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All comments by John Torrey
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I run a twice-a-week afternoon club duplicate in the Durham/Chapel Hill NC area, in a full-time bridge center that can house 50+ tables. Several years back, Valerie Roberts (one of our local teachers) asked my club to host a novice game once a week for her students and other novices. (My open games are running 8 or so tables per session.) When the novice game faltered last year, Valerie and another player, Andrea Roitman, volunteered to teach half-hour lessons before the games. (Andrea has done great things at her retirement community: games with mostly beginners that draw 10+ tables.)

The lessons created a revival, but it's been hard to get the 3+ tables needed to have a separate game. It's a good group of people, who get along well; we do not have a “duplicate players are nasty” problem. When they merge with the open game, frequently one novice pair will grab an A-strat award, but many struggle. (The open C-strat can go to 2000 masterpoints.) I duplicate a set of novice boards every week, but they are seldom used. Andrea and Valerie say they will keep doing lessons “forever.” My novice email list has about 35 addresses.

Our novice (actually, 0-500) players enjoy the game but are not passionate about it. Maybe the game fee ($11 per player, a necessity to pay the rent) is a problem for some.

Just a note for those who say, “Clubs should do more.”
Nov. 24, 2019
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I'll pass on the math quibbles.

One problem with whatever method is used is that we decide that a difference of .01 matchpoint is enough to break a tie. As I understand it, in the factoring method currently used a difference of .01 matchpoint is essentially created by rounding, and really represents no difference mathematically. Perhaps whatever method is “best” should round to .1 matchpoint, which would have a chance to reduce meaningless rank differences.

Perhaps my proposal is not the best, but the issue does need consideration.
Nov. 20, 2019
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Sorry. Dummy had the 9, not the 8.
Nov. 5, 2019
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I knew there was something I was missing. Phillip Martin (and others) has it right (thanks!). At the table I was blinded by reluctance to expose partner's spade holding, and later by resultism.

I had the problem and led a heart. Declarer had AQJ103, AQJ7, 8, J53, for whatever it is worth. We salvaged some matchpoints when declarer played for the drop in spades.
Nov. 5, 2019
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Covered above & withdrawn.
Nov. 4, 2019
John Torrey edited this comment Nov. 4, 2019
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In my club board 23 was the most skewed, with no North-South score earning better than 33 instant matchpoints. Second was board 10 (NS top of 49). 13 and 17 were 56 and 58.
Nov. 3, 2019
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My club played an 8-table relay/bye stand movement with 24 boards. The instant matchpoint average for all North-South pairs was 46.6 “percent”. I drafted a post wondering if others saw the same discrepancy.

Stuff happens. That's why clubs have “overall” winners for both directions in these games.
Nov. 2, 2019
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Ken is correct, thought the OP suggests that there was misinformation.

Perhaps I should flog my Modest Convention Disruption Proposal (https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/a-modest-convention-disruption-proposal/) more than the very few times I have. Under that proposal, mistakes in artificial 2-suit conventions would count as misinformation, even if mistaken bids.
Nov. 2, 2019
ATB
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Sorry for the ATB framing. My friends were looking for help with the deal and I wanted comments on both hands. (Actually 4 is much better than 4, and harder to reach. Still not “cold” though.)
Oct. 31, 2019
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I do NOT claim to be the authority on comparable calls, but I do think that this situation is pretty clear. Double (as commonly played in ACBL land, showing hearts) would qualify as comparable. Auction proceeds with no penalties and no further restrictions.

I'm trying to work out what calls are not comparable to an opening pass out of turn…
Oct. 26, 2019
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One reason for the “slip-of the finger” rule about bid boxes is that there was resistance when bid boxes were introduced.

I suspect that today you would find more support for eliminating the slip exemptions that now exist than for extending them to played cards. A card laid is a happy card.
Oct. 26, 2019
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Both are competent but seldom really astute. (IMO. Players in this club get to know one another pretty well. The 2500-3000 in the setup suggests something like this, I think.) West was able to duck smoothly with Kx in clubs - a very good play for this level.

This pair would routinely open any 12 HCP hand, and routinely pass Kxx Kxx Q10 K10xxx.
Oct. 17, 2019
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West actually had Kx in clubs - and managed a nice smooth x when the small one was led.

I think the best line is to play the ace, as the bidding indicates West is 5-6-0-2, and that East does not have both the K and J of clubs (and thus, 12 HCP). If West is up to unblocking with Jx, they deserve to beat you.

Other good solution: double and lead the ace of spades, probably the indicated action.
Oct. 16, 2019
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Excellent case for change in the Laws. In the meantime, do we want players to wonder whether they should apply the current Laws or not?

In principle, I do not want results to be determined by how I (or you) feel towards the declarer on a particular day. It is “right” to call the director.

That's principle. In real life, one of my bridge regrets came from calling the director when an opponent with Parkinson's pulled the wrong card as declarer. I told the director I wanted to waive the rule, but I couldn't find the waiver provision in the new (at the time) Laws, and the director didn't know about it. I wished I had just said, “Put it back.”
Oct. 14, 2019
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Late to the party, but another approach is to treat stiff A or K as non-shortness. KISS.
Oct. 8, 2019
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Ian - I think there are only 6 rounds in the 5-table hesitation, which makes it hard to play 7 opponents.
Oct. 7, 2019
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If your 5-table Hesitation doesn't complete, why not do a 4/round Mitchell?
Oct. 7, 2019
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Someone - I'm not sure I have the tools to do the complete job - might want to look at those Howell switch schedules. I found that keeping the stationary players NS for all but one round (the last round in my trials) would improve the balance, and also help to reduce the number of times that a pair forgot to switch. Even with guide cards, forgetting to switch has been a problem at my club games. (My players always play the last round; frequently I am taking time of the clock.)
Oct. 7, 2019
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The revoke was not established.
Aug. 23, 2019
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The surcharge is intended to encourage lapsed members to reinstate their memberships. It would make sense to waive the surcharge for players who have never been ACBL members - and I think I have seen that done in the past.
Aug. 11, 2019
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