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All comments by Debbie Rosenberg
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Excellent post, Jan!
One thing I would add is that someone with experience running NABCs should at least review the local organizer's schedule of regional events. There have been times when I've seen failure to coordinate well with the NABC events, when easy fixes seemed possible.
Dec. 7
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Michael, you said “What about a stiff diamond? I haven't been able to preclude that possibility.”
Finding a nice play often means deciding to cater to a specific layout, without necessarily precluding all other possibilities.

In this case, declarer holding one, two or three small diamonds while not impossible, is probably less consistent with the auction. With two or three small diamonds, it's virtually certain they would have attempted to pitch on hearts rather than leading a diamond in the hopes that both A and K would duck. That's probably also true with a stiff diamond, especially if this is matchpoints.
There are lots of factors. My point was it would be a nice play for E with Axx of diamonds and the HK to decide this is the likely layout and to play for it by ducking both diamonds smoothly. It requires not only constructing a full deal, but also envisioning how declarer might go down after the diamonds are ducked.
Dec. 6
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My understanding is that you are encouraged to do so by ACBL and USBF, yet strictly forbidden by WBF. I don't know about other jurisdictions.
Dec. 6
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I don't see any indication that this particular N-S auction utilized a “serious” slam try.
In answer to the side question, I do think the S hand is solidly worth a serious slam try if using that convention.

As to how E might figure out the defense, the auction should always be just one of the clues one uses.
How about the way declarer is playing the hand?
Dec. 5
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Yes, I meant that. CK, two rounds of trump ending in hand, diamond up, third trump to hand, then another diamond solves the problem of playing a second diamond with trump outstanding.

However, it creates a different problem, so is not necessarily advisable. Perhaps you thought of the problem I have in mind when you won the CA in hand at trick one.
Dec. 5
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I don't mean to say that the order is clear, but there is an option which doesn't involve playing a second diamond while there is still a trump out. However, it creates a different problem.
Dec. 5
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Nice play by East to duck two rounds of diamonds with Axx and the HK. Not too tough, imo, but nice.
Dec. 5
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Michael, rethink this order of play, starting with trick one.
Dec. 5
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As to the arguments presented by Max and Michael for even greater flexibility, I'm not (no longer) totally against these ideas. However, given the desire to avoid “messiness”, I think the compromise the board came up with is preferable. Requiring players to play in the world championship event for the last “trials” they win allows everyone to compete in all US Championships until they qualify in the event they would prioritize. That seems good enough.
Dec. 5
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Robb, I've discussed this with a number of people, and I am persuaded that there isn't close to consensus on the pecking order of Seniors, Women and Mixed. Not even on where any one of the three events falls (or doesn't fall).
Dec. 5
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Voted, a day late! Thank you, Jan, for not closing the voting while I was still sleeping off nationals.

After much consideration, I've come around to the position suggested by Sylvia months ago. This makes me think Sylvia is even smarter than I already thought she was:).

I voted “Yes, a player who has qualified for one event should be allowed to play in a subsequent USBC.” and “If a player qualifies in 2 events, s/he should only be allowed to play in the WC in the second event for which s/he qualified.”

My understanding is that the USBF BoD already voted for this, and due to pushback has been reconsidering. Many commenting on this thread already knew that from other sources (e.g. the ITTC TAC forum), but I don't think everyone did.

Like Fred, I have feared the can of worms this opens. I'm not going to get into those issues now, though I have considered them, and decided this is the best way to go anyway. Briefly, the factors I find most convincing are:

1) This is better, overall, for the USBF goal of choosing the strongest teams. That part seemed clear to me from the first time I read Sylvia's proposal, though others I spoke with were slower to be convinced. While running fair contests is a high USBF priority, so must be qualifying the strongest possible teams within that framework.

2) These events are not only the sole annual US Championship in each category, they are great events to play in, and not just for those who qualify! I think it makes sense to view US Championships more along the lines of how Europeans seem to view the closed European Championship - they care greatly about standing/medals, etc., not just about qualifying for the World Championship. As such, we want as many top players as possible to participate.

Notwithstanding my #2 above, I do think it would be reasonable to decide that someone who qualifies in the Open Championship is ineligible to compete in a subsequent USBC which qualifies a team(s) for the same World Championship. I also think it would be reasonable to allow it. That will be one of the many issues the ITTC TAC will need to resolve if the board reaffirms their decision. If that happens, I'll comment further on this particular detail and others.

Thanks to Jan and the BoD, all of whom I know spent substantion time trying to make US Championships the best possible events, rather than just going with what would be easiest.
Dec. 5
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Woo hoo! Some of my favorite people. Nice.
Dec. 3
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+1 to Jim
Nov. 30
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I had a similar thing happen last Nationals - followed a slow pair, started most rounds 3-5 minutes late and caught up every time until the penultimate round. That round my partner had a tough hand and took his time. We were late and given a warning. I protested this as we moved for the last round. We finished the last round late, with neither pair really rushing, because it was the last round. I was quite upset when we were given a penalty, while apparently the pair we'd followed all day wasn't. I felt it was personal.
Nov. 30
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This is the second day, not the final, and the list shoes only about half the qualifiers.
Nov. 28
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Is it possible to see individual board results from the BAM in ACBL live? All I can find is each team's session score.

Surely some players are interested in seeing what the field did, even if it doesn't affect their score on the board. Maybe I'm missing it.
Nov. 26
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Justin and Max, you are truly too kind. I'd say more, but I believe this thread should be all about the winners rather than other topics, and certainly not about me.

Congratulations to David and Greg!! Well done indeed.
Nov. 25
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Thanks, Jan.

I have mixed feelings about that news. I'd been hoping the Board would announce definite rules before the NABC, because the Fall NABC is a good time and place for people to discuss trials plans in person.

On the other hand, this doesn't seem like a Board decision that should be rushed, and it might be even more useful for interested parties to discuss the issues involved in person.

If the Board definitely isn't going to act sooner, I propose keeping this vote open until at least a couple of days after the NABC is over, so that people who so wish can vote (or change their vote) after having discussed the issues ftf.
Nov. 19
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FYI, I'm still undecided, and had been hoping to read more discussion before deciding. I know there are a number of people with strong opinions about this who have not commented here yet.
Jan requested votes within a week. I believe that gives me two more days to decide, and gives others two more days to persuade me.
Nov. 18
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Given that Ray IS the webmaster of the Unit 507 website, he probably has at least a slight clue.
Nov. 17
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