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All comments by Art Korth
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Yes, Ed. You are allowed to compare scores. Furthermore, you must report your half-time scored to the TD.
June 6
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I don't know if this is relevant to the determination of a winner in D22 (or to anything else, for that matter), but I am curious.

Suppose you were about to play in a 3-way final of an important team event scored at IMPs. You will play 30 boards against each of two teams. There will be a break after 15 boards are played against each team.

Would your play at any stage of the event differ if the scoring of the event were:

(1) Win/Loss - a margin of one IMP is a win. If any team wins both matches, it is the winner. Ties are broken by a short playoff (typically 4 boards).

(2) Victory Points - each match has either 20 or 30 VPs at stake, divided between the two teams based on the margin of victory in IMPs. The team with the most VPs is the winner.
June 6
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“Should I excoriate Korth for countenancing D4's crazy CoC? The first day is a separate event. If you are in a negative position at halftime on the first day your team will take unusual action to get back above average. If your high variant play puts you more minus against a team that Qs to the KO semifinal and your actions vault you back into KO play, IT MAKES ZERO SENSE TO HAVE FULL CARRYOVER, so that you might start a KO semifinal down 40 imps when/if you meet that team in the finals.
THAT IS NUTS. It WAS a condition of contest that D14 eliminated and a contest condition that SHOULD BE ELIMINATED.”

Mike:

When the D4 Conditions of Contest were revised, I advocated for no carryover for precisely the reason that you cited - Saturday's event was a separate event and should have no impact on Sunday's results (aside from qualifying). Others advocated for full carryover on the logic that it discouraged dumping.

Quite frankly, having seen the current conditions of contest in action, I can't say that the full carryover requirement is crazy. Your scenario doesn't seem to have happened in real play. I can't really comment about the dumping issue, since I have not seen any evidence of that occurring, either. But it is a legitimate concern.

I do have some carryover stories.

Two years ago my team was the top qualifier. We chose to play a team that we had beaten by a large margin in the qualifying, so we started with a carryover of +27 IMPs in a 30 board semifinal. By the time we finished the first half, we were down 10 IMPs. We recovered a few but lost.

This year my story is much more strange. My team finished the qualifying in 7th place out of 8 teams. So that is the end, right? Not so fast. At 7:00 a.m. on Sunday I get a phone call from Meyer Kotkin. His team had qualified in 4th place, and one of his teammates had suffered a family tragedy overnight and was unavailable for Sunday. They needed a replacement and recruited me. So I got up (with not much sleep, as I had driven home after the failed qualifying) and drove to meet Meyer (a one hour trip) for the ride to the game site (another hour). Meyer's team was chosen by the top qualifier based on carryover - they had a 20 IMP carryover advantage. By the time the smoke had cleared, we had won by about 10 IMPs.

We entered the final with a 17 IMP advantage over our opponents and improved it to 28 after the first half. The second half was frightening - virtually everything that could go wrong did go wrong. At the end of the day, we still had 4 IMPs left of our lead and will be playing in Vegas. And the teammate who was unable to play on Sunday has been added back to the team, so we will play 5 handed.

So, after finishing the qualifying in 7th place, I am on the winning team.
June 6
Art Korth edited this comment June 6
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If an event is run so that there is a break during the period between one pair of a team having played boards and another pair of the same team having NOT played those same boards, the tournament organizer should be shot.

I have seen this occur, and it is the most reprehensible manner in which an event can be run which seems to make sense to some people.

I would accept VP scoring of a 3-way final before this setup.
June 5
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Reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon (yes, I know - I am very old).

Violet offers a choice of two cookies to Linus. Charlie Brown whispers to Linus telling him to say he can't make a choice in the hope that Violet will give him both. When Linus does so, Violet says “OK, in that case, I won't give you one.” Followed by Linus giving Charlie Brown a look that could kill and Charlie Brown being extremely embarrassed.

So, if District 22 asks for both teams to represent the District in Las Vegas, the ACBL could say that neither team is qualified to play.
June 5
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Michal: My example hand was just that - an example. It had nothing to do with the hand in the OP. Sorry I duplicated a 10.

Further, how much does using 4 as natural mess up your bidding? Is 4 the only call available over 4 to explore slams? Or is the use of 4 over 4 so critical that it can't be set aside as a natural call?

Clearly, this is a partnership issue (probably one that is not commonly discussed). Either treatment is fine as long as there is an agreement. I have a preference for 4 as natural and to play.
June 5
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Deleted.
June 5
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Bob:

If you held:

QJTxxxxx x xx xx

and the auction proceeded as set forth in the OP, there is a good chance that 4 will play at least as well if not better than 4. Partner has a good hand - he should have high cards which will be useful in 4. On the other hand, it is quite likely that my hand will be worthless in a heart contract.

It is not unlikely to hold a hand like this on this auction.
June 5
Art Korth edited this comment June 5
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I love the smell of burnt recap sheets in the morning.
June 4
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Look harder, Ed. I think it is between pages 35 and 36.
June 4
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There was a time when a matchpoint differential of less than 0.50 matchpoints was considered to be a tie for ranking purposes, and a VP differential of less than 0.25 VP was considered a tie for ranking purposes. This created some interesting rankings. For example, suppose Pair A had a score of 825.73, Pair B had a score of 825.49 and Pair C had a score of 825.12. For ranking purposes, Pair A and Pair B were tied. Furthermore, Pair B and pair C were tied. However, Pair A and Pair C were NOT tied. So, if these were the top three scores in the event, Pair A would be tied for 1st and 2nd place, Pair B would be tied for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and Pair C would be tied for 2nd and 3rd place.

However, for qualification purposes, it has always been true that ANY difference in matchpoints or VPs would be sufficient.
June 4
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Mike: I do not have any problem with each District running its event the way it wants to, as long as they follow certain rules that are set forth in stone.

Just as a District cannot choose to not abide by the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, it cannot choose to ignore the ACBL GNT conditions of contest. Those conditions of contest clearly state that the national conditions of contest for knockout competitions apply to all District GNT events.

What we differ on is whether a 3-way match to determine a winner of the District GNT is a knockout event. I say that it is. If it is, then the scoring method set forth in the national conditions of contest for knockout events must be used. VPs are not allowed.

If the qualifying stage of a GNT is run as a round-robin among many teams, or using a Swiss movement, with a portion of the field advancing at the end of 2 sessions to a KO final, I have no problem with the use of IMPs converted to VPs to score the qualifying stage of the event. In fact, that is the way it is done in my district (District 4) and has been done that way for many years. The only issues have been how many teams qualified for the second day final. A few years ago, we had 5 teams compete in the first day. The District COC specified that 5 teams would be reduced to 2 teams for a full-day final on the second day. This created a controversy, and the COC was revised for the following year's competition so that as long as there were more than 4 teams on the first day the field would be reduced to 4 teams for a semi-final and final on the second day. Furthermore, there would be full carryover from day 1 to day 2 and the top qualifying team would choose its semifinal opponent from the 3rd and 4th place teams.

I was involved in creating the current COC for District 4 (so was Mike Shuster, although he may not remember it - I didn't remember that I was involved until Bob Glasson showed me several e-mails back and forth about the COC).

I will say that no one ever suggested reducing the field to 3 teams for the second day's competition. I can't imagine why that would be a desirable choice.
June 4
Art Korth edited this comment June 4
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Technically, only the TD can give you permission to look at another player's hand. But players allow other players to look at their hands all the time (some even wait until after the board is played!).
June 4
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Art K. - Potato, potahto. A 3-way match to determine a winner is a Round-Robin.

Of course it is. But it is also a KO. And, if it is a KO, the national conditions of contest for knockout competitions applies.

Just to be absolutely clear, there is nothing wrong in scoring the results of a round-robin at VPs provided that the participants are continuing in the event under all circumstances. For example, in a 15 team Swiss Team event, there has to be a 3-way match (along with 6 head-to-head matches). The two matches contested as part of the 3-way match are scored at VPs just as all of the head-to-head matches are scored at VPs.

However, if, as a result of the 3-way match, one or two of the three teams is eliminated from the event, you have a KO match. Based on the national conditions of contest for knockout competitions, scoring at VPs is prohibited.
June 4
Art Korth edited this comment June 4
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“In any event, as mentioned above, when you cannot play the same boards among three teams you introduce a prohibitive, imo, variance if the scoring is VPs”

Mike - that is a very good point. Since the three teams are not playing the same boards in their three head-to-head matches, it is inherently unfair to score the event at VPs. Once set of boards could be high-variance, and the other two could be low-variance. So it would be more likely that the first set of boards would produce more IMPs and a larger VP differential.

If scored by win/tie/loss the different nature of the boards in the three matches is minimized.
June 4
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Thanks, Mike.

If the event were scored at VPs, would you not expect a listing of the three teams with their respective VP scores?

Is there any listing of the results of the event on ACBL Live or otherwise?
June 4
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Potato, Potahto.

A 3-way match to determine a winner is a KO match.
June 4
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“East is the last one to leave the table (just a few seconds), and I watch east take the north cards and take a quick look. Then he follows his table mates.

I was really shocked to see this. I checked the board number and after the match was over, I saw this was a flat board.

But now is the question. What should the TD to in this case or similar cases?”

I am not going to quote chapter and verse on this, but it should be clear to everyone that the lone player remaining at a table has ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to look at the cards in any hand on any board remaining at the table, played or unplayed.

If the board was played, it may be that the player was just checking to see if the cards were as he remembered them to be. While this situation is not offensive, it is a violation and bad things can happen (see Passell, Mike).

If the board was unplayed, and the player's actions are intentional, this is a VERY SERIOUS OFFENSE.

(How could it be unintentional? If the player thought he was looking at a hand he had already played, but pulls cards from a board that he had not already played, it would be unintentional. Still, a serious offense).

While I don't disagree that a player memo should be filed, the TD should do much more. He should inform the player directly as to what he saw and that he is going to bring the matter up with the appropriate authorities - the club management, certainly, but beyond that if this were an ACBL club it should be reported to the Unit Conduct & Ethics Committee for further action.

Obviously, the TD should act with discretion - he does not want to create a scene. But he should act quickly and directly.
June 4
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I would say an infinite number of times unless there is an agreement to do so in preference to a longer suit.

It comes under the heading of “Just Bridge.”
June 4
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At the bottom of the GNT article on page 1 of the 2016 issue, it says “See GNT on Page 16.”

So what is on page 16?
June 4
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