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All comments by John D'Errico
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John is a strange name at that. :)
June 6
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These are what I call the classic anxiety dreams. You know the one, where at the beginning of the dream, you are back in school on the first day of class, and the professor turns out to be a tough one. Then you jump to the end of the term, when you wake up, and suddenly realize that you never went to class, never did any homework, and the final exam just started and you don't even know where it is.

It turns out that many people have that dream in some form or another. I mentioned it to my 85 year old mother-in-law, and she said she had dreams like that too, but usually in a cooking context.

Yes, I've had them in various forms about bridge.
May 23
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Sorry, reading along, I see the comment, “A slightly slowish pass of 3♠”. Looking at the bidding, I see the bidding stop at 3♡. I see no 3♠ call in the bidding shown.

So, was the slowish pass actually over 2♠? Or was it a slowish pass over 3♡?

If you think the slowish pass was irrelevant to the play, then why mention it at all? But if it might be relevant, then we need to know when the slowish pass happened.
May 4
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It is legal to pass an unconditionally forcing bid.

If this is in the ACBL, you can file this with the recorder. If they are seen to be passing forcing bids, then action can be taken. But the only thing to do is to start a record.
May 3
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Would you convict someone who happened to be standing outside the bank too?

It makes sense that someone cannot benefit from those ill-gotten gains. But unless you can show that someone else who was NOT a member of that pair was complicit in the act, then they are just bystanders.

You cannot keep spreading out the blame for those who are cheating to the entire bridge community.

The fact is, NOT everyone in the world knew that a specific pair was cheating. But it seems that you want to assume that everyone did, and just ignored it. Perhaps there were some people who did know.

By your arguments, the others who SHOULD then be suspended was every top pro who apparently knew that pair X-Y were cheating, yet they did not report it. It would seem they are far more at fault for allowing the transgression to continue, than to suspend someone who just happens to be in the vicinity of the cheaters.
April 24
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Randy said:

“I also think if you are on a team and cheat as a pair than whole team suffers a suspension. Pair who cheated forever rest of team 1 year including the sponser.”

You are kidding, right? It may indeed be true that some people knew something was afoot. But to spread the stain on others who could easily have been innocent, just because they got invited onto the same team? Sorry, but that is wildly over the top.

If I found out that someone on a team with me was doing something wrong, I would be the first to give up my ill-gotten gains, and to recognize that I do not deserve anything that resulted from that team while that pair was on it. But to then tell me that I'm suspended just because I got invited onto the wrong team? To assume that I must have known they were cheating?

By your logic, we should also suspend all people who took part in the entire event, because they surely knew the one pair was cheating, and everyone should have been willing to exit the event, rather than play against those they knew to be cheaters. Since they did not do so, they are also clearly “tainted”.
April 23
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delete
April 12
John D'Errico edited this comment April 12
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The poll is seriously flawed, as others have stated. In fact, it is not true that the ONLY reason I pay my dues is for the bulletin. But if I do want the bulletin in paper form, that is the option I must choose, implying it to be true. So I abstained.

There are MANY people who will want that paper copy. Don't forget that a large population in the ACBL is composed of older people who don't have an iphone or a tablet, or even a computer, nor do they want to be forced to get one if they actually like to read the bulletin, even if they just want bathroom reading material without needing to carry a tablet with them. If you choose to just abandon the paper bulletin, then you just abandon that set of people.

Looking at my recent bulletins, I see that a large fraction of the space in it is targeted at new and improving players, helping them to learn bridge, to improve their game. Do I want to just abandon any of those people? NO. The ACBL needs to keep their members, not find ways to abandon those who are not fully embedded in the digital world.

So, yes, I'll admit I prefer a paper bulletin, as I have found I never read the online bulletins my district sends out. As well I never even looked at the new online bridge mag. No interest there. Had there been a poll option that offered the option to make the bulletin voluntary, with a corresponding REDUCTION in my membership fees, I might have chosen that. Just letting the bulletin go fully digital is just giving a gift to the ACBL, an effective increase in our membership fees since this reduces the value they provide. Paying the ACBL the same $ for less services would seem like a signal, telling them to continue with their current course of poor financial management.

Edit: I would also point out that the entire cost of the bulletin would be covered had the ACBL managed to not incur costs like firing (for no discernable intelligent reason) the CEO they had just hired. Or consider the money they blew on a variety of other poor choices. Or, what if they decided to not pay for BOD junkets. Tools like Webex, GoToMeeting, etc., work very well.
April 5
John D'Errico edited this comment April 5
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There I am, standing on the starting blocks next to Usain Bolt. 100 meters away is the finish line. The gun goes off, and 0.1 second later, I am at the finish line as my competition gives up in disgust, because I am wearing Acme Rocket Boots (obtained via air mail from the Acme Coyote division.)

Of course that is not acceptable, and I doubt that most people would agree to it (with a few notable and mostly well known exceptions who shall remain only as initials.) However, simple track shoes are acceptable, as long as they are limited to not directly improving my performance. Those track shoes do help my performance, in the sense they might prevent blisters from forming, they probably protect the bones and tendons of my feet and legs from harm, etc. But they are acceptable. Got it.

So now I am at the bridge table. I'm wearing eye glassses of course, as my vision would prevent me from seeing the cards otherwise. A hearing aid might be present too. Totally legal in both cases, unless the glasses were a special x-ray version to see through my opponents cards, or my hearing aid is a bionic man version, allowing me to hear the beating of my opponent's heart, and to so know when they have a good hand. Got it again.

I can use equipment to restore physical flaws to “normal” levels, but not to exceed them. The same applies to drugs. I can take an aspirin for a headache, or to relieve a sore shoulder. Both of those maladies might reduce my ability to concentrate at the table. Caffeine seems on the edge to me (though I hate even the smell of coffee myself.) I can accept that some need it to wake up in the morning, though I do not.

But to the extent that any drug allows me to perform at a level I could not otherwise perform at, it goes in the dust bin with the Acme Rocket Boots. This, even if it is allowed by the regulating authorities. We all need to draw the line somewhere, and I am willing to tolerate that some would draw the line in slightly different places.
April 4
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You cannot pitch a spade, if your hope was to play on spades for a possible 10th trick. Of course, that only applies if you did not duck the heart.
April 3
John D'Errico edited this comment April 3
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Exactly so. When you cook up a rather lame reason that you hope to sneak through, the real reason must have been far more lame.
March 31
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I'd add one more to the list: in context of my expected initial action, do I like my hand? That is, where does my hand lie among the spectrum of hands that would have made the same initial action (or possibly my expected rebid.)
March 30
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I'd give partner a random 5 count. Probably 3 diamond cards. That means it is entirely possible that partner has complete dreck in the form of a 4333 hand with two pointed queens. Vul versus not at IMPs, why would I bid again? Volunteering a possible -800 is never a good idea at IMPs when they are headed for only 110 their way.
March 29
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1♡ was my choice at first. But my fear is partner will expect some values for the bid. I don't like the idea that partner might want to double them in a high level spade contract, thinking I have some values.

I'd rather show a weakish distributional red suited hand, then partner can help to make an informed decision. So I'll open 2♡, then bid diamonds when it inevitably comes back to me in some number of spades by them.
March 29
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A DCWMP assigned here. Director Call Without Merit Penalty. Oh. They don't have such a thing. ;-)

What does weak mean? These days a good 10 count is often an opening bid. So a weak hand might be 9 or less. So I might see the difference in explanations as roughly 9 or less HCP, or strictly less than 9 HCP. Are we quibbling over a jack?

I suppose they might be criticized for not telling you the hand could be a complete obscenity. But they said weak, and no lower limit was stated.
March 18
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Pass, though I had a brief desire to bid 3♢ as a WJS here. In fact, I would forgive partner if they chose to do so. The shape is bad however. I won't commit us to the 3 level on a ratty suit with no assurance of a fit at IMPs.
March 17
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High time to discuss equal level conversion doubles.
March 17
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Partner has not yet bid. I won't mastermind the auction and start with a preempt of any sort. I open the bidding when I have an opening bid, thus 1♡. We might easily belong in a diamond slam, when 4♡ is going down.
March 7
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These comments are just noncentsical, and coin-cidentally, even incentsitive. But surely the Dime team would find more of an upgrade if they added someone named Bill?
March 5
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What bothers me about having a spade mixed in with the clubs is if so, then South might have chosen to bid 1♢ instead. To me I'd wonder just a wee bit if South had gotten a wire, hearing a result from another table. 1♣ just feels fishy to me otherwise. The director may have had the same feeling, but was not willing to publicly state that opinion. A possibility is the director may have seen similar behavior from that person.
Feb. 15
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