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All comments by Brian Dellinger
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I don't like the ‘best 25 consecutive’ rating thing… but it's fine to tag someone's record with the peak rating they've ever achieved as a vanity/congratulatory thing.

Calculate their ‘current’ rating based on their most recent N results and timebox it to discard ancient history. That way someone's growing pains as a slow-learning novice don't artificially deflate their competitive rating and their inevitable decline after they peak gets taken into account, too.
Oct. 9
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Tom, genuine question here: Is there difference the _remote_ locations of the players relative to one another or the ‘online’/technological implications of using tablets at the table rather than cards?

Or both?
Oct. 8
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These are great! I've got a small group of people at a summer camp we attend who, year on year, have been getting interested in bridge. Another gentleman there focuses them on bidding, but I think simple play problems like this get to the heart of why the game is ‘beautiful’.

Thank you for these! Wonderful way to expose someone to the game.
Oct. 8
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100% that. With the rise of the eurogaming phenomenon, Bridge's complexity and social aspects fit right in with what everyone is already looking to _play_.

The problem is not the game, but our presentation of it and our seeming inability to welcome people whose knowledge of its secrets aren't yet at the level of our own.
Oct. 1
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I think the author's point re: the movie isn't to fault the filmmakers for highlighting the “age problem” we have in bridge.

I read her as saying that the movie is youthfully derogatory about *eyeroll* old people - as if young people won't generally enjoy the game because of an inability to enjoy the company of, or form meaningful/fun relationships with, seniors.
Sept. 27
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If you think there won't be avenues for cheating via people utilizing tablets, I have real estate to sell you. :)

FWIW, I agree that tablets offer some great benefits and I think that they're perfectly acceptable in lieu of handheld playing cards. I still disagree, though, with the idea that having players only in the same ‘space’ virtually has only positive impacts on the game.
Sept. 17
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I'm a complete novice compared to most people here and lurk mainly to try to learn something along the way… But this post is doubly interesting to me as a technology advocate/worker and as a bridge fan.

As other posters have highlighted, there is something completely different about “being there” at the table in an event. Sylvia's comment regarding the practice even for high-level eSports competitions is illustrative. I _personally_ think there's room for tablets to replace physical cards at an event like this (to improve logging of hands, limit potential gamesmanship, make logistics more manageable, improve access for streaming, and so on) though I recognize that still changes the game in substantial ways that I'm sure I don't appreciate from my lowly station.

But allowing players (or, worse, just a subset of players) to be remote for events like this is, IMO, not really wise or viable.

In addition to all the obvious complications like network connectivity, latency, ensuring that the other person is playing in a suitable environment, data integrity, and so on, I think we're forgetting that the social aspect of bridge is _still_ one of its potential selling points. One need only look to the growth of board games like “Settlers of Catan” or card games (MTG, Keyforge, etc) to see, even in our online age, people still value having people to sit and play a game with face-to-face.

If we can figure out how to really present our game well and shift the culture to one that embraces new players openly, we have a lot to gain, methinks.

Altering the format of the World Championships in a wholesale sellout to online convenience would make us less valuable and relevant. And that is NOT to say there isn't some room to work on where we hold these tournaments in order to make them maximally accessible to players and a viewing/playing audience… Doubtless there is.
Sept. 17
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… and in the unique pressures that come from competing in that special environment.
Sept. 17
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As an IT person, the thought of people still using a Flash-based app like BBO (particularly if they pay for BBO$) is a bit chilling. But, to each their own.

I'll admit not being thrilled with some of the design decisions in the new app, but I think we're missing something. Most of us are older and playing the app on desktop/laptop computers. The design paradigm is clearly putting more of an emphasis on mobile/tablet platforms (which, I'd wager, is where the growth is - such as there is any growth around bridge use).

If you ‘think’ of this as a tablet app, the interface decisions make a bit more sense.
Sept. 16
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You can do the same thing on the ‘new’ version… Just click a player's seat/name while kibitzing.
Sept. 16
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Just as an interesting aside… I came across an article on Slate.com covering chess… In the article, there's this relevant quote:
"There will always be a core of diehard chess fans, but, Magnus or no Magnus, the wider interest isn’t there right now. The Sinquefield Cup—maybe the strongest chess tournament ever—drew fewer ticket buyers than an indie rock show. On a Tuesday when I was there, there seemed to be no more than 100 people in attendance. I was the only mainstream, non-chess journalist covering the event, save for the aforementioned Norwegians. The online broadcast drew about 75,000 worldwide viewers per day, which sounds respectable. Until you learn that the stream of a “League of Legends” videogame championship attracted an audience of 32 million. Televised poker, another “mindsport,” is all over cable TV and has launched a galaxy of star players. Chess has had no comparable successes.

Is the product the problem? Like poker, chess doesn’t offer up electric visuals. It is a still life of men seated at a table, hands pressed to the sides of their heads. But while poker is, at heart, a simple game, easy enough to grok that you can strategize along with Phil Ivey when he plays on TV, a grandmaster-level chess match is totally bewildering. The live stream commentators attempt to explain the thinking behind each move, and after a while you glean a basic understanding of what makes a position strong or weak, the value of developing your bishop here instead of there, and why a particular pawn is so vital to protect. But most of us will never manage even a rudimentary comprehension of the cogitations going on in these analytical geniuses’ brains. I might beat Ivey in a hand or two of poker, but the only way I’d beat a grandmaster in a game of chess is if I managed to swipe his pieces off the board when he wasn’t looking."

Full article here:
http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2014/09/sinquefield_cup_one_of_the_most_amazing_feats_in_chess_history_just_happened.html
Nov. 3, 2015
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The options for live-streaming or homebrew production/distribution are so amazing these days… It's really unbelievable what technology has brought to us.

There are a number of Chess and Go players who stream lessons and games on Twitch and other platforms, while still others do some basic recording/editing and then publish the content ‘packaged’ on YouTube. Personally, I think that over-the-shoulder, first-person content is the way to go… It's easy to produce, and I think that a good player/teacher could easily cater their discussion of the hand and their thought process to appeal to a wide variety of audiences (see Gavin's Robot Dupe videos, for example).

The ‘team debrief’ or similar analysis videos are also great - but I think they just require more coordination and a bit more skill to package well.

More of a mass-media broadcast for bridge still runs into the same ol' challenges - first among them making the inner-workings of the game comprehensible enough to the viewers that they are able to get engaged quickly. Poker does that so well because of the relative simplicity of the game and the financial stakes. I'm still not sure how you do that best for bridge.
Nov. 1, 2015
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Thanks for the post, Hendrik. I've been trying to identify a regular partner online (again, I live in Far West Bumble, well away from any club that I could attend regularly). So far, those efforts have fallen through because of scheduling. Perhaps I'll just swallow my pride and make a post on the Partnership Desk here, though that'd be be a bit abnormal for the kinds of posts that typically go there.

Thanks for being willing to chime in!
Oct. 28, 2015
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Yes, the yellow cover.
Oct. 25, 2015
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_Two Over One Game Force (Revised -Expanded)_ (Devyn Press, 1989)

Hooray for Abebooks.com!
Oct. 25, 2015
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Hardly an expert opinion here, but…

I really like Watson's _Play of the Hand_ for cardplay principles in general. I haven't read Mollo/Gardner, so I'm sure that's good. Kantar's _Modern Bridge Defense_ is good for the defensive side of the table.

I'm still coming to grips with 2/1 myself… I think I know what I'm doing until I find something I don't. I have Hardy's 2/1 book and a set of system notes for some club players in Florida (from some years ago) that are serving as a guide.
Oct. 24, 2015
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Thanks for the comment, Phil… I've been following posts of yours on another forum (and learning a lot) for some time. Nice to get to follow you on here, too.

I was mainly interested in just fostering a conversation among other aspiring intermediate re: what we are each working on and how we're seeking to grow. Your advice if immensely helpful!
Oct. 15, 2015
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As an aside, Nolan Dalla's biography of Stuey Ungar (One of a Kind) is an excellent read.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Weakest play on BridgeWinners, here… So, my opinion is mainly one of the fan.

I can appreciate the relatively high volatility of BAM scoring and why it might not serve as the best means to help select teams to compete for international/world titles or even for seeding at future domestic events. But, there's something to be said for history, tradition, and a measure of diversity in the major events. The BAM scoring is a fun (IMO) change of pace and makes for some interesting spectating… When I've played BAM, it's also been an interesting change of pace.

So, I'd advocate for keeping the event and its traditional form of scoring… but, by all means, change the way the event connects to the other major competitions. Perhaps one could argue that devalues the Reisinger fundamentally (and, therefore, why not cancel it?) but I suppose that there'd still be enough interest to keep people watching.
Oct. 11, 2015
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Obviously we don't want all that mess, Greg… But the upvoting could be a really helpful way for readers to separate the wheat from the chaff in long threads. Regardless, thanks for all you guys do to give us this cool platform.
Sept. 28, 2015
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