Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Joel Shapiro
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Perhaps all the ACBL needs to do is open up a bank account in Canada with one of our Big Five banks that have branches coast-to-coast. Clubs and TD's could then could then deposit all Canadian funds to that account, either personally at the branch closest to them or by electronic transfer from their own account, wherever it is. The ACBL already has a post office box in Toronto where Canadian dues are sent when paid by cheque. I don't see why other Canadian remittances can't be done the same way too.

The ACBL could then transfer all their Canadian money down to the US at their leisure, whenever exchange rates are most favourable. I once worked for a Chicago-based company that did exactly that.

Perhaps separate Canadian accounts for club sanction fees, tournament proceeds, and membership dues would provide better control.

I'm not a banking expert or a legal expert, so it may not be that simple, but perhaps this idea is a starting point.
June 25, 2018
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Or else my computer has very dirty Windows.

Old joke - How can you tell when a beginner has been using Word? When there's white-out smeared all over the screen.
June 25, 2018
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Jeff - your comment above sounds like something I tried once, with teenagers, and it worked very well - after explaining what a trick is, start with the ACBL's good old Diamond Series book, but WITHOUT ANY BIDDING. Just give them the hands and the contract, and do one concept at a time - winning tricks with high cards, then long cards, then simple finesses, then introduce trump, etc. Soon enough someone will ask how we got to that contract in the first place - then you know they're ready for the Club Series or whatever else you use.
June 25, 2018
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Arming members would be quite illegal in Canada.

Straight-arming non-players to come and try bridge might not be all that diplomatic an idea either.
June 25, 2018
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Sharon, that is the most concise, to-the-point comment I have ever read here. Good work.
June 25, 2018
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I was at the Toronto General Hospital last week for a routine test and one of the magazines in the department's waiting room was a recent Bridge Bulletin.

I would have preferred Sports Illustrated because I had already read the Bulletin, but that's just me.

Not the swimsuit issue, that would have raised my blood pressure to an alarming level.
June 25, 2018
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One thing that worked, for a little while anyway, was giving a free play to someone who brought a friend to the club for the first time, and also a free play for that friend's second appearance.

I say for a little while because after a year or so, our regulars ran out of friends.
June 25, 2018
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Richard is much better at divining and explaining my thoughts than I am myself!

Having said that, I completely agree with your basic philosophy of teaching bridge logic rather than (or at least alongside) blind adherence to formulas and numeric rules. I have in fact tried to teach that way myself, with mixed results. Teenagers seem to grasp the idea well.
June 25, 2018
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Good luck with that.
June 23, 2018
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I used to spend quite a bit on advertising (daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, radio, outdoor signs, flyers, postcards, Yellow Pages, internet) when I had a club, until I finally realized that absolutely nothing except good old word-of-mouth actually worked.
June 23, 2018
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So, did you fill one out? And if you did, what happened to it? Inquiring minds want to know.
June 23, 2018
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Sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but teach real beginners play and some defence first. Just give 'em the contract - how to bid it can come later.
June 23, 2018
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I used to pay my sanction fees in US dollars on my club's corporate Canadian Visa card and the bank charged me the going exchange rate.
June 23, 2018
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Does it have to be cards? How about Mah Jongg? That's a rummy-type game (tiles instead of cards) which I will bet lots of bridge players already know. Especially the ladies. So get the bridge-and-mah-jongg players to get the mah-jongg-only players out to try bridge!
June 23, 2018
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I don't think a surcharge of $1 per person per session would ever fly in Toronto - bridge is expensive enough already at the everyday clubs and a lot of players would either go to non-sanctioned games, or clubs would start holding those, or players would just stay home.

Which is sort of strange because many Torontonians think nothing of paying hundreds of dollars to go see a hockey game, and the Leafs haven't had a sniff at the Stanley Cup since most bridge players were in high school.

A better idea might be to simply rebate a club's sanction fee back to them, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, for every new member they sign up. Club signs new member who pays $60 - sanction fee that month is reduced by $60. Simple and effective. This should only apply to clubs, not independent teachers not affiliated with clubs. Too many bridge teachers here actively discourage their students from trying duplicate, or from playing up if they do. They want to keep them taking and paying for their beginner lessons indefinitely. New members who join at tournaments (there are some!) can indicate on the form which club they frequent and that club would get the rebate.
June 22, 2018
Joel Shapiro edited this comment June 22, 2018
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I think Hearts or maybe Klaberjass (pronunced like “clubbyish”) would be a better introduction to trick-taking games than canasta. Bridge tables generally aren't big enough to hold all those melds.
June 22, 2018
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And then there's the Stonehenge Double.

You hold S - Qx H - Jxx D - AJxx C - AJxx

RHO opens one of a minor and you double, because “I couldn't pass, partner, I had 13 points!”

Why is it called the Stonehenge Double? Because it's been around just as long.

Now let's get back to bad habits,shall we?
June 22, 2018
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Don't hearts outrank all the rest on February 14?
June 22, 2018
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What novice reads the Bridge World? We're lucky if any of them read the newer players section of the ACBL Bulletin, or even any bridge books at all.

I thought this whole thread was supposed to be about what newbies do.
June 21, 2018
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How about this - don't alert every single time you respond with a major, but if the subsequent auction goes in such a way as to increase the possibility that the suit had only 3 cards in it, alert before the opponents make their opening lead. Not perfect, but maybe better….
June 21, 2018
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