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All comments by Melanie Manfield
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I've made this point before, but just to make it again –

As Forrest Rice mentions, thousands of people travel to play MTG in person. This contravenes the view that older folks sometimes have, that young people don't play games face-to-face anymore, but rather play them only online.

This point was made recently in an article by a young man who was talking about the positive actions that Debbie Rosenberg engages in in the Bay Area to bring more young people out to play bridge – including providing pizza!

Again, I am not knocking the online game at all. I happen to be an aficionado of the old-fashioned face-to-face game. And, it is hard to remain optimistic about the fate of the latter.
Aug. 9
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Hi Ray,

I just have a couple of minutes, but would like to add that there is another, major variant of the game sometimes referred to as “Limited”, which does not involve constructing one's own deck. It's more of a “pass and pick” system, where a group of 8 players (usually grouped based on how well they have done in prior rounds at the tournament), are limited to deciding whether to keep or pass on the cards that are passed to them. In this second case, one of the two sets of skills is somewhat different – rather than building one's deck from scratch (within the rules, of course) it involves thinking on the spot regarding which cards to pass on and which to keep.

While there are some “team” tournaments, they generally just involve a series of individual matches. Within the past couple of years, a new annual competition was started where players formed teams of six – but only insofar as they practiced together for tournaments and earned points for doing well in them. Late last year, I think, there was the first “final” in the teams competition. My son was on one of the two teams, which happened to be made up of American and European players, and the other (victorious) finalist team was made up of players from Japan.

You are asking some great questions. Since I think my son is extremely strong at the “Limited” form of MTG, involving thinking on your feet for the “pass and pick” portion, and he is also a natural declarer at bridge (which he doesn't play much of, but which he likes very much) perhaps those two abilities are correlated in some way? Just a (very preliminary) hypothesis. I am not a MTG player!
Aug. 8
Melanie Manfield edited this comment Aug. 8
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcm8F5ovsKo

This is a min-documentary on my son that mentions bridge. Hmmm . . . I just noticed that it describes him as the “son of bridge masters” – plural!!!
Aug. 8
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While I can't really comment about the European young adult demographic, I do not think that MTG and bridge players are entirely dissimilar. I'm certainly not saying that they are completely alike, just that there is some overlap.

Just the fact that my son (a champion MTG player) had a father who was a world bridge champion, says to me that there is some likely overlap in talent/potential interest between the two games.
Aug. 8
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At least two world-class MTG players – Brazilian Hall-of-Famer Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa, and my son, Seth Manfield – also play bridge.
Aug. 8
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Club lead was definitely correct!
Aug. 2
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Probably there are many people who agree with the suggestions made in the proposal “Ensuring the Future of Bridge”.

But – how do we get from here to there?

Many people have suggested a reduction in size and a restructuring of the ACBL Board of Directors, and pointed out that effective non-profit boards often are made up of approximately “x” persons (x = a number significantly less than 25).

However, given the recent, sudden firing of Bahar Gidwani – after less than one year – it would appear that such reform is further away than ever.
May 10
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Here's another point:

On the other thread on this topic, people have commenting that others were only speculating about what occurred/what led to this firing.

Well, that's true. My question is: do we, as members of a non-profit membership organization, have a right to be informed about what led to this firing? I'm not sure I know the answer.

However, I think we (collectively) have become used to not being informed, and therefore have become rather passive in terms of seeking information.

For example (and this is pure speculation): what if the differences that led to the firing had to do with the size, power, and perks of the Board? How would the membership feel about that?

One thing I am sure of: it is quite unlikely that any future CEO is going to take on the Board in the same way Mr. Gidwani evidently tried to do (whatever the policy differences were about which they clashed).
May 5
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It seems to me that the mention of “counseling” prior to Mr. Gidwani's firing, does provide some information. As already mentioned, it could be for legal reasons, because (of course) the ACBL does not want to leave itself open to being sued.

It also in effect tells us that Mr. Gidwani's firing was not due to any personal misconduct. This post seems to confirm that.

So, we know that there were policy differences. However, I still wonder what differences caused the feeling of urgency that led to this counseling taking place in early March (I think that it was said that it took place around the time of the NABC in Philadelphia?) and to Mr. Gidwani's firing by the end of April (after special phone or electronic meetings).

Given the suddenness after a relatively short tenure, and the disruption and potentially significant financial consequences to the League, it is difficult not to wonder whether there was a significant policy initiative that the Board disliked, that was about to be announced or begun at the time of the firing.
May 5
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http://www.districtsixbridge.org

The Washington Bridge League's Thursday night unit game has a guaranteed partner program, so even if you do not contact someone in advance, you will get a partner if you show up in advance of the game (preferably by 7 p.m.).
March 16
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Yes, partner had a weak 2D opener available.
March 9
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My non-bridge playing friends and relatives have been laughing up a storm when I tell them about the efforts to get bridge into the Olympics.
Feb. 21
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This is an obvious point, but some people are not looking for a reason to spend more time online. They are looking for face-to-face activities. I am not opposed to online bridge against bots. But it doesn’t appeal to me. That doesn’t mean I won’t give it a try at some point. Right now I’m not looking for a way to spend more time in front of screens.
Feb. 11
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The idea that young people don’t play games face-to-face persists, no matter the evidence to the contrary.
The average age of the hundreds —and sometimes a couple of thousands — of Magic the Gathering players who come out to play tournaments every weekend — is not 99.
Feb. 11
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I doubt whether the: length of time of the cheating, failure to admit it, appeal to the CAS, and continuing to pursue the EBL legally, is likely to lead to many players putting this behind them quickly. And there are some who do not think there has been an over-reaction.
Feb. 10
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I'm not anti-lawyer.
However, it's too bad that the EBL has to spend all of this money and time having its lawyers deal with Fantoni's lawyers.
Feb. 8
Melanie Manfield edited this comment Feb. 8
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Thank you, Bob.
Feb. 7
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Thanks, Peter!
Feb. 6
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That is a good point, Nedju.

It would seem that a legal battle may be coming. Unless the WBF and EBL just cave without a fight (which I very much hope will not be the case).

If only they hadn't tied themselves in with the IOC and the CAS. What a shame.
Feb. 6
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Clearly, there are reasons why Mr. Trape chose to welcome and partner Mr. Fantoni.
I wouldn't know what they are.

What I do think is important, is that, even though this incident is disheartening, not to make too much of it. Players came to Barcelona and evidently were caught off-guard, misinformed, and manipulated. This was obviously planned in advance.

While I greatly admire the stand that Gonzalo Goded took, and the statement that his father, Federico Goded, made, what they did is difficult, not easy.

Again – what will happen from here on out? There has got to be some evidence of strength regarding ethics and a clean game coming from somewhere. If it doesn't come from our organizations, will it come from somewhere else? Or, is everyone going to passively accept that our organizations (or most of them) are weak-willed and, despite the huge scandals of 2015, don't put ethics and a clean game at the very top of their list of priorities?
Feb. 6
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