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All comments by Richard Willey
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The most useful information is board results in comparable events. Lots and lots of board results.
April 3, 2014
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Question for the peanut gallery: Just how much interest is there in solving this problem?

I have access to some very sophisticated machine learning software at my current place of work. (http://www.redlambda.com/products/metagrid-platform/neural-foam/) better yet, I know their CTO. He's a fantasy football buff (He has the number one rated fantasy football team in the world according to CBSSports.com)

I'm quite sure that between us we can come up with a very accurate set of seeding estimates. Here's the rub:

Lets assume that I am able to come up with a seeding model, along with some kind of objective accuracy model. Is their any chance that this would be of practical use? If this would actually be used, I'd be happy to invest some effort… If its going to be ignored because Horn Lake likes the status quo, I'll pass…


April 2, 2014
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I am often quite critical of the way that cheating charges have been levied and cheating investigations conducted. Its nice to see a case where the side making the claim seems to have done things correctly.

From my perspective, what I found most impressive is the fact that the USA team was able to present a testable hypothesis and that the WBF was then able to validate this during a future session.
April 2, 2014
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Interesting reading to say the least.

Professionally speaking, I like the way in which the WBF built their case.

They started by specifying a testable hypothesis: W+E are cheating using the following code.

They followed this by collecting data to verify this specific hypothesis.

The combination of specifying the code in advance and then collecting data consistent with this is very powerful.

In an ideal world, there are a couple additional points that I would have liked to have seen addressed:

• Were there any occurrences during which W+E were monitored that were not consistent with the “code”. I’m most certainly not alleging that there was selective presentation of data. However, addressing this in advance is good form
• A summary of the hands in question

o W+E were monitored over “foo” hands
o X hands were consistent with the code
o Foo – X hands were inconsistent with the code





March 28, 2014
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If misinformation has been provided, the offending side is obligated to point this out at the first opportunity.

In this case, LHO should have noted that the alert was mistaken after the bidding had finished and before the opening lead was made.

It’s worth mentioning that the precise same procedure should apply regardless of whether the misinformation involved a conventional sequence or a natural sequence.
March 26, 2014
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BBO used to have the notion of a private club as a supported feature. This never got used much and I believe it was discontinued. You might be able to convince Uday to bring it back.
March 22, 2014
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I would strongly prefer if all extraneous discussion of religion, politics, etc. were banned on these boards. Things can get heated enough without allowing politic disagreements to spill over into a bridge forum.

FWIW, I don't have any problem with

1. Discussions about bridge federations like the WBF, the EBU, or the ACBL

2. Discussions about bridge incidents like Shanghai which resulted in incidental discussions about US politics and the Chinese government

3. “Political” ads like Keystone XL (my presumption is that the choice of ads isn't a conscious choice of the folks who run the site)

However, general discussion regarding politics and the like have the potential to go pear shaped very quickly.
March 15, 2014
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Partner doubled, I have a void, and RHO couldn't find an immediate club raise. I know that its dangerous to trust the opponents, but sounds like partner has a NT oriented hand that is too strong to double. I wish I had a club to lead, but even so I'm doubling…
March 12, 2014
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In my experience, pairs eliminate strong options from their multi 2 opening so they can pass 2 with suitable hands. In turn, this significantly increases the difficulty of devising a defense.
March 11, 2014
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2 = 4+ Diamonds and 4+ in either major
2 = 4+ Hearts and (4+ Spades or 5+ Clubs)
2 = 6+ Spades or (4+ Spades and 5+ Clubs)

http://www.chrisryall.net/bridge/weak.two/frelling.htm
March 10, 2014
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Personally, I'd like to see explicit linkage between the inherent variance of event formats and masterpoint awards.

Decreasing the number of boards shortens the amount of time required to hold an event, however, it also significantly increases the variance in the results. Its much easier for a weak team to upset a stronger one in an 8 board match than a 16 board match.

We have enough board results to be able to estimate the inherent variance in board results. Its easy enough to run a Monte Carlo simulation to determine the accuracy of given formats. Given that masterpoints supposedly measure performance, it seems right and proper to tie the size of the award to our certainty that the best team won.

Feb. 28, 2014
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If bridge has a future in North America, its not going to involve the ACBL. In a previous thread, Kevin Lane provided a good breakdown of “masterpoint winners” by age. With 10 years, over 50% of existing players will exit the system. Within 2 years, you're going to lose 90%. Its conceivable that the ACBL will come up with some dramatic new recruitment system that will arrest this trend, but given their track record over the past couple decades I'd be shocked if this were to happen.

I'd argue that the best option for serious players who are genuinely concerned about the game is to prepare for this eventuality. From my perspective, this will require setting up parallel organizations alongside the ACBL. Lose of members is going to cripple the ACBL's finances. The organization will be far too distracted to be any good to folks.

The USBF should be able to handle issues related to international representation. Hwever, I recommend that folks who want to compete in regional or national level events 20 years hence should start planning for the great unwinding.
Feb. 28, 2014
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Still think we'd be better off outsourcing the whole damn thing to the Brits and just adopt the Orange Book
Feb. 27, 2014
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Is the variance associated with a method reasonable grounds for restricting sanction?

Assume that you have two different 2H opening bids.

• Both bids have the same expected value per board
• The complexity of the suggested defenses is comparable
• The variance in the board results is significant higher for method A compared to method B

Is it reasonable to restrict approval for method A because its use can disadvantage stronger card players / defenders?
Feb. 26, 2014
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Thanks for getting these numbers!

Based on what you're showing, I'm guessing that upwards of 45% of the current membership will drop from the rolls by 2025 and upwards of 80% will be gone by 2035.

You're going to need one hell of a recruiting program to try to outweigh these demographics.

Feb. 20, 2014
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nope
Feb. 18, 2014
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It’s hard to make a reasonable recommendation without better information regarding the expected attrition in membership rolls over the next 10 years.

Last I heard, the mean age of the ACBL membership is something like 73. As horrific as that number might sound, the “reality” is probably a lot worse. Given the demographic skew, the mode is probably higher than that. Before doing anything else, I’d want to understand three pieces of data

• What is the mode age of the ACBL membership?
• What percentage of the membership does the mode +/- 2 years encompass?
• What is the average age at which ACBL members leave the rolls?

Personally, I think that the membership numbers are going to go through a dramatic contraction over the next few years as a demographic bulge exits the system. A strong membership campaign might be able to keep pace with this, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the ACBL to hit 250K.
Feb. 18, 2014
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As I recall, the intent of the methods is to make a better informed decision about when to play 3NT. The methods

1. Provides some of the same information as 4 way transfers with pre-accepts.

2. Provides some of the same information as 1N - (P) - 3M “anti-lemming”




Feb. 4, 2014
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Notrump bidding the Scanian Way has a good write up.

As I recall, 2NT showed any minimum.
New suits at the three level showed a worthless doubleton

Feb. 3, 2014
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If the opponents intervene in the auction, we are committed to either double them or compete to the five level.

(I chose this auction because it was simple, not necessarily that it was that exciting)


Feb. 3, 2014
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