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All comments by Sabine Auken
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overcaller = Zwischenreizer
advancer = Partner des Zwischenreizers

Just when you thought everything in German is combined into a single word. :)
Dec. 14, 2017
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@Bob as much as you like playing against juniors, it may not be enough to gain you admission to Junior events.

@Peg I was being half serious, half joking. Actually I feel very strongly that the top competitive events (in this case ACBL+ events) should take place at times, when the human brain normally is at its height. I doubt that happens when approaching midnight. I may be wrong, but I also doubt there are many sightseers among the players consistently finishing highly in the top events.

When in the middle of an important event, my main concern is on staying focussed. My morning routine includes physical exercise and hunting for healthy food. I hardly ever know what day of the week it is and as much as I like sightseeing, it has to wait till I am out of the event.

To summarize my view, when we are talking about top level competition, the playing conditions should allow the competitors to perform at their best and that includes playing times when the human brain normally is at a high.
Aug. 28, 2017
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How about this idea instead: Junior events start at 1 and 7:30. Everything else starts at 10(11) and 3(4). Some scientific evidence to support the proposal: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/08/08/brain-function-morning_n_5661856.html
Aug. 28, 2017
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“Christina, I'm sure a little bit of what I'm saying has to do with what I'm used to.”

Hey Bob, you just admitted to being affected by status quo bias! :)
Aug. 26, 2017
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@Bob I found your comment interesting. There was a period of about 10 years in my life, where I tried very hard to combine having two children, a very demanding job in the financial sector and high level competitive bridge. I did not attend any American Nationals at that time, “only” European and World Championships. If the schedule had required me to play until midnight, I would have had to say pass to that as well.

Again, this may just be a personal preference and maybe other people have children that don't wake up at the crack of dawn. It would be interesting to hear the opinion of players that currently are in the situation that you are describing.
Aug. 26, 2017
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Since we are still at the world championships in France: à chacun son goût. As pointed out by others the playing schedule issue has been discussed several times before and the outcome seems to be the same every single time: people have different tastes and preferences. Seeing that is the case, shouldn’t ACBL adjust the playing schedules to accommodate all the people some of the time instead of consistently accommodating some of the people all the time? In my way of thinking that would be much more democratic.

At the time of writing this the outcome of the poll seems rather evenly divided. However, when evaluating a poll like this I believe a number of other factors and issues should be taken into consideration. Off the top of my head I can think of the following:

1) Status quo bias. There is scientific evidence that people normally oppose changes. Some of the reasons for this are a desire to stick to the familiar, a fear of “the unknown” and its risks, not seeing potential benefits etc. How big a role does status quo bias play when answering this poll?

2) What percentage of people that voted “Keep the start times as they are” participate regularly in National events? If the start times were changed per OP’s proposal would they stop or continue to play regularly in National events?

3) What percentage of people that voted “I support changing the start times to 10:30 am and 3:30 pm does not play regularly in National events because of the current start times? How many would likely play in more National events, if the start times got changed?

My personal answer to 3) Once eliminated from the main national event, I often choose not to play in alternative events only due to my dislike for the schedule. If the starting times were different allowing me to follow my preferred daily rhythm I would gladly participate in alternative events also.
Aug. 26, 2017
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I would be worried that automatic penalties for not remembering the system would elicit “we don't have an agreement in this situation” or “just bridge” or shrugging shoulders more often from both opponents trying to avoid the penalty. Not desirable in my view.
Aug. 23, 2017
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Juhuuuuuuuu! Three cheers for the laws committee!
Aug. 19, 2017
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@David Burn at our table the opening leader knew that dummy had 5S and a fairly balanced hand (i.e. 5332 or possibly 5422) and that declarer had 5 hearts (also 5332 or possibly 5422) with a slam invitational hand opposite a minimum opening hand. Number of aces was not checked. Is it clear whether this auction calls for a passive or an active lead?
Aug. 15, 2017
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Playing from the North hand I got a club lead. I took the spade finesse and when a diamond came back I finessed again to go down. It felt like the percentage play, but I would be curious to hear what the percentage gurus say.
Aug. 14, 2017
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First quick recap:

On the positive side the Lyon championships offer quite possibly the best playing facilities and conditions I have ever experienced

On the negative side there is a part of the WBF rules and regulations that I personally consider detrimental to the spirit of the game of bridge. In ACBL territory when playing with screens it is considered good practice among players, for the declaring side to exchange explanation notes after the end of the auctions between both sides of the screen. This ensures that both defenders have the same information and prevents the opening lead from being made on potential misinformation.

In WBF territory this practice is strictly forbidden. Also when the screen is up declarer may at no point inform the defender on the other side of the screen about his/her hand. In WBF tournaments each side of the screen is considered a separate area and they may at no time exchange information. I do not understand this regulation at all. It increases the risk of the two defenders acting on different information, when in my view the idea should be to decrease that risk.

It is possible I have missed something and there is some underlying logic in this regulation with a benefit to the game. But if not, WBF please change this!
Aug. 14, 2017
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I don't remember the last time Roy was accused of underbidding. Need to make a note of it. :)
June 27, 2017
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I never met Ciara. But how I wish I had now!
May 7, 2017
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Ok, this is actually interesting. Can I take a residence in the US (anything it takes to prevent missing the American Nationals!!!)and play in the American trials in the odd-numbered years? The European Championships conveniently are in even-numbered years. Playing in them also will give me two chances to qualify for the Bermuda Bowl. But what will I do, if I qualify in both events? Oh dear!
April 1, 2017
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What's the date today?
April 1, 2017
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Being greeted by Michael's big smile has been one of the highlights of coming to every National. Even though regrettably we never sat across the table from each other I never could think of him as an “opponent”. Michael, you are so much missed.
Feb. 1, 2017
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Very nice instructive deal. Thank you for posting it!
Feb. 1, 2017
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I have good news for you, Adam. The two playing sites are the Palazzo dei Congressi and the Teatro Verdi. I am being informed by an EBL-official that both sites will have air-conditioning in the playing areas.
Oct. 10, 2016
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That is mostly correct, Ed. That record was later broken by Jakob Kristinsson from Iceland. You can read more about it here https://acblstory.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/acbl-bridge-beat-65-race-to-life-master/.

I still remember very fondly my first ever ACBL masterpoints at the regional in Lake Geneva with Linda Trent on the team. Linda, it was wonderful catching up with you in Wroclaw. I also still remember the relentless race for the vital Silver Points that were only available at Sectionals. It may sound strange, but those seemed to be much harder to get than the Gold ones. Luckily Janice Seamon and Barry Goren came to the rescue. Good old days. :)
Oct. 9, 2016
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Thank you, David. I do not know what became of “Heady” either, but I can add a little bit to the story. Ron Andersen, Mike Lawrence and I were taking a bridge group to Prague and to tour what was then Czechoslovakia. Ron was a great entertainer and story teller. One evening during a bridge lecture he told the Headbanger story. When he was finished, a lady jumped up from the audience and exclaimed: “But that was my son!”

And that is a true story. That is the sentence Ron always used to finish his stories with.
Oct. 5, 2016
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