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All comments by Mike Cassel
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And what do you bid after 1 2 3 P, P ?
holding AQxxx AJxxx Qx x?
Jan. 27, 2014
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Switching from split-range to unlimited does require preplanning of subsequent action when you have sound but not forcing values. Until you've had experience with unlimited sequences you are at risk for tempo issues. I prefer the split range for this reason but recognize that the expert community is gravitating to unlimited.
Weak/strong when white and unlimited when red makes a lot of sense.
Thanks for the poll.
Jan. 27, 2014
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Wearing a button identifying yourself as a teacher.. Is it a bumper sticker indicating “student driver” or one that advertises a product? Maybe it doesn't matter. Should a strongly ethical teacher, or any experienced player for that matter, call the director when their action has created an UI situation?
Jan. 23, 2014
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Maybe the director needs education if you have concerns not knowing them. I don't know what is confusing about this kind of UI.

North… where was North? No double? No cuebid. What was North angling for? I don't understand “waiting developments” in a forcing auction. North has a call and I don't see pass as reasonable.
Jan. 22, 2014
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It's a holiday… 6 when it makes is a great story. how often do you get a chance for a story like this!
Jan. 13, 2014
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all over the map Ira but we like you anyway LOL

I have no problem with the differing mission statements. The ACBL needs to reach out to non-tournament player. Tournament players need to recognize this. I am glad to have some A/X events where newer and less accomplished players are in their own sandbox,Gold Rush events. It stiffens the field I am playing in. Their table count makes our sectionals and regionals more viable.

I don't know why flighting started, but it is certainly here to stay. It's quite understandable. Folks want to be competitive at whatever level they perceive themselves to be. I have nearly 7,000MPs and am quite excited by the new 0-10K team events where I will be in contention. What chance do I have in the Open flight of the GNT or a major team event like the Spingold, Vandy, or Reisinger? Zero. No team without a grand life master has ever won the Open Flight of the GNT since Flight A was carved out in 2001. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_National_Teams
I think that's one reason why participation in this non-grass roots grass roots events sucks at the top level in most districts.

I want to clarify a couple of your comments from what I know as a GNT district coordinator, GNT/NAP Forum leader, and Special Events Task Force member:

you stated “Recently our District rep informed us that the ACBL wants to increase the GNT teams -particularly the Superflight”
There were discussion items re. special events at the ACBL Board meeting in Atlanta and one of the discussion items (DI) was whether increasing the number of GNT teams at the NABC finals might increase interest in the event. It's an overbid to attribute this discussion to the ACBL. This DI came from the Special Events subcommittee to the Bridge committee (the Special Events Task Force established by Sharon Anderson in 2012 was morphed into a subcommittee of the Bridge Committee by Don Mamula in 2013)

you stated “Indeed there was a movement to move the superflight against the Spingold! It was voted down but it was close.”
One of the early ideas of the GNT/NAP Coordinator Forum was to start the Open Flight of the GNT finals on Spingold Day 1. The rationale: increase participation in the top flight of the GNT across the country for accomplished ACBL members who do not compete because they choose not to compete against full-time players. This proposal (brilliant if you ask me AND it was not my idea) was never put forward as a motion to be heard by the BOD and was never voted on.

There are full time players from your district who, thinking probably about their own pocketbook, rather than your district's mission to “promote the best interests of the competitive or tournament form of contract bridge”, told us to create our own restricted event, rather than tweak the current one.

What is in the best interest of the future of our game does not necessarily equate to the best interest for us as individuals at our current level of attainment. I'm ready to see the GNTs dissolve in favor of a new truly grass roots team event with club qualification that offers free trips to the NABC for players who aren't already coming to them. I don't think we need to open the event to more players who are NABC regular attendees.
Jan. 3, 2014
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Gold Rush used to have 2 flights, 750 & 300. Looks like they've authorized a third flight for 0-200 and bumped 300 to 500.
I have mixed feelings about the ability of folks to become Life Masters without ever playing against one, but scheduling whatever puts people into seats at a table is a pretty strong argument.
A viable live tournament future is in our interest. Igniting the competitive fire for players to make the move to unrestricted, A/X or Flight B events, is critical. How many members reach life masterhood, consider they've achieved this long sought goal, and quit playing? Will Gold Rush successes lead to a desire for more accomplishments in stronger fields?
I hope so.
Jan. 2, 2014
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I do not play that (1m) - P - (1M) - 2m is natural. I do play that (1m) - P - (1M) - 2M is natural.
I do think that a discussion of exposing a 1 psyche for the given sequence is worthwhile.
Do you start with a double, cuebid that major, and then bid it again?
Dec. 26, 2013
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What are the doublers going to say when their partner has to write down -670, -870, or -1070? This hand does not have the defense for a double. A natural 2N is a mighty small target, a competitive two-suiter much more frequent. In unfamiliar sequences I make the assumption that my partner's bid takes into account the more likely construction.

My partner, with nearly a handful of spades, is going to be considering a white vs. red pass of my double 2 spade tricks and an outside defensive trick.

With a student I would bid 3, with a good partner I'm NOT doubling.
Dec. 26, 2013
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Winds of change are blowing fresh air into the ACBL Board. I hope that Russ Jones, Dennis Carman, and Jay Whipple will be valuable voices supporting a more grass roots up rather than top echelon down approach to the league. Having known or spoken with each of them, I have reason to be hopeful.

Bridge may not die, but the future of viable tournament play is going to be dependent on efforts to encourage club players to venture onto a path that will lead them to travel to tournaments.

Many bridge players are not ACBL members, how do we encourage them to give the league a try? We may need to consider hosting tournament events that do not cater only to masterpoint hunter/gatherers, but to those who value social aspects of the game under less stringent conditions.

I continue to advocate for a new grass roots team event that focuses on club players, one that will offer a destination prize: winning a trip to the NABC. We don't need to subsidize players who are already coming. We do need to reach out to the many many members who haven't been to a NABC.
Dec. 25, 2013
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assuming that 2 after 1 - 1, 1 is 4SF why would you not start with 1 and rebid spades twice? on another note I like to play that you always show hearts before 3 card support after NMF… responder can always look for 3 spades by rebidding the suit. on a further note you've been around long enough to add 2 way checkback after your 1N rebids so you can distinguish between invitational and GF hands. i think your creation cries out for better methods.
Dec. 25, 2013
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Predealt hands for all swiss events would be REALLY expensive.
Dec. 17, 2013
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I've played in Swiss Team events that were scored with bridgepads. new matches come up quickly, sometimes too quickly for my taste. If these devices were used in the finals of the No. American Swiss you would be able to see recaps of scores of each of the 23 matches for each board. Even better would be a board by board traveler with contracts and results.
One of the best ways to improve is to watch better players. You can download hand records from the Reisinger and look at online recaps. Why not for the finals of the No Amer Swiss?
Dec. 17, 2013
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i don't know the point either. but that's not the issue. do you have methods to disclose or deny club cards, show your strength as responder, etc?
Dec. 14, 2013
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the stolen bid double gives you all of the advantages of the useful space principle available after a jacoby transfer: invitation in NT with 5 card suit, choice of game (major or NT), bidding a second suit fcg or NF as your partnership agrees, as well as the ability to play in your suit from the strong hand. some partnerships have super accepts after 4 suit transfers to a minor which is facilitated by a system on approach. i'm not convinced of the case for card showing doubles vs stolen bid.

stolen bid doubles may not be superior but, in very casual partnerships, they are quite simple to understand. in any case, partnerships need to discuss direct vs. delayed actions and what each means. thanks
Dec. 11, 2013
Mike Cassel edited this comment Dec. 11, 2013
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The one place the flow was really bad was outside the NABC+ playing area on the third floor where the concession stand was located. As always much milling around, particularly on days when the seeded pairs/teams were waiting assignment. I found myself having to skirt this problem by walking through the concession area.

I can understand wanting to locate concessions near traffic, but it would have been so much better to locate it in a half circle at one end of that corridor or the other. I don't think concession sales are point of sale impulse generated.
Dec. 10, 2013
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as an undiscussed sequence this is a curve ball. my first thought was a superaccept for hearts with shortness in opener's first bid suit.
i'd never toss this bid in without prior discussion.

i had a GF hand in PHX with diamonds and longer clubs. We have a treatment where a 2/1 in clubs might by GF in clubs or a balanced GF hand or a 3 card limit raise. I wanted to bid 3 to show a GF 2 suiter but it was undiscussed. We might have reached I grand slam in diamonds had I done so but we might have had a disaster. I took the more well worn path and we basically pushed in 6. But now we have added GF 2 suiter with primary clubs to the description.



Dec. 10, 2013
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If your attitude and enthusiasm could be injected into other relative newcomers to the game I wouldn't be as concerned about the future of live tournament bridge.

Without spilling any further beans it was nice to see you on Sunday.

p.s. it was nice to meet John too
Dec. 10, 2013
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It seems to me that lebensohl is rather unnecessary after (1x) 1N (2x) as the chances of partner having a forward going bid seems pretty slim particularly if opps are vulnerable. What points are left in the deck for pd?



Dec. 6, 2013
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If partner opens 1N and RHO bid 2 promising a major…
is double best played as a xfr to hearts or negative?

if you pass then double in the passout seat or over RHO's 2 is that not a negative double?

what is the best defense against the 2 = 1 major defense?
Dec. 6, 2013
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