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All comments by Jonathan Cohn
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I think it is beneficial to read the actual Zero Tolerance policy. You can find it here:

http://www.acbl.org/tournaments_page/ethics-and-discipline/zero-tolerance-policy/

Paragraph 2 leaves little discretion for directors. It reads, “If it is established that there was unacceptable behavior, an immediate ¼ board disciplinary penalty (3 IMP in team games) shall be assigned to all offenders.”

Unacceptable behavior is listed as including the following:

Badgering, rudeness, insinuations, intimidation, profanity, threats, or violence. Negative comments concerning opponents’ or partner’s play or bidding. Constant and gratuitous lessons and analyses at the table. Loud and disruptive arguing with a director’s ruling.

I suggest the following when calling the director for a zero tolerance violation. Call “Director please” and then tell the director, “This player is inhibiting my enjoyment of the game by INSERT UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR HERE.” Wait for the director to assess a zero tolerance penalty. If they do not, ask the director point blank if THE BEHAVIOR was acceptable? If the director agrees it was not, inform them the policy requires a penalty. You might say, “I believe that unacceptable behavior requires a zero tolerance policy.” Inquire as to why they refuse to enforce the policy. If no penalty, Request the DIC. If no penalty, Request an appeal.

I believe it is acceptable to expect ACBL employees to follow ACBL policies. As members, if we don't like ZT we should get rid of it. I hate it as enforced, but I think its a decent idea as written. As written it prevents arbitrary and capricious enforcement. As enforced it allows bias and selective enforcment. Conduct that was not punished for one player can be punished by another.
Jan. 4, 2016
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The current policy on the ground is not a “zero” tolerance policy and that is part of the problem. Peg's idea of a non-zero policy is a nice idea but I am worried it would lead to the same selective enforcement problem we currently have.

It distracts me from playing bridge to get into these things with the directors but when you read the actual policy its clear that the current non-enforcement is a violation of the rules in such an egregious way that I must quote Fielding Mellish. Zero Tolerance is truly “a travesty. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.”
Jan. 4, 2016
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Every few years I get a little bit serious about chess, play some at the club, and some tournaments. I always feel it helps improve my bridge. If nothing else it damps down my “flyers” and helps me analyze more and wing it less.
Dec. 31, 2015
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Perhaps it is designed to offset the recent increase in director fees. I think sectional costs went up like 16%.
Dec. 21, 2015
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I was kibitzing the top bracket at the Nebraska regional about ten years ago and watched Jake bid to a slam. The opponents lead, he played three cards, threw his hand down and said in a slightly raspy voice, “I have the rest on the double squeeze. I'm going to go smoke.” Then he stood up and headed out with no ascent or disagreement from the opponents. RIP Jake, we'll miss you.
Dec. 21, 2015
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I would like a non-mixed pair to try and purchase an entry. Please be assertive and unapologetic to the director selling entries. I suspect they will sell you one. What happens when you win? That'll be interesting.
Dec. 8, 2015
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Wow. Thread hijacked.
Dec. 4, 2015
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Too harsh or not, I find the policy almost never enforced properly. I am a big believer that regulations should be enforced as written. The real rules on the ground I have seen time and time again is that ZT violations are almost never issued. This makes their actual enforcement very arbitrary.
Nov. 23, 2015
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Cookie Potter donated over $6000 to their go fund me campaign to get to Croatia. I think they named the team after her as a thank you for her generosity.

https://www.gofundme.com/USA4CROATIA
Nov. 4, 2015
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I was under the impression that I would not be denied entry into the women's pairs if I tried, despite being male. I had heard that directors advise that it's a women's event and then take all entrants. Can anyone verify if this is false? If I'm wrong what are the current criteria? Directors please!
Oct. 31, 2015
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I beg to differ. Take a look at the competition in the limited by age senior teams. Meckwell has played in it. Bob Harman played in a senior Bermuda bowl. These events were not the most competitive available but had strong fields.
Oct. 31, 2015
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When women's events, mixes events, and senior events all count for the Grand Life Master title, I think it is fine for an “amateur” event to count as well.

For those who oppose that? Would you lobby to remove the above limited events? Assuming they remove women's, mixed, and senior titles from counting, then I'd be fine not counting an amateur event. Until that time, I vote to allow the Amateur North American Bridge Championship winners to use that title to qualify as Grand Life Masters.

Let's find a definition for “amateur” that will allow the best non-pros to play.
Oct. 30, 2015
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Lots of unfair generalizations in this thread on both sides. In my opinion, Americans get a bad rap on the language issue. If I'm Malaysian and travel to France and use English, I've learned a foreign language. If I'm American and speak Japanese and French, I'm still a “dumb American” when I visit Germany.
Oct. 18, 2015
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When we first started playing 2NT over 1NT as Puppet, we didn't know what to use the the 3D for after 1Nt-2NT-. Finally we decided to use it to show 4-5-2-2 hands. This made bidding 1NT on these hands more comfortable. with 5-4-2-2 we just open 1 and rebid 2 over 1NT.

Any better use for this 3 bid?
Sept. 25, 2015
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One of my teammates decided to bid 2NT, while her opponent at my table bid 3NT. There was a line to beat 3NT but it was tough to find.
Sept. 22, 2015
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Partner held Kxx, AQxx, void, AKQJxx. 4 goes down one after a diamond lead and diamond continuations. I passed 3 but partner thought I should have bid 4. He made five. The other table played 3 making four.
Sept. 22, 2015
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The point is that China, based on the numbers it reports, is in no danger of being awarded a second team.
Sept. 10, 2015
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Just like individuals, pairs, and teams are different kinds of bridge, I believe robot duplicate is a kind of bridge. People may disagree about whether it is worthy of master point awards or not, but to say it isn't bridge is both inaccurate and unfair.
Sept. 9, 2015
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Based on Chinese payments to the WBF they have FAR fewer members than the US, despite the giant population size.
Sept. 8, 2015
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Maybe one could show how many hearts they hold by making Roman numerals with the fingers they use to hold a hand? Does that sound silly? Let's try it, without taking advantage of it, in some international tournaments. Maybe a book could be written about how we'd never be caught. Hmm, sounds like a bad story. I'm gonna go have a peanut butter cup before thinking about how to cheat, leads to something silly. Sorry to bor everyone. I need a shapiron at the keyboard.
Aug. 30, 2015
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