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All comments by Bryan Delfs
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Roland,

One thing I'd like to see added to the “Dont's”, or more specifically stated if you think it is already there:

“Don't focus on predicting what actions will be taken. Focus on the possibilities and the logic for why they might occur.”

Too, too often I listen to VuGraph Commentators whose contributions are “they will get to 4H and make it.” It's not about predicting the outcome, but helping the audience see the journey there.

“NS have the majority of the high card points and an 8 card heart fit, so they might push to get to 4H. However, East could make it difficult with an aggressive Spade preempt.”

“We can see Declarer can make it by ruffing out the Diamonds, but he may also consider the Club finesse and hope for an endplay.”

Far better to showcase all the possibilities and getting viewers thinking, rather than attempt to just predict what the players will do.
Aug. 22, 2018
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As if Kit's articles aren't insightful enough, his responses to posted questions may be the greatest source of advanced Precision knowledge in the bridge world.
July 16, 2018
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Thank, Eric! Enjoyed playing with you and our teammates. We had a lot of laughs, some good bridge and friendly opponents. I think that's all anyone could ask for at the bridge table.
July 28, 2017
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Hi Kyle,

I think it is great that you have thoughts on the competition and would like to make meaningful change. I have run this event for the last 3 years, and I have done everything in my power to give control to the players. Before any changes were submitted to the Board, a survey was always conducted of all ACBL members age 17 to 25, plus all players who had participated in the event for 5 years prior.

Here are some of the results:

2015 Format: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80095126/Collegiate%20Format%201.PNG
2016 Format: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80095126/Collegiate%20Format%202.PNG
Which NABC: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80095126/Collegiate%20NABC.PNG
Preferred Weekend: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80095126/Collegiate%20Preferred%20Weekend.PNG
Start Times: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80095126/Collegiate%20Start%20Times.PNG
Note: Ones with 77 responses were from a 2015 survey, and ones with 31-32 responses are from a 2016 survey

Many will recall Bridge Winners threads that discussed the format, which NABC, scholarship prizes, number of teams, etc. When brought to the ACBL’s attention, we relied almost exclusively on surveys from players to make changes to the competition. In 2015, we ran a qualifying period. In 2016, we ran a qualifying weekend.

I write this because there was never any formal decision to run the Collegiates opposite the GNTs. The Collegiate schedule and format was chosen by the players. This doesn’t mean it can’t change, and you should make your voice heard, but calling it a punishment for juniors is hardly fair.

A few observations I might make about the second weekend:

-Second Sunday does not have a 1 & 7:30 schedule. The starts times, at least for that day, would have to be changed to something like a 10 & 3 schedule (see survey results on Start Times)

-Second Sunday has much lower attendance and fewer peripheral things happening (Zip KOs as an example) that might take enjoyment/excitement away from attending the NABCs

-Second Saturday now conflicts with the Red Ribbon Pairs

There is a lot to consider and no perfect solution.

Though I’m no longer with the ACBL, I’m certain if you contacted Dan Storch or Stephanie Threlkeld that they would hear your thoughts and consider sending another survey to your peers for the 2017/2018 competition.
March 6, 2017
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I'm trying to decide if it was an AutoCorrect or Freudian.
Aug. 8, 2015
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What if the position were:

2 2

A3

Now with the same statement made, would you allow Declarer to cash the 2 first and then lead to the A? Does this or does this not change the situation?
July 16, 2015
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Dear Bridge Too Far,

We fail to understand the problem. Can you kindly include the hand in your response?
Nov. 11, 2014
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As a point of clarification, each day of the finals will be 2-24 board rounds, so 48 boards each day.
Oct. 1, 2014
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Your ads could be worse Alan…

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80095126/Capture.PNG

Just saying.
March 14, 2014
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My instinct is that it has something to do with the location of the “next highest card” being in the same hand or the very next one. Here is an example hand:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hnc1odbpro6oo9a/Capture.PNG

Not counting the twos (they are always in the right spot), the following cards are in the same hand or exact next hand:

Spades: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,J,K,A = 10
Hearts: 3,5,6,7,9,10,J,K,A = 9
Diamonds: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q = 11
Clubs: 2,3,4,5,6,7,10,J = 8

38 out of 48 (not counting the 2s), I would think, is pretty significant.

I could be beyond left field at this point, but that is where my mind went with it.

Very interested in the true answer.
Feb. 24, 2014
Bryan Delfs edited this comment Feb. 24, 2014
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Hi All,

I have asked Jason to update the post with the change to the kibitzing, as I had originally given him the wrong information.

As Ben confirmed, silenced kibitzing will be allowed.

I apologize for the miscommunication and hope that this may give people the additional opportunity to root for their teams.

Good luck to all of our college participants!
Feb. 14, 2014
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Hi Stephen,

I did receive your email, but after reading through it realized it wasn't my particular area. The information was sent to the appropriate group, who is looking into your suggestions and is planning to respond directly to you.

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, and should have notified you that it was being forwarded to another group.

Thank you for your feedback and please feel free to continue to use me as a resource, even if it is not my area of expertise. I will certainly be happy to forward it on, and will be more timely in responding in those instances.

Best of luck in your future tournaments.
Aug. 20, 2013
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David,

I'm sorry, but once again you are making a comparison that is simply unfounded:

“Enron had a lot of great workers too. The problem was at the top with people who thought they were smarter than everyone else.”

Are you telling me that you have reason to believe that people here in Horn Lake are intentionally misleading other people to line their own pockets? Are you suggesting that things are happening here that warrant employees of the league deserve to go to prison?

If this is true, I personally request that you post your documented proof of such actions taking place.

If you do not have this documentation, and the post made above is simply an over statement because you would like to see more screens used at an NABC, then I humbly ask you to apologize for making us seem like criminals.

Thank you.
Aug. 13, 2013
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Kevin,

To clarify, the “kickbacks” were in response to Barry's post. Perhaps I misunderstood what he meant, but when it was suggested that “some people are doing very well”, I interpreted that as some kind of personal benefit that they are receiving for the number of room nights being booked.

If I am not understanding his post correctly, then I'm willing to concede that “kickbacks” were not insinuated. My apologies if that is the case.
Aug. 12, 2013
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Sorry, as an ACBL employee, I can't sit by on this side response to the general topic. It is one thing to discuss general opinions of the league and the direction we should go, but a whole different story when you start to use the words “corruption” and suggesting “kickbacks”.

I've been at the Headquarters since May of 2012. I left a great job, my family and all of my friends behind to move to the Memphis area. I guarantee it wasn't because I was offered an under the table deal too good to pass up.

I moved because I have a passion for the game and want to try to make things better. I volunteered at every Youth NABC since the inception (and am now running it), I teach at Chris Shaw's week long overnight youth camp every year and I recently took a trip out to San Francisco to do a TAP for 35 new teachers for Debbie Rosenberg's School Program she is starting. I'm working on revamping the Learn to Play Bridge software so that it is available on ANY web enabled device (since I receive dozens of emails weekly on this). On top of that, I oversee that hundreds of teachers across North America get free supplies and stipends to teach bridge in schools.

I'm simply trying to do an honest days work for an honest days pay while doing something that I love.

I mention these details because that is EVERYONE I have come to meet at the ACBL (directors included). They are honest, hard working individuals who are doing the best they can. They have and do volunteer their time, have played bridge side by side with many of you and are here for the same reasons I am. Unless you are prepared to provide documented proof of corruption and/or kick backs, I believe any statement suggesting such is hurtful and unnecessary.

Having opinions on how the league can improve, where it should focus its efforts or how it should be organized is one thing. However, insinuating that the problem is due to corruption at the ACBL Headquarters is unfounded.
Aug. 12, 2013
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It looks like a fix to me. They sure fixed themselves when they pushed you to that contract and failed to set it.
June 4, 2013
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I am currently studying to take my Director's test, and am curious about the situation with the forced redouble. It makes complete sense to me that Pass is a legal call.

However, how does this situation differ from those playing a Forcing 1NT system when Opener passes? Is this still considered a legal call and what would be instructed to the pair who does this? How often should they be able to do it before the agreement is not valid?

I suppose I am opening the can of worms on where laws end and bridge judgement begins because I can feel the earth shuttering underneath me as I write this very post (1NT WITH A SINGLETON?!? DIRECTOR!) … so please understand I'm not suggesting that the laws attempt to do that.

I'm simply trying to understand how it would be handled in the real world, if the knowledge exists of a pair with this kind of history.

Enjoyed the article tremendously.

Thanks.
May 17, 2013
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In addition to Jim's point, give North Ax in Trumps and four Spades and a Spade lead gives the defense an uppercut opportunity. So not even cold on a 3-2 trump break.
April 9, 2013
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Hey Josh,

In your 2/1 system, what is your approach following a 1D-2C auction? I'm particularly interested in the balance between showing distributions verse strength.

Thanks.
Feb. 25, 2013
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I'm not a very well known bridge player, but I've worked with numerous Districts & Units, have been to many NABCs, volunteered at all the Youth NABCs and had the fortunate opportunity to play once internationally. I picked up my entire life and moved to Horn Lake, Mississippi to take on the Manager of Education position for the ACBL. I preface this so that anyone reading can be assured that I'm responding as a bridge player and someone who is passionate about this game, and not just an employee of the ACBL.

I, too, was skeptical about the direction of the ACBL. Like the majority of the players posting here, I was motivated by my passion for the game and to try and make a difference. I have been here for 9 months, and there are some things I can say are truly changing for the better.

First, the new CEO, Robert Hartman, is refocusing our efforts and allowing new ideas to be brought to the table. He has worked diligently to connect with the community, and has created an open door policy for all of our members. He is trying new things and has proven to be an exceptional leader for our organization. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work with him.

Second, we are moving forward on the technology front. The ACBL created a strategic plan that was open to the entire membership for ideas and feedback. Of the six main focus areas, two are in technology. As expected, this is an effort over time and I think the membership will start to see this in the near future. To help prepare for this, the ACBL did overturn the cell phone ban in NABC+ events. The key to success here is to ensure the technology is useful while maintaining the integrity of the game.

Finally, my reason for writing this. One of the main focus areas of the strategic plan is “Identify and Replicate Best Practices and Innovations.” This is where everyone here, and across our membership, can help us the most. Where are the successful programs? Who do we contact so we can document the program? What are the details surrounding the program that make it a success? It is these successes that the ACBL needs to know as much information as is available.

I've seen money bridge in a local community, and it unfortunately didn't work. Is there a specific example somewhere that is successful, and someone we can contact that we can learn more about it? Is this something that the laws in the U.S. would allow? These are the necessary details that anyone running a business or organization would want before making a commitment.

I've seen “Bridge for Singles” in a local community, and that turned into one of the largest clubs in the Chicago area. This is a great example of a program that the ACBL needs to understand, and document the details of its success. Are there others like it?

I haven’t heard of a program for drawing 27-54 year olds, but is there a successful one out there? What is making it a success? Who can we contact to better understand their program?

These are the opportunities that have been lost over decades, and the opportunities that can revitalize the game in our future.

The ACBL is willing to listen and understand these programs. Like any business, however, we must determine what is worth the time, effort and money. The ACBL is trying to take a constructive approach to this, and involve as much of the membership in that direction as possible.

If you don’t know who to contact specifically at the ACBL, please feel free to contact me at bryan.delfs@acbl.org and I will make sure it gets to the right group.

As a member of this community, I'm excited at the direction we are moving and the efforts taking place by the Board, Our Teachers, Our Volunteers and Our Members. I hope as these changes roll out, that we can service all of our members of any age, gender or rank so that ultimately we all enjoy the game a little more. It will take time, but I truly believe we are on our way.
Jan. 15, 2013
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