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All comments by Nicolas Hammond
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Changes can be made before ACBLscore is fixed. They choose not to.
Nov. 29, 2018
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NABC location/table count data at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Bridge_Championships
Nov. 25, 2018
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Price elasticity of the NABC has yet to be established.
Nov. 22, 2018
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NABC attendance is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Bridge_Championships#Past_Tournaments_(1952-)
Gatlinburg details are here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatlinburg_Regional

Gatlinburg used to have the entire convention center. Now it is only the main center. Plenty of room to add more.

Biggest events in the ACBL… Modern technology… Events start on time…
Nov. 22, 2018
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The decision to host in Hawaii in 2018 was made in 2011. See page 16 at http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/about/1103-exhibits/2011_3_Seattle_board_minutes.pdf. Not all DDs were in favor. See the vote.
No-one can predict business conditions seven years out.
NABCs have a known fixed cost; and relatively little marginal cost.
None of the current ACBL management was involved with the 2011 contract.
The NABCS are generally profit centers; sometimes the profit from each one is published. We have to remember that this ‘profit’ goes to cover salaries/other fixed cost items.
Nov. 22, 2018
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@Peg: Agreed.
Nov. 21, 2018
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I don't think I used the childcare service (I might have done when the kids were younger, but don't remember it). I do remember on a couple of occasions my kids (when they were older), helping out with the child care. Donna would often recruit teenager children of bridge players to help work out in the child care; for NABCs she would reach out to the local community to find additional child care workers, based on need. I know this because my kids were asked if they wanted to help do child care in Atlanta this past summer.

We can use the terms “child care” of “baby sitting” but basically the kids can be broken down into babies, toddlers and other. Babies can't go anywhere but need feeding, nappies etc. etc. Toddlers can run around. The other is kids too young to be left by themselves, but want/need supervised activities. Often the latter group would be taken on trips outside of the hotel. You can only stay in a hotel room for so long.

That is generally what happened. The bridge schedule being what it is, the child care services were often best provided by other bridge players and/or their children.
Nov. 20, 2018
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Sam is also a member of the Scotland Open team.
Nov. 20, 2018
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Using 30 boards is cheaper - only one board set. Much more convenient for the directors.

However, is the game for the players or the directors. Opinions will differ.

See http://www.bridgescoreplus.com/movements/recommended.html for what was once ACBL's opinions on the matter.

If you do not have director familiar with webs, the 30 boards is the easier solution.
Nov. 19, 2018
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Re: Exhibit 3.
NABC+ pair event qualifying days are now 14 table sections with the last section being a web. 26 boards played.
Reason is that they used to have 13 table sections with the last being a web. One time they had a problem. It was a seeding related issue with an incorrect number of sections being given to the seeding committee.
Once they had seated everyone, and round 1 was finishing up, they realised the problem.
Without extra space in the movements, there was no easy way to fix it.
Since then, they have used 14 table sections.
Nov. 17, 2018
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I contacted ACBL to see if they would be willing to release all of the details of the ACBLscore+ project. Took a while to get a reply. But they declined. They could see no useful benefit. If they would agree; I would be happy to release all of the monthly status reports, redacted to avoid any embarrassment over names; all of the executive status reports etc. etc.

As I have repeatedly stated, I have nothing to hide from this contract or this work. If ACBL would be willing to release, I have no problems.

The last person that posted on some of the financial aspects on the ACBLscore+ project was promptly suspended by the ACBL for violating the NDA. Again, I have nothing to hide.

@Joe: The original contract had full mutual licensing. Very simply, either side could go do whatever they want with the code. After the contract was over, ACBL wanted to do a new contract. The sticking point is that they wanted us to give up the mutual licensing agreement from the original contract, and give them copyright to the existing code for free, and fully own all the code and the copyright of any derivate works should we decide to develop any other software that used any of the ACBLscore+ code base. Some of this code base was ours from before the contract started. They wanted that as well.
Nov. 16, 2018
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I think WBF sponsored some of this. There was a demonstration in Orlando.

Check out the HOOL video: http://youth.worldbridge.org/introducing-hool-by-amaresh-deshpande/

Also, more HOOL information: http://youth.worldbridge.org/category/teaching/hool/
Nov. 12, 2018
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@Jan: It depends on who you mean easier for.
For the main ACBL office; if all they have to deal with is one incoming check from a tournament (regional/sectional) that represents the ACBL fee (sanction + table fee), this is very easy for them. The detailed work is passed down to the DIC.
Strictly the sponsor is in charge of a regional/sectional. But ACBL made sure they were in charge of the cash so that they got paid first; and also this avoid volunteers handling cash.
So… DICs for many years were paying cash to the TDs for expenses and doing all the bookkeeping for the tournament. The sponsor signed off. ACBL got their check.
Not saying it was a perfect system; just saying how it used to work. I think they have changed it some.
Nov. 9, 2018
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In the US, it used to be the case that a lot of the tournament expenses were paid in cash, e.g. director per-diems/hotels etc. (not sure if this is still true).
There is costs for writing business checks etc. These costs are avoided with cash payment.
Nov. 9, 2018
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Margaret: reach out to D7 and their experience with vouchers. They should provide you with the name of the person who mostly handles this. He can provide his experience.
Nov. 8, 2018
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Re: What can be done:
Some Districts (e.g. D7) sell vouchers for use at tournaments. If the amount of the entry is the same as the voucher; it makes selling entries much easier. If your District does this; make sure that you number each voucher (to prevent photocopying), and also put an expiration date on the voucher (for accounting reasons).
There is some post-processing afterwards; and a volunteer needed to sell vouchers; and a fee for credit cards. Everything is a trade-off.
Cash is convenient and quick. Top sellers at the NABC average 7 seconds per customer. Not something that can be done with credit cards.
Nov. 6, 2018
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Jerry Helms wrote about if 1 is forcing in his October 2018 Bulletin article.
Nov. 5, 2018
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The cost of installing/running such a device is small. You can buy small USB powered cameras for under $20. Run with a USB Power Pack $20. The stand to mount them on is under $20. No cables needed on the floor.

Charge up the power pack between sessions. All data stored on a micro USB card. Copied to a computer between sessions.

Now…. here comes the problem …..

EVERYONE will claim that they bid in tempo. No-one does. I've probably looked at more bridge video than most.

I did run this experiment (with permission) at a D7 Regional about 3-4 years ago. In my case the camera had WiFi ability so I could sit elsewhere in the room and watch through the camera remotely (I was not playing).

Basically you cannot put cameras on non flight A players. Tempo is terrible. Last thing anyone wants is a permanent record of them on YouTube hesitating and for the rest of their life be accused of cheating. The Gold Rush players are there to have a good time.

When I put the camera on the A players (pairs event); some of the worst offenders were the D7 Board Members. With my camera mounted high and unobtrusively; I could watch most tables. I had no idea the hands being played, so no idea if there was a needed hesitation; but you could tell very easily if someone has a problem with passing/bidding. It happens ALL the time.

I think in your case it was egregious; or so it seemed to you at the table. Your issue seems not to be the tempo; but the sighing.

What you would now have to do is to look at the video not only of that particular board; but all boards they play to see their normal tempo/normal sighing. This is time consuming.

Once people start realising this; then they will deliberately take a long time to bid even when they have nothing to think about. Pass-2-Pass-2-Long slow pass with 0 HCP because I have to bid my normal tempo. This is the unintended consequences.

Beware the solutions; there may be more ramifications than you think.

If you can find a willing teenage; and spare about $50-$60 ordering some items; then ask your local Unit is willing to run an experiment. Stick the camera on you for an entire session. Then go back and watch it and time how long it takes you to make each call. Time from when the previous bid was placed to when you made a call. But… before you do this; write down what you think your normal tempo is. Then let us know what it actually is.

IF… you are going to do this.
Make sure that the video is only kept for the period of the tournament; not put on line anywhere.

FYI: You should also avoid posting sufficient detail in your post so that the suspected culprits can be identified. The results from the sectional will go up shortly and anyone can look up your last round opponents. On Board 28. Of the last session.
Nov. 4, 2018
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President
Oct. 30, 2018
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“work quality” - well, it works quite well…. Gatlinburg is best example. It was used for most of the cheating cases. It's quite robust.

I have all the documents from ACBL and the lawyers to back up my statements. I said nothing when the contract was over; and continued to say nothing. It was only when ACBL started to make false claims that I started posting.

You are welcome to ask your local TD to run it at your next regional and see how it works.

CRM is a different problem. Not a legal issue.
Oct. 22, 2018
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