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All comments by Ai-Tai Lo
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Congrats to all my friends on the winning team especially Melanie. I believe she is only required to play only 1/4 of the boards ( a CoC that I don't think it's fair), but she also played the third quarter and they won that quarter by 15. That changed the momentum and gave them the lead going into the final quarter. I kibitzed several hands and she really played well.
Oct. 7
Ai-Tai Lo edited this comment Oct. 7
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Coffee is 3 dollars, not 2. And they wonder why the business is not good? As I have said, It seems WBF is catering to the rich sponsors and their pros. The location is horrible and the entry fee for the teams is much higher than before so there is a big drop off in attendance of course. Even the conditions of contest favor the sponsors as they only have to play 1/3 of the match. At the nationals, they have to play at least 1/2. Eventually, there will be only pro teams left. You don’t host the game at an expensive and isolated resort and hope a lot of people will show up. Most bridge players don’t have that kind of disposable income.
Oct. 2
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I agree with Craig. I hate the venue as there are no restaurants within walking distance. The restaurants at the hotel are very expensive just like the ones at the Swan and Dolphin in 2016.

I also hate the schedule; I am not a morning person so I had to stay at the host hotel in order to get up in time for the 10 am starting time. The lunch break is very short so most people buy food at the only place that sells ready-made/fast food (I think there is only one) and the line is usually very long. You have no time to take a nap between sessions. After the game, you can't go the gym right after dinner and right before going to bed so your whole day is basically shot. This is perfect for people who like to have a big dinner, drink and party until midnight (sponsors and their pros?).

I hate the schedule and the venue so much that I left after failing to qualify in the open pairs. Since we already paid 700 for seven days, I had to give my partner 200 back to cover the four days that we didn't play (we only played two days as we dropped in from the Rosenblum on the second day). That shows you how much I wanted to leave. I assume 21 other pairs made the same decisions as there are only 88 pairs left in the semifinal B (110 of 198 pairs didn't qualify to the semifinal A and 6 out of 88 pairs in the semifinal B will qualify to the finals).

On the positive side, the WBF technology is way ahead of the stone-aged ACBL. All the assignments in the Rosenblum and the open pairs are electronically displayed so you can find your assignment easily. I can't believe ACBL still uses manual assignments at the national Swiss events. You can also get the printout of your results quickly by scanning your badge at the printer. The directors are first-rated and they are everywhere. You wave your hand and they show up right away. We had two director calls: one was the opponent's UI and the other one was misinformation from the opponent. The director quickly ruled in our favor. They were also very polite and helpful. I sure hope the ACBL directors can learn something from them.
Sept. 28
Ai-Tai Lo edited this comment Sept. 28
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Justin, thanks for your honesty. That’s why I recommend every young player aspiring to be a pro get a useful degree first so they have a backup plan if they no longer have a passion for the game. Or you can have a full-time job and play pro part-time before you decide if you want to be a full-time pro. I believe Curtis Cheek was an engineer before he became a full-time pro in his thirties.
Sept. 16
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Gene, you need to chill out. Why are you always so confrontational and try to belittle people online? You seem OK when I talk to you in person. Google “Internet Warrior” and your name and picture should be next to it.
Sept. 15
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I think we should always have an open event alongside a restricted event. In the summer nationals, we have Werhner Pairs alongside the Mixed Teams, and we have LM Pairs and BAM alongside the Senior KO’s in the fall nationals. Why can’t we have an open event to go with the Mixed Pairs? Mixed events are getting very popular so we should definitely keep/expand them; we added a Mixed Swiss on the last weekend of the fall nationals not too long ago. Mixed events also help drawing female players away from the women’s events which are dying deservedly so (can’t see the purpose of them other than for the seeding of the women’s team trials). I am all for keeping the attendance high but we should also consider people who don’t have a partner of the opposite sex. Like it or not, there are far more good male players than female players right now so it is very difficult to find a good female partner. The good ones are usually pros.
Sept. 13
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A strong pair playing in the Platninum Pairs is far more likely to play in the Vanderbilt than the IMP Pairs if they fail to get to the third day.
Sept. 11
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Orlando is very unappealing for single adults and couples without young children IMO. Most bridge players are 50’s and older so their children are probably too old to be still interested in theme parks. Plus the entry fee for the team events is more expensive than before. I think they all contribute to the lower number of entrants so far. I just hope the food is not as expensive as that at Swan and Dolphin, the site of the 2016 Fall nationals. I remember paying 15 dollars for a hamburger. I also hope there are more restaurants within walking distance.
Sept. 5
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Most of the teams have sponsors anyway. I am sure they can afford it. Eventually, the team event will have just the pro teams left. I don’t think that is the direction we want to go. Not sure if it even makes sense from the financial aspect, lower entry fee and/or longer qualifying stage surely will attract more teams. (For example, we can lower the entry fee for the Open Pairs from 700 to 500 for people who have already paid 1600 to play in the Rosenblum.) It is not only more profitable for the WBF, but also for the hotels and restaurants to have more people coming for two extra days. It is awfully expensive for Europeans, Asians and people from far away who don’t have a realistic chance to make it to the KO stage to come here to play just 2 days for 1600 (the side games don’t count as most people will want to play in the Open Pairs if they don’t qualify). I thought our goal is supposed to attract more people to the game but maybe that doesn’t align with the WBF’s interest.
Aug. 20
Ai-Tai Lo edited this comment Aug. 21
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If I am not mistaken, Both football games for adults and U23 are 90 minutes. They don't shorten the game for U23, do they?
Aug. 16
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Every team has three pairs so each pair will play only 48 boards at most in a 64-board match (one pair will only play 32 boards). A young person in his 20’s can easily play three sessions a day (a piece of cake for me when I was in my 20’s). I remember when I was in college, we would play bridge from 10 at night to 6 in the morning, and then play basketball for another hour before going to breakfast and classes. There is absolutely no excuse not to have at least 64-board matches for quarterfinals and semifinals. I actually think we should have 90-board matches for quarterfinals and semifinals and a 120-board match for the finals like The US SENIOR team trials. It will only lengthen the event by one day. Knowing WBF, they will probably want to shorten the matches even further so they can finish early to have a nice long dinner.
Aug. 15
Ai-Tai Lo edited this comment Aug. 15
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I really enjoyed working with this group of very nice young players. They tried their best and that’s all one can ask for. I hope some of them will still be eligible for the 2020 WC (I know Yichen is) and try again.

Speaking from personal experience, nobody worked harder than you to get this group ready, David. You spent countless hours on dozens of emails every week going over every hand in the practice with the group and their coaches. The team lost but not for lack of effort.
Aug. 15
Ai-Tai Lo edited this comment Aug. 15
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If they have gotten to 6 at the other table, they would have lost only 10 IMPs (1400-920=480) instead of 14 IMPs which means they would have won the match by 1 IMP instead. Three pairs got to 6 and made it on a trump finesse. Not sure about the bidding but they probably signed off after finding out they were missing two key cards. Very reasonable.
Aug. 15
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Richard, most Asians are taught to obey their parents so they often do what their parents ask them to in order to make their parents happy. Not saying it's right, but that's the way it is in many family-oriented Asian cultures. It's not easy for westerners who are generally more individual-oriented to understand this. On the other hand, I wish the kids here would obey their parents and teachers and respect the elderly more.
Aug. 10
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You are right, Oren. I forgot about the time difference.
Aug. 9
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From my personal experience, I can tell you no Chinese parents would want their children to play bridge, chess or Poker professionally. They all want them to go to top schools and become doctors, scientists and engineers. My nephew was good enough to make quite a bit of money playing Poker and I think his winning covered most of the down payment for his house, but there was no way his parents would allow him to become a professional Poker player. He works for Google now. I am sure a lot of young Chinese players can become pros if they wanted to and are allowed to, but Roger Lee is the only one as far as I know (he is only part-time, I think).

Oh, I forgot about Sylvia but she is too old.Just kidding. :)
Aug. 9
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Whoever was still up at 4am should be benched for at least the first two matches that day. They should all try to get a good night of sleep. My guess is Arjun. :)
Aug. 9
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The opening lead was 7 according to the record on the EBL site.
June 21
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Sabine,

I am 100% sure the intent of your OP is questioning the lack of response/action by the Chief TD and not insinuating any unethical behavior by the declarer, but the following sentence: “If we want to rid the game of cheating and unethical behavior, we all must work together: administrators, players, and tournament directors.” probably does’t sit well with some people especially the declarer. In my opinion, the score should be adjusted to -50 (not weighted) if the defense can beat the contract given the full information and maybe the offending side should be penalized some PP for lack of full disclosure, but as Chief TD told you, It is impossible to determine the intent of the declarer, so I am not sure what else can be done other than filing a recorder on this particular instance (not sure if EBL has one like ACBL).
June 21
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——–K95
——–J76
——–Q10654
——–95

10643———-AJ2
K98532——–void
void————AKJ3
1072————KQJ863

——–Q87
——–AQ104
——–9872
——–A4

I don't think the tab key works here.
June 21
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