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All comments by Kevin Fay
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Very interesting, Ed! I'll have to forego my KISS mantra and play this structure with you the next time we play together.

I do agree there is a lot to be gained in making life hard for the opponents. Even the soundest weak 2 is not a “constructive” bid but falls more towards destructive. The whole point is to obstruct the opponents' bidding.
Sept. 7, 2018
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Good
March 12, 2018
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Given the current situation, I would DOPI through 5 And DOPE at 5 or higher.

I prefer to just substitute Double/Redouble for our first step over interference and Pass as the 2nd step. Then DOPE at higher levels. That agreement could hold for this auction as well.
March 1, 2018
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Good
Dec. 2, 2017
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Aren't there already enough barbs about doctors to go around?
Aug. 11, 2017
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This is a fictional series.

You can read more of these great articles here: http://bridgewinners.com/article/series/hard-but-fair/
Aug. 2, 2017
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So I am sitting around with my girlfriend, who basically doesn't know anything about bridge (yet). I just pulled up Richard's photo to look at the results. She says, “What's that?” “It's the first important set of results from the Nationals.”

So she says, “I guess I kind of thought it would be more high tech than that.”

Classic
July 20, 2016
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ch00'd
July 20, 2016
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Sorry I realize my comment comes across as me stating this is the definitive meaning for this bid but what I actually intended to say is more like, “I'm surprised there are not more people expressing this opinion becauase I know a number of people who have this agreement.”

I'm sure given your comment we have a difference of opinion here, but my practice is that (with the majors in particular) there is no hand that fits your description. With the hands you have in mind you just have to make a decision on whether to open 1M or 2M and live with it.
Oct. 7, 2015
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Surprised there aren't more comments about how 4 shows 2 places to play.
Oct. 7, 2015
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I was looking at this hand this morning and was surprised that so many pairs actually would stop in 3NT, which seemed like it was a bad idea!

Levin-Weinstein got to 6 and I've given up puzzling whether this is better or worse than 6NT but I think it's worse.
Oct. 4, 2015
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I think using misclicks as an argument against implementing digital playing systems glosses over the fact that misclicks are a part of normal bridge.

My memory may be a little hazy, but I seem to recall that a misclick by declarer decided the 2003 Bermuda Bowl. There are several other famous examples of ‘misclicks’ with real cards.

There are plenty of arguments for and against digital bridge, but it's my opinion that misclicks obviously don't belong in either category.

There are probably easy ways with I-pads to make sure these things happen with LESS frequency than when playing with real cards.

Personally, I am currently opposed to I-pads. But I find it nearly impossible to believe most of the people saying they would never go to a tournament that used them – especially when those people are bridge professionals. Someone recently reproduced on BridgeWinners an editorial from an old Bridge World lambasting the use of screens (or maybe it was bidding boxes). Is history repeating itself yet again?
Sept. 18, 2015
Kevin Fay edited this comment Sept. 18, 2015
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Nick –

Perhaps you weren't aware but I actually am a medical doctor. I can confidently state that I'm not “blissfully unaware” of anything when it comes to matters of psychiatry, although I admit I am not a psychiatrist.

I did rotate through a psychiatric hospital for two months. I did interview several people with antisocial personality disorder (which is the corresponding PD, not narcissistic personality disorder as you seem to imply above). So, frankly, I don't need the lecture.

As to how to diagnose someone with a personality disorder who I've never actually interviewed in a professional setting simply through their bridge exploits… I guess I could use a lecture in that. Probably most psychiatrists could. Maybe you're right, maybe this is APD, but I definitely would not be confident enough from all of this to state that and then call other people “blissfully unaware.”
Sept. 10, 2015
Kevin Fay edited this comment Sept. 10, 2015
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I agree. I don't think the ‘youngsters’ and the ‘youth’ should be given equal reign.

I don't expect that the juniors would go crazy. They go there to compete and win. But if NBOs aren't going to provide their junior players with travel funds then juniors are going to need more incentive to want to spend their own dollars, like Paul was saying above. This means having a good experience all around. If we don't expect anyone to go to NABCs in Detroit because there aren't good restaurants/things to do (common misconception I don't happen to agree with – I live in Detroit), then why would we expect young adults to go to Croatia if they're not going to actually be able to enjoy Croatia?

Maybe this is not a big reason for why attendance has declined. I really don't know. But unlike at the open level I don't believe this is due to decreased numbers of juniors who play. My perception is that there are at least as many juniors today as there were in 2003.
Sept. 10, 2015
Kevin Fay edited this comment Sept. 10, 2015
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Paul -

Great. This does nothing to explain the trend over the past dozen years, though. Do we have the Euro championships to blame consistently for a 6-fold reduction in participation?
Sept. 10, 2015
Kevin Fay edited this comment Sept. 10, 2015
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Here is the number of partnerships that entered the World Open Youth Pairs since 2003: 220-189-142-94-61-32-38.

THIRTY-EIGHT!!!!!!!!

This is embarrassing. How can we even say that a medal from this event means anything anymore? It's just random. Why is this happening? I don't believe the cause during this timespan is due to decreased numbers of young players.

I think the WBF does bear some of the blame. While my experience has been that they do a wonderful job of providing a great bridge experience, I think they probably aren't doing enough to ensure that people have enough enjoyment outside of the bridge to want to spend their summers going. In 2008, for example, the Junior Pairs (which had at least 125 participants) was held in Beijing in conjunction with the World Youth Championships. Sure, Beijing is an exciting place to go to, but one of the problems for young players is how much they stressed “you'd better not step out of line or the Chinese will send you home.” (This did happen to someone). In 2009 in Istanbul the event was held on a dry college campus where you were not allowed to have alcohol. I think a lot of people in America might think “You can't have alcohol at these things!” but you have to remember that these events are open A) to people who are as old as 26 who like to have a drink or two when they are hanging out with their friends, and B) to a lot of countries from around the world where there are much lower legal drinking ages. I had a great time at these events but in my experience they were set up in a way that led to a lot of the participants being treated as kids when in fact many of them are adults, albeit young adults. Keep the youngsters under lock and key, fine, but let the juniors act like juniors and I think you'll see participation go up again.

I don't think the onus lies only on the WBF. The USBF definitely came up short this year because apparently no US pairs received funding to go. Frankly, that upsets me. The junior program has been great in recent years, don't get me wrong. I think it is great that our young players are actually being DEVELOPED and receive funding to go to development camps, etc. But the USBF needs to keep in mind that we are not developing these kids to be able to play bridge against their buddies from the USA, we are developing these kids to compete in international competition. Funds need to be reserved to actually send people to go compete – internationally! We don't need to send a legion of players, but to not even be able to send one team to this event when in the past we have sent multiple demonstrates to me that we are misallocating our funds to send poor players to go compete in, say, Chicago rather than send our great players to represent us in Croatia.

Oren, what do you think about this? As one of our premier juniors at the moment, do you agree with our current appropriation of funds? And is there some other reason why participation in this event has fallen so precipitously?
Sept. 10, 2015
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Sorry, Avon. So are you saying when a husband is confronted by his wife about a strange charge on their credit card statement (that is actually to, say, an escort service) and he denies it and calls his wife excessively jealous that that man is a psychopath?
Sept. 8, 2015
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I completely agree with James on this one. Just because someone decides to cheat at bridge in order to win fame and fortune does not make someone a psychopath, a sociopath, or any other type of -path. What it makes them is someone who cheated at bridge. Period. Psychopaths may not go out and kill people willy-nilly, but they also don't decide to selectively express their phenotype exclusively in the world of bridge. They display patterns. And as far as I know, we as yet don't have any knowledge of other petty crimes these two have committed.

Cheaters are everywhere, in everything we do, every day. Husbands cheat on wives every day and wives cheat on husbands. Often they don't tell their spouses. Those that don't sometimes get caught up in webs of lies trying to preserve their image as a good spouse. Are these individuals psychopaths? If you think so then prepare to label as psychopaths almost half of the people you know who are married.

No, these people are just normal people who screwed up and are trying to not pay the price.

Sure, it's possible there is some cognitive pathology but the far more likely scenario is that Lotan or Ron are individuals who were always lauded for being good bridge players. Enough so that they decided to make it their life's pursuit from a young age. Probably from their desire to be known as a great players came small instances of early cheating, which caught them in a spiral of increasing lies in order to maintain the façade that they were much greater players than they actually are.

Obviously what they did was really wrong but to bandy about terms that the general population equates with “inherently evil” is nuts.

When I played against Lotan in the semifinals of the Junior World Championships in 2010, he and the Israeli team cleaned our clocks. Do I look back now and wonder if he somehow stole a lot of IMPs from us (and my last shot at a junior gold or silver) even though he was playing with Tarnovski then and not Schwartz? Sure.

But I also did get to know him then and have interacted with him on multiple occasions since and I do believe him to be a genuinely nice guy. I don't think he is just a great actor. Look at his Facebook account, he obviously has a lot of people outside of the world of bridge who care deeply about him.

If he ever is allowed to play again and I see him at a tournament, I'd be happy to buy him a drink and say “welcome back.” Doesn't mean I won't keep an eye on him if I play him, but at least he didn't perpetrate any of the infinitely-worse lies (in my opinion) that you hear about on the news every day.
Sept. 8, 2015
Kevin Fay edited this comment Sept. 8, 2015
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EDIT:

Sorry, I misremembered the situation.
Aug. 27, 2015
Kevin Fay edited this comment Aug. 27, 2015
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Fun article and nice result against a great team. Looking forward to seeing more from you guys in the future.
Aug. 14, 2015
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