Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Giesler
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This is a great idea. I have setup and run the vugraph for small local events (two tables in the finals for an extended team event). It was not that hard. All you really need is a good internet connection at the site, laptop for each table, operator. And, of course an overall coordinator to get things setup. A key would be to have a practice vugraph broadcast before hand to make sure things work and train operators. Security for the pre-duplicated boards is easily handled.
April 16
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Bridgewebs is highly recommended.
April 11
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Double Dummy a spade or a heart lead allows declarer to take 11 tricks. To hold declarer to 10 tricks you have to lead a diamond or club. It would be nice to see what the lead was at all of the tables. (Play too for that matter since some pairs only took 9 tricks.) The Bridgemates can record the opening lead but maybe they did not use them since the results do not even show the actual contracts on any hands.
March 25
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Agree 100%. Why do we support the Alzheimer’s Assn.? Nothing wrong with the charity but the reason is probably because it makes our existing members feel good or someone knows someone with the problem. Better to put our resources to something that would help bridge. The AARP Staying Sharp program is a great example. Getting a full blown article on Bridge and the benefits of Bridge in their monthly publication (national in the U.S.) would produce measurable results.

Even better would be a mention in a column by any of the well-known national columnists. Look what happened to the documentary “Free Solo” when Bret Stevens (national columnist for the New York Times) mentioned the movie in his column. (Free Solo just won the Academy Award).

This is what our national organization should be doing.
March 16
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All good points above and I would support any of them. However, don’t overlook the axiom that “if you run a good club, the players will come.”

Here are two examples from Unit 141 in the Philadelphia area. Two relatively new clubs that are now No. 1 and 2 in table count in our area. No social games, just duplicate. (I have no affiliation with either club.)

Ami Bridge Club - annual table count for last five years from 2014 to 2018 has been:
888, 1496, 2651, 3542, 3981
Club size rank in the unit based on table count for the same years:
10, 8, 6, 1, 1

Valley Forge Bridge Club (newer club) - annual table count for 2016 to 2018:
1693, 3245, 3956
Rank in area for the same years: 8, 5, 2.

Where do they get there players?
- Good marketing and recruiting for new players
- Excellent education programs
- Current players moving over from other clubs that are not run as well.

AND, they run good clubs:
Very friendly atmosphere.
Offer dedicated novice/new player games.
Good food and hospitality.
Most important: No tolerance for misbehaved players (they tell them to leave and never come back).

(Both clubs are owner run.)

There is a large demographic of potential new duplicate players out there. Just have to give them a comfortable place to come and have fun.
Feb. 19
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I was in Havana just two weeks ago. I had reached out to the secretary of the Cuban Bridge Federation, Frankie Frontaura. He is listed in the contact list give above. This was his response:
=========
Hola Mike,
Gracias por tu correo.
No, no es posible jugar en La Habana, solo unos pocos jugadores se reunen en alguna a jugar rubber bridge.
Solamente cuando hay campeonatos internacionales se puede jugar torneos de bridge y el proximo sera en Mayo 2021.
Best regards
Frankie
=========
As you can see, no luck and I was not able to get any other information. PM me if you would like to talk about any other Cuba/Havana experiences. Glad to share what we learned.

Mike
Jan. 10
Mike Giesler edited this comment Jan. 11
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Hi Jim,

Great idea and should be looked into.

However, perhaps better for bridge might be the Kahn Academy. If not familiar just check out their website. They offer courses on many subjects aimed at a wide range of ability. Better yet it is free to the students. We approached the ACBL about developing some Kahn Academy type courses, but they had no interest. No reason you could not do both and one might feed the other.
Dec. 25, 2018
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It would really be nice if the ACBL would put a download feature of hand records in PBN (and also LIN) format on both ACBL Live and and their website where they list hand records. ACBL Live seems to be set up for it but only does PDF. Besides Bridgewebs, The Common Game also has a PBN download of their game records. Very nice for replaying hands. Would also be great if BBO accepted PBN format as well as LIN.
Dec. 14, 2018
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I would highly recommend Bridgewebs. It is very easy to use and very reliable. It is fantastic to be able to update your site in just a minute. Their presentation of results is also on of the best I have seen.

If you want to use your own unique club URL and domain (which I would also recommend), just point your club URL to the bridgeweb URL for your club.
Oct. 3, 2018
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Eddie Kantar published three volumes of “Thinking Bridge” with 100 hands in each. They are designed for teachers and are categorized by lesson type or theme. Each hand comes with a short write-up. He gives instructions on his idea how teachers can use them. You might check these out.

It would be nice if they were available in electronic dealing machine format but I am not aware if they are. I do have copies of the three books.
Oct. 3, 2018
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Hi Mike,

I have been reading Fred Karpin's book Bridge Strategy at Trick One. It is very good with a wealth of information and hands. All of David Bird's books are good and I am sure I will be buying this new one.
July 6, 2018
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More on Art's comment:
In District 4 and at least two of our units including Unit 141 (Philadelphia) we use Constant Contact to create our newsletters and manage our mailing lists. One of our local clubs also uses it for emailings. Highly recommend the product. It has the advantage that anyone in any district (or non-member) can join the list and you do not have to be a member of the district sending out the email to receive it. We maintain separate email lists for each unit and also for special groups like I/N, club owners, etc.

We also use Bridgewebs for the Unit website as do several clubs in our district. Also highly recommended for websites (especially results reporting) but with CC we have not tried out Bridgewebs mailing capabilities. Happy to provide more information.
Feb. 2, 2018
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At the table the bid was 2 showing a balanced invite. Partner held: AJ92 A5 J107 AQ65. So it did not work out well and your analysis was pretty accurate. Would you accept the invite with this hand?
Nov. 1, 2017
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Thanks for all the comments. For what it is worth we play Cappelletti (C/1MX) just as he originally described in the booklets mentioned above. Several years ago (before he died and was still playing) I asked him this exact question. His answer was, “play transfers on with their advantages - the opponents will never let you play at the two level anyway.”
Oct. 31, 2017
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Does anybody play opening 3NT showing at least 5-5 in the minors and, say, 5-11 hcp. What are the pros and cons?
Oct. 11, 2017
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Certainly determining strength of field (and masterpoint awards) based on number of teams in the bracket makes no sense. Which is the stronger bracket 7 good teams or 7 good teams with two sacrificial lambs thrown in from a lower bracket?

Here is an example at a recent regional. Top bracket has 2 pro teams and 5 good intermediate teams that should be in the top bracket. But two sacrificial lambs have to be moved up from the lower bracket to make the required 9 teams. All three ways. In the first round one intermediate team, say Team I is in a 3-way with a pro team and a weak team. Of course, the weak team is destroyed (as is the other weak team). Team I moves on. In the second round Team I again draws the other pro team and another intermediate team. Team I survives not having to play either pro team in the semis because there are no replays. (I wonder if the two weak teams will want to play in another KO again.)

Having a round robin (in this case with seven teams) with the top four teams moving on to the second day would have solved this problem.
Oct. 7, 2017
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See LC Standard (2/1) on Larry Cohen's website www.larryco.com.

3 of a lower ranking suit is invitational and 6+ cards.
Oct. 7, 2017
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Had to answer “Tournament Bridge” but I would prefer to play club bridge at a high level, large, well run club.
Oct. 1, 2017
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Thanks. Yes.
July 22, 2017
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Barry,
When we played this board, South opened 1H and West (hand shown above) also did not bid spades. After 2D by North, East (with long diamonds) bid 3D. Strange vul and 2D promised 5+. His partner had no clue. Doubled, it would have gone for 800 but they probably would have run to spades. In any case, we stopped in 4H by South. Opening lead was spade ace, they got their ruff but we got the remaining 11.
March 27, 2017
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