Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Richard Willey
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
It is considered bad form to simply state “Your argument is stupid” without explaining why…
Aug. 2, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Dave, I work in Akamai's InfoSec department. I spend an annoying percentage of my life trying to make sure that the no one manages to break SSL or DDOS our systems. Believe me when I say that your snarky little observation doesn't add to the conversation.

If the Chinese were manufacturing the processor or the RAM, I'd be seriously concerned. Introducing a flaw to the RNG would have serious consequences and be hard to detect. Introducing a side channel attack during assembly would be a lot easier to identify.

Please note: I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that the NSA has introduced just this type flaw into our chips. (I took a great class with Bruce Schneier last semester at Harvard Law School. We spent a lot of time discussing just that scenario. Here's the thing:

The “fact” that the NSA might very well have a way to break my encryption doesn't mean that I should volunteer to install malware on my system. And the fact that my laptop was manufactured in China doesn't mean that I can dismiss concerns about what applications I install.
Aug. 2, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
One thing that I do find rather annoying. Years and years ago, when BBO was first getting started with VuGraphs I tried to convince Fred and Co that there was an advantage to using BBO's then dominant position to push for open standards for Vugraph and the like. Didn't have much luck. Now we're all screwed.
Aug. 2, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Please note: I am speaking strictly for myself here and a not for my employer.

Anyone stupid enough to install a random Chinese binary on their machine deserves what they get.
Aug. 2, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Alternatively, the date is way too noisy to draw a meaningful conclusion
July 28, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> To defray costs, the ACBL might begin building its own
>large modern Bridge Centers in strategic locations around
>the country.

>(…one of my few worthwhile suggestions. So, it bears
>repeating. :)


If you consider this idea one of your few worthwhile suggestions, I'd hate to see your bad ones. In all seriousness, this may be the stupidest idea that I've seen in years.

At the most basic level, the ACBL has about two and a half million dollars in the bank. Where pray tell, is the organization supposed to get the money to undertake a major real estate development “close to five star hotels”.

More daunting, what leads you to believe that the ACBL has the organizational competence build these bridge centers? The ACBL has a weak central executive and dysfunctional and distributed oversight. The organization is barely competent to negotiate for hotels contracts and you want them purchasing and managing real estate.

Last, but not least, a projections suggest that membership rolls are going to contract dramatically as the ACBL's players fall off a demographic cliff. In particular, participation in club games is plummeting. If anything, the organization needs to to be shedding fixed costs, not purchasing real estate.


July 27, 2014
Richard Willey edited this comment July 27, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
From the looks of things, 7 of the top 8 seeds in the Spingold included at least one pair from outside North America. The next eight teams also included a very high number of non ACBL players / pairs.

Simply put, I don't find the results particularly surprising, especially given Nickell's early exit. I don't thik that this can be used to judge the relative strength of the field across the two continents. Rather, it would seem to reflect a more competitive labor market for bridge pros.
July 27, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Its extremely easy to do so, which is why no one in their right mind should ever input their credit card number into any such machine…
July 23, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Is there a complete version of the hearing available anywhere? I can find a bunch of copies of the press release and a abridgeded version of the report at http://neapolitanclub.altervista.org/eng/elinescu-wladow-affaire-report-of-a-hearing-of-the-appeal-tribunal.html however, I'm not having much luck finding an unabridged version of the report.
July 21, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Get enough sleep.

Bring “useful” snack food so you can nibble on vaguely nutritious stuff throughout the course of the day and avoid sugar spikes.

Its worth taking some time to see the Grand Canyon and some of the other geological formations
July 17, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
>Where I think people will get in trouble with a more than 2
>point deviation is their typical definition of 1?, which
>usually mentions specifically HCP in the definition

Few quick comments:

Most strong club players that I know don't use HCP's as the primary measure to evaluate whether or not to open a strong club. (As a practical example, playing MOSCITO, the hand evaluation is based primarily on a combination of slam points - A = 3, K = 2, Q = 1 - and shape) On occasion, regulatory authorities require players to use HCPs to describe much more complicated agreements which creates all sorts of problems.

FWIW, MOSCITO uses a lighter strong club opening that most Precision methods. I've opened 1 on a number of 14 counts. I just sat down and tried to come up with a 13 HCP hand where I'd be tempted to open 1 rather than making a limited opening or making some kind of preempt. The closest that I was able to come was something like

KQJT98
AQJT98
9
Void

And even here, I'm feeling pretty doubtful. This isn't to say that I'd never want to open 1 on a 13 count, however, I can't think of a hand where I'd want to do so. With this said and done, if I did come up with such a hand, I don't think it would e unreasonable to treat this as a deviation. I don't believe that deviations aren't rigidly defined by HCPs - nor have I ever seen a regulation stating that a hand that if off by more that 2 HCP can't be considered as a deviation. Rather, the definition seems to hinge on the existence of a fuzzy boundary. 99% pf the time, the boundary defining this bid can be described by the following short, succinct, and easy to understand statement. However, once in a blue moon, there's an exception. Its not worth muddying the simple definition by including 1,001 possible violations. Rather, we create the notion of a “deviation”.

I used to spend a lot of time and effort trying to create a metric that I could use to describe different types of hands. Strong club openings, limited openings, preempts, … I even have a very complicated Dealer script that I use for bidding practice. I eventually concluded that the whole idea was rubbish. The only approach that I find works really well is provide a set of example hands that illustrate the boundary between different openings. Something like the following: “Here's a set of hands where I'm almost indifferent between a strong club opening and a limited 1 opening and here's why.”

I know this doesn't scale well from humans playing in tournaments, however, I think that this might represent a good form of disclosure for computers. “Here's a set of 128 hands that correspond with the auction so far”




July 10, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> ok, I've read it, and I think you are wrong on
> this case, Richard

No problem with that. If you have a chance, please provide your own interpretation of what the GCC says. In particular, what clause under openings allows one to play a Precision 1 opening?
July 10, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I agree that that 10+ HCP 1 opening covers non- forcing 1 openings (as well as Polish club and the like). However, there is no other language under “Openings” that sanctions a Precision type 1 opening.

Much as I might ridicule the ineptitude of the ACBL and their near complete inability to write decent regulations, even I don't believe that they are incompetent enough to suggest that licensing a set of responses to given opening is equivalent to licensing the opening itself, especially when there is alternative language in the “Openings” section that allow the opening in question.
July 9, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Chris, you have absolutely no idea about the convention regulations. Maybe you should study up some before giving advice.

The Precision one club opening is sanction under line item 1 of the GCC which permits the use of a one club opening that promises 10 or more high card points. (note the number 10, which is quite far removed from 15)

Lets assume that I'm playing a standard response structure over a Precise club, in which a one diamond response denies a game forcing hand and 1H+ all show different types of game forces.

Line item 7 under responses and rebids does indeed make reference to a 15 HCP lower bound on strong club openings. “ARTIFICIAL AND CONVENTIONAL CALLS after strong (15+ HCP), forcing opening bids”. However, this is moot because a precision type response structure is sanctioned using other parts of the same chart.

Line item one under responses and rebids sanctions any type of 1D response, so I'm fine there. Line item 3 under the same, allows any response that promises game forcing values. So I'm fine there as well.

There would be a bit more trouble if you were using a MOSCITO type response structure where there are a variety of artificial semi positive response to the strong club opening. However, even here you aren't going to encounter any significant trouble if you chose to upgrade the occasional 13 count. The ACBL is very clear about those cases where players can't exercise judgement. (mini NTs on 9 counts and the like). This isn't of them.

So, if someone like Chris calls the director, get ready for a good laugh cause any decent director will tell Chris to stop wasting everyone's time.

July 9, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Few quick observations which can be summarized as “The problem is framed incorrectly”.

1. From what I can tell, the partnership in question wasn't playing a strong, artificial, and forcing 2 opening, so all the ACBL rules about this are irrelevant

2. As far as I know, nothing in the ACBL rules prohibit psyching a strong, natural 2 opening

3. It's possible that the partner of the opener may have fielded the psyche by passing 3, however, its impossible to know without better information about the partnership agreement and responder's hand.


July 8, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The trivial amount of money involved is precisely why shouldn't hit Buffett up for funding.

1. If an organization can't figure out how to raise this small an amount, they really don't deserve support. Asking for this amount signals that you don't have your shit together.

2. Buffett can (essentially) afford to fund anything. You don't waste interrupts with individuals like this for piddily shit.

July 1, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
> I don't understand how people can insist that USBF was
> obligated to donate its money to fund an event when the
> event's organizers refused to let USBF play any meaningful
> role in running that event

I don't recall anyone insisting that the USBF has an obligation to fund this event. I have seen a lot of folks, myself included, stating that the USBF was incredibly incompetent in the way in which they have become involved in this brou-ha-ha.

1. The amount of money involved is trivial. Had the USBF not involved itself to begin with, I'm quite sure that an alternative funding source could have been easily found.

2. Once involved, the USBF decided to walk away in a pique because they did not get their way. I understand that the USBF didn't like being handed a fait accompli when it came to team selection. With this and done, what is better for organized bridge

A. Derailing this year's Buffett Cup - and possibly all future Buffett cups.

B. The horror of seeing the team Levin put together playing this year?

3. I don't know what kind of personal issues there are surrounding the team selection process. However, the team that Levin put together looks very good. The most disappointing part of this whole affair is the rampant suspicion its generating regarding the USBF management, because guess what - it sure doesn't seem plausible that you're making a stand based on principle.



June 27, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Take a look at the average age of ACBL members and then compare this to the target demographics for advertisers. Even if you could draw a decent crowd to watch this show, the TV stations wouldn't be able to sell add time.

If you want to create good content

1. Keep complete records
2. Provide good vugraphs
3. Hire someone like Eric Kokish to do a write up on the hands and then make this available for free download

(Kokish used to do a great job with the world championship books)

The fixed cost for generating the content should be quite reasonable and electronic distribution makes the marginal cost trivial…

June 26, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I find it remarkable that you use “increased ACBL membership” as a way to measure whether an event is good for bridge.

Personally, I think that broadcasting examples of high level play is a hell of a lot more useful than anything that the ACBL provides and I welcome the day that the sad remnants of organized bridge in North America get subsumed by the EBU or some such…

(Come the day that the ACBL can actually provide a useful membership services like regulating conventions or facilitating Vugraphs or doing anything other than separating geriatric cases from their social security checks I may change my mind)
June 26, 2014
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
As Tom Thompson points out, the European Bridge League's conditions of contest clearly specify that teams that refuse to play against another team or contestant are to be expelled.

I understand that its unpleasant to enforce such rules. However, refusing to do so or playing along with the polite fiction that the Lebanese team was caught in traffic or whatever demeans the game.

If the Lebanese team is unable to aide by the rules of the event, then they damn well shouldn't be entering.
June 25, 2014
.

Bottom Home Top