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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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The table action may jog your memory since BC was inclined to give …ummmm…full expression to his dissatisfaction if his partner made a significant (or not so significant) mistake. Was he apoplectic when CS tabled the dummy?
Jan. 12
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Yuval - I have the same experience. The machine frequently grossly underbids at its first opportunity, and then makes up for it by wildly over-bidding if you aggressively compete.

Mind you, the 5D bid suggests you were temporarily in need of a saliva test :-)
Jan. 12
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Multiple world-champion CS' 4S cue, coupled with the OP's comment that BC bid because he “was not willing” to sell out", suggests CS passed rather than doubled at her first turn to speak.
Jan. 12
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Philip Martin tells the following story about an auction that John Lowenthal had with his first wife that must be a serious candidate for an “auction whack”:

“John was playing with his first wife, Linda, who apparently had little talent for the game. She had declared several contracts in the course of the session, all of them cold, and she had gone down in every one. John, in an effort to build up her confidence, decided he would see to it that she made a contract before the evening was over.

So, when he picked up a fair hand and heard her open one diamond, he passed. His LHO had other ideas, however, and balanced with one heart. This was passed around to John. John tried to imagine how the play would go in two diamonds. Finally he decided his wife could probably make it, so he bid two diamonds. After two passes, it was RHO’s turn to get into the act. He competed with two hearts. John thought briefly about bidding three diamonds, but he knew it was hopeless. Linda had never in her life taken nine tricks on any single hand. Having failed in his initial objective, John decided to bid what he thought he could make. So he bid six notrump.”
Jan. 9
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Edgar's credibility on the merits of bidding with marginal values took serious hit at the end of ‘80s when his “down-the-middle” 1988 Spingold team (Kaplan-Kay/Root-Pavlicek) got walloped 96-0 in the last quarter of the semi-finals by Mahaffey’s free-wheeling anchor-pairs, Meckwell and Goldway.
Jan. 9
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Thanks Dave - the title alone made my day- the sweet system stuff was gravy.
Jan. 6
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Thank you for the edit…
Dec. 28, 2018
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Chip- seems we’re having what the French call a “dialogue des sourds” - so we’ll agree to disagree.
Dec. 28, 2018
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Eitan - the hotel's advice likely reflects Azerbaijan's general prohibition against gambling (including poker). Bingo seems to be an exception.

For more info (subject to the usual disclaimers re the accuracy and reliability of any internet info) see
https://simonsblogpark.com/onlinegambling/simons-guide-to-gambling-in-azerbaijan/

Suggest the tour organizer contact Azerbaijan's tourism control board to see if bridge falls into a proscribed category.
Dec. 27, 2018
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Chip-I am having difficulty seeing how your reply addresses the points raised in my comment.

Since the Motions judge expressly stated that he was not ruling on whether JB cheated, the judgment does not support the suggestion that JB shouldn't post on this subject because he was a cheater.

p.s. If your view as to whether JB should comment on this topic is based on the ACBL ruling, that's a separate matter on which I take no position.
Dec. 27, 2018
Nick Krnjevic edited this comment Dec. 27, 2018
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Chip - it's hard to see why you believe the summary dismissal of John Blubaugh's (“JB”) lawsuits against the ACBL warrants criticizing JB because he has seen fit to comment on a post addressing the ACBL's readmission of confessed cheat Massimo Lanzarotti.

The judgments dismissing JB lawsuits never addressed the merits of the issue of whether he cheated.

As the motions judge noted, JB's main complaint was that the ACBL had improperly convicted him of cheating: "At the core of this case, Blubaugh contends the suspension imposed on him is simply unjust. He asserts his suspension resulted both from violations of the ACBL's rules and procedures and from personal malice on the part of some ACBL leaders with whom he has had some bitter conflicts over the years.

The motions judge expressly stipulated that ”for purposes of deciding the ACBL's motion for summary judgment, the court assumes that Blubaugh did not actually cheat in his shuffling and dealing, even though ACBL officials believed that he did.“ (emphasis added)

JB's main complaint was dismissed because he could not meet the particularly high evidentiary burden required by Indiana Law:

Though all of Blubaugh's claims have specific flaws that are discussed below, the central defect running throughout the Complaint lies in Blubaugh's erroneous and expansive view of the court's role in overseeing the internal affairs of a voluntary membership organization like the ACBL.(…) barring extraordinary situations not present here, courts will not interfere in a voluntary association's interpretation and application of its own internal rules. Fraud is of course one of those extraordinary situations, but for the rule to have any meaning, the threshold for the exception must be set higher than just a complaint about the manner in which the association applies its own rules." (emphasis added)
Dec. 26, 2018
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There is a Free Solo trailer on Youtube that gives you a hair-raising introduction to the film.
Dec. 25, 2018
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James - you're dead-on with Free Solo. Exceptionally, for a documentary, it is both riveting and terrifying.
Dec. 25, 2018
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Jeff - I suggest you read further; the studies expressly emphasize enjoyment of the activity:

“Finally, a majority of respondents indicated that playing bridge brought benefits to them personally in the form of the game having a competitive element, facilitating socialising with friends, and
– most commonly – being mentally stimulating and deriving enjoyment from the activity; this is the case for all ages in our sample.”
Dec. 22, 2018
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Jurgen - while your point re delivery vehicle is valid, it could undoubtedly have been made without a) erroneously, and gratuitously insulting Al Levy, and b) without blithely ignoring - via a cavalier “whatever the reasons” - the actual cause of Mr. Ginsberg's absence from the bot championship.

Al has spent a great deal of time and effort with the bot side of bridge - he deserves courtesy and acknowledgement, not inaccurate cheap shots.
Dec. 22, 2018
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Jeff - seems to me you would be interested in reading Samantha Punch’s post on the academic work being done in this area.
Dec. 22, 2018
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Ironic that a League which has as one of its core functions the development and maintenance of “standards of membership, conduct and ethical behavior” (ACBL Bylaw 1.2.4), might soon be disciplining ACBL members who decline to play against convicted cheats who have systematically lied to the League about their guilt over a multi-year period.

You couldn't make this stuff up…..
Dec. 20, 2018
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Samantha - interesting to learn of the results of the surveys you took on why people play bridge. Impressive number of responses.

Are the papers referenced in the interview available online?

ps-kudos on qualifying for the Venice Cup.
Dec. 20, 2018
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Lying to the committee is grounds for discipline under section 3.13 of the 2018 version of the ACBL's Code of Disciplinary Regulations: 3.13 Knowingly and/or intentionally submitting, or causing to be submitted, false information to an ACBL Official or a Disciplinary Body.

Presumably a comparable provision was in effect in 2014.
Dec. 19, 2018
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Given that Mr. Lanzarotti appears to have adamantly refused to admit his guilt until 2018, it is surprising the ACBL has seen fit to place weight on the FIGB's July 11, 2012 report which “rehabilitated” Mr. Lanzarotti because of his “effective and consistent good conduct as shown by positive and consistent facts of repentance”.

Hard to believe the ACBL didn't ask the FIGB how it reconciled Mr. Lanzarotti's stubborn, multi-year refusal to admit guilt with its 2012 finding that he engaged in “positive and consistent facts of repentance”.
Dec. 19, 2018
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