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All comments by Steve Zolotow
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Years ago, I established a tradition with my girlfriend that she never wish me, “Good luck,” which I can't control, but instead tell me, “Play Well,”which is within my control. I pass those sentiments on to my recent teammates and friends in Croatia. I'd also advise the other players to watch out for this team. They already play very well, and are getting tougher every day.
Aug. 21, 2015
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Instead of shutting down the thread, we should shut down the ACBL (perhaps Mike can sue for a large enough amount) and replace them with a competent bridge organization.
Aug. 19, 2015
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I want to add my condolences to Mike for this unfortunate situation, and of course, express my never-ending displeasure with the way the ACBL conducts itself. Did a committee really find it credible that a player with Mike's reputation and record would decide to cheat at some insignificant regional, and that the method of cheating that Mike would chose was to switch two relatively insignificant cards in a board he had already played? I'm not sure what the appropriate punishment should be for failure to call the director to restore a boxed card, but anything more than a warning seems severe.
Aug. 19, 2015
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There have been a lot of comments about self-serving statements to the AC, but that notes would have avoided this problem. I am sure that self-serving notes on a situation that occurred in the 2nd quarter could be produced by the end of the 4th quarter. The real problem is that the AC made a ruling, which may have been good, bad or indifferent, based on statements made by participants, which may or may not have been self serving, and which related to an issue other than the one originally appealed. (Speed of tray passing revealing unauthorized information was the original subject, but it morphed into problems with alerting forcing passes behind screens.) This decided a close match. Unless steps are taken to change the procedure, it will happen again periodically.
Aug. 19, 2015
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No one has mentioned the problems of remembering exactly what happened at the table early in the match when called before committee 10 or so hours later. Even notes written to a screen mate would be gone. There has been a lot of research by modern psychologists about the way memory functions. Among other things, the subconscious tends to fill in missing memories and/or substitute memories that show the individual in a more flattering light. While these memories may be seen as self-serving, they are truly believed and seem real to that person. (I recently read and recommend Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow, which discusses these topics in depth & provides many references.)
Aug. 17, 2015
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I hope this is my final comment on this thread. I have been friends with both Jimmy C and Ritchie S for over 50 years. I have played bridge with and against both of them. They have both had some health problems and it is great to see them competing successfully at top level bridge. I am not a big fan of the formal bridge structure with its ever more complex rules, procedures, etc. I can't imagine that either Jimmy or Ritchie would want to have a match in which they and their teams struggled for 8 or hours decided by a committee in the wee hours of the morning. Although I also expect that being tough competitors, they would accept seeing a loss turned into a win by the committee as better than losing. Bridge should be about which team plays better, not which team is most capable of using the letter of the law to triumph. Bridge devotes more writing to rulings than any mind game by a huge margin. The Bridge World, ACBL bulletin, & daily national bulletins devote columns to discussion of rules and ruling. To me all this would be laughable if it weren't so important to so many players. I know if I were beginning bridge now, I would hesitant to continue because of the unpleasantness of so many situations at the table.
Aug. 16, 2015
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I certainly don't claim to be very knowledgeable about either alert procedures or the nuances of modern bidding, but without discussion, I'd assume that if partner has 2 or more ways to bid our game, then the stronger sounding one, creates a forcing pass. Jumping to 4H then passing is non-forcing. Q-bidding 3S to force to 4H, then passing is. I would never consider alerting this in case my alert helps pard more than the opponents. I guess if we had an explicit (in the notes) or implicit (in discussion of similar topics) understanding, I'd alert in case with screens, although it is usually clear when there is something be communicated on the other side of the screen (pauses, whispers, pencil scratching, etc.)
Aug. 16, 2015
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Clearly the Lavazza team are loyal to their sponsor, a coffee company, and had a little too much java. The excess caffeine, might be considered doping in some sports, but it in bridge it just produces a little exuberant bidding & leads to some hopeless contracts.
Aug. 16, 2015
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I have long felt that before a match starts, there should be an option, that both teams may agree, to treat all director's rulings as final. That is they agree before starting that there will be no protests & no committees. Obviously if either team wants to preserve its right to protest, then both will be allowed to do so.
Aug. 16, 2015
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I have long felt that before a match starts, there should be an option, that both teams may agree, to treat all director's rulings as final. That is they agree before starting that there will be no protests & no committees. Obviously if either team wants to preserve its right to protest, then both will be allowed to do so.
Aug. 16, 2015
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What I'm suggesting is very different than celebrity speakers during breaks. My vision is more of a 1 session individual, perhaps only 16 boards, with a smattering of pros. Some of whom might discuss hands afterward. ACBL would still collect fees, but ordinary players might have the experience of playing a hand partnered by Meckwell or Weinstein or Levin or Passell or fill in the blank or opposing them.
Aug. 6, 2015
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To some extent most unlimited national events are ‘the pro tour.’ Yes, amateur players can participate, and some are competitive, but basically professionals win virtually all team games & most other open events. I'd be surprised if an amateur team had won a major team game in recent history. (A team of all pros who couldn't find a sponsor is not an amateur team.)
Aug. 4, 2015
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Why not just give master points to the team as a whole & let the team allocate them as they see fit? If most of us don't care, but one person does, give him all or most of the team's points. Better yet, do away with master points and establish a rating system like that for chess that comes closer to reflecting a player's skill level.
Aug. 4, 2015
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Perhaps we can get a bidding war started for Kit's services:)
Aug. 3, 2015
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Peg From the little I know of club play, the games are more social there. Conventions are relatively standardized within a club, rules are often more lax etc., and this makes games more social. (I played in a club game with an excellent pard (might have been Josh D or Ron Smith) after too much saki at dinner. One opponent said she often had trouble remembering the contract & did we mind if she left the bidding box card with the final contract exposed to remind her. Of course we didn't mind. Try doing this at a National. Even try asking to see the last card played when all are face down …
Aug. 2, 2015
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I am probably swimming upstream with this, but I think rubber bridge, especially for minimal stakes, is a much more appropriate setting for social bridge. Each group can have its own subset of rules (I prefer ruling based on equity or fairness, not technicalities) and conventions (eliminating the need for convention cards, alerts, etc.) Unfortunately duplicate, especially at the higher levels, tends to produce a much more cutthroat atmosphere. When computer play comes to tournaments (and I'm sure it will) it will add to game speed and reduce problems that arise during live play.
Aug. 2, 2015
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Since I'm one of many who feel that the ACBL has enough trouble dealing with ordinary operations, I find it virtually inconceivable that they could handle uncovering punishing cheaters with anything close to competence. I'm a little surprised more people don't like the idea of using computers at tournaments. I envision 4 rooms, one each for all the Easts, Norths, Souths, & Wests. Each with private bathroom. Think of the problems it would solve. No revokes. No insufficient bids. No fumbling with bidding box. No pulling out a card and then putting it back. Alerts seen only by opponents, etc.
Aug. 1, 2015
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ED Counting at BJ is not a crime in Vegas, but going into a casino is a privilege, not a right, & they can forbid entry (except for race, sex) to anyone they want. Usually procedure is bar someone from BJ but allow other games. In Atlantic City, it is a right, so they do other things to discourage counters (immediate shuffle or only allow them to flat bet.)
Aug. 1, 2015
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The is no perfect way, but if everyone is moved up one spot, then everyone's result will be improved. Even though true equity can never be achieved, at least everyone should be happy to move up.
July 31, 2015
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There was pretty strong evidence of cheating in the WSOP 10K Head Up Event this year, and the authorities as usual handled it poorly. The famous poet & race track junkie, Charles Bukowski, once said something along the lines of “If I was betting on the goodness of humanity, I'd never cash a ticket.” If you have any interest in the poker scandal read:
http://www.pokernews.com/news/2015/06/wsop-investigates-cheating-allegations-in-10k-heads-up-21771.htm
July 31, 2015
Steve Zolotow edited this comment July 31, 2015
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