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All comments by Robb Gordon
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“Mr. Monzingo has labeled a large group of serious lifetime players as cheaters.”

Ken's article was without doubt inartful. But to extrapolate what he actually said to the above is a stretch at best. He was highlighting a history of cheating and cheating accusations in bridge going back to the 1930's and only mentioned a handful of cases. This suggests that despite his tone, cheating is rather rare (which is what I believe).

He does not vilify people as such but he questions the wisdom of ACBL dollars going to support the international bridge competitions dominated (from the US at least) by pros and sponsors.

As Jan Martel pointed out very well, his whole argument (referring to ACBL “donations”) is specious, but let's criticize it for what it says, not what it does not.
June 27, 2015
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Wow - a lot of issues here.
Going backwards somewhat - the amount of control an NABC chairman (BOD or not) has over tournament logistics is nil. The chairman basically is in charge of hospitality and entertainment. Almost all aspects of NABC's are handled by league management and staff for better or worse.

Somebody mentioned Jeff Johnston - he was indeed a genius and will be greatly missed. But even Jeff had no control over attitudes and priorities.

The ACBL serves (or is supposed to serve) many constituencies. I agree that more, not less consideration should be given to high-level events. The situation Ira Hessel described is deplorable, and not unique at all.

The league needs to recognize (and here is where I disagree with Ken Monzingo) that while the vast majority of members will not participate in these high level events, and certainly not in WBF events or Junior events, it is these activities that promote bridge as a competitive sport that often garner us the publicity that stirs interest.

If one wanted to take it further, we could say that the vast majority of members do not attend NABC's so why have them at all. Clearly this numbers game is specious.

Going even further - in my opinion at some point the ACBL turned into a tail wagging dog operation, where “management” (the paid leadership) has taken control of critical decisions. By and large, these are people who are not serious bridge players. Yet they are making decisions, largely unchecked, that profoundly affect the future of our game.

For many years, it has been suggested that the ACBL BOD “micromanages” management. With 25 members of the BOD I suspect this meant that too many of those 25 treated management as their personal employees, and also gave conflicting orders or “suggestions”. Unfortunately I believe there has been a backlash where that BOD is now reluctant to question many dubious decisions current management has made that have cost the league many dollars and many months of stalled technological development.

Finally, although I often disagree with Ken Monzingo, I am profoundly grateful to have people like him involved that care about the future of bridge and strive to make it better, even if we see that betterment differently.
June 25, 2015
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As somebody who has run club games occasionally since about 1972, and as somebody who has seen almost anything you can imagine get messed up (wrong boards passed, pairs to wrong table, playing 4 rounds before somebody notices a card is missing as examples) I am a firm believer in KISS. Complicating the movement to create better comparisons is a fools errand when you are dealing with inexperienced directors OR inexperienced or inattentive players. To use the old cliche - this isn't the Blue Ribbon Pairs.
June 24, 2015
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Nice win, nice guys, and a heck of an exciting match!
June 15, 2015
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What I have been begging them to do is to convert BW to an e-zine format. They could cut the price in half and be more profitable.
June 10, 2015
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Henry was somebody who loved the game and contributed to it in many ways. He was a friend and he will be missed.
June 10, 2015
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I have played against Peter Lynch. He has a LOT of raw talent and great instincts. But he seems to have other interests. I thought Carolyn would drag him to the table one of these days.
June 5, 2015
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4NT natural
June 2, 2015
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I will defer to Peter here - he has far more WBF experience than I do.
May 1, 2015
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That is certainly true Ed. But we are wandering from the question which as I understand it is “would it be beneficial to have bridge play by one set of rules (Laws, CofCs, conventions, etc)?”
May 1, 2015
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It seems clear that there should be an off-line client with limited functionality.

1. In the future, who is going to be proficient at hand-matchpointing (once upon a time this was the skill that got you success as a TD, pretty useless now)?
2. In the future who is going to have a stack of travelers?
3. You could have the best internet connection available, say a T1 line. Some joker a mile away decided to dig some holes for fence posts and voila, your line is cut!

Is it so hard to have a backup that will set up a routine duplicate game and score it, holding the data for upload to the mother ship as soon as a connection is available?
May 1, 2015
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I am not sure what “isn't true” here. There are elections as I pointed out. The ACBL in this case follows the default, thus has not made an election to disallow this. But if you play in a WBF event (Bermuda Bowl, Rosenblum teams, etc.) and try asking your partner if they are out of a suit, I promise that you won't like the outcome.
May 1, 2015
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1. We might lose all 7 tricks and go for too many.
2. We might (unlikely) beat 6NT.
3. We might push them to a successful 7NT or 7D.

and yes, I know -
4. It might be a profitable save (although 1400 is kind of a wash so we have to look for 800 or 1100).
5. We might push them to an UNSUCCESSFUL 7 level contract.

I think the scales favor pass.
April 30, 2015
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There is a lot of benefit to all rules being the same around the world. Here are some of the problems -

Whose rules? The WBF and ACBL haven't even been completely in sync with laws (and don't forget the WBF Laws Commission includes some North Americans). As a member of the ACBL Laws commission, I hope that the next set of Laws (about 2018) will have fewer of these disagreements. But ultimately it will be up to the drafting committee at WBF and then the ACBL Board of Directors.

The MAJOR concern I have is that whatever rules are in place will inform development of the game and also the operation of the game.

The original Bermuda Bowl was scored by total points. Then the Europeans came up with IMPs. (in a somewhat different format). With great reluctance the North Americans adapted them (but we alternated forms of scoring for a few World Championships in the ‘50s).

Today, I think that few would argue that IMPS are more desirable than total points.

Swiss Teams didn’t just invent themselves. They were (I believe) invented by an American TD and were loosely based on a form of chess tournament. Today they are popular world-wide. Anybody want to go back to a Sunday B-A-M at regionals? Actually I do, but I don't have a lot of company.

Many popular conventions were developed that were “illegal” is certain regions (still true). Would bridge be better off if we didn't have the diverse regulation that allowed some areas to be a laboratory for bidding development?

In short, be careful what you wish for.
April 30, 2015
Robb Gordon edited this comment April 30, 2015
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This is a highly complex issue. This thread is filled with value judgments but I think some facts are in order -

1. Structure - The WBF is an association of associations. Strictly speaking, there are no individual “members” of the WBF. The WBF divides the world into 8 zones, each with their own governance. Those zones then are generally comprised of NBO's - national bridge organizations. We Americans are in Zone 2, which is ACBL, and our NBO is the USBF. Zone 2 also includes (as part of the ACBL) Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda.

2. Regulation. Bridge is governed by 3 sets of regulations. The supreme regulation is the Laws of Duplicate Bridge. Historically the Laws have been a collaboration between the WBF and ACBL. Before WBF it was the British Bridge League and European Bridge Union and ACBL.

There came a point, (either 1975 or 1987) where the parties could not agree on some specifics and agreed to disagree. If you look at pages 136-137 you will see a list of “elections” by the ACBL Board. These are permitted to a Zone under WBF rules and the Laws. Actually the most famous election was made by the WBF. The Laws allow “no spades partner?” by revoker's partner. WBF elects not to allow this.

The next to sets are Conditions of Contest and the Convention Chart which is arguably part of the C of C. These vary substantially in different regions of the world and the WBF.

Next I will share my opinion about this issue which is worth about as little as everybody else's!

PS - I was just told that Bermuda was moved to Zone 5 - weird since the ACBL still has a Bermuda Regional!
April 30, 2015
Robb Gordon edited this comment April 30, 2015
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Of course I should have remembered this. It is scary to read this in light of the title to your original post. Perhaps COI needs to be revived. Thank you.
April 25, 2015
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What happened to the COI?
April 25, 2015
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The percentage thing is more like a traveling score. We have it turned off in Sedona because of DOG. (Delay of Game)
April 14, 2015
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<comment deleted>
March 28, 2015
Robb Gordon edited this comment March 28, 2015
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2 would be the same hand with 6 spades. It would be the same hand with 6 spades and no club queen. This is a clear 3S bid IMO.
March 28, 2015
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