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All comments by Leah Newell
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After reading about the health triage being forced in Italy, I am super happy to be isolated for awhile, a long while, and that others limit their contagion by being isolated as much as possible. I am one of the patients that will be prioritized as not having enough chance of survival should I become symptomatic. Age, lung problems, heart problems … pneumonia 3 times in 10 years due to these problems even with vaccines. But I have bridge <smile>. Priorities dictate that treatment be given to the people with the highest chances for benefiting from treatment.

I have evolved from education and now am happy to being isolated.

As far as the effect on the economy in the future … who knows? I agree with Peg completely … this would be like throwing darts into a wind machine, getting stabbed by your poor aim at a definite economic answer. Retirees are just averting our eyes from financial information and hope to crawl out from under this pandemic with a few pennies left to play live bridge again when it is safe.
March 16
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Thank you to both interviewer and interviewee. I have run across many of the names mentioned during my last 20+ years of duplicate and learned great lessons, especially from the pros. Jeff is like part of the DNA of American bridge. Insights into his bridge experiences make for a nice exposé. His discussion reminded me about my lucky past table experiences with pros. Mostly I gleamed from pros about focusing, counting, comportment, tempo, being gracious and generous in spirit, being gentle rather than brutish, treating partners with respect, and knowing your system/conventions however minimal or complex they are. I always considered a swiss round against a pro a slice of bridge heaven. If I just had to follow suit and give count my attention was on how the pro manipulated the cards. What a treat. And at the end of a round I would ponder one most vexing problem during the round and ask a question (if the pro was not otherwise engaged) to help solve my thinking delimma. The good guys were sweetly helpful as long as questions were not constant or frivolous, were concise, simple and not obtrusive. Getting Pros to regionals and the very occassional sectional is a huge enticement for entralled bridge players to become more empowered. Having the pros give 15 minute pre-game lessons are wonderful. And just bios in tournament daily bulletins make we peons feel more in touch with our superstars.

Thanks again John and Jeff. Nice being a fly on the wall during your conversation.
Jan. 14
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This is playing now for we insomniacs 3am cst. What a great chance to see great bridge in action.
April 25, 2019
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I agree - not an optimum wjo but further compounded, more shameful, is my not advancing to 4S.
April 23, 2019
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So, given AQJxxx in spades and nothing outside, why not just overcall 1S? It is lead directing. Why jump to 2S and preempt pd? With a suit that can stand two leads into it and won't get killed if played at the 1 level, why make a wjo rather than simple overcall, especially when partner is unpassed? 1S is plenty preemptive and with extra length provides rebid options to continue to tell the story.

I thought a wjo (before partner has made any call) was reserved for hands without lead directing qualities and a suit headed by less than AQ. So hands with less than 6 hcps but points and texture in the bid suit to avoid disaster, based on vulnerability.

But in this hand I had the KQx of spades so was confused what my partner had and assumed he had the Ace at with least AJTxxx or AT98xx. I would make a wjo with those hands, but they don't qualify as weak 2 bids for most people, especially the latter hand.

My partner's hand was in line with most everyone's suggestions here. His was like a weak two bid.

He had: A98532 743 4 AT4

Like I said, back to basics for me. I never envisioned a weak jump overcall would sport an outside ace. I suppose that ace makes up for the missing texture in the spade suit.

I need to add to my powers of imagination and consider this as a possible wjo, before pd has passed.

The result of +230 was totally my fault. I should have at least bid 4S or 3C, getting us to 4S. I only bid 3S, thinking the wjo was limited to 5 hcps or a ragged long spade suit with worthless defensive outside points.

A learning process by me.

Thanks everyone for chiming in to explain your preferences.

One outstanding question … someone responded that after:

(1C) 2S (P) 2N by me would be ogust.

We do play ogust over weak 2's but I would not have used that here. I would have considered 2N as forward going and asking for further description by partner, similar to
(weak NT) 2whatevers (P) 2N.

Who considers after a wjo on 2 level that advancer's 2N is ogust? With wjo being similar to weak 2 bid criteria this seems to be a reasonable agreement.
April 22, 2019
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Doesn't a 2D response deny a 4 card major plus D support? I would make a neg X with both then if opener picked the wrong major I, responder, could retreat to our diamond fit. Presumably from answers to this bidding problem I am mistaken.
March 22, 2017
Leah Newell edited this comment March 22, 2017
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Continuing to encourage beginners and intermediate level players to stay away from open games and tournaments keeps them from learning rules. I have seen the rules from being taught even to players after they have played duplicate in ACBL sanctioned clubs for over ten years so their desire to continue isn't extinguished. Not surprisingly, when these players do venture to a sectional, nearby regional or national they are put off at the regimented “open games,” tournament directors and other tournament players.
These problems could all be circumvented by casually teaching the rules a little at a time along with other duplicate basics, eg, how to use the weak two bids and jacoby transfers. Rules (by-laws) should be made easy to understand but continually taught and nicely enforced at all club level games. Players in all 199er, 399er, 849er, or whatever arbitrary limited games should not be encouraged that playing in those level of ACBL games is akin to kitchen table bridge where rules are politely overlooked/not followed.
Setting expectations “in the beginning” that rules help all players and can be learned along with conventions over time helps the game grow. These properly prepared players will not be afraid to upgrade their levels of competition whixh in turn allows them to enjoy tournaments and all levels of bridge.
July 8, 2016
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Steve, it is great that you give lessons to beginners that include education with rationale about the laws. This makes your students more comfortable with tournament play and to expect director calls rather than be offended by them like so many newer club players are unfortunately trained to do.

The example you gave exempliflies what an endurance game of focus bridge requires. If a player gets tired, loses concentration about the cards played on the table or out of their hand then revokes, penalty cards, insufficient bids among other errors occur. This is part of the game and should be as casually taught as any other part of the game.

In a club where new players are coddled by players, teachers and directors not explaining that focus is something everyone learns, just like responses and rebids after a 1NT opening … then they never learn that director calls are friendly and part of the game and so is focus. If we keep telling players to not worry, just put that penalty card back in your hand, then we do them a disservice by making them think the next director call for not following suit must be from an aggressive miscreant of a person.

Follow the rules, explain why in a nice tone to newer players ehen the director is called. Explain how we all make these mistakes and learning to focus better has a long learning curve but makes it s fun competitive game.
Dec. 11, 2015
Leah Newell edited this comment Dec. 11, 2015
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I have read through this thread and several items come up that can change.

First is the location of this holiday NABC. I doubt familues will want to lure their immediate or extended families to join the bridge player during the holiday unless it is a location with non-bridge attractions, eg, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New Orleans, Dallas, Austin, etc. While Denver is great to visit and closer to ski resorts, this doesn't attract a large swath of other family members near the age of many bridge players. Denver is a much better choice for the summer NABC. It is a wonderful city.

Secondly, a note under the title of every “DAILY BULLETIN” (not just day one) … “Remember to say PLEASE and THANK YOU to your hotel service people and remember to be nice.” How hard is it to be gracious?

Third, give a procedural penalty to each player at the table during the last round of a session if trash is found there once the session is complete. Hotel employees and caddies should call the director to each table that is a mess. After every tournament I am appalled at the trashiness. The bigger the tournament, the worse the playing areas are. No, we can't expect to change people but the ACBL can enforce zero tolerance in behavior that jeopardizes the chance to be able to contract the use of facilities in the future. Make the procedural penalty enough matchpoints or imps per person to make a point. 3 imps per person (6 per team) and 5 matchpoints per person (10 per pair) might get the point across. A simple click of a phone camera emailed to the director in charge with all 4 player names is evidence enough. One cup, one Daily Bulletin, napkins, convention cards, food … it gets ridiculous when a room full of other disrespectful people do the same. The playing areas look worse than most college student's rooms at the end of sessions. The elite players typically at the top of the leader boards will be extra vigilent to keep others at their final table to leave the table trash-free.

I wasn't in Denver for the NABC but was there a few weeks earlier. A great city … but not for a winter holiday NABC in my opinion. I don't smoke and it triggers headaches for me but I think it is unfair to have smokers trek a distance in inclimate weather for smoke breaks. Being a mile high in the winter months isn't fair to smokers to hike away from entrances or we non-smokers when smokers need to huddle near the entrances for heat and time constraints.

Otherwise I agree with how great the ACBL tournaments are organized from NABCs down to sectionals. Almost always - ACBL staff and local volunteers put together great events to enjoy good competition. These people definitely work hard to provide smooth running events.
Dec. 8, 2015
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I think experts and pros should be held to the highest standards when deciding if rules were violated, similar to any competition in any endeavor in life. Not calling a director rather than choosing to adjust a board oneself, is an egregious violation by an expert that knows all of the rationale for the rules. Intent and questions of character of course can make this error better or worse but in no way erases the dumb mistake made by someone who knows better. MP admits to knowing better and knows he made this error.

It seems this new punishment is not severe enough in my opinion, as a total punishment, for changing cards in a deal during a competition for any reason, especially by an expert.

But … perhaps the ACBL considered “time served” and the damage the ACBL had already inflicted in a real sense due to their initial publication of the infractions and punishments. I feel it has been a nightmare for MP these last few months in the way the announement was cryptically made by the ACBL and punishment announced. Considering these prior few months of hell for MP, including his need to acquire legal representation, then I think the new punishments are ample in addition to those already caused by the ACBL and experienced by MP.
Nov. 28, 2015
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Hi Jols, I do not personally know what rules exist for every competition requiring qualifications to play but whatever is in place should be followed, each incident decided as it occurs. I would think from discussions presented in BW that this annual cycle of competitions towards world titles rely on previous tournament results this year. Therefore a team disqualified due to cheating is out for this year's cycle of the race to the top. Don't teams start fresh at some point each year with their qualification status? If so, then a new team should be allowed to qualify. No nation should be barred, in my opinion, from the beginning qualifying events. I can't wait to see what the very young Polish players can do in the next decades. There is great potential obviously. I hope this unfortunately tainted competition in the 2015 BB will not dampen their spirit to keep developing their bridge games nor will the experience dampen their spirit for competition so they can continue to beat everyone like they did at the BB. The sooner their sponsoring organization fixes the 2015 BB results (vacating the title), the sooner the kids can jump back in the games they qualify for according to the conditions of contest.
Nov. 4, 2015
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I think each cheating pair should be handled as soon as possible and individually. There is never going to be a point in time when all suspicions of cheating will be handled so we or any organization can feel all cases are resolved. Each pair needs to deal with consequences sooner rather than later to avoid more poisonous outcomes.

Rules and consequences may change about how to deal with pairs as experiences teach everyone. It is not fair to delay current cheaters and especially to delay equity to those harmed because current rules already exist to deal with bridge cheaters. Seems unreasonable to wait indefinitely in hopes that consequences or rules to deal with cheaters will improve based on more experiences.

Edit for spelling.
Nov. 3, 2015
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I vote to eliminate all gender based ACBL events.

Although I recognize women who do well in women-only events have done well, I never can measure these accomplishments because the field is so small and narrowly defined. I would not be interested in pursuing women-only events.

Similarly perplexing, what is the purpose of mixed pairs? To provide a social atmosphere? To make it like a pro(male)-am(female) game? If social then it already discriminates against same-sex couples. If to balance the pair's playing ability then this is a sad commentary for women players.

Just seems it is time to evolve with social norms and eliminate these events. “Social norms” being those covered by the ACBL. Politics come into play making this a worldwide, WBF, decision.
Oct. 31, 2015
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Boye, I highly respect your desire to “take out the trash” from bridge. I am glad you pushed to find a path to illuminate the cheating. I am hoping the ACBL committee and other organizations find a better way to ferret out cheaters without unfairly treating people that are innocent during the process.

But your efforts have been super. Thanks.
Oct. 26, 2015
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Larry Robbins, that is always my pet peeve as well. I always want to see cards with claims. Even when I know the claim end results are accurate there are possible uncovered revokes still to consider. In club games and tournaments, regardless of the bridge skill of claimers or those conceding, I request politely to see remaining cards. My level of play still produces more errors than I care for so even clear claims in my mind need to be verified.
Oct. 26, 2015
Leah Newell edited this comment Oct. 26, 2015
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Karen, Explaining to opponents about pleasantly calling the director helps … especially to newer players so they don't feel they are being ambushed. Sometimes this is for the benefit of the opponents, to give them options, so the new players will grow to appreciate the director more often. It helps to use empathy and treat new opponents as you would your grandparents just learning.
Oct. 25, 2015
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I have no problem with the spade bid and that you lost the hand but the part of the story about you knowing the opponents were new and you not realizing they would not play support doubles was TMI, leaving it a sad story.
Oct. 24, 2015
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Ray, how many new players that you know play support doubles and if they are adding it to their card, how many years does it take new players or intermediate players to remember support doubles? Should taking advantage of new players be a key strategy to get top scores? Maybe saving these tactics for tournament play would keep newer players coming back to the local club.
Oct. 24, 2015
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I don't think I am a “newer” player and do not play much locally because of a director barking a lot and a few other directors allowing abusive players to continue playing without correction or suspension after repeated abuses. It is a great social club to pay for masterpoints if you want to put up with other players raising voices or a director barking commands two to three times a round. Just not a condusive environment for me.

But tournaments in the USA have always been good due to effective TDs. A few players have been jerks but handled well by the TD.

Oct. 24, 2015
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Try to remember how difficult opponent's claims are to understand for players with less than a decade of experience. Simple but slow and clear explanations speed the process up and don't irritate newer players as much. This is such a considerate approach for advanced and expert players to take in order to keep the new players wanting to return. And don't assume new players see their own clear claims or figure they have been burned and treated rudely for incorrect claims before. Clear but slow concessions are a good tactic to help the newer player.
Oct. 24, 2015
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