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All comments by Robb Gordon
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Peggy - .01 VP miss? Now I've seen it all!
Aug. 6, 2015
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This is a good post, although I don't think “fair” necessarily enters into it.

First of all, when Ira Corn created the Dallas Aces, it was with the specific goal of winning a world championship for North America. Previously, the Italian Blue team had dominated the WCs since the mid-50's. As I understand it, Corn initially thought of playing, but soon figured (or was told) that this would be counter-productive. He succeeded, although the Blue Team retired (sort of) soon after. It should be noted that for the Aces to be able to represent North America, they had to win a team trial, by no means guaranteed.

Mr. Zimmerman recruited two of the world's best pairs to play with he and his expert partner. These 3 pairs from France, Italy, and Norway “emigrated” to Monaco so they could play as one team and not have to worry about any “trials”.

So basically in the second case you have a sponsor (who is a pretty good player) playing with hired guns for a country in which none of them really live.

I see a difference here.
Aug. 5, 2015
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We too have hired pros twice. Not to play but to coach and to help us work on system. If top golfers have coaches and top tennis players have coaches, why shouldn't bridge partnerships. It has helped us immensely.
Aug. 5, 2015
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David, there are a few instances of that here, past and present. Some of them have involved supporting more elderly pros as well.
Aug. 4, 2015
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Whether Mr. Bruno is correct or not (I think not), I thank God that I don't have his cynicism. There are many professional bridge players. Some of them are jerks, frankly. But some of them (many in my experience) are among the finest, most honorable, kindest people one could know. Maybe I am just lucky. (no, I don't pay them)
Aug. 4, 2015
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There are many reasons. Just like people have different motivations for, say, a trip to Paris, people have different motivations for hiring pros. I think all the reasons you give (except perhaps “employment”) come into play.
Aug. 4, 2015
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I believe (not 100% sure) that NABC+ Swiss Team events do not have a point reduction for extra members like other Swiss events.
Aug. 4, 2015
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While I oppose the reduction in its entirety, I think including the Spinderbilt would be a travesty. 64 boards per day for 7 days is a bit different from 48 boards a day for two days, not to mention the likely quality of opponents. Even today, many NABC+ events underpay relatively in masterpoints. Does anybody really think winning four bracket 1 KOs equals winning the Vanderbilt?

We should ENCOURAGE 6 person teams in these events since they are effectively the training ground for world competition (that is if we still have world competition).
Aug. 4, 2015
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So it is November, 1981. Edgar Kaplan had written a series of editorials in The Bridge World concerning something he called “sportsmanlike dumping”. He argued that if the organizers made stupid conditions of contest the contestants were entitled if not obligated to take advantage of them. This is based on the “propriety” (so-called at the time) that a contestant must make every effort to win (not the trick, but the event, or the qualification). Such situations were more common back then and often involved round robins where a team could benefit to lose to a weak team near the end, knocking a strong team out of qualification.

At the San Francisco Fall Nationals the North American Swiss Team was in its first day. At that time, the scoring was win-loss (there were quarters and halves as well, but not VP). The conditions said that any team with OVER 4 wins got to play on day two.

So two teams met in the last match. They both had 4. So they agreed to pass out all the boards and tie the match. An uproar ensued (some of these players were and are very well known). Somewhere over in the Reisinger I am sure Edgar was smiling (more so because one of the pairs was a “K-S” pair.

In any case a proviso was added to the CoCs that that was not allowed, even though it increased the chances of winning/qualifying.

Of course the other scenario, dumping to friends when you are having a bad game has always been considered cheating. There were some ugly rumors in 2006 in the World Championship Open Pairs when two pairs from the same country played each other late. The pair who was doing well walked away with three tops and won the event.
July 30, 2015
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I would refine it to team MP average. This, i think, would be better since teams have different numbers of members and the awards would be less extreme, but still worthwhile.

But I bet most of those teams would prefer the handicap.
July 30, 2015
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Tom, I see nothing ironic. Even though we are not-for-profit, we can't afford to consistently run events which lose money. Players don't like playing 5 team “KOs”. It makes much more sense to have fewer tournaments with better attendance.
July 30, 2015
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Perhaps I could have used better phraseology - the event turned into a de facto “Flt A/Bracketed” KO, I am sure it was not sold that way.
July 29, 2015
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The problem is that District 25 advertised a “Bracketed KO” when in fact it was a Flight A KO alongside a bracketed KO. If it was bracketed everybody would have had the opportunity to play.
July 29, 2015
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Agree, agree and agree emphatically.
But that last is easier said than done. Remember when everybody agreed that we have too many districts? That was all fine but none of the BOD wanted to see THEIR district consolidated. So I can tell districts 16, 18, 21, 22, and 23 to cut back, but if I (district 17) doesn't it is futile.
July 29, 2015
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Peg, we disagree on this one. If you run a tournament with a “bracketed” KO, you are advertising that contestants will play in this event against teams that can reasonably be considered peers. If you have a fall-off in the top bracket after 5 teams then I think handicapping the teams who are under the fall-off point is better than sending the “A” teams home. In fact District 17 has a policy that if a team(s) in the TOP bracket have less than x masterpoints, those teams shall receive a handicap against the teams who have more than x, based on the size of the discrepancy. Sorry I don't know the formula but I can get it. I have played in such events. I have lost (rarely) to teams with the handicap. When I do, I don't go home feeling I have “won” because those are the conditions. But at least it gives these teams a fighting chance. Of course I wouldn't want a handicap in a “real” event but I would do a lot to make sure that the people who want to play at a regional get to play. The key is to advertise this policy, and to only apply it to Bracket 1.
July 29, 2015
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I am against the proposal because I think it is bad for business - that is the ACBL sanction fee revenue will decline. That is an oversimplification of my views but I don't have the energy for a long post. :)
July 29, 2015
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Jeff, I don't deny it. I really have no horse in the race since I don't care whether I win 10 masterponts or 8. But obviously there are people who care very much.
July 29, 2015
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Jeff my argument was based on those who might choose to play only 4 instead of 5-6 because of the change. I agree that those who continue to play with extra teammates would not change.
July 29, 2015
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“Reality is surprisingly subjective‚Ķ”

I guess Moynihan was wrong - you CAN have your own facts.
July 29, 2015
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I don't understand. Isn't that what we have been in a “Gold Rush” to do for the last several years?
July 28, 2015
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