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All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
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No problem, Bob. Thanks for recognizing my “youth”. I'm thinking of a multi-coloured hairstyle for Providence. Hope to see you there.
Aug. 9, 2014
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Does this mean the vote was 50-3? Does that change it from “overwhelming majority” to “almost unanimous” :)?
Aug. 9, 2014
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Flannery is a great convention even if many younger players today downgrade it. You never have a rebid problem with a 4-5-2-2 hand. The 1S response to 1H showing 5 is useful. Often players step into a Flannery auction and get hammered.
Bottom line: it works.

But a complete set of agreements and follow-up bids are critical. I play that all invitational hands start with 2NT. Jumping to 3M is slammish - follow up calls require discussion.

Regardless of system, many times you just have to look at your hand and take your best shot.
Aug. 9, 2014
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I will not be responding to every misguided comment but I must address the most extreme. John Adams, undoubtedly you know Leo LaSota better than I do; however as the maker of the motion, I know my motivations better than anyone else. I resent your comments that the motion is an attack on one individual – you state as it if it were a 100% fact. Your assumption is false.

Sadly, many players will refuse to post their thoughts on BW because of the personal attacks which often ensue and the nature of what is primarily an un moderated forum. Very understandable.

I have received numerous private e-mails thanking me for this motion. Leo's name has never been mentioned – others are. I will not embarrass anyone by name, but what people in all parts of the country complain to me about are players who no longer play in any club or tournament, sit at home and have accumulated thousands of online points - their name begins to rapidly rise to the top of local unit, District and National masterpoint lists and no one has ever seen them, or in many cases even know why they are!

While I recognize their accomplishments, the supporters of this motion believe that online points and F2F points won are very different. Just as yearly masterpoint lists are kept separate so should lifetime lists. It does not imply one form of the game is better or worse, just different.

By all means promote online winners and lifetime achievements. I believe there should be sections of the ACBL Bulletin solely devoted to Online bridge activities – perhaps an insert. At some future dates, demand and finances may allow for a separate Online Bridge magazine.

But the Online bridge world is very different from the F2F world. We should not destroy ACBL history of F2F play by combining online points with F2F points.

Bob H. – from my seat in the Board of Governors meeting, there were two hands raised in opposition - perhaps I missed a 3rd or 4th hand, no more. So the actual vote was very close to unanimous, 50-4?

Incidentally, I resent your gratuitous 65+ comment – I am still under 65 but it is not relevant other than perhaps to illustrate that older people have a greater sense of the importance of history than younger people.

Fred G. – the Board of Governors motion is not an attack on BBO or online bridge. It attempts to recognize that winning online points (just one part of what BBO does so well and successfully) is very different from attending face-to-face clubs and tournaments. ACBL numbers indicate that the top yearly online masterpoint players win 2-3 X more points than the top yearly club players. In time, online masterpoint winners will overwhelm F2F players.

There is nothing wrong with that but combining the two in lifetime lists is, in my opinion, wrong. They should be separate. Both should be celebrated.

You are correct that I have not won an NABC event - two open NABC seconds, several top 10's plus a CNTC second :) - but that is as irrelevant as the false assumption that this entire debate concerns one player who has won more online points than anyone else.

We should debate the merits of the motion and avoid the personal insults, intended or otherwise.

Aug. 9, 2014
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Hi Gene,

I have no idea if I can enlighten you, but it is common knowledge that the ACBL is in the business of selling masterpoints. People pay a lot of money to accumulate them and achieve various ranks. Lifetime lists are a historical record. It may be of little significance to you, but it certainly matters to many.

The same reasons for separating online points from face-to-face points for yearly masterpoint races applies to lifetime lists.
Aug. 8, 2014
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Ideally, there would be screens and pre-duplicated boards for everyone. Space, time and cost factors make it impossible. But on the final day, I believe it is customary that the top 20 teams (top 10 matches) use pre-duplicated boards every round. Some Mid-Atlantic Regionals do the same thing on the final day A/X Swiss.

I believe all or most of the teams in day three of the NAST use both pre-duplicated boards and screens. The field is small enough by the third day to make it feasible.

What happened on the final day last weekend – some top 10 teams shuffling while others used pre-duplicated boards was the worst possible scenario. A Royal Screw-Up.
July 31, 2014
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Incorrect scores were posted in the last match Saturday night. That was why the Sunday scoreboard showed two teams having withdrawn before play began – they never Q'd! Who knows which teams really Q'd? Wouldn't they have checked?

Worse was the pre-duplicated boards mistakes. I saw Daniel Korbel shuffling cards to play the final match - I was shocked. He was on the Breed team that placed second. There is an excellent reason why the leading teams play duplicated boards – it creates a level playing field.

I was told that the TDs placed some Round 8 boards on some tables during Round 7 - hence, the need to shuffle in Round 8. It was a fiasco. Screens would be ideal, but pre-duplicated boards are or should be a mandatory requirement.

ACBL CEO Robert Hartman is investigating. He wrote to me:

“Thanks for your feedback. We are assessing exactly what went wrong and how we can improve in the future.

Clearly these missteps are unacceptable.”

Let's keep out fingers crossed that real efforts are being made to minimize human errors and ensure that NABC events are properly run.

July 31, 2014
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Instead of complaining, why not do some advance research and planning. I, along with many other bridge players, are staying at the Marriott Springhill Suites, directly across the street from the playing area/convention center. Probably closer than many Westgate hotel rooms. Prices are always negotiable, but it is ballpark the same as the Westgate. Includes free Wi-Fi, Business Center, hot breakfast, free in room coffee, 24th floor roof top pool with panoramic views, fitness center and even guest laundry facilities.

It is 109 degrees outside and one must take a taxi or monorail to find any off site restaurants. Moving to the Cosmopolitan (next to the Bellagio) should be well received (but ACBL members will ALWAYS find things to complain about).
July 24, 2014
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If a pair or team withdraws in the middle of an event, it may be inconvenient if it creates a half table or odd number of teams…in a premier team event it may be bad form…but as former ACBL Administrator and Chief TD, Gary Blaiss, once explained to me: “Playing in a bridge event is not being in a prison. The inmates are allowed to leave!”

Besides, no rule barring a withdrawal without a “legitimate” reason would be enforceable. The team/player could always claim illness.
July 24, 2014
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Hey Eddie, your exploits have reached Canada. You are now famous for more than your birthday and bridge career :)
Listen to CBC Radio's 5 minute interview with Eddie:

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/As+It+Happens/ID/2446022353/

http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/features/2014/04/01/german-doctors-bridge-pair-suspended-for-cough-cheating/
You deserve all the praise. Congratulations.
April 5, 2014
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Two outstanding selections among a stellar group of candidates. Congratulations to both Chip & Jill but double congrats to Jill who has always been one of my favourite photo subjects :)!
March 6, 2014
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At the 1985 Fall Winnipeg NABC, Mike Cappelletti met 19 year old Eric Hochman and formed a partnership for the week. Eric had 25 masterpoints. As a foursome, they came second in the three day NAST (70 points, Platinum yet to be created), winning all four final matches. Nadine Wood and I were their fortunate teammates. For years afterwards, Mike would retell the story.

Back then he was Mike Cappelletti. Later Mike Jr arrived on the bridge scene and at some point the Jr disappeared and dad became Mike Sr! Time marches on… but his defense to NT openings remains one of the most widely used and effective treatments. He was not timid at the bridge table. His opening four heart bids were memorable.

My last photo of Mike was taken last July at the Mid Atlantic Reston, VA Regional – Mike was the NVBA President

http://photos.imageevent.com/jon911/2013restonvaregional/websize/IMG_2750.JPG

Mike & Nadine are once again reunited, at peace, and in good company playing their final bridge hands.
Nov. 15, 2013
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Nov. 16, 2013
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I love Flannery! Super AWESOME and the hand is not too strong in my partnerships. Here is a recent “Flannery” hand I held. Axxx,AKxxx,Axxx,VOID. I opened 2D, partner tried 3D defined as natural & invitational. I bid 6D. The other table was plus 170 opposite our 920!
Aug. 21, 2013
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Aug. 21, 2013
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I don't know anyone who boycotts the traditional NABC 1 & 7:30 start times but I do know several people who took a pass on Atlanta. Remember that 1 & 7:30 also includes 9 AM morning games, 10 & 3 Daylight/Gold Rush Pairs, and zip KOs.

There are many negatives to 10 & 3 (3:30). For physical and/or mental reasons, some players require/prefer a longer break between sessions. 10 & 3 is almost like a Fast Pairs. Play bridge and eat. My sister, Ivy, who combines bridge with golf will never attend a 10 & 3 NABC. Some players like to shop, play tourist, exercise - they want the mornings off.

10 and 3 disrupts the myriad “other” activities at an NABC. These include the Charity & Educational Foundations, Board of Governors, Coffee with Carol, Laws Commissions, C & C Committee, Hall of Fame committee, etc.

I played in Atlanta - attendance at just over 12,300 tables was right on target, but most players who I asked about the times told me it was not their preference. West coast players yawned a lot!

West Coast and junior players appear to be overwhelmingly opposed to 10 and 3.

The good news (from my perspective) is that there are no further 10 and 3 NABCs scheduled at the present time.

Changing topics, I invite all of you to visit my photos from the Atlanta NABC at: http://imageevent.com/jon911/2013atlantanabc

Cheers!
Aug. 13, 2013
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No need to change your mind, Mike. The appeal committee upheld the TD ruling. The one minute BIT was very bad form and he got punished for it.

Personally, I would have tried 4C over 3H doubled. That did not happen.

The 3H bidder should have bid some game (3NT,4S) when it came back to him. But to tank and then only bid 3S was a death wish.

We also don't have all the facts – what was their agreement on the 3H call? Do they have notes? When was the TD called? Without reading the appeals write-up, all we are doing is speculating…
Aug. 9, 2013
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Maybe after another midnight special appeal?
Aug. 7, 2013
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Further speculation seems pointless. The man has resigned. There will be a new President - Bill Cook - for the remainder of 2013. In November, the ACBL Board will elect a President for 2014.

I would prefer if the ACBL issued a more forthcoming statement but it is what it is.

However, for the record, I was in the ACBL President's Suite this evening and spent some time with Donald. What I can very happily report is that Don told me that both he and his wife Linda remain in excellent health (so please put those rumours to rest).

Let us all wish them the best in their future endeavors and move on to other matters.
Aug. 7, 2013
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Thank you George for posting something official.

The news is positive and I suspect that the VISA will be forthcoming shortly. This morning I saw Jan Martel who assured me that she would get her VISA. Both the WBF and USBF appear to taking all the appropriate actions.

It may seem trite but the WBF motto, “Bridge for Peace” is as relevant today as ever. I sincerely hope that everyone learns from the unfortunate issues regarding Bali, and better times are in the forecast.

Good luck to all the participants in Bali. I have no doubt the tournament will be a success.
Aug. 7, 2013
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George is in Atlanta – my team defeated him in the round of 64 yesterday. So is the WBF President and most of the ACBL Board of Directors and ACBL WBF representatives. I plan to personally speak to some of the powers that be and see what I can learn. Hopefully, some official announcement will be forthcoming. Preferably a very strong statement with some force behind it. The current situation is intolerable.

Unfortunately, at this late date, moving the Championships is not realistically possible, not to mention the cost to everyone who has already booked non refundable flight and made plans.

Aug. 7, 2013
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Controversy seems to be a daily occurrence in ACBL land. Yes, the Conditions of Contest state before the start of the evening session prior to the start of the event. The Atlanta Daily Bulletin said 4:30 PM.

The deadline was 7:30 or 8 PM in St. Louis for the Vanderbilt. But in Philadelphia last summer, the deadline was 4:30 PM (same 10 and whenever starting times)

66 teams managed to register on time but the defending Champions were unable to? Crazy!

A sign was posted saying “66 teams, no byes, everyone plays tomorrow”. Later, it was removed and now there are 67 teams with 55 byes. Three four ways tomorrow to eliminate 3 teams.
Everyone else pays their money and can then do whatever they wish: The bye Swiss, a side game, or visit the pandas in the Atlanta zoo (perhaps the zoo is an appropriate spot for many bridge players :)!

Personally, I hope team #41 has an awesome week!
Aug. 4, 2013
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