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All comments by Cameron French
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I never abstain.

Many moons ago (like 35/40) I poured over several years of The Bridge World's MSC. I was counting the abstentions. I wrote a little multiple (3) choice quiz and asked, who had the most, the fewest, the causes, (alibis) and other trivial points relating to abstentions. They were quite prolific with 1-3 per issue.

My request at the end was that the MSC panelists imagine they were involuntarily inserted into a match, and the bidding, including their own to this point of the auction, was beyond their control and thus criticism.

Most often the abstainers did not appreciate their prior bidding, decrying it had placed them in an untenable position. If that objection is nullified, there is no reason not to add to the discussion.

Not sure it had much impact, but the last 10+ years have seen very rare abstentions and panelists will of course complain about the conditions of contest but comply as requested. They now play Bridge World Standard, an ever-evolving MSC adaptation.

People posing the questions typically want to understand the expert and/or consensus opinion pursuant to their query. It's not National Security, answer or not, abstaining deprives the rest of us of your logic and insight. It serves no one.

BTW, Edgar himself sent a note and the $25 remuneration. Wish I framed it…..

C
Aug. 16
Cameron French edited this comment Aug. 17
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Wish I held such hands playing rubber.
Vote as per Steve above.

C
Aug. 14
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Four Canuck bucks per session?

Really?

Facilities cost money, as do directors and caddies.

I think it's a bargain.


C
Aug. 12
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Did I understand correctly that he wanted images?

If so, offensive, unwarranted and at the very least scary.

“Never met”, images and age differential are red flags. Because she is 21 doesn't mean all is well.

I would certainly report his behaviour to the sponsoring organization.

Shades of Radiohead….



C
Aug. 9
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Fingers of his dealing hand broken….

A brilliant gambit explored further in one of The King's Tales (Philip and Robert King) but a coup so elusive and the ultimate in psychological artistry.

GL, hope you produce a new version equally entertaining.


C
Aug. 9
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An elegant piece on a class man and their wonderful rapport.

I vote for more of the same.

Merci Fred.


C
Aug. 8
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Admiral James T. Kirk and Kinsella's Field of Dreams are from/set in Iowa. 'Nuff said….

C
Aug. 8
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Doesn't Flannery by definition transfer captaincy to the responder?

Max or not, there is no justification for bidding on when partner has made the decision for the partnership.

If the rules allow this transgression (and the discussion above persuades me they do not), then it is a sad day indeed.

__________

On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.

Adlai Stevenson I
Aug. 3
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I hope your son is not put off by this incident. I suggest you order Kantar's Gamesman's Bridge (or the like, - a humorous insight into novice and advanced bridge reasoning) as a token reward to celebrate his first endplay, squeeze or achievement.

Make it fun.

GL.

And may your next submission share his moment of glory.


C
July 31
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As Kit noted in the preamble, interference was predictable. Not being able to show our suits lead to this.

One might well have started with 2C (natural) and over 4D bid 4S avoiding this nightmare.

And it is not a crime to have a bit extra (a twist if you will) especially when you can bid naturally.

C
July 29
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Art,


He said that he thought that he made the percentage play in the suit based on the fact that I flinched or hitched on the play of the King.
_____________________________

Obviously he drew an (incorrect) inference at his own risk.

___________________

I interjected that I had not done so.

Was the dummy now entry-less so he could not lead toward his QX?

Even if so, he needs to catch Jx (in which case he plays his Q) or Ax - in which case he needs to exit low.

Perhaps the spots meant he needed JX so he made the “percentage play” for that.

His remark was inappropriate. His apology, feeble.



C
July 29
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How about a Golden Sombrero (striking out 4X in the same game) with losing with the same partner 4X in a row.

Mike Flanagan nicknamed the “Horn” after watching team mate Sam Horn K'd 6X in one game.

I've had a few…..

C
July 29
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Would you consider (if nominated) being a Director in the MSC?
Allows you a peripheral role, not much time (only twice a year) and frankly, the mag would benefit from some ‘youth’ and your tact, insight and perspective.

I'll call Jeff right away.

Best in the next leg of the journey. I am white with envy….


C
July 29
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Hi A.J.,

Appreciate the information.
TY.


C
July 21
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Q: Is there a process or protocol by the ACBL and sister organizations for players whose team mates cheated to repudiate tainted titles?

If so, great. That allows those victims too to distance themselves from the fraud perpetrated upon them and the game.

If not, is there a plan to do that? If I recall Jimmy Cayne (and others) decried the lack of such.

Forgive me if that is already in place.



C
July 21
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To answer DC's inquiry above about 7♦ (aka the beer card), I cull from a story I wrote on The Language of Bridge.

_________

Sometimes cards develop their own identities. We have the Beer Card. If under certain circumstances you win the last trick with the ♦7, your partner owes you a beer. Greg Morse, with Sherri Winestock and Jeff Goldsmith traced its origin to a Danish game called Boma-Loma where the ♦7 was a vital card. Danish players brought it to Europe. American Junior players picked it up at a Junior Bridge Camp in Poland and imported it home to become part of the game’s vernacular.

_____________

As for the curse card, from the same essay…

____________


The Curse of Scotland is the ♦9. This has a dubious origin, one of several being that the ♦9 was the chief card used in the game Pope John. It was designated the Pope, the Antichrist of Scottish Reformers.

________________


I propose a toast to Greg, Sherri and Jeff.


C
July 18
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Fred,

Let me count the ways….

Fred was a budding teenager when we first met. I sold my bridge club membership to my competitor (and Fred's early mentor) Ted Horning. He struck me then as reserved, polite, funny - and, atypical of the era, bereft of ego.

In spite of by 10 year head start (but no Ted for me) Fred's talent soared him past all of our ‘group’ - (certainly me) in a few short months. We crossed paths occasionally as opponents and team mates.


Over a cold one some time in the 90's he revealed that the next step in his bridge career would entail a migration to our southern neighbour. It was in the cards.

We kept in occasional contact over the years. He was always a wise counsel. He much preferred the background to the spot-light and I always admired that.

In 1995 the Bermuda Bowl, sponsored by Marlboro (!) saw Fred and Team Canada in the mother of all unfortunate conditions. Canada - having a lock into the final four, found themselves in the potential shark-infested waters of ethics, tanking and sportsmanship.

If Canada rolled over on their last match before the final four,
the famed Nickell, Hamman, Meckwell & company might not qualify for the playoff.

So, play tough, win, and hopefully meet and kick their derriere in the championship final or play not so well and avoid Nickel altogether? Kibitzers, spies, analysts, pundits and fans focused on Team Canada and their performance.

What they didn't know was Team Canada (Baran, Kokish, Gitelman, Mittelman, Molson, Silver, Litvak NPC) was way ahead of the curve. Fred revealed that they had discussed this in advance of the event. There was a quick consensus. Play your best, always.

Did he have any regrets at seeing Nickell hoist the championship trophy? What do you think?

A couple of years ago Fred hosted me and my son at his home over pizza and more cold ones. His retirement from the circuit was fresh and unofficial save a few team mates and insiders. He shared his latest bridge acquisition; issue # 1 of The Bridge World; we savored {sic} the moment.

We, The North miss you. But if sharing you with our neighbours is your destiny, they are the lucky ones. But we are all winners because I can't imagine a better ambassador, in bridge or any domain.

I won't rehash his fabulous contributions to the game, because to me, they pale compared to his unspoken (or soft-spoken) message - always show respect to others and play your best. Unlike Fred, that speaks volumes.

Integral.

Funny.

Class.

Grace.


And Sherri? She is the calm hand on the rudder, staying the course and a perfect compliment as a partner.

Don't be a stranger. Next time you travel north, maybe a ballgame or even the sport of your terre natale - hockey?

This time, the cold ones are on me.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCYK4Di8lhs


C
July 15
Cameron French edited this comment July 15
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Peg.

You are right and there is a disconnect between the cannon fodder and the elite and the League(s).

As Mark noted, “HOW”?

One way is someone youthful (at least in bridge standards) and recognizable to my son's generation like James Holzhauer of Jeopardy fame to be a poster boy for marketing. Do a barnstorming tour with a young female millennial of similar media presence. That would be someone we don't know but the younger do.

Make bridge cool, youthful, social and perforce…tech applications to bring them aboard.

Bridge is a social game. For many - that element has been lost in translation.


C
July 11
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Reminds me of (memory may be fuzzy) Allan Falk, in The Bridge World (a long time ago) where the computer was “stuck” on replicating singleton kings.

Not exactly sure what the “essence of {the} post” is but I would check with the hand generator person/software. Something is amiss.

GL.


C
July 11
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A fair observation.

My point being transfers and all the toys are collateral, the joy of doing is the thing. Fun fast or it becomes frustrating and a turn off.

Before I was a teacher, I taught bridge to adults at night school.
I started with 6 tables. Finished 8 weeks later with 1.5.
I was trying to teach them too much bridge knowledge.

After my BEd. I tried again.
Slowed it way down.
Everyone laid the cards face UP on the table.
Did homework.
Won weekly prizes.
See and touch how a finesse works.
At the end invited them all to a local club for a special event.
Finished with 5/6 tables, some still at it today.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Heaven (and Jacoby) can wait.
Meatloaf? :)

Nah,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqt-O9F6AkQ


Gambit
July 11
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