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All comments by Richard Willey
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>Still, I'm still not convinced that these sorts of >probabilities are the best way to think about it.

My biggest concern is auto-correlation across boards…
Aug. 21, 2013
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Even if there were no seeding, I'd still expect later rounds to be closer than early rounds.

Maybe the real problem is that the standard deviation is too high relative to the mean.
Aug. 21, 2013
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Are these figures constant across all the rounds of a major tournament? Assume once again a 5 round KO. This time assume that there is a reasonable attempt at seeding.

On average, the difference in the skill level between teams should be smaller in later rounds than in early rounds. I would expect that mu would decrease as the tournament progressed…
Aug. 21, 2013
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Hi Bernard

Sorry for any confusion. I should have been more clear in my original post.

When I was discussing optimizing the number of boards, I as implicitly assuming trading off boards between different rounds of a multi-round event.

Lets assume I am running a five KO round event, with a total of 320 boards. How should I distribute these boards across the total set of rounds? (I'd be shocked if 5 rounds of 64 boards turned out to be optimal in anything other than an extremely tight field)
Aug. 21, 2013
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> My (unpopular, I'm sure) solution would be to
> shorten matches to 56 boards, or even 48.

It would be relatively easy to model different types of tournament designs.

Treat each hand in a long team match as an individual sample. Determine the mean and standard deviation. Repeat for all of the matches across all the rounds of the event.

Next, determine how many boards each round should be to maximize the chance that best team wins (subject to some set of external constraints - the event can't last for more than 5 days, players can't compete for more than 10 hours a day, whatever)
Aug. 21, 2013
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It will be interesting to see if you are correct…
Aug. 20, 2013
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That's a curious assertion given that the C&C has repeatedly stated that Midchart legal openings are not allowed unless there is an explicit defense listed in the Defensive Database…

Then again, consistency was never their strong suit…
Aug. 19, 2013
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All well and good, but until they manage to publish a suggested defense to the a 2D opening showing the majors or a 2H opening showing 5+ hearts and 5+ cards in another suit neither bid is legal…
Aug. 19, 2013
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I believe it is a deliberate attempt to suppress variance in the contract. Here's a simple thought experiment for you:

Let's assume that I am playing a long team match against a superior team. If we declare the same contract, from the same direction, we expect this team to beat us 90% of the time. (On occasion, we'll get lucky, the card gods will smile, and our inferior lines of play will work better)

Now, let's assume that my team decides to adopt a radically different bidding system. We're going to arrive at different contracts via very different auctions. This will significantly negate the opponent's edge in card play and defense.

I can mathematically prove that adopting INFERIOR bidding methods will improve our change of winning the match so long as the increase in the variance in the contract dominates the expected value of the bidding system.
Aug. 16, 2013
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Personally, I think that its a mistake for the C&C to tie the approval of methods to board length.

Please note: I don't disagree that the decision to allow methods should be tied to board length. However, ultimately I think that this decision should devolve to the individuals running events. If the folks running a tournament want to allow forcing pass in an event with 2 board rounds, the C&C isn't going to be able to stop them.

I think that its more than reasonable for the C&C to produce example charts that it recommends for various types of events.

Chart A is intended for “No Fear Events”.

Chart B is intended for National Level Expert events with 7 Board matched.

Chart C is intended for Open level pairs events with 2-3 board rounds

However, the C&C can and shouldn't be making mandates.
Aug. 16, 2013
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> For those of you that play in the ACBL, you should make
> your proposals change to C&C and see if you can convince
> that body to advise the BoD to approve.

Last I heard, the C&C was overworked and wasn't accepting new methods for consideration. According to the Way Back machine, the committee hasn't approved a single new method
for at least 5 years.

Moreover, Meckstroth has directly stated that he will never allow “diabolical” systems like MOSCITO to be played North America. Why should I waste time and effort dealing the C&C so long as he's on it?

I recommend looking at the following thread for a more detailed treatment.

http://www.bridgebase.com/forums/topic/13220-hum-system-definitions/

In any case, be glad that I'm not feeling more engaged. From what I can tell, the best way to get the ACBL to act on something is to find some pretext to sue the organization.
Aug. 15, 2013
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Bobby Goldman was a great man. I am proud that I was able to partner him a few times. With this said and done, I think that its telling that some many of your stories involving the good deeds of the C&C committee involve someone who died 14 years ago.
Aug. 15, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 15, 2013
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I would certainly like to see considerable more latitude with respect to the set of conventions allowed in ACBL games. With this said and done, I think that critical issue is one of governance. The ACBL is institutionally incapable of providing consistent guidance to players regarding what is / is not legal. Rather than focusing on a specific set of outcomes, I think that its a lot more important to fix the underlying processes.
Aug. 15, 2013
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No offense, but send the same question to four different people in Memphis and you'll get at least three “official” positions. The organization is completely incompetent in providing consistent guidance on these sorts of topics. (The classic example is whether or not a 2S preempt that promises 5+ spades and 4+ cards in either minor is legal at the GCC level)

I swear, we'd be better off outsourcing governance to the EBU and just adopt the White and Orange books.
Aug. 15, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 15, 2013
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As a related note, I've always considered it ridiculous that transfer Walsh is completely legitimate as a response structure to a 1C opening at the Midchart level, but MOSCITO style transfer openings are so complex that the Conventions committee can find a defense that they are willing to approve.
Aug. 15, 2013
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I would expect that the conditional probabilities change depending on the opening bid…
Aug. 15, 2013
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FWIW, I have pretty good perspective on this topic. 10 odd years ago, I attempted to get suggested defenses approved for “Frelling Two Bids” as documented on Chris Ryall’s web site. http://www.chrisryall.net/bridge/weak.two/frelling.htm The eventual outcome of these discussions was that the convention committee ruled that assumed fit methods are inherently destructive and banned them at all levels of play in ACBL events.

From my perspective, members of the conventions committee had two fundamental issues with this type of method. First, a number of individuals – most notably Chip Martel – insisted that any suggested defense needed to be based on takeout doubles in direct seat. When I pointed out that most established defenses to methods like Ekrens use penalty oriented doubles, Martel opinioned that this was too complicated for ACBL members and that the appropriate course of action was to ban the method. Shortly there-after, these methods were ruled inherently destructive.

In addition, I believe that the conventions committee has an overall goal of suppressing variance. Assumed fit methods are based on radically different principles than traditional preemptive methods. You’ll often end up in a very different contract that the rest of the field. This, in conjunction with the high frequency of the method, can significant negate the advantages of a superior card player. North American professionals don’t want to see these types of methods cross the pond. (The committee refused to approve any defenses to MOSCITO transfer openings using the same logic)

Personally, I don’t think that you will ever see any liberalization in the set of methods allowed in North America until the approval process for suggested defenses is radically changed. Currently, the only purpose that the Defense Database serves is a mechanism to neuter the midchart by banning otherwise legal methods. It has been years since the Conventions Committee has managed to approve any kind of defense. Its been the better part of a decade since they were even accepting new methods for consideration.

Personally, I’d like to see the following type of system put in place.

Here is a brief description how I think that the Defensive Database should work.

1. Players can submit any method that they want to a specially created web forum. Sixth months after the submission date, the convention becomes legal for Midchart events.

2. During the intervening time, ACBL members have plenty of time to propose / refine various defenses.

3. At the end of the sixth month process, the Conventions Committee will bless the “best” defenses.

4. If the Conventions Committee doesn’t believe that any reasonable defenses have been proposed, they can create a one time exception and delay the release of the convention by an additional six months. During this time, the Conventions Committee has the responsibility to devise and approve its own defense.

FWIW, I agree that this type of crowd-sourcing system is less than perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the clusterfuck that we’re dealing with today. I also recognize that this system is focuses on

1. Increasing the number of conventions that players are able to use
2. Ensuring that good defenses get devised to said methods

I wouldn’t be adverse to a mechanism by which some methods can be permanently banned. However, I steadfastly maintain that said bans should be enacted by amending the Convention Charts rather than refusing to sanction defenses.

I think that its reasonable to require players who submit new conventions to do a fair amount of work when they submit a method including

1. Deal generator scripts that accurately describe the methods in question
2. Hand records showing hands that occurred during real life play.
Aug. 15, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 15, 2013
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Roland, if you're going to resort to penis jokes, please display a bit more panache… For example, my first name is Richard which is commonly abbreviated as “Dick”. A name like “Dick Willey” gives all sorts of opportunities for word play and you come up with something like this?
Aug. 13, 2013
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Roland: Reading comprehension is apparently not one of your strong points, so lets revisit the thread in question:

You made a very specific and wholly inaccurate claim. More specifically, you stated

>Nothing new there, David. If you are big enough (USA),
>you can power your way to the right result for your side.
>If you are small and insignificant (Israel), you stand no
>chance when you don't have your organisation (WBF) to back
>you.

>This is the crux of the matter. WBF is prepared to
>fight for USA (excellent!), less so regarding Israel
>as we have seen so clearly. Tragic.

Let’s examine the ways in which this statement in wrong… First and foremost, the Israeli bridge team was able to arrange for Visa’s to be granted to attend Bali. The USBF is in the process of having a visa granted so Migry can attend Bali. There is no difference in outcome.

Second, there is no evidence that the WBF’s behavior was any different wrt to the United States and Israel. The USBF is getting a visa issued by working directly with Indonesia. It doesn’t require the WBF to intervene. Even if the WBF failed to take action on the part of Israel, there is no difference in treatment.

Last, as people have noted before on numerous occasions, the visa issue is a red herring. Israel chose not to attend the event because they were unable to reach agreement about security concerns. The US is attending the event. Either the US doesn’t need to same security considerations or we were able to work and play nicely with the Indonesians.

The reason that people are treating your posts with disrespect is that you are continually painting a false narrative. You have been corrected on numerous occasions. You continue to obliviously barge ahead. After a while, things get old and tempers start to fray.

But, go ahead and play the victim…
You obviously revel in it…
Aug. 13, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 13, 2013
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The quote from Judy Kay-Wolff was in the “Bali Affair Part 2” thread. It refers to events in 1982.
Aug. 11, 2013
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