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All comments by Allan Bloom
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The next step is the competition wherein probably Monaco will be a participant. The competition is between countries and not individuals. For my part, integrity and honesty are involved as a part of the competition and in my view have been compromised My apologies to Mr. Wolff for my error in spelling his name. I meant no disrespect but it gave certain posters a chance to pounce on it to deflect my criticism regarding the obvious fact that at least 5 of the 6 Monaco participants are not or have ceased to be residents of Monaco by any common sense definition of that term. Although there was a “finding” to the contrary in an apparent vague proceeding to me it is tainted without a transcript.
May 29, 2015
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Melanie thank you for your research as it has brought knowledge upon the subject. Clearly, the issue is not whether it is a strong team or not. Obviously, not only a strong team in a hugely competitive field but maybe the best team world-wide as well as demonstrated by its performance. As with the current FIFA football (soccer) scandal if the USA Justice Dept. had taken no action the status quo would continue. Of course, there is no comparison to the power of the ACBL to bring about changes but at least discussion on Brdige Winners gives it the light of day. Moreover, thanks to Bridge Winners providing the site. It is not about a USA or European view but what is good for bridge in general.
May 28, 2015
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Burden of proof is on the individual claiming residency. Most important is the definition of residency. Reading Melanie's post it appears that to the Webster dictionary definition of residency
the European's considering residency found residency is a state of mind and if for a limited time you considered yourself a resident this was sufficient with physical presence for an extended time not a major consideration. This is different from citizenship. Citizenship does not change because your residence changes from time to time. Moreover, once determined a resident it is no longer challenged unless the “resident” decides to claim a new residency at his or her discretion.
May 28, 2015
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Webster's College Dictionary defines reside as “dwell permanently or for a considerable time”. We can all agree on “permanent” is not involved for any of the members of the Monaco team as the basis of being eligible but based on Melanie's post there was no factual basis for Norway or Italian citizens who may have visited Monaco to be eligible. In my opinion, any such finding is not supported by any facts. Residence is the essence of eligibility. Are you aware of the alleged facts supporting such finding or just that residence was “found” without any supporting facts or a tortured definition of “residence”?
I find it privileged to have Bobby Woolf participate in the discussion. Having followed Mr. Woolf from the formation of the Dallas Aces and his partnership with Robert Hammam to the present day, any comments and opinions by Mr. Woolf give an insight into the history and present status of competitive bridge. Please continue to post Mr. Woolf as your posts are valuable and well appreciated.
May 28, 2015
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We appreciate and are honored that Canadian citizens choose to reside in the USA, especially in the warm climate of Florida and in Las Vegas, and become fully eligible to compete. Can you make that statement with regard to the Monaco members who probably need a Rick Steves travel guide to find their way in Monaco. Moreover, from what I have read Jan Martel has been designated a franchise player for the USA. Without controversy the Canadians have followed the rules and have not made a mockery of alleged residence. They are wonderful representatives for bridge and deserve to be emulated.
May 27, 2015
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Read the post from Melanie Manfield where she gives a link to the decision to basically waive the 2 year residency requirement for the Norway and Italy pairs to compete as a part of the Monaco country team. Prepare for some laughs. Of course, part of the justification was promotion to assist “aspiring” Monaco bridge players. Did the Norway and Italy teams wear lapel pins signifying any type of allegiance to Monaco?
May 26, 2015
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I may be at best an average bridge player striving to be better (your columns helps) but not being privy to the workings of the WBF which you have set forth, I cannot fathom the national pride of Monaco having any bearing on the matter. At a minimum there should be a time lapse before switching country allegiances. Otherwise, it boggles common sense that the Monaco team has pairs from Norway and Italy. How can this be justified? In my opinion, it cannot and there is no satisfactory response can be made. Zimmerman has made a fool of the WBF and obviously money talks and most of the posters could care less about it. I root for the USA and as a veteran I could never represent any other country other than the USA. Of course, with my skills it is out of the question (lol).
May 25, 2015
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Remember attending in Detroit a match between Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzales as part of their nationwide tour. It was exciting and at the tail end of the playing career of Kramer. Imagine using wooden rackets! Having no clue as to the inner workings of the WBF, although good at catching bridge cheats, in my opinion, they are doing poorly at monitoring and formulating rules for international tournaments. It is outrageous that this year a player can compete for one country and next year another without any time lapse. Professional soccer and basketball players play in various leagues but at the time of the Olympics they revert to their country of origin. Imagine Lebron James playing for Monaco in the Olympics. In bridge nary a whimper that the Monaco team players are recruited from other countries on the basis as professionals they have to make a living. What a hypocrisy! At least they should a relationship to that country that stands a modicum of scrutiny.
May 25, 2015
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Thank you for your response Mr. Woolf However, it appears that there is no hard and fast rule for representing a country. I am unaware of any governing body disqualifying an individual to represent a country of their choosing no matter what are the circumstances. Another poster pointed out that Zimmerman lives in Switzerland (although I do not believe he is a Swiss citizen) but has a house in Monaco which apparently is for vacations. Of course, this does not qualify him or his other teammates or does it? By this standard, if I had a time share in Zanzibar I could represent Zanzibar with persons of my choosing. In the sense of fair play and to provide credibility there must be rules for everybody and not rules that Zimmerman makes for his own benefit. I am sure the Chess federation would preclude Boris Spassky from playing on the USA Chess Federation Team in international competition. The same would go for the Ryder Cup Rory Rory Mccilroy in golf. If there are no rules my wife could place my golf ball in the cup and I could claim a hole-in-one and save me the trouble of hitting my tee shot. I for one, believe the hypocrisy of a bridge player playing for a country without strong ties to that country is an outrage and counter-productive. Although Mr. Welland likes to play with Ms. Auken, it is not a basis for representing Germany in international competition no matter if he has a house in Germany. Does he consider himself an American or a German? This should be basis and criteria of representation in my opinion. The way to enhance the game of bridge is to have truth in fact, not fiction. On a personal note, I enjoy your column in the Los Angeles Daily News and it is the major reason why I continue to subscribe to it. Thanks for the bridge knowledge you impart on a daily basis.
May 24, 2015
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After reading many comments, no response to the “fairness” of having a Monaco team with no member having an objective connection with Monaco being able to compete in a Bermuda type events? Does Zimmerman claim to be Moancoian (if there be such a word) or French? Are there any rules or conditions imposed for team member qualification purposes? Is it just hypocrisy or matters of convenience? Can a USA citizen be a member of the team representing Monaco? How is the team from Monaco selected to compete? What are the rules, if any?
May 24, 2015
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Stand corrected. It was Jamaica not known for fielding a 4 man bobsed tean, rather than Africa. In the spirit of competition, need teammates who are willing to go to Monaco and provide opposition to Zimmerman next time around. Of course, it appears Zimmerman makes the rules of contest and may choose to change the qualification site to Paris. However, I can do it and maybe persuade him to combine it with a cruise of the Greek Islands leaving from Venice, Italy. Maybe, Larry Cohen can organize it as one of his cruises or in the alternative Audrey Grant. Any takers?
May 22, 2015
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Competition between nations? First of all, how many teams competed in the Monaco qualification? I doubt there was any qualification process and Zimmerman became Monaco's representative by decree of Zimmerman. Moreover, I doubt Zimmerman pays any taxes in Monaco or has any real connection to Monaco other than going to Monaco for a vacation. Does the WBF or USBF monitor the qualification process in Monaco? How did Zimmerman come to represent Monaco? This is Disneyland at its best. If you want to have fun form a team representing Lichtenstein and enter the European qualification process. Who is going to object? Not Lichtenstein who will enjoy the notoriety. Remember the African country that entered the bobsled event in the winter Olympics (I forget the name) resulting in a Disney movie. As stated earlier, welcome to Disneyland. Maybe if you have a great pro team, Lichtenstein may qualify and just imagine the discussion on Bridge Winners. Bring it on!
May 22, 2015
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Welcome to Disneyland. The Monaco team is composed of individuals who neither were born or are citizens of Monaco or even reside in Monaco. What is their connection to Monaco? If this be the case nationality should be set aside and avoid the hypocrisy and just allow teams to play no matter where they are from even Mars.
May 22, 2015
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Bridge is a game. Like Zero Mostel said in the producers “If you got it flaunt it”. If a bridge player has a ton of money and chooses to pay others to play with him or her so be it. It is great for the sponsor who obtains recognition and the teammates who have cash in their pockets. There is no rule that you have to be born or a citizen of the county for whom you play. How many Monaco team members were born or raised in Monaco? The rules are the rules as long as you are following the rules forget about all the discussion of sponsors. It is not like the America's cup where you have a yacht hoisting the Pepsi's sails. Frankly, it would be fun to have the players wearing a Kellogg's shirt emblazoned with Tony the Tiger. We are not looking for perfection so get on with it and quit carping that we should have only pro teams exclusively representing the USA.
May 20, 2015
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Unlikely that a sponsor will play final sets in a match. Therefore, the advantage goes to a team with a sponsor who plays well enough to provide a team to remain within striking distance of the lead going into the final sets. How are Nickel's skills compared to Fireman's skills? Credit Ralph Katz and Gavin Wolpert who have to play with players of lesser ability but are up to the task of carrying their sponsor partner. How does Katz compare with Fireman?
May 18, 2015
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To attack the messenger NYT that the bridge column is dispensable is to bury the problem. The problem is bridge popularity has waned in contrast to such pastimes as on line poker. Contrast the growth of bridge attendance to in person poker promotions. Where is there any ACBL bridge innovation? What about new classifications between slm and glm and above? What about on line team tournaments? The bridge world is static and hidebound. Bridge is a wonderful game and all posters agree on that but it must be forward thinking and sadly the ACBL has not come forward with any new ideas to keep members engaged past being a lm. Note, the newspapers are not cancelling cross word puzzles but only bridge and chess columns. Why?
May 4, 2015
Allan Bloom edited this comment May 4, 2015
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Depends on my distribution. If I have a six card suit or a good 5 card suit with 3 of the top 5 honors, I would bid the suit. Otherwise, I would pass.
April 22, 2015
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Sounds like a shill for BBO. Granted the level of human competition is superior to OK BRIDGE but it is a heck of a lot more expensive to obtain master points than OK BRIDGE.
Feb. 8, 2015
Allan Bloom edited this comment Feb. 9, 2015
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Obviously you are a world class player. I am not. So I have to be satisfied with an occasional fractional point. Agree there are truly accomplished pairs. Unfortunately, my usual partners are not in the same class. So we have to strive to be best in our classification. Very infrequently, we have been first overall but do not have delusions of grandeur. Good luck to you.
Jan. 24, 2015
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Have no clue how u could earn 2289 mps on BBO for $40 as u stated in your post. Pls explain. Most players on OK Bridge are A or B players and mps are awarded in each classification A, B and C. Many top players such as Gary Hayden, Harold Feldheim and Larry Mori participate on OK Bridge. For persons who are seeking mps playing on a regular basis OK Bridge i cost effective rather than BBO. Although u state u are interested in far more than mps, obviously there are many others whose primary concern is earning mps. From a cost effective point of view, which is is BBO better than OK Bridge?
Jan. 23, 2015
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