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All comments by Jan Martel
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Congratulations to the committee for their excellent decision!
I often think of actions Lew has taken when I read negative comments about something on BridgeWinners. For example:
In a Spingold or Vanderbilt match once, Lew was declarer and his LHO dropped an ace face up on the table. Lew had the King. Instead of calling the director and having the ace declared a penalty card, Lew told his LHO to pick it up. He later commented that he had taken advantage of the dropped card, because instead of leading the suit toward his hand and playing the K, he had just played a low card out of his hand in case the A was stiff .
In the old days when matchpoints were calculated by hand, tournament pick up slips were posted on a tack board, so you could go check that your results had been posted right and your matchpoints had been properly calculated. Of course Lew always checked. At one Sectional, we were declared the winners of the Mixed Pairs, until Lew found an error (I don’t remember if it was a mis-scored board or miscalculated matchpoints). The people who were moved from second to first were amazed that anyone checked these things and even more amazed that Lew would report the error to the director (of course anyone who knows Lew won’t be at all surprised).
5 hours ago
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Remember WBF still has the right not to allow a person or pair to play in its events, with no cause. Surely they would not allow F-N to play in Orlando! And yes, I've been wrong before, but I just can't imagine it - after all, they uninvited B-Z with FAR less evidence than they have about F-N.
Jan. 13
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ACBL expelled F-N based on evidence from ACBL events. EBL suspended them based on evidence from EBL (& WBF) events. So I hope that the two decisions are sufficiently different that it doesn't matter whether ACBL might be bound by EBL/CAS rulings, although I completely agree with Don that full reciprocity is not a good thing. That belief was definitely bolstered both by this case and by the Turkish one.
Jan. 13
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Thanks, but the credit goes to Bo Xiao who took the replacement picture. I just asked :-)
Dec. 31, 2017
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I didn't like the closed eyes, so there is now an improved picture of the team at www.usbf.org
Dec. 31, 2017
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Max is correct. The WBF eligibility rules, including waiting 2 full calendar years between representing different countries, do not apply to Juniors.
Dec. 30, 2017
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Joe said just what I wanted to, except that I also wanted to say my favorite sentence from your great article is:
“The time spent getting pummeled by top players seemed to help my results back home. ”
That attitude is the biggest reason you'll continue to improve!
Dec. 22, 2017
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@Bill: That assumes that women will better hone their skills for international play by competing in Women's NABC events. I'm not at all convinced that is the case. NABC Women's events are no longer relevant for selection of our Women's International teams.
Dec. 20, 2017
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There's been a lot of discussion elsewhere about the new proposed Fall NABC schedule, which is different from the Spring & Summer: the proposal (I think it's been adopted by the ACBL BoD) is that the 7-day Soloway KO is the first event on the schedule and the 3-day Reisinger BAM & NA Swiss teams are the last events, starting the day after the Soloway ends. I think that the reason for this is, instead of the current 3-day starting event, is that the Soloway, with a 2-day Swiss qualifying, is viewed as likely to be more popular than the Reisinger/NA Swiss combination, and it's good for overall attendance to have a popular event at the beginning of the tournament.
Dec. 20, 2017
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Both here and in your list of Gender-restricted events in the OP, you include the Machlin Women's Swiss. That event has been removed, starting in 2018 (see http://web2.acbl.org/nabc/418Schedule.pdf for the Philadelphia schedule).
Dec. 20, 2017
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Most E/W players deal with that issue by taking their bid (or pass) out of the bidding box, showing it to their N/S opponent and then not putting it on the tray as a way to “hold the tray.”
Dec. 20, 2017
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My recollection is that it was just the second session boards that repeated the KO. But as we didn't play the first session, it's possible I'm wrong about that.
Dec. 19, 2017
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Well, the two events were months apart, run by different entities (one was a local sectional, one a Regional) and very long ago, when perhaps the RNG was less robust than it later became. The organizers eventually concluded that the dealing program (I have no idea whether it was Jim's) had generated the same random number both times.
I'm sure the Australian event was not using ACBL software, and I don't think anyone figured out how that glitch happened. Of course it was also long ago.
Dec. 18, 2017
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Surely it is one of the jobs of the appeals screener to tell the appellants if there is precedent for the ruling?
Dec. 18, 2017
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I know I've told this story many times, but it is still my favorite of the times that hands were repeated. Sometime in the 80's I think, we played in a wonderful tournament in Brisbane. Partway through the team event, Chip became disturbed by the hands and finally figured out that the hands from the pairs had reappeared, but with the suits rotated by one - the spades were now clubs, the hearts were spades, etc.
He went to the director (Richard Grenside), who concluded very quickly that Chip was right, stopped play and inserted new boards. That seems like the obvious thing for a director to do, but considering the other instances of which I am aware, as well as the two reported by Avon & Kieran, I guess it isn't.
The others I know of? Well, there's the Dorothy instance & the time that the boards from the Women's KO one year were re-used in the Women's BAM later that year (it took my partner about 6 rounds to catch this one, because of the different things you think about playing BAM & KO - she eventually recognized a fairly innocuous hand where I had opened 2 in both events and she had gone through the same thought processes deciding whether to raise both times. That one, like the Dorothy one, was completely the ACBL's fault - they had reused old boards. That time, they just cancelled the whole session and decided who qualified for day 2 based on the first session's results.
And then there's the time, very long ago, when the computer generated the same random seed. This time I played the first time, but not the second. My partner, Lew Stansby, recognized the hands the second time they were played when he was holding my hands - matchpoints - he was playing the same bidding system both times & had brilliantly arrived in 3NT with mirrored 4333 hands, so NT was better than 4 of a Major. My hand had AJx of clubs opposite xxx. I forgot to lead a club toward the AJx, and since the KQ were onside, we got a bottom instead of a top. When Lew led a club toward his hand the second time and observed that the KQ were onside, he started thinking about the rest of the hands & realized they were all the same. The director to whom he reported this first didn't believe him, then upon being convinced (I think Lew called out the next couple of hands perfectly), told him to play on and try to forget what he knew. I have always thought Lew ought to write up the two sessions, because the contracts were so different, despite the fact that they were both matchpoint events, but I never convinced him to do so.
Dec. 18, 2017
Jan Martel edited this comment Dec. 18, 2017
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That is one of Dorothy's funniest stories :-). The hands that had been used in the Open Team Trials were re-used in a National Women's event a few months later (I think it was pairs). Dorothy called the director, convinced him she had played the hands before (she was the only participant in both events, and this was long before Vugraph) and he told her to play on and try to ignore the fact that she knew the hands.
At the start of the second session, the director came into the playing room with a large envelope, and handed it to Dorothy, saying that her competitors had asked him to give her the hand records for this session as well!
Dec. 18, 2017
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“If the auction includes a bid of 3NT denying significant slam interest, it should be alerted as frivolous, but this has no bearing on any subsequent appeal.”
:-) :-)
Dec. 18, 2017
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@Mike - no, you supply coded information to your teammates by whether your opponent has to arrange the hand. Obviously, if your opponent knows what you are doing, they can prevent this by always acting as if they have to sort the hand, but why would anyone suspect that this is happening? Yet it has.
Dec. 15, 2017
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I think another reason to shuffle is so the player(s) at the next table don't know it's a hand that had a problem and was rearranged for a post mortem discussion.
Of course, coded messages is the main reason, especially in a team game. The way that works is if there's a hand where my teammates should be particularly aggressive (or conservative - we need to agree in advance on what the signal means), I sort my hand before sending the board to the other table - then when my teammate sees that the person holding my hand doesn't have to arrange it, s/he knows the signal I've sent. Just one more reason that it's good for each table to have its own set of boards :-).
Dec. 15, 2017
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Timo's earlier post on this topic explains the cheating to some extent - a kibitzer provided information to the player.
Dec. 13, 2017
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