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All comments by Sabine Auken
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Agree. I linked it on Facebook asking people to come here and vote.
Aug. 22, 2016
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Tommy, “this would seem to indicate a fairly major flaw in proceedings.”

I fear it may be even worse than that. As explained by OP the Supplemental Conditions of Contest for Wroclaw state:

“The Teams are divided in groups, formed according to the criteria and procedures established by the WBF Management Committee and effected by the Wroclaw Championship Committee appointed by the WBF President.” (page 7, section 3)

It is my understanding that, since no other explanations of the whole seeding process can be found in any public documents, Bridgewinners contacted Al Levy, a WBF representative from Zone 2, and asked for clarification. Al Levy responds: "Gianarrigo Rona and Maurizio Di Sacco have responded to my inquiry .” and then gives their explanation.

According to http://www.worldbridge.org/championship.aspx (which incidentally I believe is not updated on the WBF website like several other committee compositions) Al Levy is a member of the Championship Committee. It is not immediately clear to me whether that is the same as the Wroclaw Championship Committee. But unless somebody can provide a different explanation I will assume for the time being that it is.

As stated in the Supplemental Conditions of Contest it is the Wroclaw Championship Committee’s job to effect the criteria and procedures by which the teams are divided in groups. How then is it possible that Al Levy, a member of said committee, cannot respond to Bridgewinner’s question, but has to make an inquiry with Gianarrigo Rona and Maurizio di Sacco?

I don’t want to rule out there may be a good explanation or reason for it and maybe the Wroclaw Championship Committee is different from the WBF Championship Committee (in which case it would be nice to know who the members are). But it also seems possible that WBF is not following its own regulations. If that indeed is the case I feel this is yet another issue we should all ask our respective NBOs to bring up at the WBF Meeting of Congress in Wroclaw next month.
Aug. 22, 2016
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@Brian I was just wondering whether there was any committee at all or whether it might be only one person doing the seeding. If the latter indeed were the case, I guess at least there would be less smoke.
Aug. 21, 2016
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Brian, may I please ask what gives you the impression that as many as 6 guys were involved in arriving at the eventual seeding for Wroclaw?
Aug. 21, 2016
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In your alternative Masterpoint ranking method did you remember to give me credit for my mixed results? Would make group A look a bit stronger……:)

Joking aside when I first saw the draw of the groups for Wroclaw I immediately was asking myself the exact same questions as OP. It is glaringly obvious to anyone interested in and knowledgable about top level bridge that group B is considerably stronger than the other two groups, especially group C. We lack total transparency of the whole process. I wonder whether the whole draw is effectively performed by just one person without much guidance and/or supervision by experts. Since there is so little transparency it is difficult to know.
Aug. 21, 2016
Sabine Auken edited this comment Aug. 21, 2016
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Excellent! I found it now, thank you very much, Peter. And thank you very much @Al indeed for posting all this useful information.
Aug. 20, 2016
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Thank you, Timo. I did try that, but couldn't find anything. As you said it may have been posted by someone else.
Aug. 20, 2016
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I am sure you posting the WBF financials after the meetings in Wroclaw will be very much appreciated in this forum. Could you possibly also point us into the direction where they recently were posted here, please? I have been searching for them, but so far have not been able to find them.
Aug. 20, 2016
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Bobby, you were both a top administrator and a top competitor in this game that we both love for much longer than anyone else on this forum. Nobody can even come close. As such your contributions are very educational for all of us. Discussion generally exists because of a difference of opinions. If we all always agree about everything, there really isn’t that much to discuss and there wouldn’t be much point to this forum. So please allow me to disagree with you.

I conclude from your comment that you support WBF’s pursuit of the Olympic dream. You wrote: In order to keep alive an Olympic dream, almost no concessions should be, or, more importantly, need to be made.

Unlike any other competition I know of, bridge has a special structure offering competitors women’s competitions alongside open competition. IOC does not allow for that combination. Any IOC discipline has to either run just open competitions or men’s and women’s competitions. For that reason every IOC related bridge event so far has had a men’s and a women’s category (instead of the usual open and women’s category). Regardless of what one thinks is a better or more meaningful structure this is a clear concession to the Olympic dream.

You further argue that WBF’s anti-doping provisions are only meant to show our perceived ambitions to be included (in the Olympic Games). You continue describing how the ridding of cheating in high-level bridge is of the utmost importance to you. As described in my OP Article 2 of the WBF Constitution explains the purpose of the WBF. Half of this article has to do with IOC and it specifically states as a purpose to fight against doping in sport and to take measures, the goal of which is to prevent endangering the health of bridge players. Article 2 mentions NOTHING about fighting against cheating.

I may be missing something, but I am afraid I fail to follow the logic of your reasoning.
Aug. 18, 2016
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I feel rather confident that a large amount of readers here are familiar with the Bermuda Bowl, the Venice Cup, the Spingold, Vanderbilt and Reisinger, know quite a lot about these competitions, watch them online and follow the results.

Since 2011 bridge has participated in the SportAccord World Mind Games with 4 teams in the men’s competition and 4 teams in the women’s competition. I also feel quite confident that a much smaller amount of readers here are familiar with this competition, know any details about it, watch it online (or by other means) and follow the results. Despite part of the stated three main objectives of these Games being “a worldwide TV coverage, and a large participation to the online tournament linked to the event” http://www.imsaworld.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Post-report-SAWMG.pdf

I could be wrong of course.
Aug. 18, 2016
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Donald, I am sure I speak for many when I say that we highly appreciate your contributions and insight. I understand that it is not easy and maybe even close to impossible for the players to achieve change in the WBF. But does that mean we shouldn’t even bother to try? That would not be the stuff winners are made of, and after all this site is called Bridgewinners.

Yes, the Congress needs 2/3 votes to accomplish any kind of veto of an Executive action, and yes, that is not likely to happen. But if enough of us can get their NBO to raise its voice, wouldn’t there at least be a chance that the WBF would be inclined to listen? And if they listen carefully enough, maybe they start wondering whether the chosen track is really the best one going forward. After all there would be no NBOs without the players and there would be no WBF without the NBOs.
Aug. 17, 2016
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Thank you, Tom!
Aug. 17, 2016
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Greedy doublers back then! Thank you for posting a fun hand, Peter.
Aug. 15, 2016
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Nicolas, I am watching “Game of Thrones” to learn how to do that properly. Just started season 4.:)
Aug. 15, 2016
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Samantha, we can agree it's more appropriate. But it's not the question bridge journalists typically ask, at least not in my experience.
Aug. 13, 2016
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Louis, I believe I have addressed that issue by stating that gender based events are not unusual in competition. The same cannot be said for race or religion based events. On that basis I do not think it’s a clear comparison. You and Timo and undoubtedly others think differently. I think we each should be entitled to our opinion.

I will give you that, just because gender based events in competition are not unusual, doesn’t necessarily make it right to have them. But I do feel it plays a role whether the majority of competitors or even just a significant minority want them or not. Whether that is the case I do not know. FWIW I do not advocate gender based events, but I do not object to them either. As long as nobody prevents me from trying to beat up on the guys. :)
Aug. 13, 2016
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Gender based events are not unusual in competition. What is unusual in bridge is the special structure of running open and women’s events instead of men’s and women’s events. IOC does not allow for that combination. In order to comply with IOC WBF has to choose between a men’s and women’s events combination or open events only. I don’t think the current structure in bridge needs to change as long as there are people that want to play in the different events and I also don’t think we should be told by IOC how we organize our game. If it were to be changed into a men’s and women’s events combination I would protest heavily.
Aug. 13, 2016
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I understand and respect the opinion of some that there should be no gender based events. Personally I do not share that opinion. As Frances Hinden put it “if people want to play in them, why not?” What puzzles me is the request that the champions of the anti-sexist campaign should lead the way asking for no gender based events. Why would that not be the job of the people opposed to gender based events?
Aug. 12, 2016
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Steve, I originally introduced my article with a short discussion of the issue you raise, but cut it out in the end in order not to lose focus on my main point.

Let's focus on your issue now. Bridge journalists and enquiring minds love to ask the question: why are men better bridge players than women? While it is far from clear to me whether this is a generally true fact, it can hardly be denied that at the very top of bridge men hugely outnumber women.

Many attempts have been made at answering the question, covering an array of sociological and genetic aspects. Yet nobody seems to have been able to totally hit the nail on the head in explaining the conundrum. I do not proclaim to know the answer to the question either, but I do strongly believe that even though there may be other factors, there is nothing ”wrong” with women's brains preventing us from playing bridge just as well as men.

Lately I have come to believe that there is one factor I haven’t seen mentioned a lot (actually I don’t even recall having seen it mentioned at all) that may play a decisive role: the inclination to take risk or maybe more accurately a certain kind of risk. Research consistently finds that in general men are more inclined to take risks than women. I believe the willingness to take risks is important for success in high level bridge competition.

For anyone interested in the subject I found this article enlightening that claims it’s not really true that women are less inclined to take risks, they just take different kinds of risk https://hbr.org/2013/02/do-women-take-as-many-risks-as
Aug. 12, 2016
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Hey Meike, we are allowed to dream! Sometimes dreams do come true ;)
Aug. 12, 2016
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