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All comments by Mike Bell
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1633
Dec. 6, 2016
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Disagree, 2 is usually played as an ART game-try denying slam interest. Agree that 3 would be a better bid than 3.
Dec. 6, 2016
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If someone suggested the Spingold or Vanderbilt be changed to a three-day multiple teams, they would get laughed out of town. As others have said, this is the difference in scoring methods - not only is there a lot more luck at IMPs, but a weaker team distributing gifts at random would have a much more significant affect on the results.

As a viewing spectacle, the Reisinger final was fantastic. Say there's a fight over an overtrick in a 2S contract. Even if the board has already been won by the declaring side, there are still eight other tables playing the hand. If three of them are in the same contract, there's bound to be some interesting variations in the play.

In short, the format seems fine to me, although I would think it an improvement to add a fourth day - perhaps reducing to four teams for the first session and two teams for the second session.
Dec. 5, 2016
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Agree, but; why not agree to open 1c with 4-4 and 1d with 3-3?
Nov. 11, 2016
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Thanks Richard!
Nov. 7, 2016
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The conclusion to draw is that an IMP in a very close match is rewarded almost four times as much as an IMP in a near-maximum win; something that could have been worked out from the VP scale before the event! Personally, I think the idea is fine for most events, but maybe this factor of four should be reduced a little.

It does, however, grate a little for a triple (or double) round-robin. Hinden beat us heavily in the first weekend, while we had two smaller wins in the other two weekends; Net result, 4 IMPs to them, but 31.51 out of 60 VPs to us.

On balance, though, I think the decision to use the same set length and VP scale as the Camrose and Europeans is the right one; so long as the VP scale is in force in those events, it brings into the equation the question of estimating your score and swinging/minimising swings as appropriate. Whether you believe these factors are crucial or to be ignored at the table, it's difficult to argue that this shouldn't be tested in the England trials.
Nov. 7, 2016
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The old scale was beyond hopeless, the effect was similar to scoring by IMPs, capping wins (fine) and then rounding to the nearest five (why?).
Nov. 1, 2016
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This avenue of discussion usually leads to someone suggesting IMPs to two decimal places
Oct. 31, 2016
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A few years ago, we (the UK) had a referendum on changing our electoral system. The campaign to keep “First Past the Post” aired an advert including a horse race where the third across the line was declared the winner, with the tagline, “how can the winner lose?”. A terrible argument, of course, as there would be no point having a referendum if both methods always returned the same result, but the adverts seemed to sway the British public.

This discussion is equivalent. If you believe that total IMPs is the best measure then of course you'll find these situations distasteful, but I think it is reasonable to believe that two 15 IMP wins should be worth more than a 45 IMP win and a 15 IMP loss. If, when the event finishes in a week's time, my team is still in the position of “winner” that lost, I might change my mind!
Oct. 31, 2016
Mike Bell edited this comment Oct. 31, 2016
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Slightly OT, but my favourite alerts are passes in pass-out seat (e.g. 1N-X-P-P; P when we have an agreement to XX with a five-card suit). This produces some perplexed looks down the club, but that's nothing compared to playing behind screens, where one has to alert an empty bit of felt.
Oct. 25, 2016
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36-3 with one board to score I believe, BBO has “passouts” in still
Sept. 11, 2016
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On that topic, I once won an important round-robin event on a ruling. The ruling was appealed, arguably frivolously, to “protect the integrity of the event”. At the time, I felt this was a reasonable approach as there was no problem assembling a strong AC to hear it, but if that had not been possible I suspect my feelings would have been different.
April 5, 2016
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I think it's clear to appeal in this situation. If the hand was less clear-cut, I would not. I admit that this approach would cause me a problem if the team that had qualified included friends.

Having said that, I do have a general principle to appeal terrible rulings regardless of their relevance to my own results. Last time I did that I almost lost my deposit, but that hasn't deterred me!
April 5, 2016
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No, don't do this.
Jan. 24, 2016
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Feel like I'm missing something, why would K from KQ-empty be placed in the “encouraging” position?
Dec. 20, 2015
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Intrigued, I read the 3rd part of “Transfer responses to 1 club opening”. I disagree with your assessment that it is ‘high-tech’.
Nov. 28, 2015
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Very disappointed by the content of this thread. I was looking forward to arguing that my bidding system is the best of all systems.
Nov. 1, 2015
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I don't suppose anyone can help me find this analysis? It would be appreciated.
Oct. 13, 2015
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It doesn't feel right to make it so likely that the same team wins both events. Drop-ins from the teams to the pairs makes more sense IMO.
Oct. 11, 2015
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It is easy to confuse scoring method and format when comparing events. I echo those who were surprised to hear BAM described as random, the evidence I've seen suggests quite the opposite. I think it's the multiple teams element that adds a feeling of randomness.

The unpopular element of BAM is that you can sweat away over an overtrick only to discover that it was irrelevant. This is an issue for those watching on BBO as well. Two possible solutions to this:

- Come up with a way to curtail play if one table has completed the board and the number of tricks taken at the second is irrelevant. I don't have all the answers here but it must be possible!
- Use hybrid scoring. There are lots of options here, a simple one would be to add two or three “IMPs” to the total of a team for each board won. This would combine the positives of both forms of the game.

For a serious event, regardless of scoring method, some sort of qualifying followed by a knockout seems best:

- A knockout is the purest test of skill
- This is partly because it lends itself to a ‘long event’ for the teams that are doing well
- The qualifier gives everyone a couple of days play

I think either round-robin groups or a swiss would be reasonable ways of qualifying. Regardless, I would like to see a repechage. For example, you could have 30 teams qualify for the “round of 32”, with the next 6 teams competing among themselves for a spot in the round of 16.

In short, I'd like to see the fall nationals include a long, major event, but I think BAM or hybrid would be a reasonable alternative to IMPs.
Oct. 8, 2015
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