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All comments by Robb Gordon
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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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““Is he saying that since WBF tried to catch them previously and could not, they must be okay??” Actually I was thinking Barry Bonds.
April 5, 2014
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“The ACBL recorder system is not adequate ” This could be the understatement of the year.
April 5, 2014
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I AM saying they should be banned for life. I do make a distinction between somebody deliberately taking advantage of unauthorized information, even if intentionally received and actually planning with a partner to cheat. Doesn't mean I am right and it doesn't mean you need to agree. But I would give that particular cheat a second chance (after a lengthy vacation). But if it is all or nothing then throw them all out for life and good riddance.
April 4, 2014
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Respectfully disagree. There are various ways of cheating - copping wires is one example. My personal opinion is that when one enters into a conspiracy with a partner, whether across the table or (for example)by some form of wireless communication with a confederate - this is the equivalent of capital murder and deserves (in the bridge sense) the death penalty. We don't need them.
April 4, 2014
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On this general subject it just warms the cockles of my heart to see Andrea Buratti playing in the Italian Senior Team trials.
April 4, 2014
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Not only do people like this harm the integrity of the game, but they also harm the public image of the game. Never mind that most people starting in bridge would never play against these people, but it gives a “Wild West” aura to the game which will keep people away. I got a call from BBC Radio (I don't know why) and I was taken aback when the interviewer asked “so bridge isn't a game for gentlemen then?” I responded that bridge is VERY MUCH a game for ladies and gentlemen and that is why we rid our game of these animals as fast as we can. I too congratulate the Lynch team, especially Eddie Wold for his great work here. Every tournament player owes him.
April 2, 2014
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It is apples and oranges as I understand. The rule about cellphones specifies that they must not be visible in the playing area. There is no such specificity about E-cigs in the rule that I read. Having said that, when a tournament official gives you an instruction, you must comply. If you think the instruction was unfair or inappropriate there are avenues to deal with that later.
April 1, 2014
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Mazel Tov!
March 7, 2014
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They only need 3 and 4 more years respectively Henry. I remember meeting Jeff when we were both about 18 (OMG that was a long time ago!).
March 7, 2014
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