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All comments by Jürgen Rennenkampff
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…negative view of the game …

I haven't seen the film; but even if this is a failed attempt, the idea isn't unreasonable.

However, the image projected should be realistic - if there are no compensating positive aspects bridge is finished and so be it.

In the 90's there was a movie with the title “Searching for Bobby Fischer”. This ran in mainstream theaters, had a budget of $12 Million, several well-known actors and was surprisingly interesting. The plot came from a book by Joshua Waitzkin's father.

Waitzkin was a chess prodigy and the story describes his development and the scholastic chess scene in the U.S. without hiding the problematic aspects. A pre-teen kid addicted to a game and vicariously ambitious parents are not necessarily to be emulated. Nevertheless, you also get a sense of the attraction of the game. Something analogous should be possible with Bridge as the focus.
Sept. 29
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“Note more than 1 million people have seen that youtube video!”

Apparently there are still people who believe these numbers. They counted me legitimately, though and I turned it off after 30 seconds.
Sept. 29
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Why are you using bidding conventions that your partner regularly forgets?

The rules require full disclosure although, obviously, full disclosure would be undesirable even if it were possible.
It's one of many unenforceable rules of bridge.

If your goal is to play by the rules, even though nobody else does, you must limit yourself to bidding conventions that can be fully explained in a few words and are unlikely to be forgotten by either partner.
Sept. 27
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That's true. It seems that many bridge players like a lottery.
Sept. 26
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Re “I don't like the idea of a pairs trial.”

Why?

I am not sure this can happen in Bridge, however in comparable competitive games the presence of an established recognizable world champion has a positive effect.

These are figures with whom others, particularly young people, identify and whom they emulate.

Top level competition can be organized in such a way that the strongest pair is likely to win.
Sept. 25
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Yes - that certainly would be a source of error. But I think it is impolite to mention that.
Sept. 25
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“…uncommon but not rare…”

There are some useful numbers compiled by John Manning from 231 matches, 32 boards each between 22 teams at a European championship event in Brighton (no date given).See

https://chrisryall.net/memories/john.manning.htm#stat

From these you can estimate the probability of USA1 overcoming the deficit.

1) Take the score over the first 64 boards, which was 147:82, as a measure of current form. Then England is 1 IMP per board better.
That makes the probability of USA1 winning after the subsequent 32 boards .968

2) Taking the score over the first 48 boards as the estimate of current form and the last 48 boards as the residual tournament the probability of making up the deficit is off the scale >> .99

There are obvious weaknesses in this argument; however, if such events are commonplace in Bridge, then explanations that rely upon random variance are not sufficient.
Sept. 25
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“…Displacement happens in many Sports…”

Yes, but there is no good reason why nationality should be a consideration in WC competition. If you get rid of this unnatural restriction you have solved some of the problems arising from xenophobia and national chauvinism; and you have eliminated the need for sponsors to buy access.

The effect of immigration of specialists in almost any field is, in the long run, almost invariably positive, but not necessarily in the short run.

The strange form of professionalism that has developed in bridge also leads to other abuses, of course.
Sept. 22
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“Helgemo didn't play as well as he normally does”

That may be so - we don't know, but let's assume that your sophisticated secret software has determined as much.

If you now wanted to answer any of the relevant questions, you would also need to determine how he would have played without drugs. That's why the secret sophisticated WBF committee is such an important innovation.
Sept. 20
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“..is there a problem i am missing?”

Yes. More than one.

1. When outsiders displace local players, some of whom will have had ambitions to play on their national team, some of whom may have unfriendly feelings toward foreigners, considerable ill feelings will inevitably be generated in the community of bridge players.

2. When a person with deep pockets occupies a position that he could not have achieved by virtue of his ability he will inevitably find detractors as well as admirers, which also will generate animosity.

3. Purchasing access is not consistent with the idea that high level bridge should share essential characteristics of competitive sports.
Sept. 20
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…visa problems …

I have considerable experience on this front, though I am not
a convicted felon, and I can give HH the following unsolicited good advice.

To prepare yourself for negotiations with the organization formerly known as the INS:

1. Read Kafka, The Trial
2. Read Kafka, The Castle
3. Bring Cash
4. And don't ever forget:

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
Sept. 20
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That's great!
Your secret sophisticated software tells us how the cheaters would have done if they hadn't cheated.
The WBF evidently has a secret sophisticated committee that can determine how players would have played if the hadn't doped.
Therefore we can now let people cheat and dope as much as they please. We'll simply adjust the score accordingly.
Sept. 18
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One of the problems with this game is that there is no such thing as a natural scoring method.
Aug. 18
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The difference between Butler and cross-imps is that, in the one, the difference between a score and an average score is converted to IMPs; in the other, you first convert to IMPs and then average.
The results are different solely because IMP conversion is nonlinear.
The logic of raw points, IMP conversion, and addition of scores (why do you add and not e.g. multiply?) is at best obscure.
There is no logical reason to prefer one method to the other. Nor is there any obvious improvement available.
You might think that improvement means that better play gets the better score and that randomness is reduced. But some people like more randomness and some like the fact that poor play sometimes wins.
Aug. 18
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It is more difficult to write well in English than in languages with more grammatical structure. The potential for ambiguity is greater. In Tim's example the problem is the dangling adverb ‘only’. Moreover, ‘only’ is dangling near two negations ('other than' and ‘unless’), obliquely conjoined ('also').

So the sentence is ambiguous and it is pointless to ascribe one or another possible meaning to it.

Nevertheless, the absurdity of the discussion is entertaining. In all such cases, my advice is to see what Fowler has to say. He devotes more than a page to the topic - you can find it online -
and summarizes as follows:

There is an orthodox position for the adverb, easily determined in case of need; to choose another position that may spoil or obscure the meaning is bad; but a change of position that has no such effect except technically is both justified by historical & colloquial usage & often demanded by rhetorical needs.

And concerning issues to which the BoD can contribute …
Aug. 15
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“Not sure how else this claim can be independently verified.”

Really? It isn't a novel concept.

You are obviously overstating your case. The one chart that you showed, and the related commentary, is enough to put into question your entire approach.
Aug. 15
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The chessboard shows the position - that's all. How the position you are thinking about is communicated is irrelevant - on a board, on the page of a book, on a screen or on a demo board. You don't interact with your opponent during the game. It is against the rules to do so, except to offer a draw or resign.

However, in chess electronic devices would introduce all sorts of unnecessary complications and opportunities for cheating.

The idea that electronic bridge solves the cheating problem is an illusion. It would eliminate some of the current techniques and introduce some new ones that would be even harder to control.
Aug. 12
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“At what point does it become an assertion not an assumption?”

After it has been independently verified.
Aug. 9
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“…the field knows …”

This is true when you have a sufficiently large number of identical cases. E.g. for leads this means the same board played in the same contract after the same information has been revealed by the bidding. This rarely occurs often enough to provide a reliable field value.

In all other cases the secret algorithm must decide what it means ‘to get it right’. This is undoubtedly possible in some situations, but it isn't trivial and it serves no purpose to be keep the techniques secret.
July 22
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“I realize that this concept is new. Very few people understand it at the moment.”

The concept is easy to understand and can be summarized in two words: mumbo jumbo.

You have now painted yourself into a corner. If you explain what your “sophisticated software” actually does, then the people whom you are accusing can be identified and you should get sued.
And if you don't explain your methods, your claims can't be confirmed and are, therefore, useless.

If your methods are sound - and I am sure there are sound statistical approaches to the problem - you could have written this book without ever mentioning the word that begins with c. Then you could have named names without qualms: Some people make fewer mistakes than others. Some honest players, very likely, make fewer mistakes than known cheaters. Your logic is seriously flawed.
July 22
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