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All comments by Richard Willey
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Mississippi is both “right to work” and “employment at will”. It has a well deserved reputation as being hostile to workers.
May 28
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> ACBL can NEVER be better without clubs

The ACBL peaked a long time ago.

The question now is not whether the ACBL can be “better”, its

“Will the ACBL survive?”,
“What is a sustainable model for the ACBL in the future?”
“How do we get there from here?”

Hint: It's not going to be a large organization with big budgets and lots of clubs…
May 28
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Don, I have no doubt that (historically) clubs were the backbone of the league.

Do you honestly believe that this will hold true in a few years?
May 27
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If some is leaving voluntarily, great! Throw them a party, bake them a cake, and tell them how much they'll be missed. However, if you a showing someone the door, your top priorities are

1. Making sure that they don't do damage on the way out
2. Not getting sued

The latter means that you do talk about this. Not with them. Not with other people. Because anything that you might say could be used against you.

(I work in management. We actually go to classes about this kind of stuff.)
May 27
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My experience is different.

I see people disappeared all the time… Not quite at the same level as Trotsky, but …
May 27
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Don, I understand the point that you're making, however, not sure that I agree with a “keep the ship sailing in the right direction” formulation.

The ship has been sailing in a very bad bad direction for decades.
The ACBL needs a radical course correction.

Institutional memory about how things are done isn't necessarily what is needed.
May 27
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> No warning, no reason(s) to the people both were deeply involved with.

This is actually considered best practice…

Its very easy to fire people for no reason.
Its much more difficult to fire some for A reason

So, the last thing that you want to do is to suggest cause…

I've seen a lot of people let go over the years and I have seen almost no examples where any kind of an explanation was given.
May 27
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> And they are all trained by Carol.

I'm sure that this is intended as as a recommendation, however, I can't help but note the recent failure of the ACBL's Microsoft Customer Relationship Management deal that cost $318K.

The ACBL hasn't been particularly forthcoming about why this project failed, but my understanding is that there was a gross disconnect between the level of technical sophistication required to use the software successfully and the capabilities of the ACBL staff.

I think that the ACBL needs to make some significant shifts in its business model and this is going to cause disruptions.
May 26
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OK, perhaps you personally will drag on for a few more years, but the current club ecosystem? Do you honestly believe that it's going to continue to contribute significant amounts of money to the ACBL?

As I recall, you're the one who is always blattering on about the number of clubs that are dying every year… Guess what, for a change I actually agree with you.
May 26
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Randy, I have “followed the money”. The conclusion that I have reached is that the ACBL is not sustainable in its current form. Like it or not, neither you nor your members are going to be contributing meaningful amounts of money in a few years because you're all going to be dead.

One thing that the ACBL really needs to be planning for is how to gracefully wind down the organization and try to achieve a soft landing.
May 26
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Sorry if this is a rude question, but if Carol was working for the ACBL for close to 40 years, how old is she?

Like it or not, this can have a major impact on

1. Compensation
2. Health care costs
3. Effectiveness at job
May 25
Richard Willey edited this comment May 25
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Sadly, the previous version was “broke”.

Flash is being deprecated.
May 25
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yeap. BBO has stated that they want to maintain a single code base where ever possible.
May 25
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> we will be saddled with the same homogeneous
> Board makeup that has failed to provide basic
> leadership to clubs and especially to club players
> who rarely, if ever, wish to participate at the
> Regional and National tournament levels.

Jeff, you and Randy actively discourage your club players from participating in ACBL tournaments. (You've certainly made claims consistent with that in the past).

> If the ACBL has failed in its duties to promote, GROW and
> sustain the game of bridge, then it falls to the clubs to do
> the heavy lifting for them.

I don't disagree. Good luck to you.

> If that be the case, the clubs should be afforded a
> much greater presence at the table.

This is where you lose me. I don't think that there is sufficient alignment between the interests of the National Organization and the local club owners that the club owners should be guaranteed representation.
May 24
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There is a formula. It's just not one that you happen to like.

If you have an alternative, lets see it…
May 24
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> It is the makeup of the Senate that concerns me.
> Again quoting, “The Senate would be charged with
> the oversight of all bridge-related business.
> This would include tournaments, masterpoints,
> Hall of Fame, NABC scheduling, etc.”

My guess is that you would be horrified if a hypothetical new ACBL Senate were to claim dominion over ACBL affiliated clubs (and I agree that you would be right in doing so)

I read this text as describing what the Senate will be working and not how the members of the Senate should be selected. However, I suspect that you are once again advancing a claim that club owners should be guaranteed representation on the Senate and using this as pretext.
May 24
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To me, at least, the answer is very much “That depends” on circumstances

Consider the following examples

1. The partnership in question has an agreement that a 2 response to a 1NT opening shows 5+ Hearts, however, 2 is non forcing and will be passed with some non-trivial frequency. In this case, I think that the treatment should be alertable.

2. The playing a 10-12 1NT HCP 1NT, opener chose to open a third seat 1N holding

KQT9
K
AT984
T98

partner rebid 2 (transfer to Hearts)

The 1NT opener decides to make a psychic pass

The transfer is not alertable and (presumably) there is no agreement about the pass.

3. Playing a 15 - 17 HCP 1NT opener, opener gets dealt

KT9
AKT2
KT9
KT9

and partner gets responds 2 showing 5+ Hearts. There is no agreement about superaccepts, but the 1NT opener suddenly gets inspired and decides to bid 2NT because.. Matchpoints.
May 23
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Players are welcome to agree upon whatever set of responses they want to partner's Jacoby transfer.

They are also welcome to psyche

And of course, nothing prevents one from playing bad bridge…

There are certainly some cases in which bidding randomly might present a problem, however, I am guessing that the answer to the question lies in one of these three cases…
May 22
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PM me your email address and I'll send you my notes… (Which I am actually working on once again, albight in the form of a "brief introduction to Symmetric Relay)
May 22
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I like to travel (and it's been a long time since the summer I spent in Stockholm)
May 22
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