This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The USBF announced their decision in the Nickell team concern.

To quote the USBF site:

As a result of Dick Freeman's illness, and his inability to play in the finals to determine USA2, the USBF, in accordance with its General Conditions of Contest, named a Tournament Committee to review the circumstances and recommend a course of action to the USBF Board. Led by John Sutherlin, the Committee met, and unanimously recommended that Nickell-Freeman be permitted to remain with their team. The USBF Board unanimously accepted the Committee's recommendation, and USA2 in Sao Paulo will be the original six-handed Nickell team. We all wish Dick a full and speedy recovery. Bill Pollack, USBF President

imo, the General Conditions of Contest were clear, and this decision was the correct and proper one. If one believes that these conditions need to be updated, that is something to be worked on for the events of future years.

For a discussion, see both:


Sometimes the discussion tends to be harsh, with just a veneer of civility, but bashing out the issues will help in the long run. One thing is clear from it: we all greatly miss Edgar Kaplan.

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It is sad to see one of the bridge forums shuting down:

It is with regret that we have to announce that will be
closing down on 1st August 2009.

Sometimes people don't participate in forums or blog comments as the discussion can be strongly worded. That's just the way it tends to get sometimes. Here's some talk on a hockey site:
Your ideas are not silly and nonsensical because I disagree with them. In fact, there are a great many people I disagree with on a great many issues without considering their ideas silly and nonsensical. Your arguments, however, are silly and nonsensical, because, well, they fit the definitions of those words. They don't make sense. I've explained why. And I'm sorry if you've felt insulted by my criticism of your arguments and assertions. I feel that I've been entirely reasonable, however.

your comments make you look like a complete fool. They should take away your account and not let you post on (site). When I read what you write, I just shake my head and laugh at you.

and the very, very common:
are you on crack?
Compared to what we can see on sports or poker forums, the bridge forums are relatively tame, and, almost all discussion has, at least, a veneer of civility. Rarely will an argument degenerate into an uncalled for personal attack, and even when it does, most quickly return to a debate about the issues and concerns. When you do see a direct personal attack, ask yourself, why is this person moving off the issues and concerns - what is the agenda here and why don't they want to debate the subject?

Having said that, the demise of the bridgetalk forums might be in part due to too much civility. If one looks at the some of the longer threads on BBO forums, or in a very long stream of comments on a blog, often the discussion is a battle between various viewpoints, with some expressed elegantly and others nastily. Perhaps it is the nastiness, and the resulting blood sport, that gets the attention. Bridge players are amongst the most competitive people you can find, and perhaps they are drawn towards the battles. If you do participate in the USBF discussion, feel free to cut n' paste the hockey forum talk above into your postings.


  • At 8:52 AM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said…

    "Sometimes people don't participate in forums or blog comments as the discussion can be strongly worded. That's just the way it tends to get sometimes."

    Part of that is, I believe, because you are hiding being the Internet. There is a certain level of anonimity which results in less civility.

  • At 1:19 AM, Blogger SlimJim said…

    As a sometime user of bridgetalk it is a sad to see it go but it is worth pointing out that this is not totally through lack of support, but rather that the support is in the wrong place. To quote: "Today the laws forums are running hot, while the original forums have unfortunately become practically dormant. We are not happy about that and the lack of activity does affect our interest in continuing to run the forums."


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