What you see above is not a mistaken reversal of the old concept. It has been happening over the last few decades and presently, with all the ugly whispers, everyone is aware of the decline of the ACBL from numerous vantage points. My greatest concern at the moment is of huge magnitude: Exactly WHO is at the helm of our once-great ship .. and WHY?? Read the rest of this entry »
For purposes of this frothing at the mouth, I have altered the name of our local exterminators which enticingly is named Bugs Limited (although I am told it was once called Bugs Unlimited). Read the rest of this entry »
It is very refreshing and encouraging that so many qualified and determined worldwide recognized and respected bridge players have recently stepped up to the plate in the name of furthering honorable bridge competition. They have volunteered to work unyieldingly to (1) EXPOSE AND DETAIL BOTH CHEATING AND PROVEN UNETHICAL CONDUCT … especially at the higher levels; and (2) TO PUT IN PLACE FAIR, UNCHALLENGEABLE METHODS OF PROVING BEYOND A DOUBT THAT THE ACCUSED ARE FOUND GUILTY OF SPECIFIC CHARGES AND PUNISHED ACCORDINGLY. Wishy-washy excuses won’t cut it! Read the rest of this entry »
I, and other bridge lovers, have been distressed by the recent happenings on the local scene. Bobby and I have loved the excitement of life in Vegas (which is now over eleven years) despite the complaints of the heat. That is why air conditioning in homes, cars, casinos, restaurants, markets and other locales are so popular. Every problem has a solution. Read the rest of this entry »
Since jokes are constantly made about bridge players being either old or dead, I took poetic license to share this with all of you. Quite appropriate for many of us youngsters!
Julie Andrews Turning 79
To commemorate her birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was ‘My Favorite Things’ from the legendary movie ‘Sound Of Music’. Here are the lyrics she used:
If you sing it, its especially hysterical!!!
Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’,
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,
And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I’ve had,
And then I don’t feel so bad.
(Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores. Please share Ms. Andrews’ clever wit and humor with others who would appreciate it.)
I was rather amused by the “official statement” of an “authorized ACBL official” to form an alliance with the EBL in an effort to resolve the countless problems that have emerged… defacing our once-wonderful game. If you ADD THE TWO GROUPS TOGETHER, they combine to form the universal unchallenged ‘Father of Bridge’ — THE WORLD BRIDGE FEDERATION. The ultimate aim of the WBF is to promote and honor the highest level of bridge competition in the world in an effort to strengthen and attempt to further its existence for many years to come. Political alliances should not deter them. Supporting the efforts of the WBF should be their primary consideration!
Bridge here in Zone 2 seems to be focusing on attracting more members, giving away floods of master points, raising tournament and ‘special club game’ fees (and salaries) and promoting what Bobby laughingly refers to as HCW (High Card Wins) — without any deliberate effort to further and protect the expert game which has sunken below the performances of many other nations. Worse yet, from talk over the last few years, it was rumored (not confirmed) that the intent and desire of the Board of Directors (with a couple of exceptions) was to vote to stop paying dues to the WBF which offers the only chance for top level bridge to survive on this side of the ocean. On the subject of money, I know since the inception of the ACBL eons ago, Board members were proud and honored to serve without pay… originally with only minimum expenses and perks. Now, there is talk about rearranging the structure with salaried participants. Our heroes of old would turn over in their graves if they saw what has become of the administration of our special game.
No one is denying the glorious intention of going all-out to rid our game of cheating of any kind, in all corners of the world. However, though many private groups have made valiant efforts at organized bridge in this zone, we must go all out to ‘officially’ get it into our schools here. Because of Bobby’s unyielding efforts starting over two decades ago at the Great Hall of China (despite intermittent delays), bridge was recognized and is now OFFICIALLY considered a ‘real’ curriculum there and 200,000,000 children are learning the game there as well as in many European cities. In the eyes of hosts of appreciative bridge lovers, this should be a PRIORITY… but alas, other projects come first.
As far as unifying the EBL and ACBL to ‘zero in’ and stop cheating… better late than never! — I wish they had awakened to that issue back in the sixties and seventies when my late husband, Norman Kay, his team-mates and other worthy competitors kept losing to the revered BT — taking over half a century to let the truth be known. Sadly, we cannot turn back the clock… but the ACBL should have higher and more crucial goals — like SUPPORTING THE WBF BOTH SPIRITUALLY AND FINANCIALLY… strengthening our universal bridge authority.
Short Intro. I have posted the following on behalf of Judy. She has become a real friend over the past few years. She has been preoccupied with family health issues back home; yet, despite her own exhaustion, she asked me to help out her friend Bruce Greenspan with his “Longest Day” bridge project, by posting the following on her blog. Note: You can read about the ACBL’s “Longest Day” on their website at www.acbl.org/clubs_page/special-events/the-longest-day/
This is your opportunity to play with Bobby Wolff and other bridge legends, Hall of Famers, top pros, teachers and writers and benefit the fight against Alzheimer’s. An amazing array of talent has joined the team including Larry Cohen, Bob Hamman, Eric Rodwell, Janice Seamon Molson, Sabine Auken, Michael Rosenberg, Steve Weinstein, Gail Greenberg, Steve Robinson, Gavin Wolpert, George Jacobs, Jerry Helms, Barbara Seagram and many more. Read the rest of this entry »
Bridge players of all ilks suffer frustrations at the table (and away from it as well). Over the years, I have heard a multitude of famous quotes (some funny and some categorized in a feistier milieu). With apologies to the celebrated “Bartlett’s Quotations,” I’d like to share those that came to me immediately Read the rest of this entry »
Regarding the verdict of the now much-talked-about late Friday night 2016 USBC Appeal, many knowledgeable bridge experts have questioned not only how the Committee was selected but also by whom and in search of a better solution for handling the process. I am by no means challenging or criticizing those organizers or appeals people involved recently in Denver .. just looking ahead to make the proceedings better (which should be our common goal) and not last minute scrounging at night to gather a worthy committee as the emerging situation dictated.
However, the selection process for such a serious event (unlike an NABC where a plethora of experts are still in attendance late in the tournament) has many flaws. Perhaps arrangements should be made beforehand — having on hand honorable and willing impartial experts who have been knocked out to remain on the site to be available if needed. I understand this all costs additional money, but with unimaginable thousands constantly being shelled out by sponsors and the unfathomable money ACBL has been gouging from its members recently, someone or some thing should be able to come up with money to solve this perplexing Appeals problem. Consider the huge ACBL intake from such new practices of charging an extra two bucks per person for a ridiculous local club Stac game (simply a club duplicate) focusing on meaningless master points? Add it up .. it’s a bundle. And what about raising the NABC fees for a six man team even though only four can play at a time? Perhaps some of the extra lucre floating around can be put to good use by helping to provide for a few impartial experts to stand by if needed? What could possibly be more momentous than improving our appeals process — especially involving worldwide representation???
It appears that the venue for this far-reaching legendary decision, per force, was relegated to a telephone conference call (less than an ideal method of debating the issue) as opposed to a ‘live’ meeting and playing a major role, in this case, to determine who battles it out in the FINALS to earn the privilege of representing Zone 2 in the upcoming world championship in Poland.
‘Transparency’ seems to be the recent bridge topic of the day! Thus, impeccable knowledge of the game (coupled with total impartiality) should be the major determining focus involving WHO makes the appointment and WHOM is selected. I think the bridge public who is presently on top of the current issue as we speak, is entitled to some answers.
Those of you old timers like myself may remember the above greeting attributed to the celebrated World War II radio commentator, Gabriel Heatter, who always tried to open his programs with the uplifting words captioned above.
Such is the email sent by District 17 President Jerry Ranney:
From: "JERRY T RANNEY"
Date: May 5, 2016 6:09 PM
Subject: Las Vegas Regional Schedule Change
Las Vegas Unit Board Members,
As a result of the concerns the Las Vegas unit has raised about not having a Thursday/Friday Knock Out, District 17’s Executive Committee has approved the addition of a Thursday/Friday KO to the approved, previously-published 2016 Las Vegas regional schedule. The change to the schedule has also been cleared with Matt Koltnow, the tournament DIC, and with Robert Hartman, ACBL CEO. We sincerely hope that this will have the positive effect on tournament attendance that the Las Vegas unit predicts.
We hope that this year’s Las Vegas regional is a huge success, and look forward to working with the Las Vegas unit board following this year’s event to develop and approve a schedule for next year’s regional tournament. We want to work together to hopefully build attendance back to levels that were common in the early years of this decade.
District 17 President
On behalf of the members of Unit 373 and our surrounding community, we are grateful to Mr. Ranney who has attempted to restore peace and tranquillity to both the Unit and District. Many issues still must be resolved… but at least this is a beginning. Unit 373 will do everything within its power to pass around the news of the concession regarding the hard-fought addition of one more KO at the Regional on Thursday/Friday, June 9th and 10th.