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All comments by Richard Willey
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Hi Phil

I believe that it would be prudent for the WBF to have contingency plans in place in case the ACBL goes pear shaped. I think that there are a number of significant risks in assuming a constant stream of $$$ and manpower from the ACBL.

With this said and done, I think that a suggestion that the USBF start running NABC events is highly problematic.

1. Running a large event like the Nationals requires a big cash reserve. If the USBF were in a position to run the Nationals, then they wouldn't need to run the Nationals.

2. The contracts for ACBL Nationals are worked out years in advance. This system would take forever and a day to unwind.

3. If the ACBL Nationals are making significant amounts of money, I can't see the ACBL ever wanting to give up the revenue stream. If the ACBL Nationals aren't making significant amounts of money, I can't see the USBF wanting to take responsibility.



July 22, 2015
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I have a copy in near perfect shape that I am willing to part with for a bit less that $100…

(Its weird to occasionally see people with names like TheGarve on BBO and wonder whether they're the individuals being referenced.)
July 22, 2015
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1/2 Euro is roughly 54 cents at current exchange rates.
July 20, 2015
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Personally, I don't think that this is an unreasonable proposal.

The ACBL is circling the drain. Perhaps its better if the organization started unwinding its positions and allow the USBF to grow into a more legitimate institution.

Since the ACBL will no longer need to have representatives participate in the laws commissions or sit on appeals panels, the ACBL can go back to doing what it does best (whatever that might be).






July 20, 2015
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Couple quick points

1. I don't see any option for “The ACBL and the USBF should be run as completely separate organizations with no cross subsidies and no shared governance.”

After all the idiocy surrounding the Shanghai incident, I think that the the USBF would be much better served if they severed all relationship between the two organization. (I understand the desire to tap into ACBL funding, however, this comes with a number of significant costs and given how dysfunctional the ACBL is these days the USBF should go it alone)

2. People are incredibly lazy. If you move towards on option in policy, very few people will opt in. However, this change won't reflect anything about people's beliefs about USBF funding. (There's a lot of very good literature regarding opt in versus opt out models for funding retirement savings. Even in cases where these sorts of decisions have enormous impacts on short term take home pay and long term retirement nest eggs, laziness prevails.

If you migrate to an opt in model, you aren't giving people a choice, rather you are gutting funding to the USBF and hiding behind a choice argument.




July 20, 2015
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One other issue that is worth mentioning.

Over the past 1o years or so, I have seen an alarming decline in the standard of play at both clubs and tournaments.

The 65 year old players that the ACBL is recruiting are never going to be nearly as strong as the players they are replacing.
July 18, 2015
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I know that we have a number of ACBL officials who read these forums. It would be nice if someone would post the text of the letters in question.
July 18, 2015
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He's also talking about the need for term limits as part of his re-election campaign…
July 18, 2015
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As I recall, the reason that a 1 opening on a 4=4=3=2 shape is treated as natural is complaints by the Americans that they didn't want to deal with folks playing convention overcalls over their short club openings. (Sadly, the BBO forums are down right now so I can't check the original discussions around. I'm pretty sure this happened after a match against the Dutch team who were playing Holo Bolo over conventional minor suit openings)
July 18, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment July 18, 2015
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I read the article. Frankly, it felt incoherent.

It wandered from random complain to random complaint, alluded to a bunch of stuff, but never provided enough information to reach any judgement about what's what.


July 18, 2015
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A couple month's back I was playing 2/1 GF. I chose to open 1 with the following hand

K972
AKQT
642
62

Do you believe that it is helpful for me to tell the opponents that we are playing four card majors? Alternatively, should my partner say that we're playing five card majors, but once in a blue moon I'll chose to open a strong four card major (though she never would)?
July 17, 2015
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Let me introduce a slight twist.

I have played in Precision partnerships where we agreed that 4-4-4-1 hands (and some 5-4-3-1 hands) do not exist. By which, I mean that we agreed that these hands were a hole in our system and we decided to make whatever bid felt like the smallest lie based on our individual judgement.

We might open any of 1D/1H/1S/1N/2C depending on texture.

Our follow up bidding assumed that a 1D opening showed 2+ Diamonds, just as our responses to a 1M assumed 5 card majors.

I question whether it is helpful to the opponents to describe that out 1D opening shows 1+ Diamonds, just as I question whether we should tell them that we are playing 4 card majors.
July 17, 2015
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As I mentioned earlier, on those (increasingly rare) occasions when I teach someone how to play bridge, I start with minibridge. When it comes time to teach someone a bidding system, I normally give them a choice and ask people what do you want out of your bidding system:

1. I want something standard that lots of people play and has lots of good material written about it. (If someone says “yes” I point them at 2/1 GF)

2. I want something that is as “natural” as possible. I don't want to worry about remembering what a bid means. I want to bid what I have (If someone likes this, we're going to play EHAA)

3. I want a scientific system. I am willing to put up with a lot of artificiality if it decreases overall memory load (if someone likes this, we're going to play MOSCITO or relay precision)
July 15, 2015
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When I am teaching bridge, I actually go couple steps further and dispense with bidding altogether.

Start with minibridge and use this to introduce tricks and get folks to understand what a good hand looks like and how hands fit together.

Once folks understand this, you can introduce (pretty much) any well designed bidding system and it should make sense.
July 15, 2015
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I enjoy bridge. I also enjoy Starfleet Battles. “Enjoying bridge” is not a unique value proposition.

I'm going to repeat my comments from earlier in the thread: If I were trying to make bridge more attractive to young players, I'd start by asking young players (and it grieves me to say that I no longer fall into this category)

July 15, 2015
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Sorry if this sounds cynical, however, can anyone identify a unique value proposition that bridge provides young players?

Don't get me wrong. I like the game a lot. However, in the current state its in, I'm not sure why I'd bother to learn how to play.
July 15, 2015
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Few quick comments regarding your recommendations

1. Newspapers are an incredibly bad way to reach young people. Arguably, there is probably a strong correlation between “young people who read newspapers” and “young people who would enjoy bridge”. Even so, I doubt that this would have any material impact on recruitment.

2. I took a look at a recent issue of the Bulletin. I don’t think this magazine is attractive to younger demographics.

3. (and similarly for 4) Trying to integrate young players into existing clubs will not succeed. (Young people don’t want to socialize with their grandparents)

If I were serious about increasing the number of under 25 year olds who played bridge, the first thing that I’d do is ASK a bunch of under 25 year olds what they think should be done.
July 13, 2015
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From the sounds of things your pass shows (pretty much) the same as a normal pass, however, this also includes some hands that a more aggressive pair might open. Some of these are unbalanced with a bad 5 card suit. Some of these are unbalanced with clubs.

I think that it would be polite to warn people that you are a very conservative opener and you might be passing some 13 / 14 counts. However, I don't think that you have any problems with the GCC
July 8, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment July 8, 2015
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I see two plausible answers:

1. The ACBL means well, but they are completely incompetent

2. The ACBL leadership has decided that things are hopeless and they are milking the membership for as much as they can get before that last spiral around the drain



June 28, 2015
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It will be a cold day in hell before I participate in a meaningful way in any ACBL event.

I think that game of bridge in North America will be much better position once the ACBL crashes and burns.

June 28, 2015
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