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All comments by Mike Cassel
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Is it possible to focus on the the facts, the legalities, and the process rather than the using this thread as more opportunity to vent?

1. DIC behavior and performance
If the DIC had a duty, according to Law 83, to offer a right to appeal to team Schafer, and didn't, this cannot be written off as not affecting the outcome.

2. Conditions of Contest (COC)
agree that, though flawed, they probably did not affect the outcome. However, if no VP scale previously existed that supports the use of integer scales in longer matches this is problematic.

3. Suggested improper player behavior
If this was a conduct/ethics issue ok. If this would have led to a change in the imp score of the match and the subject of an appeal that could have been, but wasn't lodged, this is a problem.

4. Actual IMP differentials in the three matches and the resulting VPs
The PTB did what they could to ascertain the match scores and apply the scale that dictated the 3-imp win as a 10-10 VP tie.
June 9
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 9
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Ed, A GNT district final is unlike other forms of contest due to time and travel constraints. In this case a change in the designation of the winning team occurred after players on the Schafer team had left the venue and also, evidently, having not seen the necessity of a close examination of imp scores or lodging appeals.

I would think that any reasonable interpretation of the actual circumstances would allow the Schafer time a reasonable amount of time to appeal.

Much as I love Ellis, to state there was no time limit for corrections was maybe tongue-in-cheek? The CoC does not mention any correction period. How can you make something of nothing?

However, once the VP scale was adjusted to one that was more representative of the length of the match…and one which reversed the order of finish I think the Schafer team had rights which were not granted:

LAW 83
NOTIFICATION OF THE RIGHT TO APPEAL
If the Director believes that a review of his decision on a point of fact or exercise of his discretionary power could well be in order, he shall advise a contestant of his right to appeal or may refer the matter to an appropriate committee.

I see no evidence that this happened. And it is troubling that “director behavior, item 1, in the OP was NOT found to affect the outcome.

If there was an ”egregious" incident that would have been subject to appeal, but wasn't, the Schafer team was not advised of its right to appeal I believe the PTB (including the ACBL) have failed in their duty in adjudicating the chain of events. Joe Hertz mentioned this in the other thread on May 31, but no one particularly followed up on it.

What role DID the ACBL have in assisting in the process?
June 9
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 9
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I have asked on more than a couple of occasions about the correction period. The statement in the OP
“The COC did not state a correction period” doesn't mean there isn't one.

One beneficial outcome of this mess might include discussions about when a GNT district final results are final.

Given the unique nature of a GNT District final and the reality that many districts pose geographic challenges where contestants are loathe to have a playoff of semifinal losers and want to ‘get on the road’ common correction period guidelines are inadequate.

In fact, I think districts have until June 15 to submit final GNT rosters and district CoCs might reflect that the correction period doesn't end until that date. I am concerned that the ‘PTB" were under significant time pressure to produce a victor, and that a longer correction period could have taken more of the disputed contentions into account.

I can understand why the D22 board chose to focus only on the match scores (imp differentials) and VPs, and that issues of DIC behavior and performance don’t directly affect the table results.

Marty raised the issue of miscommunication. Issues that might have been appealed if the contestants knew that the intially announced winners had changed hinge on the rights of the Schafer to bring an appeal forward, an issue that was moot if they had won.

I question, therefore, the implication that the lack of a correction period in the CoC means there isn't one.
And I am still waiting for someone to identify when, if ever, in the past 3-4 years when VP scales were used, what they were.

A case might be made, given tradition/precedent across the league in recent years that a continuous VP scale should be used in important competition. Not necessarily for six-board swiss or RR matches on qualifying day, but certainly for longer KO matches.

I think the VP scale issue is of a magnitude that the ACBL Special Conditions of Contest for the GNTs should have an appendix with the recommended continuous VP scales or a link to a site that offers them.
June 9
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 9
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Debbie,
I did a search for D22 GNT CoCs
I found one for 2014-15 that looked different and had different language saying nothing about converting imps to VPs
The 2015-16 had the “conversion language” http://acbldistrict22.com/D22/DIR/GNT/2016/D22_GNT_2015-2016_CoC.pdf
the 2016-18 has the same language. It got a 5/31 update before the Flight A finals last weekend.

The PTB used that “conversion language”. We mostly all decry it and would wish it out of existence, but it IS the language that the PTB had to honor in making a decision.

I promoted the notion of tradition, precedent, culture, but have no idea how one might inject these concepts without a procedure that would be aimed at consensus rather than ‘law’.

Ctrl-F in the other thread for “czar”
I'll pretend to be czar again, tho the horse may have proverbially left the barn.

John K. & David L. should convene a meeeting/conference call with the team captains to distill issues and seek a mutually satisfactory disposition among themselves. If a non zero sum outcome is impossible, only then, admit to the ACBL that D22 is unable to resolve the conflict.


Unfortunately, the ruling has come down, as it had to if going by the ‘law’, that Gupta, on the basis of the VP integer scale, lost the match but tied in VPs.
June 8
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 8
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Thomas Rush proposed this on June 5 in the other thread, but it did not generate much enthusiasm. I thought it a fine idea with the proviso that the D22 teams cannot face each other during the Wed. Swiss.

And I think both teams should receive the $2,000 subsidy with a promise to do better and an apology for the lack of clarity.

This malarkey about a solution allowing both teams to play in the GNT Swiss, but allowing only one to move into the KO phase being unfair to other districts…

The teams competing in the Swiss have to perform well enough to be in the top 16 at the end of the day. Given the confusion and sense of outrage exhibited by so many you would think that thoughtful bridge players might find that bit of inconvenience a rather elegant solution.

And it fulfills what rarely occurs in an ACBL adjudication: a non zero sum outcome. I find people complaining about a possible two bites at an apple, given the current furor over fairness in this matter, disturbing. Believe it or not we are members of a family and should be trying to take care of those who feel wounded by whatever fog fell over San Juan Capistrano the last weekend in May.
June 8
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Hi Phil & Weishu,

You might be thinking about 2015? with 6 teams in the Open field?
Assuming that the field was seeded properly there was supposed to be two rings of 3 with 1 team from each ring proceeding to a 2 team all day final:
The teams will be divided into two round robins, with seeds 1, 3, and 6 in one bracket and 2, 4, and 5 in the other. Each team will play 32 boards against the other teams in the bracket, divided into four quarters. The top team in each bracket will be determined by the standard ACBL quotient. The other two teams will be eliminated. The two winners will play the final match.
http://acbldistrict22.com/D22/DIR/GNT/GNTD22b.html

https://contractbridgeforum.com/15/may/22p01.pdf lists the top three but not the size of the field.
June 8
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Can anyone point to a CoC in the last 5 years that has a VP scale in an appendix? If so, what is the range of the length of matches? i.e. how many columns? did the VP scale extend to matches in the 30-board range?

I'm not talking about the scale that was appended in the recent “updated on May31” CoC. I see no problem insuring that the upcoming Flight A district final had a published VP scale.
June 8
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Are you suggesting that the train of Mike E.'s comments are well justified criticism?

I am happy that you started a new thread. But I see no benefit, whatsoever of rehashing why people want to relitigate the controversy about whether or not a three-team second day is or isn't a KO.

Asserting that every other similar contest uses W/L, or had four teams KO structures or what not are immaterial. The language of the CoC is clear, no matter how flawed we all think it was.

I think it is safe to say there will be no more three ways with imps converting to VPs. I hope, in fact, that John Kissinger will dispense with Masterpoint-itis and follow the lead of the current practice in ‘mini-Soloway’ regional KOs with fields from 5 -9 teams playing a round-robin to come to a 4 team KO semifinal.


I'd be more interested in hearing how or if, custom, precedent, or culture could have been factored into the decision-making process.

After reading all of the hundreds of posts in the other thread I feel fairly confident that there is a consensus that, no matter what the current CoC states, past practice treated final day three ways by W/L.

Does anyone have ideas about how the GNT Coordinator, D22 BOD rep., and the D22 BOD could have used ‘the collective wisdom of the crowd’ to fashion an outcome that could be embraced by the affected teams, a non-zero sum outcome?

Or does the adjudication process dictate a winner and a loser?

Phil Clayton posted a number of CoCs. Do any of them have VP scales? The absence of them in prior CoCs lends credence to a conclusion that the CoC as written, were intended to state:
The District 22 GNT Finals are knockout team events scored by IMPs (and converted to VP’s when a team plays in a round robin on qualifying day.)

If there are VP scales but they only include scales for matches of e.g 6-8, 7-9, or short day1 type matches that is another data point indicating the the imp-VP conversion was not intended for a three-team day2 final.
June 8
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 8
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“If I wrote what I think of this, I would be barred
from Bridge Winners.”

It will be hard to find people to manage an event this poorly. “ Unfortunately, Finn, it will not.”

“The ACBL never ever apologizes for anything no matter how bad they have mucked things up.”

“Never happen!”

“That is never going to happen and if it did happen this late, after this posting, it would not be sincere.”



How does endless sniping ever contribute to improving things?
Mike, you are better than this.

Is it possible to think first about the signal to noise ratio of a potential comment and try to be constructive toward future solutions?

Or this thread Jonathan created to discuss the ruling is just Open Season License to Bitch Time?
June 8
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There was confusion whether Gupta lost to Schafer by 5, 4, or 3 imps. In the face conflicting information and missing score tickets we are to understand that the integer scales reflected a 10-10VPs because “3” was deemed to be the number.

I wonder if access to hand records would have made a difference. In our district, to the extent possible, all sessions in all flights of the GNT district finals will use preduplicated hands with hand records available.

It is problematic in a three-way as one set of 36 boards is often not enough.

I completely understand the frustration of a team who thinks they won both, won the event, and weren't concerned about every imp tallied in the close match.
June 8
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I suspect the margin of victory was such that the VPs were immaterial. That doesn't excuse not reporting the VPs in keeping with the contest conditions.

I think the PTB who were in the position of making the determination found their hands tied by the language in the CoC.

It reminds me of committees where the non-offending side is screwed after a mistaken bid and there is no rectification nor penalty for convention disruption. http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/convention-disruption/?cj=346447#c346447

imo, however, to simply award team Gupta the ‘win’ without offering team Schafer ‘compensatory damages’ is disingenuous on the part of a district that has plenty of resources. I find the determination “Gupta wins, Schafer loses, we're sorry” inadequate and an abdication of responsibility by the sponsoring organization.

I hope there is more to be heard from D22.
June 7
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 7
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Did you read the CoC?
June 7
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the three team final in 2014 ran under different conditions. On day 1 it was supposed to be 2v5, 3v4, and 1v4v7 RR on day 1. I don't know how it was conducted.

This was John Kissinger's report on the seven team field in 2016.
Tough field!

Open Flight
Seven Open teams played around-robin movement: tenboards/match, six matches for 60 boards total. The top three teams qualified for the second day. The Clayton team won five of their six Saturday matches Saturday, and, on Sunday, beat both of their opponents to finish in 1st place. Clayton and Schwartz won Flight A last year,
moving up rapidly!
The masterpoint (gold) awards
for 1st-3rd: 1st 36.00, 2nd
27.00, 3rd 19.80. Results:
1. Anant Rathi, San Diego - Henri Farhi, Chula Vista - 
Norm Schwartz, Carlsbad - Phil Clayton, Huntington Beach
2. Alan Gailfus - Debbie Gailfus, Carlsbad -
V. Jay Tipton - Linda Tipton, Irvine -
Susan Kissinger - John Kissinger, San Clemente
3. Peter Rank, Palm Springs - Lynne Feldman - Mark Perlmutter, San Diego -
Wally Goldban, Palm Desert - Wafik Abdou, Bakersfield

No mention of VPs
June 7
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 7
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It pains me to have watched and responded to the many of you who think the roof has fallen in as regards the D22 kerfuffle.

I'm not sure why the D22 BOD made the announcement. David Lodge certainly was within his rights to convene any group he thought appropriate to come to a decision. It's understandable that the decision comes under the cover of the D22 BOD.

Call me a strict constructionist: one who favors giving a narrow conservative construction of a given document or instrument specifically. The GNT is not just another ACBL tournament. It is governed by each district's CoC.

It doesn't matter if it is Peg, or Art, or Jonathan, or any others who have decried the proceedings. The given CoC, however flawed they were, or are, were not illegal.

I believe the PTB correctly concluded that the result, a 1VP, win for Gupta, was valid. I've never seen any reference to any VP scale. Why an integer scale was used is beyond my comprehension.

I asked about the correction period because I believe that the PTB might have convened the affected teams and worked out a solution that would have recognized each team's valid interests, e.g. the continuous VP scale combined with an accommodation to the Gupta team.

It is troubling that the two teams did not agree on the actual imp margin, but I can understand “In an email Schafer said that Gupta agreed to a 1 IMP scoring error, but the issue was resolved with no change.”

I think D22 owes the Schafer term more than what Ellis said:
1. WE Screwed Up
2. We apologize.
3. Here is the best solution we can think of.
4. Once again we are sorry we screwed up.

Based on what has been stated to this point the result is a zero sum, and inadequate, solution.
June 7
Mike Cassel edited this comment June 7
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D22's CoC included a change in language for the
2015-2016 cycle
“The District 22 GNT Finals are knockout team events scored by IMPs (and converted to VP’s when a team plays in a round robin.)”

This language has been in the CoC for 4 GNT cycles.

The 2014-2015 CoC has different language:
For three team round robins, the scoring is by standard ACBL quotient.
http://acbldistrict22.com/D22/DIR/GNT/GNTD22b.html

Art certainly believes he is right
The fact of the change in language makes it clear that RRs in the new CoC are not W/L with imp quotients but net imps converted to VPs.

Even if this language was unintentional, it is not illegal and it needs to be respected.

Ellis suggested the wisdom of asking district experts to adjudicate. I've suggested that the players from 2014 and 2016 might be valuable to weigh in. Anyone can suggest anything about what might be appropriate, but

The relevant authorities, as stated by the D22 CoC, are the GNT coordinator, and the D22 BOD member. John and David might be encouraged to poll former participants, other experts, even ACBL staff. Maybe they would convene a panel and empower them to perform Solomon-like justice. Neither the D22 BOD, nor any other group, are the Applicable Authority.

No one has answered a critical question for me. In the state of confusion that exists HAS THE CORRECTION PERIOD ENDED?
June 7
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I doubt that in many districts that a district board oversees the GNT coordinator in the details of the GNT CoC. I would bring motions to my BOD that concerned dollars, scheduling, broader issues etc.

The district BOD did vote to eliminate carryovers. We eliminated a surcharge applied to district final players who did not play in a unit final. But no one was running unit finals anymore!!
But, re. the details of how the event is run? That's the role of the GNT coordinator.

I made numerous changes over a decade in response to concerns of the players who played who offered suggestions.

As I've mentioned a number of times upthread the GNT belongs to the players probably more than the sponsoring organization. If the Coopers, Roeders, Schafers, Michelbaums, Bells, and a host of fine fine players in D22 don't care enough to own the event and make it the best it can be, review contest conditions and make suggestions, then unforseen things happen.

Just one example. There seems to be general consensus that the language re. conversion from imps to VPs is just for the qualifying day. In the more than five years that clause has been in the contest conditions not one player has asked for clarification or elucidation?

Pogo - Walt Kelly
“We have met the enemy and they are us.”
June 7
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So the director remedies the omission of a VP scale by first referring to a scale that is inapplicable to a long match, and then, substituting an integer scale?

Is there something in the Laws about a director's dereliction of duties?

What role, except to respond to questions, do you think the D22 BOD rep and the D22 GNT Coordinator should give to this DIC in the process of resolving the confusion?

If you were in charge of effecting a resolution what steps would you take?
Is it even possible to rescore the event if the match result tickets no longer exist?
Is it reasonable to declare, given this situation and no statements in the CoC re. a correction period, that the event is still in the correction period?
June 6
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It pains me to see how easily we cast blame on others.
It is incumbent upon the stakeholders, i.e. GNT district final participants, to PARTICIPATE.
Surely self-interested parties lobbied not to have 4-team final days when the semifinal losers would be denied more significant MP awards.
Why is it that, in the 5,6 or 7 years that the language about RR conversion of imps to VPs has been in the CoC no one ever bothered to clarify in the COC that it only referred to qualifying day?
That experienced, high level players like Steve & Kitty would abandon the event without letting the GNT coordinator know the weakness inherent in 3-ways and particularly a 3-way that didn't allow for halftime comparison.

A GNT district final is not someone else's event. It belongs to the district's players who care about and participate in the competition.

Three team captains on Sunday in D22 and two think it's business as usual the heck with what the CoC says. It's a W/L KO, and the one team that hasn't been there before actually notices and confirms that a RR's imps are converted to VPs?

Should I excoriate Korth for countenancing D4's crazy CoC? The first day is a separate event. If you are in a negative position at halftime on the first day your team will take unusual action to get back above average. If your high variant play puts you more minus against a team that Qs to the KO semifinal and your actions vault you back into KO play, IT MAKES ZERO SENSE TO HAVE FULL CARRYOVER, so that you might start a KO semifinal down 40 imps when/if you meet that team in the finals.
THAT IS NUTS. It WAS a condition of contest that D14 eliminated and a contest condition that SHOULD BE ELIMINATED.
Even more so if there are enough teams on day 1 that you are playing short matches against a number of opponents. You could have had terrible luck in the first 7 boards of a 14 bd match. The only way to get some VPs is to win back some double digits in the second half. If your operations don't work you could end up down 50.

"Saturday: Two round robins, 7 boards per match (14 boards against each team) for a total of 56 boards on Saturday; 4 teams advance to Sunday with full carryover. Leader chooses opponent.
Sunday: 30 board semifinal and 30 board final.
http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/coc/gnt/04.html

One of these years a top D4 team will find itself in dire shape at halftime, and end up facing a lesser squad in a KO on the secnd day having a huge c/o against them…. then the CoC will change.
Oh my, this is terrible. How could we have had a CoC that is so unfair?
I dunno…. let's blame Art.

C'mon folks. The civility bell is tolling for you.
June 6
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IF, a big if, the ACBL allowed a second team from D22 to play the Swiss with only one able to continue into the KO round (and not allowed to be paired against each other in the Swiss) what would you do about the subsidies to attend?

$2,000 for each team?
June 5
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