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All comments by Richard Willey
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Few quick thoughts:

1. The cynic in me says that this has more to do with protecting older established players against the young guns than it does with encouraging younger folks to play

2. I'd be interested to see whether this is expected to improve the profitability (or, more likely the amount of money being lost at) major events

3. Feel like this would dilute the overall talent pool.

4. I wonder how many sponsors are available for players in this age bracket… Feels like there could be some really issues if the local bridge orgs aren't willing to subsidize 26 year old “juniors”.
13 hours ago
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There's nothing wrong with a clubs offering to help train new teachers. I'd actively encourage this. But there's no need for a formal certification or other such ways of controlling entry into the market.
15 hours ago
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Jeff, I do appreciate your initiative AND this is a nice change from your usual attempt to set up a multi level marketing scheme, however, I can't help but feel that this is more an attempt to restrict entry into the market rather than helping the new teachers…
16 hours ago
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> Why not have a two tier certification?

Because such systems fast turn into abusive relationships in which the entrenched business owners exploit the “free” labor.

There's been quite a few articles about this over the past few years. For example:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/business/cosmetology-school-debt-iowa.html

Begin quote:

Cosmetology schools have a unique business model in the for-profit school world. They have two main streams of revenue. The first comes from students, often in the form of taxpayer-funded grants and loans to pay for the tuition. Cosmetology schools took in nearly $1.2 billion in federal grants and loans during the 2015-16 school year.

The second stream is the salon work the students do while in school. They spend some time in classrooms learning about, for example, chemicals and how to sanitize the work space, but once they’ve hit a certain number of hours, they start working on real clients in salons run by the schools. In full-time programs, going to school becomes a full-time job, where students clock in and out for seven- or eight-hour shifts.

The total number of required hours varies, but all states require some amount of practice with paying customers. In Iowa, students spend 715 hours in the classroom and 1,385 hours on the floor.

Prices for these salon services — which include haircuts, manicures, facials and, at some schools, massages — are typically set below market rates to attract customers. The salons also sell shampoo, conditioner and other beauty products. One Iowa student said he and others had gotten perks (such as trips and special training) if they sold enough products. Another student, who sued a school in Pennsylvania, reported that her grades were partly based on whether she offered salon products to clients.
17 hours ago
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I think that Mike Ma touched on an important point in his previous post.

I see nothing wrong with creating different classes of events where participation is limited by age. However, I'm not sure whether it makes sense to label events targeting people under 31 as events for “Juniors”. It also seems strange to label events as being for “Seniors” when 90% of the membership is eligible to compete.

Might just make sense to abandon the words “Junior” and “Senior” and instead use the age bracket as the name.
22 hours ago
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It seems as if the other committee members could simply out vote Meckstroth
Sept. 20
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> What is a problem is if the “strong” bid starts at 13 points
> instead of the more usual 15 or 16. “Forcing club” artificial
> and starting at that strength would be just as much a
> problem as forcing pass.

There is a reason why I used the example of an 10 - 12 HCP 1NT opening
Sept. 19
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> Richard: no one claims the fert problem is “insurmountable,”

Seems to me that the ACBL label this as inherently destructive refused to even consider suggested defenses to this method far decades.

I doubt that the worthies on the C&C ever used the word insurmountable, but “Potato” / “Patahtoe”
Sept. 19
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That's all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day, what's important - at least with respect to this message board - is that the United States is not longer a suitable venue to host an international competition.
Sept. 18
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> I still disagree, though, with the idea that having
> players only in the same ‘space’ virtually has only
> positive impacts on the game.

I don't believe anyone is making that claim

Rather, I think that many people believe that the benefits outweigh the costs

> If you think there won't be avenues for cheating via
> people utilizing tablets, I have real estate to sell you.

I don't disagree. With this said and done, I believe that

1. An electronic playing environment eliminates many of the easiest ways to cheat
2. If an electronic playing environment is being used and someone is found to be cheating the evidence is likely to be much more conclusive
2. An electronic playing environment allows perfect record keeping and, in turn, this permits much more sophisticated statistical analysis of results

I work in computer security. I am aware that perfection just isn't possible. But we can try to shift the risk / reward tradeoff.
Sept. 17
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Few quick comments here:

1. I think that all of the folks who are advocating in favor of an electronic playing environment would differentiate between top level games and every day events. There are a fair number of people who advocate that the top level events should move to an electronic playing environment. I don't think anyone much cares what happens with respect to the everyday events. (I personally believe that as the size of the player base who predominantly plays electronically becomes significantly larger than the ones who play with cards that the nature of the everyday game will change, but I don't really care that much)

2. There are a number of reasons why people advocate switching to an electronic playing environment for top level play including, but not limited to

A. Security
B. Record keeping
C. Being able to broadcast events

3. it would be lovely if we could trust players to sit at a table and compete F2F with playing cards. However, look at the tournament at the top level for last two decades. Look at the track record of pairs that we now know to have been cheating.

Given a choice between playing at the same table and actually being able to have remote confidence regarding the results of an event, I know which one seems more important.
Sept. 17
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I suspect that Ian's comments were meant to illustrate a class of drugs that could never be intended as performance enhancing
Sept. 17
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Folks have figurred out to defend against a 10-12 HCP NT.

I fail to see why a fert presents some kind of insurmountable problem.
The issue boils down to familiarity, not the difficult in creating a defense.
Sept. 16
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FWIW, the company that I work for doesn't allow employees to bring their work computers / phones into China. (Nothing that has a company issues cert goes in or out)
Sept. 16
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It's nice to finally see folks admitting that the reason that they object to an electronic playing environment is that this will hurt their ability to read the other folks at the table. Perhaps we can actually have a serious discussion of this issue rather than fielding specious claims about destroying the “social” aspect of the game.

From my own perspective, I don't want to be in a position where I need to trust that Lynn or Gonzalo or anyone for that matter isn't taking advantage of UI.

1. We know for a fact that most every top level bridge event was irrevocably fouled because various pairs were engaged in outright cheating. Why should I believe that even more people aren't taking advantage of their partner's hitches?

2. We also know that folks are enormously good at both pattern recognition and lying to themselves about cognitive processes. Even if people aren't fielding partner's hitches consciously, I find it hard to believe that they aren't doing so on a subconscious level.
Sept. 16
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While I believe that this idea has promise, I worry about implementation.

The internet connectivity from Wuhan seems very spotty, which suggests that there might be some practical issues with the idea.
Sept. 15
Richard Willey edited this comment Sept. 16
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As a long standing critique of the WBF decision to adopt the IOC's drug policies, I am flabbergast that the WBF has actually found a way to make this policy even worse. Regardless of what one thinks of the drug policy, bridge is a game governed by rules and having the administers deciding that these rules will be applied in a selective and arbitrary manner feels far far worse than the current state.

The WBF drug policy was public.
After the shit show when Disa was stripped of her medal, any professional playing bridge should have been aware of

1. The existence of the WBF drug policy
2. The penalties for violating it

I have sympathy for Mr Helgemo and the Zmmerman team. However, if the WBF wants to rectify the situation then the correct thing to do is revisit the decision to adopt the IOC drug policy rather than enforcing it in a random and capricious fashion.
Sept. 15
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Perhaps. However, if this is the case, then I wish that things weren't justified by pretenses about dominant / destructive systems…
Sept. 14
Richard Willey edited this comment Sept. 14
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This is all very well and good, but what does it have to do with the difficulty of defending against a strong pass system?

My understanding is that the reason that these systems are banned is because they are hard to defend against, not that they are a superior method…
Sept. 14
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> Once opponents have made a strong pass, your making
> some low level bids actually help them.

So what? How is this different than after a strong club opening?
Hell, how is this different than after ANY opening?

> You can double after a strong club.
> You can't double over a strong pass.

So what?

Didn't you just claim that low level interference like (hypothetical) doube help the opponents?
Sept. 14
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