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All comments by Don Messer
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I prefer the “hard copy.” I do, however, understand the appeal of the e-bull in terms of money. I am wondering if this would result in more content and less advertising? It is not exclusively membership dues that pay for the Bulletin. A large percentage of those costs are paid by advertising. Since there would no longer be the expense of printing, mailing, etc. what will happen to that revenue? We know, realistically, there would be no commensurate lowering of dues. There may be a decrease in expenses to the ACBL, but not in dues payments by the members. As I see it from the statistics given above, there is over one million dollars in revenue that would be saved. Where would that money go? Since I am a firm believer in Parkinson's Law, I believe it would result in an increase of personnel (at least twenty-five percent managerial and supervisory positions). I would like to see some answers to these questions, but I am cynical enough to believe that I will be told that we will determine what to do with it in the budgetary process. Surely there are some specific ideas on what to do with the extra revenue.
April 5
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Delightful. I will pull Mr. Berkowitz off the shelf. Give me a day or two, and I will contact you on BBO.
Jan. 29
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Hi, Melissa. I have just over 1,000 points and have been looking for good partners since I moved to Austin, TX four years ago. I am 72. I would be willing to play Precision, but I know little about it. I would have to bone up on Berkowitz's book for a day or so. I usually prefer 2/1 with a ton of gadgets (I call my “system” Texas Non-standard). I would be interested in playing on BBO, if you are. I am DCal on BBO.
Jan. 29
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My experience in situations like this is that the person who loses his job is rarely let go because he cannot do the job. It is almost always political or driven by conflicting personalities or ideas.
May 6, 2018
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After thirty years in employee contract representation, It seems to me that the relevant issue is the gentleman's employment contract. If it guarantees him some type of due process hearing, then the fact that he has been relieved of his duties is probably the first step in a formal dismissal. Many employment contracts have a period when the employee can be let go for any reason other than an illegal reason. The key question, then, is whether or not the CEO has an employment contract guaranteeing due process. If so, he has a property right in his employment and may contest the action of the ACBL directors through whatever procedure exists–usually courts or some type of arbitration. If it goes to court, then the documents are usually available through open records requests; not so, if it's arbitration.
The announcement also sounds a little bit defensive to these ancient ears. Usually, employers say something like “Mr. X has been relieved of his duties.” This sounds like an attempt at pre-justifying the BOD action. Since it speaks publicly about dispute counseling, the CEO's rights to a liberty hearing–a public name-clearing hearing, usually–may also be relevant.
May 6, 2018
Don Messer edited this comment May 6, 2018
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I have often found that the current procedure has problems with UI as well. So much so that I generally do not ask about the alerts until after the auction is over to reduce this possibility.

In short, I like Ryan's proposal.

As far as the issue of the convention cards is concerned, I have found that most pairs in my games in Ohio and now in Texas have at least one CC at the table. It seems to me that cc rules already exist for tournament play: you must have two identical cards with both names or play SAYC. My observation has been that this rule is not enforced unless one pair objects. I try to look closely at my opponents' cards when we're at the table unless I know the pair from previous encounters, or unless one of the players is partnered with Ryan in which case my side is probably going to get killed anyway.

It is not necessarily nor logically true that this modification will take as long as the current procedure; many mess it up now and, no doubt, many will mess it up if the change were to take place, but the overall impact in this regards would be minimal, if not nonexistent.
Aug. 28, 2015
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Hey! Great job, guys. Good luck.
Aug. 12, 2015
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I have no objections about players playing for pay. Similarly, I have no problem with the current system of sponsors and professionals. At the world level, we (hopefully) eschew mere nationalism for love of the game.

My argument is that no all pairs are compatible in teams with other pairs. The current system seems to meet the needs of good bridge play and thrilling matches.

Now, as far as choosing the “best pairs” to play on the teams in the international contests, how do we do it? Number of master points for each pair? Some sort of Elo rating? A tournament? If a tournament, should it be board-a-match, imp pairs, or matchpoints? Do we then take the top six pairs and put them on two teams? If so, which pair goes where?
May 18, 2015
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Admittedly, I do not travel along these vaunted pathways, but my opinion is that the Fireman team won, and, according to the rules of contest or whatever, that qualifies them to play in the Bermuda Bowl. The Fireman team beat some very good teams to get here and should be in the Bermuda Bowl.

I reject the assertion that the team has no chance. Their victory disproved that. I wish them luck and look forward to following the match.
May 18, 2015
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I like Colchamiro's rule even against the weak no trump; responder's pass indicates ten or fewer points, so partner must have some values to support a good play for two of a suit. I will also balance with two doubletons, which I believe Mel's rule also supports.
April 5, 2015
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I have played the weak no trump with several good partners over the years; I have also played against it quite a bit. I like the system I play with most of my partners: pass=forcing, partner must redouble or bid 5-card suit. This lets responder pass the redouble for penalties or escape at the two level. Personally, I do not care to defend one no trump doubled. If our side has the balance of strength, it should be our hand, so I play Meckwell over both weak and strong nt.
In the years that I have been playing the weak no trump (almost forty years) I have rarely seen the doubler come out ahead defending one no trump. Most people tend to forget that a weak no trump is still an opening hand and has values and some resources for play.
March 30, 2015
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I enjoy playing the weak nt, but I agree, Steve. Kathryn, I would open one heart and over a bid of 1S I would bid 2C. partner will, I hope, return to hearts with two, bid fourth suit 2D with a game-going hand, or make a weak rebid of 2S which I would pass.
Feb. 2, 2015
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Andrew, I have never played Transfer Landy; I'll have to check it out along with Richard's Lionel.
Feb. 2, 2015
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I think it was Larry Cohen who said 1NTX is the worst contract in bridge. I may be wrong about the source, but I tend to agree, so I am not particularly interested in playing on the defensive side of that contract (probably wouldn't like it as declarer a few times, but only a few). I know this is a matter of style and approach, but I feel I give up very little to make a penalty double.
Back to your comment, however, Richard, I have not played Lionel and will look at it. In the meantime I will continue to play what my partner wants (although I dislike Cappelletti, I will even play it if partner insists), but I prefer this supernatural system; I also prefer ASTRO to Cappelleti.
I also like the idea behind the double of 1NT as 11+, ensuring a good penalty if partner has some defensive values.
Feb. 2, 2015
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Yes, that is it, Andrew. The 2NT bid shows both minors; 2C shows clubs.
Feb. 1, 2015
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Some time back, in “The Bridge World,” Danny Kleinman described a system he dubbed "Super Natural. Although I have not reached the exalted levels of most of the people who comment on this site, I would like to recommend it. I have persuaded a number of partners to try this with me. So far (I've been playing it almost a year), and it has worked well.
Jan. 31, 2015
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I like this, Bud. If you are playing systems on, then the bid depends on system; If you do not play MSS (which I like), I think you must bid 3N as a transfer to diamonds and then bid 4C; surely this shows at least 5-5 and slam interest. If intervenor makes a 4C raise (showing good diamonds?), then I would just bid 6 diamonds and have done with it Not at all scientific and probably not sound either, but it is, after all, watchpoints which seems to reward bad bidding (especially if it's my opponents who make the bid.)
Dec. 21, 2014
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I agree, Carl. I always ask a new partner if he/she plays SAYC. If so, I suggest we add only one or two gadgets and go with it. Makes for an excellent beginning with a new partner.
Oct. 12, 2014
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I am not acquainted with “Carter Stayman.” Is that what I call two-way Stayman?
Oct. 9, 2014
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You're probably right, Gary. I play it with several of my weak no trump partners (the ones who insist on transfers, so it had not occurred to me that, since 2C was at best merely invitational Smolen was not appropriate there either. So much for my self image of being a budding, great bidding theorist.
Oct. 9, 2014
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