Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Nicolas Hammond
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
@David: “as far as I can tell, not a single deal was adduced in evidence of how the alleged illegal communication worked to its users' advantage”

Correct. The EBL Bridge Expert was asked by FN lawyers and could not cite a single instance from EBTC 2014.

The WBF incorrectly implied this was evidence was required for a conviction in the German Doctors case (see their report). All three of the WBF committee members were bridge players and lawyers.
Aug. 6, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I attempted to do something similar for a cheating pair to show how difficult it was to work out their bidding methods absent any information other than video.

Although conceptually simple; the process is very hard.

Some examples:

1-P-2! is game forcing; may not have clubs.

P-P-1-P-2! shows 3 spades

P-P-1-P-2! shows 4 spades.

Doubles are particularly hard. Sometimes takeout, sometimes penalty, sometimes support etc.

You need a very large data set for the computer to even attempt to infer what's going on.

1NT-P-2 shows spades. Obvious really.

1NT-P-2 is a size ask.

Bridge is full of bidding conventions. It is virtually impossible for a computer to work out your bidding system absent additional information.

Edit: Move some !
Aug. 6, 2019
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Aug. 6, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Also easy to identify your opponents. You got a top for 3NTx and your opponents were still fuming and went down in a cold 4 contract the next board giving you another top. I'd be thanking them not insulting them.

Some pairs have the agreement that a double of 3NT asks for a spade lead.

Your opponents had a 38% session.
Aug. 4, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I find it a little condescending towards South, PS, for thinking (s)he could not find this play.

You could ask in your original post what happened at other tables without the implication towards your known opponents.

Five players polled agreed with what South did.

Perhaps you should ask your “considerably stronger” friend the logic for their J continuation.
Aug. 4, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The problem with detailed posting of hands and specific events is that it is easy to look up who North and South were.
Aug. 4, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The European Bridge League archives start in 1996. No detailed results before then. See

See http://www.eurobridge.org/championship-archives/

The 1995 tournament high level data is at http://www.eurobridge.org/TeamChampRP/?qmenudetid=38
Aug. 4, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
“First, how hard would it be to create an app that has a guide for all the events, starting times, floors and room locations for the tournaments”

Well….. you have short memories. ACBL did build this app. They outsourced the development. Worked great for the first NABC.

Then they did the second NABC. The story was something like: Whenever they wanted to update the app; it took 10 days for Apple/Google to approve any changes to the app. All the data in the app was hard coded. If there was an update to a room/time etc.; the app had to be re-created, a new version created, and hope that everyone would download the updated version. Yup…. the original spec did not include a requirement that the data for the app was external to the app.

“Look at the disaster that was ACBLScore Plus. The ACBL managed to piss away close to two million dollars on that one.”

The software was $1.5M. ACBL wrote off a previous project to re-write ACBLscore in Java. That was about $100K. The spent about $100K on a technical report after the project to try to justify why ACBLscore+ should not be used. Unfortunately the results of that report were highly favorable to ACBLscore+ and the report has never been distributed to the board/membership. My guess is the other $300K was on lawyers. I keep offering to run events at NABCs with Bridgescore+ (the successor to ACBLscore) but ACBL decline saying the players don't want it. Why wait 30+ minutes for events to start, 30+ minutes for every NABC+ Swiss session etc. etc.. The real reason for ACBLscore+ debacle was the ACBL lawyer who originally negotiated the contract. Peter Rank, now deceased, negotiated away the copyright. ACBL's outside counsel later told the ACBL that they had to have the copyright or not use the software. No-one on the board was competent enough to realize that Copyright was not needed. So… the software is still there, just not used by ACBL at its NABCs.
Aug. 4, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
This is part of the enhanced version of Bridgescore+. Post or PM the hand and I'll give you the reference.
Aug. 3, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
@Chris: The membership is. The ACBL By Laws require a CEO. See Article V.1 at http://web2.acbl.org/documentlibrary/about/Bylaws.pdf

“The Board shall employ a Chief Executive Officer to manage and conduct ACBL business in accordance with policies and regulations established by the Board of Directors”

The ACBL has been without a CEO for some time. The By Laws require that the Board employs one.
Aug. 2, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
ACBL Bulletin. April 2019. Page 40. Matt Smith answers your question.

You may not ask your opponents to stop alerting in ACBL events.
Aug. 1, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Represented your country is a little tough as there are countries with very few members. I would suggest reached the KO stage of Bermuda/Venice etc. not qualified for BB, Venice etc.
July 31, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
No idea; I saw the date in an eBay listing. But then again I recently saw eBay listing for the 1968 Laws. They meant 1963.
July 30, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
0.5% of ACBL members have > 10K points. See https://web3.acbl.org/mpholdings

For ACBL resident members, who rarely play outside ACBL land, I have no problem with a limit of 10K points. I would not care if you won NABCs or World championships. You have < 10K points.

For non-ACBL resident members, who regularly play in other jurisdictions, it is hard to convert your skill level/foreign “masterpoints” to ACBL points. Typically a foreign “pro” will be assigned 5K when they first come to play in the USA.

I would suggest two MP ratings.

One for qualification to limited events. Keep the initial 5K assignment for foreign players. But have a committee/person have the ability to assign more. If you win a World Championship, you are assigned 10,001 MPs. If you win an NABC and are a foreign player who regularly play outside ACBL, you are assigned 10,001 qualification points. You can no longer play in ACBL limited events.

Your other MP value would be the assigned value you report for KO events. It does not need to be the same as your qualification MPs.

If you have made the finals of four World Championships, you should not be allowed to play in a 0-10K ACBL National event. The limited events are not designed for those that have won a World event. Just my opinion.

There are multiple players that should not have been allowed to play in the 0-10K mixed. Sorry that does not work for the professional players.
July 29, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
European players are known to be better in certain areas of the game than ACBL players, for example, opening leads. Over a long match this will have an impact.
July 29, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Agreed. I did see something on eBay which mentioned 1971, but there are many errors on eBay.
July 29, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
How is a player who is twice World Champion, twice runner-up World Champion, six time winner of NABC events allowed to play in 0-10K events?

Foreign top players are supposed to inform the TD before the event starts.

The winners of 0-10K Mixed Swiss are Nikolaos Delimpaltadakis - Ioannis Papakyriakopoul - Vasileios Vroustis, Athens Greece; Benedicte Cronier, Paris France; May Sakr, Ardmore PA
July 29, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I've published some details in my book, see http://www.detectingcheatinginbridge.com. I've got three chapters on opening leads.

There is a snippet on opening leads at http://www.detectingcheatinginbridge.com/selections.html but this shows how good the top players are on opening leads; not the effectiveness of trump leads. I do have the data, it's just not in the book. The book shows the different styles of opening leads of the top pairs.

The pair that leads trumps the most (Sementa/Duboin) leads them over 11% of the time; the pair that leads them the least is Hamman/Wolff at under 4%. I was lucky enough to chat with Bobby yesterday and asked him why he doesn't like trump leads. He gave a long explanation with examples.

The top pairs get opening leads wrong about 1 in 5 hands.

As others point out; when you first learn you are given “rules” to follow. As you play more, these “rules” should become “guidelines”.

I have over 200K records, all from top tournaments. However, trying to dissect the data to find the right circumstances is something I haven't done.

One general rule is to always lead a trump against a low level doubled contract to cut down on ruffs.
July 27, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
If only we knew someone with a lot of time on their hands, say, someone who has just retired, and someone who knew the BBO format relatively well and was an excellent Bridge player who knew what stats to create…

Oh well, wishful thinking.

On a serious note… my book includes data on the elite players by name - Meckwell, HHs, Lauria/Versace. According to the lawyer these are “public figures” by the fact that they have established themselves at the top level. As they are “public figures”, I did not ask, nor need, their permission. Frankly, a lot of the graphs also show the number of boards played so it is trivial to pick these three pairs (+ Fantoni/Nunes). Strictly I don't need anyone's permission to list their names - this is statistical data therefore publishable. However, the conclusions are obvious for some data so the list of pairs in some tables has some “names withheld” because the result is too obvious.

I did ask some other top pairs below the top three if I could include their data. If either player said no I did not include them in most statistics.

I specifically asked Kit (+ Fred) if I could include them. They are an excellent reference pair.

I also include Boye with his two main partners (with permission).

There were some other top pairs that gave permission, but I cut the data for space reasons.

Without permission (but perfectly legal), I included data on same well known pairs in some charts. This is so you can see how some pairs rank compared to other pairs, including the known cheating pairs. For example, Sabine/Roy; top women players, top Seniors, top USA, top European. These are all on lists that cannot be used for cheating detection.

Back to Fred's suggestion.

There is the law of unintended consequences.

The goal of Bridge is to win.

If there are published statistics of how often you do x, y or z, then you may stop playing the game to win and work on how to improve your statistics. Think of the Lehman rating on OKB.

Lists are both good and bad.
July 25, 2019
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
bridgescoreplus.com downloads all the data.

There is an option to output handrecords in various formats, including BW.

Same for EBL/WBF/BBO events.

You have my email and cell #, so email, or text. For others, PM me.
July 25, 2019
.

Bottom Home Top