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All comments by Richard Willey
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Don, I am one of the first to go and criticize the ACBL, however, I don't find it at all surprising that the ACBL didn't feel a strong need to choose a Memphis based production company.

From the looks of things, the production company has a stable to young talent that they work with. And, surprise, they aren't based in Horn Lake.
Sept. 29
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I suspect that there may be some difficulty with convincing MtG players to look at bridge, at least in ACBL land.

Deck building is one of the key attractions of collectible card games. I worry that they types of players that enjoy these types of creative endeavors would find the ACBL's convention regulations stupefying. I suspect that they would find that attitude of players demanding that they be protected against anything that is new/different horrific.
Sept. 28
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> Ageism as in bashing people over a certain
> age is a standard practice on BW.

Yes.
But you claimed that this behaviour is encouraged.
Sept. 27
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> There is a comparison drawn between learning to play
> bridge and learning other card/board games as an
> explanation for why the game is “dying.”

I am spending the weekend gaming with two close friends from undergrad and James' new girlfriend.

We're playing Gloomhaven for the most part and some Spirit Island. Maggie has never played Gloomhaven before. It took all of five minutes to get up up and running.
Sept. 27
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> Why is ageism tolerated in Bridge, and even encouraged?

I hardly think that age discrimination is encouraged in any meaningful way. Age discrimination is tolerated because

1. There is no other choice. Age discrimination exists in our society and its unrealistic to expect that the ACBL can fix this.

2. Bridge is a recreational activity. It seems antithetical to try to force “young” players to participate.

The ACBL made a conscious decision to cater its product to an ever narrowing demographic base. Don't complain when this turns around and bites you in the ass…
Sept. 27
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FWIW, I am glad to see these twitch streams springing up. I recall a few years back, a number of folks were claiming that the ACBL needed to create a TV show featuring folks playing bridge. TWITCH seems like a better avenue…
Sept. 23
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I would claim that your response structure over constructive openings is where you really want to focus your attention…

The stuff that Ian is listing, while important, is really just stuff that is used to enable the light / limited openings. If you aren't happy with these openings (and non relay options on top of them) then there isn't much point arguing over whether or not you want to use transfer openings…
Sept. 23
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Correct
Sept. 23
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Send me your email address and I'll mail you

1. A copy of my incomplete notes
2. A copy of my incomplete Intro to Symmetric Relay
Sept. 23
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Few quick thoughts:

1. The cynic in me says that this has more to do with protecting older established players against the young guns than it does with encouraging younger folks to play

2. I'd be interested to see whether this is expected to improve the profitability (or, more likely the amount of money being lost at) major events

3. Feel like this would dilute the overall talent pool.

4. I wonder how many sponsors are available for players in this age bracket… Feels like there could be some really issues if the local bridge orgs aren't willing to subsidize 26 year old “juniors”.
Sept. 21
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There's nothing wrong with a clubs offering to help train new teachers. I'd actively encourage this. But there's no need for a formal certification or other such ways of controlling entry into the market.
Sept. 21
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Jeff, I do appreciate your initiative AND this is a nice change from your usual attempt to set up a multi level marketing scheme, however, I can't help but feel that this is more an attempt to restrict entry into the market rather than helping the new teachers…
Sept. 21
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> Why not have a two tier certification?

Because such systems fast turn into abusive relationships in which the entrenched business owners exploit the “free” labor.

There's been quite a few articles about this over the past few years. For example:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/26/business/cosmetology-school-debt-iowa.html

Begin quote:

Cosmetology schools have a unique business model in the for-profit school world. They have two main streams of revenue. The first comes from students, often in the form of taxpayer-funded grants and loans to pay for the tuition. Cosmetology schools took in nearly $1.2 billion in federal grants and loans during the 2015-16 school year.

The second stream is the salon work the students do while in school. They spend some time in classrooms learning about, for example, chemicals and how to sanitize the work space, but once they’ve hit a certain number of hours, they start working on real clients in salons run by the schools. In full-time programs, going to school becomes a full-time job, where students clock in and out for seven- or eight-hour shifts.

The total number of required hours varies, but all states require some amount of practice with paying customers. In Iowa, students spend 715 hours in the classroom and 1,385 hours on the floor.

Prices for these salon services — which include haircuts, manicures, facials and, at some schools, massages — are typically set below market rates to attract customers. The salons also sell shampoo, conditioner and other beauty products. One Iowa student said he and others had gotten perks (such as trips and special training) if they sold enough products. Another student, who sued a school in Pennsylvania, reported that her grades were partly based on whether she offered salon products to clients.
Sept. 21
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I think that Mike Ma touched on an important point in his previous post.

I see nothing wrong with creating different classes of events where participation is limited by age. However, I'm not sure whether it makes sense to label events targeting people under 31 as events for “Juniors”. It also seems strange to label events as being for “Seniors” when 90% of the membership is eligible to compete.

Might just make sense to abandon the words “Junior” and “Senior” and instead use the age bracket as the name.
Sept. 21
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It seems as if the other committee members could simply out vote Meckstroth
Sept. 20
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> What is a problem is if the “strong” bid starts at 13 points
> instead of the more usual 15 or 16. “Forcing club” artificial
> and starting at that strength would be just as much a
> problem as forcing pass.

There is a reason why I used the example of an 10 - 12 HCP 1NT opening
Sept. 19
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> Richard: no one claims the fert problem is “insurmountable,”

Seems to me that the ACBL label this as inherently destructive refused to even consider suggested defenses to this method far decades.

I doubt that the worthies on the C&C ever used the word insurmountable, but “Potato” / “Patahtoe”
Sept. 19
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That's all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day, what's important - at least with respect to this message board - is that the United States is not longer a suitable venue to host an international competition.
Sept. 18
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> I still disagree, though, with the idea that having
> players only in the same ‘space’ virtually has only
> positive impacts on the game.

I don't believe anyone is making that claim

Rather, I think that many people believe that the benefits outweigh the costs

> If you think there won't be avenues for cheating via
> people utilizing tablets, I have real estate to sell you.

I don't disagree. With this said and done, I believe that

1. An electronic playing environment eliminates many of the easiest ways to cheat
2. If an electronic playing environment is being used and someone is found to be cheating the evidence is likely to be much more conclusive
2. An electronic playing environment allows perfect record keeping and, in turn, this permits much more sophisticated statistical analysis of results

I work in computer security. I am aware that perfection just isn't possible. But we can try to shift the risk / reward tradeoff.
Sept. 17
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Few quick comments here:

1. I think that all of the folks who are advocating in favor of an electronic playing environment would differentiate between top level games and every day events. There are a fair number of people who advocate that the top level events should move to an electronic playing environment. I don't think anyone much cares what happens with respect to the everyday events. (I personally believe that as the size of the player base who predominantly plays electronically becomes significantly larger than the ones who play with cards that the nature of the everyday game will change, but I don't really care that much)

2. There are a number of reasons why people advocate switching to an electronic playing environment for top level play including, but not limited to

A. Security
B. Record keeping
C. Being able to broadcast events

3. it would be lovely if we could trust players to sit at a table and compete F2F with playing cards. However, look at the tournament at the top level for last two decades. Look at the track record of pairs that we now know to have been cheating.

Given a choice between playing at the same table and actually being able to have remote confidence regarding the results of an event, I know which one seems more important.
Sept. 17
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