Judy Kay-Wolff


There has been continuing chatter, criticism and displeasure concerning the wrongful and lethargic position taken by the ACBL Appeals Committee last week in the timing and handling of the crucial Monaco v. Auken Match.  By not foreseeing the imperative need to rule on a second quarter potential infraction of the rules by postponing it until the end of the match, the board in question was now challenged and created a preventable after-the-fact action which caused the changing of the final score and the winner — AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATCH.  Disgraceful for individuals who are allegedly leaders in our judicial system not to look ahead to what could happen.  If at all possible (exception, of course, is if an appeal arises during the last segment of play), no impending appeal should be delayed on a “what if” (or any other excuse) basis, if only to not put maximum pressure on the Appeals Committee to come up with an equitable and accurate solution.  To go further, can it ever be right, if it is determined that the baby (decision) should be split in determining the most accurate judicial compromise, when the committee no doubt would have advance information over what number would be a match changer and what number would not?

As most of you are aware, Bobby has served in an administrative capacity in both the ACBL and WBF for about sixty years. No one is more experienced or better equipped to evaluate the committee’s action than he is.  For a compelling argument against the irresponsible way the Appeals Committee put itself in that No Win Position, read his answer to Jane A on my blog site entitled JUST FOR THE RECORD. It begins … ” Since I am not here to make friends …”


Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

There’s more ……

I am not alone in my thinking!

I just read the following which appeared in a posting from Jonathan Steinberg who served on the ACBL Board for many years.

It is captioned “NABC Appeals Committees”

“The 2013 Vanderbilt was marred by a 4 AM Appeals Committee decision that reversed the outcome of a match in the round of 16. Team Monaco was eliminated while Team Auken advanced to the round of 8 and ultimately went on to win the event.”

“Expert bridge players with far more ability than I have told me this ruling was one of the worst decisions ever made. ACBL TDs with far more knowledge of the Laws than I have concurred.”

“These situations, whatever side you may be on, are very bad for the game. This is not the first time a highly controversial ruling has affected the outcome, indeed the winner, of a major NABC Championship. But I hope it will be the last time.”

JSMarch 27th, 2013 at 9:43 pm

I have never been a fan of Appeals Committees but this one was too much. I am not questioning the ruling as I am not qualified — but common sense of a moron would speak out against holding an appeal after the fact — when a prestigious event was hanging on the outcome.

They should have convened during the dinner break — but perhaps that was asking too much.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 27th, 2013 at 9:48 pm

I concur! Perhaps some qualified parties who have no personal or political interest in the appeals process should step forward and help in its reorganization. What we have in place right now is far from ideal.

Steven GaynorMarch 28th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I agree that there should be a better way of handling this kind of big time appeal, but a lot of potential appeals are never heard because they do not swing a match.

For a committee to meet during dinner when the members may be involved in their own event and want some rest is asking a lot, especially when it looks like it will not matter. If they do meet during dinner and it is an involved, complicated decision like this one, they will be rushed and may not be able to give enough time to come to a proper conclusion.

As far as the decision itself – whew! E and W misexplained bids, causing a bad lead to be made. If it were me I would have called the match a tie and asked for a short playoff (perhaps 4 boards) to be played the next morning. This is probably illegal in the ACBL, but I think it would have been fair. Maybe it is time to adopt Law 12c3 (active in Europe but not the ACBL) where you can calculate how often the ‘favorable’ result will occur and award that result instead of the ‘all or nothing’ decision.

Jim FoxMarch 28th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

A quibble. The match in question was not a “semi-final” nor even a quarter-final, but round of 16.

bobbywolffMarch 28th, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Hi Steven and Jim,

You both provoke food for thought, but how is big time tournament bridge going to achieve its proper status unless our administrators treat it as such.

Can either of you imagine what would happen if during one of the world’s major sports (American football, soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, golf or Olympic track and field) the authorities handled a possible game or event changing event with the casualness which both of you suggest?

Granted, bridge has not yet achieved anywhere near that status, and likely never will, but why should it not be treated with the same importance?

I think that, instead of all the sponsor’s money going directly to the player’s, either their generosity, or else money from the sponsoring organization be used in order to make our game fairer, proving once and for all that we deeply value keeping a level playing field and choosing the right knowledgeable, unbiased, experienced and sophisticated people to decide possible event changing appeals, adding the use of precedents and deep thinking consistent rules to which everyone understands (or, at least, should).

Yes, Steven, in Europe the baby can be split in order to achieve equity, but at the same time and in the absence of mitigating circumstances lessening the penalty (by splitting the result can be modified, but, at least in my opinion, so could it be within the ACBL).

It is just a matter of leadership, but when it is compounded by not being heard until it becomes obvious that it is a match changing decision, the pressure only grows and makes that particular committee much more pressured to produce a clear result.

All of the above (almost all fault) was present in the recent decision and, because of it, the event will always appear, at least to many, to have reached a possibly seriously flawed ending, taking away from the winner and their marvelous accomplishment and a number of other teams who can only imagine what might have been.

Whichever way it is looked at, either by hawks or doves (and you two appear to be the latter, which in no way is meant to be an insult) doubt will forever remain for the thousands around the world who are familiar with what happened.

It also, because of what happened, result in hard feelings which a good bookmaker will put up at least 5 to 1 in favor of it eventually, if not sooner, being avenged.

With bridge now in the schools (with rave reviews) throughout Europe and, as we speak being taught to 200 million students in Chiina, bridge could be thought to be on its way to higher ground worldwide and hopefully, if we are as industrious as we should be, achieving a like situation in the USA.

Thanks for your comments, which undoubtedly are shared by many, but I am of the optimistic opinion we can, or at least should, do much better.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 28th, 2013 at 8:52 pm


It matters not whether it was the final, semi-final, quarter-final, round of sixteen — whatever! In my mind it will always be a tainted victory and was handled abominably, insulting the integrity of the process and the prestigious event that has been in existence since 1928. Appeals and the convening of these meetings should take precedence over everything. Just because the score was so one sided at the half, no one should play God and determine it will not matter in the long run. It certainly did!

If the people who want the glory and status of serving on these world recognized committees are not willing to expend the time at the designated moment, they should step down, vacate their seat and be replaced by others qualified and ready to serve .. WHENEVER.

In the subject case, the decision of not ruling at the appropriate time rendered the verdict one that will go down in the annals of bridge — hopefully not to be repeated.

Jim FoxMarch 29th, 2013 at 3:21 am

I wasn’t stating my opinion one way or the other about the ruling; just trying to correct the record that there were still three matches that had to be won after the ruling to win the event, not just one.

bobbywolffMarch 29th, 2013 at 11:51 am

Hi Jim,

I certainly agree that the facts should always be stated correctly and you are 100% right in when the talked about appeal occurred. In one sense, having to do with properly handling any appeal by hearing it at its earliest opportunity the consensus opinion might be, that the people in control, probably wrongly the players, not the administrators, mishandled it.

On the other hand (what other hand?) I sense you are trying to get across the simple fact that the Welland team certainly deserved their victory since after the controversy they still won three magnificent victories, thereby earning their victory spurs in No Trump.

Right you are, but what else is new? Have you researched such a thing mentally, because if you have, you, no doubt, have arrived at a conclusion that given a second chance (possibly undeserved) this conundrum might have happened thousands of times in the many KO’s which are the usual method of choice in all major competitions after the usual (but not always) initial round robins leading up.

No one doubts the capabilities of whoever wins and their winning journey through many different forms of poisoned flowers along the way. In some ways your intent to inform (if I am on the right track) is very sad, since so many teams and even individuals who faltered and lost early will have to live with the lament of, “If I (we) had played or performed just a little bit better when we lost we might have won the whole thing”.

Often, not just sometimes, this is the case, in almost all of the popular sports that the whole world seems to love and therefore emotionally. often, (check the Chicago Cubs), gets very involved.

It might even be argued by sports psychologists that coming back from the dead, particularly under controversial circumstances, is such a tremendous upper that it creates enough adrenalin to perform even better than expected, because of the optimism returning from almost no apparent chance could create.

In any event, Jim, I just wanted to give a comment on another view to your right-on correction of the facts.

bobbywolffMarch 29th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Hi Steven,

And in trying to make up for lost time, your reference to 12C3 being used in Europe while not in the USA has a history which should be known before inexorably, time and attrition practically makes it very unlikely to happen.

12C3 allows tournament directors (TD) to circumvent protocol and make sometimes unique rulings according to equity, rather than otherwise and BTW I’ve always been in favor of it, provided those rulings are not one man’s opinion, and always subject to scrutiny.

The late and definitely great Edgar Kaplan, our man Friday (and, for my money, every other day of the week also), was against doing so because he was afraid to implement that aspect for fear of less than well trained TDs usurping the power and acting unilaterally without due consideration (help from others). This above fact caused Edgar to become paralyzed with fear of something terrible happening having to do with bias, politics or just plain incompetence.

I think the time has come for us to incorporate 12C3 to American bridge jurisprudence (therefore going along with the WBF) as long as certain safeguards (see above) are also implemented.

At least to me, equity is such a key and powerful positive word that to not include it every chance we can is not doing our wonderful game the justice which it so richly deserves.

However, formerly Memphis and now Horn Lake, needs to provide outside help from one or more of our too few real bridge scholars to serve as a mentor to the TDs who possess the capability of moving up notches in high-level bridge knowledge, not to mention the inclination to want to learn and show the leadership to perform.

I sincerely hope that soon this effort will become a reality, causing a positive domino effect on the process, which will be possibly forever lasting.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 29th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I changed the erroneous caption of the horrendously timed appeal meeting — but it mattered not. The fact remains that lethargy and indifference played a major role in the outcome and measures should be taken to avoid a recurrence.

And — to add salt to the wound: For those of you new readers, let me reiterate something I released in an earlier blog. Several years ago, when I first met Bobby, I recall him reflecting upon his frustration about a conversation he had with the gentleman in charge of the Directors at Headquarters in Memphis. Bobby offered (on his own dime) to fly there to give a Seminar with the then-current directors to educate and improve their outlooks on rulings and appeals and he certainly had formidable credentials to achieve his goal. Bobby was spontaneously refused, being told by the head of the directing staff that he wouldn’t consider inconveniencing his directors to such an extent. Perhaps that is why there have been so many errant and unjust rulings over the years that may have been avoided. It is unwise to look a gift horse in the mouth — especially with so much at stake.

bobbywolffMarch 30th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

When I played bridge Friday with Judy, a friend of mine confronted me, in a very pleasant way, and with the best of intentions, about what examples would I follow, if my love of our game demanded certain minimum standards which need to be adhered to in order to play bridge the way it was originally intended.

My thoughts went to Howard Weinstein’s wonderful guest editorial about either sportsmanlike or unsportsmanlike dumping (depending on what the reader thinks it should be called) in April, 2013’s sensational Bridge World magazine with Jeff Rubens’ superior editing , which along with Mark Horton’s English Bridge Magazine, rank so high in my scale of exactly what constitutes the best and brightest way to discuss high-level bridge and its many nuances and, at the same time, leaving room for many articles designed for aspiring players working hard to follow the yellow brick road to success.

I’ve compiled a list of do’s and do not’s which hopefully will convey my thinking.

1. Always alert at the table what may be of interest to the opponent’s, keeping in mind the Golden Rule of Bridge, tell them what you would like to be told by them if the situation is reversed.

2. Never break tempo as a defender if the slow choice of what you eventually decide could be thought to be unauthorized information (UI) to partner. If the break in tempo (BIT) occurs, partner should lean over backwards to follow your suggestion (even if he suspects by doing so he is possibly committing bridge suicide), rather than taking advantage of the UI.

3. Never volunteer system information partner may or may not have forgotten to inform the opponents, if, by so doing, an opponent may be misled. In other words, for example, if partner failed to mention your NT rebid may be by passing major suit(s), then by freely offering that information that player MUST have at least one four card major that he has bypassed.

4. While Convention Disruption must be done away with (particularly and at a very high bridge level presently in process where artificiality is very popular), it must be penalized out of existence, because its presence often makes the rest of that hand unplayable, however, sometimes, when it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) have a material effect to the opponent’s detriment. Then, until strict automatic penalties are put into force, no score adjustment should take place. I envision and would encourage a possible procedural penalty (PP) to be instituted, if nothing else will stop the proliferation of CD, but only as a deterrent –not as an advantage to the opponents. After all, if any partnership decides on “jazzing up their system,” they should at least have the responsibility of not making high level bridge a farce and if so, pay a substantial price, at least on that hand.

5. While deciding on one’s system to play, never include confusing nor intimidating weaker nor less experienced opponents as one of the reasons for deciding to play this or that.

6. Do not look for and then gather any possible, though far fetched, table situations, for later inclusion to take to committees in case of a close loss, in the hope of magically winning an appeal without enough merit. To violate this caveat should be grounds for future suspension and everyone thus should be on notice.

7. Our administrators, including aspiring to be better tournament directors (TD), should spend time trying to make our game as fair as can be which includes putting as little pressure as possible on relatively inexperienced tournament committee members as well as understanding that a specifically numbered board match (64) needs to play 64 boards and shortening the match should NEVER be a consideration, even if it means a shorter (or not any) dinner break. For evidence, all one has to view is that in all of our major sports, right now it is March madness, and even with a team ahead by double digits and in the last minute, the referees take unlimited time before deciding close decisions which require viewing tape regarding many plays which occur. The winner of a bridge match is entitled to the above considerations. In bridge, appeals should be held as quickly as possible after they occur and whatever it takes must be done to insure doing so.

8. Both TDs and committee members should be tested periodically on the rules with laggards dismissed and, if necessary, money provided to compensate volunteers who otherwise would be qualified. The pool of eligible committee members are far less than anticipated because of the direct involvement between professional and sponsor and other far reaching friendships together with general likes and dislikes which are and will forever be present among many of the people involved. And though it is difficult to even consider, never eliminate the possibility of bribing to occur.

9. High-level bridge is worth whatever effort conscientious and bridge loving players and administrators can put into it. All of us should bond together trying to make our game respected as a beacon of, if left to our own devices, making the ethics and rules of the game as important as they must be to make the playing field level for everyone.

Jeff LehmanMarch 31st, 2013 at 8:50 am

In a Bridge Winners thread on the subject of the appeal, Steve Robinson offers the following:

“Peter [Boyd] and I would never have the problem of different explanations when we declare a hand. At the end of the auction, one of us will explain the auction just to make sure that the opponents know what’s going on before they lead. If there is a disagreement about a meaning, the opponents will know what each of us meant. Sometimes we are on different wave lengths during the auction but our opponents will know what our bids meant during the auction. Our opponents can’t complain that they made a bad lead or mis-defend based on mis-information.”

If a pair follows the pre-lead explanatory approach of Robinson-Boyd, then, provided the partners also actively inform the opponents when the explanation discloses a disagreement or a forgetful moment, one would think that the scenarios producing the type of problem addressed in the appeal would diminish.

barry rigalMarch 31st, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Just for the record.
I was chairman of NAC for a period of three years a few years ago, and it was established that in close matches appeals would be heard, if possible, during the break.
BUT, and this is a big but…the match score was 93-11 at the half and 66 IMPs apart with 16 to play.
I think if you had asked both teams at the break or 3/4 mark if they wanted the appeal heard they would have said no. And as chair of the appeals committee i would have voted strongly NOT to hear the appeal.
Hindsight is 20-20; if you had been asked whether you wanted the league’s money spent on hearing such appeals what would you have said? if you were qualified to serve, and were playing the Vanderbilt, would you have volunteered to use up your meal break on an appeal that had a conservative change of 99.5% to be irrelevant?
I’m not Mr Memory; I cant recall a comeback from 80 IMPs fdown in the Vanderbilt or Spingold; not one; not ever. But i’ve only been following the events for 20 years… And as a final kicker bear in mind that the losers of this match are current European Champions who have probably never lost a match with a lead of 60!

bobbywolffMarch 31st, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Hi Barry (and Steve),

First, Steve, I applaud your positioning with partner Peter, for the declarer to correct any misunderstandings that declarer’s partner may be discussing after the auction but before the play, with the opponents. I certainly agree that you two have found a way to totally level the playing field as far as any mistaken apprehensions the defense may have before the opening lead. Your routine is clearly Active Ethics (AE) as it was meant to be, AE, starting in the spring of 1987, but not, at least in this area, until your descriptive creation.

Now to Barry, in the not that distant past (easy for an old guy to say) many matches, including the team trials had huge swings, once going from 114 up to 47 down with 32 boards to go before the original leader pulled it out by about 40 (and very good players, at least thought of to be, were participating and with, believe it or not, no sponsors on either side). Of course, that match was a 128 board affair, but around this time period (1970 — late 1980’s) there were many gigantic turnarounds, even without the many artificial systems and treatments that we have today.

It follows, of course, that if I was the chairman I, unlike you, would have insisted that the appeal be heard ASAP. When you discuss spending the League’s money, I am not privy to the circumstances to which you refer. Back then, all appeals were done pro bono, except possibly a free entry now and then, but your suggestion of significant (I guess) money spent is truly an eye-opener to me.

Perception is the word I next want to deal with. For sports fans it is not at all unusual, especially during March Madness or leading up to and all professional sports whether it is baseball, basketball or football replay (I’m not privy to soccer) even if in basketball one team is ahead by 18 and in the last minute of play, if there is a play that needs to be reviewed by the referees, such as whose possession it should be on an out of bounds play, sometimes up to 5+ minutes is taken (viewing tape) before the referees award the ball. Also home runs and fair or foul in baseball and in football, both professional and collegiate it matters not what the score is and when it happens the PERCEPTION of using accurate judgment to get it right, is what it is all about.

If there is anything bridge should stand for it is ethics in both disclosure and then performing in a legal manner. If precedents were achieved, rather than kept secret (at least to me, mandatory) however controversial they may be it may lead to inspiration for the future, but when our administrators postpone doing important housekeeping matters, it will appear that not enough care is paid to the game in the interest of sloth and selfish motives.

It is no doubt true that TV (and radio) networks are interested in three things and all three of them are money, with the use of sports events the way to keep it rolling in. Hence, in a game which takes about 40 minutes per half, college basketball (80 minutes total) at least 2 1/2 hours (150 minutes) are allowed so that more and more money can be made via commercials.

However, at least theoretically it never interferes with a well run and fairly contested event, in spite of what we all know is the goal of the networks.

There is no doubt you are as sincere as sincere can be, but we all need to shout out from the rafters how important our greatest bridge events (I vote for the just completed Vanderbilt to be the toughest event ever held, and I bemoan my not being part of it) have become.

The way to do that is to run the event with an iron hand, not throwing out boards, hearing appeals immediately and paying (if necessary and IMO it shouldn’t be) top administrators and/or unbiased super players, if there are any, to be ready to rule on whatever may come up. Otherwise the perception of what we are doing sinks to the bottom rather than rising to the top.

With the rave notices which bridge in schools in Europe have received and it now being taught to 200 million students in China, even North America, in spite of our lethargy, will one day teach it in our schools. In order to do that effectively, we must be standard bearers to its importance and that starts with how we run our events.

bobbywolffApril 1st, 2013 at 7:20 am

Hi again Barry,

Please believe that I fully understand your compassion for the innocent committee members, players anxious for a dinner break after fiercely competing in possibly the most competitive high-level bridge tournament in history, basic volunteers who just show up ready to serve in whatever task might be helpful, and your experience with what you (and many others) must have thought of as an insurmountable lead by probably the current best team in the world.

While all the above is true (and perhaps other emotion which I have overlooked) the fact remains that, in order for bridge as I (and hopefully others) dream and wish for bridge to eventually secure a cherished spot by recognizing the unbelievable allure of this special mind sport and the bounds and leaps to which this cerebral competition could, with hard work, good timing and just pure luck, achieve for the next generations to come.

For this dream to materialize, the organizers need to shore up the edges, do completely away with cheating and for that matter, materialistic advantage taking by a few who overdo the desire to win, and frame and interpret the laws in favor of the game itself and those who only seek level playing fields for all who compete.

For this reason, the administrators must do a thankless task by only ruling in favor of equity and then also time appeals so that the ugly heads of bias, friendship, political favors and just lack of adequate imagination will be less likely to appear, in spite of the overwhelming reliance currently in the bridge world which professionalism (though necessary for high-level bridge’s existence) cannot help but cause.

The above is an onerous task, very difficult to do, but without it, at least in my opinion, we will not have the balance in place for us to be able to succeed.

Yes, to say it is difficult is to understate it, but to not at least give it a 100% effort, at this time and place in its development, is less than our outstanding game deserves. On such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current when it serves, (amplify it) and get it done.

Jane SegalApril 1st, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Hi Barry:

And to you .. just for the record.

The fact that you may have been Chairman of the National Appeals Committee a few years ago does not crack any ice with me. I have witnessed them in operation first hand – in a case where as you well remember my partner, Judy Kay-Wolff (the blogger of this site) and I were the innocent victims. After an ongoing sixteen month hassle back and forth, IT WAS NOT UNTIL my partner and I advised the ACBL we had retained an attorney and were intent on suing for a wrongful AWMW — that we were advised our grievance could be heard before a special committee which we had never been told existed. As you recall, we did so and immediately had the AWMW reversed. I know from a painful personal experience how grossly misplaced faith can destroy one’s “alleged” trust in an Appeals Committee. A player has to have been there – done that — before he or she can believe these things really go on. They even went so far as to not have our Appeal appear in the case book when they were still being published. My partner and I were the guinea pigs — but even pigs fight back when they have been wronged. It was a much publicized case and the ACBL will go down in history for looking like idiots to even consider, let alone allow, such injustice to be perpetrated and not concede the Committee handed down a horrendous judgment (and unanimously, I understand!).

As far as inconveniencing an AC to give up it’s dinner break — it is absurd that it can be a consideration even with a 99.9% chance that it will matter. Which is more important? Cow towing to the convenience of an AC or making a TIMELY decision (regardless how remote the possibility will matter)? .. or be faced with an after-the-fact ruling which will determine the winner of the Vanderbilt — or any event where fairness should be the only objective and should not be staged AFTER the final results are known which may render a dubious verdict because of a biased, inexperienced or inept committee?

It is time the ACBL and our ACs learned how to straighten up and fly right and stopped making excuses!

Judy Kay-WolffApril 2nd, 2013 at 2:09 pm


Not only was it a nightmare for us but a sad realization that committees such as ours were so far off base and the eventual resolution too long in coming. I suppose we must have faith that some day those at the helm will reach the realization that more focused and better qualified individuals must comprise the core of these appeals. Just being “good” players is not enough. They must have an expert understanding of the possible infractions of the law, the justified grievances of the injured and be free from bias or prejudice — the latter of which all of us are sometimes guilty. However, there is no place for that on an AC which we sadly discovered in living color.


Steven GaynorApril 3rd, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I read an interesting interview with Jean-Charles Allavena, President of the Monaco Bridge Federation and Sabine Auken. It sheds a lot of light on what actually happened with the appeal and ideas about how to improve the situation in the future. I have copied the website below.

This will answer many of the questions posed in this thread and offer solutions, such as adopting 12c3 for major events and either having trained and paid AC’s, or a pool of qualified directors make the rulings through discussion and peer player polls eliminating AC’s entirely.


PaulApril 4th, 2013 at 9:54 am

Although the Boyd-Robinson explanations and checks through the screen, when declaring, are perfectly legal in the ACBL, they are illegal in almost every other jurisdiction including WBF and EBL tournaments.

The offending pair, Helgemo and Helness, may not have been aware that they could do this.

bobbywolffApril 4th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Hi Paul,

Although I disagree that what Boyd-Robinson say they do is illegal in WBF or EBL tournaments, I grant you that it may not have been tried before, but if done, and that includes anywhere in the worldwide bridge community, it should be met with immediate approval since it only serves to level the understanding of what may or may not have been misunderstood and any and everything directed toward that effort should not only be legal, but heartily approved, not to mention admired.

The President of the Monaco Bridge Federation, Mr. Jean-Charles Allavena’s interview strikes home and agrees with all of what I said earlier as to returning 12C3 to ACBL laws as well as hearing appeals when they occur, instead of lazily catering to them not to be important, even when it means that the great team from Monaco would have to lose a large number of IMPs for it to be relevant.

Please keep in mind that all appeals, even those which are not match changing, have an important place in creating precedents which the ACBL does not deem necessary, but, at least to me, continues to make the appeals process more and more accurate by having similar discussions appealed and learn from the decision made and why.

What we need is better leadership regarding our appeals process and take measures to make sure it happens. True we are short staffed and do not have money to throw at the process, but that too should be corrected through the largess of wealthy people who love bridge and want it to be as good as it can or by other more conventional, less charitable means.