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All comments by Giovanni Delfino
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On this topic BBOH is much better than screens, where it is easy to create a discussion on the different explanations on the sides of the screen.
Dec. 4, 2015
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Bridge rules say that you should tell opps your system, not the way you use it. If you open a 4441 1 NT once a year, when you do it you don't alert.
We could even develop a way to record system deviations from a specific pair and to allow the players to have the history of their opponents during the play.
Dec. 4, 2015
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I basically like that. Anyway I remember in the 80s when it seemed that the creation of screens will had destroyed the cheaters forever… So it is probably best to be aware that we could have to deal with hackers, noise-makers, etc.
It could be an interesting twist to have the software that flashes out together partner's and right-hander's bids.. and to allow people to think up to 5 seconds just to confuse the issue. This way you could have some protection against slow/extrafast bids.
Dec. 4, 2015
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Make one room start 3/4 boards after the other in the last rounds of KO matches, and let the players at the featured table know the actual score of the match, maybe with just 1-board delay. This could cause some funny twist in the endings and will let the audience follow the result at the end together with the players.
Nov. 29, 2015
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I love to talk about the future of the game.. since I think it is dangerously on its way to Death. Let's try something.
One way is to look at the winning examples. How could we imagine 30 years ago, that we were now having TV channels all dedicated to Poker? The Hold'em style gave a new look to a gambling game, while mantaining its gambling flavour. Why not focusing on the Rubber Bridge as a competitor of Texas Hold'em? Youngsters should appreciate.
Another idea. In Italy golf suffered of the same difficulties of bridge in attracting young players. The Italian golf federation started a program called “Club dei giovani” (“Youngsters club”). In any club the members were asked to bring their children together with them, and one or more members or pros teached or simply supervised a bunch of teenagers. In a few time there were more tournaments for Young players, club matches, etc. Not surprisingly, a couple of italian teenagers reached the top level in golf, something never happened before. Why the biggest bridge clubs cannot try something like that? Young people like to stay with other Young people.
Italian bridge has had an excellent program for high school bridge, but unfortunately almost all the players quit bridge once finishing high school. Probably it is better to focus more on the university age.
Nov. 24, 2015
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NO, the coach in stages, meetings, etc. was Giorgio Belladonna. Zucchelli just made a trip to Plovdiv - I had just discussed this. In later years maybe Zucchelli did more since Belladonna became ill, but Fantoni and I were out of the Junior category.
Nov. 21, 2015
Giovanni Delfino edited this comment Nov. 21, 2015
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Well, well, well. Before that Championship I partnered Fulvio Fantoni for around 2 years (1985/86) and I am pretty sure about myself :-).
Moreover, the Junior team of that time was much more than two or three indipendent pairs: along the year we shared stages, trips, meetings, all with the special flavour of being so young. I could recall some memory of those times but it would be really off topic.
Sorry about Slawinsky, maybe it was famous in Poland but I heard about it the first time some 10 years ago..
Nov. 19, 2015
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@ Bob Heitzman: a mr.Lennon citation is needed:
“You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one….”
Nov. 19, 2015
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I think Nedju has been a little rude in describing the 5 categories of players, and categorizing is not that simple- I had had myself in my bridge experience both tried to be paid for playing and to pay someone for playing (and I did not like neither). But it is true that bridge rules don't deal with professionalism, and since nowadays there are Pros in probably the 50 best teams of an average Spingold, I think it is time for the sponsors to meet and redefine something, maybe creating a Pro League…
Nov. 19, 2015
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I can make an official statement here: in 1988 I was runner-up in the European Juniors Teams Championships in Plovdiv. My teammates were Fantoni and Nunes who played together for the first time. I would not dream of returning my medal to EBL.
Reason: they were little more than teenagers, absolutely amateurs, non cheaters at all. The championship was played without screens, the Fantunes system and the Slavinsky discards were yet long to be invented. And we, as a team were especially proud to be different from the people that at that time in Europe earned a lot of money in pairs tournaments with cash prizes.
You simply cannot go too far back.
Nov. 18, 2015
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The difference is that in bridge pros compete commonly against amateurs unlike what happens in golf. In bridge we have also this strange kind of player that is “the playing sponsor”.
This cheating scandal screams that we need new tournament styles and new codification of player status. A professional friend of mine, talking about a bridge hand, once told me: “What does he care about this? For him it is just fun, for me it is work, and life!”
Neat, but I feel that this is the end of the game.
Nov. 18, 2015
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Sadly, there is also the option 3) that I think many people will use: They continue cheating but they adjust and refine their methods being extra-extra careful: perhaps using high-tech data trasmission, or maybe simply using a code that happens only in rare cases, but when it really matters.
I am really pessimistic about the future.
To really solve something we need to reorganize the amateur/professional status of players.
Nov. 18, 2015
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I know that it is not easy to change a game that in a way is created for fixed partnerships, even if in the early days bridge was a table-of-four rubber game switching partners after few hands…
I like the idea of “cities rivalities”, then probably the right tournament in which to try this new approach could be the Grand National.
About systems, nobody can talk better than an Italian about freedom of adopting new bidding systems, and infact I would not like to have system restrictions in this pattern. Probably people will prefer to play a rather simple system, but it is up to them to choose.
About cheating, an important issue to discuss is that in this pattern it should be accepted that if somebody is caught cheating then the blame is on the whole team he is playing in.
Oct. 1, 2015
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Of course we live in a world of fixed partnerships. But this is a real Team tournament, not an individual. In my opinion playing sponsors and captains of bridge teams could have the most benefit from this pattern, and this seems to be the right moment to try something new. We could at least try once.
Sept. 30, 2015
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After Plovdiv 1988 Fulvio Fantoni and me were out of Junior category, so we had no more chanches to get in touch with Zucchelli. He did something more with juniors in later years but I have no data about that. I don't think he mattered at all with FN behavior.
Sept. 19, 2015
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@Giovanni Zoli. I am happy that at least somebody has read my book :-)).
Memories from the Eighties:
From 1981 to 1988 the Italian Juniors had a formidable coach and he was Giorgio Belladonna, who was a real teacher in all the aspects of the game, at least the clean ones…
His effort on the juniors varied from one year to another mainly because of Italian Federation budget problems, we usually made meetings with him three/four times a year but he was never happy about following the Juniors during the European Championships. In 1984 he did follow the team, I was not playing, but my teammates told me that he had been very important preparing every round, and Italy came second. In Budapest 1986 I partnered Fantoni in the team but Belladonna was not with us. The Championship started well, after 3 days we were in 1st position, but then even the captain Resta had to go back to Italy; mr.Rona came to rescue but he did not know people in the team; we eventually got nervous and lost a couple of key matches to drop in final 6th place. So in 1988 the Italian Federation did not want to send us to that Championship without a coach, also because captain Brandonisio was a nice person but a weak player. So I guess that they tried just to find anyone who could go to Bulgaria on a low budget and so it came Sergio Zucchelli. I remember that before that Championship we did a week of stage in Poland but Zucchelli reached us only in Plovdiv and he never talked to us before. He was a fun companion but he never tried to teach anything to anyone.. there was no time for that. His main help was to recommend Brandonisio to put aside our third pair, and so we played all matches but 2 in the formation: Alfredo Versace and me and Fantoni - Nunes. Versace and Nunes were very young - 18/20 - and especially Nunes was inexperienced but we played a very nice Championship and we hard fought to finish again in second place. Junior bridge was clean, yes, comma. One problem of that times were the big Pairs tournament with cash prices. People who won them at that time was usually at a lower “cleanliness” and this could have been said for Italians, for Poles, for French people among the others…
At that time I knew that no one of the four of the Italian team was that kind of Pairs player, and so I felt to be in a clean enviroment. I think that FN problems, if confirmed, and that are still shocking me, arrived anyway many years later.
Sept. 18, 2015
Giovanni Delfino edited this comment Sept. 21, 2015
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What I really fear is that there are things that no video searching could possibly find. If the players have electronic devices hidden somewhere, they will not need to do any strange movement or card placement. If the hands are on display on BBO, it could even be enough for cheating that one player has a wire with some friend at home. His partner could even be unaware of what is happening (remember Tony Manuto in “Tickets to the devil”?). We could even be suspecting who finds a bare king outside… Better to put in the room some anti-electronic device that shades the radio.
In chess those things are well known, see for instance http://en.chessbase.com/post/cheating-in-che-it-s-all-in-the-news
Or see in this website http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/chess-scandal/
Sept. 18, 2015
Giovanni Delfino edited this comment Sept. 18, 2015
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Maybe there is a way to play in a clean environment: do like it is done in golf and separate completely amateurs from professionals.
Sadly I have seen many amateurs trying to steal in my golf club, anyway…
Sept. 18, 2015
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I can say that among all the ugly things that I have seen in bridge, Italian and Worldwide, in the last 30 years, Sergio Zucchelli coaching us was…nothing.
Junior Bridge was really clean at that time.
Sept. 18, 2015
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