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All comments by Chip Martel
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I share Debbie's concern about WBF problems. In general I think we should make reasonable accommodations, but spoken answers and even pointing do compromise good disclosure.
Aug. 18
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As noted, we all owe a great debt to Fred for creating BBO in addition to his other excellent software. I would note that BBO is already in the Hall of Fame (as a recent Blackwood award winner), but I'm sure Fred will get in as a player when he reaches 60.

I'd add that Fred (and Sheri) are great people so hopefully we will see more of them at tournaments now that Fred is retired.
July 15
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I agree with Jonathan's comment. It is helpful to both the committee and appellants to know the sort of penalties. One option would allow the committee vote for a warning where having a prior warning within the last X years (3?) would put you at greater risk of a future penalty (whether in imps or barring from a future event).

An imp penalty isn't useful when the appeal is made after a team knows it will lose without the appeal (and those appeals at the end of a match are often the most inconvenient ones). At an earlier point an imp penalty is a good method to deter appeals without merit.

At the end of the match to be effective the penalty would have to be something like barring from a future event (or as above, a warning risking barring if a later bad appeal is made).
June 19
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Well done. Some excellent bridge from the winners. Jeff, David and Alan will be defending their world title from 2 years ago.
June 9
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I was (and still somewhat am) an avid reader of bridge books. As others noted, I only read some of Watson's book on play, moving on to better books such as Card play technique by Mollo and Gardener.
Feb. 20
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Works for me too. Thanks!
Feb. 19
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I agree with Howie's view completely. In my view if we didn't allow written defenses, we would have to cut back on what we allow to be played. Allowing them with written defenses is fairer to both sides.
Jan. 26
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I think there should be a distinction between bids that show known 5 (+) card suit(s) and ones that don't. The reason that 2D weak with majors is challenging to defend against is that it really doesn't promise length in ANY known suit (that is, could have 4 cards in either major, so the opposing side has to worry about playing in the suit(s) shown. In contrast, if 3C shows 6+ diamonds that is not an issue.

So I think our rule should be to require an ASF and allow written defenses when the opening is (or could be) weak without promising 5 cards in a known suit.
Jan. 24
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Yes, great to see someone who has contributed such good service to bridge recognized with this prestigious award. Congrats Greg!
Jan. 21
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I'd suggest we just use VSR seeding points along with perhaps performance in prior senior trials, That should be reasonably accurate and not too much of a hassle to administer.
Jan. 21
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With regard to the earlier play and defense, North had to keep all his spades or declarer could set up the spades with one loser (4 total), but if he throws the good 9, coming down to 4 spades and KT of clubs I don't see any winning route for declarer.

So perhaps keeping the 7 was useful as a pseudo squeeze threat against North.
Nov. 15, 2018
Chip Martel edited this comment Nov. 19, 2018
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Good catch Peter. Given how the numbers work and and that it is harder to win PPs now, I'm also OK with keeping a 20% bump for all byes.
Nov. 8, 2018
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Since replacing a disqualified team can be a mess (see my earlier comment for some bad scenarios), I'd suggest we be conservative in disqualifying a team. Thus I'd be OK with using items 1-4 as proposed.
Nov. 8, 2018
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To give a little background: the USBF PP scale is 100 for Spingold
or Vanderbilt win, 85 for a Reisinger win and there are 51 total PP's available from the
USBC. So the increase of available PPs goes up in a ratio of 3.36 to 4.36, so the new scheme increases the total by not quite a factor of 1.3.

Earlier discussion favored increasing the bye thresholds by less than that, favoring increasing them by 20%. This general seems to lead to sensible results:

For R16 bye need 48 can make it with
3/4 V/S + anything else: 5/8 twice; Win USBC (+ anything if bye to R8)

For R8 bye (72): Semi in V/S + 5/8 (or Reis top 4); 2 R8 in V/S + Reis top 5 (or Reis final + R16).

For semifinal bye a V/S win, a second and a R16 (or Reis final) is not enough. Also winning KO and Reisinger isn’t enough (need 186, get 185).
Nov. 6, 2018
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Jeff, it doesn't conflict with the Reisinger. It ends on Thursday and Reisinger starts on Friday.
Nov. 6, 2018
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The issue of which team replaces the ineligible team is more complicated. First, we often have two winner trials. Say team A wins the main bracket and defeats team B in the finals. Team C then loses to team B in the repechage final.

After this players drop off team A so it is ineligible and before this, 3 players on team C qualify in a later trials. In this case which team replaces team A? There could be other even more complex scenarios.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Our opponents opened 1 and then bid 6 over the 1 overcall.

If West passes, East might bid 5 over 2 and then W might well raise to 6, but of course that is a guess that need not be right.
Oct. 8, 2018
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Generally Diuretics are banned since they can help mask other drugs. In particular hydrochlorothiazide (a commonly used diuretic for blood pressure) is on the banned list.
Sept. 4, 2018
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Good advice from Kit, but even better if you have a phone number is to also call or text to confirm. There is a chance the sender's email account was hijacked and you could get a reply from the hacker rather than your friend (though that is harder for them to fake).
July 10, 2018
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In my version of Brian's first item, the professor after saying “It's obvious” looks at the last line written and pauses to say, “why is it obvious?” then goes on to fill a new blackboard with equations, before concluding that “yes, it was obvious”.

I'd add as a professor who has done such derivations myself, that I always tried to use the term “it follows that” instead of “it's obvious that”.
July 8, 2018
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