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All comments by Melanie Manfield
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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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Mr. di Sacco,

Did you consider not playing in the tournament in Barcelona?
Feb. 6
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It seems to me that this is a crucial turning point regarding whether international bridge is going to be clean, or not.

An editorial in yesterday's Washington Post by Jim Walden, the attorney who represents the Russian whistleblower physician who is now in a witness protection program in the United States, included these sentences:

“The system can be reformed, but it will never happen unless corporate sponsors and clean athletes take a strong stand against doping enablers and apologists, particularly IOC President Thomas Bach, who presided over this tragic affair (of not taking a strong stand against Russian doping) with a cunning display of ineptitude. Sponsors and clean athletes who are not part of the solution are part of the problem. Both groups can and should engage in appropriate protest, even if they do not vote with their feet by boycotting the upcoming Games in Pyeongchang.”

While the CAS bridge ruling is unlikely to get the publicity that the CAS ruling on the doping cases of 28 Russian athletes is, the situations are analogous in substantive ways.
In both cases, the CAS ruled that it was not “comfortably satisfied”, despite overwhelming evidence that virtually all knowledgeable persons who were open to whatever the facts would show, are convinced by.

What to do? Where to go from here? I agree that, at this juncture, bridge sponsors and clean players who are not part of the solution are part of the problem.

We have weak international leadership, as apparently does the IOC. And we are also (or some parts are) subject to the CAS, which Mr. Walden suspects of being corrupt.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/02/05/in-the-latest-chapter-of-the-doping-scandal-russia-gets-a-pass/?utm_term=.6372f344aada
Feb. 6
Melanie Manfield edited this comment Feb. 6
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Exactly!
Feb. 6
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Now and again, he is.
Feb. 5
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Personally, I am going to proceed under the assumption (as predicted by Mr. di Sacco) that F/N will not be playing in Orlando, Florida this autumn.

I am also going to proceed under the assumption that I will not be banned from playing in that tournament.

I fully acknowledge that one or both of these assumptions may turn out to be incorrect.
(And yes, I do realize that it's really not all about me . . . . )
Feb. 5
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It would be hard to think of visiting Gaudi's Casa Batllo (sp.?) as a punishment, though!
Feb. 5
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