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Too controversial for the NABC Daily Bulletin

One of the San Diego NABC tournament organizers asked for short contributions from each of the five San Diego units to run in the NABC Daily Bulletin. I suppose they were looking for a rah-rah puff piece in which I observed that all of our unit members play above average, that the sun rises twice per day in San Diego, and every new retiree in La Jolla signs up for bridge lessons. But that's not my style. Instead I discussed some technology changes in our unit and launched into broader technology and analysis evangelism. This article proved too controversial to print, even presumably after editing out the clause about the ACBLscore+ debacle. Keep in mind that it would have run under my name and clearly not represent the ACBL's position on any item.

I don't care much because a week from now I'll be in New Zealand. But I don't appreciate having my time as a writer wasted. Are a few forward thinking opinions really that controversial? Anyway, here is what you missed:

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Welcome to warm and sunny San Diego. We’re not yet officially included with Orlando, Las Vegas, and Reno as an exceptional city for an NABC but we should be!

Coastal U526 is one of five San Diego units. Our clubs have some of the best views in the entire ACBL. Play at the Soledad Club, the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, or at the non-sanctioned Cove Bridge Club on your next visit.

We are a technologically innovative unit, home of the ACBLmerge, ACBLgamedump, Payoff Matrix, and Lead Solver open source software. This summer we added electronic scoring using the BridgeTab app for our unit games.

The era of cheap tablets is upon us. If you own a club and have not wanted to pay for the expensive and proprietary Bridge Mate/Pad/Scorer devices, now is the time to pick up some low-end 7” Amazon Kindle Fire tablets on eBay or on Amazon Prime Day. For $30 per table and a $6 per table annual licensing fee, you can enter the 21st century. Newer players love the instant feedback of seeing the deal, double dummy makes, and board results. So do the more experienced players—the more you know, the more reasons there are for a deal to be interesting.

Let 2018 be our year of technological innovation. Our new CEO has a technology background. Our new president Jay Whipple is already known for the Common Game and Fast Results. And although management never accounted for their role in the ACBLscore+ debacle, the ACBL website, including ACBL Live, has made great strides and behind the scenes access has been provided to programmers.

We are poised to do great things. Augmenting our masterpoint awards system with a rating system for established partnership is entirely possible. BBO robots can now fill-in for half tables. We can make it possible for players to logon to third party bridge websites using your ACBL player number and password, much as many website do today using your Facebook credentials, spurring innovation that is convenient for players.

Even the holy grail of good single dummy analysis may be closer than you think. Imagine software that can produce an ensemble of expected matchpoint percentages for each likely result nearly as well as a human expert does for an Instant Matchpoint game.

Technological enthusiasm aside, the face to face experience is and will remain integral to our game. It’s part of who we are. See you at the table.

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