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All comments by Nick Warren
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These were very much pre-computer era. You started with the South hand visible and the others covered. Move the sliders to show the bids. When it is your turn, you decide what to bid, then reveal the answer to see if you were right. Similarly, the opps play their cards in the order shown etc.

To change hands, open the box and slip in a new sheet.

These days, many would not bid the way recommended back then - but the card play is good teaching material for intermediate and intermediate+ players. Most advanced would (should!) get most of them right first time after a little thought, but would probably get quite a few wrong at the table (IMO - it depends on what you call intermediate).
Aug. 28, 2014
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I still have one somewhere!
Aug. 28, 2014
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Actually, while not the best, both the US and Canada can put out reasonable rugby teams. And it is game with quite a following in such places as Italy and France - which are not, sacrebleu, former British colonies!
Aug. 27, 2014
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To be fair to the “Yanks”, you guys have a bunch of similar faults to just about every other country in the world. In particular, the “not invented here” syndrome can be found in a lot of other countries.

The one thing I find particularly annoying is that the U.S. thinks it is the world. It isn't. Take it from a Brit, your country is not the world. To say that we found out the hard way is overstating the case, but you're going to find out too in the end one way or another.

On a bridge theme, for what is generally one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, your failure to embrace dealing machines on a bigger scale is - well - just weird. Not every club in the UK has got one by a long way (and some clubs that do have them don't use them for the afternoon sessions due to some resistance from the more, ah, conservative elements), but they have become quite prevalent here.

And as for the GCC - the rest of the world would laugh if we weren't so frustrated.

But I suspect you could have a laugh at my expense too!
Aug. 27, 2014
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Problem evaporates if you play T-Walsh
Aug. 22, 2014
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Sorry, tongue in cheek comments that, in hindsight, the English would understand, but possibly not others. In England, EBU affiliated clubs all upload their results to the EBU. All persons playing automatically (well - almost all - almost automatically) become EBU members. The EBU uses these results, not only to compute the National Grading Scheme, but also it levies the membership charges to the clubs based on the table numbers. The clubs, in turn, pass on this cost in the form of table money.

This scheme, when it came in, was called pay to play. It is now called universal membership. “Universal tax collection” was my warped sense of humour.

Prior to this, the EBU charged clubs for the masterpoint chits and levied separate membership fees to individuals. Quite a large percentage of ordinary players were not members of the EBU under this scheme even if they played in affiliated clubs
Aug. 22, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Aug. 22, 2014
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For the 6 table case, the three quarter Howell (same as a double hesitation Mitchell) for 8x2 board rounds is a reasonable alternative.
Aug. 22, 2014
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Ah - I see :)
Aug. 22, 2014
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It depends on your definition of perfect! I concede, that for teaching purposes, the proposed solution is fine. However, combined results from separate sections is not fine for proper competition, even though I know it is done in lots of places (the two sections aren't truly comparable beyond the fact that they happened to have the same sets of boards).
Aug. 22, 2014
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If you're prepared to make additional duplicated board sets then web Mitchell movements are worth considering for the 8+ table cases: http://www.ebu.co.uk/newsletters/?id=8&page=4

Aug. 22, 2014
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Oh, to answer your other question. All members collect masterpoint awards now whether they like it or not. This has been true since the advent of the universal tax collection - oops I mean pay to play - oops I mean universal membership.
Aug. 22, 2014
Nick Warren edited this comment Aug. 22, 2014
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I can't be bothered to find the link, but you will be able to find stuff about blue points on the EBU site.

Gold points aren't real points - they are a moving average of your green points (in qualifying events only). They do relate much more to skill than general masterpoints for the better players - but they suffer from the same inherent problem in that the more you play the more you accumulate regardless of skill.

Blue points are sort of like green points and are used in place of them for some national and county events. If I recall correctly 3 Blue = 1 Green. And you can count up to 50 of them (50 green equivalents that is) in the masterpoint rankings. The idea being:

1) Some events that were not truly of national significance but were getting green point awards thus watering down the value of greens.

2) It was hoped (not sure that it happened in practice) that more events would carry blue points thus making the middle ranks of the masterpoint rankings accessible to “non-tournament” players.
Aug. 22, 2014
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“But then change your cc to 15+ to 17 or better yet 16-18 NT openers”.

Sorry, but that is simply not sensible or workable. Many of the people that are talking about downgrading at least some of these examples couldn't put 15+-17 on their card, for the simple reason they might also upgrade things like AJTx Ax JTx AT9x.

Like it or not, hcp (without fractions) is the “lingua franca” of bridge and again, like it or not, it does not provide a fully accurate or complete summary of hand's strength.
Aug. 21, 2014
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One could allow the rating system to replace the normal bracketing/stratifying on a single event - possibly even a new event. That way nobody gets up/downgraded on anything pre-existing. If it goes well, expand its use - otherwise bin it (or just keep it for those that are interested in ratings and otherwise leave it unused).
Aug. 20, 2014
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Note sure that I agree entirely:

1. In at least some of Rainer's simulations he excluded dummy from having 4 spades. This precludes 4 from being a likely contract - which it would be for hand A, and deserves a little more respect for that reason.

2. If one is to assert that 4333 is better for NT purposes than 4432, then one would be better off asserting that on the basis of comparing apples with apples - and the number of the different honours is different between hands A and B (more aces and jacks in B which some have asserted are better for low level NT contracts (see http://bridge.thomasoandrews.com/valuations/cardvaluesfor3nt.html). A better comparison for this purpose would be to compare hand A (KQ32 QJ2 K2 KJ32) with something like KQ2 QJ2 K32 KJ32, i.e. something that is to all intents and purposes identical apart from the exact shape.
Aug. 19, 2014
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I tend to agree with you. However, some stronger card players prefer to go with the field in bidding strategy at MPs and hope to out do the opposition in declarer technique.

While the above is clearly a good strategy (if you're that good), personally I'd rather be in the right contract in the first place.
Aug. 19, 2014
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Most people don't talk about it at all. It is something on the EBU web site and most people don't go there very often. A few are suspicious of its accuracy - which is I think largely unfounded - and I don't see how you could easily make it more accurate.

Personally it has given me some interest - though I guess it has only proven what I already knew.

I think some people in this discussion are confusing two different things. Masterpoints seem to me to be basically a measurement of lifetime achievement. To say that they have nothing to do with skill is clearly an overstatement, but we all know that the more you play the more you accumulate even if you're not very good. Whereas the EBU's national grading system is attempting to measure skill on the basis of recent achievements only.

Clearly you guys in North America must do as you please. However, I suggest you leave masterpoints basically alone and develop something else (probably along the lines of the EBU system) if you want to measure skill - or obtain relatively realistic seedings for big events or whatever.

Nick
Aug. 19, 2014
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My current partner used to have a Turkish partner (in England this is). I never met him, but from the stories he knew his way round a squeeze etc etc. Apparently he learnt his bridge in smoky back rooms with a load of cash on the table - where you learnt to count pretty quick or got poor equally as quickly.

I have no idea if this story is at all typical however.
Aug. 18, 2014
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“Anyway, are there really that many people who would delude themselves over their ability in the way you describe? Perhaps there are but I feel that if you consistently perform at a very mediocre level in events you must know on some level that you are not “especially good at bridge”. ”

Well. Maybe. But I wonder also if you realise how deeply conservative North America actually is.

Aug. 18, 2014
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Well, I live in weak NT land and would have no problem if partner opened *all* of them with a weak NT.

Even more to the point, I have played a 14-16 NT (goodish 14 to bad 17) quite a bit. In that context, I wouldn't have a problem with partner failing to open 1NT with the last one in particular.
Aug. 18, 2014
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