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All comments by Richard Willey
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Google flights is the best tool to find cheap fares, but they won't book anything for you.

However, you can present the code that google flights spits out to a travel agent and for $50 they will book you a seat.
March 6, 2017
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I would describe this as a feature, not a cost…

If the ACBL needs to pay “out of pocket” for rooms and the like it will improve the transparency of the system.
March 6, 2017
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Few quick comments

1. The ACBL has been scamming people on hotel rooms for decades. Why would anyone ever wait until the last minute for the “privilege” of waiting to book their room through the ACBL rather than doing this yourself for far less money. In all seriousness, the contracts that the ACBL signs with the hotels provides discounts to the organization in return for artificially inflating room prices for the members.

If folks haven't learned by now to do their own booking then I have very little sympathy.

2. It took me all of a minute to find the following places online

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16113662?checkin=2017-07-22&checkout=2017-07-30&s=M1VQaf0F

https://www.expedia.com/Toronto-Hotels-Studio-6-Toronto.h12388.Hotel-Information?chkin=07%2F23%2F2017&chkout=07%2F30%2F2017&rm1=a2&regionId=0&hwrqCacheKey=171c8c6e-667d-4d63-94eb-1c2bccf97dc4HWRQ1488728073889&vip=false&c=9a0ed8d7-4384-4f47-a526-15e29fceb73d&&exp_dp=108.58&exp_ts=1488728074545&exp_curr=USD&exp_pg=HSR

3. I travel up to Toronto fairly often. If you want really cheap hotel rooms in Toronto, then you want to schedule your events for winter, not July

4. Personally, I think that the declining attendance has a lot more to do with age of the membership rather than the cost of the hotel rooms… I was down in Orlando for a couple days during fall Nationals. Damn, it was depressing.
March 5, 2017
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I think that you identified a real issue, however, I think that more data is necessary…

I would be interested in seeing a survey of participants in the qualifying rounds for the past two - three years to determine whether they prefer to play on a weekend but conflict with the GNTs or a weekday.
March 5, 2017
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Perhaps the real problem is that there is a fundamental inconsistency when you want to both

1. Use simple language to ban general classes of methods
2. Carve out special exceptions for the stuff that you like to play
Feb. 26, 2017
Richard Willey edited this comment Feb. 26, 2017
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Agree completely.

If bridge was a more relevant game the computers would already have won…
Feb. 24, 2017
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It is certainly much better than what we have now.

I very much hope that the votes on adoption will be published.
Feb. 24, 2017
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I have a (quick) comment about the organization structure of the charts:

I would find it easier if you published different versions of the charts for different event types rather than annotating individual regulations within the Convention Chart.

So, there would be a “Gold Chart” for 2-3 board round events and a second version of the Gold Chart for events between 5-12 rounds. Perhaps a third for events with 14 plus board rounds.
Feb. 24, 2017
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Seems trivial to place the 1N and 2C responses in 1S and distribute the 1S bid across those two bids…
Feb. 23, 2017
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Isn't it obvious? This isn't about creating consistent definitions. Its about advantaging certain types of methods.

Neither Meckstroth nor Martel play canape. Therefore opening 4 card suits is disadvantages.

US pros don't want to deal with arttificial overcalls of their short clubs. Therefore we see the following under the definition of natural.

“A 1C opening bid that shows 3 or more clubs. This opening may also include exactly 4=4=3=2 shape.”
Feb. 23, 2017
Richard Willey edited this comment Feb. 23, 2017
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I agree that a balanced hand might have a primary diamond suit.

With this said and done, I think that the wording regarding “might have length on in” should only apply to single suited hands.
Feb. 23, 2017
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In the previous thread about the Convention Charts, I asked the following question

“In the past, I have played a 2D opening that shows

4+ Diamonds, 4+ cards in either Hearts or Spades and ~5 - 10 HCPs.
If I am reading this chart correctly, this opening is now permissable.

I would appreciate clarification”

Michael Shuster replied as follows: “That should be allowed.”

Is this still the case?

If not, who was responsible for making this change?
Feb. 22, 2017
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Hi Larry, the version of the “Gold” convention chart that was posted roughly a month ago permitted “assumed fit” methods. It sounds as if the revised version does not.
Feb. 20, 2017
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In the last version of this convention chart, it was legal to play a 2D opening that showed a preemptive hand with

4+ Diamonds and 4+ cards in either (Hearts or Spades)

Is this no longer the case?
Feb. 20, 2017
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I would claim that “Which defender holds the 8 in a suit that has been bid and raised” is an example of a predetermined key.

The key is “which defender holds the 8”.
This key (and the situations in which it applies) were agreed to in advance.

<Nevermind, I misread your original posting>
Feb. 19, 2017
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> Richard, whether the line should be at 9 or 10 or some
> other number is certainly a reasonable question, and
> we debated pushing for a lower number. Wherever you
> set it you have to resolve whether it's a bright line or
> not. (And even if there were no line at all on the chart
> for high level events, there would be one on lower
> charts.)

Here's the thing: Historically, the ACBL has drawn only a handful of bright lines. Indeed,

“You can't apply judgement regarding regarding the whether or not to open 1NT with a nine count” might be the only line that folks universally agree is immutable. (I believe that you are able to apply judgement / claim deviation if you systemically open 1M on the occasional 7 count or decide to apply judgement and open a Precision 1D with great nine count).

Given that the ACBL doesn't have any strong tradition of drawing bright lines, its unclear to me that we should be creating one. (Given that we have traditionally allowed the duffers to open 2 with whatever they damn well please, I hardly see why we get bent out of shape over 1NT openings)
Feb. 19, 2017
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Please note: I am not the one claiming that dual messaging carding on anything other than the first trick presents an unsurmountable ethical challenge while Lavinthal discards do not.

With this said and done, my understanding is that the primary issue with odd even discards is the following:

Playing odd even discards, a discard of suit “foo” needs to allow for more possibilities than does a more standard discarding method or even Lavinthal discards. As such, it is more likely that players using odd even discards will encounter a situation in which they can not find a convenient card to discard and, in turn, this will increase the likelihood that they will hitch.
Feb. 18, 2017
Richard Willey edited this comment Feb. 18, 2017
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Playing Lavinthal discards, I can not discard a spade to indicate that I want you to lead a spade.

Playing odd even discards, I can play an odd spade to indicate that I want you to lead a spade.
Feb. 18, 2017
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Odd even discards are an example of a dual-message carding strategy.

Discarding an even card provides two bits of information

1. I prefer that you not lead this suit
2. I have the following preference between the remaining two suits
Feb. 18, 2017
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FWIW, here is how I would define encrypted signals (and similarly encrypted bidding)

Encrypted signaling methods define two (or more) sets of mutually exclusive signaling methods. For example:

• Set 1: We are playing standard count and attitude
• Set 2: We are playing upside down count and attitude

The defenders agree on a pre-determined key to determine which signally methods they are using on a particular hand. For example

• If West has an even number of trump, we will play standard count + attitude
• If West has an odd number of trump, we will play UDCA
Feb. 18, 2017
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