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All comments by Hanan Sher
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Congrats. Much deserved….
Aug. 24
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all looks very exciting but what happened? what was the outcome? who held the N-S cards? Understand that the winning margin was 5 IMPS, but have not (yet) found details of this hand. NABC Bulletin says there was 8-IMP swing, gives no details.
July 31
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Cayne and Schwartz, but calm this time.
July 27
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I returned to OK less than a year ago and, truth to tell, feel somewhat relieved. Despite the cost, I find what I call the “reliability factor” a major advantage. Though I still play on BBO, when I'm there I find the propensity of so-called World Class and Expert players who turn out to have little or no expertise to hop into games maddening. That's not true, of course, when you're playing with (and against) people you know, or with whom you are familiar. In short, the games at OK may not be as good as some of those on BBO, but there are far fewer duds (except on the rare occasions when, I suspect, someone else uses the OK owner's account).
June 12
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Gary you're right. Everyone should be identifie. Some of the players might not be identified very easily by first name: Morgan talks about one of them as something like Eytay, not sure who that might be. Overall, though, it's a great idea, particularly since it lets some of us who live far away get a real glimpse of some top players we may not have encountered any other way.
May 4
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I have now checked, and there's no notice of this (major) change on the ACBL website. Which makes me wonder if all the posters on here, including me for sure, have been “had.”
April 1
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oops. someone just reminded me that it's April Fool's Day. Should have verified before commenting, though the shortcomings of the wbf are very much an issue, foolin' or not.
April 1
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Protecting the interest of ACBL members living in the U.S., Canada and Mexico (and are eligible to represent their countries in international competition) is understandable, admirable and commendable. Certain other aspects of the ACBL decision are more difficult to understand. Principally the idea that in even-numbered years, when non-resident ACBL members are allowed to compete, NABCs will become the de facto, if not the de jure, world championships. For two principal reasons: The lack of a current ACBL framework for the kind of competition between official national teams representing a national bridge organization, as is the case in the BB and other WBC events. And the assumption/presumption, all of its own, that the ACBL can decide, apparently on its own, that events it runs are World Championships. Remind me if I'm wrong, but I cannot think of any other national organization that deems to call its premier event/events the world championship. In tennis, for example, the premier events (Wimbledon, French, Australia and U.S.) don't do so, nor do they do so in golf, swimming, or other sports (those that have Worlds do so through a sponsoring roof organization, something like the WBF). America/North America's Major League Baseball, of course, is the only/one of the few sports organizations to call its championship the World Series and proclaim the winner World Champion. That may have been OK when hardly anyone outside the U.S. and Canada played the game, it's certaingly a misnomer today (even after the U.S. won, for the first time, the recent World Baseball Classic).
Though the ACBL apparently has chosen not to formally explain why it's leaving the WBF, the reasons are pretty easy to figure out. Jurisdictional problems as exemplified by the recent cheating scandals, financial issues, bureaucratic issues and possibly/probably worse. But the effects of its decision are manifold. It effectively means that there no longer will be an internationally recognized world champion and it seriously erodes the ACBL's primacy as the leader of the bridge world. Worst of all, perhaps, it would seem to do serious financial damage to top bridge professionals, who (I assume, please correct if I'm wrong) earn a substantial part of their income from fees for playing in NABCs.
I'm not either for or against the decision, it's entirely the ACBL's business and I have not belonged to the ACBL in more than 50 years. But it certainly raises some interesting issues, worthy of discussion by the BW community.
April 1
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Might this be connected with Nicolas Hammond's March 7 bridgewinners post on BZ's “strange mannerisms”? Or is there other material? The post, as Hammond notes, was anonymous – for whatever that's worth or not worth.
March 10
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It's the high of winning. There are lots of examples of that, in all kinds of fields. Winning is a drug that's addictive.
Feb. 17
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I don't mind Richard, though I must say I only saw one comment by Futrell. I try to express what I think is right, even if it's not the popular, conventional wisdom. In this case, I genuinely feel sorry for all three of the “banned” pairs, think it's a terrible waste of talent and intelligence – even if they deserve the punishment, which I think they do.
Feb. 15
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Peter's English, so I don't suspect he'd know, Gary. I don't know either, though I would imagine that the decision might be subject to review by the courts, though that would likely be a long and expensive project that Fisher and Schwartz would be unlikely to undertake.
As for other questions, I noticed that Eitan Levy, a member of the Special Ethics Committee, has posted in this thread. He might be able to speak authoritatively on this and other issues, if he so desires.
Feb. 15
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:)
Feb. 15
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It can be said to explain, to some extent, why it took a terribly long time. There were those here in Israel who got very restless about the delay.
Feb. 14
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Should I say it's mutual, Jack. Entirely
Feb. 14
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Lawyers like that don't wait to the end of a case to present their bill. Rest assured that the payment was in increments, as the case progressed.
Feb. 14
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They destroyed their own lives Gary. That warrants pity. As for the time and effort of experts, it was expended for good cause – protecting the game against cheating by the various offending parties, both those who have been detected and those who are still almost certainly out there but who have, by good fortune or guile, avoided detection.
Nor is it a matter of others “saving them from themselves.” It's a matter of others who knew or should have known, from bridge authorities to teammates, doing disservice to the game for allowing it to go on as long as it did.
In law, there are instances where failure to stop a felony in the act of commission is in and of itself a criminal offense. (I'm not alluding to accessories before or after the fact, which is a more serious criminal offense and does not seem to be the case here.)
Feb. 14
Hanan Sher edited this comment Feb. 14
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Michael, you are both right and wrong, at least in my view. Yes, they are criminals and are getting what they deserve. But beyond that, it is tragic because it didn't need to happen, perhaps because it was too easy to do what they did, perhaps because they could have, better yet should have, been stopped before all that happened did happen. The IBF has a responsibility for letting them go on as long as they did, the people who hired them to play on their teams despite all the stories that were running around (even to me, and I'm completely out of the international bridge loop) for years, literally years, and also to those who heard the stories but agreed to play on the same team with not just Fisher and Schwartz, but any of the other offending pairs (teammates who played the same hands in intense competition and had every reason to understand something was suspect, but took no action so long as the good times rolled). So to this one, at least, it's tragic because it has effectively destroyed the lives of these two young men, as the parallel incidents have destroyed the lives of four other men who are not quite as young. Punish the guilty yes, for sure; understanding what their greed has done to them, yes too.
Feb. 14
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The action is comprehensive, banning Fisher and Schwartz from playing, teaching, directing, training etc. for life. It covers all activities connected with the IBF. Considering that it is much more severe than that imposed by the EBL or the ACBL, it remains unclear if an whether they might, after their sentences outside Israel are served, be able to play somewhere else, either together or separately. Or does the life ban in their home country extend to other NBOs as well?
Though their offense is a terrible one and the punishment fits the crime (and should, IMHO, been imposed on others found guilty of similar offenses), one cannot but feel a little bit sorry for these two young men. Fisher, in particular, said that bridge was the thing he did best and the most important thing to him. Schwartz has been involved in teaching and directing. Justice has been served, but it's a sad day for bridge and bridge players everywhere.
Feb. 14
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Lovely story, kept waiting for the punch line which I expected to be some amazing play. This, though, was better – particularly for us senior types.
Feb. 7
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