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All comments by Nick Warren
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I'm not sure that it is not significant. Sure the imp difference was very small, so the *long run* position at teams is a wash. However the simple win/loss/tie ratio was much more strongly in favour of 3NT - which suggests:

1) At MPs, 3NT is where you want to be, however

2) If the win/loss/tie ratio favours 3NT, yet the imp difference is virtually nil, this suggests there must be a lot of 3NT down one vs. 4M making and 3NT with an over vs. 4M making. This makes 4M the safer game for IMP purposes.
Sept. 25, 2014
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It's not particularly your code that I would query per se. But we've got 2 possible things to sim here:

1) My assertion, challenged by Phil & Kit, that the 5-3 fit can be spurned when there is an excess of hcp (say 27-28 as that is what is likely given the scenario originally proposed by the OP) specifically at MPs. This includes cases where opener is 4333 which you appear to have excluded.

2) The specific hand in the OP opposite an 18-19 balanced hand (could also include 4333 types which you seem to have excluded and do not necessarily have 3 hearts) - but that is more complex in that one has to have some sort of criterion for when opener will chose NT or not. Presumably we can separately analyse when opener has 2 card hearts (presumably will always pick NT), vs xxx in 4333 hand vs xxx in a non-4333 hand vs Jxx, vs Kxx vs KJx.

P.S. Sorry to be a pain and not do this for myself - I normally would - can't do so at the moment and maybe not until the weekend.
Sept. 24, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Sept. 24, 2014
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But, with respect, most of us have judged that going the way you did was the best way to go given the hand and information you had. We could all be wrong, of course, though the only way I know of coming close to proving it is to run a sim (and even then people will argue!)

Edit, oops, that supposed to be @Frances in the above sub-thread.
Sept. 24, 2014
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Not really sure what you're looking for Frances. You've already got quite a number of sequences to get to 3N/4M and seem to be complaining that not all hands fit nicely into the available slots. What makes this one good for 3N is the slow spade stop which, if they lead it, gifts you the 9th trick and, if they don't, you have time to do what you need to elsewhere. But, good luck on building a sensible system that can discern this situation while keeping all other reasonably likely options open and not suffer from too much information leakage.

Bidding is the art of the probable.
Sept. 24, 2014
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Hmm…

Basically you two are saying I've either misremembered or mis-concluded things from a sim I did several years back. I'll have to reinvestigate.
Sept. 24, 2014
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Barry said:

>In my experience, Agile is really just a way to squeeze more work out of developers and support groups by keeping them under constant pressure. No more playing Freecell

You old cynic you ;)
Sept. 24, 2014
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>How many partnerships do you think would know “what the difference is…”?

Not many! Never the less, the ambiguity still exists.
Sept. 23, 2014
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Can't really define a worst bid as I don't know what the difference is between responder's possible choices:

P-4-5
P-5
4-5
5

However, I do think East is the worst culprit. It is true that 3NT from West was an option, but that is, at least in part, resulting - had, for example, East not had the J the fate of 3NT may well be different. It is also not clear that East should pass it anyway.
Sept. 23, 2014
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Yes. Perhaps I should have added that this seems like a time to use it.

If it were MPs, then I think I would have opted for simply blasting 3NT as deals with excess high cards (of which this seems to be one) often produce an overtrick and as many tricks as the major suit game. However, its IMPs and safety of which game is paramount - and it seems like enlisting partner's cooperation is the most likely to lead to the safest game in this instance.
Sept. 23, 2014
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I don't like voting as I don't know the rest of the system - what would an immediate 4 from responder have meant, for example? But anyway, regardless of that (I'm not too interested in finding out!), responder is looking at a 7 card suit for which there is at least 2 card support and the hand is likely to be of little value in any other strain. Equals responder wants to be in 5 (unless for some reason opener wants to be in 6).
Sept. 23, 2014
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I don't see the point of including the 2 gadget in your system if you are then going to worry about using it.
Sept. 23, 2014
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Greg said, “But there's no way for an electronic scoring system to do swiss teams properly. The BridgePad software is completely standalone; results pop up on a separate computer screen and the directors type them into ACBLscore just like a player had dropped off a ticket. BridgeMate is faced with a decision of either building such a standalone product, or not working with swiss teams.”

The bug bear in your “can't be done” is ACBLscore. A few weekends back I played in a Swiss Teams - the event was scored via Bridgemates and (I suppose) Jeff Smiths scoring program, the round assignments appeared on the Bridgemates seconds after the last result for the previous round was in, the results were on the club's web site minutes after the event and uploaded to the EBU site too.

The component you need to remove/replace is ACBLscore. I am wondering if that takes upgrading/removing/replacing the ACBL itself - which on this and other topics seems from a distance to be more of an obstacle than anything.
Sept. 18, 2014
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Jeff Smith's programs http://homepages.nildram.co.uk/~jasmith/ used by the EBU, SBU and WBU for a lot of events. Free to download. Doesn't do masterpoints ACBL style - tho I think it probable that he'd add the option for a lot less than 1.5mil (might even do it for nothing if enough people asked nicely enough). Supports (AFAIK) all the different makes of electronic scoring hardware. Runs on all versions of windows (and Mac with windows emulation).

Bridge club web sites (ridiculously easy to set up) done by Bridge Webs http://www.bridgewebs.com/ Free trial period and annual fees from $65 for small clubs - a little more for larger ones. This was mainly a UK based initiative but has over recent years expanded all over the world, including supporting quite a number in the US (see http://www.bridgewebs.com/cgi-bin/bwoe/bw.cgi?club=bw&pid=display_page3 Bridge webs can take uploads from both Jeff Smith's offering above and also ACBLscore and does know about ACBL masterpoints (though it may be dependent on ACBLscore for the raw data though?)

Or you could try the one used by most UK clubs ScoreBridge http://www.scorebridge.com/ Free trial and modest cost for a license. It does do English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Australian and South African masterpoints. (This guy wouldn't (I surmise) add ACBL masterpoints for free).

There are others.

Anyway, something has to be done about this stagnant situation.




Sept. 18, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Sept. 18, 2014
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Well, one comment I might make is that we tend to blame “young people” for being too into their i-whatevers and blame TV and other technology for contributing much distraction for the demise of numbers in the modern game and also to the generally increasing average age of bridge players. However, one thing I take from this thread is that a lot of people get into bridge through social contacts.

But how many of us “duplicate players” scorn “kitchen bridge”? How many of us invite friends and neighbours over for dinner and game with a glass of wine? How many of us have taught anyone to play (even badly)? How many of us who are even intermediate+, let alone advanced or more, consider partnering the average club player? How many of us who are expert or better actually do a great deal to tutor people (at affordable rates!)

OK. OK. Before there is a torrent of protest from those who actually do a fair bit, I acknowledge that it is not all bad by quite a way. However, how many of us could do more?
Sept. 18, 2014
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Surely the old ACBLscore would still run for those who didn't want to upgrade.
Sept. 17, 2014
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I agree that it is distasteful speculation. That it is distasteful does not mean that some people are drawing that sort of inference. Nor does it mean that it is not necessary or appropriate to ask awkward questions. Nor is there no evidence (or at least no potential smoking gun): 1.5million US has gone down the drain for something that several professional people in this thread think is quite possibly an excessive figure for what was being produced.

A royalty free license to use a product, if that is indeed what was granted, is very bad for the client and gives no rights to modify the program in the future should the developer go bust/die or whatever.

If the agreement included access to the source code then things are much better, but one wonders why there was, apparently, an attempt to renegotiate the contract which then broke down, if that truly was the case.

The link Greg posted (http://bsp.bridgescoreplus.com/?page_id=51) is full of PR and bull that might sound reasonable to a non professional, but is actually laying things on really very thickly indeed, for example: “ACBLscore, the underlying program, is a very complex piece of software with lots of connecting parts. There are approximately 1,000 different fields in ACBLscore’s database. Bridgescore+ has even more.” Big deal. I look after a system with 100 times as many fields in it. Indeed, if you multiply up by the number of different clients my company supports and the number of different databases, more than a 1000 times as many.

Or as another example “It typically took a new developer about 2-3 months to become productive with the code”. That may be true of keen amateurs (who are being paid nothing). It may be true of junior programmers (who are not paid all that much). But, as professional in my job, if I had taken 2-3 months to become productive, my contract would have been terminated long before. The assertion (if true) simply does not marry up with the 1.5M price tag.
Sept. 16, 2014
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Well, I've played bridge in the UK against Americans, French, Swedes, Norwegians and several other nationalities, some of whom were visiting and some who were more permanent additions. None have been rudely behaved.
Sept. 16, 2014
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Uday, the sums don't add up. The contract negotiation has been incompetent (minimum) as a number of us have pointed out. It is not at all unreasonable for people posting here to wonder whether someone's hands have been where they shouldn't have been. That isn't to say that someone has indeed done so, but the question sure has to be asked.
Sept. 16, 2014
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But, Greg, that doesn't make a lot of sense. If the ACBL has full rights to a copy of the code, then why was a renegotiation of the contract so important? And why, after the code had been developed to what sounds like a high degree of functionality and the client committed to the tune of 7 figure money, was it thought fit to pull the plug on the whole thing?

Surely there is more to this story.
Sept. 15, 2014
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“Hell, put together an RFP and I might bid on it…”

If the client has another 1.5 million to splash around, me too!
Sept. 15, 2014
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