June 24, 2024

The Great Debate – Slow Play Penalties of 19.75 in the USA Play Offs

A huge debate erupted on Bridgewinners because the Levine Team were penalised 19.75 IMPs for time violations in 2023 USA Open Play Offs to go to the World Championships in Marrakesch, Morocco. The Levine Team had beaten the Fleisher Team by a few points at the end of play.

Mike Levine is a visually impaired player who is granted some assistance in reading cards and an additional 3 minutes per set due to his disability which is 12 seconds per board. There were over 350 comments in the original thread (Should slow play decide championship matches?) and a further 48 comments to his response to the USBF.

A USBF statement included: “There were many accommodations made for Mike Levine including displaying his hand on the television rather than the chromebooks, allowing him to have a person in the room to help him read the cards and giving him extra time. At no time during the match did anyone on the Levine team inform anyone that these were inadequate.”

In Australia the Autumn Nationals were being played in Adelaide and the Final of the Open Teams was broadcast Live on BridgeTV and a very interesting discussion occurred about the Levine situation in particular and more generally the challenges of an ageing bridge cohort with increasing disabilities.