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All comments by Eugene Hung
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Flagged by community and moved to coronavirus forum.
March 29
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Comment by Artur Malinowski flagged as a personal attack and removed. If your argument can't be expressed without insulting the other person, then it's not allowed on this site.
March 24
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Moving to CV forum.
March 24
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We seem to have identified the issue and it appears to be resolved. Please let us know if you are still seeing this.
March 23
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Comment by Richard Fleet flagged by the community as non-bridge political and removed. Please, let's keep the politicians off Bridge Winners.
March 23
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We are aware of the problem and currently working on a fix. Sorry, it's definitely on our end.
March 23
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Richard and Alan -

Speaking as someone who has done quite well in the robot tournaments (so I'm not speaking out of sour grapes), the tournaments are advertised as a test of mostly bridge skill, not as a test of lying to the robot skill, so when I speak of skill, that's the skill I'm talking about. Obviously misleading the robot is a skill, but in general, it is not difficult or terribly interesting to come up with the best bidding strategy for this: Psych the opening bid. This strategy then dominates the result of the board (both good and bad - lots of tops and some bottoms). While it's possible to improve or worsen your score through your subsequent decisions and tactics, the primary influence on the result was the choice to psych, and that makes it less interesting as a game because each hand result is greatly determined by one decision made early in the hand with little information. With the competitors not playing the same hands, it then becomes a crapshoot whether someone playing the extreme psyching strategy gets enough positive boards to offset the negative boards. I'd rather see the online bridge championship improved by making it less like bingo (drawing a set of deals favorable to your psyching strategy) and more like actual bridge.

I would not go so far as Carl as to lock the first round of bidding. Even a system allows for differences in judgement in the first round when one has the best hand. For example, if you hold J10xxx K AQ Axxxx let's give people the choice of opening 1C or 1S or 1NT. That is an interesting bridge decision. What I object to is people opening 1D or 2NT with this hand and having it work because of the nature of the opponents, who are incapable of working out you're lying when they're told to assume you're telling the truth, even when you do it repeatedly, hand after hand. Eliminate this angle, and the tournament will be more worthy of being called a national bridge championship.

This is not an impossible technical task. At least one prominent online bridge software (Synrey, in China) did/does this in its robot tournaments by checking to see if the opening bid roughly conforms to the parameters. I believe it allowed for a notrump opening bid to be a little off, so it still allows people to open a 15-17 1NT with some balanced 14 HCP hands or stiff honors, but it would not allow a 15-17 1NT with a random balanced 12-count or a 15 HCP hand with a small singleton. Similarly suit opening bids were checked for minimum length and if it did not conform, the bid was not allowed. I never saw any restrictions after the opening bid, so you still had a lot of freedom to influence the result (and mislead later on) but at least putting in some small anti-psych restrictions made for a much more bridge-like experience.
March 23
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I think it's far more important to block extreme opening bid psychs, or maybe limit a player to at most one of those per session. Right now psychs can be rewarding and randomizing by tricking the robots who have no ability to adapt to previous boards, and with a partner who is unlikely to get in your way since you hold the best hand. I don't mind people using judgement to upgrade or shade a point or two but deliberate, consistent system opening bid violations such as opening balanced 12-counts or hands with voids with a 15-17 notrump, make it less about skill and more about what crazy thing you can get GIB robot defenders to do.
March 23
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Comment by Ed Judy flagged by the community as a violation of copyright and removed. Please do NOT repost articles under copyright on our site. Use your own words, or provide a link to the source.
March 22
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Thanks, Nick!
March 21
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I have provided a link to the motion in the original article.
March 19
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Comment flagged by the community for a reference to a contemporary politician, and removed. Please help keep the politicians off Bridge Winners.
March 18
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Apparently there was a technical error in posting and we'll have an official writeup featured shortly. In the meantime, I am removing the article.
March 18
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Article has been flagged as belonging in the coronavirus forum and moved there.
March 18
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Article flagged as belonging in the coronavirus forum and moved.
March 18
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Closing the thread because there's a duplicate one on the front page.
March 17
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I have notified the Director in Charge, Eric Bell, of this information, and he has gotten the word to ACBL.
March 17
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Agreed. In future, please flag articles that are in the wrong forum. I have moved this article to the forum.
March 17
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Jonathan - Thanks for providing the important information that Doug is also feeling better, but in general let's all try to keep postings on this thread to a minimum. This is meant to be an informational thread that people can scan to identify if they're personally at risk, not a discussion thread. Other threads can be used for that.
March 17
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Removing because it's duplicated.
March 16
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