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All comments by Melanie Manfield
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To respond to the point that players wouldn't like a ranking system –

We already have one – the Colorado Springs Bridge Power Ratings are available for anyone who wishes to look up ratings. I am not saying that it is perfect, but it is a ranking system and it is public.

Also – players have opinions about the ability of other players, that are separate from the total number of master points that a player has. Does anyone disagree with that?

I think that, overall, there are more players with a large number of MPs who don't want to move up to a higher bracket, that would be perfectly happy to have someone else with fewer points (but a higher rating) play in a higher bracket.

We are desperately overdue to overhaul the system of bracketing at tournaments. These piecemeal decisions (such as the one Max S. mentioned to assign certain people 10,000 points – full disclosure: that affects me very negatively) – are attempts to patch up a very broken system.
Jan. 19
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It would be much better to use the Colorado Springs power rating system for bracketing than using the current system of basing brackets on total MPs.
Jan. 17
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The heart of the problem is how poor the master point system is at ranking players' current levels of playing strength accurately, as Mike G. says.
Jan. 17
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My son and daughter had the opportunity to play in the World Youth (and Junior) Open Bridge Championships, in Atlanta, about 5 years ago. That was a great experience.
Jan. 9
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Many youngsters, while often very involved in the electronic world, also enjoy face-to-face games.
Jan. 8
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@Richard W.,

I have no problem with any of your comments in this thread.
Clearly, there are things about which we disagree – and that's okay.

What I don't like is when someone tells a kid – and someone who was on an Under 16 team in 2018, I consider to be a kid, especially in terms of bridge demography – that he/she literally “cannot believe” that there are people who want to play with actual cards in their hands. And, of course, it also demeans anyone who likes to literally hold cards in their hands, by implying that no reasonable person could have such a ridiculous point of view.

To me, it verges on attempted bullying, when someone says that it's virtually impossible to believe that anyone actually has a particular point of view on something – and says that to a kid. Tactics that I perceive to be akin to bullying happen to push my buttons.

And again, I like to encourage young people to speak out here. There aren't too many of them!
Jan. 8
Melanie Manfield edited this comment Jan. 8
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There are many players – including world-class experts – who want to continue handling the “bits of cardboard.”

And, I want to hear from young players like Michael Xu. I'm glad that he has the courage to respond to snide remarks (of which there are many on BW!).
Jan. 8
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So, I just watched the video to which Donald M. posted a link.

It sounds like there will be a recommended sentence of 10 years' suspension for collusive cheaters, plus not allowing them to play any more as partners. Expulsion for the second offense.

One year (?!) for using information deliberately obtained in advance; five years for a second offense.

And, a reprimand (?!) for using information inadvertently obtained; a two-year suspension for a second offense.

Also, something was said in the video about all appeals going directly to CAS – the Court of Arbitration for Sport. I believe that is what was said.
Jan. 8
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I voted “No” because I believe that the process used in making the decision was not the correct one.

Top expert players in the ACBL who have contributed to anti-cheating efforts should have been consulted, and actually, should have been the ones to evaluate the available information and make the decision, IMO.

From reading threads on this issue, I definitely get the impression that such a group would have made a different decision. Hence my vote.
Jan. 3
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Miriam is a strong player, and I have enjoyed reading her contributions to this discussion.
Dec. 18, 2018
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Alright, since this discussion is still going on –

Nigel G. makes an interesting point about whether South could hear East making his comment. If I were South, even if I couldn't make out East's words, just knowing that he was speaking would probably distract me briefly and slow me down in my bidding.

However, we don't know the exact sequence of events. We just know that it probably took between 7 seconds and one minute for the tray to be passed back, and that the comment was made during that time.
Dec. 18, 2018
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@Richard R –

Yes, I have emotions too – and sometimes I need to take a break from BW.
Dec. 15, 2018
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Reasonable people can disagree, and it is clear that posters are divided on this topic.

It actually seems to me that it is those who think that when a poster has made an analogy involving a death that that means that the person making that analogy thinks that collusive cheating at bridge is the moral equivalent of murder – or of negligently allowing a young athlete to die – who are reacting emotionally. And that, therefore, they think it is important to reprimand such a poster for his or her moral laxity.

I would have thought that it was self-evident that neither Michael Rosenberg nor I believe that premeditated murder – or negligently allowing the death of a young athlete – is the moral equivalent of collusive cheating at bridge. Apparently not.

I'm not going to post any more analogies!!
Dec. 15, 2018
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Isn't it veering off into another category of unacceptable behavior when physical assault and destruction of property are mentioned?

Lance Armstrong was not an honorable competitor in bicycle racing. That doesn't mean that he stuck bamboo sticks in the spokes of the wheels of his competitors' bikes or destroyed their equipment (that I know of).

Time to actually go and play bridge . . . .
Dec. 13, 2018
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The whole question of the responsibilities of team captains and sponsors (who may or may not be the same people), as well as other teammates, probably warrants a separate thread.

It is somewhat different than running a business. Here is an (imperfect) example. Not long ago, there was a tragic incident where an (American) football player at the University of Maryland died subsequent to having suffered heat stroke (I do not know all of the details). Eventually, there was a question as to whether the head coach was going to be fired as well as the assistant coach who was actually present that day.

Presumably, the head coach supervised the assistant coach. The head coach should have created an environment such that protocols were followed the moment the serious heat reaction occurred, and if they had been followed immediately, all of the medical experts agreed that this player would have survived.

After a political decision by a board earlier this fall not to fire the head coach, an outcry from citizens led to that coach being let go.

Tournament bridge is not exactly the same. A playing sponsor (full disclosure: I have been one) does not necessarily have the senior role in terms of bridge experience. I am not, of course, trying to say that a team captain or playing sponsor should not do everything in his or her power to have ethical teammates. A team captain or sponsor should make it clear that ethics is more important than anything else.

And, I'm not saying that there should not be further consequences for a team captain or sponsor if teammates are found to have engaged in unethical behavior (it goes without saying that any titles or placements should be renounced). I'm just pointing out that it's not exactly the same as in a business such as Max described or other types of employment, where the senior person is presumed to have the greater expertise.

Now, if knowledgeable persons have approached a team captain, sponsor, and/or other teammates with their concerns, and they are ignored, that would be another matter.
Dec. 13, 2018
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P.S. Are back-benchers allowed to call for a vote of “no-confidence”??
Dec. 13, 2018
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Agreed. Especially because young players new to the game may have played other card games (or other types of games) where behavior that is wrong in bridge is considered acceptable.
Dec. 13, 2018
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Scarlet letters?
Dec. 13, 2018
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Perhaps as a beginning to creating an environment where players don't even think about cheating, a person in charge of a major international bridge federation would have to choose between a friendship with a person found to have been a collusive cheater, and remaining head of that organization.
Dec. 13, 2018
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Michael is using an analogy. Whether or not people agree with him about the appropriate (bridge) penalty for collusive cheaters, can people not see that he is using an analogy?

He is not saying that the crime of collusive cheating at bridge is morally equivalent to what happened at the consulate in Istanbul. He is not saying that collusive cheaters should go to prison.
Dec. 13, 2018
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