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All comments by Robb Gordon
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I guess the question goes to motive. If the director is advising them based on what he knows the majority of contestants want that is legitimate. If he is advising them based on his staff's needs only that is not. The tournament committee in any case certainly has the right to override the director. In other venues I have been on tournament committees that have overridden the director (with mixed results).
July 30, 2014
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That is a function for the tournament organizers. If enough people wanted a break they could schedule one.
July 30, 2014
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The Mixed Teams entry fee in Sanya is $1200 USD per team. For that you are guaranteed 2 days of play (qualification) up to 5 days if you reach the final. Screens (and the space to put them) cost money. Also there are VERY few locations that would accommodate 300 screened tables. ACBL events are MUCH larger than WBF events. Having said that I think screens and pre-duped boards should be used much more often than they are at this time.
July 30, 2014
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For you or the kibitzer Josh?
July 16, 2014
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As somebody who knows all of the parties involved pretty well, I am quite sure that nobody had any evil intent or hidden agenda.

Like many here I wish it could have been resolved differently. The level of participation here is emblematic of the passion on both sides.

I would beg everybody involved to put this behind them and continue to move forward with support and promotion of high level bridge across national boundaries.

This event was not that important but the ability to have this type of event is very important.

Personally, I would like to thank everybody from Jill and Warren who worked so hard on this project to the 12 players who graciously agreed to participate and yes, even to the USBF Board who work hard without recompense and who are noticed only when they do something unpopular and not for the hard work they do to make our international bridge participation a success.
July 3, 2014
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From Wikipedia: In Internet slang, a troll (/?tro?l/, /?tr?l/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community
June 30, 2014
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It is one thing to insist that a participant have the option of withdrawing if an unacceptable player(s) is included on the team. It is quite another to insist that an entire 12 person team be accepted exactly as presented.

OTOH I am not nearly the player that Geoff is and there are LOTS of people as good or better than I that I would not play on a team with - having nothing to do with Bridge ethics.
June 28, 2014
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If you are asking my opinion, it is that the ACBL and USBF should approach relationships with private organizations with great caution. They should be sure that the goals of such a partnership fit their goals. I don't think this event qualifies.
June 27, 2014
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“What exactly were the selection criteria?”

That is the point. OK, we selected a fine team but we know nothing of the methodology why “a” was picked and not “b”. I mentioned earlier that the USBF is involved in selecting the SportAccord teams in December. They have a process that involves polling top players (with a set of defined credentials) and using the results of the poll. In that case, coming right after the fall NABC, not all of the top pairs are willing to play, but nevertheless a good team is selected. The selection of the chosen pairs is not unanimous by a long shot, but it is fair.

But one thing about the selection process I am quite sure of is that they didn't use the “platinum point” method - nor should they. It is quite silly given all the sponsored teams and given that a weak sponsor would win the same number of platinum points as his/her professional teammates.
June 26, 2014
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This is like saying “I would have won the Swiss Team if we had been using the 30 point scale instead of the 20 point scale”. What you say may be true, but since it was not one the selection criteria used, it isn't relevant. I think that the lesson the USBF should take from this is to never get involved in a subjective selection process for any bridge representation. There will either be actual biases or perceived biases and neither will be conducive to the existence and credibility of that organization.
June 26, 2014
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Wow. First of all - I am so grateful to the BW founders for giving us this wonderful forum.

But - it saddens me that a few (several actually) people see this as a soapbox for their private agendas, or worse, a place to air resentments and grudges. I hope that this can change because if it doesn't the owners will have to either moderate this site or these people will be the only ones still accessing BW and what a shame that would be.

So - the issues -

Do Monaco and the organizers feel persecuted? Perhaps so. It is understandable with a string of things that have happened to their team here and with this event over the last couple of years that they might scratch their heads in wonder. Nevertheless USBF president Howard Weinstein is quite correct when he avers that the USBF had nothing to do with any of these other incidents.

The USBF exists for precisely one reason. While those of us in North America mostly belong to the ACBL, the ACBL is a ZONAL organization and cannot be a NBO (National Bridge Organization) because the ACBL consists of the US, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda. So the USBF was created for the sole reason of managing the selection of our international teams for OFFICIAL WBF events like the Bermuda Bowl Venice Cup and Senior Bowl in odd years and the World Bridge Games in leap years. The World Bridge Series (formerly pairs Olympiad) has become irrelevant since it is now trans-national.

The USBF has taken on a few “projects” over the years including selection of teams in the Sport Accord Mind Games which is a subsidized, private, cash prize event.

In this manner the USBF agreed to select the team for the Buffett Cup, something that had been done privately by the organizers in the past. Unlike the WBF events where the teams were selected objectively by contest, these teams are selected subjectively. The Sport Accord event teams have been selected by a poll of top player/members. There was no established criteria for the Buffet Cup.

Nonetheless, as all agreed, an excellent team was chosen. As I understand it, the USBF Board objected to the process, not the team members. Why they did not ratify this team and then set up standards for the future I don't know. But there it is.

But for those who would tear down the USBF and international high-level bridge in general, I want to see how you market the game by showing them a room full of senior citizens playing for “fun”.

Just as the World Cup stimulates interest in Soccer (or football in most of the world), these events are of interest to potential and developing players worldwide.

If you don't like them don't watch them and don't support the USBF, but don't rain on the parade. Different people have differing goals in bridge.
June 25, 2014
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This is a takeout double but like all high level takeout doubles it is meant to be converted 50-70% of the time. Partner needs shape to pull.
June 24, 2014
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Perhaps you are referring to Jeff Lehman's excellent response Ed?
June 5, 2014
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“In civilized places where weighted adjusted scores are routine, this would probably be scored approximately 1/2 for +230 and 1/2 for +980”

If this is true (I have my doubts) then I am glad we are “uncivilized” because this is a clear-cut one way ruling. I actually would like weighted scores but I see how they can be abused in search of “equity”.
May 9, 2014
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“The top half of the non-qualifiers get to drop in to the Swiss, with carryover scores depending on their Reisinger results.”

I don't care for this idea. To me it is like giving you an English grade based on your Math test.

Carryover and drop-in doesn't mix. If it has to exist it should come from the same type of scoring.
April 26, 2014
Zia
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Yes bridge table behavior has evolved quite a bit and it is generally more pleasant. But we have to take care that our “Zero Tolerance” (I hate that term) policies don't make our game lifeless. Bridge IS a social game and a certain amount of banter among friends or those experienced enough to take it in stride is a positive in my opinion.
April 16, 2014
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A classy response from a classy bridge player. Thank you Steve!
April 15, 2014
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I remember the Fall starting with Mixed (don't remember the “master” part) pairs followed by LM Men's and Women's Pairs. The only time I remember the MixedMaster teams being 2nd weekend was in the mid 2000's for 2 or 3 years.
April 12, 2014
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This is a great thread and BOD members should be reading it. It contains many constructive suggestions. Whenever the NABC schedule changes there are happy and unhappy campers. Personally, I think the worst change ever in the NABC schedule (disclaimer - I frequently play with my wife) is the removal of the Master Mixed Teams from the 1st summer event to midweek. Having this event at the beginning was very social (as NABC events go) and also provided breathing room for players and pairs to have a couple of days to make partnership and team arrangements for the rest of the NABC.
April 12, 2014
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With all respect Steve, I do not think this is comparable. Roy and Sabine have worked VERY hard to develop a first rate partnership. They wish to test that partnership in world team competition. I think that is good for the game and that it is fortunate that they were able to work out residency. I don't think this is being done for money like the scenarios you describe for the GNT (or for that matter entire teams “moving” to a tiny principality to field a great professional team).
April 11, 2014
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