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All comments by Art Korth
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Peg, I absolutely agree.

The confusion over the scoring method, the uncertainly over the VP chart in use and the manner in which the determination of the winners was made invalidates the result.

I find the resolution of the dispute, to put it mildly, unsatisfying.

The two teams involved (the third team seems to have conceded) should have a short playoff - 12 boards would suffice. In a normal GNT KO, if there is a tie the two teams play a 4 board playoff. 4 boards seems insufficient under these circumstances. 12 should suffice, but I would not be averse to 24, 28, 32, or whatever the teams agree upon.
June 12
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If I may add my 2 cents to this point, the exact specifications of the VP chart in use is pretty much irrelevant. But the choice of VP chart to be used MUST be made in advance.

Yes, the differences between one chart and another chart may result in a different winner being determined. But the specification of one chart over another chart in advance makes no difference to the participants during the event.

Now, the fact that the event is being scored at VPs is relevant. And the fact that there is a specified VP chart in use is relevant, in that it prevents a substitution of one chart for another after the fact.

I have stated many times that it is my opinion that the 3-way final should not be scored at VPs. But, on the assumption that the 3-way final is scored at VPs, the VP chart must be specified in advance. Not that the choice of the particular VP chart affects the participants in any way during the event. But just so that there can be no issue as to which chart is in use after the fact.

The fact that the exact VP chart to be used was not clear and that the choice turned out to be crucial invalidates the result of the event.
June 12
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If I recall correctly, Ed, prior to the Binghamton tournament I asked you if you were going to attend, to which you replied in the negative.

I have never made it to the regional in Syracuse. I suspect that is the only D4 regional that you attend. If you are going to be in Valley Forge later this month (or, for that matter, in Vegas), look me up. I will be in Valley Forge on the weekend and in Vegas from the GNTs through Tuesday.
June 11
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Assuming that the defense either cannot or do not find their diamond ruff at tricks 1 and 2, there will be many lies of the cards that give them a second chance. So it is not just a matter of how often the spade suit can be brought in for one loser.

There is also a remote chance of the defense getting 2 diamond ruffs and an additional trump trick.

And, yes, it is possible that the diamond ruff could be a natural trump trick (original spade holding of QJx, for example). But that is quite a parlay.

Still, 2 may be too low a score for 4.
June 11
Art Korth edited this comment June 11
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Ed:

District 4 has had some events closer to your area. A few years ago, there was either a GNT or an NAP held in Binghamton, NY. I believe that it has been determined after many years of holding most of the events in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area (about 2 hours north of Philadelphia), which catered to the 10% of the membership that lives in the NY/NE PA part of District 4, that the District is going to locate its NAP and GNT events primarily in the Philadelphia area, which is where about 90% of the membership is located.

I strongly doubt that I will ever see an event in the Atlantic City area, or even Cherry Hill, which would be only an hour for me to travel. While I am not particularly happy with the current location - North Penn, PA (roughly 30 minutes NW of Philadelphia), I accept it as a reasonable compromise. So I have to travel about 2 hours to the game site.

If I remember correctly, when the NAP/GNT events were held in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and even Binghamton, the turnout from your area was almost non-existent.

By the way, the 5 players on my team which will represent District 4 in Vegas in the Open bracket are from:

Galloway, NJ (near Atlantic City)
Cherry Hill, NJ
Philadelphia, PA
Syracuse, NY
East Syracuse, NY

That is a pretty decent representation of the geography of District 4. No one from Delaware, however.
June 11
Art Korth edited this comment June 11
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The ACBL has its faults. We all know that.

This is not an ACBL problem. This is a D22 problem.

We start out with the original D22 CoC which, as Mike points out, start as follows:

“The District 22 GNT Finals are knockout team events scored by IMPs (and converted to VP’s when a team plays in a round robin.)”

As I have argued from the outset, this language is self-contradictory. You cannot have a KO event scored at VPs. This contradicts the national knockout conditions of contest, which are part of the national GNT conditions of contest, and which cannot be altered by the District. If what is meant by this language is that the qualifying rounds will be scored at VPs, it should say so.

How do you fix this going forward? You have to have people in D22 who have enough of an interest in fixing the situation to revise the District CoC so that it creates rules for an event which is playable and, hopefully, enjoyable.

You also need officials onsite who are interested enough in the game to promote an enjoyable playing environment.

In D4 a few years ago, the District GNT was run in a manner which was deemed objectionable by a significant number of players. The D4 leadership stepped up to the plate, consulted with a number of interested players, and revised the D4 GNT CoC so that it promotes an event which is worthwhile. The D4 GNT CoC may not be perfect, but they are good enough that the complaints are on items for which reasonable persons will differ but which have been discussed. The primary issue which is still debated is whether there should be a carryover from the Saturday qualifying rounds to the semifinals and finals on Sunday. The issue has been discussed, a decision has been made, and we live with the outcome.

The D4 GNT CoC can be found here:

http://www.district4.info/gnt.htm

In addition, the determination of the location of the playing site has been tweeked over the years and the current site is accessible to the vast majority of player in D4 within a one-hour drive and almost all within a two-hour drive (it is two hours for me, but I live at the southeastern edge of D4 - Atlantic City NJ).

And the directing staff and the D4 officials go out of there way to promote a positive playing environment. If they can get along with me, they can get along with anyone.

The bottom line is that, as long as everyone acts like adults and tries to play well together in the sandbox, good things will happen.

EDIT: In reviewing the D4 GNT CoC, I find that they could lead to the same debacle that occurred in D22 in one unusual situation in each flight. In the event that the initial field consists of precisely 4 teams in the Open Flight or Flight A or B, The D4 GNT CoC call for reduction of the field to 3 teams for Sunday, with a one session 3-way “round-robin” on Sunday to eliminate one team followed by a one-session heads-up final with full carryover. In Flight C, the CoC calls for a one-session 3-way match on Saturday afternoon to eliminate one team followed by a head-to-head match on Saturday night. But the CoC also state that “ All round robin matches are scored by IMPs and each match is converted to Victory Points (using the 20-Point Victory Point Scale) to decide the order of finish.” I am sure that this is an oversight, and I will bring it up so that this can be corrected. I am sure it is not intended that the one-session 3-way match on Sunday afternoon is to be scored at VPs. The “order of finish” language was no doubt intended to limit the use of VPs to the qualifying stage on Saturday (other than the 3-way in Flight C), but it is ambiguous.
June 11
Art Korth edited this comment June 11
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Mark:

I suspect that the losing team would find an offer of a refund of entry fees to be insulting. At least, that is how I would take it.
June 10
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David: Why is that?

Whether we agree or disagree with the decision of D22 as to the outcome of the event, why should the entry fees be refunded? The event was held.

Now, if you are saying that D22 should compensate the losing team by refunding its entry fees, that is a different matter.
June 10
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Depending on the facilities in which the National Swiss event is being held, one will typically find copies of the VP chart posted on support poles, walls and matchpoint score recap stands.

My experience is that you can't walk 10 feet without coming across a VP chart at a National Swiss.

I don't recall having played a regional Swiss team event using the NABC+ VP chart, so I can't relate any experience in that regard.

The last time I played in the GNT National Finals (2006) predates the Swiss qualifying - the qualifying used to be run in four brackets of 5 or 6 teams each, with the first day's completion being a double round-robin within each bracket scored at IMPs converted to VPs to reduce each of the four brackets to three teams each. The two “half-matches” played against each team would be considered to be a single match. The second day's completion would be an afternoon 3-way match to eliminate one team from each bracket, followed by the two survivors playing an evening match (full carryover from the afternoon 3-way) resulting in one team surviving from each bracket. This would be followed by a full-day semifinal and a full-day final. The event used to take four days - it now takes 5 days.

The VP scale used in the first day's competition was posted conspicuously in the playing area, along with the IMP results of the matches (halftime scores included).

I am very much looking forward to The GNT in Vegas, despite all of this.
June 10
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No, because my partnership agreement when playing this range 1NT is that a 5 card major is not permitted.

I probably would not do so anyway, but I am not permitted to do so, so it is not an issue.

(edit to correct typo)
June 10
Art Korth edited this comment June 10
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And your point is?
June 9
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Ray:

Simply put, the ACBL national CoC incorporate the ACBL national KO CoC by reference.

The D22 CoC are not in conformity with the ACBL national CoC and are therefore invalid.
June 9
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So that gives D22 two chances at having a team in the final 16, while other districts have only 1 chance? The fact that both teams cannot make it to the final 16 doesn't solve the problem.
June 8
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It would be unfair to all of the other teams in the GNT at the nationals to have an additional team in the competition.
June 8
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“No one continues in a knockout event after the final whether they win or lose.”

The third and second place teams are eliminated, leaving the first place team as the only one left.

To argue that the first place team is also out of the event is disingenuous, if not downright cynical.

The power of 2 argument is a complete red herring. In the history of bridge, there have been plenty of knockout events that ended in 3-way matches. I was on the winning team in a second bracket KO at the Washington DC NABC in 2002 that ended in a 3-way final (there was a glitch in the event and the second bracket, which should have had 8 teams left after the first round, wound up with 9). Does that mean that the event was not a KO?
June 8
Art Korth edited this comment June 8
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Michael:

A three-way match consists of three head-to-head matches being played simultaneously. Team A plays Team B, Team B plays Team C, and Team C plays Team A. The method for determining the survivor(s) is set forth in the national KNOCKOUT conditions of contest.

This presumes that 1 or 2 of the 3 teams will be eliminated as a result of the outcome of the three matches. If all three teams continue in the event regardless of the outcome of the matches, the 3-way match is not a knockout match.
June 8
Art Korth edited this comment June 8
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I have to chime in.

If one or two teams are eliminated from the event as a result of the match(es), the event is, by definition, a KO.
June 8
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Begin Rant.

OK - can we all just accept the fact that the OP hand has the 10? It really has nothing to do with presenting example hands which justify a 4 call.

Example hands are just that - they do not have to have anything to do with the actual hand presented in the OP.

End of Rant.
June 7
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“If the current CoC called for converting IMPs to VPs in a round-robin match on the 20-VP scale for 30 boards, then a winner should be determined according to the CoC. The only reason I can see for not enforcing the actual CoC, as I explained below, is if D22 authorities misled one or more participants to their detriment in terms of what CoC applied, in legal terms, whether D22 should be estopped from applying the actual CoC. I don't see how great bridge skill would give anyone any particular insight into determining the credibility of the various participants and witnesses as to what CoC applied and what was told to various participants.”

No. If the current District GNT CoC violate the national GNT CoC then there is a reason why the winner should not be determined according to the current District GNT CoC. Specifically, if the national GNT CoC specifically incorporates the national conditions of contest for knockout competitions and those conditions of contest spell out how the winner of a 3-way KO final is to be determined, then the current District GNT CoC are to be ignored.

And please do not try to tell me that the 3-way final is not a KO. If it walks like a duck…
June 7
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Eamon: You used the word “cheating.” I believe that this will generate an automatic warning.
June 7
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