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All comments by Steve Willner
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The companion history article by Mr. Rosenkranz himself is at
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0039128X9290085N

Unfortunately it seems to be behind a paywall. I have access through an academic library, but most people won't. Your local library may have access, though, through interlibrary loan arrangements.
June 25
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First comment by Andy has the right ruling. In practice, I might give 6+1 for simplicity, depending on how serious the event is.

2 would be natural in my partnerships whether East is a passed hand or not. 2 would also be natural for us. I don't know whether that's best, but we have x, 1NT, and 2NT to show the majors.
June 25
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Thanks for all votes and comments. At the table, I passed. Partner had a 9-count, and our finesses were the ones working, so we were due a plus score. I was perhaps unduly influenced by a different opponent, who on a previous week, passed AJxxx AJxxx x xxx in third seat.

It's a bidder's game, and I was probably too pessimistic. As Gregory wrote and Lynn implied (I think), we might end up with a plus even when Deep Finesse thinks we shouldn't.

It's also an interesting question what to do if opponents are good. They won't have passed an opening bid, but they won't slop tricks in the play.
June 25
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The thread is at
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/coffee-housing/

When writing my reply above, I had originally include a parenthetical “unless the pause is prolonged” but deleted it because it didn't seem germane.

Even if the pause is prolonged, as it was in the other thread, I don't think “could have known” applies. In my view, the relevant Law is 74C7, “varying the normal tempo … for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent.” If that's what happened, L12A1 – often overlooked – authorizes an adjusted score. The key difference is that L74C7 requires the Director to find intentional wrongdoing, whereas L73C and L73E2 have no such requirement.

My opinion differs from the rulings@acbl one. I'm happy with mine.
June 25
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Thanks, Art. Dreadful choice (or oversight) on the part of the D22 CoC writers, but it's too late to change after the event is played. I hope they (and other Districts) repair that next year if they use VPs at all.
June 24
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It took awhile, but I've finally found a good example.

A defender, playing the last card either defender had in some suit, takes awhile to play it while thinking about the rest of the hand. That's certainly “no bridge reason.” Declarer now draws a false inference that the defender had more than one card to play. I don't think the defender “could have been aware” declarer would draw a false inference about the count.
June 24
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I don't know what Ed (“why”) meant, but I don't see how knowing whether “short” means zero, one, or two would affect anyone's action. When would it make a difference?

In contrast, knowing the hand types that are included in 1 may very well make a difference. I almost always say “Please explain” to find out what those are. (The usual answer is simply the minimum length, and then I have to ask a bunch more questions, but that's not my fault.)

The basic point, though, is that an announcement is an alert, not an explanation. Opponents are expected to ask questions if they need more information.
June 24
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I would like to be in Nic's conversation for the full story, but I doub't I'll be at an NABC any time soon. I was one of the vast number of people Henry Bethe communicated with early on, but I don't remember adding anything of substance other than saying the new scales were great.

The mistake the WBF and ACBL are making is rounding off at all. To preserve concavity, VPs should be calculated to full floating point precision. Then, at the end, if you want to require 0.01 VP margin (or some different value) for a win, that's fine.

Getting back to D22: somebody wrote that the CoC had the old integer VP table in it. Did the CoC also contain the Bethe formula? If so, using the old tables was a huge mistake.
June 24
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Thanks, Peg. I think I understand the event format now. There are several ways the problem could be mitigated. A good one is to score Day 1 by VPs (proper ones, of course). Unless one team is crushing both the other two, a team that's -100 isn't likely making it to Day 2.

Second, allow the -100 “Team 2” to withdraw after Day 1. Either declare Team 1 the winner, or Teams 1 and 3 play each other on Day 2. If the team behind after part of Day 2 wants to withdraw, fine.

I don't see a valid reason not to have carryover. My preference would be full IMP carryover, but as I've mentioned elsewhere, partial carryover isn't ridiculous.
June 20
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ACBL alert rules have not changed since 2016, and there were only minor changes then. There are supposed to be new rules “soon,” but that will be the ACBL's version of soon. The Alert Procedures document is what you want. It has some contradictions in it, but here's what I believe it means. Page references below are to that document.

If 1 is non-forcing but could be fewer than three cards, announce “may be short” (p2, p16). My comment: opponents may well need more information and can ask for it by saying “Please explain.”

After a natural NT “opening, overcall or rebid” (p2), red-suit transfers to the next-higher major are announced “Transfer.”

When announcing, players are required to tap the alert strip (or show the alert card) in addition to the oral announcement (p3).
June 19
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Mark

For a 4-team final, if one team doesn't want to play, either bring in the 5th-place team or play a 3-way on Day 2. Unlike other people, I don't think it's so bad if you play one session, send home the lowest-ranked team, and play a second session head-to-head (with full carryover throughout). Nothing is perfect, but worst is forcing a team who doesn't want to play to do so.

Peg

I still don't understand your scenario. Did the “down 100” team want to play or want to go home? If they want to go home, by all means let them, and figure out (from the CoC) what to do next. If they want to play and the CoC say they can, they have a right to do that, and how well or badly they score is their problem (unless their bad play is deliberately, which is a conduct offense). If another team happens to benefit, that's the way it's supposed to work (again unless the bad play is intentional).

Personally I'd allow withdrawals during Day 1, but I can understand not doing so. As I understand it, though, your scenario was requiring play on Day 2 after Day 1 was finished. No reason I can see to do that. If you want to write CoC that disallow a -100 team to continue, that's probably a good idea.
June 19
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Andy

As I wrote elsewhere, there is room for varying opinions on what the carryover should be. In the BB, there is a multi-day RR with 6-person teams. In the GNT, it's usually one day with mostly 4-person teams. The different formats seem to me to merit different carryover formulas, but using the WBF one wouldn't be terrible.

Peg

I'm confused about what happened, but if a team is -100 and doesn't want to continue, why not let them withdraw? Then the other two teams play head-to-head against each other.

If the team down 100 wants to continue and is allowed to by the CoC, why is whether they play well or badly anyone's problem but their own?
June 19
Steve Willner edited this comment June 19
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Even if you don't regard that as proof, it seems consistent with “anything can happen in a short match.”
June 19
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I agree “expected outcome” would be better, but we have to interpret the words we've been given. There are plenty of other places where careful language could make the Laws clearer.
June 18
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There is often a tradeoff between the best method of choosing a winner and the social aspects of a competition. The latter suggests letting many teams continue, while the former suggests uniform pruning. Organizers have to decide the relative importance for particular events. That's why different events have different CoC.
June 18
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“We've always done it that way” is never a good argument against innovation.

On the merits, having three teams reach Day 2 to determine a single winner wouldn't be my first choice of format, but _with the new VP scales_, it isn't ridiculous. (When only the old ones existed, it was ridiculous in any serious event.)

If the 3-way format is used, there are valid questions as to carryover and whether one team should be dropped halfway. Those don't invalidate the format.
June 18
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It depends on how you view the contest. If all you care about is deciding the first two teams – which is how I look at it – cut the field on day 1, and play a RR scored by VPs on day 2. KO is a terrible format for determining second place unless you are willing to have a playoff after the main final. (The USBC does that, but I doubt many GNT-B/C teams will want to.)

The field cuts on Days 1 and 2 should be approximately equal factors. Perfect is 8 to 4 to 2 or 18 to 6 to 2. If you don't get perfect numbers, you'll have to decide how to round off, but tending to round up probably makes sense for social reasons and to collect more entry fees.

Carryover should preferably be based on prior matches against the same team. The Bethe VP scales are set up to make that work out right, i.e., your expected VPs against another team after Day 2 are independent of whether you did or did not play them on Day 1. (The variance of the VPs is smaller if you played them on Day 1, though, because it's a longer match.) The alternative is to base carryovers on VPs earned on Day 1, which depends on how teams did against teams that did not qualify. That has a lot of luck in it, especially if Day 1 was Swiss and not RR, because some teams will have played against very weak teams and crushed them, while others drew only “middle of the pack” and good teams and won modestly. Anyway, there's room for varying opinions here, but there should be some carryover to discourage dumping on Day 1 and to increase the length of matches.
June 18
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Heh. Proving, once again, that anything can happen in a short match. If three teams are within 0.1 IMP/bd of each other, playing 30 boards can't separate them reliably. However, the team in last place after 30 boards is unlikely to be (but still might be) the best team of the three.
June 18
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Just to be clear, we're talking about IMP carryover from the prior play against one specific team, right? How did a team get to be “minus 100” in a 7 or 8 board match?

If a team is starting out -100, or more realistically -25 or so even on a bad day, why should all those lost IMPs come back? And what about the team that won those IMPs? Is their good play worth nothing? If a team doesn't “try their hardest” for whatever reason, why is that anyone's problem but their own?
June 18
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“Probable outcome” is in scoring units (matchpoints or IMPs), not in raw scores. In practice, it's the weighted average of possible outcomes.
June 17
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