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All comments by Jeff Roman
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What Dave said…
July 6, 2016
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When I come to the table it's “hi guys” 100% of the time there's one or more men and overwhelmingly if it's two women. Once in a great while if there are two women it's sometimes “hi ladies”. Gals is not a word I use but I have to say, I was ignorant that some find it perjorative.
July 6, 2016
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Chris Willenken.
Feb. 2, 2016
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Thanks, Ellis! See you and Margie in Reno! :)
Jan. 31, 2016
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If the collection is in pristine condition (as mine is…big grin) I would keep them. To those predicting they won't go up in value…show of hands please, who remembers putting baseball cards in the spokes of their bike, and then eventually throwing 5 shoeboxes full of them out, or throwing out their Erector set (AND the Erector Chemistry set, god help me).

sigh…ahhh, If I knew then what I know now…
Jan. 27, 2016
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Hugh Grosvenor was my regular partner during the time that he lived in the US, and he got asked constantly if he was “THAT Grosvenor”! :)
Jan. 26, 2016
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Cornelius Coldbottom on coming from behind. :)
Jan. 26, 2016
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In response to several messages, R.A.T.S. was an article written in the 70's by Betty Kaplan, Edgar's wife. She starts off saying that this was for the wives when playing with their husbands. She and Edgar came up with the system: Reasonable, for when she did something he kinda didn't like, Attractive, for when she oopsed, and Thoughtful for when she blundered. Edgar agreed, but said that “not that you EVER would, my dear” for something truly heinous, he needed something he could hiss, and they settled on Scintillating. Reasonable, Attractive, Thoughtful, and Scintillating. She then gives 3 hands from RATS' maiden session where she was awarded the first 3 by her husband. The 4th hand is a situation where she wins Edgar's opening spade lead against 3nt, and reasons that the only hope for defeating the contract is to shift to hearts, but further realizes that it's one of these situations where she has to lead her middle heart (something like the 9 from K9x) so that if things materialize as she envisions, she will have unblocked the suit (I don't remember precisely, but along the lines of 9 to partner, low back to her K, pinning the 108 in the dummy, 3rd round through declarer). The position materializes exactly as she had hoped (“What a triumph for the new system that I can think clearly about bridge!”), but the 9 fools Edgar, and with a “harrumph” he shifts back to spades, gets squeezed in the endgame, and declarer makes 5. FIVE!! He stares at her and starts to say “The 9?? Why on Earth…” but then he realizes that she shifted to the only card in her hand that would defeat the contract, and in the ensuing moment of silence, Betty drops the final word…

Sssscintillating…
Jan. 25, 2016
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I've been reading TBW since I was a kid, and have always thought that doing so contributed greatly to my advancement in the game. Like Peg and others have said, I can't imagine life without it. The features, the quality of the writing, the reporting…just so much fun.

The writing of Jeff Rubens is so great. One of my favorite lines was “…the auction in the Closed Room was conducted in a haze of optimism…”. :)

Subscribe! Immediately! If there are parts that are too hard for you? Read those parts over and over until you get it!

Eat one less dinner per year in a fab restaurant for a monthly magazine where the best bridge players in the world talk about bridge, share their thought processes, report on important matches, discuss developments in everything from bidding theories, practices and the rules, give me bridge problems, and humor too?

Total no-brainer.

Jan. 24, 2016
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Best TBW article ever?

R.A.T.S. :)
Jan. 24, 2016
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Sorry! Strong-Artificial-Forcing. In the case of Romex, the Dynamic No-trump was 19-21 (almost) any shape.





Edited to fix a typo.
Jan. 8, 2016
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If memory serves, it was in “Bridge: The Bidders Game” that Rosencranz reported that he had tabulated the results from every instance he could find (World Championship books, etc.) where one table opened 1nt and the other didn't. The pairs that didn't open 1nt did much better over this group of hands, and it was the basis for saying “opening 1nt stinks, so lets not do it. We'll make 1nt SAF”.
Jan. 8, 2016
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Ok, I'll put my head in the lion's mouth…

Everything about the tournament was fab, and I love Denver, with its abundance of excellent restaurants, a free bus system to get you around…perfect. In summer.

But in December? Sorry, but it snowed, it was bitterly cold for the first week, and it is beyond me why we couldn't be in Orlando or San Diego, or some other warm place. Every time I say this, what people say is “cheap hotel rates”. Really? So I guess we're thinking that Reno will have blowout attendance numbers? The host hotels are cheap, and if you look around at all you can stay nearby for SERIOUS cheap.

I think we should take a piece of paper and write 3 column headings: Spring, Summer, Fall, and list where you go in those seasons. If we did that, maybe we could start going to Washington, D.C in the spring, Denver in the summer, Orlando in the winter…and like that.

In the same way that I have remained silent on the issue of WHEN the fall NABC should be held (believing that should be decided by people for whom the decision means the difference between attending and not), I should point out that I will attend, for the entire time, no matter when or where. It's just difficult for me to believe that going to places where it's cold in the winter and blazing in the summer helps attendance.
Dec. 9, 2015
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Don Mamula asks “at what point…?”, and for me the answer is: when you would no longer be willing to let them swap their hands back and forth and then play them for money. If I'd be willing to do that, I just leave them be, or, in cases of cheating, I go up to them after the game, discuss the situation (actually grabbing the board and laying out the hands helps, because you can't give people at this level “you-holds”), do some educating, keep it light. The most important thing here is to understand that it is impossible (ok, ok…wildly unlikely) to obtain a positive outcome if you bring the issue up at the table. At the table, it's an accusation. Later, it's education.

Using this as my guideline has also allowed me to start conversations with “you are a good enough player now that…” and my message is well received pretty close to 100% of the time.

Those of us who have the time should absolutely offer to do little mini-lessons at our local clubs. People love them, it's great for attendance, it brings new people to the game (word spreads), and you can absolutely do “procedure and ethics” talks every once in a while.

Dec. 2, 2015
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Hi Don, great to see you, and I'm sure I'll see you in Denver!

Here's where I'm going with this: If the WBF was suddenly no longer spending money on getting bridge into the Olympics, the funding necessary to experiment with (and eventually implement) some of the excellent anti-cheating ideas would be available. Personally, I think that's a higher priority, but if the top players in the world think that “the Olympic bridge thing” is a bad idea…now it becomes a no-brainer.
Nov. 15, 2015
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Another aspect of where we go from here that I believe is worthy of discussion…

It seems that the WBF spends a staggering % of its resources on the Olympics holy grail, but the relevant comments I've seen from the best players in the world make me wonder…is there anyone apart from the WBF officials who trot the globe on this quest who thinks this is a good idea?
Nov. 14, 2015
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I spent some time doing expert witness work in (what was) NASD arbitrations. What ended that career for me was the first time I was hired by The Dark Side. These people were thieves. Well, ok…they were either thieves or idiots. I put the numbers together, prepared the list of questions, in order, for the attorney to ask me, reviewed what a masterful job I had done, then I went and puked, returned their retainer to them, and retired from that line of work. Israeli expert? Yeah, whatever. You can get experts who will testify to ANYTHING.

Believe me, I was almost one of them.
Nov. 13, 2015
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Marion is right on target here.
Nov. 11, 2015
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Once bridge officialdom (director, committee) is involved, they must go by the letter of the law. The issue being discussed here is the decision people are sometimes confronted with before they decide to call for a director.

(I'm repeating myself here)…In the case of the 7nt claim, I don't have a problem with what happened, because the hand had a “gotcha” in it, and no declarer who saw the “gotcha” would fail to mention it in a claim statement. Once again, the ruling was NOT that this person can't declare, the ruling is that the person misclaimed. All s/he had to say was (along the lines of) “I can unblock clubs, diamonds are an entry, and I can cross back and forth”, and the point is, if they had seen the truth of the hand at the moment they claimed, they would've. Contrast this with the same hand but clubs are AKQJ opposite xxxxxx. Even tho it is certainly POSSIBLE that declarer had miscounted their tricks, thought they only needed 4 club tricks to have 13 and was about to go down in a cooler, as the opponent it would never occur to me to call the director nor, if I was the committee would I rule anything other than 13 tricks taken, because there's no “gotcha” there. Getting that one wrong would be truly inconceivable, while the actual layout only has any issue at all when clubs are 3-0, and that is something that is just careless…not at all inconceivable.
Nov. 2, 2015
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Tom/Carolyn…This is a tough one, and I'm not sure I agree with it. I don't remember the context, but I remember Edgar writing in TBW something along the lines of “the palsied elderly person who drops all their cards face up on the table” and how important it is not to vilify a player who would use this occurrance to his maximum advantage under the rules. My recollection is that he either said or implied that he would not choose that course.

If Edgar Kaplan thought that there are times for strict adherance to the rules and also times for a different course, then (respectfully) David Burns' statement isn't completely correct, or at least not cut and dried.

Nov. 2, 2015
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