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All comments by Richard Willey
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I just had a silly idea…

I wonder whether it would be possible to pass a regulations stating that any pair or team scheduled to play against an opponent who was expelled for collusive cheating had the option of not playing those boards and receiving an Average+ for each board that was skipped…
March 1
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Its unclear to me that any of this is a bad thing…

The ACBL is grossly incompetent. I'd argue that one of the best things that could happen for bridge in North America would be for the ACBL to collapse while there are still a few bridge players left under the age of 70…

Massive financial losses would seem like a good way to achieve that end…
March 1
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> Mike; it may be the “only question” to you. Not to me.

That's nice

Personally, I prefer the rule of law to Peg's whims
Feb. 28
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> A number of footballers have tested positive for recreational
> drugs without their teams being docked any points.

Different governing org

I would think that the more relevant example is that Olympic athletes have had medals stripped from them for using pot…
Feb. 28
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To me, at least, “drug abuse” feels disconnected from the regulations in question and doesn't seem appropriate.

At the same time, “prosecuted for” makes it sound as if the decision to prosecute was selective. I was not aware that the authorities have discretion over this. Moreover, “failing to file papers” feels like a deliberate attempt to downplays the incident.

I would simple state that Helgemo violated the WBF Anti-Doping Rules which feels neutral and accurate.
Feb. 28
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> cheating is also banned in the Condition of Contest

As is the process by which we determine whether or not people can be punished for cheating.

Like it or not, F+N were able to successful appeal their conviction.
Feb. 28
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> What this should lead to as an acknowledgment and a
> profound apology from the WBF for the idiocy of the
> their “Olympic dream” and the great damage it has
> done to our game.

FWIW, here's a quote from Fred close to 20 years back (right after he won a gold medal)

“I never really bought the idea that bridge should be in the Olympics. Just never felt right to me, and I was always quite sure it would never happen. The general public seemed to find the idea ridiculous, and the IOC is very sensitive right now to looking stupid. Not sure why exactly, but I always thought Olympic events should have some physical component. Bridge is a wonderful game, but the Olympics are not the right place for it (unless the fundamental nature of the Olympics were to change). I think bridge organizations would be smart to forget about the whole thing and concentrate their efforts elsewhere.”
Feb. 28
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> If banned substances are different for different “sports”, why
> were these on the ban-list for Bridge?

I recall a bunch of discussion on rec.games.bridge regarding various substances that should / should not be on the list. My impression is that the primary goal was to check the necessary boxes as quickly as possible rather than developing a policy that actually makes any sense for bridge.

No one cared then or now about drug testing.
Its just something that needed to be done.

> Who exactly compiled the list?

I suspect that this list was simply copied lock, stock, and barrel from some other sport…

A more interesting question might be “has this list ever been changed or updated?” (I'd consider this a signal t hat folk might actually care)
Feb. 28
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> Geir gets suspended for a year on a technicality while
> real cheaters have their convictions overturned.

Geir didn't “get suspended on a technicality”.

He broke the rules of the game.
He was caught.
The powers that be levied the specified penalty.

Don't get me wrong. I think that the laws in question are stupid and think that the whole IOC effort has been a travesty since day one. However players don't get to ignore rules that they don't like in the expectation that they won't get punished.

FWIW, I think the Geir's willingness to accept the punishment and move on says an awful lot for his character.
Feb. 28
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Its a shame that this happened, but I really don't expect anything to change.

All of this (new) idiocy was readily predictable. The fact that the consequences that lots of people were warning about actually came true hardly seems sufficient to galvanize any real change.

I suspect that we're going to see a couple weeks of Sturm und Drang and a bunch of proclamations, followed by folks ignoring this idiotic clause until the next time it burns someone popular.
Feb. 28
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> We simply must envision a smaller ACBL going forward.
> This will mean jobs lost, fees raised, programs curtailed,
> and fewer of the bells and whistles that we have grown
> accustomed to in our bridge lives. Bridge will survive,
> but we need to plan for a graceful decline or we may
> face an ugly demise."

I also appreciated seeing an open discussion of this possibility
Feb. 25
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> With table feel, 85%.

Wonder whether this explains the real reason that pros have so much antipathy to an electronic playing environment
Feb. 25
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What would 6 over 4NT have show? Even number of Keycards and a void?
And partner bid 5 showing an odd number of keycards?

Feb. 23
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Sorry, should have been more clear

What is the dollar amount of the penalty clause for the various upcoming NABC contracts?
Feb. 19
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what is the ACBL's exposure wrt these future hotel contracts?
Feb. 19
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Any chance that the ACBL could start providing numbers that track table count weighted by the cumulative number of boards played by the participants over their lifetime as ACBL members?

The ACBL is hemorrhaging long time members with years of experience playing bridge. To the extent that we're replacing them, we're replacing them with 60 year olds novices.

It feels as if the level of play in events is plummeting as we loose our strongest and most experienced players and replace them with folks who will never have time to develop into Flight A players.

Would be nice to track this in a more formal manner.
Feb. 19
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Are there any policies enacted by any of the last few Presidents that you plan to carry over and continue to support? Conversely, which of your own policies can be completed in the next 10 months?

At a higher level, I confess to having some confusion how a President serving a single year term can have much impact on an entrenched bureaucracy…
Feb. 19
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Personally, I put my faith in processes, not individuals.

I think that its foolish to put much faith into an institution because I like / dislike the individuals who are running thing. Rather, I am going to judge the system by the processes that it creates.

Moreover, I consider any process who success depends on having the “right” people running things to be highly problematic.

As a practical example, on a personal level I have enormous respect for Edgar Kaplan; however, I think that the legal structures that he devised were an abject failure because they could not survive his departure.
Feb. 17
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Mathe is one of the worst imaginable defenses:

1. The double significantly increases the bidding space that the opponents have available.
You've also provides two cue bids, and a forcing pass

2. 1N at least has the benefit of eating some bidding space, but here once again, you are providing multiple cue bids and advanced can both double directly and pass then double.

YES, the convention is simple, however, so is bidding an immediate 7NT…
Feb. 14
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Seems elegant and well considered
Feb. 12
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