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All comments by Shawn Drenning
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Agree completely and would offer this type of advice if solicited. She did this one other time against us in a 24 board match and went for 800 (not vul) against teammates part score and her partner was not too pleased (he didn’t seem to mind on this hand since they won imps I guess)
May 30, 2018
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I interpreted what he said as they won the second bracket when forced to play it on Sunday, but on Monday (the swiss on the last day of the regional almost always seems to be an A/X at the top) they got 3rd overall against the open competition.
May 30, 2018
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Daniel: I don't know how to see how many masterpoint a player has, but I'm very skeptical the team that won bracket 2 had fewer than 35k points (or even 35k * 5/4 points)?
https://live.acbl.org/event/1802009/031B/2/results

Jay: It's great that foreign players can just arbitrarily add points to their totals until they feel they have the right number, but that does not help those of us who never played overseas (and is more evidence imo that the system is broken as the ACBL is acknowledging that for foreign players bracketing by masterpoint does not make any sense)
May 30, 2018
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That seems like a good tradeoff to me. It does seem like we should encourage people to play up though and being forced to “give up your amateur status” may be discouraging to some players when in many cases nobody would be negatively effected by just making the top bracket a Swiss and giving everyone the option to enter if they choose to.
May 29, 2018
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Thanks for all of the replies. I regret using the term break in tempo so forcefully. My interest was whether there was UI and if so what does it suggest. At the table I was W and it was my impression from the tempo that N was doubling with some amount of reluctance/uncertainty, but it was the case that a lot of the actual “break in tempo” was from asking about methods.

At the table N bid 5. Since there was a disagreement as to whether there was a BIT, the director was called. The ruling was essentially that there was a BIT, but that it did not suggest an action, so N was free to bid whatever he wants. It is unclear if this meant that the director believed that while in the literal sense there was a break in tempo, there was not one in the bridge sense.

My viewpoint (which from the poll I suspect doesn’t have too much sympathy) is that I do not believe this pair had strong agreements here and that with a hand where S could tell that 5 was in trouble and a spade slam is unlikely to be on (say AQ10 of hearts with some other defense and no spade support), she would have doubled without asking questions about the auction. I also believe the uncertainty in doubling suggests she was considering another call and that if she was considering pass or 5 that suggests N should bid on. I polled the N hand both with and without the double and the results to me suggest that P is a logical alternative to bidding and that partners hesitancy in doubling suggests bidding on (since the likely alternative was either p, where more N players bid on, or raising spades).

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-p1u0qlq9fy/
https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/bidding-problem-2-ijmuinkius/

In any event at the table S held roughly

xx Qx AKJ9 J108xx

5 depends on the lead (which you might find now): https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/lead-problem-2-3i43kaq7b1/

and 5 could make on imperfect defense, but often will be down.
May 29, 2018
Shawn Drenning edited this comment May 29, 2018
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I considered putting a parenthetical remark after break in tempo of “if you call it that,” and wish I had now. The “relatively good tempo” was meant to imply there was not an extended tank after asking about the methods, but there was a pause. I, of course, am not a fully objective party since I was at the table, which is why I tried to be vague.
May 29, 2018
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Well good to know once you’ve won a few Reisingers and Vanderbilt’s they might let you play up: https://web3.acbl.org/nabcwinnersbyname?name=Richard+Pavlicek

Meanwhile, in that same tournament I was fortunate enough to have teammates with a lot of masterpoints one day so we were in the second bracket where we played against (among other strong players) Hemant Lall, Daniel Korbel, and Sylvia Shi. I was happy they were there and maybe they didn’t mind being there either, but it still seemed pretty dumb to me that they were playing in the second bracket (which is more an argument for making top bracket open as I do not really know who they could have bumped, maybe Timo’s upstart team?)
May 29, 2018
Shawn Drenning edited this comment May 29, 2018
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How about using past regional success or recent performance (as opposed to lifetime)? It doesn’t have to be perfect to improve on the current approach
May 29, 2018
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I think your statement would be more accurate if you said “everyone get to play through, against players with a similar number of masterpoints,” which can be very different from getting to play against players at your level.
May 29, 2018
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It seems to me that allowing players who want to play up to do so WOULD make the event better for “everyone, in the aggregate” and appeals to teams getting bumped, even brackets etc. are just an excuse for inaction.

The failure of the masterpoint system to accurately measure skill is a problem that overwhelmingly affects newer players (and in particular the young players everyone is keen on attracting to bridge). While David's proposal is not perfect (there are still players who would like to play up, but not all the way up) it does not seem like it would be that hard or costly to implement and would improve the tournament experience for a demographic the ACBL is trying to attract, so why not just do it?

Edited to add: I'm talking about a format where the top bracket would be an A/X swiss and no teams would be bumped down by a team that wanted to play up.
May 29, 2018
Shawn Drenning edited this comment May 29, 2018
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My experience in NYC was also that they let you play up if you requested it.
May 29, 2018
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Make the overall event better for who?
May 29, 2018
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Andy: No, because everyone likes bracketed swiss and if you don't have a lot of masterpoints you are forced to play in a low bracket, often against worse competition than you might find in your local club.
May 28, 2018
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It's a small step, but I'm bugging anyone who will listen to me to make the top bracket of team events in district 16 to be A/X so anyone who wants the opportunity to play against better players can and encourage you to do the same Ira (you might have more sway than me?). I was told by Kevin Perkins that the DIC cannot do this on their own and has to be done by the tournament organizers (and maybe advertised ahead of time).
May 28, 2018
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Now (at least in District 16) they do not have an A/X swiss most days or the option of playing up, so if you want to play teams and do not have a lot of masterpoints you are forced to play way down, which no one is really happy with (as one lady said to our team only half jokingly after we blitzed a low bracket “I hope you guys don't come back tomorrow”). I have tried talking to my board representative, but it does not seem likely to change, which means I'm likely to attend fewer tournaments and more likely to play pairs when I do.

I do realize the younger (relative to the average ACBL age) player without a lot of masterpoints who wants to play up is a small demographic.
May 28, 2018
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I think there is a difference between running events of different levels (e.g. a gold rush pairs and an A/X pairs) versus running events that are likely to compete with each other. At smaller tournaments, I think it is a mistake to run (say) an open pairs simultaneously with an open swiss if it is going to detract from the quality of both events.

I think it's great to encourage people to play up, but not everyone is an aspiring expert (or has the bridge aptitude to become one) and I see no reason why we shouldn't have events that allow such players to play against their peers (granted a rating system other than masterpoints would do a better job of this).
May 28, 2018
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“Could be 54” was made with the vulnerability in mind and was a diplomatic way of suggesting N's standards might be a bit out of the mainstream
May 28, 2018
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I was unsure what to call it, but agree with the distinction.
May 28, 2018
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I'm sure there is a cheaper place in Seattle to park than right next to the ballpark, but point taken that the US is pretty car oriented.
May 24, 2018
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