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All comments by Nicolas Hammond
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It is the Bridgemate software that controls if the opening lead is entered. For ACBL tournaments, this is usually set to off. For WBF events, this is set to on. The Bridgemate software does not check that the card is in the hand of the opening leader. See article 2 years ago on % of mistakes.

I will suspect that the common error is the declarer. The user interface for Bridgemates makes it easy to get N/S or E/W wrong. However the UI for the lead is more intuitive and less prone to error. The presentation of the data above ignores the declarer. We assume that the data entered for the lead is correct. (Part of the problem from a statistically standpoint - we assume any errors in entry of cards is uniform - this is not likely to be the case).
Oct. 2, 2018
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Wrong. See page 8 of article from 2016. Interesting that perception is not reality. But… see caveat below.
Oct. 2, 2018
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From Honor (10 or 9) x, a standard “expert” lead is the 10 or 9. It's rarely documented, not on most convention cards, but generally accepted as a known “expert” lead.
Oct. 2, 2018
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Joking aside, the statistical presentation (i.e. the numbers) should be correct.

It is the interpretation that can be dubious. Which was part of the original purpose back in 2016 and the reason for this article.
Oct. 2, 2018
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Supposing your real name is Michael. But people call you Mickey. And of course, your last name is Mouse. And you are in California, and you go to your first tournament. You are not a member of ACBL but do OK:

https://live.acbl.org/event/1602005/701/1/summary

53% with Mary Ann.

And you get married; and, yup, your wife is Minnie. You move to the south east USA and see if you can get your wife interested. So you play social bridge in Atlanta:

https://live.acbl.org/event/1609032/3003/1/summary

You now live in Tennessee. And go to your first sectional as a couple.

https://live.acbl.org/event/1710034/2903/1/summary

You have a 61% game. But everyone makes fun of your name and you haven't played since.
Oct. 2, 2018
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Whatever you do, 6 people are not happy.
Oct. 1, 2018
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For session standings:

http://db.worldbridge.org/repository/tourn/orlando.18/Microsite/Asp/TotalPairs.asp?qtournid=XXX&qroundno=YYY&qgroupno=ZZZ

Replace XXX with
1544=Open
1545=Ladies
1546=Seniors
1553=Joan Gerard Cup

Replace YYY with round number

Replace ZZZ with
2=Qualifier
6=Semi Final A
7=Semi Final B
1=Final

There is no final B

When you see the list of pairs click on the number in the “Rank” column to get an individual score card.

For individual score cards for each session:

http://db.worldbridge.org/Repository/tourn/orlando.18/microSite/Asp/boarddetailspairs.asp?qtournid=XXX&qroundno=YYY&qgroupno=ZZZ&qpairid=AAA

AAA is the pair ID. You will need to find this out from a previous search.


Or… start here
http://db.worldbridge.org/Repository/tourn/orlando.18/microSite/Results.htm

I was told that the hand records won't be available until the end of the tournament. Something to do with the new security protocol. This makes no sense as the PDF files are printed for the players. I've asked for non PDF versions of the hands already played but this would be a manual task and hasn't happened yet.
Oct. 1, 2018
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Oct. 1, 2018
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As someone who is attending…

For the pairs:: Tables are 24' centered (distance from middle of one table to the next). I think ACBL are 9'. Plenty of room for an elephant to talk between tables. Far enough apart that can't see next table.

The photograph - http://www.worldbridge.org/events/11th-world-bridge-series/ - does not match the hotel. We are not playing anywhere near the lake.

Barometer. Everyone playing same boards at the same time. Can talk about the same board when you get out of the playing area.

Screens. Everyone behind screens all boards. Nice tables. Looks like a newer screen design with no visible gaps in the screen.

18 minutes per 2 board round. 17 minutes to play. 1 minute to move. No starting a new round early.

16 boards per session. 3 sessions per day. 48 boards. No breaks during the session.

Everyone seems to find time for bathroom breaks if finishing a round early. Never a line for the bathroom. Sometimes busy, but not the mad rush at some NABCs.

Ground floor. Easy access to outside for smokers (not for me) and sun worshippers and lovers of humidity.

Symmetric cards. All new. All bidding boxes clean. No missing bids. It's a world championship, should we expect anything less?

$50 per player is same as NABC. This assumes you play every day.

Haven't seen anyone put a coffee on the table. No spills.

Check phones in for free at bridge reception. Close to playing area.

Personalized results available instantly you leave the playing room.

Friendly WBF staff.

NABC attendees are used to a tournament hotel, where you can stay at the same location. This isn't always true of WBF events. Often these are held at a convention site and you bus in from a hotel. Your experience of the site will depend on your expectations. If you are staying at the playing site you effectively have to taxi to a restaurant. Nothing is walking distance. If you are off-site, it is much cheaper.

No carry over. Some may argue that little point in playing for 5 days to find out which of the two finals you will be in (A or B). The final results will depend on how well you do in next 2 days. The previous qualifying sessions have no effect. However, if you are a drop-in, you are not disadvantaged.

The Open Final B (if they choose to play), will have Meckstroth-Rodwell, Levin-Weinstein, Zia, Greco-Hampson. A few other players as well. Not too shabby.

Can't beat the experience. Still time to enter the mixed if you are thinking of coming.
Sept. 29, 2018
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The EBL is the one that brought the case against BZ, FS, FN and PS confessed. Not WBF.

The WBF banned BZ from Chennai. The WBF brought the cheating case against German Doctors.
Sept. 28, 2018
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Steve Sion has never had an impressive Wikipedia page. His Wikipedia page was only created in August 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Steve_Sion&action=history
Sept. 28, 2018
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For B-Z, the data used was all the boards from EBTC. Statisticians were used before data was collected to validate the methods used. Several experts familiar with the BZ bidding system were used (technically you would not need to overly familiar with the BZ methods, but better/quicker results would be obtained if the experts were). Each expert was asked independently.

The statisticians were asked before any results were known what level of confidence would be needed from the results them to be convinced that BZ were cheating. The actual results were orders of magnitude more than the confidence level required.

Before the hearing, some of the experts dropped out. They did not want their names made public. All of a sudden, their data could be not used because the defence could not cross-examine them. With all the experts the argument was very strong; even with some experts dropping out, the evidence and results were still orders of magnitude more than the original threshold.

It was then up to the panel to decide the validity of the experts used. I don't know their names (except for one).

The actual BZ code for placement of bids was more complex than wide=strong. The results have not been published.
Sept. 28, 2018
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Pairs only.
Sept. 27, 2018
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Jan/Al: This stuff is trivial. It does not take computing power. If you need me to explain it to the webmaster how to do this in a simple manner, let me know. I haven't seen Steve W., but believe he is here in Orlando. I heard he does all the BW HTML/Javascript/XML/Joomla coding, so he can probably also explain how to do it. If Steve doesn't haven't time, Greg H is also here.
Sept. 25, 2018
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Any chance you can organize the above and put on Wikipedia for posterity?
Sept. 24, 2018
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@Frances:
Publix=grocery store, think Sainsbury's.
Walmart=everything + often has a grocery store as well, think M&S only much bigger and better selection. Walmart bought Asda.
I would pay for Uber. Shopping in Publix/Walmart is part of the experience of USA.
If you want just food: Publix (IMHO). They sell beer/wine as well.
But at some point you should walk around a Walmart.
Neither Publix/Walmart sell liquor. Pimms can be hard to find so you may want to consider duty free if that is your tipple.
Sept. 21, 2018
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Already done.
Sept. 20, 2018
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Download Google Earth, or Google Earth Pro. Search for “8701 World Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, USA”. This will give you an idea of where everything is.

The Marriott is big. It has a golf course. It is 0.7 Km from the hotel entrance to the road.

As soon as you come off the property, there is no pavement (sidewalk). Walking is frowned upon in Florida.

There is a CVS Pharmacy about 1km from the road. This appears to be the closest anything (other than other hotel complexes) to the site.

CVS will sell some simple grocery supplies (milk, chocolate, beer, wine etc.) as well as all the aspirin you may need depending on your partner. You need to be 21 to buy alcohol. 18 to buy cigarettes. You will be carded if you look younger than 85. Bring driver's license or passport with you if you want to buy alcohol or cigarettes (also take ID with you if you go to a restaurant for the same reason). They are very strict about not selling alcohol without ID checks. However, if your young teenager wants to buy a gun, you just need to give him permission and you can buy a gun. (CVS doesn't sell guns).

That's a 3.4 Km round trip from the hotel to the nearest anything.

Pack light - it's going to be warm. Probably shorts in the evenings. Late afternoon thundershowers are common. 2 hours later you can't tell it rained.

Here's the 10 day weather forecast for Kissimmee: https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/USFL0248:1:US

High is about 85-90. Low is about 73-74. Scattered Thunderstorms is the common daily forecast for Kissimmee all summer. Expect a downpour sometime in the afternoon. It will clear the humidity.

Food will be cheaper than Switzerland, both at the supermarket and most restaurants. Embarrassment is same price in both countries.

It's cheaper to buy alcohol, cigarettes, guns and sunscreen in the US. If you want to walk to the CVS bring shoes that you will use to walk on grass (no pavement).

The Walmart Supercenter is at 3250 Vineland Rd, Kissimmee, FL 34746. It is open 24 hours a day. See https://www.walmart.com/store/5420/kissimmee-fl/coupons for coupons and directions. They will sell everything that CVS has, as well as guns/ammunition. It's 3.5 Km each way.

Liquor (spirits) are sold in separate stores. The nearest is next door to the Walmart. 3260 Vineland Rd. Bring ID.

There's a factory outlet mall “Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores”, across the road from Walmart.

Lots of details about the Marriott here: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/mcowc-orlando-world-center-marriott/ Click on Dining to see eating options. There is a *$$$ in the hotel.

Orlando airport (MCO) is 17 miles away (according to hotel website). $55 taxi one way. $22 for shuttle service Mears Transportation - not the hotel - reservation required.

Hotel page list parking at $22/day; $35/valet. Free self parking for guests with plug-in hybrid or electric.

Any off-site restaurant will be Taxi or Uber/Lyft.

Suggest you download the Uber/Lyft apps before you leave. Also download “Here WeGo” for your smart phone. Download the map for Florida. This will work off the GPS signal and not use data or WiFi. Useful when you are traveling with a smart phone and no service plan in foreign country.
Sept. 19, 2018
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The site is huge. It is not realistic to park off-site and walk. Even with the parking at the Marriott there is a long walk to the site (depending on where you park). The hotel has a shuttle service from their car park to the entrance (gives you an indication of the size of the hotel). I could not find any free parking close when I looked on-line.

Other parking garages close by charge. But you still have a long way to get to the Marriott. FYI: it's not likely to be raining in the early morning; however the evenings are different.

You may be staying at a hotel that offers free trips to Disney. They may be persuaded to include the Marriott as a drop-off. Try and find others in your hotel/condo that are also playing and see if you can car pool. I think the rate is about $25/day (from memory - haven't checked in a while).
Sept. 18, 2018
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How I Met Your Mother had the “Front Porch Test” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Front_Porch

From https://movies.allwomenstalk.com/great-how-i-met-your-mother-concepts/2
“The Front Porch Test is a test in which Lily tries to picture how a relationship would be in the future. The people who pass The Front Porch Test are people who Lily believes would fit in with them when they grow old.

The scene in which this is explained shows Marshall, Lily, and Ted playing bridge. Lily hopes that whoever passes this test will fill the extra spot on the porch. I think this is so cute because they just want to know that their friend’s future spouse will fits in with them. I hope my friends are this considerate!”

Here's the video clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qg_Xl3u85o

Edit: (I replaced the original video clip with a better one)

You have no idea how to play bridge, do you.
Sept. 16, 2018
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Sept. 16, 2018
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@Richard: “think back a couple years when I initially started commenting about the security of the ACBL hand generators. I didn't have to tell you all…”

You keep repeating this, but you weren't involved with it. For the record: I organized a group of security experts, including some non bridge players that used to work at some of the USG TLA (United States Government Three Letter Agencies) at the Washington NABC in late July 2016. Attendees included WBF, USBF, EBL. It was a private meeting. All aspects of security were covered: physical, cryptography, electronic. I had additional meetings with some of these people both before and after this meeting.

The cryptographic breaking of the ACBL hand records was discussed in July 2016. You first posted about this (through a colleague) in late August 2016: http://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2016-August/029965.html

The initial discussion on cracking this code started before your first post. It is possible that some of the people in the room mentioned it to you. I don't know who knows who. I do know that you were not part of the group that cracked the code.

I have a copy of the code. I optimized it for GPUs. I also found additional cryptographic short cuts. By October 2016, a hand record could be broken in under a minute. We cracked an entire Regional (17 hand records) in under 10 minutes using a single computer. The longest crack took 53 seconds, the shortest crack took 9 seconds. It wasn't worth trying to use multiple computers when the crack was this easy.

The results of the work would be interesting to a cryptography conference. If the others are interested, I'll see if someone can propose something for an RSA conference. There were multiple interesting (for a cryptographer/cryptanalyst) things that were discovered.
Sept. 16, 2018
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