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All comments by Richard Willey
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Kevin, I suspect that Nic is following the advice of his attorney regarding what is allowed to disclose. I understand that you would like to see more information. (I would as well). However, I don't think that we are going to see anything until someone on the Board makes a request to Nic to provide this data.

If you want more info, the right way to approach this is to contact your local member of the Board and ask them to make a request of Mr Hammond.

I am in the process of doing so. (Already exchanged some emails and will be having a phone call next week

I recommend that you do the same.
April 4, 2015
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One point that concerns me enormously is the allegation that senior management invested significant amounts of resources trying to conceal an earlier mistake.

I understand that people don't want to play the blame game, however, this is looking more and more like ongoing malfeasance.

April 1, 2015
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Here's my preferred defense

X = Both majors

Typical example hands (minimum/maximum)

♠ KJT2 ♥QT98 ♦73 ♣762
♠ AJ73 ♥ KT532 ♦ 9 ♣ 763

1♦ = Lead directing (typically a canape overcall)
1♥ = Lead directing (typically a canape overcall)

1♠ = Spades

♠ AJ72 ♥ 52 ♦ QT62 ♣ 763
♠ AQJ73 ♥ 74 ♦ 843 ♣ K5
♠ AJ843 ♥ K742 ♦ 672 ♣ 4

1N = 2 suited with Spades and a minor

♠ AQ52 ♥ 673 ♦ QT632 ♣ 3
♠ AJT62 ♥ 4 ♦ 52 ♣ KJ942

2♣ = Clubs and Hearts

♠ 7632 ♥ QJ73 ♦ 4 ♣ KQ42
♠ 5 ♥ AQJ9 ♦ Q42 ♣ KQ8742

2♦ = Diamonds and Hearts

♠ Q52 ♥ KT52 ♦ QT62 ♣ 62
♠ 42 ♥ KJT82 ♦ AQ932 ♣ 3

2♥ = Hearts

♠ 73 ♥ QJT642 ♦ K72 ♣ 732
♠ K4 ♥ AQT9732 ♦ 73 ♣ 82

2♠ = Spades

2N = Clubs or (Diamonds and a major)

3C = Minors

♠ 4 ♥ 863 ♦ KJ762 ♣ KQ73
♠ 2 ♥ 63 ♦ AT572 ♣ AKT73

3♦ = Diamonds
3♥ = Majors
March 28, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment Aug. 27, 2015
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I think that the author raises a VERY important point; one which I had foolishly not given appropriate consideration to until now.

It is manifestly unfair that players who have more access to ACBL sanctioned games and who play more, are able to win more attendance points. Just think of all those poor players who live in South Dakota and aren't fortunate enough to compete in District 7 (Prominently advertized as the “Hosts to America’s Biggest and Best Tournaments”). They are horribly disadvantaged by the current system.

I think that we immediate need to normalize masterpoint awards based on the number of events which are available in different geographies.

Or is there some reason why this logic only applies to the online version of the game (you know, the one that you don't play)



March 27, 2015
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C C Wei paid to have his toys made legal.
March 26, 2015
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You sue the ACBL to cost them money, not because you expect to win the eventual settlement
March 26, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment March 26, 2015
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> Jeff: what you do, occasionally opening 1NT with a
> singleton, with no way to uncover it, is expressly legal in
> the ACBL regardless of what chart you are using. Theirs is > an agreement to open a natural 1NT with a singleton, which
> is expressly against the rules.


Wrong. There's is an agreement to open a hand that shows either a natural NT or 4441 hand which is clearly legal under the Superchart.

The ACBL Superchart explicitly licenses “All of the ACBL MidChart plus any other non-destructive convention, treatment or method” and this is hardly destructive.





March 26, 2015
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The House of Representatives has repealed the Affordable Care Act 40+ times. I am not going to get worked up by Board of Governors own version of the two-minute hate.
March 26, 2015
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The truly amusing part about this suggestion is that K&R was never intended for use in evaluating balanced hands…
March 26, 2015
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Personally, I think that the advice that Don got was more than reasonable. In today's highly litigious society, I don't see a good way for the ACBL to gather this information without being exposed to risk in an age discrimination law suit.

As a practical example, as a hiring manager I am explicitly bared from asking candidates their age or any kind of leading questions that could be used to infer a person's age.

I understand that Don was trying to do the right thing. His concern was protecting the ACBL against a sudden wave of retirements rather than any desire to discriminate based on age. Even so, its the job of a legal department to say no.

March 25, 2015
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I believe that once you open 1NT with less than 10 HCPs you are not allowed to play conventional responses over your 1NT openings for some unspecified length of time in the future.

March 24, 2015
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Alternatively, why not just standardize on the same systems policies that the WBF uses for the Knockout rounds in the Bermuda Bowl, the Olympiad, etc.

1. A very significant number of players in these events are coming from overseas. I can't help but believe that adopting a well understood international standard would reduce the amount of confusion and director's calls

2. This would help North American internationalists gain more experience with the methods they will be encountering in competition

3. This would reduce the burden being placed on the ACBL. The number of “Superflight” events is trivial. I don't think it makes sense to invest time and effort to create yet another convention chart when there is a perfectly acceptable one available externally.

March 24, 2015
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The only “meritorious purpose” for the existing guidelines is siphoning off as much money as possible from an aging player base while sacrificing any chance of sustaining the game more than another decade or two.

A couple weeks back, I was listening to Planet Money on NPR. That had an interesting piece on Magic the Gathering that prompted me to do a bit of research. MtG looks to be much bigger that bridge both in terms of number of players and size of tournaments. The overwhelming majority of its players are below the age of 30. Young people didn't give up on playing cards. They gave up on playing bridge. And they ACBL deserves all the blame.
March 23, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment March 23, 2015
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Wouldn't it be much easier all around if we stopped placing restrictions on the strength for natural NT opening bids?

I severely doubt that folks are going to start opening Kamikaze NT's on a two count. The weak NT crowd want to maximize the chance that they're NT opening occurs. In turn, this means that they aren't going to depart too far from the average opening strength. They might start opening with 9-11 or even 8+ - 11, but I don't think anyone can seriously claim that its much more difficult to defend against this than a 10-12 HCP NT.

In a similar vein, the market has spoken. Relatively tight NT opening ranges seem to have won out. (I can't recall the last time I saw a 13-18 HCP NT opener). I don't see much reason in using the Endicott fudge to restrict this type of methods.

I say relax all these restrictions. The system will eventually reach some kind of equilibrium and we can do away with idiotic situations like this one.














March 23, 2015
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Interesting to note that Welland and Auken were also involved in a committee hearing involving a failure to prealert a midchart convention. (In this case a transfer advance of a 1 opening). I don't believe that this requires a defense and the failure to pre-alert was crucial to the decision.
March 21, 2015
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I am going to buck the tide and recommend Precision in the 90s by Barry Rigal. I'm not fond of the treatment of symmetric relay in the last section of the book, but other than this the book has always struck me as very strong.

I also like Jannersten,
March 20, 2015
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Nic, you're also a smart guy and I am willing to give you credit for understanding the difference between a technical debate about the best way forward and a political game of “cover my ass”.

Of course, this leads me to conclude that what you are doing here is largely political posturing. You know that the existing CEO can not admit to having made a mistake wrt ACBLScore+, not can he allow his direct reports to undermine him. (If you don't understand this I apologize)

I think that you need to ask yourself what your goals are:

If your end goal is to see as much of the ACBLScore+ code adopted, then your best option is to step back into the shadows. Work with the Technology Committee to get a reasonable set of APIs published and then help the adopt individual pieces of ACBLScore+ as stand along modules.

If instead, your end goal is to crucify Hartman, go on with what you're doing.

Personally, I think that either goal is reasonable and I wish you luck regardless…



March 17, 2015
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I am watching the video as we speak. I am currently listening to a detailed explanation about generating a requirements document.

I can not help but believe that this should have happened before the software was written and delivered to the ACBL.
March 13, 2015
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Hi Debbie, thanks for bringing attention to the Learn to Play Bridge program. I just spent a few minutes playing around with the program and was absolutely horrified.

Rather than presenting a laundry list of complaints, I'd like to draw attention to one key issue. It takes close to 40 seconds for example hands to load and start playing. (This was for my high end gaming PC, on a FIOS connection).

I work at Akamai. Our bread and butter is making web sites load quickly. The reason for this is that if a web site doesn't load in a couple seconds, people walk away. The following Infographic isn't all that far off.

http://loadstorm.com/2014/04/infographic-web-performance-impacts-conversion-rates/


Having an application like that on your web site is an active dis-service to recruiting efforts because it makes it look like you have no clue…

March 12, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment March 12, 2015
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Not the answer I was hoping to hear, but I appreciate the quick response. Thanks!
March 11, 2015
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