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All comments by Sam Dinkin
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3136 with a singleton K might be another possibility.
May 18
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The midchart itself (and by extension superchart) requires written defenses to some openings. http://cdn.acbl.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ACBL-Mid-chart.pdf
April 24
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I did some research like this programming in C in 1991. I looked at one hand and used 16 nested While-Do loops that were implemented with a manual stack so I did not blow the O/S's stack. One thing I found is partner is likely to have 4-card support if he opens 1NT 15-17 and I'm looking at xxxx of Spades. But if I'm looking at AKQ of spades, partner probably doesn't. Also, hands with more HCP are slightly flatter than the average.

Another way to look at the question is, what is the distribution of the “Honor” suit–(AKQJAKQAKQAKQ). Since it's 13 cards the odds of its distribution are just like any other 13-card suit.
April 18
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Two cases to consider:
1) One team meets standard of mandatory advance. (I'd go with 1 imp/board ahead of each team at half-way mark or 1.5 imps/board ahead of each team at 3/4 mark)
2) two teams ask to (conditionally) withdraw against the third. (Might happen if one team is really far ahead on imp quotient and both other teams would prefer to try their luck against each other or if both teams are losing by less than the mandatory advance margin, but judge their chance of losing too high anyway.

I'd say both cases should be treated the same in the conditions next time so the two remaining teams can play all remaining boards against each other.
April 13
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3 cases: 1) if a team is winning both, then the boards between the two losers count double for who's out. Easy judgement best to bye the team winning both. 2) If a team is losing both by a wide margin, then Q'ing the team slightly ahead on imps seems not best. It's a forgone conclusion who will Q, but no case I can see for not continuing the 3-way. The team losing after 3 can just concede and everyone go to dinner if they'd rather not play the 4th quarter. 3) If each team is losing one match, then q'ing the team ahead on imp quotient seems not best. Points in either match could readjust the imp quotient.
April 12
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Early qualification leads to a whole day off. While fine in theory, a half-day like in the Vanderbilt works better sociologically. I'd recommend setting the bar high for a 1/2 auto Q.
April 12
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I prefer stage 1 (USA2 RR1?) be played rather than two sit outs. Then stage 2 (USA2 RR2?) 7 to make 4.
April 9
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I would like it if we commit to a complete double elimination with losing the round robin counting as an elimination. Rather than a 2-day sit out, I'd figure something else out so that at least two teams are in the USA2 first round, then potentially have a 3 to make 2 in either USA1 or USA2 or both. It's bad, but sending someone home early seems worse. Last place could be given the option to resign, but double elimination seems less ugly to me than forcing them to go home after losing only one stage.
April 6
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They are effective when they come up. I prefer to play them at a boringly safe level ((1)-2 reds 4+5+ and (1m)-2 majors 4+5+ and Michaels majors 5+4+). They are not canape-ish except for 1M-2M which shows 4 of the other major and a 5+minor. The theory is good. A specific-suits 5+5+ 8-16 is 0.62%. A specific 5+4+ is 2.42% so that comes up nearly 5 times as often. If I also have a call for the 4+5+, the pair of calls is 4.22%, 7 times as frequent. The negative inference that (1m)-1M denies 4 in the other major is useful. I also use 1NT as a limited 3-suited t/o where equilevel conversions do not show extras.

(1m)-2H showing both majors counterfeits the negative double and is non-forcing putting maximum pressure on responder. This is much safer than a cue bid where it is possible to play one of the delayed or immediate doubles as takeout and the other as penalty.

My general impression is that they are more useful than the 2-level 1-suited jumps, but they still do not come up often enough to be a major source of imps.

I like that you play (1)-2 as 4 5+. It's more frequent than 2NT 5-5 (only 3 times as likely), and it's safer. It may not be the best use of the bid because it tells the opponents you have only 4 empty spaces left for spades. Your expected number of spades drops to less than 2 from 3.25. The extra .62 spades in their partner's hand may make it easier to find a good 2 contract than if you stayed silent and heard 1-1; 1N. They might well miss a 3-5 spade fit on this auction in the non-invitational range.
April 3
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If our goal is to seed the event as accurately as possible to minimize upsets, the seeding can have a discretionary component by the seeder. Sort of like seeding a NABC pair event, the pairs would be rated not just on their own history, but their history as a pair, their history as a team, their upsets (either way)–basically all factors. This would be similar to the coaches' poll in seeding an NCAA tournament.

Bridgewinners could help by crowd sourcing ranking teams as they register, before they are seeded. Last year's brackets at bridgewinners and actual performance (and every other factor) could be used to inform this.

Letting teams pick their own opponents would let them take into account their own team's strength vs. each opposing team and not just generic likelihood of the opposition beating anyone. It also has the benefit of them not being able to complain about a poor choice. There should be a limit to how many they can pick from–e.g. the same number that goes into the shuffle. As a matter of operations, this would slow down the seeding by a terribly long time if it wasn't done in advance of actual bracketing. This scheme would not minimize upsets because the best bridge players are not necessarily the best at seeding, but that's ok.

Most accurate would be an “info market” like a Calcutta. But that opens another can of worms.

In the NCAA, there is some “bracketology” that goes into which region a basketball team plays the early rounds. In women's basketball, UConn has been beating everyone for years. There's some tinkering so teams do not have to play UConn in the same round every year. E.g. the 64 seed would be shuffled so that they might meet them in the second round or the third. I like the USBF shuffle in the trials.

Personally, I like meeting Nickell or Diamond in the round of 64. We have to beat good teams like that eventually to win anyway.
March 27
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I wish there were a standard for the frequency of system deviations before a pattern is established. I'd prefer bright lines where each deviation of a bid into a non-allowable agreement territory was an infraction and carried a set penalty (e.g., 3 imps or 10% of the matchpoints for the board).
March 15
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Yep. While we were permitted to play 1NT artificial on the superchart (and did in the Vanderbilt), but this was a General Convention Chart event (A/X/Y where Y is up to 3000). Michael was using his prerogative to use 40.C.1 “1. A player may deviate from his side’s announced understandings always, provided that his partner has no more reason to be aware of the deviation than have the opponents. Repeated deviations lead to implicit understandings, which then form part of the partnership’s methods and must be disclosed in accordance with the regulations governing disclosure of system. If the Director judges there is undisclosed knowledge that has damaged the opponents, he shall adjust the score and may award a procedural penalty.”

I expected stiff Q or two clubs. We're punctilious in disclosing all agreements (including prealerting opening a suit xxxxxx at the 3-level) and having as few as possible non-written agreements. I don't like his choice and would have preferred the system bid of 1 or a downgrade to 1.
March 15
Sam Dinkin edited this comment March 15
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A/X Swiss. It's bad enough I got knocked out of the knockout in the morning, but do they have to call it the ‘Axe’ Swiss?
March 15
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If X is penalty, I'd be tempted to go with that at matchpoints.
March 14
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Something else. One can write 8.5 tricks, but when one has a tenuous 8 trick hand assuming partner has three entries, they start getting aspirations for slam since the 8-trick, 8-card suit hands are so rare and intoxicating. At unfavorable, the 8ish tricks seem barely worth the V(ul) vs. N 4 bid, but it takes thousands of polls or crazy drill hands to become jaded enough to abide agreements.
March 14
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This is a step in the right direction.

I'd go one step further to help enable a 3rd/4th place team of women in the open to compete to represent the US in the Women's. E.g. having a pair or team of women on the same open team and the same women's team being able to drop in to the women's (for a pair, onto a pre-registered team of 6 where the other four are still alive in the women's) if they get eliminated from the open before qualifying to represent the US.

Part of this might be effectuated by having a 3rd/4th finish in the open trial being a bye to the women's semi-final. Or a 2nd place finish in the open trial in one-winner years being a bye to the final.
March 7
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Jeff, maybe you would recall better if you kept a written record of each time you were baffled.
March 5
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I like that you have arrived at a shorter poll when you have proven the longer poll will reach the same conclusion with several more or four more answers. This can save some time. If that happens often enough, you can keep going with the statistics of conducting polls with more players than 5 in cases where it would flip the result. If there are two or three questions on the same hand, you're potentially polling 15 people or more though.

Good point about avoiding group think by asking people individually and avoiding asking to people in the same partnership.

One note is that if you ask two questions like what would you do if 2N 11-12 and what would you do 12-14, if you're going to ask the same person both questions, the order might affect the answer so you should strive to ask about half in the opposite order.
March 2
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General conditions rather than special. I.e. applicable to Open and Women's if they happen to need a 1.5 day RR1.
March 1
Sam Dinkin edited this comment March 1
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Might as well make it general.
Feb. 28
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