Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Giesler
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It would be nice if you post hand records for team games.
Nov. 17
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Kenny is responsible for many of my favorite and good bridge memories. My regular partner and I were decent intermediates when we first started playing against him and always had good and helpful conversations. Here are a few stories:

1. At a local sectional, we had good teammates and ended up tied with Kenny and his team for first in the Sunday Swiss with one round to go and had to play Kenny in the final match. Another good team was in third, only 1 VP away, so we did not think our chances were good.

On one hand, Kenny’s client partner did not understand his outrageously weak opening bid and drove the hand all the way to an unmakeable slam. It was hilarious watching Kenny try (to no avail) shut things down with every bid. On another hand, Kenny held six spades and so did my partner. The board went to the team that did not open spades first. Of course, Kenny helped our cause by opening the hand when our teammates did not even consider it. We won the round with a blitz and Kenny could not have been nicer about the outcome.

2. Another incident at a regional happened just a year before all the cheaters were outed. Kenny’s team lost to a team that included Zmudzinski-Balicki. Ken got quite animated with the folks in charge complaining something was not right, but nothing could be proved. A year later it all came out.

3. One more on why Kenny made you feel good to play bridge. My partner and I were playing in a local Swiss pairs event. We drew Kenny and his partner for the first round. Each of our boards had lots of competitive decisions and, by some miracle, my partner and I could do no wrong. The result sent us to the top table and Kenny to the last (which didn’t stay that way for long). At the end of our round, Kenny, as always, was ready to make a beeline to the scoring table but paused to lean over to his partner and whisper (so we could hear), “They played fantastic.” Kept us coming back for more.
Nov. 12
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Christopher, this method that Adam describes is very popular and allows 2NT to be use to describe various minor suit hands. There is a good description of it by Zeke Jabbour in the February 2011 ACBL Bulletin which you can find online. If you cannot find it, let me know and I will send a copy.
Aug. 21
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And, of course, if we could only get the ACBL to add hand record display capability into ACBL Live for TEAM games.
Aug. 12
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Yes, the players get the hang of it very quickly. Especially if you give instructions like: “the boards always move in the same direction from the wall with windows to the other wall.”

It also helps if you encourage the players to pass a board (maybe just put it on the floor) immediately after it is played rather than leave it on the table while they play the next board. Then the next table can easily grab it. Another tip is to have an extra set of boards where a caddy or director can grab a spare board and give it to a table waiting for a very slow table. Remember Brd 5 is the same from all of the sets.

The players are great with the (minimal) special instructions. In our area, our local directors have been very good at picking up the process, improving it, and running smooth events. Everything in ACBLscore is just the same as they are used to. Now, as Ping Hu suggests above, we could only get the Bridgemates to run the scores and new assignments.
Aug. 12
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We have been using pre-duplicated boards for Swiss and Bracketed Swiss events (Dupli-Swiss) in D4 and U141 for several years. Since everyone plays the same boards for each match, the board movement can be completely independent from the table mat layout. The directors can layout the sections as Daniel suggested or put, for example, A1-A5 and B1-B5 in the same row - whatever is easy for them. We have found it best to just have the boards move within the same row always in the same direction. Pick the longer rows or whatever works best for your site. Caddies are not needed during the match except to possibly move some boards from the end of one row to the other end depending on the specific number of tables per row. We have had no problems with security - the players are reminded not to discuss the boards right after played and they seem to follow instructions which makes the game much quieter. It is also a plus not to have caddy calls during the match.
Aug. 12
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Same problem with the Chesapeake Regional four months away in November. No clue by the reservation line folks and “no bridge rate available”.
July 25
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There are a lot of issues here and I am glad to see a lot of brainstorming for proposed solutions.

Jim has one of the best ideas: Have a KO CofC that allows more than one format for the brackets. Let the directors optimize the brackets for the most homogeneous talent and then use the appropriate format. And . . . keep the masterpoint awards the same no matter what format is used. (And drop the silly required playoff for 3rd/4th solely depending on the number of teams in a given bracket.)
July 4
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This is a great idea. I have setup and run the vugraph for small local events (two tables in the finals for an extended team event). It was not that hard. All you really need is a good internet connection at the site, laptop for each table, operator. And, of course an overall coordinator to get things setup. A key would be to have a practice vugraph broadcast before hand to make sure things work and train operators. Security for the pre-duplicated boards is easily handled.
April 16
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Bridgewebs is highly recommended.
April 11
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Double Dummy a spade or a heart lead allows declarer to take 11 tricks. To hold declarer to 10 tricks you have to lead a diamond or club. It would be nice to see what the lead was at all of the tables. (Play too for that matter since some pairs only took 9 tricks.) The Bridgemates can record the opening lead but maybe they did not use them since the results do not even show the actual contracts on any hands.
March 25
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Agree 100%. Why do we support the Alzheimer’s Assn.? Nothing wrong with the charity but the reason is probably because it makes our existing members feel good or someone knows someone with the problem. Better to put our resources to something that would help bridge. The AARP Staying Sharp program is a great example. Getting a full blown article on Bridge and the benefits of Bridge in their monthly publication (national in the U.S.) would produce measurable results.

Even better would be a mention in a column by any of the well-known national columnists. Look what happened to the documentary “Free Solo” when Bret Stevens (national columnist for the New York Times) mentioned the movie in his column. (Free Solo just won the Academy Award).

This is what our national organization should be doing.
March 16
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All good points above and I would support any of them. However, don’t overlook the axiom that “if you run a good club, the players will come.”

Here are two examples from Unit 141 in the Philadelphia area. Two relatively new clubs that are now No. 1 and 2 in table count in our area. No social games, just duplicate. (I have no affiliation with either club.)

Ami Bridge Club - annual table count for last five years from 2014 to 2018 has been:
888, 1496, 2651, 3542, 3981
Club size rank in the unit based on table count for the same years:
10, 8, 6, 1, 1

Valley Forge Bridge Club (newer club) - annual table count for 2016 to 2018:
1693, 3245, 3956
Rank in area for the same years: 8, 5, 2.

Where do they get there players?
- Good marketing and recruiting for new players
- Excellent education programs
- Current players moving over from other clubs that are not run as well.

AND, they run good clubs:
Very friendly atmosphere.
Offer dedicated novice/new player games.
Good food and hospitality.
Most important: No tolerance for misbehaved players (they tell them to leave and never come back).

(Both clubs are owner run.)

There is a large demographic of potential new duplicate players out there. Just have to give them a comfortable place to come and have fun.
Feb. 19
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I was in Havana just two weeks ago. I had reached out to the secretary of the Cuban Bridge Federation, Frankie Frontaura. He is listed in the contact list give above. This was his response:
=========
Hola Mike,
Gracias por tu correo.
No, no es posible jugar en La Habana, solo unos pocos jugadores se reunen en alguna a jugar rubber bridge.
Solamente cuando hay campeonatos internacionales se puede jugar torneos de bridge y el proximo sera en Mayo 2021.
Best regards
Frankie
=========
As you can see, no luck and I was not able to get any other information. PM me if you would like to talk about any other Cuba/Havana experiences. Glad to share what we learned.

Mike
Jan. 10
Mike Giesler edited this comment Jan. 11
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Hi Jim,

Great idea and should be looked into.

However, perhaps better for bridge might be the Kahn Academy. If not familiar just check out their website. They offer courses on many subjects aimed at a wide range of ability. Better yet it is free to the students. We approached the ACBL about developing some Kahn Academy type courses, but they had no interest. No reason you could not do both and one might feed the other.
Dec. 25, 2018
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It would really be nice if the ACBL would put a download feature of hand records in PBN (and also LIN) format on both ACBL Live and and their website where they list hand records. ACBL Live seems to be set up for it but only does PDF. Besides Bridgewebs, The Common Game also has a PBN download of their game records. Very nice for replaying hands. Would also be great if BBO accepted PBN format as well as LIN.
Dec. 14, 2018
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I would highly recommend Bridgewebs. It is very easy to use and very reliable. It is fantastic to be able to update your site in just a minute. Their presentation of results is also on of the best I have seen.

If you want to use your own unique club URL and domain (which I would also recommend), just point your club URL to the bridgeweb URL for your club.
Oct. 3, 2018
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Eddie Kantar published three volumes of “Thinking Bridge” with 100 hands in each. They are designed for teachers and are categorized by lesson type or theme. Each hand comes with a short write-up. He gives instructions on his idea how teachers can use them. You might check these out.

It would be nice if they were available in electronic dealing machine format but I am not aware if they are. I do have copies of the three books.
Oct. 3, 2018
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Hi Mike,

I have been reading Fred Karpin's book Bridge Strategy at Trick One. It is very good with a wealth of information and hands. All of David Bird's books are good and I am sure I will be buying this new one.
July 6, 2018
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More on Art's comment:
In District 4 and at least two of our units including Unit 141 (Philadelphia) we use Constant Contact to create our newsletters and manage our mailing lists. One of our local clubs also uses it for emailings. Highly recommend the product. It has the advantage that anyone in any district (or non-member) can join the list and you do not have to be a member of the district sending out the email to receive it. We maintain separate email lists for each unit and also for special groups like I/N, club owners, etc.

We also use Bridgewebs for the Unit website as do several clubs in our district. Also highly recommended for websites (especially results reporting) but with CC we have not tried out Bridgewebs mailing capabilities. Happy to provide more information.
Feb. 2, 2018
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