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All comments by Jan Martel
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For the “nice people do win” files, Jacek Kalita did something very thoughtful and nice that I have never seen a player do before: he was dummy on the final hand of the match and he picked up all 4 bidding boxes from the table, returned the bidding cards to the boxes and closed them up as he was turning the dummy, saving the ACBL staff, who are very busy packing up on the final day of the tournament, that work. Thank you!
July 30, 2019
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I was told that when the contract with the Cosmopolitan was signed, all of the rooms had excellent lighting, but between then and now, the hotel redid the lighting to be more “green” so the lighting is now very inconsistent.
July 28, 2019
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I remember many years ago, when hotels were a little more lax about outsiders selling things, my son and some of his friends (they were probably in the 10-15 years age range) went and bought large bottles of soft drinks and sold them by the glass at a Nationals and did very well :-)
July 28, 2019
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At this tournament, the Vugraph tables are all in a row, right next to each other. The rest of the room today has the 0-6000 & 0-1500 Mini Spingolds. There would definitely be a serious security issue if they were playing the same boards at all of the tables.
July 26, 2019
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Once upon a time, the ACBL selected pairs for the World Women's Pair event based on performance in ACBL National Women's pair events and teams for the Venice Cup based on performance in ACBL National Women's team events. Sometime in the 1980's, we (women ACBL members) convinced the ACBL to select its Women's teams by means of a Trials. The World Pair events no longer limit the number of players from each NBO, so there is no longer any need for the North American NBOs to select pairs.
For many years, performance in NABC Women's team events counted toward byes for the Women's Selection event, but as fewer and fewer teams have entered the Women's USBC, and now with the elimination of almost all NABC women's team events, that is no longer the case.
In short, although there was a time when ACBL's women's events were relevant for purposes of International selection, that has not been the case for many years.
My recollection of the lawsuit was that it made the simple, and accurate, point that when there was a Men's Pairs and a Women's Pairs, there was no event for a mixed pair. That the result of changing from Men's & Women's to Open & Women's also meant that I could choose to play in the Open event with a woman partner was a bonus (for me anyway).
July 20, 2019
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WAY too early! You can find the teams who bought entries on Bridge Winners by clicking on the link to buy entries at the top of the home page and then on the number of Spingold entries (there are 16 now), but entries don't close until sometime on Sunday afternoon and usually the seeding takes a while after that. The unseeded list usually gets posted as entries come in (sometimes without the BW entries), and the seeded list will eventually appear on the tournament website, or on the ACBL Live page, but I can't find the page where it usually appears.yet.
July 17, 2019
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My first Spingold I had the pleasure of losing to a team including John Solodar and George Rapee. Down over 100 after 3 quarters, we told them we wanted to continue playing and to play as if we were even - they were totally and completely gracious about that and to the best of my recollection they absolutely never indicated in any way that this was a waste of their time.

It was also Rapee who complimented me for giving him a ruff/sluff to beat a contract an extra trick in a watchpoint event.
July 11, 2019
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No, the language I quoted first is what we now have. The language I quoted second is the proposed change, which says that both pairs have to be prepared to start playing at the announced starting time, it doesn't say they have to arrive 5 minutes early. It penalizes not being in their seats and ready to play with IMPs and VPs. I tend to agree with Brian that if players would look at other pairs system filings ahead of time, arriving early wouldn't be necessary. But if you have to spend time studying system cards and figuring out defenses, then you aren't ready to play.

We've had the proposed language in the Women's Conditions of Contest for over 15 years (the earliest Conditions of Contest I can easily find are from 2004 and it was in those), and it solved the problem of players arriving late. The language that is no in the General Conditions of Contest has also been there a long time and hasn't solved the problem.
July 8, 2019
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@Max - I'm not sure what we'd gain by having a pair that isn't yet on a team file a SSF and CC. Would players on entered teams really want to look at systems information for a pair that isn't entered? If they did, how would they find it (our current procedure is to link SSFs to the team listing - obviously that wouldn't work for a pair that isn't yet entered in the event.

Your other suggestion makes me wonder whether all of this is as Michael sort of said in his first post, going at what to do about late-entered pairs a little backwards. Maybe we should just impose the same penalty for late system filing (loss of seating rights in one KO segment for each day the SSF or CC is late on those pairs as we do on pairs who were originally entered but filed late? That would certainly be a simple approach, although it might seem overly punitive.
July 3, 2019
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I have no idea what you mean by “early” - but I think letting teams enter after the deadline for system submission would be bad for everyone.

This year we had a new situation where players who had qualified in one event could still play in a subsequent event. We closed entries for the Mixed & Seniors before the Women's started so that players would know if their teammates planned to enter a subsequent event. I'm not sure that made any difference, and next year, with the Women's scheduled opposite the Seniors, there won't be as much of an issue with multiple entries.

And of course Michael is right - we don't like having Round Robins with an odd number of teams, because that means each team has a sit out round, so we only allow late entries that don't cause that problem or any other format problem.
July 2, 2019
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Yes, that situation, in a Round Robin, is my recollection of the only time the tardiness penalty has arisen in the Women's. Our new, improved method of having each team have a “home” table for the Round Robins helps with that, but doesn't completely solve it.
June 29, 2019
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The rules are currently being enforced, but it doesn't do any good, because there is no difference between arriving late and taking too long to play. The directors were the ones who asked me to change to something similar to the Women's.

Even in the Round Robin, the directors check that everyone is in their seats as they hand out the boards, so they know who's late and when they arrive. They just can't do anything about it.
June 29, 2019
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In my experience, we haven't had to apply those tardiness penalties in the Women's since we started having them (which is at least 10 years ago), so they're working.
June 29, 2019
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I suppose we could adopt the WBF procedure of requiring written submission of lineups at least by the team that doesn't have seating rights. I have the software to do it online, although It's very old - we tried it once and the players had so much trouble with actually doing it that I ended up having to do it for them, so it wasn't any easier than giving me written information. And after very short breaks it would just slow things down. But we could consider trying it for the first segment of the day - requiring lineup submission the night before, for instance.
June 29, 2019
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Our Directors do a very good job of enforcing the rules, when they have the authority to do so. When the penalty for late arrival is no different from other penalties for not completing the boards in the allotted time, they can't do anything about late arrival. When there are VP and IMP penalties specifically for tardiness, they are able to control it - as they do in the Women's.
June 28, 2019
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I would be happy to include a requirement that the team that doesn't have seating rights in a KO match needs to be in their seats, (or have told the opposing team where they will sit?) at least 5 minutes before the start of play, with the tardiness penalty applying from that time instead of the starting time.

I don't think I'd want to do that for the few Round Robin matches where there are seating rights, since time is much tighter in the Round Robins.
June 28, 2019
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Yes, we do, but there isn't much “bite” in the existing section, which is why I'd like to replace it with the new one.
June 28, 2019
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I'm closing the voting on this one and adding the language to the General Conditions of Contest. For the moment I won't ask the Policy committee to discuss, but will list it specifically when sending the 2020 General Conditions of Contest to the Policy Committee for review.
June 28, 2019
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We know George as a bridge player, but he changed the lives of millions of women in a major way with the invention of the birth control pill. For some of us, his invention of Naprosyn (what is now usually called Alleve) was almost as important - as far as I know, young women today don't suffer from menstrual cramps thanks to George. I was lucky enough to be able to hug him and thank him for making my life better. I'm willing to bet there are innumerable women around the world who would have liked to do that.
June 23, 2019
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Perhaps I should phrase that question differently - when this committee has finished my (admittedly long) list of possible changes to the General Conditions of Contest, I will post the proposed revised General Conditions of Contest on the usbf website and do a post on the Policy Forum with a list of all the changes and an opportunity for discussion and vote. What I'm trying to find out with the “needs a vote of the policy committee” is whether a specific change merits individual discussion by a broader group than this one.
June 22, 2019
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