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All comments by Richard Willey
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Kevin, you are engaging in what is (disparagingly) termed “magical thinking”.

You are painting a picture of an unattainable ideal and contrasting this with a concrete plan that people are trying to implement .

My guess is that almost everyone reading this thread would agree that a small Board staffed by the best people with domain knowledge in all sorts of critical areas would significantly outperform what we are stuck with today. None of this is in question. And, the process that Mr Street has laid out is (one) reasonable way to proceed if/when a decision has been made to transition to such a system.

However, the problem that needs to be solved is a much more complicated one: How does one convince a self selecting Board of Directors to vote itself out of power? In the case of the ACBL, this problem is exacerbated by the fact that the BoD just neutered the CEO which is often one of the most important countervailing forces. And, to make things even more difficult, the bulk of the ACBL membership is senescent and likely to be extremely conservative with respect to major change.

I fear that the only real chance for major change is either schism or catastrophy. In the mean time, I'll take what I can get.
Nov. 15
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Just don't forget that Mechstroth also is at the vanguard of banning light opening systems that he doesn't happen to play.
Nov. 14
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I'm am guessing that a number of folks have the same basic questions, so it might be worth while to create a post discussing stuff like:

1. How do end users “Interact” with the hands? Are they actually playing them out or simply reading content or what?

2. Are hands dynamic in the same way that BridgeMaster is (You are forced to discover the best way to play a given hand / you can't get lucky)

3. What does the user interface for the end users look like?

4. What scripting language is being used to represent content?

5. Who owns the copyright to the content that is generated? (While a given bridge “hand” probably can't be copyrighted, wrapping this in code / commentary probably produces something that can be copyrighted)
Nov. 14
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> And when China gets fed up with being
> the WBF milch cow?

Kazakstan
Myanmar
North Korea
Alabama
Nov. 13
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JoAnn's comment got me thinking…

I would argue that a “geographical” rep can not effectively represent an overly large / diverse constituency. And, I'd suggest that three geographic reps for North America far too small a number.

As such, I don't see such a change as sustainable. I suspect that this would relatively quickly transition in a system with no geographical reps.
Nov. 12
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I find incomprehensible that South would risk bidding 6 without some kind of partnership agreement that this was to play.

In which case, I suspect that some kind of disclosure about the 2 bid was appropriate before the opening lead
Nov. 12
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Conversely, it could easily be argued that a smaller and, therefore, more effective Board would be better positioned to make more comprehensive reform.

FWIW, I expect this proposal to fail. With luck, the failure of what looks to be a very reasonable attempt at incremental change will help demonstrate how grossly dysfunctional the existing system is.

I fear that we aren't going to any kind of useful change until something truly catastrophic happens. (For example, near term risk of bankruptcy)
Nov. 12
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Jeff, there's a whole bunch of studies wrt to best practices for the size of a Board of Directors for both public companies and non profits. There's some dispute about whether a seven member board is preferably to nine or even 13. However, 25 is ridiculous.

FWIW, in business there is enormous effort to minimize the number of people who are actively participating in an executive meeting.

Reducing the Board size is a good and valuable thing in and of itself.

Don't get me wrong, I'd also love to improve the selection criteria for Boards members. However, I don't see any good path to get there.
Nov. 12
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> I don't think the representation of a constituency
> has to be proportionate to the size of the constituency.
> I do think that the points of view of any significant
> constituency (or stakeholder, if you prefer) has to
> have their point of view presented

If voting power is not a significant consideration, then why do these constituencies require Board seats rather than the ability to submit a brief?
Nov. 12
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> The whole thrust of reducing the size of the board is
> grounded in the HUGE assumption that a smaller
> board will automatically be a better board.

One other reason that I favor sharply reducing the size of the Board is my belief that the ACBL needs to be aggressively preparing itself to handle dramatic contractions in the size of the membership base and revenue in the years ahead.
Nov. 12
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> This proposal also doesn't give any representation to
> key constituencies like teachers, club owners, etc.

A couple years back, I had a lot more sympathies for schemes that tried to provide proportional representation to club owners and the like. Then I started looking at the proposals that the club owners were making which struck me as being at being at best misguided ranging to the outright corrupt.

Another big concern that I have is building in proportional representation schemes at a point in time when participation rates are likely to go into dramatic flux. For example, the ratio of tables played in online events versus F2F clubs is very likely to skew dramatically over the next decade. How often do we plan to reapportion Board Seats between these competing constituencies?
Nov. 12
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> If you go to a national professional workshop or conference,
> do you ask for it to start at 1 pm? If anything, it will start at
> 8 am. And it does not matter if you are from west
> coast or not.

I think that the operative word here is “If”

People have a choice whether or not to attend NABCs. And I can certainly believe that folks might chose not to attend an event based on an inconvenient start time.

In the case of a professional conference folks often don't have such a choice.
Nov. 11
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Might be interesting to understand what proportion of the ACBL membership is young enough that they actually hold a “day job”
Nov. 11
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It would be interesting to understand the extent to which geography might be impacting these trends.

I would draw one set of conclusions if we were seeing significant decreases the number of boards being played in the Mid West and a strong increase in the South West and Florida.

I would draw a different set of conclusions if the number of boards being played in various units was holding constant but we were seeing consolidation in the number of clubs.

It seems as if the data to do this analysis should be available….
Nov. 11
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FWIW, the best proposal that I have seen wrt starting times is that Nationals that are run on the East Coast should use 1:00 + 7:30 and Nationals on the West Coast use 10:00 and 3:00.

In each case, the goal would be helping folks from the opposite coast deal with time differences.
Nov. 11
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> Speed and cost are not enough.

Agreed, but they still represent an improvement over what we have today

> This discussion about business need is what makes
> possible how to get from here to there.

How does this set of reforms prevent this dialogue from happening?

> Perhaps just perhaps if the proper business case
> were made for the right proposal

What is preventing you from getting the motion that you support on the docket?
Nov. 10
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Steve,

I don't think that many people disagrees with where you say we want to end up.

What I don't see is any practical plan to get from there from here. All you seem to be offering is wishful thinking that the current electoral system will somehow reform itself. That's not going to happen. The existing membership base is hidebound and sclerotic.

The strength of the current proposal is that it eases folks out of the system. It allows the BoD to vote for (admittedly minor) reforms that won't impact them personally and, therefore has some hope of passing.
Nov. 10
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How does that old saying go… “Don't make the best the enemy of the good”???? Or was it “Half a loaf is better than none”?

I agree that the ACBL would be much better served by a 5-9 member board that was selected for business acumen rather than a 13 member BoD representing different geographies. But, the former is what is being voted on, not the later.

I have seen zero evidence that anyone has a credible path to getting a five member BoD proposal brought to the table, let alone getting a proposal such as this passed. In all seriousness, what has actually happened over the course of the last year to bring this any closer to fruition?

At the very least, this proposal is a step in the right direction. Equally significant, it finesses some of the awkward political issues around transitions so there might actually be a chance that this would pass. If I had a vote to cast, I'd vote in favor.

Personally, I don't expect this proposal to pass. If nothing else, seeing how this proposal fails should be interesting.
Nov. 10
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One point that you might consider:

Your “experienced pickup” partner's goals for the evening might be very different than your own. And, in turn, this might very much impact the way that they are bidding.

As a practical example, back in the weird old days, when individual events were still a thing in F2F bridge I played in the Keohane event in New England most years and there were all sorts of bids that I would never consider making (and bidding sequences that I prayed would never come up) simply because - odd are - my partner was hopeless.

Unless you're lucky enough that your experienced pickup partner is able to recognize an expression like “BW Standard” or “WJ 2005” then you probably need to set your sites pretty low for the evening.
Nov. 10
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Here is the script that I wrote

I can make things more specific, but I need better more information about what hands you would/would not upgrade. In particular, its unclear which 12 point hands with 5 clubs do/do not qualify for a 1 opening


not_five = shape(north, any 4432, any 4333) and hcp(north) >= 10 and hcp(north) <= 12
five = shape(north, any 5332) and hcp(north) >= 10 and hcp(north) <= 11
bad_clubs = shape(north, any 5332) and clubs(north) == 5 and hcp(north) == 12 and
(hascard(north, AC) + hascard(north, KC) + hascard(north, QC) + hascard(north, AC) <= 2)

condition not_five or five or bad_clubs

action

frequency “points” (hcp(north), 10, 12),
average(hearts(north) == 5 or spades(north) == 5),
average(clubs(north) == 5 or diamonds(north) ==5)

Frequency points:
10 437790 (~38.5%)
11 418650 (~37%)
12 274996 (~24.5%)
0.124827
0.143374
Generated 10000000 hands
Produced 1131436 hands
Initial random seed 1573067542
Time needed 4.000 sec


WRT the question about 5422 and 6322, you need to be more specific about hands types and what constitutes “significant”)
Nov. 6
Richard Willey edited this comment Nov. 6
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