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All comments by Li-Chung Chen
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Hi A.J.,

I'm glad to hear that the Flying Pig Pairs Championship was started and that you're working toward keeping it alive. I trust that you did computations to determine that the new proposal, if it would increase the table count used to compute the awards in that way that you think, would increase the awards over the current formula. Unfortunately the proposal does not explicitly say anything about counting concurrent tables, which makes me doubt that concurrent tables would actually be counted. http://web2.acbl.org/codification/MPBOOK.pdf page 21 says “Unlike sectionals, no regional events count concurrent tables in determining their masterpoint awards other than those described below.” “Those described below” are regional stratiflighted events and regional flighted events. The Flying Pig Pairs Championship fits neither category.

In case you think I'm just being paranoid, I have good reason to believe that the ACBL will continue not to count concurrent tables in the new proposal. Before the stipulation in MPBook above, four-session events did count concurrent tables and the masterpoint awards were just fine. After the stipulation, some regionals continued to count concurrent tables. I'm not sure why, but I would like to believe that the directors are good people who recognize the inequity of the awards without counting concurrent tables. But unfortunately there was a masterpoint race whose outcome was affected by this, so someone complained and got the awards adjusted. My takeaway from this is that I don't trust the ACBL “to do the right thing” unless they're forced to by explicit rule.

Even if some concurrent tables do count, I'm not sure that would sufficiently help the CalCap Swiss and the All Western Open Pairs, against the decreased S factor and steeper award dropoff I mentioned above. Typically the All Western Open Pairs has fairly healthy turnout (around 50 tables), while turnout for pair events concurrent with the first session has usually been low. There's also a concurrent two-day KO, but I don't think they would count, because they don't count currently for the one-day championship event. For the CalCap Swiss, there are small bracketed Swiss and open pairs concurrent with the first session, and I'm not sure which would count for the CalCap Swiss. Though if some of those tables counted, then CalCap Swiss awards might be a little larger due to how small the CalCap Swiss is (hopefully a situation that would change).

Appendex C (page 35) in http://web2.acbl.org/codification/MPBOOK.pdf has a handy chart of overall awards compared to first place. This does not include the S factor of 1.5 for a two-session event and 2.5 for a four-session event. After multiplying by S and assuming all the other factors contribute the same amount (say by 1, for simplicity), the awards would be the following:

Position two-session four-session ratio
1 1.50 2.50 0.60
2 1.13 1.88 0.60
3 0.84 1.40 0.60
4 0.63 1.10 0.57
5 0.49 1.00 0.49
6 0.43 0.90 0.48
7 0.37 0.82 0.45
8 0.33 0.77 0.43
9 0.30 0.72 0.42
10 0.27 0.67 0.40
15 0.19 0.50 0.38
20 0.15 0.40 0.37

From the ratios, you can see how disadvantageous is the two-session formula compared to the four-session formula. I think the lower overall awards are particularly important for participation, because the players on the fence about playing are probably not expecting to get a very high overall, so the low overall awards are most relevant to them.
March 4
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Hi Stu,

I'm fairly sure that lower overall awards are computed according to page 10 of http://web2.acbl.org/codification/MPBOOK.pdf . For events of two or more sessions, the first few overall awards are 75% of the next higher place, and afterward the awards are computed by the formula:

(First Place Award)*(# of Sessions) divided by (Overall Position + 2*(# of Sessions) – 3)

One can compare the results of this formula for two sessions vs four sessions to see the differences.
March 1
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Also, would the proposal affect awards for four-session NAP district finals? For example, District 21 holds a four-session NAP-A district finals without a concurrent event (NAP-C is concurrent with day two)(see http://live.acbl.org/events/1812721 ). My understanding is that the first place award is stipulated by ACBL-wide conditions of contest for NAP, so would that take precedence? What about computations of lower overall awards?
March 1
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(replied at the wrong place)
March 1
Li-Chung Chen edited this comment March 1
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Hi A.J.,

I tried to focus on arguing that the proposed formula would be inequitable. I'm not sure what would be an equitable formula. I appreciate your efforts to try to improve the formula.

My understanding is that the four-session awards are greatly influenced by whether they count tables in other events. Are you saying that currently they don't count tables in other events, but they would under the proposal? (And which other events would count?) Even if so, I'm not sure this would be enough to counteract against the decreased S factor (changing from 2.5 to 1.5) and the decreased ratios of lower overall/first overall.

Can you help me understand the proposal by providing the would-be awards for two particular events? One is the 2018 Sat-Sun CalCap Swiss in http://web2.acbl.org/tournaments/results/2018/06/1806034.htm . Another is the 2018 All Western Open pairs in http://web2.acbl.org/tournaments/results/2018/09/1809084.htm . My feeling is that the current awards are fairly equitable, though a bit on the low side for the Swiss.

Thanks,
Li-Chung
March 1
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I'm very concerned about Item 191-10 among the motions. It changes

“For those four session Regional events, other than Knockouts, the Masterpoint awards computed by formula shall be increased by 40%.”

to

“For those four session Regional events, other than Knockouts, the Masterpoint awards shall be computed by formula as if a two-session event, and then be increased by 40%.”

I think this proposal produces inequitably low masterpoint awards for four-session non-KO events. These events tend to be premier two-day regional events that attract the best players. There is usually a cut after day one, so day two tends to have some of the best fields outside of NABC events and regional KOs. Hence winning such an event is quite difficult and, I would argue, much more than 140% times as difficult as winning a one-day event. In addition, the quality of day two fields would make lower overall spots quite meritorious, but the drop-off of masterpoints after first place is significantly steeper under the two-session formula than under the four-session formula.

I don't personally care much about the masterpoint awards for myself, but many people do care and choose events accordingly. Hence I believe that the new proposal would discourage players from joining two-day non-KO regional events. I find such events very interesting and enjoyable, and I would very much fear that the new proposal would be the death of them. Variety is the spice of life, and many regionals are already very similar outside of two-day events.
March 1
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Congratulations! Everything Steve wrote is totally true!
Aug. 1, 2018
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Congratulations!
Aug. 1, 2018
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If West covers the spade Jack, then ruff, cross in clubs, and play the last trump. East is caught in a strip squeeze.
April 1, 2018
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In http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/NAP/CoC.pdf , in the section QUALIFYING TO THE NEXT LEVEL:

“New partnerships between unit stage qualifiers may formed at the district stage.”
Oct. 2, 2017
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This ought to mean that they qualified for C anyway. See the section MIXED FLIGHT PARTNERSHIPS in http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/NAP/CoC.pdf .
Oct. 1, 2017
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This occurred in a matchpoint pairs event.
Nov. 13, 2016
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How much of the edge is from playing precision, and how much from having comprehensive agreements?
Sept. 23, 2016
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Hi Brian, how do you think your partnership with John and you personally have evolved since your return to high-level bridge in 2008?
Sept. 23, 2016
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The table counts listed above for the 2-day Swiss were the ones used for masterpoint computation, not the numbers of entering teams. For example, in 2014, the results listed in http://web2.acbl.org/tournaments/results/2014/06/1406040.htm say “CA Capital Swiss - 22 Tables / Based on 95 Tables”. This meant that day 2 included 22 teams, which meant that approximately twice as many teams entered the event.

In fact, an accurate way to deduce the number of entering teams is to take the number of overall places and divide by 0.35, as the reverse was how the number of overall places was computed (before the factor was changed to be 0.25 in 2015). 42, 43, and 44 are the possible numbers that can produce 15 overall places in 2014.

Therefore, the event sizes in 2009-2014 were only slightly larger than in 2015-2016. I do think that the number of professionals in the event has dwindled significantly, though.
June 6, 2016
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Thanks for posting the full schedule. Unfortunately, pairs who fail to qualify for day 2 of one of the Blue Ribbon events would need to scramble to find teammates to enter one of the Saturday-Sunday BAM events.

But this schedule actually works well with having the Reisinger on the first Friday-Sunday, because teams that fail to qualify for day 2 can enter a Saturday-Sunday BAM. I would almost certainly enter the Reisinger every year under that schedule.
Oct. 8, 2015
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I like the suggestion of moving the 2 day BAM to another NABC. Another good spot would be the Spring NABC Tuesday-Wednesday, opposite the mixed pairs and day 2 of the Vanderbilt. Currently there is a 3-day period in which the only fully open national event is the Vanderbilt. Adding the BAM here would encourage me to attend more of the Spring NABC. In addition, this would be another event to enter for players who just finished playing in the Silver Ribbon Pairs on Monday.

The current schedule: http://www.acbl.org/tournaments_page/nabcs/general-nabc-information/national-rated-events/

When was the last time that a national event was completely eliminated? In all the recent shuffling of NABC schedules, no national event has been removed. So there must be a way to avoid eliminating the 2 day BAM. The ACBL seems to like giving players more events to play in, so eliminating an event would be inconsistent.
Oct. 8, 2015
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Has anyone mentioned the fact that the proposed schedule completely eliminates the 2-day national open BAM? I'm quite saddened by this because I'm a huge fan of BAM – everything has potential to matter, there are very few boards that are flat, and there are unique situations that don't occur in matchpoint pairs. BAM is already very rare, and the above responses show that there are plenty of fans of BAM. People have already mentioned that the Reisinger is more formful than the 7-day KOs, despite being much shorter in duration.

Therefore, I suggest retaining the 2-day national open BAM in one of the NABCs. A natural spot is fall NABC Monday-Tuesday, concurrent with the 2-day qualifying Swiss of the 7-day event. This has the advantage of offering a national event to players who don't want to play in the 7-day event or can't commit to playing in the KO phase.

It would be prudent to poll players on whether they prefer entering a 2-day national event or entering the 7-day event. For these players, having a 2 day gap in the fall NABC schedule may discourage them from attending the first weekend of the fall NABC, especially if Thanksgiving is in the way.
Oct. 8, 2015
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E/W were actually not vulnerable, if that matters to anyone.
Oct. 8, 2015
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