Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Steve Willner
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If you've already bought the boards, how about white inserts for NV? (My first thought was green, but that's not so good for the color-blind.)
June 17
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I'd say also in David's case. The board was not in accordance with Law 2 – there was no unique vulnerability condition marked on the board – so it has to be thrown out. Play a substitute board if time allows.
June 17
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The OP (and others) might want to take a look at how the new VP scales were derived. They are based on a couple of assumptions consistent with observed match data. Given those assumptions (and the max VP of the scale, which is arbitrary and won't affect any outcome, and also ignoring roundoff to 0.01 VP), no other VP scales are possible.
June 17
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Why “no VP scoring?” If you must start with three teams and eliminate one, the new VP scales are a good way to do it. No method is perfect without a large number of boards, but it's unlikely the team that gets dropped is far better than both of the teams that remain. VPs seems better for the purpose than net IMPs because of the way the new VP scale is defined. (The old VP scale would be worse.)

The one objection I can see is potential unsportsmanlike dumping. If, say, Team A bribes Team B to dump to A but play hard against C, that would be bad. It's not a huge advantage for A, though. Once B goes home, which they presumably will after losing big to A, what's left is a straight KO between A and C. A could just as well have bribed B to pretend illness and go home without playing.

Another wrinkle is that carryovers should count, but they should be in the form of net IMPs in previous head-to-head matches, not VPs from the RR that includes teams that didn't qualify. In the example case, on Saturday 7 teams play a RR with 8 boards in each match. Sunday first session, the 3 top teams play a 3-board RR of, say, 15 boards. Each match is then scored as a 23-board match including the head-to-head Saturday results. Lowest VP score goes home, and the remaining teams play 30 boards head-to-head. Final victor is by net IMPs on a 53-board KO (8 boards Saturday, 15+30 Sunday).
June 17
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If you want overtricks or small differences in game or slam contracts to be worth less, one way to do it would be to score in ratios rather than differences. I've been meaning to post something about how this would work, but it's not hard. You probably wouldn't want to score a pair game by hand, though.
June 14
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“The formulas used for the WBF and ACBL NABC+ Continuous are identical, with both rounded to 0.01 as that is the smallest difference under ACBL regulations allowed to determine a margin of victory.”

Keith should know, but the Codification doesn't say anything about rounding. If you do that, you have to be careful to preserve the second derivative negative, as Andy explained. Does anyone know whether the ACBL and WBF roundoffs are identical?

A minimum margin of victory does not imply need for roundoff. In fact, it would be better not to round off if a minimum margin is required.

Even if there are slight flaws at the 0.01 VP level, the Bethe scales are far superior to the old scales.
June 13
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“No one with under 2,000 masterpoints needs to know more than one defense to notrump or carding method! Let them focus on what really matters. We need to get the top teachers together and create a curriculum everyone can use. This will lower the barrier to entry tremendously.”

I agree with that last part. I learned from a Certified Goren Teacher, and in those days I could sit down opposite anyone and play with no discussion of methods. I relived those days for one session in the 1990's, playing with a first-time partner who had also learned Goren methods. (We had a 30-second discussion of changes from Goren.) SAYC was supposed to be a standard system everyone could use, but it's such a dog's breakfast that nobody wants to use it. Having something simple and reasonable would be very helpful.

I disagree completely with that first part. I have well under 2000 mp, but I bet I've played more systems (and more defenses to 1NT) than at least 95% of readers here. That's part of the fun. I might agree with “under 200 mp” and would probably agree with “under 20 mp.” I might be wrong even there, though. We have some new players in our club that came up with their own amusing defense to a strong 1 opening. They seem to like it, and nobody at the club (mostly under 1000 mp) has any problem with it, even though it would be illegal under the ACBL Convention Charts because it features a “Purely Destructive” overcall. (To be fair, only a few pairs at the club play strong club methods and are affected.)

Giving newcomers a standard framework is great. Forbidding them to do anything else is not a good idea.
June 13
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The rules of Hool are slightly unclear in places, but there seems to be a rudimentary auction before play. The scoring system also differs.

It might make sense to introduce Hool as a step between Minibridge and real bridge, but having even a rudimentary auction makes no sense to me before the players understand trick-taking. I don't see why different scoring is an advantage. That said, Hool has a lot of deep aspects and could be quite a good game on its own.
June 13
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Someone who knows and says what his biases are is preferable to someone who doesn't know or won't say.
June 13
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Just be aware that for bridge, ‘contestant’ is specifically defined in the Laws. It means the whole team for team play, the pair for pairs play, and one person in an individual event.

Reading the definition of contestant makes it clear to me that ‘player’ means what John wrote, at least in that definition.
June 13
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Putting this here because the sub-thread has moved on. When I wrote that the old VP scale was “obsolete,” I meant in terms of utility or wisdom of use. The old VP scale is legal to use if someone wants to. It has the merit of simplicity, but for a serious event, anyone with any sense would use the new (Bethe or continuous) scale.

I am pretty sure ACBLscore has the new scale programmed in. If not, it's easy to make a spreadsheet to calculate the VPs. According to the ACBL codification referenced above, VPs should be calculated to full floating point significance, not rounded to 0.01 VP. This differs from the WBF scale, which is rounded.
June 13
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1. did the original CoC – the ones with two copies sitting on the Director's table – specify a VP scale? If not, who made the decision to use the obsolete scale instead of the current one?

2. as some others have asked, if “suggested improper player behavior” includes bridge actions, why can't adjusted scores affect the result?
June 10
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Does item (1) of estoppel allow for “should have known?” If I receive an official opinion and rely on it, but the officer giving the opinion turns out to be wrong because of his own negligence, am I out of luck?

Aside from estopel of the CoC, the OP wrote “We also decided to drop 2 procedural issues in the fourth quarter against the team eventually deemed the winner.” I have no idea what “procedural issue” means, but if it's a request for ruling or an appeal, that would presumably have been heard if the team hadn't been told they had won. That doesn't merit ignoring the CoC, but it does give the organizers an avenue for requiring a tie break if that's the route they decide to go. (The route is via L85B, independent of the CoC.) I don't think it gives them a route to replaying the whole match, though.
June 6
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Art: it would depend on the state of both matches. If they both seem close, the conditions wouldn't make any difference. If I seem to be well ahead or well behind in one, I'd want to try to win that one in case 1 (play safe if ahead, swing if behind) but want to maximize VPs in case 2 (play each board to win maximum IMPs).
June 6
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Did you miss the part after the ‘unless’? Having a match subsequent to the main final is fine for selecting the second team, but it's a burden on the players. If players in a particular district like it, then I have no reason to object, but I wouldn't like it and wouldn't expect most others (especially Flight B and C) to like it either.
June 4
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If you mean “who created the fractional VP scale,” it was Henry Bethe who worked out the idea and the formula. The basic formula needs some adjustments in roundoffs to 0.01 VP. I don't know who did those, nor do I know who advocated for the ACBL to adopt the Bethe scale.

The advantage of the Bethe scale is that every IMP (barring some extreme cases) is worth something. If you think the qualifying margin should be more than 0.01 VP, I might agree with you, but that's a matter for the CoC of each event.
June 4
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“an event that is all RR should not be conducted to qualify for an event that starts with RR and finishes with KO.”

Why not? Especially if more than one team will qualify for the subsequent stage?
June 4
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If you are deciding two teams (as D25 did this year for Flight B), KO is a terrible format unless you want to set up a match subsequent to the main final. (Semi-final losers play each other during the final, then the winner plays the losing finalist.) I don't think most players will care for this.

I don't know any good format, but probably RR among a small number of teams (but more than three) is least bad. Ideally there would be the same reduction factor on both days, e.g., from 8 to 4 on Day 1, then 4 to 2 on Day 2, but that won't be possible in general. There should probably be full IMP carryover of the head-to-head results on Day 1. By all means use the Bethe VP scale!

Perhaps of peripheral interest, D25 had its own scoring cock-up resulting in a team being told they had won when they hadn't. What happened was wrong carryovers from Day 1 were used at first. Carryovers posted on the wall at the start of Day 2 were correct, but somehow the computer mixed up which team was which. How it happened, I have no idea, but it was obvious what was wrong and how to fix it. The thought-to-be-winning team got a personal call from the District Director to give them the bad news, but they were still upset. It was worse because some of them had had the same experience in a prior year. At least the CoC were clear, and there was no denying the true result.
June 4
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Don't RRs award masterpoints based on percentage of matches played?

The linked document is a fine description of the event and the reasons for it. Like many ACBL documents, though, it uses “Swiss” to refer to a RR.
June 3
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Although the KS “controlled psych” was called that, it was not a psych at all. It was an agreement to open 1M on a particular type of weak hand, and there were agreed followup methods. I'm sure Kaplan's disclosure was impeccable (though there were no alerts in those days), but I expect some users were not so scrupulous.

Maybe it should be illegal to false-card on defense.
June 3
Steve Willner edited this comment June 3
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