Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Mike Giesler
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Why not create a special character in the font you choose which has a “1” and a “0” squeezed together into a single character “10”. If fact this “Bridge” font could even have special characters for spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs (including red hearts, red diamonds, and hollow hearts and diamonds). This would save all of the different ways of getting suit symbols into text and incorporate all of the good ideas listed above.
Sept. 30, 2014
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Any method that uses Bridgemates.
Aug. 8, 2014
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The person that taught it to me called it
“Dance Around the Kings”
Feb. 25, 2014
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Another demographic to look at seriously is childless couples. Studies say they are happier than couples with kids. They also are intelligent, have time on their hands, looking for stimulating activities. I have seen several show up at duplicate clubs usually never to return.
Feb. 18, 2014
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Perhaps Larry could have picked a more PC title, but at least the title is accurate.

It is especially outrageous when you consider how many gold points the ACBL pours into the various “gold rush” events and then they nitpick on this event which benefits the forgotten middle level players in the ACBL and those who work and cannot make all of the daytime weekday events.
Feb. 16, 2014
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Larry,

This comes up many times when the ACBL cannot make the “right” decision when it comes to the benefit of the members and the advancement of bridge. They blindly follow the conditions of contest or sanctioning rules when at all times there should be a clause that says the “national director” or the district director (or whoever) is allowed to make a exception when warranted (and possibly approved by a second person).

This exact same problem happened to us in Unit 141 (Philadelphia). We have the same type of extend team event that you and many other units have. I was the administrator for several years and the year I passed the role on to someone else, he forget to get the sanction number until after the event had started. We were told, “no sanction.” After many phone calls and a lot of persistence, we got them to give us a sanction for that year. However, we should not have to beat their brains out to get them to do the right thing.

It seems they have a rule that sanctions have to be in 45 days before the event starts. There may be good reasons for this but no one has been able to explain the reasoning to me. Perhaps they want time to review the event conditions of contest to make sure that an event does not get started with conditions that are not acceptable. This may make sense in some high level events. For extended teams, where the Units are using the same conditions of contest year after year, are designed to be more social (often played players homes without a director present), often with a new coordinator not familiar with all of the rules, a little leeway (common sense) should be given. (If a unit tries to sneak in an unacceptable CofC, sure, don't give them a sanction.)

Yes, I know it is easier to be headquarter administrators when you just follow a set of rules. But these cases when bad decisions are being made when a little common sense needs to be applied are getting to be too frequent. We could use some empowerment in Horn Lake and realize that often situations can occur that are not covered exactly by a set of rules or conditions of contest. Let's do the right thing.

I could give you more examples of these poor decisions happening in our area for events other than extended teams (including NAP and GNT). In your case, I would try again by getting your District Director's support and talking directly with Jeff Johnston. Good luck.
Feb. 16, 2014
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We had a very good experience with LBIAD in our area. Our District (4) purchased the rights to the program so any group in our district could get the materials and put on the program. There are a lot of keys to success that are documented well in the Admin guide you get with the materials. Advertising is a key but the ACBL will refund up to $750 of your expenses with their cooperative advertising program. Another big expense is printing the booklet. Overall, it is not that expensive and I would not wait for the so called “grant” to put on the program. Any local teacher (or bridge player with speaking skills) can present the program. I have seen groups charge from $0 to $75 for this class depending on facility and how much food is served.

No one really learns bridge in a day from this program but it really builds enthusiasm. A critical success factor is to have more formal lessons ready to go right after the class. This is a major incentive for local teachers and clubs to help.
Jan. 28, 2014
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Another anomaly in crediting tables is this. If in a given event like a regional, on one day you have and A/X pairs with say 10 tables scheduled at the same time as a BCD pairs and a senior pairs, flight A gets credit for all of the lower tables and pays a godzillion points. But if the same ten tables play on another day with no BCD and no senior pairs, the awards are much lower.
Jan. 24, 2014
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The policy in A/X of only giving A credit for BCD tables and not X is very discouraging for up and coming players who would like to play up. You choose to play up and quickly find that A is awarding many places (say around 10-12) and X only awards around 3 or so. I have never been given a good explanation for this by the ACBL.
Jan. 24, 2014
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Check the results for the Lancaster Regional November 2013.
Thursday team events:
Golden Opportunity Swiss (2 sessions)
A/X Open Swiss and Bracketed RR (2 sessions)
http://web2.acbl.org/tournaments/results/2013/11/1311004.htm1st place Golden Opportunity was all gold.
Jan. 1, 2014
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I have no problem with events limited to 750 points but the gold point awards are obscene. It is worse than pair events vs. teams. No wonder the Golden Opportunity events are so popular.

At the Lancaster regional this year on Thursday there was a “Golden Opportunity Swiss Team” event (36 teams) played at the same time as an Open A/X Swiss and bracketed RR (20 teams in A/X and four more brackets. The winners of the Golden Opportunity event won 11.37 gold points playing against no one with more than 750 points. To get the same awards in the open event you had to WIN Bracket 2 (2000+ average players) or place 4th overall in A/X.
Jan. 1, 2014
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There is a very nice article on Serious Notrump by Eric Rodwell available for a fee on www.newinbridge.com. In the article he also discusses some of the 2/1 sequences related to serious (or non-serious) 3NT.
Aug. 29, 2013
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Here is a quote made by Bob Hamman from a dinner conversation at the recent NABC in Philly. The discussion was about playing certain card combinations at the table: “You can say all you want about table feel, but in the end, mathematics is your friend.”
Aug. 1, 2012
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The ACBL needs to improve the player experience by providing pre-duplicated boards and hand records for all Swiss and KO events. It certainly can be done as it is in other parts of the world. This is long over due.

The necessity to talk more quietly after your round would also be a plus toward reducing noise and improving the player experience.
July 25, 2012
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Excellent posts by Shane Blanchard (and also Steve Robinson).

Slow play is a major problem in the ACBL and is not handled well by the directors. The solution may be more training for the directors and focusing on the guilty individuals. My observations are:
1. As much as the ACBL denies it, the directors show favoritism to the name players. There are many examples. Note Steve Robinson’s comment in his separate post.
2. On the other hand, the name players complain that the directors let the general player get away with slow play murder – and they are right. The directors do not know how to assess slow play and, in most cases, do not give out appropriate penalties.
3. The last two points highlight the inconsistency that plagues the directors’ rulings.
4. Often when there is a slow play issue, the directors just start yelling at everyone. This accomplishes nothing. They need to address comments directly to the guilty.
5. Players taking smoke breaks also presents a problem and the ACBL seems to condone this. Smokers leave all of the shuffling to others, arrive back after the round has started, and their smell must violate personal hygiene rules.
6. Slow play is admittedly a tough problem and I am sure the ACBL can come up with improved solutions. I vote for focus on the guilty, not pulling boards from the Spingold.
July 24, 2012
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Here are some suggestions for what they are worth:

1. The new site is really not very pleasing to look at. Think clean, simple, and classy.

2. Black backgrounds do not work as well on websites as white.

3. There is a lot of clutter. Do we really need the
“Following” “Followers” “Posts” etc. statistics on everybody's name.

3a. Do we need statistics and heart symbols on the articles list?

4. The large bold fonts for the article's name really don't encourage me to read an article. Cleaner fonts with a short intro to the article would work better.

5. We now have to click twice to get to an article. Please go back to one.

6. When I click on “Comments” I never seem to know if I am going to the top of the list or to the bottom. Maybe it is obvious and I am missing it.

7. I am not sure what the difference is between the articles and the member blogs, but I miss the member blogs.

8. I like the “Bridge Winners” defaults you have on the convention card feature. It would be nice if you published a “Bridge Winners” standard.

9. Keep the improvements to the convention card editing coming.

You have a great site and I am sure there are many improvements that are not obvious. Keep up the good work.

(This post got so long that I just noticed that I cannot scroll back up to the top to proof it.)(my browser is Chrome)

Feb. 4, 2012
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The total chaos that the ACBL has selling entries is irritating. And, of course, this leads to delayed start times.
Why can't the ACBL handle event pre-registration and payment by credit card? This would also help planning for event size.

And speaking of getting up-to-date with technology, a couple of large screen TVs with next round assignments (and results) would have made the Roth Open Swiss Teams much nicer.
Aug. 5, 2011
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In summary, this is the worst NABC I have been to.

Split sites is the pits. Best is all games in the same hotel, second best is to use a convention center. In the future, I will avoid NABCs with split sites.

Toronto did not live up to its reputation. Very expensive. Food was okay but nothing special.

We stayed at the Royal York. Long past its prime. The ACBL should do a better job of picking hotels and negotiating rates. The hotel staff was very nice but very ineffective in solving problems. Too much noise from many sources including Freemasons, housekeeping, elevators, and jackhammers on the south side of the building. The non-smoking rooms reeked of smoke. In a 12-day stay, we were in six different rooms. Yes, we could have changed hotels but that is a pain and no cost savings. In the end, the York did come through with a significant rate adjustment.

I second the plea to run the events at at 10am start schedule. You cannot sleep in anyway due to hotel noise and it is so nice to be able to go out for a nice dinner.

The bridge events themselves were fine except perhaps for lower quality directors than usual.

I agree, for most attendees, the NABC is just a large regional with lots of regional knockouts. I don't know if this is a problem or not but it seems like something worth looking in to. Why not just go to Gatlinburg or local regionals? The Nationals are a fun and exciting event but you must always look for constant improvements.

I feel like the temperature is slowly rising in the beaker but the ACBL is not aware they should jump out.
Aug. 2, 2011
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The simple responses:
1m-1M; 2M-2N-
3 - Minimum, 3-card support
3 - Maximum, 3-card support
3 - Minimum, 4-card support
3 - Maximum, 4-card support
seem fine and have a lot of followers but what do you lose if responder keeps it even simpler and bids:
2N - 4 cards and invitational
3M - with 5+ cards invitational
3NT - with 4 cards asking partner to pass with a 3-card raise or correct to 4M with 4 cards.
Thanks.


Nov. 23, 2010
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