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All comments by Robb Gordon
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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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Other questions to answer

3. Do we have a chance to look around the city without car or there is no good public transportation?

Most people in AZ drive. There is an extensive bus system. In addition they have Metro Light Rail quite close to the playing sites.

4. Is it a good idea to make a trip to Grand Canyon from Phoenix or better to go there from another place? (Las Vegas?) Is it advisable to taker tour there? (Are any trains or buses from Phoenix to Grand Canyon?)

Las Vegas is nowhere near Phoenix. It is a separate trip and you would probably fly.

The Grand Canyon is a day trip for some, but I think it is a bit far. Yes, there are tour companies that will transport you to the Canyon (and to Sedona for that matter).
Sept. 10, 2013
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NYC and SF it isn't for sure. Not even Chicago or Toronto - but it has improved especially in Scottsdale.
Sept. 10, 2013
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Don't know when you lived here Dustin but lots of good restaurants now - problem is they are not downtown for the most part and tough rushing between sessions. You are 100% right about Mexican though.
Sept. 10, 2013
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I came to the Phoenix NABC in 2002 and as a result purchased a home in Sedona, where I now reside. To me Sedona is the most beautiful place on earth. Downtown Phoenix has changed a lot since 2002. It is livelier with many restaurants opening. There is music and theater. But it isn't New York or San Francisco. There are many wonderful things to see and do in metro Phoenix. A must is the Musical Instrument Museum which is about 10-15 miles from the playing site. They have instruments going back almost 1000 years and from every part of the world. It is actually too much to see in one visit. Old-town Scottsdale, about 8 miles from the site is lovely and has some excellent dining establishments. Fashion Square Mall has some of the most exclusive shops in the world.
Sept. 10, 2013
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Oh - positive honorable mentions to Philadelphia and Boston - both good venues.
Sept. 8, 2013
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Having attended many NABC's since my first one (Montreal, 1967, as a caddy) I would list these as the best and worst sites taking into account lodging, playing space convenience and quality, and availability of decent food nearby at the appropriate hours - 1. Toronto, 2. Washington, 3. Chicago, 4. Las Vegas (especially since the monorail), 5. San Francisco. I didn't rank Phoenix because I live in the area, but people who were here in 2002 will be pleasantly surprised. Worst places - 1. Birmingham (possibly the worst specific location ever), 2. Fresno, 3. Lancaster, 4. Niagara Falls 5. Norfolk VA
Sept. 8, 2013
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I believe years ago (1983?) there was a spring NABC in Hawaii that was pretty popular. Better, at least, than spring NABCs in Detroit (my hometown), Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, all great successes.
Sept. 8, 2013
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I remember playing this over 1NT rebids only around 1990. I think I learned it from Brian Glubok.
Sept. 7, 2013
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I am a fairly fast player but do not care for the idea of “fast pairs” since I do believe that bridge is a thinking game. However, I would never say it wasn't “bridge”. It is just different bridge like matchpoints is different from IMPs.
Sept. 2, 2013
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Hey Super-G I have you down for 2024.
Aug. 18, 2013
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I am with the folks who say it is fine (and expected) to “swing” when down a significant number of IMPS. I think the “alert” issue is pretty clearly behavior not consistent with ACBL regulation.

At the risk of going “off-topic” I would like to bring up a somewhat related issue. In a pairs event, particularly a multi-session event, most pairs have a pretty good idea that they are out of contention. All too often I see these pairs doing random things just because it doesn't matter (to them). I am not talking about throwing boards to friends, I am just talking about people who psyche or operate just for fun, affecting the outcome of the event. I think that the implicit obligation to “play bridge” ought to be come an explicit obligation, and be enforced. I am not talking about inferior play, I am talking about wild actions.
Aug. 17, 2013
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You kids are whippersnappers! I turn 57 next month. When I was your age…
Aug. 17, 2013
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The overwhelming liklihood is that LHO will bid 3NT. I think it is “good bridge” to get your lead director in. This is perfectly legal and moral. You don't need to have an agreement. Partner understands the situation and knows if you have a decent hand YOU will double 3NT when it comes back to you.
Aug. 16, 2013
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I think that the weaker the field, the less should be allowed. However, I also think that the complexity of permitted methods should also relate to the number of boards to be played against each opponent(s). So pairs and BAM with 2-3 board sets should be fairly basic, 64 board KOs should be almost anything goes.

This is not just about fairness (although it is a factor) but also time. Playing complex methods takes time to explain and time for the opps to develop a defense. Unless we want to go to 10 minutes per board, we should keep the pairs events simple.
Aug. 15, 2013
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