For weeks I have been following ludicrous discussions on Bridge Winners about accusations, warnings, charges, appeals, AWMWs and various other ugly altercations between players, committees, directors and management.
No one knows better than Yours Truly the furor and frustration of not being in control — especially when you have done nothing wrong. I won’t bore you with all the details as they are known by hundreds — from an incident that occurred about five years ago when my partner and I lost a preposterous appeal (unappealable by the bridge gods) and followed by an Award without Merit Warning. I believe they bless you with three of them before any serious action is taken — like shooting, bludgeoning, hanging, etc..
My partner and I fought it but our arguments fell upon deaf ears. All we wanted was to have the AWMW removed. We had a meeting with Jay Baum (then CEO), Harriet Buckman (then ACBL President) and Legal Counsel for the League — Peter Rank — all to no avail. It was at that point (about fourteen months after the debacle) that I told them candidly we had hired an attorney and were going to take legal action. It was then AND NOT BEFORE WE WERE ADVISED WE COULD DO NOTHING UNTIL WE CAME BEFORE SOME KIND OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS COMMITTEE (THEN HEADED BY GEORGIA HETH). Why did it take so long to learn our rights????? We had decided to go to the ends of the earth and if that meant COURT, so be it. It took Bobby a few moments to represent our viewpoint (about the taking advantage of a 20 second huddle by our opponent whose partner balanced with 5 points) until they removed the AWMW.
With all the different viewpoints (forever involving politics — and now with Professionalism and money on the horizon), the ACBL better get their act in shape and do some serious thinking of how to handle these disputes. I have less than no respect for the manner in which matters are being handled at the present .. and hard to imagine them getting any better until some practical person finds himself or herself in charge and initiates a better policy . We need an individual — one who really loves the game of bridge, has the time to devote to it and does not want to see it go down the drain!!!