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All comments by Oren Kriegel
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That's a step in the wrong direction, imo. “Young ladies” sounds like the sort of thing a high school principal would say. Just call them women, which is what they are.
Sept. 21
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It's fine if women want to refer to themselves as girls, but it strikes me as infantalizing for an organization to make the official name of a competition a “girls'” competition, when many of the competitors are over 20 and hold or are working for advanced degrees.

And Mike, “youth” connotes pre- or at most early-adulthood. I'm too old for U26 next year, but I'm 25, I've been out of college for more than three years. If you call an U31 event youth, you'd be saying I'd still be a “youth” when I'm 30.

“Junior” on the other hand, doesn't have any specific childhood or age related connotations. You could be in a junior position at a company no matter what age you are. It's reflective of a difference in seniority.
Sept. 21
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The WBF naming scheme is absurd. The tournament is the World Youth Teams Championships, which is a pretty mediocre name, but the category names get worse.

U16 = “Kids,” OK that's not so bad. 15-year olds are definitely kids
U21 = “Youngsters,” OK, well to my ear youngsters are younger than kids or at least less mature
U26 = “Juniors,” which is what all the categories should be called
Women's U26 = “Girls,” OK, now we're just trying to be offensive

How about just calling the events junior events, which they are, and categorizing them by age. U16, U21, U26, Women's U26, and U31 (apparently).
Sept. 21
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I was playing with Kit in the Buffett Cup as a sort of preemptive bid. He was protected from my holding the A though, as he had it.
Sept. 7
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“even Oren thinks this”

I do, although I didn't say that about your opponent's remarks. I said that if she had said, “f*** you,” I would think that was proportionate (but inappropriate).

I think her reaction was also proportionate, but not a great response. She reacted angrily, but I think she had just cause for anger. I wouldn't ZT her because in my view she was provoked.

I also wouldn't ZT you even though I think your remark is “worse.” You apparently didn't know how rude it might be, and even if some opponents (Kevin et al.) wouldn't be offended, many would.

I don't think you should feel bad about what you said, but I hope the main takeaway from this is not, “they're letting her off the hook” but “I should reflect on what I think is appropriate to say at the table.” Even if you think she was more in the wrong–and there are plenty of people on both sides–the fact that so many people think what you said was way out of line that it would be good to be mindful about what you're saying. Honestly, I don't think it's good policy to discuss any facet of bridge with opponents you don't know.

When I was about your age, maybe a year younger, I was playing a side Swiss at a national, against a pair of national players from Europe (Bulgaria probably). Declarer was in some major contract after a Bergen raise auction and I had four trumps. Declarer at some point let a trump to dummy and partner showed out. I asked, “No spades, partner?” as was my habit at the time, but apparently my intonation was offensive to declarer and/or he was frustrated about the bad split. In a raised voice, not quite shouting, he said, “It's very bad to gloat.” It wasn't my intention to gloat, but that's how he heard it.

Bridge is a social game. Social and bridge norms of etiquette are important to know even if you don't agree with them. Some people don't abide by them, but they're the sort of people few like to play against. I don't think we've ever played against each other, but I hope that if we do, I'll be able to count you among the group that is pleasant to play against.
Sept. 7
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Well, I've been invoked, so I might as well respond. I stand by “outrageously out of line.” In my view, any gratuitous comment to an opponent is out of line. One that informs an opponent that they could have done better in the play, perhaps should have done better, is particularly bad.

It's worse than offering unsolicited advice to a stranger; it's offering unsolicited advice to your competitor, especially after you got a good result.

Michael's comment–to his opponent in an organized competition–was, effectively, “would you like me to explain to you why you should have made a better play?”, which crosses tons of lines in my opinion. The equivalent in, say, football, would be a 15-yard taunting penalty.
Sept. 7
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Peg, I chose the word “outrageously” because I would have been outraged if an opponent had spoken to me like that and Michael's opponent clearly was outraged. Michael's comment can be outrageously out of line and also well intentioned, and I believe that it was.

It does Michael a disservice if people sugarcoat the fact that this was a very bad thing to say to an opponent, especially someone like Kevin, who is a model of an upstanding player and almost surely a specific role model for Michael.

It's possible to condemn someone's words without condemning their character. I think very highly of Kevin, and I don't know Michael well, but he strikes me as the sort of player we need more of. You're absolutely right that offering constructive feedback is important, and others have done that largely well. I didn't see the need to add more words on Michael's comment directly; I wanted to give a strong counterpoint to Kevin's view.
Sept. 7
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Yes, Steve, context is everything. A participant in an organized competition made a gratuitous remark to an opponent that could reasonably (and, I think, correctly) be construed as taunting. I don't doubt that Michael's intent was innocent, but intent isn't everything.

But sure, allowances can be made for youth and inexperience. If I were a director called about this remark, I would ask what he meant by his comment, and after ascertaining that he didn't mean any harm, I'd let the matter drop after warning him not to make gratuitous comments to an opponent (and preferably to a partner as well, but let's try to be realistic). It should be (and hopefully has been) a learning experience for Michael, but if he isn't learning, “that was a totally out of line comment; don't do it again,” he's learning or being taught the wrong lesson.

His opponent might have behaved more kindly, but to claim her reaction was out of proportion to Michael's remark strikes me as mistaken. I commented because I was surprised that Kevin, another young player and role model, thought Michael didn't do anything “wrong” and his comment was “perhaps just a little inappropriate.”
Sept. 7
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Really? I think a proportional (but inappropriate) response by her would have been, “F*** you.” She didn't speak eloquently, but one can hardly be surprised she reacted strongly. Michael's comment was outrageously out of line for bridge reasons but also social ones.
Sept. 6
Oren Kriegel edited this comment Sept. 6
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This hand came up in conversation this week in St. Louis, and it reminded Eddie Wold of a wild hand from years ago. He set it as a problem:

The auction goes (1) 1 (P) ? to you. When given as a problem to a group of world champions, about half passed and about half bid 6. What's your hand?
Aug. 14
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I have not read all the above posts carefully, so I may not be the first to say this, but there is a big problem with how UI rulings are performed.

Suppose, as in the above case, the spade play is shown to be clearly percentage (I believe it is). Depending on your threshold for what constitutes a logical alternative, a heart continuation may or may not be a logical alternative.

However, the mere fact that North broke tempo alerts South to the fact that there is something to think about. Is he allowed to use that alarm bell to find a winning play that might otherwise be missed?

I think that's a difficult question, but I believe that the strong evidence suggesting the spade play is not automatic (an expert failing to find it under identical and “pure”–that is, all actions in tempo–conditions) means that declarer should receive at least some redress, perhaps in the form of a weighted score. We can give South some credit for making a good bridge play while also protecting declarer somewhat from use of UI by an opponent.

Another issue that has not been discussed much is the promptness of South's J switch. Maybe that means he fully worked out that the J was correct during the play to the first few tricks and he was ready to make his play, but I think a more likely explanation is that he knew exactly what his partner's break in tempo was about so he knew the J was the right play for that reason, not because of bridge analysis (or at least not largely through bridge analysis).

Of course, ruling based on the tempo of South's play is a briar patch in itself, because it allows unethical players to attempt to circumvent an unfavorable ruling by feigning thought when in fact they know exactly what the layout is due to partner's hesitation.

I'll bring this back around with an instance of active ethics (maybe hyperactive ethics) from my trials semifinal match against Fleisher. I was in 3NT, with Marty on my left and Chip on my right. Marty led a diamond which Chip won and, after significant thought (around a minute according to Marty), shifted to the J. I covered from KQxx and Marty his A and returned a heart, which happened to allow me to make the contract.

During Chip's hesitation, Marty thought about the deal and concluded that a heart return was probably wrong if it did go J, cover, A, but he thought he would have continued hearts if Chip had led the J back promptly, so he felt obligated to do that here.

I think this might be going beyond his ethical obligation, but maybe that's colored by the fact that I didn't think that Chip had taken an especially long time to shift. I thought his tempo was on the slow end of his normal range, and I would not have even considered the fact that a non-heart continuation may have been improper.
Aug. 4
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I'm certainly below “super expert level” and I passed 3NT in tempo with the North hand.
Aug. 4
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Take football for example. There are tons of animations and graphics that display routes and blocks and QB lines of sight so a layman like me can follow it.

A team of good marketers could do something very similar for a game on guess. Highlighting opening bids, failures to make calls, count inferences, etc. could show the dynamic way players think about play problems.
Aug. 1
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Depending on your view on the odds of stiff small offside vs stiff K offside that might be very slightly better than spade to the ace.
Aug. 1
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Against the double: You don't necessarily find a 4-4 spade fit. Maybe your partner would never bid 3 with a three-card suit, but I once met a player who held:

KQJ
AKxxx
xx
xxx

and thought 3 was the best call under the circumstances…
Aug. 1
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Dave has his finger on the pulse of modern bidding. Double is 4 spades and 1 is 5+ on that auction.

Snapdragon doubles are sort of a relic anyway. They're just played as takeout these days without stringent distribution requirements.
Aug. 1
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Yes, that's why you need professionals to put together the broadcasts, cutting out the esoteric system details and making it digestible for non-experts.

Focus on key bidding decisions–slam or not, which game, whether to compete, high-level deals–and big-swing cardplay situations.

In poker they display the percentages of each player winning. Bridge could do something similar, using graphics to show the winning or losing options, while a commentator narrates it in an understandable way. What's the right balance to strike? I don't know, but I'm sure it can be done.
July 31
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As a couple of others have mentioned, the way to get traction for bridge as a spectator game is to have legitimate broadcasts, complete with professional editing and commentary. That would require broadcasts being delayed but who cares? The people who want to track live scores, on Vugraph or sites like BW, can still do so.

However, having exciting television broadcasts tailored to non-expert (or even non-player) audiences would make the game more accessible and enjoyable to the general public.

There were some seriously exciting matches in Vegas. If you don't think sportscasters working with bridge journalists could spin the Nickell comeback against Leong into a compelling half-hour segment, get real.

Of course, this would require some serious expertise, money, and effort, and getting it right wouldn't be easy, but it surely is possible. How many people watching poker on TV are poker experts or even strong players? They have a basic concept of the game and are being given exciting, easily digestible material. Bridge has everything already except for the production.
July 31
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After 1-2, I like:

2 = 5+ diamonds, takes priority over showing a major but not over raising clubs
2M = exactly 4-4 or at least 5-6 (2 can be 4=4=3=2 if you open 1 with that shape; I don't)
2NT = 3=3=4=3 or 5-3-3-2 with a terrible diamond suit and stoppers
3 = just a raise
3 = long, strong suit with at least a little extra
3M = splinter

I don't usually define 3NT, but playing it as a not very prime 18-19 balanced with exactly 3=3=4=3 seems useful to me. With a more prime hand start with 2NT and bid 4NT. With 5-3-3-2 go through 2 and with (3-2)=4=4 go through 3.
July 30
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In Toronto a junior team did beat one of the top seeds, Monaco.
July 28
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