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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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“And perhaps there was less discussion of the result than I'm used to.”

I suspect that this factor accounts for the great bulk of the difference.
Aug. 26, 2017
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Well done USA 2!

And kudos to the Rosenbergs, pere et fils, for their unique double header.
Aug. 26, 2017
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Not to take anything away from Allan's terrific achievement, but George also won gold in this event in 2002 in Montreal, in partnership with Bo Baran. Diane Holt and Joe Godefrin completed the team.
Aug. 25, 2017
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Mr. Gidwani - thank you for taking the time to provide direct and detailed feedback to the members of this site who participate in ACBL events.

I am confident that the great majority of the relevant members of Bridgewinners are delighted to have the opportunity to engage in constructive exchanges with ACBL management on a forward-going basis.
Aug. 22, 2017
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Terrific articles Ben - you did a great job of conveying the team's peaks and valleys.
Aug. 19, 2017
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Patrick - per Article 7 of the WBF Constitution, the Executive Council elects the WBF President:

7. The officers of the WBF shall be elected by the Executive. The officers shall include a President, one or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. The Executive may also elect such other officers as it may deem appropriate for the administration of the affairs of the WBF. The respective officers shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be provided by the By-Laws or as the Executive may prescribe.

The membership of the Executive Council is set out at Article 9:

9. Members. The Executive shall consist of as many zonal representatives as are authorised by the By-Laws, plus the President of the WBF, who shall for his first term be elected from the members of the Executive and, upon assuming office, shall resign as a zonal representative. Additionally, two members of the High Level Players Commission shall also be members of the Executive. Each member of the Executive, including the President, shall be entitled to one vote on all matters within the Executive’s jurisdiction.

Per article 6.4 of the WBF By-laws, a candidate requires 75% of the votes of the entire Executive in order to be elected President:

6.4 Voting Requirements.

If action is proposed to be taken by the Executive Council in respect of a) election of a new WBF President, b) change in zonal boundaries or recognition of new zones, c) change in the WBF Constitution or By-Laws, d) approval of the members of the WBF Management Committee, or e) changes to the number of voting members on the Executive allocated to any zone, then in each such event, notwithstanding any other By-Laws provision to the contrary, the proposed action shall require the affirmative vote of 75% of the whole Executive.

The procedure for a Presidential elections is set out at article 7 of the Bylaws.

7.1 Officers.

The officers of the WBF shall include a President, one or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a General Counsel. The Officers, other than the General Counsel and the President, shall be elected by the Executive at its regular meetings every four (4) years held in conjunction with each Bridge Championship commencing in 1978. Commencing with 2009, and every four years thereafter, the President shall be elected, but the term of office shall not begin until the end of the Championships the year following such election. The terms of the officers shall be for a period of four years and until their successors are elected and qualified; provided however, that if an election for President results in no successor being elected because no candidate has received at least 75% of the votes of the whole Executive, then the incumbent President’s term of office shall end without his successor being elected and qualified. Any two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the offices of President and Secretary. Each candidate for office shall be nominated and seconded by members of the Executive. Election of Officers shall be by secret ballot only if there is more than one candidate for the office. Newly elected officers shall assume office on the last day of the Championships at which they were elected except that if an office becomes vacant during the term of the officer, the newly elected officer shall assume office as soon as practicable after the predecessor officer has vacated the office. Election of any officer shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Executive present at any meeting at which a quorum is present; and if there are more than two candidates for any office and none receives a majority vote on the first ballot, then those two candidates receiving the largest plurality of votes shall continue to stand as candidates with any others receiving a lesser number of votes being eliminated as candidates. Upon an officer (other than the General Counsel) ceasing to be a member of the Executive, such person shall no longer continue as an officer and the office shall be vacant until filled by the Executive.
Aug. 17, 2017
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Don - Stephen Sondheim tells a story about Ethel Merman (“EM”) that usefully illustrates the futility of monetary penalties.

EM, who was known for her frequent use of coarse language, was booked as a guest on the Lorettta Young show.

LY was a stickler for decorum, and warned EM that she'd be fined a quarter each time she used ‘unladylike’ language during rehearsals.

After paying out fifty cents for minor transgressions, EM shoved a bill in LY's hand and barked ‘Here’s 10 bucks, now f…off.'
Aug. 7, 2017
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If they try to butt into a movie line they will be subject to a degree of social disapproval that is absent when they are speeding down the highway….
Aug. 1, 2017
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Danny - there's definitely something wrong with using MPs as the sole criteria for a 0-10K event if a Hall of Fame Member who has won four medals in WBF team-play plus 15 national team championships was eligible to play (and did play) in the event.
July 31, 2017
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Make that European - anadian. Fred and Kamel, who are having a great tournament, are from Montreal.
July 27, 2017
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Linda - Granovetter has been on both ends of huge comebacks.

He was on the wrong end in the mid-70s, but the team that prevailed was anchored by the subsequently infamous firm of Katz & Cohen, so it's unlikely that match is a useful illustration of the benefits of fighting on until the last board.

Granovetter's win is a great example: in the late 80s P/M Granovetter and Stewart/Weinstein made up a 60 imp deficit in the last quarter against Kit W. and Co. in a Vanderbilt match , and went on to win a 12 board play-off by a staggering 50+ imps.

The Kaplan match was a disaster that Edgar K. couldn't bear to write up in the Bridge World.

In the late 80s Meckwell/Goldway turned a 60 imp deficit into roughly a 30+ imp victory against Kaplan/Kay Pavlicek Root.

Back then Kaplan wrote the Bridge World's “Spinderbilt” articles but he couldn't bring himself to do this report, which was authored by Jeff Rubens.
July 25, 2017
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The human occasionally has to egregiously overbid in competitive situations because GIB has failed to compete with a hand that screams for action.
July 21, 2017
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Phil - my guess is that removing best hand will expose GIB's significant weaknesses.

In particular, knowing the human has the best hand greatly simplifies GIB's defense in a large number of scenarios. Take this away and GIB will frequently be floundering on defense.

The best hand feature also simplifies GIB's constructive and competitive bidding. Take it away and I suspect GIB will be out in left field on a significant number of auctions.
July 14, 2017
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Benoit - both the Courts and the police held there was no collusion.

This is a case where you need to apply Hanlon's Razor (Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity).

Ivey and Sun won $10.3M doing exactly the same thing at the Borgata in New Jersey in April/May 2012 (the casino sued and won the first round).

Both the US and the UK Courts found that the casinos - who had no clue about edge-sorting - were quite happy to humor the superstitious tendencies of a high-roller who had previously wired several million into an account with the casino that he would draw from while playing.

The casinos were also happy to allow the “superstitious” Ivey to have a non-playing seat-mate (Sun) for good luck, and agreed to follow her “superstitious” requests to turn “bad cards” a certain way and “good cards” another way.

The casinos were equally happy to allow the “superstitious” Ivey to request that the deck (which had now been edge-sorted )be used on multiple occasions.

The casinos were also delighted to have the publicity that Ivey brings with him.

But the casinos were astonishingly naive. Given that Ivey is one of the best known “advantage” players in the world of professional gambling, it beggars belief that the croupiers, with the approval of the pit boss and the floor manager, agreed to Ivey's request that the used,edge-sorted deck be re-used.

Since the leading edge of the first card in the shoe is visible before the cards are dealt, Ivey (via Sun) was able to see if the first card on every hand was a “bad card” or a “good card”.

Not surprisingly, Ivey was *much* more successful the second (and third and fourth etc) time the “lucky” deck was used.

Instead of simply telling Ivey “sorry - new deck”, the casinos - in a breath-taking display of naivete - decided to treat him as though he was simply another superstitious sucker whose luck would eventually turn, and they plied him with complimentary benefits to keep him playing.

It is very difficult to have any sympathy for the casinos: their blind greed led them to agree to a shark's request that they bend their own rules.

The casinos should be embarrassed to now ask a Court for protection when, inevitably, it turned out that they, and not Ivey, were the suckers.
July 14, 2017
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Allan - the treatment's name comes from its creator: Lou Bluhm.
July 13, 2017
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Benoit - the trial judge expressly held that the croupier was an “innocent agent”. That finding was accepted by the Court of Appeal.
July 13, 2017
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The appeal decision can be found at the following link:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1093.html

The dissent issued by Lady Justice Sharp is concise and persuasive.
July 12, 2017
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The article includes a link which suggests that the “source” for the bridge assessment is a paper published nearly 20 years ago by Matt Ginsberg, entitled “GIB: Steps towards an expert-level bridge player program”.

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that the author of the article, Oliver Roeder, simply read the opening line of the one-paragraph abstract of Ginsberg's paper and erroneously assumed that GIB must be a world-class program because it came 12th in the 1998 Par Contest held during the Lille Olympiad.
July 10, 2017
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Phil - you're right that the small comparison is an aggravating factor, but it seems to me that the best hand feature is driving most of the fantasy land results. Remove that feature and Jim's bot pard will hang him on many of the hands he is currently operating on.
July 9, 2017
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Yu - I'd bet you'd see a lot of 1NT overcalls of 1S were you playing in a GIB game :-)
July 7, 2017
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