournament will be played tomorrow (Sunday). Stephanie may not get to release the official results until Monday or Tuesday.
April 13
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Personally I believe that finding ways to help existing college bridge clubs stay alive should be given serious and urgent consideration. Unfortunately, I don't think that there are easy or cheap solutions to that problem.

If it is any consolation, one of the former UNC players is now playing on one of the Georgia Tech teams :-)
April 6
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For additional opinions and comments on this topic, you may want to look also at https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/two-level-responses-after-to-double-by-rho/">this article.
March 19
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To be fair, there are other valid reasons, completely unrelated to IOC affiliation, that may have prompted international bodies like the WBF or EBL to voluntarily accept CAS jurisdiction. Jan Kamras (the current EBL President) mentioned some in a https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/do-what-is-possible-not-what-is-easy/?cj=716560#c716560">comment he posted a while ago on BW. I'm reproducing an excerpt of his comment here.

Let's first discuss appeals and CAS, a subject where there exists a lot of misconceptions. Confession: Earlier I was of the same opinion as most pundits here on BW, i.e. that if the price for membership in the “Olympic family” is that convicted (by us) cheaters can appeal to CAS, the price is too high. I might still feel that way if leaving the IOC would solve the problem of appeals to non-bridge courts, but I have been told by legal expertise that it wouldn't. Apparently there is such a thing as “natural” universal laws that stipulate that one always must have the right of appeal somewhere, and if CAS is out appellants can have their case heard by a civil court (probably in Switzerland). Does anyone really think that we have better chances there? Look at what happened in Germany.

Of course, similar considerations apply to the WBF. Mr. Kamras' point is a valid one, I believe, and while that doesn't mean that one should passively accept the status quo, it does show that simply demanding that the WBF or EBL get out of CAS jurisdiction, without indicating a viable alternative, isn't going to get a receptive ear by WBF/EBL management (and justly so, I believe).

Ms. Manfield asks, Where do we go from here? According to Mr. Kamras, the WBF and EBL are trying to limit the range of issues the CAS can rule upon, which looks like a sensible approach to me. Ideally, one would like to limit CAS jurisdiction purely to matters of law (i.e. to prevent the CAS from performing an independent review of the factual evidence in a case), but I'm not sure if this is actually possible. What I'm certain of is that this is a complex issue which, unlike what some posters seem to think, requires a complex solution.
March 6
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Steve Moese writes a reply to my comment ending with:

Both Don and I found references using Google or searching a website. Giorgio can too. Do the work.

First of all, the burden of proof for statements that are not self-evident generally falls on the person(s) who make(s) those statements, not on the readers.

Second, the references quoted above by Mr. Mamula do not answer my question, which I thought was very simple and quite clear. At most, those quotes outline certain requirements that national and international bridge organizations must meet for membership in the WBF; they state or imply nothing about the requirements for membership in the IOC, which was the issue I raised, and the one that Mr. Moese and others have complained about, in this and in previous posts, on a regular basis.

Third, I did do my own research, and this is what I found out: my suspicion that the endless garment rending about the evils of IOC membership did not have a factual basis was indeed correct. It appears that IOC membership imposes very few, if any, constraints upon the disciplinary powers of member organizations (I'll post the details in a separate article). So, far from being patronizing, my question turned out to be spot on: statements such as “ Cheats have escaped due to IOC affiliation” are factually incorrect, and the regularly posted tirades against the threat that IOC membership poses to bridge are nothing but charges against windmills. In other words, the authors of such tirades do not contribute to a serious discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of membership in the Olympic movement; instead, they impede it by resorting to one of the favorite tools in many politicians' arsenal: sheer demagoguery.
March 3
Giorgio Casinovi edited this comment March 3
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First of all, an authoritative statement does not necessarily mean a “statement made by a person of authority.” It could be, for example, a reference to IOC rules or statutes that spell out conditions for membership.

More to the point, it seems to me that if one wants to have a serious discussion about this (or any other) issue, the first thing to do is to have a clear understanding of the factual basis of the issue being discussed. If, on the other hand, all one is interested in is grandstanding, then of course facts don't matter.
March 2
Giorgio Casinovi edited this comment March 2
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Seriously. I did not ask for examples where our authority over discipline has been “usurped by IOC affiliation” (whatever that's supposed to mean). I asked for an authoritative statement as to the exact extent to which national and international bridge organization must relinquish their authority over disciplinary rules as a condition for IOC affiliation. Those are two different questions.
March 2
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David's OP begs another related question. We read regular complaints here on BW about having to sacrifice control over discipline as a price for IOC affiliation. Can anyone here provide an authoritative statement as to the exact extent to which national and international bridge organization must relinquish their authority over disciplinary rules as a condition for IOC affiliation? I cannot, and I suspect that most BW posters can't, either.
March 2
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@MK: Actually I'm curious, does Kantar's 1975 book recommend leading Q from KQ tight?
Jan. 2
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Eric, it has been available for a few months: https://www.tugg.com/titles/double-dummy
Nov. 19, 2018
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Jack, perhaps it may be a good idea for you to contact the officers of other student clubs that have been officially recognized by NEU recently, and ask them how they answered the questions on their application forms. Obviously, some of their answers may not be directly applicable to a bridge club, but they may still give you a general roadmap to putting together a successful application.

I don't think you should mention issues such as the steep learning curve of bridge in your application. Obviously that's a problem you will have to address to retain new members, but I see no need to do so in the application. Instead, I would emphasize the social aspect of bridge, which is the most likely element to keep a bridge club (and many other student clubs) alive.
Oct. 29, 2018
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The charges brought by the FIGB against FN list the following events: “… 2013 Bermuda Bowl in Bali, semifinal USA1 - Monaco, during the whole match an in particular session 2, 2013 Bermuda Bowl in Bali, final Monaco-Italy, during the whole match and in particular session 3, 2014 European Championship in Croatia, matches Monaco-Denmark, Monaco-Netherlands, Monaco-Germany, Monaco-Croatia, Monaco-France, Monaco-England, Monaco-Poland, Monaco-Israel, Monaco-Romania, Monaco-Bulgaria, Monaco-Ireland, Monaco-Sweden, Monaco-Norway, Monaco-Iceland, Monaco-Russia.”
Oct. 21, 2018
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Mr. Wilsmore, your tactic of continually changing the subject in an effort to obfuscate the issue at hand is quite transparent. The topic of discussion was board 21 in the 1966 Bermuda Bowl. That Mr. Belladonna opened 2 is not an established fact, and your repeating it over and over again does not make it so.

Yes, the record of the auction in the WC official handbook is prima facie evidence that Belladonna did open 2. However, by the same token, the official handbook's explanation of the conventional meaning of that opening bid should be taken to be prima facie evidence that the Belladonna-Avarelli partnership's agreements in that event (specifically on the 2/ opening bids) were not those described in their Roman Club books.

However, for the sake of argument let's assume that their agreements about opening bids were those explained in their books. This means that the explanation of the 2 opening bid given in the official handbook is wrong. Then, once again by the same token, we must consider the possibility that the record of the auction in the handbook may also be wrong. The systemic opening bid of Belladonna's two-suited hand is 1. The continuation after the 3 pre-empt would depend on their specific agreements about interference, but it seems plausible to me that the auction could have continued as indicated in the handbook, that is

N E S W
1 3 P P
3 P 4 AP

This looks like a perfectly normal auction to me, although it would imply that the handbook is wrong both about the opening bid and its explanation of it.
Oct. 21, 2018
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As I wrote earlier, I think it is questionable methodology, at best, to assume that the books written by world-class players are a comprehesive description of the agreements that those players use in high-level tournaments. However, if we want to go by the book, like Mr. Spock, let's go by the book.

Mr. Kleinman is quoted as follows: “Far better to open 1 — forcing, in the Roman System …”. However, my Roman Club book (1976 Italian edition) indicates that one of the possible responses to 1D/H/S openings is (my own translation from Italian):

Pass, with 0-3 points and a hand that excludes any possibility of reaching game even opposite a maximum opening …

So a 1 opening is not forcing in the 1976 Roman Club. This means that there are three possibilities: 1) 1 in Mr. Kleinman's quote is a typo, should have been 1, or 2) The meaning of a 1 opening in Roman Club has changed drastically between 1966 and 1976, or 3) Mr. Kleinman had a very poor knowledge of Roman Club (again, by the book).

As a side note, it is interesting that Mr. Wilsmore dismisses summarily the description of the 2 opening bid by Mr. Belladonna given in the 1966 WC official handbook, but has unshakeable faith in that very same handbook when it comes to the fact that Mr. Belladonna did open 2 (and not, for example, 1). Isn't this a textbook example of cherry-picking, Mr. Wilsmore?

Moving on to the 3 overcall by Mr. Pabis-Ticci, the section in my Roman Club book on defenses against openings of 3 in a suit lists these possible actions:

Overcall in a suit
Shows a hand with a solid suit and 6-7 playing tricks, depending on the particular situation of vulnerability. …

Double
Optional, that is, generally for takeout but with sufficient values (quick tricks) that would allow partner to convert it to penalty with a hand that is particularly suited to penalizing the opponents. It is generally bid with 14-18 pts and 5-6 losers and with a hand that can be played in two or three suits. …

(end of quote)

So, according to this description, double was not an option for Pabis-Ticci (the “power double” that Mr. Kleinman is alluding to is not mentioned here). As for why Mr. Pabis-Ticci bid 3 instead of 4, I believe that one should consider other factors, such as vulnerability. Another consideration, I think, would be the expected strength of the 3 pre-empt. Based on my (admittedly very limited) experience, today such pre-empts can be made on a wing and a prayer, and sometimes less than that. However, I believe that in those times three-level pre-empts where expected to be significantly sounder than that.
Oct. 21, 2018
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Very good, so here are a couple of questions about methodology.

Why should what is or is not written in a book be a comprehensive or even an authoritative description of the actual agreements that world-class players play at high-level tournaments, such as the Bermuda Bowl?

More specifically, why should what is or is not written in a book be more authoritative about the actual agreements played by world-class players than the system notes reported in the official handbooks of each specific tournament?
Oct. 19, 2018
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I see that Mr. Wilsmore does not loose his propensity for highly selective quoting that distorts the original meaning of the quoted text, even after having been called out on it. He posted this very quote earlier in this thread, so I'll repost what Mr. Guthrie wrote in its entirety.

IMO the Burgay Affair demonstrates that an NBO should not investigate domestic cheating allegations.

Perhaps standard protocol in Italy is to lose vital evidence, suspend the whistle-blower, turn a blind eye to his assault by a national team-member and postpone a full report on the investigation for more than 35 years.

But Italy isn't unique. Other NBOs handle sensitive internal cheating accusations, in a similar way. Avon Wilsmore cites many such cases including some by the ACBL.

If another NBO were asked to investigate, it might handle such matters more efficiently.


So, once again, wasn't Mr. Guthrie's point quite different from the impression that your carefully selected excerpt was meant to convey, Mr. Wilsmore?
Oct. 16, 2018
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Giorgio, I didn‘t say anything about cheating above.

Yes, you did. When you wrote “My impression is that infringements of the law of bridge in Italy are being treated like fine notices for wrong parking.” you were clearly implying that the cases you were referring to were about cheating. If not, exactly what point were you trying to make?

As to the number of zero tolerance violations, less than 100 a year for over 20,000 members doesn't seem considerable to me. But if you want to go down that road, please provide a reference to similar stats for the DBV or other NBOs of similar size, and then we can compare numbers. Actually, a better basis for comparison would be the number of tables played per year, but of course those numbers may not be readily available.
Oct. 15, 2018
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