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All comments by David Thompson
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I was involved in quite a fun project back in 2007 to recreate the 1995 Bermuda Bowl final between USA and Canada as a quasi-live BBO Vugraph presentation including “live” commentary from a few of the players involved in the match (including Fred Gittleman, George Mittleman and Joey Silver).

Details of the project, including the LIN files, can be found at http://www.sarantakos.com/bridge/vugraph/1995/1995-bb.html

I would be quite happy to do it again for some of the missing Blue Team matches which I think a lot of people would be quite interested to watch, particularly if we had Avon providing some live commentary.
May 17
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It would seem that the slow 5 bid suggests that West's 5 was an unexpected response that East needed to carefully contemplate before “signing-off”. That sort of “wake-up call” is UI for West. I think East-West are in trouble.
May 15
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It would be useful to have video to precisely identify any breaks in tempo.
May 15
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The BBO archive doesn't seem to be up yet, but iirc the “table” result per BBO was 216-215 in favour of Donn. The USBF site currently has it 226-216 in favour of Fleisher with “A” against the segment 8 scores indicating that an appeal is pending.

The vugraph operator indicated that board 27 (grand bid in both rooms) was the contentious hand so it looks like there's been a ruling taking the grand off Donn delivering 11 imps and the win to Fleisher; but that ruling appears to have been appealed.

It was the Cheek-Bertens auction that seems to be in question, but I'm afraid I can't accurately recall the hand or the auction.
May 15
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Pretty serious typo in paragraph 6:

“Hiatt was a longtime TV producer and director, with director, producer and assistant producer credits on shows like ”Mission: Impossible,“ ”Mannix,“ ”Trapper John, M.D.,“ ”CHiPs,“ ”The Incredible Hulk,“ ”Hawaii Five-O“ and many other series.”
May 10
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I don't really buy the “cost” argument for not providing pre-dealt boards. Having pre-dealt boards and hand records would result in higher attendance; the revenue from which would surely offset the relatively minor cost of pre-dealing boards. If someone attempted to run a tournament in Australia requiring players to shuffle and deal, I doubt anyone would show-up.
May 7
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Disadvantage #3 is a show-stopper.
May 6
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Where's the “other” option. 3 obviously sets the suit, but I think 4 is just a normal cue that could be made on 2nd round control.
May 6
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Yes, good point. The relevant law does include “partner could possibly see its face”, but in this case the only person who could see the exposed card was Declarer.

LAW 49 - EXPOSURE OF A DEFENDER’S CARDS

Except in the normal course of play or application of law (see for example Law 47E), when a defender’s card is in a position in which his partner could possibly see its face, or when a defender names a card as being in his hand, each such card becomes a penalty card (Law 50); but see Law 68 when a defender has made a statement concerning an uncompleted trick currently in progress, and see Law 68B2 when partner objects to a defender’s concession.
May 2
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It's not a penalty card, but it is AI to Declarer.

Accidentally exposed cards are only an issue if partner sees them.

The ruling should be exactly the same regardless of what sort of game it is.
May 2
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I'd like to see the powers of Regulating Authorities to determine disclosure rules and system constraints to be eliminated and have common rules across the globe that are controlled by the WBF.

Bridge should be played under a single set of rules wherever you happen to be. I'm comfortable with there being tighter system constraints for restricted events, but that should very much be the exception rather than the norm.
May 1
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Other. The explanation is legal but is unnecessarily detailed in relation to the suit. I think it would be better to simply say “10-12 balanced” or “10-12 balanced - could have a 5 card Major or 6 card minor”.
April 23
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If you aren't using screens, it's feasible to simply put a folding card table at the South-East corner of the table and sit the operator there with no bar stool or lectern required; but you'd want the operator to have pretty good eye-sight.
April 17
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Pass is clear-cut. Bid your hand as if partner had alerted 3NT and described it as gambling. If partner wants to fish around for a save against 4, he will do something at his next turn.

The trickier thing is what to do when partner inevitably doubles 4. I think it's impossible to justify ripping to 5 holding the UI that partner thinks you are 25-27. Even without an agreement as to the meaning of double, if partner wanted to save against 4 he would bid 4 (just in case he can hit some support in my hand to his 6 or 7 card suit), 4NT (asking me to bid my minor) or 5 (pass/correct) so I think you would always need to take a double of 4 as penalties.

So at the end of the day, no matter what I do the score is going to be adjusted to 4x making overtricks I suspect.
April 16
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I vastly prefer operating from a bar stool and lectern; particularly if screens are in use.

You can get a cheap wooden bar stool from Walmart for US$18 that will do the job just fine.

For the lectern, just get a few pieces of timber from Home Depot, a box of mails and a hammer. Height of about 40 inches is about right for most people. It might be a bit wobbly but it will be fine to hold-up a laptop and wont cost more than US$10 per lectern.

Best to have vugraph tables in corners of the room where the operator's laptop screen can't be seen by passers-by. If screens aren't being used, this may require table orientation different to the rest of the room so just take a little bit of care to make sure players are seated correctly.

I think the “sell” to tournament organisers is that BBO coverage enhances the prestige of the event and also serves to help promote bridge more generally which is in everybody's best interest.
April 16
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A quick 5 call could be for sorts of reasons and doesn't impart any UI at all as far as I'm concerned.
April 15
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5. Clearly tells partner that I want a lead against 5x and I have an easy remove to 5 if I get doubled. I don't really care what partner's preference is between and - I want trumps to be my 7-solid.
April 14
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Is is going to be held again?
April 14
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I think 2 is a SEWOG so if allowed in this jurisdiction, I'll let EW keep the table result but give NS 2x=.

My reading of the OP is that NS had an agreement that the double of 2 was takeout and South forgot. Absent the MI, West would surely sit the double of 2; but the poll confirms that ripping a penalty double of 2 to 2 seems to be without bridge merit so I'm not going to give West much sympathy.
April 10
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Players themselves need to be the primary enforcers.

If you are sitting West or South, make sure the screen aperture is shut the moment the tray is put on the table and well before anyone extracts their cards from the board.

If at the end of the auction a defender is removing the tray and replacing the board, if the board is placed anywhere other than the dead-centre of the table, call it out once and if it happens again call the TD.

If your opponents are placing their bidding cards or playing cards inconsistently, helpfully rearrange them for them.

If your opponents have superfluous stuff on the table during play, helpfully relocate such items to the side table for them.

If your screen-mate audibly asks a question during the auction, look like you've just been spoken to in Swahili and point to a piece of paper on the side table.
April 9
David Thompson edited this comment April 10
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