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All comments by Nick Krnjevic
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Surprising to see that Auken-Von Arnim are not playing for Germany.
June 14, 2012
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Henry - given Sartaj's somewhat casual reply to Eugene's first comment, can you explain why average numbers of imps generated from oceans of data are relevant. Unless I've misunderstood Manning's article (which is a live possibility, isn't the answer dependent on the relative difference in skill between the two teams?
June 12, 2012
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The French have a wonderful expression - ‘dialogue des sourds’ (dialogue of the deaf) - that aptly describes the 2 main opposing views expressed in this thread.

Surely those who criticize Meck can recognize that his opponents were in breach of the Laws, and acknowledge that he was legally entitled to call the director.

And surely those who champion Meck can recognize that if - as eyewitness Tom Peters describes - Meckwell proceeded to use their *own* copy of a custom-made Multi Defence then Meck's director call was morally bush-league, regardless of its legality.
March 26, 2012
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While it may seem mercenary, Meck is in the business of winning. If strict enforcement of the rules provides a tactical opportunity, then so be it.

Edgar had the right view - if a particular rule fosters opportunistic, unsportsmanlike conduct then change the rule.
March 22, 2012
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Michael - thanks for the follow-up. Kit's pard has my heartfelt sympathies :-)
Feb. 29, 2012
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Michael - while I agree that many would bid 3D in first seat, to say that Pass is an *impossible* call seems a mild overbid.

I am intrigued by your belief that 5D-X would be the “quite likely” result were the W and N hands reversed.

I am curious as to how you see the bidding developing in such event. I must confess to having some difficulty constructing a plausible auction in which East doesn't bid to at least 5H.

Cheers.

Feb. 27, 2012
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Kit: next time the West and North hands will be reversed :-)
Feb. 26, 2012
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Dana - you write beautifully, and are wonderfully funny! Please don't let the Law stop you from writing - you're a natural.

Cheers.
Feb. 23, 2012
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Henry - in your search for the “best team” are you confined to imp scoring?

If not, the RR format - scored BAM - seems to be a good format for determining the strongest squad.
Jan. 20, 2012
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3D - Kokish has long preached that a mild overbid is warranted in order to ensure that the partnership plays in the right strain.
Jan. 20, 2012
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Gavin - I sympathize with your Mum's plight, but I suspect that her immediate problem (3 regionals in the Greater Toronto Area in a period of 8 months) seems to be largely driven by Canadian rather than ACBL considerations. It also seems to be an episodic rather than an annual circumstance.

The Greater Toronto Area ('GTA')is Canada's most populous metropolitan area (pop. circa 6m), so it's not surprising that both the Canadian Bridge Federation ('CBF') and any Unit whose boundaries include a segment of the GTA have a strong financial incentive to hold as many regionals as they possibly can in the general vicinity of the central sector of the GTA.

Let's start with the September regional that was hosted by Unit 246, a.k.a. the “Trent Valley Bridge Association”. This tournament (which is not an annual event) went by the cheerfully bucolic name of ‘The Trent Valley Regional’, which was a bit of a misnomer since it was held in Thornhill, located in the north-eastern sector of the GTA, which by happy circumstance is also situated on the south-western-most boundary of Unit 246. This site was presumably chosen by financially strapped Unit 246 in order to attract GTA players, a great number of whom are members of Unit 166.

Which brings us to the next tournament, the January 2012 CBF International Fund Regional, which is located in Scarborough (a.k.a. ‘Scarberia’), another GTA suburb. This tournament, which is only 15 minutes drive from the site of the “Trent Valley” Regional, is located in the north-eastern sector of Unit 166. As its name suggests, the event is a CBF fundraiser for Canada's international teams, and the event's chairman is the current CBF president. This mid-winter event originated in 2004 in Montreal, which is where it was held the last couple of years. But the CBF is hard-pressed for cash (only 40% of Canada's ACBL members see fit to pay CBF dues) and Montreal's turn-out is adversely affected by the absence of a sizeable ‘snow bird’ population. Thus the CBF's 2010 Board of Directors' Meeting Minutes announced that the event had been placed on a rotating schedule which called for a 3 year rotation between Zone 2 (Quebec), Zone 3 (Ontario) and “Another CBF Zone”.

But the 2011 CBF Annual Meeting minutes suggest that financial considerations appear to have resulted in the shelving of the rotating schedule, and the 2014 regional will “likely be back in the Toronto area” after having briefly departed for Calgary (2013). So I suspect that this regional will possibly be a biennial sore point for your Mum.

The last event is Unit 166's annual regional, which has long been the grand-daddy of the Canadian tournament calendar (for nearly three-quarters of a century this regional has been modestly christened by local organizers as the “Canadian Nationals”). This event was traditonally located in downtown Toronto at the Royal York, but for the last 3 years it has been held at a Toronto airport hotel site situated in the mid-to-north sector of the GTA (23 minutes drive from the site of the CBF Regional and 15 minutes drive from the site of the “Trent Valley” Regional).

In sum, your Mum is not facing 3 GTA Regionals on an annual basis. Instead, on a forward-going basis, there will possibly be 2 GTA Regionals in the immediate vicinity of her club every second year, and she *might* have to contend with 3 GTA Regionals every third year.

While this is undoubtedly an annoyance, it seems to be an issue that she should take up with the local Units and the CBF rather than the ACBL. But your Mum shouldn't be overly surprised if their response is that they have chosen to target the GTA for the same reason she based her club in the area - it gives them their best chance to try and make ends meet.

Cheers.
Jan. 18, 2012
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Randy - it is both preferable and fairer to have a competitor represent the country whose citizenship he has chosen as opposed to that foisted upon him by birth.

And the Olympics do not have appear to have ever had a rule which stipulated that an athlete could only represent his country of birth. For example, in the very first ‘modern“ Olympics, held in 1896, Bulgaria was represented by a Swiss national, Charles Champaud. In the 1900 Olympics, Myer Prinstein (born in Poland) competed for the US and won the silver medal in the long jump.

And had the Olympic rules been as you have suggested, Canada would probably never have heard of Fanny (”Bobbie") Rosenfeld.

Bobbie, who was a bit before your time, was named Canada’s Female Athlete of the First Half-Century (1900–1950), and earned a gold medal for the 400 metre relay and a silver medal for the 100 metre at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

However, under your vision of how the rules should operate, Bobbie, who was born in Dneipropetrovsk, Russia, would have had the unenviable task of persuading Stalin that the USSR should not only compete in the 1928 Olympics (it didn't) but should also be represented by a Jewish athlete.

In sum, with respect, it seems to me that Gavin has much the better of the argument.


May 29, 2011
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On board 29 declarer might well decide that East was unlikely to lead away from QT98 of hearts against 6NT.

So instead of playing the J of hearts at trick 1 he would play low and cash 7 rounds of diamonds. If he reads the position declarer will squeeze/end-play West.

Dummy's last 5 cards will be the AJ of hearts and the KJT of clubs opposite declarer's Kx of spades, stiff heart and Ax of clubs.

West must throw all of his spades in order to guard Qx of hearts and Qxx of clubs.

Declarer can now make by cashing the A of clubs followed by a heart to the A. He then exits with the J of hearts to end-play West who will be forced to lead away from Qx of clubs to dummy's KJ.

May 29, 2011
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Gavin - interesting that West, who failed to alert his partner's 2 club call (DONT?), decided that a routine “1NT with a stiff minor suit K” somehow warranted summoning the gendarmerie.

Seems pretty clear that these two are part of that dismal club whose members are firmly convinced that rules are (a) subject to their personal interpretation, and (b) only apply to other people.
April 21, 2011
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Excellent article - look forward to follow up piece featuring memorable Boo-Moss psychological battles.
April 12, 2011
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Henry: good to read a comment that includes an adage expressed in “la langue de Molière”, but I'm afraid that there ain't no “the” - or in this case “le” - in “plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose”.

Cheers.
April 5, 2011
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Gavin-great learning tool. Also likely cathartic from your perspective :-)

As general principle, should Joel's choice of spades from known holding (at second and third rounds of the suit) carry suit-preference implications?
March 30, 2011
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Steven-as a Montreal resident and long-time Montreal Canadiens hockey fan, I can well imagine the excitement that would have been generated had our diminutive, but intrepid, left-winger, Mats Naslund (a.k.a. “le petit Viking”), won the 1993 Vanderbilt :-)

Would have been almost as impressive as Mats Nilsland being on the Habs squad that won the 1993 Stanley Cup!

Cheers.
March 22, 2011
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Excellent idea providing up to date scores for early rounds of Vandy!

The ACBL could learn a thing or two from Bridge Winners about generating/maintaining interest in the League's premier events.

Cheers.
March 16, 2011
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Frequency of occurence suggests that 3D is more profitably used to imply doubt as to the best strain rather than as a slam-try.

But one doesn't preclude the other: e.g. if opener was to bid 3NT in response to 3D, responder's 4 level bids indicate that 3D was intended as a club slam try.

Feb. 14, 2011
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