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All comments by Melanie Manfield
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I disagree with Steve M. that, if ACBL Board members were all aware of these potential conflicts of interest, because Mr. Whipple disclosed them, that that means it was inappropriate to provide this information to the membership as a whole. In other words, whatever one may think of the approach or tone of this disclosure, and no matter what motivated it, I still think that it is a good thing for the membership as a whole to have this information.

Right now, it's about as clear as mud to me how to feel about this REACH concept.
an hour ago
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I'm not sure whether or not anyone will even be coming back to this thread at this point, but here is an off-topic story (that has something to do with two cultures separated by a common language).

In 1980-81, I was studying (in an American program) in Bologna, Italy. Looking back, there were many large news stories that year, including some that were too close for comfort (such as when I traveled with friends to Munich for the Oktoberfest, and we actually heard the bomb go off –faintly, at a distance).

I spent the Christmas holidays with a family in Rotherham, in England. One evening, watching television in the sitting room (the children were in bed), a quiet announcement came on the TV, that: “A man has been detained for questioning” in the case of the Yorkshire Ripper. One of my hosts immediately said: “They've got the Yorkshire Ripper.”

Huh? I didn't say anything, but I was surprised. Yes, I knew enough at that point to expect that the English (from my point of view) were sometimes quieter, more formal, not as visibly emotional as Americans – but could this quiet statement really mean that the Yorkshire Ripper had been caught? This was a man who killed 13 women and tried to kill 7 more in the late 1970s. Not only that – I was actually in Yorkshire when this announcement was made! Residents of Rotherham and nearby Sheffield, where I spent time that holiday, were very much aware that a serial killer was on the loose (I see now from a quick Google search that he was actually detained in Sheffield).

Could that low-key, calm statement about a man being detained for questioning really mean that it was all over? That the Yorkshire Ripper had really been caught? I deferred to my hosts, but I didn't see how the English could be quite so low-key in this case, and therefore I still wasn't sure that that announcement meant that the Yorkshire Ripper had really been caught.

It could, of course. And it did.
3 hours ago
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This is off-topic, but since people are waxing nostalgic, and since the OP is from Italy . . . .

Thirty-five years ago, when I studied in Bologna for ten months, I received the news of the death of an uncle through a “snail mail” letter about 10 or 12 days afterwards. I suppose that (besides the sadness of the situation), my mother didn't think that it made sense to go to the trouble and expense of arranging a transatlantic phone call, given that there was no chance that I would be able to return to the States for the funeral. Very different from today's communication methods.

When I arrived in Bologna, the national Festa dell' Unita of the Communist Party happened to be taking place there. Many of the “vecchi partigiani” from the second World War were there – then about the same age that I am now, I suppose (late middle age). Sandro Pertini was President of Italy – I met him briefly (what I mean by that is, I got to hold a door open for him and say: “Benvenuto, Signore Presidente)”. We students in the Johns Hopkins program (classes in English) could have lunch at the University of Bologna's mensa, any day we chose. A first course, entree, side dish and bottle of water cost 550 lire – with wine instead of water, 600. $1 was worth about 800 lire at the time.

And, I could never have imagined that, one day, if I forgot some of the words to the song “Per I Morti di Reggio Emilia”, I could just click on a couple of buttons and hear (and see) Fausto Amodei singing it on You Tube.
Jan. 20
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Because this thread hasn't gone on long enough, I thought I would share a hand/situation that arose very recently – I would describe the game as the strongest club game of the week in my area. There are “A” and “B” and novice sections. I was playing in the Flight A, with a partner who has a bit less experience than many in the Flight A – he sometimes plays in the Flight B – and less experience than our opponents on this hand.

White against Red, my hand was:

A2
J92
732
AK865.

In first seat, my partner opened 1. RHO passed, and I chose to bid 1NT (forcing). LHO doubled, partner bid 2, RHO bid 2, and I bid 4.

After the opening lead, as I was putting my hand down as dummy, LHO raised his voice a little (not shouting), and, speaking very quickly, addressed my partner, asking what I had shown. I began to state that LHO could now see my hand, but he cut me off and continued to ask my partner the question. My partner, now seeing my hand, said something like: “I don't know why she bid it that way – she has a game-forcing hand.”

LHO now looked at my hand, and indicated in some manner that everything was okay. Play then proceeded.

Partner's hand:

S K4
H KQ10854
D KJ86
C 2
Jan. 20
Melanie Manfield edited this comment Jan. 20
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It’s possible to have watched films from before one was born!
Jan. 19
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Thank you for your explanation, Don.

It seems to me that the WBL is a lot like a country club or private club, in many ways.

Such a club often has an entrance fee so high that most persons would have to choose between saving to buy a home or joining a country club. In addition, one has to “know a lot of people” who belong already, because those who apply to become members can be rejected with no explanation.

The lack of transparency and accountability – including financial transparency – and apparent power to be blithely unconcerned about members' views, doesn't really seem in line with what one would expect of an open, nonprofit/NGO membership organization, which anyone who pays (pretty nominal) dues and follows the rules can join.

Unrecorded votes – having to guess at how WBF representatives voted – that is shocking, even for the WBF.
Jan. 19
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To paraphrase you, David, in this auction a direct raise from one to two is an attempt to go down in something before the opponents get a chance to go down in something.
Jan. 19
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While I believe that the ACBL has made much progress, no one is trying to claim that it is perfect (to the best of my knowledge . . . ).

Another question that occurs to me (belatedly) has to do with the voting to elect WBF officers (subquestion – is it the ACBL or the USBF that votes on behalf of the U.S.?)

Who decides how the U.S. or North American delegates vote, for example, for President of the WBF? It seems that “we” voted for the status quo to continue, last time around.
Many believe that that was not a good decision.
Jan. 18
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I understand. The 2,000 Swiss francs is what was awarded to them towards their legal fees.
Jan. 18
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So, Nick – are you saying that the 80/20 split for arbitration costs – of which the EBL has to pay the 80% –does not include the legal costs?
Okay, now I think I see – it says that the CAS Court Office will calculate the costs of the arbitration and notify the parties.

So, those arbitration costs are relatively insignificant as compared to the total legal costs.
Got it.
Jan. 18
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I believe that the EBL has to pay 80% of total court costs, plus 2,000 Swiss Francs.
Jan. 18
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Jeff – I'm not trying to be snarky – but why does North have to explain bidding over 3 Spades? After South bids again, North has a hand at the high end of a constructive raise, which clearly has improved after an opponent bid clubs. And, North's partner bid again freely (also perfectly reasonable, given a full opener and a known 9-card fit).

I certainly don't doubt your sincerity. But, have to admit, if I were North and East called the director, I might be not only puzzled but a bit miffed.
Jan. 18
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Many people in the Washington, D.C. area play 1M/*/2C as a constructive raise (7 to 9) with 3 card support, and 1M/*/2D as a constructive raise (7 to 9) with 4 card support.
Jan. 18
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South opened in third seat. North made a judgement call. When South bid freely again, North used that information to make another judgement call. Just one person's opinion!
Jan. 18
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As a practical matter, I truly hope that word will be forthcoming very soon, one way or another, as to whether F and N will be permitted to play in Orlando in September or not.

With all of this mess that has been created, it seems to me that the least that could be done ASAP would be for the relevant organizations to make it very clear which events this pair will be permitted to play in, and when.

It would be a small step in the right direction.
Jan. 18
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Hi Art,

I respectfully disagree that these discussions are merely whining, and that they are irrelevant. There are some decisions to be made.

For example, as a member of the USBF (which I respect highly), I received an email yesterday about a special experimental event at clubs that is happening early next month. It is called REACH – Regional At the Club House, and will take place February 3, and February 5-9. Here is the link to the list of participating clubs I was sent:

http://bridgefinesse.com/RAC/EligibleClubs.html

The email contained this sentence:

“The REACH (Regional at the Club House) is an experimental tournament, the profits from which are earmarked to help pay WBF dues.”

The timing is a tad unfortunate . . . .
Jan. 18
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Boye Brogeland definitely has the Sheriff Will Kane role sewn up!
Jan. 18
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Thank you, Andy, for your very helpful comments.


Note: I now have read above apology, so also amended my comments.
Jan. 17
Melanie Manfield edited this comment Jan. 18
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Someone told me that if the ACBL also sanctions the tournament (along with the WBF) that they could prevent them from attending.

This is one reason why I started a new topic – it is confusing to me to figure out how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together, and who takes precedence in which circumstances.
Jan. 17
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