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All comments by Richard Willey
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The allocation of HCP's between the various hands could be changed tomorrow if this was material to anyone's opinion.

In all seriousness, is there anyone out there who is opposed to granting Master Points for the existing robot game, but who would support awarding Master Points if the allocation of High Card Points was changed?

I'd bet dollars to donuts that this is just an excuse that people are latching onto because it gives them something specific to complain about…

Aug. 10, 2014
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Preempts work fine again the bots.

As for people, I'm sorry if this is important to your game. If its any consolation, if your normal opponents were better at hiding their tells, your table feel wouldn't be worth much here either.
Aug. 9, 2014
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Bridge is a game of inference.

As you note, some of the inferences are different. However, this doesn't change the fundamental skills required to succeed at the game.
Aug. 9, 2014
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Funny, these seem likely exactly the types of bids that pros make when playing with clients and “The Hog” makes partnering with anyone.

Succeeding at bridge has always required understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your partner and modifying your bidding to be achieve a good score.
Aug. 9, 2014
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Couple quick observations about the BBO robots:

1. Playing against the robots is (arguable) more secure than playing with a live partner. Yes, you could, in theory, enter the same tournament with two accounts and use account 1 to feed information to account 2. However, this type of cheating is relatively easy to detect.

2. The bots play a lot better than a significant portion of the ACBL membership. I played in a live ACBL event a couple weeks back and was horrified at the level of play, not to mention watching 80 year olds trying to deal with Howell movement.


Aug. 9, 2014
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Damn Kids, Get Off My Lawn!
Aug. 9, 2014
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Wish that I could like this more than once…
Aug. 9, 2014
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Here's the rub. You were commenting on Turkish politics, which is what got you in trouble.
Aug. 6, 2014
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Image recognition technology is pretty well advanced.

It shouldn't be that difficult to to aim a camera at a screen displaying an Our Game match, extract the cards, and generate a Lin file. At that point in time, you just need to watch each bid that gets made and each card that gets played.

I know that MATLAB + Image Processing Toolbox could do this without much trouble.


Aug. 4, 2014
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I guess that you can either have participation from Israeli teams or allow countries with significant Muslim population to host, but not both.
Aug. 4, 2014
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Against me, the opps had the following auction

(2) - 2 - (X) - P
(3) - P - (3) - P
(4) - All pass

I got dragged into the ensuing argument and ventured that they got off to a good start, however, East should probably bid 5 or even 6 over 3. (With that said and done, I also don't like to open 2 on a three suited hand if I can help it)



Aug. 3, 2014
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> In what sense are we “all screwed”?

I think that the bridge playing public would be much better off if the WBF weren't in a position to charge for Vugraph.

I am extremely skeptical of the WBF, especially where money is concerned. As a practical example, I think that the WBF's attempt at getting bridge approved as an Olympic sport is primarily motivated by the desire to sell of Olympic Gold Medals to well heeled sponsors and attach themselves to the incredibly corrupt Olympic system.

I would very much prefer a system in which there is an open feed for various WBF events, to which any one of a number of providers can choose to subscribe. Now that WBF believes that they have a valuable property that they can charge for, its going to be a hell of a lot more difficult to get something more reasonable established


Aug. 2, 2014
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It is considered bad form to simply state “Your argument is stupid” without explaining why…
Aug. 2, 2014
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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
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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
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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
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Alternatively, the date is way too noisy to draw a meaningful conclusion
July 28, 2014
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> 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
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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
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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
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