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All comments by Robb Gordon
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Pass 2?! OK - Partner has Axx xxx AKJxxx x. You have good play for slam (great play if they don't lead a diamond).

I would actually bid 4 Hearts over 3 Spades.
May 12
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Before ACBLScore did the pairing, directors paired the Swiss Teams. They had oversize index cards with running scores of wins/losses (later Victory Points). Barry would hover over them to make sure they weren't pairing him “unfairly”.
May 10
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Barry's murder was a sad and shocking story in the bridge world. His genius and flamboyance is greatly missed. His behavior toward partners - not so much. But bridge lost a force when we lost Barry.
May 10
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“As President of IBPA we want to make sure…” Is this the royal “we” or just a random mix of singular and plural? ;-)
May 9
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David, look at our own District 17. We usually get 2-3 teams in the Championship flight but one wouldn't shock me. When I started playing bridge right around when this event started there were 48 teams in the UNIT final!
May 8
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Speaking as Robb Gordon, player (not in any official capacity) - I am sympathetic to the folks who are confronted with this dilemma when a convicted cheater is let off the hook by a technicality.

But I think this conversation is taking an ugly direction. For every pair that has been convicted of “collusive” cheating, there are probably 10 who have had rumors started about them, and out of those other nine, maybe 2 that eventually are found to be actually cheating.

I cringe at the idea of punishing people for playing with the rumored pairs. We have had enough of McCarthyism in the 1950s. In American jurisprudence (and I realize many live in a different nation and under different laws), one is innocent until proven guilty.

Let's not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.
May 7
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@Randy - when I applied for the job of National Recorder, there was a published job description. In that description it states

“This is an individual contributor position that focuses on handling disciplinary matters arising from the club level to NABC+ level of bridge play. This position manages the disciplinary process to ensure compliance with ACBL rules and regulations.”

Nowhere in that job description is there anything about making exceptions for clubs who don't wish to follow the aforementioned rules and regulations.

Furthermore, it is my belief (and you and others may disagree) that making sure the game is played according to the rules and allowing everybody the same playing field is the best way to keep our customers.

If somebody files a Player Memo or complaint to me that a club is making up its own rules contrary to ours, I am obligated to investigate and if needed, recommend action to Management.
May 3
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@Ed - please see the workaround in my edit. The law change (had it been necessary) would have been an “interpretation”. However, now Law books will probably be published around 2027. You still get kudos for noticing this anomaly.
May 3
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Wow, Ed - you are sharp! Since the ACBL separated from the WBF and created the NABF, that is a technical problem, which we will deal with. We do have some mojo - as the title page to the Laws reads:

As Promulgated in the
Western Hemisphere
by the
American Contract Bridge League
Effective September 25, 2017

After writing this, I noted 80A3 which states “The Regulating Authority may delegate its
powers (retaining ultimate responsibility for their exercise) or it may assign them (in
which case it has no further responsibility for their exercise).”

I expect that the new NABF will so delegate.
May 3
Robb Gordon edited this comment May 3
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As ACBL National Recorder and as a member of the ACBL Laws Commission, I feel obligated to clear the air about psychs.

Law 40B2a allows the Regulating Authority (the ACBL here) to restrict the use of psychic ARTIFICIAL calls. The ACBL has chosen to restrict them.

However, Law 40C specifically allows psychs, other than the above.

The ACBL Codification (Chapter VI section 1.5) states

“Games must be conducted in accordance with both the letter and the spirit of ACBL regulations as well as the “Laws of Duplicate Bridge”. The success or failure of games conducted by a club is the responsibility of the club manager. The club manager is free to operate the club as he or she sees fit, as long as the operation of ACBL sanctioned games falls (sic) within the limits prescribed by ACBL.”

The ACBL has very few limitations on clubs but one of those limitations is to follow the Laws of Duplicate Bridge. If a club fails to do this it technically is playing some other game, not Bridge.

One way for a club manager to control predatory psyching is to warn the perpetrator that such psyching isn't acceptable in the club and continued predatory (taking advantage of newer players) psyching will result in Club Discipline which could include barring the perpetrator from the game. The Club Manager has tremendous leeway to do this.

Sanctioned Club Managers, PLEASE follow the rules ACBL sets forth. There aren't that many of them!
May 3
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@Art Korth:

Generally, what your Unit Recorder told you is correct, but there is one MAJOR exception:

CDR 2.1.1(d) - (d) Persons participating in a club sponsored ACBL sanctioned event held within the Unit’s geographical boundaries relating to Complaints of alleged (i) cheating by use of signals, other unauthorized information or other forms of cheating or (ii) serious breaches of ethics.
May 2
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5 should be Exclusion RKC. If not 5NT is ok.
April 27
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I am opposed to drop-ins for the following reasons -

1. The ACBL uses carry-over. ANY carryover assigned to the drop in pair that is more than 0 is unfair and if it is zero few would care to drop in. The WBF solves this problem by having NO carryover, so everybody starts the next segment tied at zero.

2. The pair event will either have a fixed number of pairs on the drop-in day OR drop-ins will be added regardless and will not affect those who otherwise qualify. The latter isn't desirable because it dilutes the field in some ways and may require a sub-optimal movement.

The former is flawed for this reason: Taking an example, the San Diego Blue Ribbon semis has 78 tables (156 pairs) in neat 13 table sections. If a losing quarterfinalist player could drop in under the rules stated here there would be up to 24 new pairs (4 losing teams with 6 players who each play with a “new” partner). That means as few as 132 pairs would qualify and pairs 133-156 who would otherwise be playing would be on the sidelines. Making matters worse, some of them wouldn't even know if they were going to get to play since the new entry size is unknown.

I won't even get into a QF loser pairing up with a player who already failed to qualify in the blues because that would be so unfair I couldn't imagine it being allowed.

So the best of a bad lot, the arrangement that would offend me least would be to allow drop-ins that added to the field size and no carryover to the semis for anybody.

It could further be improved by requiring drop-ins to play with their teammates.

Editing to add that I think carryover is better than no carryover and since I think no carryover is the fairest way to allow dropins, this is another argument in my mind against dropins.
April 26
Robb Gordon edited this comment April 26
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Anchovies? You and I David and approximately (checking calculator) NOBODY else.
April 24
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I get very excited when I read things like this. Thank goodness there are dedicated people like Michael and Debbie working to bring out game to younger people.
April 24
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@Randy:
Law 92B: The right to request or appeal a Director’s ruling expires 30 minutes after the official score has been made available for inspection unless the Tournament Organizer has specified a different time period.
April 24
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Randy I believe that Jenni has thoroughly answered your question. Had she not done so I would have said that I wouldn’t speculate on what was said or intended. As any trial lawyer can tell you witnesses frequently misstate facts - not because they intend to, jus because they mishear or misremember.
April 23
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I don't disagree with you Steve. I wasn't expressing an opinion about the ruling, only about the Law (or Rule) that doesn't exist.
April 23
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There is coincidence. But in Bridge there is no Law or Rule of Coincidence. This was something that was floated about 20 years ago, but never codified, in Law nor in regulation in the ACBL.
April 23
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Also note the record - 6 wins, 1 loss. The Spingold (and the Vanderbilt?) were a double elimination for several years.
April 10
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