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All comments by Peg Kaplan
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David……. when has George EVER not been funny?!
April 22
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Yes, I must admit I agree with you, David. If you look at any of our major team games, they are not designed to be “randomized”. Seeding in the 3 majors team events is theoretically designed so that the best will be meeting the best as the event proceeds.

Take any of these events and set them up so that the odds are heightened that our best teams will meet one another earlier; the event itself is cheapened.

I still think that the top flight of GNT is haunted by the many factors that have been discussed…. Huge differences between geography, population, depth & strength of field in districts, disparities in support to attend the event if you do win, etc. For someone like me, who enjoys being at the NABC when many others are there, time becomes an issue. Tough to be gone almost 2 weeks, IF I play in GNT and stay the rest of the tournament.

Some improvements can be made - and should be. Yet I still maintain that making most much happier, especially in the Open Flight, is an impossible task.
April 22
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John, I have a dear friend who has visual issues. Almost everyone has zero difficulty using the bidding boxes and stating their bids, too, when they compete against her.

For the rest of us - as I hope you are seeing from the comments - bidding boxes are a marvelous bridge invention! Nothing is perfect. Yet the boxes are a huge improvement over only stating our bids - for a variety of reasons.

If YOU have a positive attitude about bidding boxes, then your students won't have issues with them.
April 21
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Whoa! “And I still strongly object to bidding boxes, and the implication that everyone is a cheat”

John, surely there are other excellent pluses to having bidding boxes beyond assuming many are cheating! Reviewing the bidding is far easier and silent; no one to overhear it. Those who have hearing issues can readily see the auction. (And we can still state our bids for those with vision problems.)

I realize that many people want “the cardboard” in their hands when they are playing, and are adamantly opposed to having devices instead. Still, I see so many pluses to having a device … and fewer downsides. I do think, as some have mentioned, that one of the biggest downside is simply the unfamiliarity of it.

As for devices in clubs … In my mind, if we were to experiment with this, surely it would first only be at tournaments, and likely only for top level events. One day perhaps the devices would come to club games, too - but - that would be a long way off.

Perhaps by then, people will be amazed that we ever did use little rectangles of stiff paper to play our game!
April 21
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Michael - I agree with you to the extent that it is not facile to judge which of all the agreements people have ought to be alerted - and which not.

But - think for a moment about your suggestion above. The auction goes 1H - 1NT - and you have: xxx, Qxx, Kxx, Jxxx. Are you going to look at your opponents' CC? Of course not.

Let's say, however, you have: AKJ9x, Axxx, xx, Jx. Might you consider looking now?

And if my two statements are accurate, aren't you then giving your partner UI because he knows that you will not glance at their CC when you have nothing to think about - and “the glance” does give him information?
April 21
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Then I'm confused, Al. How would 2 people cheat online if they were being monitored? (And, I'm not saying it's utterly impossible…. just that close monitoring of 1 or 2 players would make cheating vastly tougher than unsupervised competition.)
April 20
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Al, I do think it is possible for one person to cheat online … in fact, unless there is good security, easy to do this. You play on one device with one account - and with another log-in on a different device. Your partner could be unaware that you are able to see all the hands while bidding and playing.

Of course, wiser cheaters would never cheat on all the hands. When you get ALL the hands right, far more suspicious than when you toss in some wrong decisions on less important hands to make discovery more difficult.
April 20
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No, Ed - I think you miss my point.

There is an awful lot of data on the convention card. How much am I supposed to study (particularly when playing pairs) as a new pair sits down?

I believe that there are a number of treatments and agreements in addition to Flannery that might not be expected by most pairs - yet, they are not alertable. Perhaps at least some of these treatments (like Flannery) ought to have a bit more disclosure.

Wouldn't it be easier and take FAR less time for a pair to alert 1 - P - 1NT if they usuall by-pass a 4 card spade suit, by agreement - than to study that and a variety of other items on the card?

And - am I supposed to study their leads and carding agreements when they come to the table - not knowing if we are going to be on defense ourselves for the round?

I personally think that at least some of the rules here could be adjusted a bit to make the game more transparent - and more time effect and a bit easier - for all of us.
April 20
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LOL, Ira - though I ASSURE you there are more than a few times when he is certain I ought to be locked up!
April 20
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Bless you and others making similar efforts, Simon!
April 20
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Ed, I know you very frequently make statements similar to this one about looking at the opps card. Yet, in my mind, the issue is not when they open 2 - that gets alerted and easy to look or ask what it is.

The issue is when people open 1, and responder doesn't bid 1 because it promises 5+ systemically. Are we always supposed to examine our opponent's card when they open 1, because they might be playing Flannery? What other sorts of bids without alerts should cause us to study the card, because they might be something a bit out of the ordinary?

I realize you are working within the laws, Ed. But, I wish our laws were a bit more “user friendly” - and that we could do a bit more notification to the opponents rather than have them spend precious time going through our card “just in case.”

I also realize that getting all this “perfect” is impossible. Nevertheless, improvement could be achieved. Here's hoping.
April 20
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No prison for me - yet. :D

No parole officer boyfriends, either - yet. :D
April 20
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Don - I imagine you are correct.

Perhaps it would be possible to have a special group that was comprised of players who ELECTED to enter it… and they could have a more sophisticated categorization of seeding. This way, those who never wish relinquish a smidge of their masterpoints would not have to do so.

Not sure if the latter might work. Only know I agree with you that many would rather plotz than have someone pry their masterpoints from their total holdings!
April 19
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A treasure, Steve. Thanks for mentioning TGLO!!
April 19
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Jeff, my own personal belief is that I would like to see a philanthropist(s) give in whatever ways would support and promote bridge - and attract more people to it. I would agree with you that many pros do fine in our current environment.

So, I am sorry, Jeff, if I gave the impression that I think bridge would benefit for more dollars being given to pros. Yes, I agree with you - the purpose would be to grow the game, give it more visibility, etc.
April 19
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Jim - I am not going to unduly aggravate my brain by even looking!
April 19
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Jeff - what am I missing? How does a desire for philanthropy in bridge translate into a move to have more sponsors hiring pros?

I will admit that I am someone who thinks that if NOT for sponsors, the overall quality of bridge would be less than it is. Many people who are world class pros might otherwise have to have “real jobs” :) - and thus wouldn't have anywhere as much time to be able to devote to their game.

Yet to me, that is a very different issue than someone giving resources to promote our game overall.
April 19
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Steve, while there is some sense in such a suggestion, I think there are simply too many factors fighting against it. Perhaps the biggest is: “What constitutes a professional”?

If you play once every year or so for compensation, are you a professional? Should someone who perhaps earns $1-2K a year for play and teaching be treated the same as someone who earns hundreds of thousands? How would you monitor all this?

I am pretty sure that the League tried to define “professionalism” and have people declare if they were a bridge pro. If memory serves me correctly, it did not work out well.
April 19
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Jim, prior to the most recent change in masterpoint awards, teams actually outpaced payouts for pair events. In many cases, it was very lopsided in favor of teams.

Most reasonably, many wanted to find a methodology where either form of the game was more commensurate with the other. Alas; we didn't get that. Now the lopsidedness is the opposite of what we had before; not an improvement.

People are choosing as they are not in many cases because they prefer pairs to teams, but because of what the more than slight advantages are. And then, of course, the effect is cumulative; the more people that play in one format over the other, the more dramatic the disparity is.

It also is not just a function of choices by “lower down the master point food chain.” Our regional KO teams used to have decent draws and reasonable popularity. Now? Some of the time a 4 session KO has to be morphed into 3 sessions, due to lack of turnout. Sometimes it's CANCELLATION altogether. How many teams do you think will plan to travel to a regional, if there's a reasonable chance they won't even get to play at all when they show up?

Really, Jim - at least in tournament settings, the changes have been very destructive for those who enjoy team competition.
April 19
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Sorry, Jurgen; I truly have no idea to what you are referring.

Philanthropists have donated to society in a host of different areas for ages. Most of us applaud them for this. Why you seem to think that the possibility of it happening in the bridge world would be bad is a mystery to me.

And while it may “cost nothing” to play at someone's kitchen table or a private bridge club (where I see you define your annual fee as “nothing”) - there are costs involved with competing at duplicate bridge.

Perhaps some others share your notion that there are nefarious motives involved with philanthropy. While there may be some cases where this is the case, overall, I would think that your general outlook is a most limited one.
April 19
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