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All comments by Max Schireson
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Wow, Don.

It is really frightening to contemplate a President of the ACBL believing that it is impossible to have a rational discussion of something subjective, when that topic is an issue for much of the membership and has long been legally established as subjective. If individuals with no official position in bridge want to be ignorant it's too bad; if someone who has for some time held senior positions in bridge governance wants to ignore a major issue by hiding behind subjectivity that's irresponsible and alarming.

I'd recommend that you do some research on sexual harassment law as well as the many other areas of subjective behavior that are nevertheless rationally discussed.

There is no clear line determining what is pornographic yet it is regulated. Managing subjective issues is not unusual and if you want to govern a large organization you should understand it.

Note that I did reference Yu's reasonableness and what others in her position might think; subjective judgments like this can have some checks and balances.

My point is not that Ian is a horrible person, but that we all need to be aware of the effects of our small actions on others if we want to improve the environment. I would hope you understand this and I certainly consider it a basic requirement for a senior position in bridge governance.
June 26, 2016
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Jonathan,

My “harassment” of you is based solely on your views. The snappy comeback doesn't address the fact that Ian's presumably well meaning joke (for which he apologized once he understood Yu's context) did actually make a reasonable person uncomfortable and given the overall context in my opinion presents an important if small example of what we all need to work on.

Your attempts to trivialize it bring us further from an environment where all bridge players can be comfortable. I hope you will consider that seriously, though your recent comments don't make me optimistic.
June 26, 2016
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Jonathan, sexual harassment is in the eye of the beholder. While I haven't met Yu from her postings here she doesn't seem particularly thin skinned and I can imagine that - especially amid an environment of disrespect and objectifaction - that comment would make many recipients uncomfortable. If we want to make more people comfortable we have to not say everything that we might think is funny.
June 26, 2016
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Johnathan,

While the topic of this thread is sexism in bridge not in the world in general, I think just a small amount of research will show that women in the US and other industrialized economies earn less than men for similar work. In many less advanced economies women lack basic control over their lives, reproduction, marriage etc. Perhaps you just enjoy being contrarian but your statement seems absurd.

Coming back to bridge, other than not being able to enter women's events I don't feel any gender discrimination as a man while many women cite various forms of harassment and discrimination which you dismiss.
June 26, 2016
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What does being “more driven” have to do with videotaping a winners ass or speculating on a players sex life?

If this community applied half the logic that goes in to analyzing a bridge hand to responding to this issue I would not feel like I have been teleported to 1952 for much of this discussion.

I guess I should not be surprised at some of this discussion, it is consistent with Ida's original complaint. We have a long way to go. It will be hard.
June 26, 2016
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Sure, David got older and they stopped condescending to him. As I get better people are more respectful to me.

Eureka! If the women just got sex changes people would stop harassing them.

Why are we worried about all this sexism when there is such an obvious solution?
June 25, 2016
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Huge +1 to what Oren says.

Dismissing a small part of the overall issue identified as misunderstanding competitiveness misses the point. Trash talk and overconfidence have very little if anything to do with assuming that a male play with a female is getting sex or money in exchange for offering the gift of his superior skills, or focusing on the woman's appearance rather than accomplishment.

I find the assumption that a man must be getting money or sex from a woman to play with her particularly silly because I get coaching from a pro who happens to be female (and IMO is also the strongest player at our club, and a great teacher, both of which matter way more than her gender). Yes, I pay her money to teach me to play better bridge because see is obviously about a million times better than me and a good teacher.

While most people understand the student/teacher relationship, occasionally I am mistaken for her husband (also a top pro, whom I wouldn't describe as bearing any striking physical resemblance to me); my standard reply is “you obviously haven't seen me play bridge”.
June 25, 2016
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If watching the final (likely edited) video provided much evidence about where the camera and eyes were pointed during filming (perhaps of discarded segments) I would have more sympathy for your point of view, although I would still argue that since no specific charges are being brought and the issue is a general environment of discomfort I would still disagree.

Further while we might want to shame the filmer, Ida might not feel comfortable publicly naming them, nor should she be forced to if all she is alleging is a generally uncomfortable environment. She could easily face retaliation from someone in a position of influence and she might prefer to fire a shot across the bow without naming them. Should every post that complains about poor understanding of ethics around UI in club games have to name specific opponents?

I will let go of this issue now but I do feel strongly that the video should not be posted unless the subjects are comfortable with that.
June 25, 2016
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@Mike, to exaggerate a bit of an alleged sexual assault was caught on video should that video be posted so that the public can decide how bad it was?

In sexual harassment law what matters is that there is a hostile work environment. This is in the eye of the beholder (subject to some test of reasonableness). I think if Ida or others say they have an uncomfortable bridge environment due to inappropriate filming it is important that we begin by taking that at face value; even more so the investigation could increase the discomfort.
June 25, 2016
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Given that a presumed subject of the video was made uncomfortable by its filming, I think mass viewing as a way to address an environment of sexism is very poor solution. If there were a governing body looking to make disciplinary decisions they should have access to the videos. I think the rest of us have enough life experience to easily imagine a wandering camera and don't really need to know how extreme it was in any specific instance to understand the nature of her discomfort.
June 25, 2016
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If this is a joke about wanting to watch a video of bridge players legs behinds and breasts I don't think it is funny.

If it is a serious request and you think you can't understand the issue without watching the video I think you can.

Zero tolerance may be uncomfortable but I think it will help.
June 25, 2016
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Having spent most of the last couple decades in the business world (which certainly has its share of sexism) and recently joining the bridge world, what strikes me is the lack of mechanism to counter / reduce sexism in bridge.

In business the threat of lawsuit can drive change. Yes, it can also create other issues and not all lawsuits are resolved “fairly” (with many believing they are biased in both directions), but the threat nonetheless can drive change.

While I believe a lawsuit created “open” events in the place of “mens” events, it doesn't seem practical that lawsuits or the threats thereof can do much to address the issues Ida raises. I wish I had a solution. In the absence of a solution I think it is incumbent on all of us to, borrowing a few phrases, have zero tolerance for sexism in bridge and be actively ethical in avoiding it.
June 25, 2016
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Yes. Even without seeing the squeeze it seems that risking the contract on 32 diamonds is a bad idea. 32 diamonds means 51 clubs if W has 10 major suit cards. On that auction I would be very surprised to see less than 55 given that W stepped into your live auction with few enough high cards for E to come up with a 3S bid; 5 good spades and 6 bad hearts seems like a good possibility too. With probably 2-3 minor suit cards in W it seems that the diamonds breaking 32 is well under 50% so even if the other line never makes 11 tricks it still seems right to insure against 41 diamonds.

Also others may have gotten different defense or landed in different contracts, I think 630 rates to score well so not worth risking a good or very good score for what rates to be a somewhat unlikely break.
June 25, 2016
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Actually I was confused; I now realize that since the J has no cost when declarer understands that you know they are equal, it makes sense to focus on the other case which is at least plausible in hopes that you can induce a finesse. Sorry for being a little slow.
June 16, 2016
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It strikes me as funny to be certain declarer wouldn't play to the Q and therefore to notice they are equal cards (not sure I would prior to reading this) but then to assume declarer who clearly knows they are equal would assign zero probability to defender noticing that while making complex calculations about the implications of my play.
June 16, 2016
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I think I have missed something here. If declarer knows that you know he holds AK, and he knows that you know he would not play to the Q holding the T, then declarer should expect you to see the J and other as equal cards and should expect to see the J half the time from J9?

What am I missing / why should declarer not expect to see J from J9 here? Is this not a case where everyone at the table knows that they are equal cards?
June 16, 2016
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So you are actually asking about:
1N 2H
2S 4C

Vs

1N 4H
4S 4N
I think…

and
1N 2H
2S 3C
Is a natural bid of a second suit? (I think standard is that this shows 4+ clubs not necessarily 5?)

Putting aside the desirability of bidding keycard when you are not comfortable at the 5 level, and putting aside the memory strain of keeping different sequences straight, and assuming you are interested in driving to slam before agreeing a strain… you could use 4C as a keycard ask with 5 cards in your major suit specifically, with opener to choose strain after you choose level. I am not suggesting this is optimal, just trying to help you achieve what it seems you want.

In addition to the issues other have raised wih this appoach, I wanted to point out that in this case (if I understand it correctly) you are giving up the standard usage of 4C to show club shortness.

While I am trying to help you with what you asked for I hope you will consider the opinion of some very very strong players who seem to think this might not be a very good idea.
June 15, 2016
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My understanding is that agreement to a claim can be withdrawn during the correction period (usually 30 minutes after posting of final scores). I am not sure if the equity restored by the director should include the one trick penalty for an established revoke, which generally would not apply after the hand is over. I am not a director but I think I would be inclined to say that equity is making 5 as declarer likely would likely have made if the hand was played out and the revoke discovered.
June 13, 2016
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I love it!

You would need to be thoughtful about how you handled events other than knockouts though - say you have a cut in the field in a pairs event, I assume no overall tops are paid in the loser bracket but overall bottoms are charged? Session awards plus and minus as normal in both brackets, but a field near the middle would usually do much better not not qual, finishing the first day with a small minus then get some section tops on day two, vs qual and earn a few masterpoints and give them back with interest being pummeled on day 2. Maybe day 2+ national loser bracket session tops should pay gold and day 2+ winner bracket session bottoms should charge gold, so if you win then lose you gain platinum and lose gold and vice versa?
June 7, 2016
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Perhaps they should try a 2 day stratiflighted event, A/X/Y and B/C/D. Make B/C/D 3000/1500/750. Giving some of the teams that are unlikely to contend another 2 day option would probably draw some of them away and further strengthen the field, but the higher payouts (2.75x) might attract more teams?? I imagine a lot of B teams would also enjoy a 2 day swiss that they feel like they have a chance to win.

Or maybe splitting it could be a disaster?
June 6, 2016
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