Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Max Schireson
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To contintinue my only half serious argument, unit qualification can also be earned at any unit in the district, and stretches over a couple months.

I suppose it is possible that all the units might schedule their unit qualifier games overlapping a WBF event, but a quick glance at schedule makes me think it is more likely that a world class player who represented his or her country might get a pass when it overlapped their more convenient options and left them neeeding to cancel a family plan to drive across the district… So theoretically that could apply equally to unit qualifiers too, especially if the individual in question (would not apply to MR in this case) lived in a rural location with few club qualifiers available nearby.
Oct. 4
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Yes, I have read the CoC and know that none of those events qualify you at the club level, so I was poking fun at the process.

That said, it is not true that the Bermuda Bowl and other WBF events do not have standing with respect to NAP qualification. If a player misses unit level NAP qualification to represent their NBO in WBF competition as a player, coach, NPC, or WBF official, they advance to the district stage.

Since this year the Bermuda Bowl et al overlapped the club qualification and did not overlap the unit qualification at all, it would not be unreasonable to extend the unit level waiver for WBF competitors to club level qualification. But that is not how the CoCs are written.

What this means is that a player who doesn't advance past the Swiss in a WBF event (even potentially as an NPC) might get a waiver at the unit level (where you only have one chance, so even an excellent player might have a bad day and fail to advance), but winning the Bermuda Bowl does not get a waiver at the club level (where you can try as often as you like, so even awful players stand a very good chance to qualify).

Edit: tyoo
Oct. 4
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Does the CoC allow you to substitute winning the Bermuda Bowl for above average in a club qualifier?
Oct. 3
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Tiebreak procedure: if 4 boards with a different system doesn't break the tie, there will be a par competition. If it is still tied, they play darte. After that they arm wrestle.

:)
Oct. 2
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Ed, I disagree, in way.

I wouldn't say he “can” forget Lipensohl; unless his Lebehsohl forget was a fluke, I think it is virtually guaranteed that he will mix up Lipensohl frequently enough that adding it will be a big loss. Based on the limited data I have, I have pretty high confidence that they would wind up in all manner of crazy contracts if they add Lipensohl.
Sept. 30
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On a quick read Lipensohl might be better with some other partner, but I wouldn't consider it for a moment with a partner that forgets Lebensohl.
Sept. 30
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I was born in British Columbia and I know firsthand that players there can't handle multi.

Ok just kidding (though I was actually born in British Columbia).

I was referring to flight B and C events. I don't think it is practical nor a good idea to restrict conventions by strat.

I should have written “B/C”, and probably also said “flight”. Sorry.
Sept. 28
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Personally I think 3 is probably the right number
- one for real beginner beginners, typically less than 20 masterpoints and definitely less than 100, that comes with a simplified alert procedure
- one for casual/club players; most club games and tournaments up to BC
- one for experts and serious tournaments that are likely to attract experts - open regionals and up

I could be convinced that there should be 4 by subdividing the expert chart between short and long matches, but since the charts embed that distinction I would find 3 to be enough.

I have no data on what is politically viable.
Sept. 28
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First, while I don't know either of them I have only heard good things about them. Its awful for them and their families, and less importantly a loss to bridge if they aren't playing for a period of time.

As far as fairness goes, in my opinion there is a big difference in what the fair punishment should be for
a) someone who cuts corners on getting advice and genuinely believes what they are doing is legal
b) someone who knows they are cheating and expects they won't get caught

If it is the first one, I think the sentence is harsh. If it is the second one, it is more understandable.

I have no idea which one occurred, nor do I wish to speculate. Regardless it is a very unfortunate situation.
Sept. 26
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I tried minibridge a bit. Two problems:
1. Kids (other than really young ones) seem to be much less excited about anything called “mini”; they would much rather play bridge. If minibridge were called “tricks” or whateevr other name it might actually mame a material difference to middle/high school kids.
2. There are no minibridge clubs or tournaments in the area where 2 minibridge players can go amd find a game. It is *much* easier to find one friend to play with than three.

I have found that bidding systems are much easier to learn when they are solving a real problem a player has encountered. The best motivation seems to be a bad score from an inferior contract due to system limitations. It only takes a few sessions of duplicate to see that others are reaching better contracts than you are and to try to fix it.

1H 1S all pass when opener has a 5233 minimum and responder has a 2434 21 count is a great way to teach why a new suit by responder is usually played as forcing. Which, by the way, I teach as an agreement with your partner that I strongly recommend, not an absolute rule of bridge.
Sept. 26
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No, not that level of beginner.

My wife wouldn't know or care if her opponent was playing EHAA or ACOL.

Same for my son, or for 7 or 8 other high school players I have taught, or for half a dozen players.

I agree that “beginners” with 100 masterpoints might not like that, but thats not who I am talking about.
Sept. 25
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Yes, politeness at the table would be great.

I haven't read Goren, but among other things I would allow strong jump shifts and strong twos with no alert in beginner games.

On the other hand I would require an alert for Michaels and unusual 2NT in a beginner game.

I think it should be easy to teach beginners to alert artificial bids, only allow a relatively narrow set of them, and to allow most any non-destructive natural bidding without alerts.

I think this would make the game more approachable. Taking your Goren experience as an example, would this have been a barrier for you?
Sept. 25
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@Ed, disagreement is not calling someone a liar. But in my book

“So are you deliberately pretending this is a solution to get us experience against it?”
and

“when people with the last name Martel say ‘Your defense needs more detail’ what they actually mean is
'We aren't willing to allow this to be played and rather than telling you this directly, we're going to keep wasting your time continually asking you to provide more and more detail until you give up in disgust.'”

Are both pretty close to calling someone a liar.

@Yu
The comments above are mostly what I object to.

I don't think Jan's opinions are automatically right, but (acknowledging there may be history I don't know) from all that I have seen she has earned some benefit of the doubt as to motivation. I have no problem if you disagree vehemently on substance.
Sept. 25
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First, my goal would be to make it easier, and for them not to have to learn new stuff.

My inclination would be to allow minimal artificial stuff, but just about any natural treatment without alerts. At this level people are taking very few inferences from opposing bidding and don't have clear agreements so the regs should reflect that.

I do think the problem is broader than a convention chart. There are very few 0-5 or 0-20 games (perhaps a self perpetuating situation with a lack of new players).

Michael, yes, mixed partnerships are a big issue. I think its a shame that I can't play in a beginner game with my wife even ineligible for masterpoints, even occasionally.

I don't have all the solutions but more work is needed to make our games more accessible to beginners (of various origins).
Sept. 25
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Linda,

Yes!!!

It's easy for us to think of the Gold Rush as being for “beginners” but even 299 is a lot of masterpoints. Heck, there is a world of difference between what my daughter (15 masterpoints) is comfortable with and what my wife (1 masterpoint) is comfortable with.

I strongly believe the ACBL has to make the onramp easier for new players. Right now you can take a 12 week class and still feel intimidated at a “beginner” game. It is as though we are a ski resort that doesn't offer any slopes that are comfortable for someone who has had “only” 12 ski lessons. No wonder not many new participants take up skiing!

Another element that we have to consider for new players is what is a realistic alert/disclosure procedure. To say that they have to alert a nonforcing new suit bid is impossible for many who just don't have clarity about what bids are forcing or not. Yes, that is where players are when they start.

I would be happy to help.
Sept. 25
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Someone who played multi, has ingested in defenses to it, and doesn't even play bridge anymore, but dedicates massive amounts of time to bridge, offers what seems like a reasonable opinion and we basically call her a liar?

Wow. Not good.
Sept. 25
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Since partner won't have any Ks to show, after exclusion you can ask about the Q and if your agreement is as Benoit suggested that 6C says yes with no Ks, you have room to ask about the diamonds with 6D. So it seems like exclusion might, depending on your agreements, get you what you need to decide about the grand.

Even if 6H is not asking for the HK, I *hate* making a non-specific grand try without knowing about the SQ when there is an alternative that lets you know about that card and quite possibly the diamond too.
Sept. 25
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I am surprised that people are as interested in Butlers as they are. Over the 3 day Swiss in the transnationals I had a good Butler and was congratulated for it by a world class player. Then I considered two things:
1. The player who congratulated me was playing veey different opponents, so our Butlers really are no more comparable than matchpoint scores from different events.
2. Over 150 boards, random variation probably creates a stamdard deviation of about half an imp per board. My “good” Butler is not only not comparable to that of players on teams that did better but is probably statistically meaningless.

The round robin stage of ths BB might appear to lack the first problem, but some players will systematically play more or less against stronger or weaker teams so its not really clean except on 4 handed teams.
Sept. 23
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Not an expert by any stretch but I understand a bit about game theory etc…

One difference in scoring, which could lead to differences in strategy, is that imps in the middle of the scale are worth more VPs than imps at the edge of the scale. In particular if you are a good player, and more likely to be ahead, a positive swing may be worth less VPs per IMP than a negative swing. This means you would leam towards not generating swings in the Swiss, whereas in IMP pairs this effect would not exist.

How does this apply to the given situation?

If you think most of the field will not find game with that hand when opener rejects the invite, bashing 3N will generate swings. The IMP odds may justify the call, but when converted to VPs, the VP odds may not.

If however you expect to be behind in the Swiss match, then generating swings is advantageous, as you lose fewer VPs per IMP when you go wrong than you gain when you get it right.
Sept. 20
Max Schireson edited this comment Sept. 20
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I am assuming that what people are used to will evolve after these charts get released. It seems wrong that methods that will be allowed in club games, sectionals and side games at regionals will not be allowed in GNT/NAP lower flights. I could easily make the argument that if it is allowed in a regional open pairs it should be allowed in lower flights too, but I think disallowing Open+ in C is a reasonable compromise.
Sept. 20
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