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All comments by Kevin O'Brien
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Hi Matthew,

Your take on playing fast is good – the overlapping points just reinforce their importance. Sorry I missed listing http://lajollabridge.com/Articles/FastPlayer.htm above.
June 22, 2015
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Putting an evening club bridge game in direct competition against the many alternatives, what do we need (and need to emphasize as our “selling points”) to attract the consumer (and preferably the consumer of our desired demographic) and his/her “Disposable Entertainment Dollar?”
1: a shorter event time (12-15 boards vs 24-28 boards)
2: a (relatively) fast-moving game; educate players about what's needed to speed up the game (NO POST-MORTEMS UNTIL AFTER THE SESSION, many other items listed frequently here on Bridge Winners, see for instance http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/respecting-the-duplicate-bridge-clock/, http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/better-tempo/ – and many of the comments on these add value)
3: a pleasant environment, including appropriate refreshments
4: pleasant people (CLUB DIRECTORS MUST PUBLICIZE AND ENFORCE ZERO TOLERANCE!!)
5: good AND FRIENDLY competition
6: opportunities to learn/improve (instruction at other times – NO TEACHING AT THE TABLE, very short pre-game lectures, a regular mentoring program, pre-dealt boards with hand records, results posted on-line to include contracts and results of each board in “traveler” format, and much more you can feel free to add)
7: many other players of the desired demographic (you can start small, but you stay small it won't work – they have to bring their friends!)
8: specific to BBO/OKBridge competition, the face-to-face social interaction among the players
9, 10, 11, etc.: the important items I missed but you will be adding in the comments!
June 22, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment June 22, 2015
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found at the WBL website's front page:

KNOCKOUTS: Info including Conditions of Contest Brackets/Teams(2015) 2015 Winners:
Flight A:
Flight B: John McCormick, David Bort, Shiang Chen, Walter Mitnick
Flight C: Terry Klein, Margaret Cooke, Myron Goldstein, Peter Isard
ROUND ROBIN: Info 2015 Brackets Playoffs ‘14 2014 Winners:
Flight A: Alex Prairie, Robert Brady, Stephen Drodge, Sylvia Shi
Flight B: Guillaume de Decker, Leon Masiewicki, Kiyomi Shiba, Ajit Thyagarajan
Flight C: Jean Barquin, Edith Burzio, F Scott Bush, Sarah Watson
Flight E: Marc Zlotnik, Joan Zlotnik, Mary Iglehart, Ellen Parker
=================================================================

NVBA hasn’t run such events for at least ten years; thus the WBL KO's and Round Robins draw from both units (and some, I believe, from MBA as well).

Steve Robinson is the chief organizer of both the RR and the KO, I believe.
June 21, 2015
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One possible quick fix would be easy for ACBL to implement.

Whereas the Bridge Club game pursues the consumer's “disposable entertainment dollar” (thanks to the late Millard Nachtwey for adding that phrase to my vocabulary)

and Whereas on-line tournaments consist of as few as twelve boards and seldom last as long as an hour

and Whereas the usual movie runs two hours or less

and Whereas the average sporting event runs less than three hours (even Major League Baseball has changed its rules to speed up the game)

Therefore,

Be It Resolved that the minimum number of boards for an ACBL Club game to award full Masterpoints be reduced from 18 to 15.

If that doesn't work after a couple of years, reduce it to 12. Then at clubs where they like longer games, they can hold a two-session game every time!
June 20, 2015
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Can you imagine ACBL making that data available 2 or 3 years ago – or even last year? FAT CHANCE!! Looks like Uday, Greg, Ralph, Jay and the rest of the CEO's Management Technology Committee have some success in breaking ACBL's Horn Lake “Cone of Silence!” Let's hope this is not just an anomaly.
June 20, 2015
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What's the line on total comments on this post, 500? Who's taking the over/under action?
May 29, 2015
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which hasn't had anything entered in almost a year!

Youth Bridge

Youth events and discussions


40 Topics
477 Replies



2014-June-25, 15:37
May 18, 2015
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Hi Chris,

I haven't found any such forum that is active. As a result of your comment, I changed the wording above; now it reads “If you know of an existing forum elsewhere, please share its address (URL) in comments!”

I've found some very useful Youth Bridge info here on Bridge Winners; having it all gathered in a separate forum would make it easier to find and would keep it out of the way of the Bridge Winners denizens who are not interested in the topic.

If there's a better site for that, I want to find it – and I bet others with interest/involvement in the topic want to find that better site too!

Thanks,

Kevin
May 17, 2015
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For balance, adding a page/section/forum where Bridge Winners participants could brag that their children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren have started playing would be very welcomed by some.
May 16, 2015
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If BBO doesn't have such an OBIT section/forum, having one here would indeed be appropriate. It would be a very popular addition to Bridge Winners, of course; bridge players would just be dying to be mentioned there.
May 16, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment May 16, 2015
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The .bws file from BridgePad or Bridgemate or any other electronic scoring device exists outside of ACBLscore. I haven't seen the source code, but the ACBLscore commands to interact with the control software for the ESD are basically control or import commands, and the import commands probably just pass the data through the same way a keyboard does. ACBLscore has no knowledge of what cards are in each hand, what the contract was, what the opening lead was, or where and how the score was. A 170 could be 3H making 4, or 2D making six – ACBLscore neither knows or cares which. All the fancy stuff you get for scoring output now takes the ACBLscore gamefile and combines it with external information – .pbn or .dup or some other recognizable file format for the specific cards in each hand, .bws for the contract and results, Deep Finesse or Bo Haglund's Double Dummy Solver to show Double Dummy results and par contract/score. All that is put together outside of ACBLscore.

I'm sure Nicolas Hammond will tell you ACBLscore+/Bridgescore+ does things differently, including more interaction with and taking more information from the Electronic Scoring Devices, and will do even bigger and better things when he has time/resources to do more, and the ESD makers come up with planned improvements in what their devices do.
May 5, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment May 5, 2015
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There's a huge difference between "What new features would you like to see?“ and ”What is important to you that we retain of the current functionality in the program?"
May 1, 2015
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Calling out Nic Hammond

Nic Hammond's unsubstantiated allegation that ACBL stopped paying Hammond Software invoices sometime around mid-2013 as a pressure tactic to force HS to cede copyright to ACBL and have all their completed work be “work for hire” meaning ACBL owns the source code for ACBLscore+ may be refuted by the text:

It is my understanding that while much work was done on phase 4, the full requirements of this phase were not completed by the Consultant while the contract was in effect.
. . .
The contract provided for monthly billing by Consultant and these bills were paid subject to the limits outlined above.

When the amounts provided as maximums for phases 1-4 were exhausted (a total of $956,000), it became apparent that phase 4 would not be completed satisfactorily within the parameters of the contract.

I believe that Consultant explained to management that while phase 4 was not complete, work on phase 5 and 6 was ongoing and the project could be completed for the $1,400,000. The ACBL agreed to continue payment of Consultant’s bills using the funds that were allocated to phases 5 & 6.


Perhaps ACBL stopped payments to HS after the $956K was paid, and was not required by contract terms to pay any more until Phase 4 was completed.

Perhaps ACBL resumed payments after further negotiation with HS, both sides agreeing that payment was okay for work on Phases 5 and 6 despite Phase 4 remaining unfinished.

Pure speculation on my part, but that's the best I can do without access to the original contract.

If the speculation turns out to be fact, ACBL appears in a better light than Mr. Hammond would have had us believe.

Perhaps we will hear again from Mr. Hammond on this part of the fiasco/brouhaha.
May 1, 2015
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I have no SmartPhone, and no Internet access on my current cell phone contract. My club's previous site had no WiFi or other Internet access, so I posted results after returning home from the game.

From the new site, so far, the WiFi has been okay, but if/when it ever fails, I will again have to post from home after the game.

I'd be willing to wager that if polled, over 90% of current club directors would be much more accepting of the forthcoming ACBLscore replacement if it provides an option for game scoring without requiring Internet access.

I expect those who put the survey together did not ask a question that would allow responders to show this preference, because they did not want to hear the overwhelming (my presumption, not a proven fact) response in favor of the offline option.

Trial lawyers are taught to never ask a question to which they don't know the answer – or a question to which they do not want to hear the answer. So the survey asked "Can this be done at your club(s)?“ and not ”Do you want this to be required at your club(s)?"
May 1, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment May 1, 2015
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A partial Greg Humphreys digest of comments. Note well what I have bolded. Thanks, Greg.

"The purpose of the survey was to understand what percentage of clubs *need* an offline mode. The next scoring system is very likely to be web based. One can of course run the server locally at the club; it doesn't take very many system resources. But there's a support, maintenance, and upgrade cost associated with that path, and management wants to understand the tradeoffs so they can prioritize and commit to the right things.

If we don't include support for offline operations, there will inevitably be some club operators who can't use the new software. If we do, there will be inevitably substantially larger support costs. These tradeoffs need to be understood. That's why we gather data instead of just making choices in a vacuum.

There will also surely be people who don't like the new program and pine for the old one NO MATTER WHAT WE DO. Such is the nature of change.

Getting input from stakeholders is a critical part of this process. It's absolutely what we are doing. The survey is but one little part of it. Getting the system in the hands a very small number of existing club owners is a part of it too.


Please don't read my posts as some doomsday scenario. I am personally of the opinion that we should support an offline operation. That opinion is just not universally held, and the people who oppose it are not unreasonable. This is, in part, why these surveys are being conducted."
May 1, 2015
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Richard,

The survey was hosted by SurveyMonkey. The request to take the survey came via e-mail. I don't know if it was distributed in other ways.
May 1, 2015
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The e-mail text:

Dear Club Manager,

The ACBL is aiming to better understand the technology capabilities of ACBL-sanctioned clubs so that we can help you provide the best service to ACBL members.

To begin, we would like to learn about each club's ability
to access the internet. Please take the following survey and let us know about your club's capabilities. This will allow us to assist you in your goals.

Click HERE for survey.

In order to help our clubs, your timely response is appreciated.

Thank you,
The ACBL Team
May 1, 2015
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ACBLscore+'s principal developer, Nic Hammond, has stated on this site that (IIRC) around ten percent of the ACBLscore gamefiles he used in developing/testing contained errors of some type. Presumably the proposed on-line version of what the CEO's Management Technology Committee envisions would be able to correct a large percentage of those errors. ACBL collecting actual gamefiles instead of just monthly reports would give ACBL (and interested third parties to whom they give access to the data) data ripe for mining with modern tools, to provide information of interest and usefulness to advancing players.

For those familiar with Jay Whipple III's The Common
Game
, you have a small idea of all that is possible.

Of course, ACBL will have to take the hit for providing much more data storage, and much greater bandwidth to make this all work. The CEO's Management Technology Committee is of course taking all of this into account as they move forward in what is still a somewhat fluid and flexible design process.
May 1, 2015
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Greg,

This may be the “doomf” process – but the term “doomf” is outside my vocabulary.

From the ACBLscore for Windows menu bar, select “DataBase,” from the resulting pull-down menu, select the last item, “Import/Merge,” then from the pop-up menu window, select the last item, “5 Update masterpoint holdings from ACBL Masterpoint file.” With a direct Internet connection, you can get updates for one District at a time.

May 1, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment May 1, 2015
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The survey was apparently sent to club owners/managers.

If the URL was shown here, then others could “stuff the survey boxes.”

Here are the questions:
1. At how many playing sites do you presently run club games?
One
More than one

2. Do you currently have an internet connection at your playing site?
Yes
No

3. Is the connection reliable enough that you would be comfortable scoring your games on a web version of ACBLscore?
Yes
No

4. Do you currently send results to a website from the club after each game?
Yes
No

5. Which operating system is used by the computer on which you run ACBLscore?
Windows (7, 8, XP, Vista)
MAC (OS X)
iPAD/iPhone (iOS)
Android
Linux
IBM (z/OS)
Not sure
Other (please specify)
_______________________________

Thank you for participating in our survey.

Replies were by radio button; the only exception being to specify some other OS.
Each question, and the “Thank you,” appeared on a separate screen, for a total six separate screens.
Navigation was by “Prev” “Next” buttons at the bottom ov each screen, with the obvious exceptions (No “Prev” on first screen, “Next” replaced by 'Done“ on the final ”Thank you" screen.
May 1, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment May 1, 2015
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