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All comments by Brian Platnick
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Kit,

If I were voting for the ACBL “Hall of Bridge Expertise”, then I would vote for those who I felt were the best players. However, for the ACBL Hall of Fame, I vote for those, who in my opinion, have achieved the most fame through their bridge accomplishments.

So I agree with you about usng my personal judgment. But I judge based on their bridge accomplishments, not on my perception of their level of expertise.
March 3, 2015
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Robb,

You said, “As much as I admire these women, and as much as I think they might have had great success in open competition, given the records I would have a hard time placing any of them in the top 3.”


I think this is the problem. The top 3 what? I am a voter for the HOF and when I saw this year's list of candidates (I was allowed to choose up to 4), what criteria should I use? As a voter, my job is not to use my personal judgment about which 4 I think are the best players. I receive a bio of each player and a matrix of their 1st/2nd place finishes in NABC and WBF events. I do use my judgment in deciding how much weight to give the various events listed. Do I think winning a Mixed Pairs or Women's KO is equal to winning the Spingold? Of course not. However, given the number of World Championships Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer, and Judi Radin have won, I have no problem placing all 3 in my top 4.

As several others have said already on this thread, this year's ballot had many deserving candidates. having only one candidate selected for induction from this great list seems to indicate that the voting procedures need to be fixed.








March 3, 2015
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The chess hall of fame is probably a better comparison. I believe chess has open & women's events just like bridge. A quick look at the chess HOF website shows quite a few women.
Feb. 28, 2015
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Peg,

I agree 100%. It is an embarrassment that Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer, and Judi Radin are not in the HOF.
Feb. 28, 2015
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Barry,

While I generally agree with you, Rosenberg's point is that if you bid 4D on your example hand, you don't need to play pass as forcing. Partner will bid 5S with the hand given. If his hand were different you will double 5H whether you play FP or not. So the swing is created by whether or not you bid 4D, not playing FP.
July 11, 2014
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Josh,

I've never ranked my pet peeves. So if I do, would my favorite pet peeve be the one that annoys me most or annoys me the least?
July 1, 2014
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I alerted the 1D bid, but I forgot to alert the 1NT bid until after I had bid 4S. When I gave the explanation, Bobby misread my bad handwriting. As one should always do in these situations, Bobby called the director. After the director was called and I explained the auction, Bobby laughed and told me what he thought I had written, the director left, the tray was passed, and everything continued normally.

Bridge players can be very opinionated, but to quote Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
May 21, 2014
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Congratulations to the Nickell team, they played great.

I would also like to mention that the USBF - the organizers, directors, hospitality suite (thanks Lisa & Molly), Jan, vugraph operators, etc. did a fantastic job
May 19, 2014
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Eric,

The question said “spouse”, not “wife”. So I would choose Michael Rosenberg, spouse of 4-time world champion Debbie Rosenberg.
March 1, 2014
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West didn't have any unauthorized information, he did nothing wrong (assuming double does show the majors)
Dec. 3, 2013
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“ If I happen to raise, which shows 4-card support, he can launch into RKC immediately”

Kit,

What about the possibility that you are missing the K, but have 13 (or more) top tricks?
Oct. 17, 2013
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The fact that West bid 3 demonstrates he didn't consider the partnership to be in a game force.
Aug. 15, 2013
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Geoff,

Agree that East probably should duck a club at trick two. Unfortunately for declarer, he has the jack of hearts in the dummy. Without it, he would be forced to make the hand after a club duck.

However, it is probably better to lead a heart to the queen at trick 2. Not clear if West should duck this or not, but if he wins, the obvious defense of a spade to East and a diamond shift prevails. But what if East plays his partner for the Ace instead of KJ of diamonds and continues spades?
May 10, 2013
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I also liked the article. On the first hand, can't you go +1400 against 5?
April 24, 2013
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“No offense to the players - they are certainly talented and capable and I chose them simply because they are the lowest ranked team not playing the 4-way RR - but how does Alex Kolesnik's team rate a bye to the KO but a former USA-I with two talented juniors have to play in?”

I think the answer to this is that there is a formula whereby players/teams earn “placing points”. These points are earned based on performance, not someone's opinion (mine, yours, or some committee) of a player's skill or talent. All of this information is on the USBF website.
April 22, 2013
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“The Conditions of Contest had no byes, but the event was seeded. After a small initial RR of borderline relatively inexperienced players (every team which applied was permitted to begin at this stage or higher) and the qualifier(s) from this group proceeded after perhaps two pre-tournament days into the main event. Because it was a Bermuda Bowl year, two teams would qualify for Beijing China and a first loss (after the initial event ended) would throw a loser into the loser's bracket until a 2nd loss eliminated them. In passing, I would like to mention that Bobby's team (Nickell) won the Spingold four straight years (1993-1996) and the Reisinger three consecutive years (1993-1995). If byes were a part of the regimen, just think how supremely placed Bobby's team would have been!”

Judy,

I played in the 1995 trials with my current teammates John Diamond and Eric Greco (Geoff Hampson was still a Canadian then). We lost to a team led by a few of your favorite all-time players, Sidney Lazard, Edgar Kaplan, and Norman Kay.

My recollection was after a large RR (from which my team had a bye), we played one of the survivors - a team including such “inexperience players” as John Solodar and Russ Arnold. As the following excerpts show, Bobby
is incorrect about the format of the 1995 trials.

from the October 1994 Bridge World article on the 1995 Trials:

“From the 29 teams that entered, the 16 bottom-ranked teams, placed in two 8-team sections, contested round-robins from which 10 qualifiers emerged … the 10 qualifiers joined the 6 teams seeded 8 through 13
in a knockout round, and the 8 survivors of that joined the 6 teams seeded 2 through 7 in another knockout round, whose 7 survivors joined the top seeded team, NICKELL (Freeman, Nickell; Hamman, Wolff; Meckstroth, Rodwell) in the quarterfinals of the main knockout. There was also a swiss repechage. In the repechage, 4 teams joined the 4
round of 8 losers for 2 KO matches. The winners played the semifinal losers for 2 more KO matches. The winner played the loser of the main
final for US ”B“.

So in a year where 2 teams qualified, Nickell had a bye to the round of 8. Six additional teams had a bye to the round of 16, and another six teams had a bye to the round of 32, while 16 of the 29 teams played a RR for 10 spots.


From the November 1996 Bridge World on the 1996 trials:

”The event began with a 20-team round-robin to qualify 8 teams who would join 6 pre-seeded teams (on their records in the big team championships) … the seven survivors joined the top-seeded team, NICKELL (Freeman, Nickell; Hamman, Wolff; Meckstroth, Rodwell) for 90-
board quarterfinals."

In my opinion, Bobby's team earned their byes just like the Nickell and Fleisher teams earned their byes this year.

April 22, 2013
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Judy,

When Henry wrote, “Halls of Fame must include the Hammans, Rodwells and Schenkens”, I don't believe he meant this to be the complete list of slam-dunk candidates. I am sure he would include such great players as Kay, Wolff, Meckstroth and many others that I won't take the time to list here.

I also agree with you when you wrote, “The primary qualifications (at least to me) are exceptional and consistent TOP performances …”

I feel strongly that players should be judged on their accomplishments, not their perceived level of expertise. When you asked Henry, “On what basis are you qualified to be in a position to judge the merits and talents of some of the people named above?”, I think the answer should be - how much they won rather than subjective opinions.

So how much should a player have to win in order to qualify for the HOF? 2 or 3 World Championships? 4 or 5 top NABC titles? Some combination?

These are difficult questions.



April 11, 2013
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Josh,

It has been a while since your last “Breakin' the Rules” article. Why the long break and can we expect a new one anytime soon?
Feb. 25, 2013
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DISALLOWED
Conventions and /or agreements with a primary purpose of destroying the opponents' methods are not allowed (e.g., a bid telling nothing about the bidder's hand, made simply to use up bidding space).
Feb. 22, 2013
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Henry,

I'll take the over ..

Feb. 6, 2013
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