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All comments by Michael Kamil
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I must be missing something here (wouldn't surprise me). The only hand I can imagine where it's right to shift to clubs is when declarer holds Qxx of diamonds. Would any declarer really play a fourth heart with that? I'd guess he would try to run diamonds (playing North for 4432). If he DID play a 4th heart with Qxx of diamonds and xxx of clubs…I'd give him kudos and his contract.

Feb. 20, 2014
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For those who don't know it, Marty's been world class all along. Note that he was 2nd in the 1976 Grand National Teams at the age of 17!! The only reason he hasn't won more - he took about 25 years off for his career. To come back to the game after such a layoff and be just as sharp as ever is the real testament to his abilities. Congratulations Marty!
Dec. 16, 2013
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Fascinating compilation Andrew - really interesting. Not surprising that Brad is number one and Bobby number 2…they are both ALWAYS tough. Don't know how they manage it. If only I had more Kamils….at least one of them might fight for the top of the list. :)
Aug. 19, 2013
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I would think you have to play both the same. Personally I'd vote for takeout in both, but penalty in both is also playable. Kit Woolsey and I had this same discussion regarding 1N P P 2X Dbl or 1N P P 2X P P Dbl - pretty sure his point was that it didn't matter which way you played, but both should be the same.
Aug. 18, 2013
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Aug. 15, 2013
Michael Kamil edited this comment Aug. 15, 2013
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Agreed Jonathan…I showed very poor judgment by doing that and seemed to have caused trouble what is a great place for bridge related discussion. I do apologize to the community at large. I was beginning to find the comments (some of them sent privately to others, but shown to me) a bit too painful and harsh. I should have realized that by posting in an open internet forum, I have to stand and take the heat. I have great respect and admiration for Gavin, Steve, Jason, Eugene and the rest who run Bridgewinners. It's a great site for bridge.

After being properly told off, I did suggest that authors should perhaps not be able to pull or edit the articles once they've gone past a certain point. This might be best (if possible) to avoid future similar scenarios.

Once again, my apologies to both the community and those who administer here.

Best,

Michael

PS. At least the thread brought forth some useful discussion on the topic. I'm not ALL bad. :)
Aug. 15, 2013
Michael Kamil edited this comment Aug. 15, 2013
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Agreed - Steve said it just right. When you spoke to Warren you were always the better for it. He will be missed.

Aug. 15, 2013
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I can only say the following. I'm sure as hell sorry I wrote this article. If I could pull it all I would. It's unfortunate that such a severe price must be paid for telling the truth.
Aug. 14, 2013
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Of course I led the spade deuce to declarer's stiff king - down one instead of 3! Ugh….fortunately, my teammates had a great result playing in 5C when Chris Willenken overcalled clubs rather than diamonds with 6 diamonds and 5 clubs. Genius and saved me from myself. :)
Aug. 13, 2013
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Speaking of the last round, I was playing at one of the duplicated tables (not sure, but I think the top 5 matches play the ssme boards. Opponents were one of the best pairs in the world. First hand favorable I hold: AT9xxx QJxxx Jx — I choose to be active and open a “sound” weak 2 - something like 8-12 in your system. LHO passes, partner bids 3S, which by agreement is not just preemptive - usually has some values. RHO comes in with 4D and you play a bit of poker with 4S…hiding the five card heart suit. Of course, my opps probably knew what I had anyone - they're that good. In any case, LHO boosts it to 5D, partner doubles, all pass (would you?) and it's your lead? What do you think?
Aug. 12, 2013
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Thanks for mentioning that Joe. Although I still don't understand this particular discussion or the importance of it, I've played with her many times and Gabby is not slow. Believe me, I've played with slow and don't love it. (I'm fast…perhaps too fast for my own good) Anyway, what does this have to do with the price of eggs. It only sounds like more discussion in an attempt to keep victimizing the victim in an attempt to keep her quiet.
Aug. 11, 2013
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Yes, great answer…no wonder the directors run the other way when asked to work one of these events. :)
Aug. 11, 2013
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Lynn, Firstly there was no round robin. It was a head to head match which you could see if you look in the Monday or Tuesday bulletin for team matches. Secondly, speaking of unfounded assaults no one sent me to the internet to defend Gabrielle - not sure where you got this idea. Thirdly, I witnessed the harassment myself when I showed up for the final comparison. Fourthly, I KNOW Gabby is honest, having lived with her for over a year now. She's painfully straightforward and honest with me when she deems my behavior or manner inappropriate. I know she is the same in all walks of life.

As for specifics:

On board 2 of the match (you can find the director and ask him), Gabrielle took 20 seconds on her side of the screen to make a card showing double on an auction around the table as follows: 1C (1H) 2C (2S) 3C (Dbl) “Director”!, screamed her opponent. The tray hadn't even been passed and it was national champ's turn to bid. Now, the player who did this has been playing at this level for some 30 years. She has 6 national championships, 4 in this specific event. She must know how the screen works by now (one would presume). The director arrived. Gabrielle (who was only playing behind screens for the 2nd time in her life) said that this was the purpose of the screens. The director listened to the story, at which point he rolled his eyes and asked everyone to stop talking.

What is this if not intimidation, since the “top-level” player obviously knows that she's now given away the info of who actually huddled or that there even was a huddle? Keep in mind that one is allowed to hold the tray randomly at different times to make the “huddling” unknowable.

The tray was then passed to the other side of the screen. Gabrielle's partner now questioned (via pencil and paper properly) whether 2C had any special meaning. The other many time national champion now made a point to say aloud (quite) and exasperatedly, “it's clubs, what do you think”? To her credit, Gabby's partner now suggested that perhaps they should call it a day if this was the kind of behavior to be expected for the rest of the match.

This behavior continued unendingly throughout. For instance, when Gabby and her partner had an auction of 1M-2M-3M in the midst of competition by the opponents, Gabrielle was grilled, and I mean grilled as to the meaning of 3M. She explained it was not invitational. Not enough for this opponent….“do you mean you can't bid over it”? (she didn't bid over it here). Throughout the match, comments were made about the dummies that were tabled. I paraphrase here…“Are you trying to tell me she had her bid this time”? I'm providing a few random instances, but there were MANY more. Lynn, I guess we'll need video tape for me to prove it, but suffice it to say, I don't think any of was this was created out of thin air. Why do I say this? Well, I walked into the area when Gabrielle was waiting for her team following the last segment. At this point one of her opponents said the following to Gabby, “your bidding cost hundreds of imps”. Hmmm….that's a nice comment….one that I've never heard in my life even at the LOWEST levels of bridge, let alone the supposedly highest.



Lastly, I'm not assaulting anyone in Gabrielle's defense. I admit I was ticked off to see and hear this treatment. But I resent the idea that I'm “assaulting” when Gabrielle was the assaulted. This kind of topsy-turvy judgment should not be tolerated. It's been going on for far too long. The victim is not the one at fault. Shooting the messenger is not going to help solve the problem of declining attendance in women's bridge.

Gabrielle and I are proud to be the voice of the silent majority. Chances are if everyone has had this same experience, namely that women's bridge represents an unpleasant environment, perhaps it's time to address this in an open forum.
Aug. 10, 2013
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Mario, thanks for having a look and responding…just happened to be in my room looking at the site (having mis-played my way out of the Spingold). You comment, “Return bitchery” probably wouldn't be the way to go about taking steps to stop the bullying.“ Not good enough…what's your suggestion? Keep in mind that silence and walking away with your tail between your legs hasn't worked in the women's world in 30(?) years. Nor have recorder forms or director calls. Seems to me that it's about time someone was ”bitchy" in return. Maybe this will wake others up. It did get you to take notice.

By the way, please note the nice article by Roz Howell in today's bulletin. This shows how champions like Kerri Sanborn and Irina Levitina (and Lynn Baker was mentioned too) know that the game is won without having to resort to this kind of harassment. They win because they're good - that's the way to do it.
Aug. 9, 2013
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Yehudit, Thanks for the feedback. Agreed that FB does not contradict filing a complaint with the director. I advised that afterwards, but Gabrielle (being new to this kind of thing) did not know to do that at the time. Someone suggested putting in a proper recorder form later, but having been “put off” already, the idea didn't hold much weight with Gabby. Besides, I suggested it might be time to take up Parcheesi anyway!! :)
Aug. 9, 2013
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To Steve Weinstein: I did not intend to get involved in this discussion, but your last few words really caused great debate in my household. We cannot agree here as to whether the word should be “assholish” or “assholery”. Can find no answers in the OED, so I'll have to let it rest here. I'm with you on the rest though.
July 11, 2013
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Actually the whole hand plays like a par problem (perhaps all hands do or should). All that's really worth thinking about on this one are highly obscure distributions. In fact I was impressed by how long my partner took as declarer at tricks two and three. I'm sure I wouldn't have!! :)
Sept. 1, 2012
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Great article Dana…is this from the tournament where you told me it felt like you'd been playing there for a month?
Feb. 26, 2012
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Thanks once again everyone for all the nice comments…it's really an honor to win this.
Jan. 31, 2012
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Hi Brad, Thanks for writing this…it's an important topic. I agree with you wholeheartedly. To me the main point is that it's an unconcious effect on a player when there's some kind of negativity on the team. As you suggest, we're not robots. Maybe some are tough enough to be unaffected, but I think that's a rarity.

A while back Mike Becker, who was aware that I tend to be both conservative and instinctive, gave me a lifetime lesson. He told me that no matter what, always “play your own game”. From my experience, this was the best advice I ever got. I invariably have trouble when I go outside of my comfort zone.

Now imagine if I had a teammate who just happens to keep “noticing” that we're losing points because of my lack of aggression. As much as I might steel myself in the next session to “play my own game”, at some point, that teammate's voice will be gnawing at me…and I'll likely do something silly.

To play bridge well one needs to be calm and focused. That's so much harder to do when negative thoughts intrude, no matter how slight they might be.

Jan. 20, 2012
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