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All comments by David Yates
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I love screens. Kills 98% of all UI, makes communication & questions easier and I don't have to see partner's look of disappointment when I table dummy.
March 13
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The good news is that since fewer people are attending the NABCs, there will be plenty of room for the screens.

The actual cost of the screens seems to be a strawman. The NABC event was (going up, just saying previously) $25/s/p vs 15-17 for the other events. Adjusting for the cost of platinum coating the points ($0) the NABC charges $36 per session per table more than the regional event. Since the NABC event receives the same types of boards, cards, hand records and TDs for the other events, one would assume that the extra money was to cover extra costs of a big league field (AKA screens). But the actual difference in $$ was just because the ACBL could get away with it and return nothing to its members. But the math should have supported the notion that the cost of the screen was returned in about five sessions.

However, the “new” math was the additional revenue was blown on software the ACBL canceled, expenses for board members and covering losses from tournaments. So yeah, now 37K now looks like a lot of money when we are broke from the other nonsense.

Some years ago in Atlanta, Sabine & Roy thought we were at their table. The table was a side game. Everyone goes to NABCs for different reasons. My friend just wanted to be there, but preferred not to enter the main events at her advancing age. What struck me was not that the two players leading the LM pairs going into the final couldn't decipher the TD scribble. It was that there was no obvious difference between a freaking side game and the finals of a North American Championship.

I do not get to many NABCs. The only attraction for me is to be able to play against talents like Sabine & Roy. That players of this caliber show up is what makes the event. Other than that, there is virtually NOTHING the ACBL does to make the event attractive or different.

It seems to me that if the major events looked and felt like a major event starting at day one, that by itself would make the event different and interesting. By extension, more worthwhile and probably better attended. It is called PROMOTION. Something no one in the ACBL ever had a clue about. (Look it up. The idea is to create interest, awareness and differentiate one's product.)

Revenue and expense are not real accounts. These are nominal accounts and people who just think in terms of expense have no vision. Money is simply a tool. In the end, the only real accounts are: Assets, Liabilities and Equity.

In my view, screens for major events are an asset.

The epitaph on the soon to be ACBL tombstone should read: “but this is how we always did things.”
March 13
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Other.

The alert procedures are there to identify certain agreements. Therefore, what is material is what your partner expects for 2. Not what a one-off hand might actually be.

If your partner expects 3+ clubs, then no alert is necessary in the ACBL. If your partner expects 2+ clubs (or less) then an alert is required.

If your partner expected 4+ clubs and you decided to fudge the club response - as opposed to say the expected 2NT with 3 dead hearts, for example - no alert is required provided you do not make a habit of this.
March 11
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With Gazzilli, we play it on over X as XX is support.

I prefer to play 2-way checkback as always on, regardless. “XYZ” refers to three actions to the one-level. As far as 'Y“ goes, if responder did not pass, he has made a y-bid. It does not matter to me if ”Z" was pass or X. Especially since the difference between the two actions is perhaps one card playing support doubles.
March 11
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Please pass boards

At least those are the three words I most frequently use. The TD ends up saying:

Must play faster
March 9
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(BTW if you are describing ops as RHO and LHO it would be easier to follow if we knew whether you were N or S, rather than having to infer it from the commentary.)

Much depends on the skill level of East.

Client does not really mean much skill-wise. There are “clients” who are world champions. There are “clients” who are better than most of the players posting to this site. But these people would also be more experience with a TD call. Since client relates only to a financial arrangement, perhaps “student” would be more descriptive.

East's uncertainty with the TD sounds inexperienced and/or timid. However, the 3 rebid sounds like a player.

That West could educate East on the nuances of fielding a psych would make him a great teacher. That Wast would respond 1 on that hand would make him a fool.

There certainly isn't enough evidence or information here to make a determination. My guess is that East simply passes when partner can declare a hand. I am guessing that based on random probability since nothing in the OP is demonstrative.

As TD, I would admonish the West player for answering a question directed to another player. If that player is a professional, they are supposed to know the procedure in a director call.

3NT was a foolish contract by foolish choices. It seems more crank and crackpot than chicanery.
March 9
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At the club, at least one table would make five. So depending on one's viewpoint, Bots may be approaching human skill more quickly than some believe - albeit from a different direction.

P.S. “Bot Forum Hand” - love that line.
March 9
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Since I play transfers over doubles, I guess Kevin's notes will be just fine :)
March 8
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I think what is best depends on the quality of your preempts.
March 8
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The most glaring omission is no Mike Lawrence.

3-time Bermuda Bowl champion, 16 NABC titles, original member of the Dallas Aces and prolific author. Mike's books range from worth reading to required reading.

I am would not say that others in the HOF are not deserving, but I would take Lawrence ahead of much of the stellar field.

The RnR HOF doesn't include Steppenwolf, Pat Benatar and a host of others. Though Hall & Oates were inducted despite none of their songs actually qualifying as Rock ‘n Roll.

Maybe John Kay wasn’t inducted because he is Canadian. (Canadian-German, I know)
March 8
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Marty was the one with the headphones.

A little know fact is that Marty was the inspiration for Beats By Dre. Who knew a bridge player could be on the cutting edge of trendy? (OK, I got that from Mister Peabody and it might have been made up. . .)
March 8
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Actually John, the first clause should be “when”.
March 8
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Arrgh!!!

SIXTY YEARS AGO! The WBF was formed specifically to provide a world governing body so that bridge would be recognized.

The first World Bridge Olympiad was held in Turin, Italy from April 27- May 4, 1960. It was scheduled as a “prelude” to the Summer Olympics in Rome. The Olympiad was the first competition organized by the WBF, the Bermuda Bowl being firmly established a decade prior.

Just for the record, does the FIDE membership have their panties all in a bunch because chess is similarly recognized?

It might actually dawn on people some day that the problem might not be with “them” (the IOC) but with “us”. (Pogo agrees). But I am not holding my breath.

The only reason why bridge might not be a “sport” is that apparently no one took the ball and ran with it. Or we did, and then we fell over our own shoelaces for being stupid.

One day bridge players might even realize that the IOC hosts the Olympic GAMES.
March 8
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Then I'll make it bridge related:

It is not if partner goes down in this cold contract, it is whether it will be extra undertricks.
March 7
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Sorry Michal, in Perfectville I would still be able to see the auction when posting. I just remembered that South neglected to introduce the heart suit, but apparently did not remember the exact auction start.

My memory used to live in Perfectville, but apparently it moved out of town some years ago.
March 6
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:) :) :)
March 6
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I posted this somewhere else on this site about Lance Armstrong.

My friend, a former professional cyclist, ending a listing of reasons for his early retirement with “…, plus I was tired of taking the drugs.” I found this surprising, particularly since most athletes are entrenched in denial. This led to a day-long conversation on the floor, that “everyone” in cycling - including Lance Armstrong - was taking PEDs.

This was back in 1999, just after Lance's first Tour de France win. My friend went on to say that Lance Armstrong was hands-down the best cyclist. “In a clean field, no one beats Lance. But if Lance was clean and someone else wasn't, Lance doesn't win.” My friend was honest enough when questioned, to say that on PEDs, he probably couldn't beat a clean Lance. He said that “Lance is really that good. I could take him on the first stages. I am flat-out fast. But Lance is an insane climber. There are not that many guys near him. But there are enough that if they are juicing and Lance is not, Lance would lose.”

My friend was completely unperturbed about the PED use in his sport. His view was that since “everyone” was using the same drugs, that “cycling was the fairest sport”. This conversation was just after McGwire's 70 home runs in a season in 1998. The same year as the Festina Affair in cycling. The subject of PEDs was starting to become an issue in sports. He said that baseball was not fair because some players use and some do not. But according to him, “cycling was a level playing field, maybe the only level playing field in sports”.

Looking at the 1999 Tour field, Second to Lance was Zülle. (Festina & self-confessed). Third was Escartin. (Later outed by teammate). Fourth was Dufaux, (Festina) Fifth was Casero, who was named by Spanish police in their investigation into Dr. Fuentes who catered to to numerous cyclists. 6th place was Olano, who was a customer of the later banned Dr Ferrari. The same doctor who had Armstrong as a client.

When the whole Armstrong affair started to play out, I thought about how the reality was that in retrospect, Lance had no winning options. He was the greatest talent of his era, destined for the unprofitable obscurity of trying to crack the top ten if he was clean. A guy like McGuire was still going to be a star and make millions for clean 30 HR seasons. No one knows or cares who came in 13th in the Tour.

In the end, Lance was a tragic figure. We blame people for not being able to be bigger than the world they need to cope with. And we humans love to crucify our idols.
March 6
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Regarding PED in bridge. Certain drugs (and nothing Geir was taking) improve one's focus. The two on WADA list are methylphenidate (Ritalin) and modafinil (Provigil and other). These drugs – along with caffeine - have been demonstrated to improve chess skill in a double-blind randomized trial. Methylphenidate demonstrated a 13% increase, modafinil 15% and caffeine a 9% improvement.

For the record, I find the last point very discouraging. I am usually so “doped up” on coffee that if there is only an extra 6% improvement assuming that I switch to modafinil, it looks like I am never getting to the Bermuda Bowl. BTW, caffeine is not on the WADA prohibited list.

For more (on chess, not me): https://en.chessbase.com/post/proven-performance-enhancing-drugs-for-chess.

The main thing is that drugs do not make people smarter. If these drugs worked that way, I would be lacing the water supply in an attempt to end most of humanities idiocies. The authors of the study write: “This suggests that neuroenhancers do not enhance the quality of thinking and decision-making per time unit, but improve the player’s ability or willingness to spend more time on a decision and hence to perform more through calculations.”

The benefits – without time pressure – were “obvious” between the drugs and the players on placebos. However, when players had less time to play, the effect of the drugs showed reduced effect. It was only when there wasn’t enforced time pressure that the chess players displayed enhanced performance.

I am sure that someone taking methylphenidate or modafinil will feel more focused. That increased confidence will likely be a positive factor. It might be helpful in later stages of a long event to combat fatigue. But I doubt, given to how carefully most top-level players play in tough matches, that we would see much performance increase in a carefully controlled study, given normal time considerations.

On the other hand, if we now let the drugs dictate the pace of the game (since no one seems to know how to actually keep time) that would be deleterious on several levels.

As to the question of whether these drugs should be allowed, I have no strong opinion. I see either no harm in banning them and testing – as FIDE does, or allowing them to be used with the proviso that we keep time limits.

Banning a bridge player for taking essential medicines under the care of a physician that would have absolutely no bearing on bridge performance is brainless beyond measure.
March 6
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This square peg hand fits into whatever round hole most closely fits. Depending on texture, it could be a 1NT opening. It could be a 2 rebid (14 and semi-solid hearts). Most of the time it will be a 2 rebid over the forcing NT.
March 5
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South is supposed to treat 4 as a slam try. With 10 HCP for the splinter and just 4-cards, it is OK(*) to sign-off. Is that what South was thinking? Of course, because we all play bridge in Perfectville. So even when that is not the reason, the only damage is to N/S reputations. No damage to E/W.

(* it might not be if they have highly sophisticated slam agreements. But I rather doubt from the failure to make a negative double that they do.)
March 4
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