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All comments by Steve Willner
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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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If the final was all-play-all scored by VPs, the event was a two-stage round robin. “Swiss” doesn't apply because at each stage, every team played every other team.
June 3
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Keith: if there is no match for 3rd place, and the 3rd/4th teams go home after their semi-final loss, would they split the 3rd-place award? Or would there be no award given?

Art: while I share your preference for a four-team final, neither your nor my preference should count. If the people who might consider entering the event prefer a two-team final, why not give them what they want? That said, I think there are good reasons not to have a three-team final, probably good enough to overrule the participants' alleged preference for that format.
June 3
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“…have to choose between swimming the 100 and the 200.”

As Michael wrote above, the analogy is flawed. The 100 and 200 are different events, having different emphasis on speed and stamina. In contrast, the Open and Senior are the same type of game, distinguished only by different eligibility requirements.

If there were a different event scored board-a-match or otherwise played differently, the analogy would hold.

“ACBL at nationals has always had the policy of you can't enter 2 events same time.”

Where is that policy found? You can't win masterpoints in two events held at the same time, but not enter?
June 3
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wrong place; comment moved
June 3
Steve Willner edited this comment June 3
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So reduce from 7 to 2, and play a longer KO in the final.
May 31
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Some people won't recognize satire no matter how obvious it is. (one Mr. Swift had some experience of this.)
May 31
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According to the USBF web site, next year's schedule is in the order Open, Mixed, Senior, Women's. Suppose Player A prefers to compete at the WC in the Senior but would like a chance to compete in the Mixed if his team doesn't win the Senior trial. What is Player A supposed to do?

We might also ask about Player B, who has the opposite preference. Suppose B's team wins the Mixed trial. Can B's Senior team replace B if B drops out? What about B's partner, if not the same person as B's partner in the Mixed?
May 30
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It's not necessarily suspicious, but it would be worth finding out what happened. A prestigious event such as this one ought to be using the new “Bethe” VP scales (if using VPs at all). Which scale to use depends on the number of boards played, but given that number, there is no choice. I can imagine a Director using the wrong scale at first, then correcting the mistake. That sort of correction is automatic. However, going from the Bethe scale to one of the older scales would be improper, and of course the scale to use should have been specified in the CoC.

As others have written here, neither a three-team final nor scoring it by VPs makes any sense for selecting a single winner.

If there were potential conduct offenses, those should ideally have been dealt with at the time. I can understand, though, that everyone wanted to get home. Filing Player Memos is not really a substitute for immediate action, but it should still be done.

As I mentioned elsewhere, “round-robin Swiss” is a self-contradictory term.
May 30
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“one day of Round Robin Swiss”

Although this event name is common in the ACBL, it's a self-contradiction. “Round robin,” also called “all play all,” means each contestant plays all others in its bracket. “Swiss” means each contestant plays only a subset of others: the ones with similar records.

Just because the ACBL doesn't know this is no reason the rest of us shouldn't.
May 29
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Michael alludes to the general problem that Swiss outcome depends on “strength of schedule,” i.e., whether you play an excess of strong or weak teams. This can be allowed for in the final scoring, but I think that's done only in Australia and there (I think) only for premier events.

I saw some simulation results many years ago and don't remember them exactly, but the correction was smaller than I was guessing. It's a few VPs, though, so it can easily make a difference of a few places in the standings. That would be especially important for something like the Soloway qualifying Swiss, but when I suggested a SoS correction for that, the idea received no support.
May 28
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1. has the ACBL ever prohibited playing in simultaneous events? They prohibit winning masterpoints in simultaneous events, but that's not the same thing.

2. why should the USBF be obliged to follow ACBL rules?

3. if players are eligible for multiple events, there is always a chance that a player may qualify for one event but prefer to play in a different event whose qualification is yet to be decided. (In practice, there is likely to be a near-unanimous hierarchy of preference, but near-unanimous is not the same as unanimous.)

4. many bridge events allow dropouts at various stages. Admittedly those tend to be low-level events.
May 28
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It just occurred to me, on reading the definition of Purely Destructive Initial Action again, that a short-suit overcall isn't a PDIA if the bid promises some 5-card or longer suit. The suit doesn't have to be the suit named, and it doesn't have to be a known suit; there just has to be one promised. This is item d of the definition, in particular item b twice (“an unspecified 5+c major or an unspecified 5+c minor”).
May 28
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“… authors of the charts simply overlooked something”

At least two “somethings,” I think. One was failing to prohibit “Purely Destructive Overcalls” on the Basic and Basic+ charts. The other was the idea that anyone would want to overcall in a short suit to show high card strength. (That is a bizarre idea. What are the short-suit overcallers planning to do if opponents double? But that's their problem, not a reason to make the overcall illegal.)
May 28
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The 2 overcall is Purely Destructive as Ed established far above. That makes the agreement illegal on the Open and Open+ charts.

“Deviation” is no help. Open and Open+ also say “If an Agreement would be disallowed unless it satisfies a specific High Card Point or shape requirement, a player may
not use judgment to include hands with fewer High Card points or a different shape.” (This is a change from the way most ACBL rules used to work.)

If the 2 overcall were legal, the legality of psyching it would depend on whether it is Artificial or not. In general, overcalls must promise four cards to be Natural, but there's a provision “After the opening bid any bid is Natural if it suggests the contract bid as the final
contract.” That might or might not apply – it would be an interesting discussion – but for the moment, the question is moot. (I don't see how the overcall can be Quasi-Natural, which would also be legal to psych.)

By the way, clubs need not adopt the ACBL convention rules. I believe both having the 2 agreement and psyching it would be legal where I usually play. (I don't plan to do either one myself, but if you open 2, I don't promise to have a lot of cards in a suit I bid. Partner will, of course, have no more reason to expect shortage than you do.)

ACBL clubs can also have their own Alert rules, but I doubt very many do.
May 23
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I see the confusion now. My comment about a possible psych referred to natural overcalls, not specifically to the OP 2 overcall. I'll address legality of that in the thread below.
May 23
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In general I agree with your approach. However, in this case, where it's not at all clear what the LAs are and what is suggested, I can't imagine giving a PP. Even with the best intentions, players will sometimes go wrong in difficult situations. Contrast with “Hesitation Blackwood,” where a PP for “using UI” will quite often be appropriate.

As to “away from the table”: everyone is entitled to know the full ruling. As a practical matter, you might take the player away to make sure he understands the UI implications and any questions or comments don't create further UI, but you should advise the whole table what is AI and what is UI and the implications.
May 23
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Who wrote anything about psyching an artificial bid?

RHO opens 2, strong artificial. You bid 2, by agreement showing a 5c suit or maybe a good 4c suit. What's artificial about that? If you happen to have a stiff spade, and partner has no more reason than the opponents to expect that, what's the problem?
May 23
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As to legality, I don't think it occurred to the Convention Chart writers that anyone would want to overcall showing high-card values in the suit but not necessarily length.

As to alertability, especially given the above, overcalling without promising length seems to me “highly unusual and unexpected.”

Of course people have been known to psych over strong, artificial bids. That's legal but not what seems to have happened here.
May 22
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