Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Karen Walker
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The first time I played in the NABC IMP Pairs, we had a decent game in the first session of the final. In the first six boards of the second session, we made 1NT and the opponents bid and made four routine games and a 35-point slam.

That put us at -36 before we even got to the fourth round. As my partner said, “We needed better team-mates.” I've tried to avoid that event ever since.
Oct. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I should have said that Harold saw HIMSELF as a ladies' man. He was a bit of a throwback in the way he treated women, too. I know some women saw his faux flirting as chauvinistic and even demeaning (he used to call his female opponents “dear”), but I thought it was amusing and sort of sweet. He was a fun, respectful bridge partner and friend to me, and I will miss his brand of charm.
Oct. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is very sad news. I played with Harold several times at regionals in Illinois and Missouri. We are a long way from Connecticut, but he said it was worth the trip because he liked “Midwest folks”.

Harold was quite the “ladies' man” (if it's PC to use that term these days). In a Swiss teams, our opponents were two women from my local club. They greeted us with “Oh, no! We have to play the East Coast Expert!”.

Harold soon put them at ease with jokes, compliments and non-stop flirting. They had a few bidding misunderstandings and lost by 60 IMPs in seven boards, but both came up to me afterwards to tell me it was the most fun they had ever had in a loss.

At the next tournament, both women were very disappointed when I told them Harold wasn't coming that year. They will be sad when they hear this news.
Oct. 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Players get the emails only if they have given ACBL permission to send them.

To check or change your settings:
Log in to the MyACBL portal on www.acbl.org
Click “Privacy settings” (under “Membership”)
Click “Click here for Live for Clubs notification preferences”
Click “On” for Player Score Emails and type in your email address
Click “Confirm” to save the settings
Oct. 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
64, after all?

I guess we should all be surprised that he hasn't already checked himself into a nursing home.
Oct. 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I was paying it out of tournament funds. The head director (Rick Beye) was just adding the unpaid fees to the tournament invoice and we paid it there.

He's the one who told me ACBL was now requiring him to collect the surcharge directly. That was maybe six or eight years ago. He had no problem, though, with my back-door way of getting the money back to those who had to pay.
Aug. 11
Karen Walker edited this comment Aug. 11
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
When ACBL first instituted this policy, I told the director at our local regional that the tournament would pay the non-member surcharge ($2 back then). That was cheap and it worked fine until I was told I no longer had that option – the player had to personally pay it.

The complaints started, so I refunded the fee in cash to anyone whom I knew had been forced to pay it.

I understand that this can encourage lapsed members to pay up, but it's a decidedly unfriendly introduction to tournament play for newer players. Directors hate this chore and I hate apologizing to people for being approached after the game begins and being treated like deadbeats.
Aug. 11
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hard to vote in a poll where every choice suggests there's some reason this was a bad ruling.

Even “The director is correct” option implies that it's because you're in a backwater burg where they can't get “real” directors. If you want an objective opinion, don't make me bash Iowa to give it.
Aug. 8
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thanks for the explanation, Kyle. I wondered how this was measured.

I know these scientific factoids are misleading, but the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming. I taught 18-20 year olds for more than 30 years, and their ability to concentrate and finish projects declined rapidly the last ten years.

And then there was my last “conversation” with a 12-year-old. He asked me a question and five seconds into my answer, he had whipped out his phone. I might as well have been talking to an amoeba.
July 12
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Human attention span supposedly began declining around 2000, which just happened to be the beginning of the smart-phone revolution. A Microsoft study claimed the average attention span to focus on a task went from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to less than 8 seconds in 2013 – one second shorter than a goldfish.

That was six years ago. Amoebas may be beating us now.
July 11
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I share some of these opinions about the detrimental effects of essentially selling masterpoints, but I don't think it's killing our game. Quite the opposite.

I wish we could go back to the days when the game was so popular – and there was so little competition from tech and TV – that people were willing to invest time and effort into learning and improving. Back then, we could count on newcomers to enter the Open Pairs, lose and come back for more.

Our society has changed, though. The bright juniors you work with see the benefits of playing against better competition, but they are a tiny percentage of the potential market for our game. ACBL now has to cater to people who have become accustomed to instant gratification – and who have plenty of other recreational choices if they don't get it from bridge.

The vast majority of current players (and probably future ones) don't aspire to greatness. If they don't enjoy losing to experts, they shouldn't have to – nor should they be belittled because they just want to play against those with similar skill and win masterpoints.

Our tournaments would be even smaller if ACBL hadn't adapted to the preferences of these mainstream players. In some ways, it may appear that we're caving in to the “everyone must win” mentality. I see it, though, as more of a “Let's have a tournament where everyone has fun” approach.

If we someday have to offer 0-2000 Gold Rush events to entice those who don't want to “play up”, I don't begrudge the accommodation. I'll play in my events and those who want a “safe space” can play in theirs and we'll all have our own brands of fun.
July 6
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Nine-table game, so there were still four rounds left. The alternative was removing the board and giving those eight pairs (plus my pair) percent-of-game matchpoints for the board they didn't play.
June 17
Karen Walker edited this comment June 17
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In a club game, after a 1C opening on my right, I overcalled 1S with AQJ of spades and a 3-3-3-4 13-count. It went all pass, dummy came down with xx of spades and I went down two for -100. The opponents could score what appeared to be an easy +110 in 2S, so I expected a good result.

The board had been played six times so far and it was a zero. All the other pairs holding my opponents' cards had played 1NT for +90 or had gone down in 2S.

The next week, I picked up the same hand, unshuffled from the previous game. We had plenty of time for a redeal, so I experimented by overcalling 1S again. Just like the week before, everyone passed and I went -100.

This time, though, our -100 was a top so far. Four other tables had all scored +110 in 2S. Not a single player had recognized the deal from the week before, but their bidding and play had definitely improved.

My novice partner was thrilled when she saw the traveler. While giggling about how she had never had a top score before, she became horrified to see me reshuffling. Even after I explained what happened, she still couldn't understand why we couldn't keep that score.
June 16
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
When I learned, I don't remember anyone ever teaching me a strategy for planning all 13 tricks. The instruction didn't go much beyond “pull trumps”, then “there's a suit with some length and/or honors; you want to lead it”.

I had been playing duplicate only a few months when I was recruited to teach a beginner class for the local Adult Education program. That's where I finally learned how to plan the play. To present ideas that beginners could understand, I had to think logically about the “why's” behind what I had been taught and summarize it into simple concepts. In doing so, I discovered how to think about the whole hand instead of just the individual suits.

Rodwell's teaching plan is no doubt superior for anyone who wants to become an expert declarer. At the beginner level, though, I think the standard approach – count winners in NT, losers in suits – works fine. The vast majority of the people I teach want to join a social-bridge group or maybe play in the novice game at the duplicate club. They would be overwhelmed by anything more complex.

I like Jeff's approach of asking students to identify which tricks they will be “trying to take”. I had never worded it that way, but I will in the future. Thanks for bringing up this topic and sharing your ideas.
June 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
St. Louis is not usually bitter cold in March, but it's still what I would call cold and it still snows. The 2013 NABC ended with a blizzard that dumped more than 12" on the city.
June 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
District 8 has had a bi-monthly newsletter with a Master Solvers-style forum for more than 35 years.
http://advocate.district8acbl.com/apr19/f-apr19.htm

We don't have as many well-known experts on our panel as District 22 has, but they offer good ideas and we get a lot of reader participation.
June 7
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
What is that synonym for “deliberate”? No longer appropriate, I assume, as the word is that Kevin has speeded up in his middle age.

It brings back a memory from Reno where I was on a team with Kevin and the aforementioned Bill Doroshow. Waiting for them to come back to compare, I saw Bill striding quickly and waving his arms, with Kevin trailing him and smirking.

A few steps before he reached the table, Bill stopped and turned and announced:
“Here's the new rule. You can be fast and bad, or you can be slow and good. But you CANNOT be #$%!@-ing SLOW AND BAD!”

I have repeated that advice many times, usually to myself.
June 5
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I played against Barry probably half a dozen times, and he was always pleasant. I once asked him “Who shot J.R.” and he seemed to enjoy chatting about the possibilities.

He was usually collecting tops from me, so it was easy to be friendly. When I finally got my one and only good result from him, I was surprised to see that he could be gracious to his opponents (but not his partner) even in defeat.

Like many of Barry's opponents, we had let him push us to an uncomfortable contract. My partner was declarer in 4C, doubled by Barry. As partner took the 13th trick, which was our tenth winner, there was so much tension at the table that I could hear my heart pounding.

After a long, torturous silence, Barry looked up at his partner, Jan Janitschke, and said, very calmly, “We would have beaten this if you had led low from Kx of spades.”

He was right, of course, but his admonition was unreasonable since declarer had opened 1S. There was no arguing with the master, though. Janitschke nodded and offered multiple apologies – you're right, I'm sorry, I should have put more thought into it.

All that self-flagellation seemed to satisfy Barry, who finally managed a weak smile. He then turned to my partner and said, “Very nicely played”, stacked up his convention card and Virginia Slims and moved on to the next table.
May 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Richard Willey:
>Our national organization should be creating a
>brand for bridge and carrying out a coordinated
>marketing campaign.

Comment 1: I don't believe that the ACBL has EVER does anything like you describe.

========================

Actually, they did try it years ago. ACBL hired a marketing firm and gave them a lot of money to do research and develop a campaign, but it was not successful.

Maybe Don Mamula can provide details. My memory is that they hired the “wrong” firm, which was essentially just a few people who were friends of Board members, and that the plan they presented was vague and virtually useless.
April 12
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Randy Breuer: “So let me ask I am presuming you have done this for many years do you think the BOD just assumes club owners are mostly like you do it for love of game?”

I don't think Board members intend to ignore the needs of club owners. I think they get caught up in the bureaucracy and believe that the short-term micro-managing they're doing now is actually important. It's difficult to be the one Board member who changes that culture by presenting and martialing support for a “big idea”.

From humorist Dave Barry's list of “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years”:

16. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”
April 12
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
.

Bottom Home Top