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All comments by Robb Gordon
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Only the WBF has an world event less than a year off with NO information about location, hotels, etc. Mr. Rona, it's nice that you decided to have an event that no Non-Chinese resident can fly directly to, a place that many of us never even heard of (although it sounds nice) and in keeping the high WBF standard, make the plans for the tournament and venue a total black box.
Nov. 19, 2013
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The first time I met Mike he came to a regional in Ohio. He had recently started his relationship with Susan and her ex-boyfriend was my bridge partner. He came up to me and introduced himself very eloquently. I finally realized after he had gone on for some time, that he thought he was speaking to the ex (which was incredibly brave in retrospect) and I had to tell him after all this that I thought he wanted to speak with my partner.
Nov. 16, 2013
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Typo. I meant 5D
Sept. 27, 2013
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I think you will find that 3NT is cold with a heart lead on any defense. In the VC, Marion Michielsen found the winning line single dummy. She won the opening h lead, played a D to the A getting the bad news and 3 top clubs. What 8 cards should west hold? Assuming 5 hearts and 3 diamonds what to discard after a spade to the ace? Play with it, you will see that west is fixed. She discarded a heart. Marion played a diamond from hand, forcing west to split, and then threw west in with her hearts.

By the way, 5D is cold but complicated. Sorry about the 6d typo.
Sept. 27, 2013
Robb Gordon edited this comment Sept. 27, 2013
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Normally I like to double with this shape because of flexibility. But I think the suit quality here is such that game on even a 5-2 fit might be reasonable and we are unlikely to find the 5-3 fit if I double.
Sept. 27, 2013
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3H initially means “I have a heart stopper”. Partner should bid 3NT with a club stopper, 3S with a spade (but no club) stopper, and generally 4D later.
Sept. 20, 2013
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Wonderful tournament.
Sept. 18, 2013
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I could accept that Henry, at least it would be consistent.
Sept. 17, 2013
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Yes, sadly this is true. For visitors from many countries, the process to visit the US is nearly torture. One can understand our security paranoia, but when people are here for cultural exchange or competitions I wish we would be more welcoming.
Sept. 17, 2013
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I sympathize with Roland. I certainly sympathize with the Israeli women who got a raw deal. I sympathize with Migry who had to jump through extra hoops just to play in Bali. As a Jew and a proud Zionist, I sympathize with what Israel has to put up with that no other nation is subjected to. I agree that the WBF dropped the ball here and in the future will (I hope) hold their events in places where all bona fide contestants are welcomed and made to feel safe.

Having said all of that, I am in total agreement that BBO (and bridge venues in general) should be about bridge, not politics. I agree with Uday.
Sept. 17, 2013
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I think it is a worthy idea. But please don't get rid of the Reisinger! I am not sure whether the suggested scheduling is optimal. Also, I don't understand why this event would be the only open, unlimited NABC+ event that would not confer Grand Master status. I am interested in your thinking about this. I can think of many events on the schedule now that would be less deserving of GM status.
Sept. 17, 2013
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I do not play this pass as forcing.
Sept. 17, 2013
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Round-robins bring on other problems like “sportsmanlike dumping” and thus are fairly unpopular for the majors. I know the WBF uses them anyway.
Sept. 16, 2013
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Can you provide a link, Henry?
Sept. 16, 2013
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Thank you Alan. It is likely that my political beliefs were aligned with the team, but when they put those on display at a world bridge championship in China of all places they certainly do not represent me.
Sept. 15, 2013
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Yes, making political statements at a competition in a foreign country is inappropriate and is a breach of protocol in many nations. I think even some of the participants in Shanghai might agree at this point. We live in a country where we have a right to voice our views - we can picket the White House, take out a newspaper ad, or a variety of other things. Turning a bridge competition (or discussion board) into a political forum is unnecessary and inappropriate.
Sept. 15, 2013
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What does politics have to do with this discussion thread?
Sept. 15, 2013
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The “certain dollar amount per ACBL member” is the dues for the World Bridge Federation. I think it is 50 cents or 1 dollar. That money does not go to the USBF (although it might be routed through the USBF).
Sept. 15, 2013
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Respectfully Steve, I disagree with your analogy and with your conclusion. As an American, I am proud to root for “my” entrants into the Olympics, and I am quite sure citizens of other nations feel the same way about their nations' representatives.

But as much as I might like skiing for example, I am under no illusion that the Olympic ski team “represents” me in being an occasional skier (actually I am not but it seems like the best example). These are people who devote their lives to their sport. These are people that pay thousands in cost, purchase the best equipment, hire the best coaches. Some of them are “sponsored” in the sense that their training is subsidized by philanthropy. But nobody is under the illusion that they are duffers. Let's not even go into the basketball teams!

As an amateur I have no great love for pro teams. It becomes difficult to form an excellent amateur team in the sense that none of the players are being paid to play in the event. But it isn't impossible. Whether the Nickell team or the Bruno team is representing the US in the BB, I will root hard for them.

It WOULD be nice if there was a major team event where professional arrangements were not permitted, but I don't know how one would enforce it.

But I strongly disagree with the idea that the ACBL should withdraw their support for these world qualifying events. Doing that would ensure no amateur teams participate because many of them could no longer afford the expense of travel.

I am happy that events like bracketed K/Os have done so much to enhance enthusiasm and attendance (although I personally would prefer the old schedule of one event per day). But I don't think bridge in the US can survive in the long term without things like world competition to stimulate interest. To the extent that young people take to bridge, it isn't with the long-term goal of winning a braket 7 KO.
Sept. 13, 2013
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Sheraton. The Sheraton is really lovely. One drawback for a 10 day tournament is that the rooms are very low on storage space - pack light.
Sept. 11, 2013
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