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All comments by Richard Willey
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> This advantage has two elements: the
> players do not have to set aside the
> time to play in such an event; and
> the country does not have to find
> the funds to finance the players
> taking part in it.

In what way is this claim remotely consistent with the way in which the United States runs its teams trials?
2 hours ago
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> How much better, if at all, do you
> believe US teams would perform
> without such sponsors?

Well, if we look at how well teams without sponsors perform in the US teams trials, I think that we can safely say that “teams with sponsors” are significantly stronger that “teams without sponsors”.

If, on the other hand, you're interested in some bizarre counter factual world in which

1. North American sponsors all disappear
2. Existing North American pros continue to invest the same amount of time / resource into the game

I don't actually consider that to be a particularly interesting question. I far prefer

What if we could train murder hornets to play bridge. Would a North American team with three murder hornets and a Bob Hamman be able to win the Spingold?
3 hours ago
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My impression about the allocation of team slots within North America is that the system is not so much designed to ensure that the US always gets one slot and to prevent it from always having three.

With all due respect to Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, what have you, if you migrate to a model in which that top North American teams on weekend foo get slots, I suspect that we'll be seeing USA3 more often than not
3 hours ago
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> And Im OK with that - lets not make
> the cure worse than the disease.

If people want to make an informed decision that

1. It's going to be relatively easy to cheat
2. This is a deliberate decision

I'm actually fine with this…

My big issue is with ridiculous assertions about the necessity of running a clean game combined wih security theater.
15 hours ago
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> I think you mean they evolved out
> of strong pass systems. :-)

Yes. Thanks
16 hours ago
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Strong pass systems were most certainly specifically designed to facilitate light openings.

And, there are most certainly strong club opening systems that evolved out of strong club systems after more restrictive system regulations came into play.
18 hours ago
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The director's on BBO are groslly incompetent.

The ones that get used to administer ACBL sanctioned games can't even understand simple things like the ACBL conventions chart.

Dealing with cheating allegations is a hell of a lot more complication.

I have zero confidence that ACBL_3.1415 or whomever is running any given game should be in the loop.
June 3
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Video monitoring isn't good enough

If I get to spend any reasonable amount of time preparing, I can rig up a system that will allow me to signal very easily that any reasonable number of cameras won't be able to detect.

Note: I can do the same with F2F bridge. But its going to be more expensive to do so
June 2
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15+ years ago, I tried to convince Fred to implement an automatic automatic alerting system in BBO.

He eventually added what was called “Full Disclosure” to the application version of BBO. The functionality didn't get as much use as he would have like. Fred stopped working on this and left it out of fututre versions of the software.

You might be able to get the new management to care more…
June 2
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Hank…

Results on BBO are DUPLICATED. If you're playing these in the main bridge club, the boards get played by 16+ people. If you're playing this in tournaments, they're often played by a whole bunch more. So, unless you're the very first person to play this board, CARDS AREN'T BEING PASSED. The state of the hand is already fixed.

For that matter, let's assume that BBO did decide for some bizarre reason that they want to screwed over bridge players by moving cards around. You'd never do this dynamically. Rather, you'd do as the hands themselves are being generated.
June 2
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I think that you might want to rethink the way in which you have constructed the second question in your survey.

At least from my perspective, the weights that I place on these different criteria can change dramatically based on seat, vulnerability, etc.

In addition, you have the problem that folks might (reasonably) say that they want everything.

My guess is that you'll get better results if you frame this question around choice of bidding system rather than choice of bid. Then present the user with a series of binary choices. “Do you prefer foo or bar”?

In marketing, this is described a “conjoint analysis”. There's a lot of good literature about it…
June 2
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Web server's often want to be able to track stateful information about the end users who are connecting into the server.

In order to achieve this end, they create a file on the local machine and store information there. For example, in many cases the user name and password that you use to connect into a might get stored on your local machine. The file that this information gets stored in is called a “cookie”.

BBO / the ACBL could, in theory, use cookies to make it more difficult for players to impersonate one another. The web server could track which devices a given user ID normally plays on. (For example, I only access BBO through my desktop gaming machine and the mac that travels around with me). If one suddenly saw

1. A new device being used for certain tournaments
2. A significant deviation between the results on device C as compared to device A/B, this might suggest that different players were using the same account and accessing the account from different devices.

This wouldn't do any good if folks are using the same physical machine, but the IP address scheme wouldn't work any better in that case.
June 2
Richard Willey edited this comment June 2
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A lot of my day job involves tracking IP addresses and mapping them onto specific geo's.

While it might be possible to get a scheme like this work, there's a whole bunch of ways in which it might go wrong. (This is probably better than nothing, but not the way in which I would go)

Given that BBO is currently a browser based game, I suspect that tracking cookies are a better way to proceed.
June 2
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My impression is that bog standard 2/1 still uses relatively sound opening bids. I would pass with both hands.
June 2
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Last week there was a thread titled “Frustration with BBO Directors”

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/frustration-with-bbo-directors/?cj=959628#c959628

During the discussions in this thread, claims were made that

1. The directors that are running games on BBO aren't actually guaranteed to be ACBL certified directors

2. These directors aren't actually following ACBL procedures and processes in rendering decisions

3. There don't appear to be any processes in place to make sure that the directors are actually following ACBL rules

If the ACBL doesn't care enough to administer its sanctioned online games, it leaves me a bit skeptical regarding how serious they are about dealing with cheating. I don't doubt that, on occasions, stuff might get happen. However, I doubt that the organization is investing the time / effort necessary to deal with any of this in a comprehensive manner.
June 2
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You could also give up on duplication…

Run total points individuals
Anonymize the participants
Run enough boards that luck of the draw would even out…
June 1
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We've allowed people to consult crib notes for years.

We simply describe it as “suggested defenses”
June 1
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OP == Original Poster (or so I suspect)
June 1
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We bid some real bowsers of the past few days. A surprising number of which happened to come home.
June 1
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I suspect that this topic is WAY too complicated to be reduced to any single explanatory variable.

FWIW, I do think that the rise of professional bridge has lead to significant improvements in the level of play for elite pairs. Moreover, I'm not sure if this is possible without clients who are willing to sponsor those pairs. I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that the skill level of top teams in a world with sponsors is higher that the skill level of a counter factual world without sponsors.

I will note that there are a whole bunch of other possible explanations which the US medal haul might have declined in recent years. For example, my impression is that you're seeing more people hiring pros over in Europe. So, you might see things balancing out more.

Alternatively, some the pros who are playing in the US started out playing for teams in their home countries. Which both strengthen the US teams while also diluting the talent pools overseas. It's possible that the rate of out migration to the US is slowing.
June 1
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