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All comments by Chip Martel
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With regard to the earlier play and defense, North had to keep all his spades or declarer could set up the spades with one loser (4 total), but if he throws the good 9, coming down to 4 spades and KT of clubs I don't see any winning route for declarer.

So perhaps keeping the 7 was useful as a pseudo squeeze threat against North.
Nov. 15, 2018
Chip Martel edited this comment Nov. 19, 2018
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Good catch Peter. Given how the numbers work and and that it is harder to win PPs now, I'm also OK with keeping a 20% bump for all byes.
Nov. 8, 2018
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Since replacing a disqualified team can be a mess (see my earlier comment for some bad scenarios), I'd suggest we be conservative in disqualifying a team. Thus I'd be OK with using items 1-4 as proposed.
Nov. 8, 2018
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To give a little background: the USBF PP scale is 100 for Spingold
or Vanderbilt win, 85 for a Reisinger win and there are 51 total PP's available from the
USBC. So the increase of available PPs goes up in a ratio of 3.36 to 4.36, so the new scheme increases the total by not quite a factor of 1.3.

Earlier discussion favored increasing the bye thresholds by less than that, favoring increasing them by 20%. This general seems to lead to sensible results:

For R16 bye need 48 can make it with
3/4 V/S + anything else: 5/8 twice; Win USBC (+ anything if bye to R8)

For R8 bye (72): Semi in V/S + 5/8 (or Reis top 4); 2 R8 in V/S + Reis top 5 (or Reis final + R16).

For semifinal bye a V/S win, a second and a R16 (or Reis final) is not enough. Also winning KO and Reisinger isn’t enough (need 186, get 185).
Nov. 6, 2018
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Jeff, it doesn't conflict with the Reisinger. It ends on Thursday and Reisinger starts on Friday.
Nov. 6, 2018
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The issue of which team replaces the ineligible team is more complicated. First, we often have two winner trials. Say team A wins the main bracket and defeats team B in the finals. Team C then loses to team B in the repechage final.

After this players drop off team A so it is ineligible and before this, 3 players on team C qualify in a later trials. In this case which team replaces team A? There could be other even more complex scenarios.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Our opponents opened 1 and then bid 6 over the 1 overcall.

If West passes, East might bid 5 over 2 and then W might well raise to 6, but of course that is a guess that need not be right.
Oct. 8, 2018
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Generally Diuretics are banned since they can help mask other drugs. In particular hydrochlorothiazide (a commonly used diuretic for blood pressure) is on the banned list.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Good advice from Kit, but even better if you have a phone number is to also call or text to confirm. There is a chance the sender's email account was hijacked and you could get a reply from the hacker rather than your friend (though that is harder for them to fake).
July 10, 2018
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In my version of Brian's first item, the professor after saying “It's obvious” looks at the last line written and pauses to say, “why is it obvious?” then goes on to fill a new blackboard with equations, before concluding that “yes, it was obvious”.

I'd add as a professor who has done such derivations myself, that I always tried to use the term “it follows that” instead of “it's obvious that”.
July 8, 2018
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Yes, easy choices for both. Great players and good ambassadors for bridge.

I've been fortunate to have Sabine as my team mate on a number of occasions. Outstanding player and always a very positive attitude towards her team (and bridge generally).

I guess unlike the ACBL, you don't have to be 60 (or dead) to get in.
June 12, 2018
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John was truly one of the good guys and his passing is a great loss to all who knew him and the bridge world in general. In addition to being an expert player John was always fun to spend time with at or away from the table with a subtle wit and a great smile. As noted earlier, he and Peggy also gave so much to bridge.

He will be truly missed.
May 17, 2018
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One comment about the auction: First, in discussing whether to make a non-serious 3N or not, it is wrong to say opener can have 19-20 points. Presumably with 18+ opener will bid past 4S opposite responder's auction, so the relevant range for a serious Q-bid is is more like 14+-17. In fact, if opener had say AQxx AJxxxx x Kx I'd think 4C was clear. On the actual hand 3N is best since 4H is a very space consuming Q-bid over 3S.
April 12, 2018
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Thanks everyone for participating. Lots of interesting questions.

Closing down the well now.

Chip
April 5, 2018
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Thanks Richard. I've read (and liked) the Ian Banks books (as noted, lots of authors I like didn't make my list). I'll look at the others.
April 5, 2018
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Glad you liked some of the SciFi suggestions. For Mysteries there is an even longer list of authors I like, so really hard to choose.

These come to mind: Rex Stout, Dick Francis, John Lawton, John Sanford, Donald Westlake, Deborah Crombie. All of these wrote series and the books really merge together so individual books don't stand out in my mind.
April 5, 2018
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I think stronger Vul. NV reasonable to play that.
April 5, 2018
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We played strong NT's in 3rd seat VUL. We noticed that with a 12 (or even so-so 13) we weren't eager to open 1N in 3rd seat, so might open 1m, so figured we might as well have the range match what we were doing.
April 5, 2018
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Thanks Robb,

I appreciate the kind words. I'll add that I'm happy to have you as our new recorder as I think you bring great skills to that challenging job (much harder than chairing the LC).
April 5, 2018
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Not directly, though I have been on teams with a coach a couple of times. In those cases went through some partnership quizzes to test that both partners were in agreement on various sequences. I still look at some quizzes I got from Kit Woolsey now and again.

I'm sure it would have been useful in my earlier days (when such things mostly didn't exist) and might be of some use even now, though mostly feel it's not too important at this stage of my career. To a large extent I'm my own bridge coach. For example, after each major tournament I go over all the vugraph hands, writing them up and going over them with Marty.

Between tournaments we bid a lot of hands and go over our notes.
April 5, 2018
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