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All comments by Robb Gordon
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Once again you are spot-on Mark and I hope the powers listen to you. I do think for this type of procedure arbitrators need to receive at least modest compensation as arbitrators do in almost any other venue.
Oct. 12, 2015
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District 17 has a BAM at the Albuquerque Regional in January and the Denver Regional in May. Believe it or not they get a pretty big field.
Oct. 11, 2015
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The two-day (used to be Men's and Women's) BAM was once in the spring. One of the many redesigns of the schedule moved it to the fall. The fall used to start with Mixed Pairs and follow with LM Mens and Womens pairs.
Oct. 11, 2015
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Carolyn was sweet and humble. She was a pleasure to be around. We had dogs (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) in common and her eyes would light up when she saw ours. We will miss her.
Oct. 1, 2015
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The cheating scandal was briefly mentioned.
Sept. 22, 2015
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A few years ago Roy was named “Sportsman of the Year” by the ACBL. At that time I wrote a letter to the editor congratulating the league on their great choice, as I know nobody who had a stronger moral compass, in and out of bridge. In the 25+ years I have known Roy, again in and out of bridge that opinion hasn't changed. I feel very fortunate to have Roy as a friend and look forward to his (and Sabine's) continued spectacular success.
Sept. 19, 2015
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If we all had the ethics and comportment of Tarek Sadek, we could take down the screens and forget all the proposals. The game would be better than ever.

Lately reading BW is like watching a slow motion train wreck with one's family on board. It is almost unbearable.
Sept. 18, 2015
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We make 2D NEGATIVE and 2H as the artificial positive. Using 2H negative seems to contradict the whole purpose of Kokish. Isn't that negative hand the one you want to create a NT force below game so partner can bid out with shape?
Sept. 8, 2015
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Very sad. He was somebody I enjoyed talking to.
Sept. 2, 2015
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Obviously issues dealing with ethics and confidentiality are complex, more so because of the American legal system. My suggestion for this is that the respondent has a choice of confidentiality where the minimum required info is released or full and open publication of proceedings and findings. If the respondent, as Michael did, chooses to “go public” that constitutes implied consent for open publication.

But I want to respond also to the general issue of transparency. We all recognize that there is need for executive sessions. But the open sessions should be really open, following open meetings law standards. This would ideally include streaming BOD meetings. I think that would put an end to a lot of the (perceived) foolishness that goes on.
Aug. 20, 2015
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Thanks for remembering. That is essentially where I learned (to some extent)to play bridge.
Aug. 20, 2015
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This is true, although I don't know how long ago. But Sam who is a bridge player, and a great guy, is also not a recognized expert.
Aug. 19, 2015
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Most incidents are not reported to the national office. But if there is a major incident involving behavior or ethics, and the recorder is unable to convene a suitable C&E committee (or chooses not to because of the limited jurisdiction of the committee) then the recorder should report the incident to the national office. But generally the recorder's activities are confidential and the only way you would be likely to hear about it is if your statement or testimony was needed. But you certainly can inquire. The District 9 Recorder is (according to their website) Jeff Overby JeffOverby@aol.com . He should be able to tell you whether action was taken or not.
Aug. 19, 2015
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Debbie, each district and most units have their own volunteer recorders. This is not the National recorder office.
Aug. 19, 2015
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LOL I thought you were my FRIEND Jonathan!
Aug. 19, 2015
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@Steven, if you think NABC schedules are made for the benefit of the NABC+ players, I want some of what you are smoking!

Having said that - the NABCs (Nationals) were easy at one time. There was ONE NABC+ event (actually there were no non + NABC events) at a time (counting Men's and Women's as one).

All the other “events” were one and two session regional level events.

Sometime in the 1970's a new event - the North American Swiss - was added opposite the Reisinger. Also in the early 1970's the GNT was added on the first weekend.

In any case we now have multiple events at most times. Mike raises an excellent issue which I am sure when brought to the attention of Competition and Conventions and then to the BOD will be adjusted.

The problem with the process of re-arranging NABC schedules is there are always unanticipated and unintended consequences. However I am quite sure that everybody involved with scheduling wants to maximize attendance and enjoyment for all.
Aug. 19, 2015
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When I read the Bulletin I was both saddened and confused. It sounded like cheating to me. It brought to mind a certain ex-ACBL President who after a bad result, boxed the spade Ace so the board would be thrown out.

At least this explains the perplexing sentence (how do you cheat and not even be suspended?) but more importantly it relieves me. I could not believe my friend who has always been a paragon of ethical behavior could slip so badly.

Thanks for the explanation.
Aug. 18, 2015
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No Michael - we don't have to wait - let's just lynch them like in the old west!

Jonathan and others have been pushing this issue for years. Since he couldn't convince the ACBL Board (even when he was a board member), he is trying to litigate it in BW.

I have a lot of respect for TDs. My father was a TD. But it has not been demonstrated (and likely never will) that the BRIDGE JUDGEMENT of TD's is superior to that of top level players.

While I rarely serve on committees anymore I have done it enough (for over 30 years) to know that things are said and done in committee that can't possibly be accurately transcribed. Sometimes committees blow it. Just like American (or any) jurisprudence. But mostly they get it right.

I am tired of seeing implications that committee members are biased, self-interested- mercenary, or incompetent. It just isn't so.
Aug. 15, 2015
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While the WBF has too liberal a “drop-in” policy (because of this - in Philadelphia only about 25% of the entrants to the IMP pairs qualified for the final to accomodate all the drop-ins) the ACBL's no drop-in policy is equally, if not more counterproductive. The problem in ACBL land is carryover. There is none in the WBF so everybody starts the next stage on equal footing. Since we (I believe) do NOT want to eliminate carryover, I suggest that drop-ins in situations like this be allocated a carryover equal to the 60th percentile of qualifiers if the original event is MORE “prestigious” like in this case or 50th percentile if equally prestigious. Any “prestige” less than that should not permit drop-ins - the mini-Spingold to the Roth for example.

Yes David, you have my sympathy.
Aug. 15, 2015
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I have been lurking in this thread and I have read a number of interesting incisive posts. Let me say what I know:

1. David Yates is spot-on about Joan Gerard. SHe was a BOD member for many years. She was not universally loved (she had a tough exterior) but was 100% dedicated to the game and the people who play it. She was very involved with the WBF also, and she did have a lot to do with bookings and negotiations although I am not certain that this was the case in her last couple of years on the BOD. I really miss her - she was a good friend.

2. Another great loss was Jeff Johnston. I don't think Jeff was involved in the actual negotiations but he was an expert in logistics and playing space.

3. I don't know who is doing the negotiating on behalf of the ACBL but they have outsourced their housing arrangements to a travel agent for several years. Whether this is a benefit or not is unclear to me.

4. When negotiating a contract with the hotel, the ACBL could negotiate cheap room rates and pay for playing space, but they prefer to comp the playing space and a number of rooms in exchange for higher rates. This makes some sense as it keeps entry fees lower than they might otherwise be but has the unintended consequences of having attendees shop for cheaper housing, and often finding it at the very hotel that the tournament is at!

5. BOD members are basically volunteers. They meet for a week or so BEFORE the tournament begins and most of those meetings are all day. It is more that reasonable to comp their rooms (and they don't all get suites - only the Pres. and a few of the local volunteers (tournament chair, hospitality chair etc).

6. Bridge players are a mixed blessing - on one hand they are generally old enough that vandalism is not an issue (although smoking can be a problem). They generally pay their bills. But - they are reputed to be poor tippers making the staff unhappy. I remember being in line at the Marriott New Orleans for a taxi many years ago. It was pouring rain (I think it was a Fall NABC). When my turn came I got in the taxi and handed the dripping doorman $2. I would have given him 5 but I didn't have a 5. I was embarrassed to hear him as he was closing my door saying “thank you - you are the first one in your group to give me a tip”. Bridge players tend not to spend money in the host hotel. Bridge players (believe it or not) are not good gamblers and are not attractive to casino hotels.

7. As a result of the above, certain venues which might be suitable are closed to the ACBL.
Aug. 14, 2015
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