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All comments by Richard Willey
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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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Some bitter old white dude is screaming get off my lawn…

Am I supposed to be surprised or care?
June 27, 2015
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That “no other of the 110 WBF member countries pay half that fee” caught my attention.

It would be most interesting to see how well the cumulative annual dues per Zone for the WBF matched with the number of slots that the WBF allocates for teams in the premiere events.
June 24, 2015
Richard Willey edited this comment June 24, 2015
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Am I the only one tempted to try 5N?
June 22, 2015
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As I understand matters, the statement “You don't preempt over a preempt” describes the strength of a jump overcall of a preemptive opening.

If the opponents open with a preempt, your jump overcall is best used to show a strong hand rather than a weak hand.

As a practical example

(2) - 3 shows a single suited hand with hearts that is too strong for a two level overcall and unsuitable for a double followed by a heart rebid.


June 20, 2015
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I've said it before, I'll say it again:

If people want to get serious about dealing with cheating, then you need to switch to an electronic playing environment. This allows you to separate the members of the pair with enough physical space that you have a chance to detect electronic communications. The improved record keeping will give you a large enough corpus of hands that you can perform real statistical analysis.

Anything else is rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.

June 16, 2015
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Could have sworn that the K+R evaluator was intended for unbalanced hands and that the authors prefered HCPs for their NT ladder
June 5, 2015
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