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All comments by Oleg Rubinchik
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“Oleg - Are you a bot? :):)”

Good question. When I tried to pay NABC entry fee here on Bridgewinners I managed to pass “Prove you are not a robot test,” but it took me more than 5 attempts. :)
Sorry for off-top
June 22, 2017
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Hi Sorina,
I believe you need to find that tournament in the list of tournaments and manually click “Play” button again. After it will resume playing for you.
June 22, 2017
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I don't think many way tie for the first place is very probable.
Here is a link to the result of free practicing BBO game by the same rules: http://webutil.bridgebase.com/v2/tview.php?t=ARDARD:316a81e5.563f.11e7.b134.0cc47a39aeb4-1498021507
9616 participants, only 8 boards but the first tie is for place 36.

Here are results of another practicing tournament. http://webutil.bridgebase.com/v2/tview.php?t=ARDARD:e139f056.563f.11e7.b134.0cc47a39aeb4-1498021801
That one was paid, 0.25USD, so only 1107 participants. The first tie is for place 33, but it was 3-way tie.
June 22, 2017
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Don't worry, Randy. If you win your title will be as gold as ACBL gold points and you will be able to use it the same way.
Sorry, just kidding.
June 22, 2017
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“There's nothing unusual about convicted villains being active in Italy”.
Have they ever been convicted?
If I am not mistaken, the first time they were amnestied before they appeal was processed; and the second time they were uninvited without accusations.
June 21, 2017
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“few of the commenters” seems like an overbid to me. I did not find a single poster in the old thread who had any information about the reason of withdrawal of the invitation to play in 2016.
Some people were trying to explain it by recalling the much older incident, but (as far as I understand) it was just unconfirmed guesswork.
June 21, 2017
Oleg Rubinchik edited this comment June 21, 2017
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Hi Yehudit,
Just to clarify. Complaints about “not real bridge" could have two faces. One (social) kind of complains are about weak level of game, randomness of results, distractions and any other circumstances that not referred by bridge law but decrease our enjoyment from the game. You covered it.

***

Unfortunately, there is another kind are complaints, (formal complaints) about conditions that may not even negatively affect our enjoyment and fairness of competition but directly contradict the written rules of the game. For people who get used to respect rules it cannot be mitigated by any logic and comparisons.

If rules of some competition contradict to any rule written in bridge law book that competition is not bridge competition. That is good game, funny game, fair game, I like to participate in it … but it is not bridge. Simple as is. Is it important? I guess not for majority of players. But it is really important for minority.

***

And it is exactly the source of the second complaint. Nothing to do with strength of the field or pointlessness of titles. All other ACBL titles for limited events were given for winning in bridge. As far as I know for winning in bridge related but non-bridge events, like par contest, separated awards were given.

***

There is another kind of complaint related to that tournament, but not to the quality of the tournament. Formal again, but important by my opinion. ACBL has a procedure how to establish new national tournaments. That procedure clearly was not followed in that case. Breaking own process is not a good think, even if it done from best intentions.

***

I agree with your other points. This tournament maybe not perfect in terms of format, but it is about as good as we can get now and I would be happy to play there.
June 21, 2017
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Very unlikely or not, but I can remember 2 cases I end up as a declarer in 3 contracts when I thought 2NT was Lebenzohl, but my different not-regular partners had another opinion. Both accidents happened during on-line games. (No benefits from alerts were possible). Both partners had between 5000 and 7500 masterpoints, so I would expect them to be peers of the player in question.
June 20, 2017
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Are you talking about daylong tournament? People play on a different boards, so IMP comparison between field is a joke. Fortunately ACBL Tests Online NABC Event is scored in matchpoints - what sets a board player get will have a bit less importance.
June 19, 2017
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I am curious what will happen earlier: the first cat to achieve the life master title or the first dog to became a national champion? ;)
June 16, 2017
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“First, this kind of problem comes up more often than you think although it doesn't usually have this many HCP.”
Hi Dave. “This many HCP” is exactly the main point of that problem. You will not get opportunity to make any follow up bids after your original pass.
June 16, 2017
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I am one of the players who enjoy playing with robots and the most probably will try that tournament.
But I still think it is very controversial decision.
There are several obvious advantages:
1.New fun tournament
2.Additional advertisement for people playing on BBO to became ACBL members
3.Additional advertisement for ACBL members to try BBO
4.Additional financial gain for ACBL and (maybe) BBO.
5.Test for new ideas

Unfortunately there several not less obvious disadvantages
1.Profanation. Giving nation titles on not-bridge tournament seems way too much.
2.Issue of trust. Creating new national event conflicting with NABC right before NABC started does not fair toward the people who already paid for travel to NABC.
3.Multiple security issues.
a. Anybody could ask much stronger player for help.
b. If number of participants will be low, probability of related participants getting the same boards are high
4.Tournament fairness:
a. With large number of participants, people will compete on different sets of boards and against very different fields.
b. Robots have well known weaknesses that put people who do not have experience playing with robots in huge disadvantage unrelated to their bridge skills.
c. High randomness in playing with robots.
June 14, 2017
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It is even more fun:
CoC 10. The event is played best-hand style: Player always receives the hand with the most high-card points at the table or tied for the most high-card points
CoC 22. This event utilizes deal pools. Not every player will play the same boards.

I personally find those kind of games are fun to play, but I don't think they are bridge tournaments according the definition of bridge.
June 14, 2017
Oleg Rubinchik edited this comment June 14, 2017
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On the first part of the poll we had different vulnerability.
How would you expect West to understand 4 bid now?
June 13, 2017
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Sorry, I shared that story too many times, but it is my favorite:

***

Long ago, when my son was a baby and my daughter was 4 years old, we used to play at home: my wife and me against our friends. We even had stakes – losers buy a cake for the next game.
One day my son started to cry during the game and my wife went to feed him. Because it was boring to sit and wait, I asked my daughter Natalie to be my partner. She did not completely master her bridge game yet, but by that time she already learned the main part - how to follow suits and turn the cards.
On the first board, I hold:

A72
763
986
Q1052

I open 1. Why not? My partner does not know even names of suits, so I did not expect her to bid anything anyway. I was wrong.
The Left Hand Opponent (LHO), a very good guy, doubled and Natalie bid 5!
It was the last bid my wife made before the baby woke up and I said something like “very good bid, Partner.” Natalie was there and she learned something new!
However, what should I do now?
RHO passed, I passed and LHO doubled again. Did I already say he was a very good guy?
Natalie said double too. Sometimes kids learn too fast.

“Did you mean pass or redouble?” asked her LHO. (You see, he was a really good guy).

Sure, Natalie confirm she meant redouble and 5 clubs redoubled became a final contract

RHO led with small club.
LHO took Ace, King and continue trumps. As you already well aware, he was a good guy, but somehow he was not the best bridge player in the world.
Natalie, who gave clubs on the first two rounds, asked where she could buy additional cards if she does not have the suit. I explained that in this game if she has no suit she is free to discard any card, so she discarded a small diamond.
I took that trick and made the last round of clubs. (I know, dummy should not play without command, but insisting on that rule was too much, even for LHO.) Natalie gave another small diamond. I played the Ace of Spades and she discards the third diamond.
“Natalie, dear, you should follow suit,” I said.

“I have no black cards anymore,” said Natalie with an insulted voice. “I have only hearts left.”
Saying that she tabled AKQxxxxx.
So, the rest of the tricks was hers, 5 clubs redoubled bid and made on 15 points with 4-2 in trumps!
I don’t think any Grandmaster ever accomplished anything like that.
June 7, 2017
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Honestly, it does not sounds for me like they had such an agreement at the moment when player opened 4.
It more likely they read something, heard something and have no ideas what they agreed.
After one of them generated that Gerber-opening monster, it kind of became their agreement and you asked them at that stage. Lucky you helped them to clear up the misconception.

I hope nobody actually made a noise about missing alert from novice pair.
June 2, 2017
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Do they have an agreement that 4 opening is Gerber, or novice opener imagined that and responder figured it out based on his clubs?
June 2, 2017
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Yes, it is what I was told. And what about elephant?
May 30, 2017
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I completely agree with you that person is not allowed to hesitate with equals in order to create illusions he does not have equals.
If South would call director and describe the problem I would be 100% with him. I don't believe he has a case here, but I have no problem with friendly directors call.

What I hate (and that word is not an underbid) is the situation when person DO NOT call TD, but instead blaming opponents to be unethical.
It convers situation with (maybe) technical violation into the personal ethics accusation. Extremely inappropriate.
May 30, 2017
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Nothing, of course. So?
I believe if player had an opportunity to think about some position in advance it DOES NOT make the position “no bridge reasons to think.”
Sure, it would be better for him to think earlier, but who is perfect?
May 30, 2017
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