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All comments by Barry Margolin
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You can only “reserve your rights” if there's agreement that the hesitation occurred in the first place. Often players won't agree that they hesitated, and then you need to call the TD immediately to adjuticate this (which begs the question of how he'll actually determine it).
May 20
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Because we'd ideally like rulings to be consistent, so they need to recommend some number. 20% presumably seemed reasonable.
May 20
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I think “information derived from a penalty card” refers to information about the card itself, not the circumstance that caused it to become a penalty card. E.g. if it looks like the top of a sequence, you're allowed to infer that they have the card below it, just as if it had been played legally.
May 16
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At the moment we're just judging whether there was UI, not ruling on whether any particular action was legal. That's a separate step that depends on this prerequisite.
May 15
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The simple rule is that you should play the same agreements over 2-2-2NT as you play over opening 2NT. Opener's expected shapes are the same, the hand is just a little stronger. You're at the same level of bidding, so you have the same amount of bidding room to describe the two hands.
May 8
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You don't forget how the game works just because someone gives you a misleading explanation. If an opponent gives the explanation that his partner's shape is 4-4-4-2, you know something is wrong there.

As play progresses, you gather more information from which you can make inferences. At some point a player should be able to infer that the play is inconsistent with what they were told during the auction, and you have to decide which is more likely. The less information you have, the more of a “guess” this is.
May 8
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“Does the White Book apply in Iceland?” Of course not, it was just an example of what one RA had done to provide guidance in this area. I expect that other RAs have similar recommendations, although I can't provide specifics (even if Iceland has them, I can't read Icelandic). And even if not, this is an indication of how regulators expect the phrase to be understood.
May 7
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That's ridiculous. If anything, 5440 is more 3-suited than 4441. 4441 has all 4 suits, although one of them is very short.

Did the committees agree with either of these appeals? You can appeal almost anything, that doesn't mean you're right.
May 7
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Why would “five” versus “five or more” be considered a language issue? Do Italians usually use the word “cinque” to mean “five or more”, so he wouldn't realize that he needs to add the qualifier when speaking in English?

Even among native English speakers, we often specify suit lengths as just the minimum required or shown, but it depends on context. E.g. when we open 5-card majors, they can be 5 or longer. OTOH, we often describe a support double as 3-card support, meaning exactly 3 (but I like to say explicitly “exactly 3-card support”). If partner gives a 2 response to Stayman, we say he doesn't have a 4-card major, and it's understood that this means they don't have a 5-card major as well.
May 7
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Regulators have provided guidance. EBU White Book section 8.12.5.3 says:
It should be rare to consider an action ‘an extremely serious error’. In general only the following types of action would be covered:
• Failure to follow proper legal procedure (e.g. revoking, creating a major penalty card, leading out of turn, not calling the TD after an irregularity).
• Blatantly ridiculous calls or plays, such as ducking the setting trick against a slam, or opening a weak NT with a 20-count. Such errors should be considered in relation to the class of the player concerned; beginners are expected to make beginners’ errors and should not be penalised for doing so.
• An error in the play in or defence to a contract which was only reached as a consequence of the infraction should be treated especially leniently.

For clarity, the following would usually not be considered to be ‘an extremely serious error’:
• Forgetting a partnership agreement or misunderstanding partner’s call.
• Any play that would be deemed ‘normal’, albeit careless or inferior, in ruling a contested claim.
• Any play that has a reasonable chance of success, even if it is obviously not the percentage line.
• Playing for a layout that detailed analysis would show is impossible, such as for an opponent to have a 14-card hand.

But I wonder if they really meant that last bullet point to be in the “not an extremely serious error” class.
May 7
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If these are really world class players, I assume they know what information they're entitled to ask for and required to provide. Therefore, I would interpret the question as being equivalent to asking what East showed, not what he actually has. And it appears that East took it the same way, so there's no problem there.

Players are allowed to deviate from their agreements. I don't think anyone can be blamed for bidding a suit with 150 honors as if it has 6 cards, and a world class player should not be surprised by it. And I doubt that holdings like this come up often enough in any partnership to create an implicit agreement that needs to be disclosed.

Score stands.
May 3
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@Mike Maximal double also has that problem. Artificial doubles are always a tradeoff.
April 29
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If a sponsor is paying them hundreds of dollars to play, I doubt that a $5-10 savings on the entry will make much difference.
April 27
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Most of the impact has been on the manufacturer. There was a brief dip in airline stocks immediately after the crash, but I think they all recovered. This model is currently only a small fraction of airline fleets in the US.
April 18
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Other businesses can charge their best customers less because they make up for it in volume. E.g. if you're a frequent flyer of an airline, they might give you a 10% discount, but if you fly 15% more they come out ahead.

But at an NABC, the best customers are already playing in as many events as they can. They can't get them to buy more, so the only way to increase revenue is to increase the price.

It's standard microeconomics: Supply vs. demand. When the demand is high, you can increase prices.

BTW, how many times have you heard people joke in the line for KOs that this is the only game where when you win you have to pay again.
April 17
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How many top-seeded players are we talking about, a few dozen? Suppose there are 50 of them, and we increase their entries by $50/day (i.e. doubling the price of NABC+ events). That's 50 players x $50 * 10 days = $25,000. How does that compare to the total budget of the NABC?
April 17
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@Marty Wasn't there lots of complaining when they changed the team game fee structure to charge for each player rather than for teams? Aren't most of the 6-man teams the same sponsored teams that we're talking about increasing the price for?
April 17
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@David Just to get your perspective, what do you think of graduated income tax? Fair because the wealthy can afford to give up more of their income, or unfair because it penalizes people for being successful?
April 16
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If the differential benefits further the overall goal of the organization, I don't see how that could be a problem. As Spock said, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. So if the bridge community grows because we encourage juniors to play and gouge rich sponsors, we all benefit.
April 16
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The primary goal of the organization costs money. They more net profit they make in revenues versus cost of operations, the more they have available to further the goal.
April 16
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