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All comments by Karen Walker
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I would be interested in your ideas about the other reasons. I’ve seen other symptoms of this “serious bridge is for men only” attitude, but I don’t know its source.

I am not hyper-sensitive about ostensibly sexist treatment. In the few WBF tournaments I’ve attended, though, I found the directing staff to be dismissive and sometimes openly condescending toward women players.

On one occasion, a male director who was called to our table spoke only to the two men at the table. The call involved an explanation made on my side of the screen, but the director actually shushed me when I tried to answer his questions. A few rounds later, I asked him if he had made a ruling and he said he would inform my partner.

Another time, when I tried to report ongoing delays in getting boards and pairs from slow tables, a director gave me an eye roll and a “yes, yes, just try to catch up”. It was only when my male partner called that the director acknowledged the problem and tried to speed up the slow pairs.

Maybe I had the bad luck to interact with just the few bad apples on the staff, but other women have told me they had similar experiences. I hope this isn’t the culture within the entire organization. Whether isolated or pervasive, these attitudes and policies should be brought out into the open.
Aug. 11, 2016
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Steve: It was a shuffle-and-play Swiss match. No duplicated boards. My opponent's error might have been caused by a lack of attention to the previous auction – or poor eyesight or fatigue or Parkinson's Disease. I didn't ask, but it was clear that he was surprised when his partner told him he had made a jump-shift.

Gabor: Yes, technically and in theory, I did the wrong thing, as 91% of this thread's participants have affirmed. I'd like to think, however, that in practice, some (many?) of them would have made the same allowance if a 90-year-old man with tremors had pulled the wrong bidding card at their table, even if it wasn't discovered until the auction was over.
Aug. 5, 2016
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I voted “call it a wash” because that's what I did when a similar situation arose in a tournament.

We were playing a Swiss team match against a very elderly American man and a 30-ish man from eastern Europe, who told us they were a new partnership.

The older man, who was very slow and seemed to have trouble pulling the bidding cards, opened a 12-count and then made a strong jump-shift. After a long auction, his partner became declarer in 6NT and was visibly shocked when he saw dummy. The older man then realized what he had done and was crestfallen.

Since the other table hadn't played the board yet, we offered to redeal before any tricks were played. The younger man asked a director if that was legal and heard “Technically no, but I'm not watching”. So we reshuffled and lost 2 IMPs on a partscore deal – but made two new friends.

The postscript: Later, when my partner and I reconstructed our hands from the 6NT deal, we discovered that two suits were breaking 3-3 and a queen was onside, which was going to produce 12 tricks. So now I felt bad that we had unwittingly stolen 13 IMPs from our opponents, but I still think that throwing in the hand was the right thing to do.
Aug. 4, 2016
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Great showing from Illinois universities in sending three teams and having all make it to the semifinals. That and the Cubs are the only things this state has to brag about.
July 28, 2016
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Margaret: Here's an overview of Eisenhower as a bridge player. It includes some hands he played and defended, as reported by national media.
http://advocate.district8acbl.com/jun09/ike.htm
May 25, 2016
Karen Walker edited this comment May 25, 2016
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When we have a Mitchell movement, I occasionally move a C pair or two to be sure there are enough pairs sitting each direction to win C-stratum masterpoints. In most games, though, the players do a pretty good job of seeding themselves. Strong pairs sitting N-S look around the room and if they see too many good pairs sitting their direction, they'll ask their E-W pair to trade seats with them.

The opposite occurs, too. I know some clubs have pairs who wouldn't give up their N-S seats for anyone, but it's never been an issue at my club.
May 19, 2016
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I'll be the fourth at your table, if you don't mind having three opponents.

A natural 2NT is seldom, perhaps never, a good way to save partner when you have a weak hand with no fit. It's a forward-going bid here and suggests a trap-pass hand. The auction is uncommon enough that East probably should have simplified matters by jumping directly to 3NT, but his 2NT is far from “insane”.
May 14, 2016
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I have no intention of being a spelling cop, but for those who are interested:

Psyche (pronounced sike-ee) is usually a noun that refers to the spirit, the soul, the center of human thought and emotion. When capitalized, it's a Greek goddess.

Psych (pronounced sike) is usually a verb that can mean to excite, to mentally prepare or to psychologically intimidate. When used as a noun (probably only by bridge players), it's still spelled psych, without the e. The same applies to its other word forms (psychs, psyched, psyching).
April 11, 2016
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I have never seen a carryover that big. Go, Jenni and Greg!
March 16, 2016
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Craig told me he came to Reno to try to reach the 5000-point mark, even though he was going to have to do it with pickup partners. Now he's more than halfway to Grand LM. I and his other old friends from the University of Illinois are VERY happy for him.
March 16, 2016
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Major reasons for drop-outs at our evening game:

1) I got to the age where I didn't want to drive or go out at night anymore.
2) My regular partner moved away (or died).
3) Level of play at the club is too high. I can't win.
March 7, 2016
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To respond to the “why not?” question:

ACBL staff spent days and days setting up the hearings and preparing documents. Five to seven volunteers made commitments to serve on each committee. Some of them changed their bridge and travel plans to be available for morning meetings on three days. Some would have booked different hotels if they hadn't accepted this duty.

That was all set up more than two months ago, but just nine days before the hearing, committee members are told “never mind” because the defendants came up with a last-minute excuse … again. Don't be surprised if it happens a third time when the hearings are rescheduled for this summer.

These inconveniences and the waste of time and resources are reasons enough to reject extension requests that aren't based on unavoidable conflicts or documented emergencies. With Skype hookups available, travel problems aren't an acceptable excuse. Neither is the scheduling of hearings in the players' home countries. For cheating incidents involving ACBL members at ACBL tournaments, it shouldn't matter how or when other incidents are being prosecuted in other NBO's.

The biggest problem, though, is that dragging out this process will diminish the impact of the eventual resolution. If we want to discourage cheating in the future, justice should be if not swift, at least prompt.
March 7, 2016
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This happened many years ago at a little sectional in our area and was perpetrated by the best pair in the field. South was the proper declarer, but North made a face-up opening lead and East then tabled his whole hand.

After the director call, West stood up and announced to the entire room that the leading masterpoint holder in the tournament had 13 penalty cards. Everyone applauded, and for many years afterward, South enjoyed telling the story about the time she got to play two dummies.
Jan. 26, 2016
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Thanks, Oren, for taking the time to compile such a comprehensive rundown of the current content.

Yes, I'm a bit surprised, especially at the entrants in Challenge the Champs. When my subscription ended (around 2001), I had pretty much stopped reading that feature. For several years, there had been a run on pairs playing made-up systems and foreign pairs playing strange versions of Precision. It also seemed like Rubin-Becker were the champs for about a decade, then returned for a super-star version. Their results were impressive, but they had many auctions where I didn't understand a single bid.

And, as Alan pointed out, the CTC problems were becoming so contrived that it appeared that the competing pairs were sometimes trying to figure out how to find the winning 4-2 fit.

At that time, every issue had several pages devoted to “Bridge World Standard - Poll #537”, which further reduced the number of pages I found valuable. And I missed Edgar's editorials.

The price was a big factor, too. For the cost of an annual subscription, I could buy six good bridge books.

Your well-written promo has me thinking that maybe I should give the magazine another try – and that you have a bright future if you choose a career in sales.
Jan. 23, 2016
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I share Peg's opinion. I subscribed for many years and found most of the articles educational and entertaining, especially the tournament reports, Edgar's editorials, Challenge the Champs and You Be the Judge. I liked some of the complex play and defense problems, too.

What I skipped were the play problems that could only be solved with rare, double-secret squeezes and most of the “here's my idea for a new gadget” articles. As the frequency of those increased and the subscription price skyrocketed, the relative value declined and I finally let my subscription lapse.

Even though I'm no longer a regular reader, I would be disappointed if the magazine didn't exist. To survive, though, I think it has to broaden its reader base. There's no need to add content for beginners, but it could use more features that appeal to serious players who are not yet seasoned experts – more focus on how to think at the table instead of how to add new conventions, play problems that can be solved by card reading instead of improbable squeezes, Challenge the Champs pairs who use understandable bidding systems instead of arcane relays that have little or no educational value.

The magazine also needs to put more effort into reaching the next generation of players. For years, BW seems to have been relying mainly on its reputation as the “magazine for serious players”, but that message alone strikes some as exclusive and a bit elitist. As John Curley suggested, they need to engage potential readers by showing them what the magazine offers. Some samples of current content might even bring former readers like me back onto the subscription rolls.
Jan. 23, 2016
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For a minute, I thought I was on Facebook, where almost any discussion, no matter how good-naturedly it begins, can degenerate into acerbic attacks on masses of “friends” for their political views.

I was hoping Bridgewinners would be a safe haven from that nastiness for the next 11 months. I was way too optimistic.
Dec. 13, 2015
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You might want to contact someone from Unit 131 (Kansas City). Their meeting minutes from last year mention plans to buy two Bridgesorter machines.
http://www.unit131.org/board-of-directors/approved-minutes/101-board-meeting-minutes-july-19-2014
Dec. 12, 2015
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My plate is MAKING 7 and my partner's is DOWN 13. A friend at the club has 7NTXX. All we need for a complete score is a car with 2980 or 7600.
Dec. 12, 2015
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Yes, an opinion, but from an authority who was so respected that his views often shaped the laws.

Kaplan's opinion applied to trick-one decisions. The subject of the editorial was a committee ruling about a player who had gone into a long tank at trick one before winning a singleton jack, looking at AKQ10 in dummy.

Dec. 10, 2015
Karen Walker edited this comment Dec. 10, 2015
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Regarding the issue of whether it's acceptable to hesitate before following suit with a singleton – or any holding where you already know which card you're going to play to that trick:

“We have often seen players huddle over a play even though they have no problem, in order to conceal their actual problem, which will come on a following trick. This sort of ‘time-switching’ deception is usually practiced in good faith, by players who do not consider it wrong. But it is a violation, in our view, since if you cannot make up your mind quickly enough to play in tempo, your opponent is entitled to the information from your hesitation …”
– Edgar Kaplan (Bridge World Magazine, July 1990)
Dec. 10, 2015
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