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All comments by Richard Willey
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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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I prefer to play strong club systems. As a result, we have a lot of auctions like

1H - (P) - 3N

which is defined as “to play” and which explicitly includes the possibility of a preemptive raises. We've had to think a fair amount regarding competitive auctions and disclosure.

Explicitly differentiating between auctions that promise values and establish forcing passes and those that don't was essential for our own state of mind. Accordingly, we also figure that its something the opponents would probably find of interest…

As a practical example, the auction 1H - 3N does not establish a forcing pass. However, an auction like

1H - 2N
4H

does establish a forcing pass
Feb. 3, 2014
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Were I to try to “square the circle”, I'd do so using the notion of a forcing pass.

Let's assume an auction like

2S - (P) - 2N

Where 2S is a weak two bid in spades. If 2NT is a purely interrogative bid then it won't establish a forcing pass. In contrast, if 2NT shows values (you're trying to invite game or some such) I'd expect a forcing pass to be established.

Personally, I think that this is a critical piece of information that needs to be disclosed. Personally, I consider this to be more important than what type of ask you happen to be making.
Feb. 3, 2014
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Alerting everything is equivalent to alerting nothing. I fear that we've hit the point where this bit no longer conveys any useful information.
Jan. 28, 2014
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A few years back, I argued on the BBO forums that BBO should use its leadership position to push through open standards for VuGraph broadcast. I thought it would be advantageous to establish a tradition of free and open access for the raw feed encompassing the basic hand records (the individual deals, the bids made, the cards played, etc.) If people wanted to, they charge for value added services like comments and analysis layered over the “basic” information.

Sadly, this never went anywhere. Its always difficult to get hegemons to understand that they have a vested interest in establishing Open Standards.


Jan. 8, 2014
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The NYT OpEd and the BoD decision are addressing very different aspects of ECig use. The NYT OpEd focuses on whether ECigs should be allowed for use in the United States as a whole. In contrast, The BoD decision is focused on the much more specific choice whether to treat ECigs in a consistent manner with smoking.

Personally, I am torn about whether ECigs should be allowed for sale in the US. Ultimately, I suspect that the benefits outweigh the costs, however, only time will tell. With this said and done, I strongly believe that the public use of ECigs should be severely restricted and I agree with the decision to treat them in the same way as tobacco products and restrict their use to private property and designated areas set aside for smokers.
Dec. 10, 2013
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It is rare that I agree with ACBL BOD decisions. I think that they are dead on accurate on this one.

There has been a concerted effort by vapers to assert their right to “vap” in areas where smoking is banned. Here in Boston, I have seen people attempt to use ECigs in bars, movie theaters, and even once in the office.

The end result of this activity is often quite unpleasant. (The example in the bar came to a head when the vaper asserted his right to use the ECig and someone at a neighboring table asserted their right to pour a beer on the guy's head.)

In the long run, I expect that this will all get sorted out as traditional smoking regulations get applied to ECigs. However, in the short term there is a clear potential for conflict.

I think that the BOD took a responsible action in clarifying its expectations.






Dec. 9, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Dec. 9, 2013
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Here's my preferred defense.

It's based on the philosophy that most bids should be natural. If I make an overcall of a strong club opening, I want to force LHO to take immediate action or risk the auction getting passed out.

X = Both majors

Typical example hands

S KJT2 H QT98 D 73 C 762
H AJ763 H KT52 D 9 C 763

1D = Lead directing (typically a canape overcall)

S 92 H 874 D KQ3 C QT983
S 54 H T87432 D AQJ C 63

1H = Lead directing (typically a canape overcall)

1S = Spades

S AJ72 H 52 D QT62 C 763
S AQJ73 H 74 D 843 C K5
S AJ843 H K74 D 672 C 42

1N = 2 suited with Spades and a minor

S AQ52 H 673 D QT632 C 3
S AJT62 H 4 D 52 C KJ942

2C = Clubs and Hearts

S 7632 H QJ73 D 4 C KQ42
S 5 H AQJ9 D Q42 C KQ8742

2D = Diamonds and Hearts

S Q52 H KT52 D QT62 C 62
S 42 H KJT82 D AQ932 C 3

2H = Hearts

S 73 H QJT642 D K72 C 732
S K4 H AQT9732 D 73 C 82

2S = Spades

2N = Clubs or Diamonds and a major

3C = Minors

S 4 H 863 D KJ762 C KQ73
S 2 H 63 D AT572 C AKT73

3D = Diamonds
3H = Majors
Nov. 19, 2013
Richard Willey edited this comment Nov. 19, 2013
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I can purchase a copy of a new video game for $50. I'll often get 100 hours of game play from that.
Nov. 15, 2013
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None of these dynamics are present in your problem.
Nov. 6, 2013
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Given that both participants share the same payoff matrix, I'm not sure whether it makes sense to describe this as game theory.

This sounds a lot more like classic information theory where you are trying to decide how many bits of information can fit through a constrained channel.
Nov. 6, 2013
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So, the C&C committee needs the BoD to make line item changes to a convention chart?
Nov. 4, 2013
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