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All comments by Max Schireson
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@Michael,
I don’t think the law is clear about the boundaries of a bridge reason.
My personal view is that playing a card that makes it harder for opponents to know what’s going on is a bridge reason.
I think I agree with you that deciding how to signal is not a bridge reason, even if that’s a bit inconsistent with my view on falsecarding.
I could be convinced that either (or both!) of my positions on those issues is wrong.

All that said, even if you feel very strongly that falsecarding is not a bridge reason - I think if declarer had paused to figure out which spot to play from 2 small would be very different from what actually happened.
May 2
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@JoAnn,
Per Robb’s comment and others it sounds like there is jurisdiction for serious ethical issues. I don’t know exactly where that line is drawn, but it’s roughly the line I would try to draw myself as a player to get involved with issues in club games. I think a pattern of this type of extreme coffeehousing or a pattern of somehow knowing partner has a subminimum for their forcing bid would qualify.
May 2
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@Ray,
Thanks. I believe these types of behaviors, if deliberate and repeated, would be serious breaches of ethics so this seems like an appropriate use of the recorder process. (Of course the first would only qualify if the player was passing based on information from partner, not just taking a view for no particular reason.)
@Jeff and Michael,
I agree that some have bad habits. We do have some local directors who emphatically explain the Laws and their rationale and what is improper about certain behaviors, which I think helps. I suspect that there are a handful of players who have heard these explanations enough that ignorance is not the issue; it is those situations I am most distressed by and believe most need to be recorded.
May 2
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I thought the recorder could keep track of issues that arose in any context from players in that unit, and if the pattern of issues merited discipline then a unit could get involved?

Also I believe the national recorder can investigate cheating anywhere (but not other minor issues?)
May 2
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Because the individual in question is very unpleasant and I was playing in a new partnership and didn’t want a big ruckus at the table that might throw off my focus.

Given all of that, I felt like recording it after the fact was just as good, and less disruptive to the flow of the game.

Also my gut feeling with this player is that it is beyond a conversation with the director during the game, he needs a more serious conversation and I didn’t think that calling the director to the table would increase the odds of that occurring. Of course I could be wrong.
May 2
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On principle can’t really “like” a comment about that type of change driving you away, but I sympathize.
May 2
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Vegas here I come?

I think my wife would prefer Portland among the Unit 373 and D20 locations.

The two of you give me hope that we can get it working here.
May 2
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Randy,

Mostly it has been. My experience with the local recorder process has been frustrating. That creates a cycle: nothing happens, so nobody bothers, so nothing happens, …

My hope is that we can break that cycle. If the unit recorder got enough reports to make patterns emerge, and the respected local players and directors leaned on him to do something, maybe things would change.

Until we as players who notice and care start reporting stuff, we will be stuck in this loop. Hence the article.

I can’t guarantee that it will work, but I don’t like the status quo. Call me naive or idealistic but I want to try and I hope other will too.
May 2
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It depends on the director. First one the director did well (but we called by name for the one who is most knowledgeable). Second one I discussed with the director at a break (no impact on the result so no call at the table) and he agreed it should be recorded.

I think the recorder process should potentially work even if the director that day isn’t up to the task.
May 1
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Many play a jump to 3N in a GF auction shows extras; 2N is just a neutral bid that gives partner space to describe his hand.

I agree 4SF; N never showed spades IMO.
May 1
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And I am happy to report that not only did you take a lot of tricks but I think we were on the same page as you described your shape, not bad for a first club game together:)

1C - 1S
1N - 2D*
2N - 3H
3S - 3N

1C: 3+C, opening strength
1S: 4+
1N: not 4 spades, not 6 clubs, not 3 spades with weakness in a red suit, minimum-ish
2D: GF, please tell me about your majors
2N: not 3S, not 4H; 44 minors would open normally 1D so should be 1345 2245 or 2335
3H: still interested in H so presumably 5+H and at least as many spades as hearts
3S: 2245, probably with Hx spades (else 3N with 2245 or 4H otherwise)
3N: to play (which you did very well!)
May 1
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How would carry over be handled? The carry over coming out of day two is much more important to the event standings than the day 1 carryover.

I am a bit surprised that people who are opposed to using 4 days of success in the Soloway to earn a spot in the Blues day 2 seem to not mind players dropping into day *3* of the Blue Ribbons based on performance in a one day pairs event, then potentially winning the Blues based on a single day of play.

“One of the toughest MP fields on the ACBL calendar”… um, no. Anyone with that view care to place a wager?
May 1
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Steve,

Some questions about what seem to be examples of the system you are suggesting. If I misunderstand please explain.

Say that I am a computer programmer and I earn $200 an hour for that work. Should I pay more for the laptop I use to program than someone who uses the same laptop to play games, or is it only for services? Should I pay more for a computer science class than someone taking it for fun?

Should a sales person pay more for using their cell phone to sell than a grandmother talking to her grandson? If not a sales person how about someone performing phone sex for $2 per minute?

If I am a bridge pro should I pay more only for the events I enter with clients, or do I also pay extra when I enter with my pro partner to establish my reputation so that I can later get hired?

If I am an Uber driver should I pay more for the same car? How about for a drivers ed class, or a parking space or bridge toll? Does it matter if I having a paying client in the car when I go over the bridge, or if I am en route to pick one up or returning home at the end of my shift?

Should sports reporters or theater critics pay more to see the event they are writing about than regular fans, and restaurant critics pay more for their meals?

Should bridge writers who will get paid to write up hands also pay more to enter events?
May 1
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Richard,
Site planning may differ by geography, but I think clear CoC that don’t change after the event starts should be universal.
May 1
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Not only is it a bad idea, it is impossible to enforce.

For example, I could just pay Debbie more for club games and she could agree to play with me at nationals. We would simply agree on a price for three or four months of training, and then we would try out the training at nationals. That is not farfetched, there are already deals like that because people don’t want to admit they are hiring a partner for nationals, but they agree to compensate that partner for some preparation time in advance.

Do you plan to levy a fee on those who exchange bridge partnership for sex also? Would that also be 15%, or would there be different percentages based on the specifics?
May 1
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1. Elevating the importance of preventing cheating. This means ensuring enough autonomy in decision making to be able to do that, and actually doing it. Disassociation from the IOC may be necessary to do this.
2. Proper planning. Sites and dates should be known well in advance. CoC should be fixed well in advance of events and should be clearer than they are. USBF and ACBL do this much better than WBF.
3. More sensible pricing. For teams that don’t expect to make it very far the Rosenblum was extortionate for example. Per table per day please, with perhaps a modest (1 day or less ) event entry fee.
4. Stop drug testing. (Again may require disassociation from IOC)
5. Connectivity needs to be reliable. I understand China has a lot of bridge players and pays a lot of dues etc, but that does not excuse tournament results being inaccessible.

Some things to keep doing, I don’t want to be all negative:
1. Screens and preduplicated boards
2. Running scores
May 1
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I should add that I don’t mean to imply that those sponsoring teams are necessarily the same players that can’t or aren’t interested in becoming strong players; some are excellent and some are pretty good. I was simply intending to say that if some of the vast bulk of poor to average players do sponsor teams, that’s great too.
April 30
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I like to think it is a virtual world where beautiful problems exist, and sometimes (but usually not for most of us) we are able to solve them.

While skill is paramount in solving those problems, which I think is the most interesting part of bridge, if we skill is the only thing we hold high this virtual world won’t be very appealing to very many people.

I value bridge skill highly for myself, and hope to someday acquire some modicum of it. Most bridge players don’t have the combination of talent and desire to aim to become very skilled (at least by our definition). If they can contribute by financially subsidizing some of the best players that’s great. If the team the subsidize, on which they play moderately poorly, happens to do well I think that’s great and I will congratulate them. Same as if, with less money, they win a local club game.
April 29
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Ah, but there are some who are pretty close to can barely follow suit, and they don’t win.

Usually the ones who win are pretty good, but sometimes the in between ones do win. When they do, of course they don’t deserve to be viewed as the equal of their teammates or remotely close, but they have contributed through their bridge skill.

As a GLM who was far above “can barely follow suit” but very very far from the pros said: “people say I bought it. That’s true, but lots of people who try to buy it don’t win”. So they still accomplished something that they can be proud of relative to their skills and goals, even if they are a far inferior player to those who would have no chance playing with their peers.

I think that there are very few if any cases where people mistakenly afford sponsors recognition of bridge skill matching their teammates… but they were still part of the accomplishment, even if mostly in the same way Joe Lacob was part of the warriors championships, and their play does matter.

Edit: typo
April 29
Max Schireson edited this comment April 30
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Sathya

There is a world of difference between “would be going nowhere” and “can barely follow suit”.

Certainly sponsors who on a team of their peers “would be going nowhere” can win, but I haven’t seen the “can barely follow suit” win. To avoid publicly naming names if you think I am wrong PM me counterexamples if you think there are any. Possible it happened before my time.

— Max
April 29
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