Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Dennis Ryan
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As “someone famous” once said: “It ain't over till it's over.”
Aug. 1, 2018
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Master points mean what they mean to ME, and I really don't care very much about what they may or may not mean to anyone else. Master points have kept me interested in sanctioned duplicate bridge games for 66 years now. I remember ecstatically coming home from a duplicate bridge game at age 14, triumphantly clutching a slip of paper worth .03 fractionals for having barely scratched somewhere. Since then, I have always sought to attain the next higher level. But the “meaning” of master points has changed as I have aged. Tournaments, at my age, are now 1) inconvenient; 2) expensive; and 3) not nearly as much fun as playing with good friends in a club game. But my change in the way I view master points has never changed my attempt to keep working at becoming the best player I can possibly be. This is obviously NOT what master points mean to a bridge pro, or to a poorish player wealthy enough to pay that pro until he becomes platinum. So let master points mean to others whatever they mean to others: no harm done, and of no real concern to me.
Dec. 31, 2017
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Congratulations to the team winners, all of whom have proven throughout the trials that they have done their bridge homework and are paying their dues to the entire bridge community–maybe even overpaying. There is simply NO DOUBT: the U.S. bridge community has invested countless time, money, effort, blood, sweat, and tears in its juniors program and is reaping HUGE rewards as a result (with promise of rewards even bigger in the years to come.) I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have given, in whatever form, to make the game I love stronger. There has, however, been one important downside to the U.S. juniors program. Partly because of the way the program has been structured, and partly because of the way in which the program has very naturally evolved, the result has been that a handful of superbly talented teams has risen quickly to the top, discouraging other teams who feel that they do not have a chance. I believe that this result has perhaps prevented teams who might well have grown into superb players, given experience over time, from participating as much as they otherwise might have done. I believe that there REALLY ARE junior players in the U.S. who have been discouraged for this reason from reaching their potential. The U.S. juniors program needs to 1) strengthen both its educational and outreach efforts to reach more interested players across America who do not have access to bridge clubs that offer much for aspiring young players, or alas who have no such access at all; and 2) to enhance educational programs and experience for junior players who, on entrance into the program, find themselves “second rank” in terms of success. We need to encourage such players to REMAIN in the program and LEARN. The U.S juniors program has so far contented itself with year after year raising the next generation of bridge pros. It needs to focus on raising the next generation of bridge PLAYERS. So as proud as I am of the winners of the juniors trials this week in Atlanta, my REAL message is for the losers: STICK WITH IT. Becoming a good bridge player, let alone a great one, is HARD WORK.
Dec. 31, 2017
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It seems to me that the “problems” from which the GNT's currently suffer are inherent in the concept. So: 1) make it limited to players with fewer than 7500 masterpoints, 2) award it enough masterpoints to make it attractive enough for “grass roots” players to be willing suffer great inconvenience to play in it, and 3) don't even PRETEND that this is a national championship. Treat the GNT's, essentially, in the same way as the mini Spingolds, but using it's current “grass roots” concept.
April 30, 2017
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I second Rich Newell's comment. As a flight A player who became such by don't of playing very very often but never very well, I consider NABC's to be 1) expensive; 2) inconvenient; 3) much less fun than playing against friends at the club, many of whom are strong players. I have ZERO interest in GNT's. But the integrity of the ACBL and the strength of its championship events are very important to me.
April 27, 2017
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Has the day of the “split GNT final” at the Unit and/or District level actually come, at least for the early rounds?
April 22, 2017
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How about having two junior teams play a “three-way” team match against an archived match once played by two guest celebrity experts, taken from the days when those experts actually WERE juniors? (Lall/Greenberg or Bathhurst/Grue matches come readily to mind.) Theb have those experts guest-commentate the juniors' play while it's on vugraph.
April 22, 2017
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Opponents' questions about any pair's bidding go specifically to any and all understandings that pair have about that call. That 2NT bid does not “just” ask for a further description of partner's hand; it asks specifically for partner to bid a feature if he has one. The opponents are entitled to this information at the time they ask their questions, because you have information about the bidding that they may well not have. Therefore the ONLY answer that provides full disclosure is that it asks for a feature. To those who argue that such an answer may give partner unauthorized information, my answer would be the following. One of two situations exists: 1) the opponents have a necessary need to ask their questions at the point in the auction when they chose to ask. If this is the case, they have asked their questions appropriately and received full disclosure appropriately. If the opponents needed information at the times when they asked, your ONLY legal course of action is to fully answer. If this gives partner information, he received it ONLY by dint of a perfectly legal action on the opponents' part and one which they were free to choose to exercise or not. Any information partner may have received is NOT “unauthorized.” 2) the opponents COULD have waited until the end of the auction to ask their questions and had no truly necessary need for answers at the times when they asked. In this case, partner may well have received information, but it is not UNAUTHORIZED information, either. It was given to him quite legally by opponents who were too quick on the trigger to ask.
Jan. 31, 2017
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I have occasionally been appalled at the WAY directors sometimes get what are supposedly the correct boards to what is supposedly the correct table. At a regional three years ago, I overheard an ACBL director ask a player, while pointing to a caddy, “Please tell that caddy to put these boards on table 5.” He did not even specify the correct section in his request. I understand that regional directors are usually very busy people, but I felt that this kind of shortcut was totally out of line. Was I wrong?
Jan. 23, 2017
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Most bridge professionals make good money. I would expect them to EARN it, by reading the conditions of contest and being familiar with any other regulations that might conceivably apply. I am simply aghast that no one involved knew about the double blitz regulation. What ELSE to bridge professionals not bother to read?
Jan. 19, 2017
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Peggy, you have articulated EXACTLY my difficulties with the web version. I play at the club four/five days a week. I come home to relax, and kib on the windows version. I seldom play, but when I do, it's ALWAYS on the windows version. I hope that if Betty does a tutorial, she will put a post about it here, so that we can answer her specifically and order the tutorial to be sent to us by email so we have it on our computers to keep, to study, and to refresh our memories. But for me, what it boil down to is that I do not have fun either playing or kibbing on the web version, so I simply don't go there. And I will very likely stay away when the windows alternative is gone, too.
Nov. 9, 2016
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I have tried and tried and tried to function on the new web version. I simply can't, and, if the windows version is canceled, I will simply not log on to BBO. I realize that I get BBO for free. But my participation helps BBO function. Without folks like me, BBO could not exist. In addition, I am “a pair of eyes” that BBO can claim to advertisers views their advertising. So I DO have a right to an opinion, here. I would be perfectly willing to pay for the windows version, even if the folks on the web version participate for free. After weeks of trying to use the web version, I am still struggling to find even basic stuff that I used to be able to find in a flash and I miss them. I'm with Peggy, and plead for BBO to continue the windows version.
Nov. 6, 2016
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I am unilaterally opposed to the awarding of ACBL master points for play with robots. In fact, I am unilaterally opposed to the awarding of ACBL master points for play on line at any time in any format. It cheapens the ACBL as an organization, it cheapens the master points the ACBL awards, and it cheapens the master points that ACBL members have won the HONEST way.
June 29, 2016
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The ACBL spends a large amount of money subsidizing and supporting the advertising done by individual clubs. How effectively is this money being spent? How many newcomers does each club get for the advertising/recruitment dollars it spends? What is each club's holding power in terms of KEEPING these newcomers? Does the ACBL have any handle AT ALL on all of the marketing strategies various clubs use? Does the ACBL know which of these strategies tend to produce the best results? What help (besides simply “throwing money at the problem,) does the ACBL provide to clubs to help them make their marketing/new member recruitment/membership retention efforts more productive? To what degree are each of these strategies effective? I fully realize that each club is different. Each club is an exception to a thousand rules that work others. But in the same breath, we need to recognize that most clubs are a lot alike, most clubs have similar problems and needs. Most clubs need to try various strategies that have been successful elsewhere to SEE if they will work for them. Understanding the answers to these questions, and understanding where and why exceptions exist, are vital to the success of any and all ACBL ”grass roots strategies." It's all well and good for the ACBL to support the efforts of individual clubs, while leaving them with complete freedom to spend their (and the ACBL's, too) money where they believe they'll get the biggest bang for their buck. But the ACBL also needs to understand why each particular club spent money here instead of there, as well as the effectiveness of that club's result. Individual clubs CAN, TOO supply the ACBL with this information, and the ACBL CAN, TOO collate and organize it. Perhaps requiring clubs to supply this kind of information should be another contingency placed on the ACBL's partial remuneration of club's advertising expenses.
June 23, 2016
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Often, when a player holds his cards so his opponents can see them, it is because he is in the HABIT of holding his cards in a certain way or of arranging them in a certain way. Asking such a player to “hold his cards back” is effective for all of 15 seconds, whereupon that player goes right back to holding his cards according to habit. I reminded one such hand exhibitor in our club at practically every session we played. I got fed up, so on one hand, after reminding her twice that I could see her cards, I said, “Ma'am, since your wish appears to be to let me see all your cards, I think the other players at the table should have the same advantage, just to level the playing field. You started with the AKJ874 of spades, the K73 of hearts, the Q6 of diamonds, and A8 of clubs. No need for you now to hold your cards back. Please play.” And since neither opponent made a move to do so, I had to be the one to call the director to protest my own behavior at the table. But she never showed me her cards again. Laws, schmaws! I felt great then about what I did, and I still do.
June 23, 2016
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The close quarters in the room in which the teams file has been presented by the directors and by the tournament to the players as a “fact of the tournament.” This becomes an equal condition for everyone, and should be accepted by the players as a “given,” very much like the conditions of contest. If loose lips sink ships in such an atmosphere, it becomes the players' responsibility to guard their conversation or suffer the consequences. Just out of curiosity, what is the “ethical” solution when a player's conversation to his screenmate is accidentally overheard on the other side of the screen? (This is not just a rhetorical question; I really do not know how this situation is handled.) That would seem to me to present a similar ethical problem that might well require a similar solution. Perhaps several of the players together should request a different “filing venue.”
May 7, 2016
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:-)
Jan. 23, 2016
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So my partner opens 1NT in first seat at favorable, showing 10-12. I hold: x Q10xxxx xxxx xx. I bid 4D. Does my bid need to be “recorded”? Does my partner need to “advise” the opponents of something somewhow? There is simply no end to defining the difference between a psych and a “tactical bid,” and the ONLY solution is not to try.
Jan. 23, 2016
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The problem is with a conflict in the regulations that apply, here. The same regulations assign an onus to 1 NT openers to announce/alert and assign an onus to their opponents to “protect themselves”–all without giving the slightest indication of which regulation should trump the other (and thus makes the opposite regulation unnecessary.) Since the fault is as inherent in the conflict in the regulations as it is in the actions of the players or in their failure to act, the board simply cannot be scored and should be tossed out.
Jan. 4, 2016
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Hearty congratulations to all of the winners. The level of play in all of the matches I kibbed was AWESOMELY high, which means that most of the losers earned congratulaions, too. But I also want to congratulate the MANY US expert players, directors, coaches, and teachers whose investment in our juniors program of their time, effort, money, blood, sweat, and tears has paid such rich and rewarding dividends. These are YOUR victories, too. I believe that I kibbed at least a few boards in every match that appeared on BBO vugraph. And looking at the many and varied opportunities being offered now to these enthusiastic US junior players, my primary thought while I watched these amazing matches was, “Oh, to be 18 again!” And I haven't been 18 for 60 years.
Jan. 4, 2016
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