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All comments by Robb Gordon
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I believe (not 100% sure) that NABC+ Swiss Team events do not have a point reduction for extra members like other Swiss events.
Aug. 4, 2015
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While I oppose the reduction in its entirety, I think including the Spinderbilt would be a travesty. 64 boards per day for 7 days is a bit different from 48 boards a day for two days, not to mention the likely quality of opponents. Even today, many NABC+ events underpay relatively in masterpoints. Does anybody really think winning four bracket 1 KOs equals winning the Vanderbilt?

We should ENCOURAGE 6 person teams in these events since they are effectively the training ground for world competition (that is if we still have world competition).
Aug. 4, 2015
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So it is November, 1981. Edgar Kaplan had written a series of editorials in The Bridge World concerning something he called “sportsmanlike dumping”. He argued that if the organizers made stupid conditions of contest the contestants were entitled if not obligated to take advantage of them. This is based on the “propriety” (so-called at the time) that a contestant must make every effort to win (not the trick, but the event, or the qualification). Such situations were more common back then and often involved round robins where a team could benefit to lose to a weak team near the end, knocking a strong team out of qualification.

At the San Francisco Fall Nationals the North American Swiss Team was in its first day. At that time, the scoring was win-loss (there were quarters and halves as well, but not VP). The conditions said that any team with OVER 4 wins got to play on day two.

So two teams met in the last match. They both had 4. So they agreed to pass out all the boards and tie the match. An uproar ensued (some of these players were and are very well known). Somewhere over in the Reisinger I am sure Edgar was smiling (more so because one of the pairs was a “K-S” pair.

In any case a proviso was added to the CoCs that that was not allowed, even though it increased the chances of winning/qualifying.

Of course the other scenario, dumping to friends when you are having a bad game has always been considered cheating. There were some ugly rumors in 2006 in the World Championship Open Pairs when two pairs from the same country played each other late. The pair who was doing well walked away with three tops and won the event.
July 30, 2015
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I would refine it to team MP average. This, i think, would be better since teams have different numbers of members and the awards would be less extreme, but still worthwhile.

But I bet most of those teams would prefer the handicap.
July 30, 2015
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Tom, I see nothing ironic. Even though we are not-for-profit, we can't afford to consistently run events which lose money. Players don't like playing 5 team “KOs”. It makes much more sense to have fewer tournaments with better attendance.
July 30, 2015
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Perhaps I could have used better phraseology - the event turned into a de facto “Flt A/Bracketed” KO, I am sure it was not sold that way.
July 29, 2015
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The problem is that District 25 advertised a “Bracketed KO” when in fact it was a Flight A KO alongside a bracketed KO. If it was bracketed everybody would have had the opportunity to play.
July 29, 2015
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Agree, agree and agree emphatically.
But that last is easier said than done. Remember when everybody agreed that we have too many districts? That was all fine but none of the BOD wanted to see THEIR district consolidated. So I can tell districts 16, 18, 21, 22, and 23 to cut back, but if I (district 17) doesn't it is futile.
July 29, 2015
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Peg, we disagree on this one. If you run a tournament with a “bracketed” KO, you are advertising that contestants will play in this event against teams that can reasonably be considered peers. If you have a fall-off in the top bracket after 5 teams then I think handicapping the teams who are under the fall-off point is better than sending the “A” teams home. In fact District 17 has a policy that if a team(s) in the TOP bracket have less than x masterpoints, those teams shall receive a handicap against the teams who have more than x, based on the size of the discrepancy. Sorry I don't know the formula but I can get it. I have played in such events. I have lost (rarely) to teams with the handicap. When I do, I don't go home feeling I have “won” because those are the conditions. But at least it gives these teams a fighting chance. Of course I wouldn't want a handicap in a “real” event but I would do a lot to make sure that the people who want to play at a regional get to play. The key is to advertise this policy, and to only apply it to Bracket 1.
July 29, 2015
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I am against the proposal because I think it is bad for business - that is the ACBL sanction fee revenue will decline. That is an oversimplification of my views but I don't have the energy for a long post. :)
July 29, 2015
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Jeff, I don't deny it. I really have no horse in the race since I don't care whether I win 10 masterponts or 8. But obviously there are people who care very much.
July 29, 2015
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Jeff my argument was based on those who might choose to play only 4 instead of 5-6 because of the change. I agree that those who continue to play with extra teammates would not change.
July 29, 2015
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“Reality is surprisingly subjective…”

I guess Moynihan was wrong - you CAN have your own facts.
July 29, 2015
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I don't understand. Isn't that what we have been in a “Gold Rush” to do for the last several years?
July 28, 2015
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One of the things playing 5 or 6 does is it makes it easier for people to play 3 sessions per day. Those 3 sessions pay 3 entry fees. One of the effects of reducing the MP is more 4 person teams and they will mostly play only 2 sessions. How is that going to look for revenue?
July 28, 2015
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I am a Grand LM (like Peg) and a non-pro (like Peg). She has more MPs than I but other than that I think we have a similar perspective.

I also have education in the field of Economics although like bridge, it is not my profession.

So I would like to say something about a couple of comments here with everybody knowing where I am coming from.

Greg Humphries said “I think people have a very distorted view of what constitutes “fair”. To me, “fair” means “everyone has the same opportunity”, not “everyone has the same outcome”.”
I think this argument is specious here, as it is when bandied about in “income inequality” discussions. It is well and good to say that not everybody is entitled to $20 Million per year like MLB stars. But to say there is equality of opportunity in baseball would be a joke, and talent is only one part of it. This is not germane but what is would be the other angle. There are certain areas where we DO believe in equality of outcome. I think few Americans (or most people) would disagree with a statement that “everybody is entitled to adequate nutrition to survive”. We mostly believe in a safety net.

How does this apply to bridge? Well if you really believe that everyone should have the same opportunity then perhaps Peg and I should make a date for a 199er game. Again, we believe in a “safety net” for less experienced players. Again, hypothetically at least, this does not depend on talent or skill. You could have a 199er who has immense talent and skill, perhaps a lifetime rubber bridge player or a brilliant “junior” who is a better player than I but he gets to play in the novice game and I am “stuck” with the big boys.

This brings me to my second point – Mr. Bower says “The more-than-4 teams are invariably pros in the top bracket. There is a reason the rank and file is railing against the privileges of the rich and famous.”

Now personally, I LIKE playing against these teams. When I was a kid they didn’t have any of these things. When I entered a KO (which were rare at Regionals) I got to play the #1 seed on day 1. It was a blast and I improved as a player. I was in a no-lose situation. Everybody expected me to lose so if I did it was no big deal. But on the rare occasions that I won, it was HUGE. Well now I play with the “big boys” and I win my fair share of matches and events. I can only thank those past experiences (combined with a lot of money bridge) for the skills I do have.

But I also want to talk about those privileges. I think everybody would agree that pros and their clients play, on average more tournaments than the rest of us, and more sessions at those tournaments they do play.

In our modern air and hotel world we would call those people “elite” and give them special privileges like upgrades
In the GNT “Championship” flight this year there are about 3 “pro” teams out of the 20 or so districts sending teams. But Flights A, B, and C get free entries, but not the Championship because we don’t want to subsidize the “pros”. Because of this policy I will never enter another GNT. Not because of the money, but because of the “fairness”.

At NABC’s typically the high level events have the worst playing space.

Now we have people who want to drop out of the WBF because that is for “Pros”.

I don’t think any of these people (the “pros”) are demanding “elite” status or special treatment. But we sure don’t want to be sent home from a regional because we are “too good”. We just want to be treated as well (or badly) as everybody else, whether or not we earn a living from this great game.
July 28, 2015
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The NABC schedule was pretty static until the late ‘80s. The 2 day BAM (Men’s and Women's at the time) were in the spring. The Mixed was, like now, in the summer. What was different about that was that it was the first event on the schedule and lent a “social” atmosphere to the whole NABC rather than being shoved into the middle of the tournament to compete with other events. In other words Steve, it used to be as you would like.
July 28, 2015
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@Jody - that is a very interesting question. The packet the board members receive says who proposed each motion and there are discussion points that provide insight into the reasoning. I am baffled as to why these get stricken before the motions are posted, but I guess management thinks we are lucky they even let us see the motions.:(
July 26, 2015
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My other comment is that it is outrageous to send the top bracket in a KO home because it is “too small”. Change the brackets! If needed, give the weaker teams handicaps. If they don't like it, too bad. But to tell somebody who just drove 100 miles that there is no event for them is inexcusable.
July 26, 2015
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Regionals with too many events is epidemic. You can hardly find a regional that doesn't have bracketed KOs, Senior Pairs, Gold Rush and a pair game/Swiss. Most regionals can't sufficiently support that and you end up with an A/X pairs with 5 tables. It has to stop. Tournament chairs these days will seemingly add an event on a whim. I long for the days of Regional Open Pairs with 150 tables.
July 26, 2015
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