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All comments by Art Korth
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One should never bid Blackwood if 3 is not enough.
July 10
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Thank you, Robert. And have a nice day.
July 9
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Who is going to act over 4, and what call will they make?

Maybe South will balance with a double intending to pull 5 to 5, but that is quite a position to take.
July 8
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Going to be tough. North can't make a TO double with his shape, and South is unlikely to introduce spades.

Besides, Mike is right - West should have opened 4.
July 8
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South could bid 4. Aggressive but not absurd.

Should have some play opposite most 1 overcalls.
July 8
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To those who are stating that setting the “X” stratum of the A/X Swiss at a particular level has some positive effect, I want to relate a story.

A week ago, I played in the Valley Forge Regional (technically the location was King of Prussia, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of General Washington's troops was harmed during the tournament).

On Sunday, I played with Mike Shuster and two of his junior acquaintances - Bo Han Zhu and John Dong, both from the Toronto area. I have nearly 10K masterpoints, and Mike has well over 6K, so it never occurred to me that we would be in the “X” stratum. But we were, as Bo and John have very few masterpoints.

If it were not for a truly horrendous play that I made in round 6 (the only match we lost), we would have won the event. As it was, we were second, and we won the “X” stratum.

Bo and John, in addition to being very nice guys, are fine players. I do not know how much Bo and John care about the masterpoints. And they were certainly eligible for the “X” stratum - in fact, it may be that the “X” stratum was designed for players like Bo and John - up and coming young talent. But the impression that I am getting from the discussion in this thread is that the “X” stratum should be designed so that Ma and Pa Kettle, who otherwise would be scared away from playing in the main Swiss event, can get an award by comparing their results solely against others similarly situated.

My team would have played in the event even if there were no “X” stratum. For all intents and purposes, we didn't know that the “X” stratum existed, and we did not care. And Ma and Pa Kettle would not have much of an incentive to play in the A/X Swiss if they knew that teams like mine were going to be included in the “X” stratum.

Should there be some amendment to how inclusion in the “X” stratum works? I am sure that it was never intended that players with my masterpoint total would be included in the “X” stratum.
July 8
Art Korth edited this comment July 8
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There was a time when ACBL rules required that no event be repeated at a tournament. So, LA Bridge Week would have a variety of events that one did not see at other shorter tournaments.

Of course, there are also some events that are not held anymore - Men's Pairs, Men's Teams, and, to a lesser extent, Mixed Pairs and Unmixed Pairs. I say to a lesser extent because Men's events have been legislated out of existence while Mixed and Unmixed events are merely not held.
July 7
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That is called an entry form.
July 7
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Is it just me or is all of the discussion in this thread about masterpoint awards totally irrelevant?

Not to mention incredibly boring.
July 7
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David: I am sure you picked that date at random. It certainly does not have any political content.
July 4
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I hate it when people younger than me think they are old.
July 4
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I remember playing in a Regional KO in Atlantic City a number of years ago (a fairly large number). The first round was Monday night. There were 32 teams or thereabout. We won Monday night, and again on Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening. That got us the finals of what was now a Soloway KO, in that our finals opponent was Soloway's team. To my significant displeasure, Soloway's team suggested, and my teammates agreed, to play the finals at 11:30 pm on Tuesday night! I was extremely tired, and I knew that I would not be playing my best, and so it turned out. I know that I gave away double-digit IMPs personally, and it may have cost the match.

In any event, that recollection is not germane to this discussion, but I thought it was an interesting story.

The germane point I want to make is that tournament organizers should include in the tournament advertisements that the format of KO events is subject to change depending on turnout. That might permit the organizers to change the top format into a round-robin rather than combine the top two flights into one flight. The tournament staff should also be more sensitive to the desires of its customers. While in many areas it will be the case that the second flight players will not want to play up that won't be true everywhere. If it is true that the second flight players do not want to play up, the tournament staff should not force them to do so.

This may not be the way that players like Robb (walked in the snow uphill BOTH WAYS) Gordon and I were brought up, but that is the way it is today. Adapt or perish (perhaps both).
July 4
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Talk to Mark Antony about honorable people.
July 3
Art Korth edited this comment July 3
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Mark R: “I absolutely agree, which is why I think there need to be more severe restrictions on psychs. I find it funny that with all the emphasis on catching cheaters, there is so little interest in determining which partnerships regularly psych in certain situations, and how, if at all, they are fielded.”

Mark, you appear to be equating undisclosed partnership agreements and psychs.

Psychs are legal. Undisclosed partnership agreements are not legal. If partner is more likely than the opponents to field a psych, then there may be an undisclosed partnership agreement due to familiarity with the bidder's tendencies (or other reasons).

I am very much opposed to regulation against psychs. However, I am very much in favor of any regulations which promote full disclosure.
July 3
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No, with a qualification.

No.

Yes.

As for #1, it depends what the announced agreement is for the 2 bid. If the agreement is “weak with spades” and nothing more, we would need to go further to determine what is meant by “weak.” Most pairs have an understanding of what the minimum expected values for the bid are. If weak means roughly 5-9 HCP, then this is a psych. If weak means less than 9 with no lower limit, this is not a psych.

I don't see any problem with #2 at all. If anything, the bidders partner is the one who may have the problem.

As for #3, that is a gross deviation from the partnership agreement. Clearly a psych. (And, as for the previous comment that the bid is pointless, I would disagree - it has 7 points (and 3 10's!)). If you want pointless, see #1.
July 2
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Ray:

I agree with you that, ideally, round-robins in KO events should be limited to the early rounds. And that is true in events with a sufficient entry to allow a reduction in the size of the field to a power of 2 through the use of a suitable combination of byes, 3-way and 4-way matches (the Spingold and the Vanderbilt are the most obvious examples).

The language that you refer to is as follows:

“Round robins (with one or two survivors) may be held in the early rounds to avoid byes.”

The fact that the national KO CoC contains this statement in no way implies that a 3-way match in a later round of an event is not a KO match. If that were the case, the CoC could have explicitly said so. It would have been easy enough to state that “Round robins (with one or two survivors) may be held in the early rounds to avoid byes, but may not be used after the first two rounds of a KO event.” I have played in a 3-way KO final. Jonathan Steinberg said that he has played in several. So they do exist. I would try to avoid them if at all possible but sometimes s**t happens.

There is nothing in the KO CoC that says that the ranking (not scoring) method provided for 3-way matches does not apply to 3-way matches which happen to be the final match of a KO. The ranking method provided applies to ALL 3-way matches which are considered to be KO matches.

And, as I have said before, the distinction between a round-robin which is part of a qualifying stage and a round-robin (I prefer the term 3-way) which is a KO match is that in the qualifying stage the outcome of the round-robin does not result in the elimination of any team. But in a 3-way KO match, one or two of the teams is eliminated.
June 27
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I knew you could not resist, Michael.

I believe that you and Ray are the only ones who are continuing to state that the three-way final was not a KO (maybe Mike Cassel is with you, but I believe that his primary contention is that the D22 CoC needs to be respected, not that the final was not a KO match). Your argument is that a KO has to be a head-to-head match, despite examples to the contrary and a specific provision for 3-way KO matches in the national knockout conditions of contest.

(Ray: I am surprised that you will not accept this. A basic principle of statutory construction is that the language of the statute is meaningful. If you take the position that a three-way final is not a KO, then all of the language in the national knockout conditions of contest regarding how survivors of three-way KO matches are determined becomes meaningless.)

Despite your contention to the contrary, the definition of a KO match is a match in which teams are eliminated from the event solely based on the result of the match. In the case of a head-to-head match, this is very simple. The winner survives, the loser is eliminated. In the case of a three-way match, the CoC would specify if there is one survivor or two survivors. If there is one survivor, the team which wins both matches survives, the others are eliminated. If none of the teams wins both matches, the national knockout conditions of contest set out how the survivor is determined. If there are two survivors, the team that loses both matches is eliminated, and the other two teams survive. If none of the teams loses both matches, the national knockout conditions of contest set out how the survivors are determined.

In the 2-day Soloway format used at Regionals, the first day is a Swiss or Round-Robin (depending on the number of teams) scored at IMPs converted to VPs. At the end of the first day, the teams are ranked by VPs, and the top 4 advance to the semi-finals held in the first session of the second day. The winners of the semi-final matches advance to the finals, and the losers typically play a match for third place. The third-place match is usually required, but I understand that it may be optional depending on the CoC.

This highlights the distinction between the qualifying segment of the event and the KO segment of the event. The qualifying segment requires ALL teams to play both sessions, with no eliminations. This is not a KO. The qualifying matches are scored at IMPs converted to VPs, and, at the end of the second session, the teams are ranked by VPs and the teams with the best four scores advance to the KO event on the second day.

The second day is a KO event. In the semi-finals, winners advance, losers are eliminated (but can play a third-place “consolation” match). In the finals, the winner wins, the loser is eliminated (and finishes in second place).

The Soloway format should never result in a three-way final. But three-way finals are still KO matches. Winners win, losers are eliminated.

I know that nothing that I write here will change your mind.
June 27
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Ray Yuenger:

“'The {round-robin} matches were scored at imps, converted to victory points on the 20 VP scale.' This sounds familiar.

Paging Art Korth. Do you still maintain “You cannot have a KO event scored at VPs. This contradicts the national knockout conditions of contest.”? Or is the Swiss stage of a Soloway event not a KO?”

Cherry picking, Ray. I would have expected better of you.

Please include the immediately preceding sentences:

“I also played in this event. In order to achieve a representative and competitive first bracket, there were 7 teams. The first day we played a round robin - 8 boards against all of the other 6 teams. The matches were scored at imps, converted to victory points on the 20 VP scale”

The qualifying round was a round-robin. Not the semi-finals or the finals. You can have a qualifying round in any format - Swiss, round-robin, etc. If all of the teams continue in the event until some number of matches are played to determine the qualifiers for the KO stage, it is perfectly acceptable to score those matches at IMPs converted to VPs. The qualifying matches are not KO matches - no teams are eliminated by losing a qualifying match. Teams are ranked at the end of the qualifying stage by VP totals.

And, to answer your question directly, yes, it is true, the opening stage (not the Swiss stage) of the Soloway is not played as a KO. That is the distinguishing feature of the Soloway format. Teams play a complete round-robin (or a Swiss movement if there are too many teams to run a complete round-robin) to qualify 4 teams for a two-session KO semi-final and final. The qualifying phase is scored at IMPs converted to VPs.

What one cannot have (and I believe I made my point very clear) is a three-way KO match where the matches are scored at IMPs converted to VPs and the teams are ranked by VPs, not wins and losses. That is what happened in the D22 GNT final.

And please do not argue that the D22 three-way final was not a KO.
June 27
Art Korth edited this comment June 27
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Welcome to the Twilight Zone.
June 24
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I had a copy of the old CoC - it is on this site somewhere, I just could not locate it.

The 20 VP scale used was the integer scale with 0-3 IMPs resulting in a 10-10 VP score.

The old CoC (and the new one, for that matter) does not reference the Bethe formula or the decimal VP scale.
June 24
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