Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Nicolas Hammond
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Dennis - I suggest talking to a local TD to help you with creating series games. They are similar to a Side Game at a Sectional/Regional.

You can do it manually, but it is a bit of a pain.
March 3, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Yeah… I may have had something to do with that….
March 3, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
To earn extra MPs for the players, consider having a series game.

I do not think that there is any additional sanctioning fee. So extra MPs for free.

See http://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/acbl-handbook/i-calculating-the-awards/
It is under section G.

For example, if you have a Monday Morning 0-750 game, you could say that every Monday Morning in the month is part of a club series. At the end of the month, you have 4 (sometimes 5) games that make up the club series.

Figure out what method you want to determine the winners. You get to pick the method of ranking. For example, rank by number of vowels in player's last name multiplied by their house number.

Then work out the MPs won (I think you have to do it manually). If you have 12 tables, 5 Mondays in the month, someone plays in all 5 then they could win 1.2 MPs. (1.5 MPs if it was an Open Series).

You mention that you have 13 games each week, so you could have 13 separate club series each month.

Advertising a game as part of a series can help increase attendance. For example, if you had a rule that a player must play in at least 2 of the series games to win MPs, and they had a good game in Week 1, but did not show up on Week 2 or Week 3, you can let them know that they have a chance of extra MPs for Week 4 because they might win the Club Series.

I am surprised that more clubs do not make use of the Club Series.

It is a bit of a pain to set up within ACBLscore. Ask you local TD to show you how series games work (they do it a lot at tournaments)

Until recently (last year?), a club game could be part of many series. For example, if you have an Open game, every weekday morning, (M,Tu,W,Th,F), then you have 5 games a week, let's say 4 weeks a month. The old rules let you have a series game for every Monday, or every Tuesday etc. You could also have a series game each week, so the series could be all games during one week. It was even better than that. You could designate how you would set up your series. So you could also arbitrarily decide that all games held on the 3rd, 14th, 15th and 9th were part of a club series. The potential number of series games each month was astronomical. All extra MPs for free. Pick your favorite player, pick their best 2 games for the month, now figure out all the combinations of series games you can create (you did not need to pre-alert, or even tell the players it was a series game) for that month. For each series games, the winner gets 1.5 MPs. So your favorite player could now win over 1,000 MPs at the club for the month.

Anecdotally I heard a club tried to do this - there was nothing in the rules to stop them.

Sadly the rule got changed. You can now only use each club game once in a series.

However, it's still a great way of giving your players more MPs.

Here's the new rule (from the web site I mentioned):


G. SERIES GAMES FOR CLUBS

For Series games in clubs, four or more game sessions are required. The masterpoint bonus to the winning player shall equal .02 times the number of tables in play for all games in which he or she participated. This bonus cannot exceed 1.5 masterpoints for an open game or 1.2 masterpoints for an invitational game. Second place earns 75% of the award for first and third place earns 75% of the second-place award. Clubs may use their own methodology for determining winners. Examples are:

a. The number of masterpoints earned at the series games
b. The best percentage score for all series games
c. Award 4,3,2,1 for first through fourth place scores for each game and total such awards for the series to determine the winning individuals

A club may run a series game over any reasonable period, except each club game may only be a part of one series. The club manager may specify a minimum number of game sessions played to be eligible. Clubs may wish to consider a proviso that eligibility requires participation with a minimum of two or more different partners.



Here's the old rules:

G. SERIES GAMES FOR CLUBS
For Series games in clubs, four or more game sessions are required. The masterpoint bonus to the winning player shall equal .02 times the number of tables in play for all games in which he or she participated. This bonus cannot exceed 1.5 masterpoints for an open game or 1.2 masterpoints for an invitational game. Second place earns 75% of the award for first and third place earns 75% of the second-place award.

Clubs may use their own methodology for determining winners. Examples are:

a. The number of masterpoints earned at the series games

b. The best percentage score for all series games

c. Award 4,3,2,1 for 1st through 4th place scores for each game and total such awards for the series to determine the winning individuals

The club manager may specify a minimum number of game sessions played to be eligible.

Clubs may wish to consider a proviso that eligibility requires participation with a minimum of two or more different partners.

March 3, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment March 3, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm not planning on barcoded ACBL #. I have some other ideas on how we can achieve this.

We'll see how many I can implement and test before Gatlinburg.
March 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Vanderbilt second in 1979 is listed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judi_Radin

I used the ACBL web site for details of the winners of NABC events.

For the Reisinger, I actually added the list of winners to the Wikipedia site on August 2, 2007. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reisinger

When I added it, I had John Solodar, not Judi, so it would have been wrong on ACBL web sites as of 2007. It was corrected in May 2008 on Wikipedia by an unknown user.

March 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Wikipedia may be a little out-of-date for the three ladies mentioned. I know because I created the pages for all three back in October of last year…

I used the data that I had access to, and created 100+ Wikipedia entries for bridge players (not just those 3). See
https://github.com/njhammond/generate_bridge_wikipedia_entries/

A problem I had when creating these pages was not knowing previous or alternative names. For example, when I created the pages, I did not know Judi Radin was formerly Judi Solodar.

So when creating the Wikipedia pages, the first attempt only listed Judi Radin's accomplishments.

After I find alternative names, I would re-run the tool that creates a player's Bridge Accomplishments from a static list of files listing winners and the tool would automatically merge all names someone has played as. So my revised list of Judi's accomplishments lists her Reisinger second place. See https://github.com/njhammond/generate_bridge_wikipedia_entries/blob/master/results/J/Judi%20Radin

There is always the problem of keeping static (not dynamically created) data current. Wikipedia is static data. I haven't updated the files I used to generate the Wikipedia data for the results from Providence, or any WBF events since October 2014. Unless someone is actively updating the Wikipedia pages after each NABC or WBF event, the data goes stale.

So… Wikipedia was as correct as I could make it back in October of last year. See http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/looking-for-wikipedia-volunteers/ for discussion of the plans.

Michael's Wikipedia entry was also out of date. His initial Wikipedia entry predated my October 2014 generated list. Michael's Wikipedia entry listed 15 NABC second place. My generated results had 18. I updated his Wikipedia entry. I'll let someone else add the ACBL HOF.
March 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Semantically the ACBL has used the word ‘restriction’ to apply to events that have an additional requirement. A Youth or Senior is a ‘restricted’ (by age) event. A Mixed or Womens' event is a ‘restricted’ (by sex) event.

Some events are MP restricted; if this has an upper limit it is ‘limited’ (e.g. 0-1500 Pairs, 0-5000 mini-spingold). If it has a lower limit, e.g. LM Pairs (must be a LM to compete), I haven't seen a consistent terminology.

Open generally implies open to all; but some ACBL ‘Open’ events, e.g. LM Pairs, are MP restricted.

In the context of the original post, I believe the term Open was meant to imply ‘not-restricted’.
March 2, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Just an aside:

Ultimately, and this would take some time, someone will create a DB of all hands ever dealt/played etc. so this can be easily looked up.

I've published software to map from a deal to a unique number. See https://github.com/njhammond/hand_record_utility

What's next is to start providing/calculating such a number for all deals.
March 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
There is a formula for converting ABA MP to ACBL MP (I don't have it in front of me). When you but an entry, tell the TD, they will help you convert.

When you turn in your entry you turn in your reported MPs. Bracketed is based on reported MPs, not on actual MPs.
March 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I've already got the ability to look up a player name using multiple techniques (first/last/city etc.) in Bridgescore+.

Some copies of Bridgescore+ are installed on the Internet for each of the districts, but password protected. If the ACBL member database is installed, you can pull up any player, find out their MP etc.

It would be trivial to make this available to all players. However, this is against ACBL regulation.

So I already have the technology that you want, but ACBL rules prohibit it being used.
March 1, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
My focus on this thread is Gatlinburg, a very large regional, about 9,500 tables over 6.5 days. ACBL is not the sponsor (the mother organization only runs 3 NABCs), D7 is.

D7 is a volunteer only organization, no full time staff.

We won't have on-line sign up for 2015. I know how I'd like to implement it, but support becomes an issue. It's not impossible for 2016. We'll see. The design is in ACBLscore+, but no implementation (not part of the original ACBLscore+ contract).

The cultural is the biggest problem. There's a lot of players to train, a lot of changes for TDs.

The ACBL culture is always to take your money, so they are excellent at accepting start of event entries. That won't change any time soon.

The problem with any form of bar code/QR at sale time is speed of processing. Currently ‘we’ process you in under 10 seconds. There is no way that we could do that it and scan 4 bar codes, which I assure you will most likely be crumpled. There is also an investment in infrastructure (bar code readers, etc.) although this is relatively small.

Hopefully not sounding too negative. I do have some ideas on improving all of these. Not sure if it will make Gatlinburg for 2015 or 2016. But changes afoot.
Feb. 27, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Debbie, if you are a club manager/owner (and you may be able to get that status through teaching youth), you can download ACBLscore, get the DB from ACBL.

Once you have this, run ACBLscore in DOS mode and you can search for players using different formats, including last name.
Feb. 26, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The ACBL member DB that clubs/TD can download contains the number of MPs that a player has. It does not contain a breakdown of each color. That information is in the main ACBL DB stored in Horn Lake.

At some regionals, you can use a laptop to look up a player's information, but this is not Internet connected.
Feb. 26, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
ACBL is very good at processing entries at the last minute.

ACBL only takes entries 30 minutes before game time so as players we have been trained to buy entries this way.

This doesn't mean that it always has to be that way. BW have done a good start with selling entries at NABCs, but this doesn't help the TDs at all, as they have to re-type all the information.

Metrics will help.

At an NABC, a TD processes a pair entry every 6 seconds, on average at peak time. That's taking the cash, giving change, assigning entry, and moving on to the next person. Typically another TD may previously have walked down the line (queue) and made sure everyone had the correct change, but the TD behind the table is processing a pair every

I didn't do metrics last year for KO entry selling at Gatlinburg. In the big hall, there were 13 TDs at peak time. Let's say 12 brackets, 16 teams, 200 teams (rounding up). They may have had only 2 TDs selling entries, so assuming the last 150 teams were sold in the last 15 minutes, that's about 12 seconds per entry. I think it's probably a little quicker as they also use TDs to make sure everyone has the correct change and has a pre-filled out entry form (total # MPs, # players).

It takes a good TD about 5 minutes to enter all the ACBL player numbers from a 16 team bracket. At least 64 7 character string. At least 468 characters, excluding Enter and/or Tab. The fastest I have seen was 3:30 (you know who you are, Mr. Texas). ACBLscore is single-threaded, you can only enter one bracket at a time, one team at a time. So, for a 20 bracket KO, one TD is entering player numbers for about 100 minutes.

Take a typical NABC Swiss, 150 teams, 600 ACBL player numbers, it is usually not until round 3 or 4 that all players are entered and we know the rosters.

What you as a player wants, is simple/easy for you.

From the TD perspective, it's different. What they are about is starting the event as quickly as possible. They can't work out the brackets (or movements in pairs) until they know who is there. A problem with pre-selling is making sure that the players are there. Selling at the event guarantees that you are there.

Yes, other places around the world do it different, but that's the current ACBL TD mentality. And it has worked “for centuries”.

Let's analyze some improvements.

This focus was on Gatlinburg, which is similar to an NABC, but different than most regionals so these comments are Gatlinburg-focused.

Credit cards. Way too long to process at game time. Some Districts (e.g. MABC - D6/D7) are selling vouchers, same as ACBL at NABCs. But trying to take a credit card instead of cash won't work using the current system of selling.

Adding up MPs. This will only work if ‘we’ know all the players on the team before hand. Getting a TD to enter all of your names won't work from a timing perspective.

The ACBL player/MP database is updated once per month, and available for download for TDs. Part of their job is to have the latest database for tournaments. It can lead to a strange situation where you can have say 1499 MPs on July 6, win 50 points at a regional before the NABC but still qualify for the 0-1500 Spingold. The rules are the MPs you have in the database. Remember that clubs don't report as quickly as tournaments so your correct total is always a few days behind. If you make LM, after the deadline, the DIC will quite often let you play in an LM event, if you can show you are a LM (even if the database is wrong). In both cases I think ACBL has the correct policy. Everyone wants you to play in an event if possible. Clubs can download the full MP database (or at least used to be able to, the rules may have changed). There are about 167,000 ACBL members; there used to be about 315,000 names in the full DB.

Clubs will often download only the players in their local Unit or District which is a much smaller file. The problem for club managers is the merge with their local information, and the master DB from ACBL.

ACBLscore+ fixed all of this; but that's a different story.

Most MABC tournaments (D6/D7) have a laptop where you can look up the player MPs. It is running ACBLscore in DOS mode with the current full ACBL DB. They have found it is easier/quicker to offer this feature than for you to ask a TD how many MPs a player has. In Gatlinburg, the laptop is usually close to the TD office, about half way down the wall in the big Hall. You can always ask a TD.

Online entry is a possibility. But circumstances change for many teams. The correction rate is as high as 5% (1 in 20 teams) will change their circumstances _after_ they have bought their entry. You can imagine what an on-line scenario can be.

We do have some plans for Gatlinburg that will address some of the above. I don't want to give out details because some issues are being worked out. It is likely to be a limited trial. We probably won't release details until Gatlinburg.

Using Bridgescore+ we typically start KOs within a minute or two of last entry being sold. The delay is waiting on the TD to decide the number of teams in each bracket, and also to decide which teams should play in which parts of the hall.

The current metric for Gatlinburg is that, pre ACBLscore+/Bridgescore+, the typical KO started 25-27 minutes after the last entry was sold. My definition is when all teams have a table assignment that can be read.

Barcodes require players to put the barcode on their entries. Some players do have pre-printed barcodes, but ACBLscore has no ability to read them. I did look at it for ACBLscore+ but it wasn't part of the original contract. ACBLscore+ does support a web service to input names so it could be implemented later.

Feb. 26, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.” Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost (1887)
Feb. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The motion was, I think, somewhere in the 1990s.

ACBL's new web site currently only has board minutes on-line from 2000. The older web site had earlier minutes. I found the information on the old web site when trying to find out all the masterpoint rules. If ACBL want to post the older minutes, I can probably find it fairly quickly.

Perhaps one of the former board members can post the date of the board motion.

The reason it wasn't implemented is simple. It was complicated to do. Jim saw no reason to do it. Implementing this would have changed the structure of the game file. Throughout the code, nearly everything is hard coded to 3 strats. Making this one “simple change” would have changed the format of the game files and require lots of changes to ACBLscore and lots of testing. This is why it hasn't happened.

This type of stuff is one of the many, many reasons that ACBL opted to develop the replacement for ACBLscore. (ACBLscore+/Bridgescore can handle 5 strats….)
Feb. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
One of the issues with using a projector is support.

I know that Greg had some issues when using ACBL-supplied computers/projectors. He's smart enough to know what the problems are/were, how to fix/work-around.

Part of the issue with rolling out new technology is support. Most of the issues are going to be not new software/technology related, but ‘simple’ issues like connecting projectors/computers/Internet/cabling etc.

This is new technology for TDs. Not trying to be a smart-alec about it, but the ACBL TDs are great at customer support, using the current software (ACBLscore), but the full time TDs have not been exposed to any modern technology.

Am making this statement because if you see TDs struggling with something new, bear with them. Same with the volunteers using Bridgescore+.

Getting some great feedback from Regional in Florida this week. Been sent some photos if anyone cares to see.
Feb. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Yup.

Am familiar with the work that Greg has done. It is nice.

I am not sure who provided the projectors.

The IT/logistics side of the projectors (correct cables, no dangling power cords, connectivity to machines/Internet) is a skill set most TDs do not have. They would have to be trained.
Feb. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Pretty much.

The videos listed were are all part of the ACBLscore+ project which ended last year. ACBL didn't even realize that they had this code! Probably shows you how much technical time they spent reviewing ACBLscore+ code. But they wrote off $150K to review this code. (I suspect most of it was lawyer fees).

Since then, on my free time, I've enhanced the software. If I'm running it at a tournament, players or TDs will come up with suggestions. The nice thing about the design is that you can make changes on the fly. It has been run for about 100+ events so lots of suggestions that I have incorporated. The version that I have now is better/faster than the version that ACBL has from a year ago. The videos I posted (see above) are actually from the code they have.

As my company has a license for the code for ACBLscore+, I've made it available on the Internet, for free, for Districts to use at their tournaments. There's a regional going on in Florida at the moment using the software. No cost. My company has no marginal costs for providing this software, or hosting this software on the Internet, through April of this year so might as well offer it for free.

Bridgescore+ is much quicker/better at starting a KO than ACBLscore is. For me, I typically have all the assignments up, posted on the projector within 1 minute of last entry sold, i.e. 1:01pm for a 1pm game time, sometimes quicker. Go to your typical regional and see how many TDs there are, and how long it takes for all assignments to be ready.

One of the items in the $600K budget was to make it easier to start a KO. In addition to the projector start, I wrote some code to automatically create a KO game file. Won't mean anything to players, but if you are a TD you have to re-enter the same information - Event name, rating, event code. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpTyN7tEviM for what TDs have to go through to enter data into ACBLscore. It's about a minute per bracket (ask your favorite local TD). With new code that I wrote, and posted for free on the Internet, it is less than a minute no matter the number of brackets. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqLxZLS1beA

Bracketed Swiss are even worse for a TDs. Typically more brackets than a KO. More data entry just to set up each bracket.

ACBL announced that they were going to spend $600K this year on several IT initiatives. This was presented at the ACBL BOG meeting in Providence.

I saw the list, and thought this was a little silly, rather a waste of money. Some of the things they were budgeted for they already had. I found out just recently that the ACBL didn't even know that they had some of this software. This only re-emphasizes that the reason for dropping ACBLscore+ was a legal issue, not a technical one. They hadn't even bothered to find out what ACBLscore+ could do.

From memory (if anyone has the list from the BOG in Providence, or knows what the $600K is being spent on, please post)

1. Speed up start of KOs for TDs.

2. Use projectors for players for start of KOs.

3. Use projectors for players for running of Swiss events.

4. Put ACBLscore under code control.

5. Speed up start of bracketed Swiss events for TDs

6. Use of projectors for players for start of bracketed Swiss

7. Use Bridgemates for running a Swiss.

8. Something to do with Fast Results/ACBL Live.

I may have missed something. If I have, please correct me.

The list seemed to be almost entirely written based on what Bridgescore+ could do, and what Jay Whipple's Fast Results could do.

I think it would have been a much better idea to focus on some of the things that the ACBL BOD have voted on in the past and directed ACBL to implement. For example, support for a 5 strat pair game at tournaments. This was voted on by the ACBL BOD years ago, TDs currently have to do all the masterpointing by hand. The players love the 5 strat pair games because there is more of a chance to win masterpoints, particularly if you are in the lower strat, but very few tournaments run it because the TDs don't like the extra work for them. This is a perfect example of the BOD directing the ACBL to help improve attendance of the newer players at tournaments, and management not implementing what the board directed them to do.

I've posted about items 1-4 above. I'm working on item 5, it's almost done. I have item 6, I have used it for local tournaments, but I haven't posted a video or put it on-line yet.

Item 7 is a little harder to do, but Bridgescore+ has the built in ability to support all data for team events from electronic scoring devices (ESDs) (e.g. see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj-EMNhOJX0 for the Swiss qualifiers from the Bermuda Bowl and the level of detail that Bridgescore+ can store). I just need to finish the interface from the ESDs to Bridgescore+.

Trying to put it another way: it doesn't cost me any extra money to host Bridgescore+ on the Internet. If I'm at a tournament, someone makes a reasonable suggestion, I'll implement it. Got to do something while I'm waiting for teammates to come back with their scores. The benefit for me is that when I'm at tournaments, I'm not spending all my time waiting on the TDs to set up the event. So I get to start playing quicker, I get to finish quicker.
Feb. 18, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Feb. 18, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Not sure if that is a non-sequitur.

No/Yes is the answer to your question.

You can use Bridgepads, or use Jeff Smith's program for Bridgemates, see http://www.bridgemate-us.com/User%20Guides.php?subpage=Team%20Games%20using%20Bridgemates

In both cases I believe that you need to enter the scores manually into ACBLscore (lower case ‘s’).

Bridgemates for Swiss was never part of the ACBLscore+ contract.

I'm looking at adding it to Bridgescore+, but this is all volunteer effort for me at this point. Only got so much time….
Feb. 17, 2015
.

Bottom Home Top