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All comments by Scott Needham
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Debbie, are match awards REALLY mps? :-) Even our C players (the non-Pollyannas) indulge in some self scorn after a Swiss where they win 3 of 7 and end up 35%.

And I meant “scratch” to mean scratch: given the way things are today, that's “place in your strat.” Congrats: You beat others ranked as you are ranked within this field. Kudos to those who recognize that scratching “A” is inherently more meaningful than scratching “C.”

I remember, in my first duplicates, trying to get that slip of paper out of the firm, hard grasp of players like Mary Jane Farrell and Eddie Kantar, they of the steely gaze. Yes, it was different.
March 6, 2018
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Doesn't all of this come down to a frequency analysis? Have I missed a good sim?
March 6, 2018
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When explaining ACBL duplicate play to my father-in-law (a very intelligent man who was/is an exceptionally capable CEO/Chairman type businessman), I had described the ‘chasing the mp’ system. He thought a moment, analyzing in his exceptional businessman way, and said “that's diabolical.”

The problem is that mps are not a precise indicator of much of anything. Rate of accumulation means something (maybe only that you play every single day in one of ACBL's sectional and regional rich districts), as does one's platinum-to-gold-to-silver-to-red-to-black ratio (maybe only that you don't play above the sectional level for one reason or another, including lack of financial resources). There are Gold LMs who have played regularly for 50 years, and there are sub-LMs who scratch every time they play, but play only rarely.

Chris Champion's “Power Rating” system attempts to take strength of field into account; when advertising for team mates at regionals (yechh), I like to specify that I'm searching for a pair who have won (and intend to win) a bracket more often than randomly. Perhaps the best metric is “am I competitive in the events in which I play” – with a nod to the quality of those events.

One solid fact: If you don't scratch, you don't win any mps.
March 6, 2018
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And then there is the outlier case of the popular pro who has over 15,000 and is not a LM.

EDIT: Fact check.
March 5, 2018
Scott Needham edited this comment March 5, 2018
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Wish I could play 1M-2 as invitational+ or “all seats Drury,” but in ACBL it is still at least Midchart.
March 5, 2018
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Heck, guys, you can always play for money.
March 3, 2018
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One of my most basic urges is to make partner declare 3NT.
Feb. 26, 2018
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Agree wholeheartedly. But it is extremely interesting that the authors believe themselves remiss not to raise this issue in the context of a KISS 2/1 system when Ser3N is usually categorized as an advanced structure. IMHO, this is an overt recognition that one of the serious problems of 2/1 is auctions in which both hands are unlimited, important enough that even simple systems should have a method to deal with it.
Feb. 23, 2018
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Interesting. Reese votes would seem to represent emphasis on play, while Lawrence votes would seem to represent emphasis on bidding. Am I wrong?

EDIT: My vote for Lawrence is influenced by the clarity and instructional nature of his writing, his production of wide-ranging and solidly practical ‘user manuals’ for the advancing player.
Feb. 22, 2018
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 23, 2018
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“It's also a lot closer to GF than 1♦-2♣ is….”

True dat. My least favorite thing about K-S.
Feb. 21, 2018
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When I'm playing WNTs, and someone asks, I say “WNT 2/1, with lots of gadgets.” Systemic refinements aside, I'm fairly certain that for the vast majority of the folks at whom these polls are aimed, “2/1” means that 1M-2lower is game forcing.
Feb. 21, 2018
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Except in K-S, 1-2 is not GF.
Feb. 21, 2018
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I still tout the Walsh-Lawrence style: NT by either partner to show cards in unbid majors, and 2/3major by either partner to show 4 cards (until the auction has denied a 4cd major). So it is helpful, when responder holds xx=KQx=Kxx=AQxxx, and similar, that 2 shows 5+ cards so s/he can call 3. And, when the bidding goes 1-2/2-3, we know a lot – maybe enough to be able to play in the disgusting 4m.
Feb. 19, 2018
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I seem to remember a treatment called “Godfather 2NT.”
Feb. 18, 2018
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I need a bid to show 8 in the major….
Feb. 18, 2018
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Waiting for Yuan and others to sing the “18-19 balanced goes into 2” refrain. And, yes, RFR is a winner on this layout.
Feb. 12, 2018
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1-(1)-1-(P )
2-2N
3-4
4N-5
7

4 = Non-Serious
Between the likely pitch(es) and a ruff or two, 13+ tricks seems likely.

EDIT: A guy goes to all this trouble to set up a bit of humor – OK, a small bit of humor – and no one bounces him. Sheesh.
Feb. 11, 2018
Scott Needham edited this comment Feb. 12, 2018
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C'mon Phil, free the cheese! Where is this Google doc of which you speak?
Feb. 11, 2018
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I've bid 8 out of my last 5 slams, and graciously accepted IMPs from incompetence or brain farts. But never this congruence.
Feb. 9, 2018
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For those who use Bergen: A good splinter can be bid using the 3m weak variation, then short. When I started, a couple of partners like to conceal the strong version in 1NTF. Didn't like that too much.
Feb. 5, 2018
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