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All comments by Jonathan Campbell
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The Four Aces in the US started doing something very similar somewhere in the late thirties or early forties. It wasn't in the system book they published in 1935 but Goren mentioned it as one of four “expert variations” on standard bidding methods in his 1944 “Standard Book of Bidding”. Goren attributed it to the Aces, but I wonder whether they picked it up from Kempson either by reading his book or meeting him when they travelled to Europe in the thirties.
May 24
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Mike: a groomsman is to a bridesmaid as the best man is to the maid of honour i.e. additional male attendants. You have to suit up, but you don't have responsibility for not losing the rings. Numbers vary according to how big a wedding party is planned. I was one of seven groomsmen at a wedding 28 years ago, I was the best man at my brother's wedding with 3 other groomsmen opposite a maid of honour and three bridesmaids, but when I got married we only each had one attendant so there was a maid of honour and a best man and that was it.
May 23
Jonathan Campbell edited this comment May 23
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Goren did the four aces +1 adjustment for NT bids as well, it was the only adjustment he applied in those cases. It's on the first page of the chapter on point count for NT bidding of his “Point Count Bidding in Contract Bridge”.
May 9
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After the first commercial break in Jeopardy, there is (is there still? I haven't watched in years) a “human interest” segment where Alex Trebek talks to each contestant about something personal to them like hobbies or achievements (they must have to provide this sort of information when they become contestants). Having to come up with a lot of these little talks with James Holzhauer, have they managed to ask him about playing bridge yet? That might be the best publicity the bridge community could hope for out of this…
May 9
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Goren's distributional count had a lot of little adjustment rules that codify hand evaluation principles better players apply subconsciously.

On this hand I don't think I would open 2NT but I'm not offended by the thought.

I doubt many people apply them anymore because Goren is no longer the “primer”/“bible” that most North Americans learn from/refer to when in doubt.

Other than being a lot of memory work, when properly applied (Goren spent much of his later career warning against abuses of them) they do a decent job for people who need the help.

(An alternate view: Richard Pavlicek's teachings are to upgrade 1 point when holding 4+ aces and tens combined).
May 9
Jonathan Campbell edited this comment May 9
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Or that it has a safety factor of two (one in aerospace).
May 1
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I've typed in and erased two lengthy responses/commentaries, but I'm sure nobody wants to read a long one.

I think the quote under discussion may be about Goren in earlier, better times than his last Nationals appearance in 1967. If you keep reading Mr. Wolff's book, there is much more detail immediately following:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=FksZwNVP56oC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA26#v=onepage&q&f=false">https://books.google.ca/books?id=FksZwNVP56oC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA26#v=onepage&q&f=false

It's a sad story, to say the least. Alan Truscott speculated in the NY Times Bridge Book that Goren developed Alzheimer's and that forced his retirement from public life. I'm not aware that this was ever published or confirmed elsewhere.

I also think that there's a sort of “Three Faces of Goren”: there's the Goren the Book that people love to cite, Goren the Public Image, and, lastly, Goren the Man. We know the least about that last one, and probably never will know a lot.
April 17
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If you want a rabbit hole to go down, I think that all of Life magazine's back issues are readable on Google Books.
April 15
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Not that I would never do it or consider doing it, but with my luck opening 1NT would either (1) end in the wrong contract where the right one could only be found after 1, or (2) find partner with 5-5 majors expecting a fit in one of them (maybe not a problem for certain methods).

Hypothetically if I chose 1NT, I would preemptively mix a diamond in with my hearts in case I needed to act sheepish later.

And it helps, I have found, to be willing to apologise for things like this.
April 13
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Here's a Goren story from Sports Illustrated about him playing with the Dodgers (using a trunk in the locker room as a table) as they were leaving Brooklyn:

https://www.si.com/vault/1958/04/14/668675/you-cant-beat-the-cards
March 14
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IIRC, only Vitamin Flintheart (anyone remember that character?) ever called him “Richard”.
March 10
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Yes, Richard is Oswald Jacoby. And I'd be willing to bet that his teammate in some of his thirties triumphs in the database right now “Bruce Chester” is actually David Burnstine/Bruce, and “Elizabeth Hopkins” is Michael Gottlieb.

Howard Schenken doesn't show up if you search for him either. A conspiracy theorist might think that someone was trying to erase the Four Aces from bridge history ;)
March 10
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And all on top of an illustrious career as a crimefighter…

(Edit: Somebody in ACBL IT is having us on with a made-up name while they're detecting (see what they did there?) why many people are not showing up in the winners database.)
March 10
Jonathan Campbell edited this comment March 10
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Caveat: that page seems to have some flaws with respect to older data. For instance if you try to search for Oswald Jacoby you won't find him, and if you look at events from way back (even into the 1970s, at a quick glance) you may not see all members of an event-winning team. I had some email correspondence with someone at ACBL awhile back that indicated there's some kind of a database/indexing issue that apparently they haven't fixed yet.
March 9
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I agree with the Blue and Gold books’ importance and have them in my collection, however they’re still so easy to come by that I wonder whether a reprint is necessary. I was thinking of the rarer works that were starved for oxygen by Culbertson in their day (on this side of the Atlantic, anyway).
Jan. 6
Jonathan Campbell edited this comment Jan. 6
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I’m not sure which of these qualify as worthwhile for bridge reasons rather than as historical artifacts, but in no particular order:

-The first edition of the Encyclopedia of Contract Bridge that was published in 1935 (by the Culbertson organization, the ACBL’s first edition was not published til 1964).

-Vanderbilt’s original book on the Vanderbilt club (which can be read online at the Hathitrust library - if you are interested I can post a link).

-The books on the legendary Culbertson-WhomeverIWantToMakeAnExampleOfAtTheMoment matches of the 1930s

-“Master Contract” and “Money Contract” by P. Hal Sims

-“Lenz on Bridge” vols. 1 & 2

-Goren’s earliest books from the 1930s, “Highlights of Winning Bridge” and “Winning Bridge Made Easy” (to see where it all started…), and if 1942 is not stretching too far “Better Bridge for Better Players”

-Buller’s books

-The very first edition of the Acol book from 1938 (although later editions from the 1940s were probably reasonably faithful representations of the system as well; it was not until 1952 that Jack Marx felt the need to publicly disown Terence Reese and Ben Cohen’s books as diverging from the spirit of Acol as Marx and Simon conceived it).
Jan. 5
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Based on that glowing reference, I have just ordered myself a copy.
Jan. 5
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Goren had a monthly bridge column in SI from 1957 until the early 1970s. I should say, there was a monthly bridge column that appeared under Goren's byline (Goren being a brand by that time, incorporated and everything).
Jan. 5
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A Milton Q. Ellenby passed away in the Chicago area a few years ago who was the right age, although that might be a coincidence. I do know that Billy Rosen was honoured by induction into the ACBL Hall of Fame, at the time Ellenby was not mentioned and might have been included if he was still around.
Jan. 4
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Interesting. I think after Ivar Stakgold's passing earlier this year there is only one US veteran of 1950s international play left, Billy Rosen who played in the 1954 and 1955 Bermuda Bowls at a relatively young age.
Jan. 4
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