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All comments by Max Schireson
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Randy see Michael’s post below itemizing some of the personal attacks George made.

I find those abhorrent, and I am particularly disappointed to hear them from a player with such a distinguished record.

I called out a series of attacks made personally against Marty and other USBF board members. I will persist in saying that those attacks are inappropriate, uninformed, irresponsible, inflammatory, and beneath the dignity of a distinguished champion like George.

I am now accused of “personal attacks” and “outlandish hyperbole”… Please quote one personal attack I made, or one piece of outlandish hyperbole, other than my (perhaps unsuccessful) attempt at humor in this one sub thread.

I have absolutely not intended to disrespect any individual in this thread. If I did so please show me where and I will apologize. I will not apologize, however, for vehemently disagreeing with George’s attacks on Marty and the USBF board.

“You say to me that these issues do not effect you as a player but…”

Typical of this whole discussion, another baseless insinuation of self interest.

“No one has been more disrespectful than you”

You don’t find the original post profoundly disrespectful of Marty, the USBF board, and various other parties? If anything I have said even approaches that, please do point it out as I owe someone a serious apology.
May 30
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Then it fits in perfectly with this thread.
May 30
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Perhaps we can creat a poll to determine your nefarious intent in opposing an exception for the open. Was it:

1. You had hatched a plan where your team members would use the “Fleisher rule” to enter other trials (intending to dump, so they could actually play in the Bermuda Bowl) and kick back a share of their earnings to you
2. You were actually in favor of the exception because nobody wanted to play on your team anymore - it was too expensive to win the open trials and forgo income from other trials
3. You had gotten wind of a plot by two of your team members to dump in the open trials so they could play in other trials
4. You made a pact with certain members of the Wolfson team, where they agreed to let you win the open trials so that they could the enter multiple other trials
5. Despite all the obvious reasons above why the exception for open events is costly to you financially, you wanted it anyway, so you paid off the other board members to institute it, while voting against it yourself to avoid being accused of self-dealing

Obviously this would need to be a multiple response poll.
May 30
Max Schireson edited this comment May 31
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Randy,

Last night I spoke to Andrew about joining the team in case Michael won the seniors. Then I woke up from my dream…

Actually I didn’t even dream about replacing Michael on that team.

The USBF has a rigorous process for reviewing possible augmentations to teams. I hope that some day I will improve to the level where they have to think for a few seconds before rejecting me, but that’s a long way away.

I guess I could measure my bridge progress as follows:

1. Current state - definitely not good enough
2. Good enough to dream that I could be augmented onto a team like that
3. Good enough to even briefly have the delusion (while awake, but see below) that I could be augmented onto a team like that
4. Good enough to even briefly have the delusion (while awake *and sober*) that I could be augmented onto a team like that
5. Good enough that they have to think very briefly before rejecting me
6. Good enough that they have to think hard before rejecting me
7. Actually good enough

I think I have it in me to get to level 2 or 3, we will see if I can progress beyond that.
May 30
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I have no problem with George disagreeing vehemently with the change. Plenty of people did, and there were strong feelings on both sides.

What I find disappointing (to put it mildly) is to attack the motivation and integrity of those who made the decision with no evidence. He talks about “pandering to players taking two paychecks” “intentionally destroying the fabric” of teams, etc, before saying he “won’t belabor it here” and encourages us to question what Marty and the board were “thinking”. Well he already has belabored it, and made his accusation clear. He did so publicly, without evidence, and apparently without bothering to learn about the process that led to the decision.

I do agree that the hyperbole are outlandish, we just disagree on where they occur.
May 30
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George,

I was deeply saddened by this article.

To see someone whose accomplishments and contributions to bridge I admire so much make such an uninformed, irresponsible and inflammatory attack on those who worked hard to find the least bad solution to what in my opinion was a fundamentally unsolvable scheduling problem was beyond disappointing.

Many people debated this thoroughly. Some may have had self interest but (speaking as an active participant in the discussion with no decision making authority) I believe strongly that the group as a whole was focused on what was best for bridge - both the USBC itself and sending the strongest teams. If you are interested in actually learning about the process, join the relevant forums, read the discussion, and comment there on the substance.

Meanwhile, I am determined to not let this post diminish my respect for you. When I see your column in the bulletin, I will remind myself to think of your Vanderbilt, Spingold, and Reisinger victories, your Bermuda Bowl silver medal, and your dedicated board service and prolific writing, not this post which is far beneath you.
May 30
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I think that there are two different types of issue at play:

1. CoCs for regional events that are unclear, unavailable, changed after the fact, or some combination thereof. I understand that the people who write these and organize regionals (including regional GNT qualifiers) are volunteers, but (to the extent the threads accurately represent what actually occurred) I think this is totally unacceptable.

Unfortunately there is no practical way to hold the responsible parties accountable, so the solution has to be interested parties who would take the role more seriously volunteering, and the decision making bodies (district boards?) selecting the right volunteers.

2. Complaint about the USBF changing the CoC. This is completely different:
- there was a very open process, including extensive debate in a forum that was open to interested parties, where any active USBF member could vote
- there was additional more detailed debate and close to a dozen different votes/polls among the USBF technical subcommittee that worked out the options that were presented to the membership for advisory votes and the board for a decision
- there was a clear majority in favor of changing the CoC in the direction of the actual change, and many who wanted to go further than the relatively more conservative change that was adopted
- the bridgewinners thread on this topic, with no disrespect intended to the author personally who has contributed much to bridge, is an ill informed, irresponsible rant from someone who could have been constructively involved in the open debate at the time and instead elected to attack both the result and the motivations of those involved
May 30
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Congrats to Andrew and team!!! I am so excited for you. Now I have to figure out a team for transnationals so that I can root for you in person in China!
May 30
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Case #2 is labeled as unauthorized information but it is a misinformation case.
May 25
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With a good invite make a game try instead: bid game and your partner will try to make it.

In general when you run out of spade often you lose the room to invite.

I think this is a very different situation than a maximal double, where both sides are known to have fit, so it is worth trading a penalty double for a game invite. Here it is possible that nobody has a fit, so it is more important to be able to penalize.
May 25
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So if partner bids 3N over 3H, I can comfortably pass, feeling like partner probably has enough in spades for us to make and therefore not enough in the red suits for us to have a diamond slam? But if I bid 3S and partner bids 3N, I don’t quite feel as comfortable passing…
May 23
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When I am doubled I like my partner to have the other trump ace.
May 21
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As it turns out Curtis and team was able to appeal the ruling at the table that went against them. The appeal did not overturn the ruling and therefore did not change the result of the event.

Just to be sure we are on the same page, do people really think this is a big problem, and the event would somehow have had more integrity/been much better for fans and the popularity of bridge if Curtis had not had the ability to have his appeal heard?

Edit: typo
May 21
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I love Ron’s 4C and 6H.
May 21
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Randy,

I haven’t personally seen one but it has a name: briar patch coup.

It requires one partner to be ethical and the other to cheat so in any given partnership they won’t happen much more than once, hence they should be rare.
May 20
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Randy Law 73A2 says that you should act without undue hesitation.

If you have a hand where you are desperately hoping partner doesn’t bid then presumably you are not thinking of acting yourself.

If you have no bridge reason to be thinking and think for 20 or 30 seconds you have violated this law.

You might get away with it at the club, but at the level of bridge we are talking about your opponents will notice. I don’t think things will go well for you when they call the director. Again, different if a beginner is just spaced out.
May 20
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Rich,

You need to pause over 5S for about 10 seconds.

If your pause is much longer than that with a hand where you want to be sure partner doesn’t compete to 5H, you are cheating. Not only should you lose a ruling, you should be subject to disciplinary action.
May 20
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Marty,

I understand that people dislike events being decided on rulings but I don’t think electronic playing environments would have solved this issue, or the Blue Ribbons BIT, and I don’t know how to make it better.

The platinum pairs BIT could have been solved by clearer rules for trick 1; I think it needs to be clear whether a) third hand should think about the whole hand than then play when ready or b) third hand should think about the trick then play and think about the hand before quitting the trick or c) third had should play after some amount of time has elapsed unless they are thinking about the trick. If there was a clear rule I expect Kevin would have followed it and Zia would not have been damaged. But trick 1 is an exception, and a rule change to fix this issue won’t help other issues.

Do you have a proposal for a better BIT rule?

Right now my view is that bridge is hard and people will sometimes need to break tempo, and that will sometimes transmit UI and lead to rulings even among competent and ethical players. Sometimes basketball or football games are decided by officiating decisions, and sometimes these decisions are wrong. Fouls/penalties happen, and are hard to judge. I think BITs are similar, but I would love to hear suggestions that would help.
May 20
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Glad to have found a new one :)

For all the times I have gone down thinking about complicated lines that don’t work, at least I have one new squeeze in compensation… The ratio is still quite bad, but at least it’s no longer infinite!
May 20
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Aside from the time penalties? :)

Sure, one of my disadvantages when playing against better players is that they can make the same decision faster. I don’t think that’s their only advantage, or their primary advantage. But if they are better than I am at making decisions quickly, they deserve to gain from that advantage.

FWIW I think I would be much closer to competitive in top level events given unlimited time, but I would still lose.
May 18
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