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All comments by Jan Martel
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To be clear, 2 of either Major showing that Major and a minor have been Mid-Chart for some time. 2 showing hearts and any other suit, including spades, will become Mid-Chart on January 1. The defenses that are now on the ACBL website are for the bid Major and a minor.
Dec. 27, 2013
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I believe that 2 showing hearts and any other suit will become Mid-Chart legal in about 6 days. Presumably on Jan. 1st, the approved defense will be posted on the ACBL website. I'm not sure whether this is 5-5 or 5-4.
Dec. 26, 2013
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When there is a Vugraph broadcast, all players who are playing the boards being shown on Vugraph have to give their cell phones to either the directors or the Vugraph operator. That exception was included when the cell phone ban was removed last year.
Dec. 10, 2013
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Baze Senior KO had only 29 teams, so started with the Round of 32 and will end on Tuesday. We want to start Vugraph tomorrow (Sunday) but need operators. If you might be available, please email me (marteljan gmail). Thanks!

Tomorrow is covered, thanks! See some of you online.
Nov. 29, 2013
Jan Martel edited this comment Nov. 29, 2013
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You are correct that the rules for this event are very different from the WBF rules, both for Juniors and for those who are no longer Juniors (I have not come up with a good descriptor for them :)). I do not know why this event chooses to focus on citizenship, rather than residence, but it does.
Oct. 16, 2013
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Further information, which may not be obvious from the announcement of the event:
All players must be citizens of the country which they are representing in the event.
Although all players must meet the requirement of attending or being within 1 year of attending a recognized University (which includes college & Junior college) or High School, not all players on a team must attend the same school.
Oct. 16, 2013
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Are you sure that the $15M includes things like International & Junior Fund income and expenses? I ask because I can't tell (and of course that supports your position that the financial information isn't easily understandable).
Oct. 11, 2013
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Kevin, the document you linked above looks to me like a reporting of “overhead” type expenses, not “activity” type expenses - for instance, I don't see anything for the various Junior programs ACBL spends money on. I think that explains why you don't see USBF on that accounting.

With the exception of money to support Junior activities, the money that ACBL distributes to USBF is what I (caveat - I'm not an accountant) would call “pass through” money, from the International Fund and voluntary contributions that US ACBL members make when they pay their ACBL dues. It isn't really an ACBL expenditure, it's money that ACBL collects on behalf of USBF. I'm not suggesting it shouldn't be reported, just that I can understand why it isn't reported on this sort of expenditures report.

There surely should be a different document showing collections for other entities. ACBL gets entry fees from Charity games and distributes those to the Charity Foundation; it gets entry fees from Junior Fund games and those go (I think) into a designated Junior Fund account; it gets entry fees from International Fund games and those go to USBF, to help pay the expenses of players on US international teams after they have been selected (I mention this because I often hear people saying that ACBL supports the USBF events at which our teams are chosen, and it doesn't).

Maybe I'm just reiterating what you said in a different way - the sort of accounting that shows types of expenditures is much less useful for the members of the organization than an accounting that shows income and expenditures by source and purpose.
Oct. 11, 2013
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Thank you both - can someone email me a description of how you'd do this sort of pairing. Remember, I'm not a mathematician!! I'd be happy to propose it to the committee that writes the Conditions of Contest for the USBC, but I want to be sure I understand what I'm proposing! Maybe if it works in that context the WBF would adopt it for the World Championships, as they did our VP scale.
Sept. 24, 2013
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This is interesting,but would still leave the problem that when Round Robin pairings are known (whether long in advance or just for the day), different teams face different fields, depending on the lineup choices made by their opponents. In the USBC we (ITTC and USBF) minimize that problem by having the Round Robin pairings unknown until after the teams have submitted their lineups. That way a team with a weaker (or stronger) pair can't choose to sit that pair out against a team they view as particularly strong or weak.

For example, in the Bermuda Bowl, Brazil played Canada in the penultimate match. Brazil had no chance, Canada (obviously) had a good chance. Brazil chose to sit their strongest pair out, perhaps to give them a chance to rest for the Transnationals. Canada won the match by a lot. Early in the tournament, against USA2, Brazil had played its strongest lineup and won the match. I'm not suggesting that Brazil should have done anything different or that USA2 couldn't have qualified if they had just played a little better; of course they could have, but if there's anyone out there who's ever played 7 days of bridge without making some mistakes, I haven't met them. All I'm saying is that the choice of which pairs to play can sometimes be relevant and mean that different teams don't play the same fields. Is there any way to solve that problem and also do what you are suggesting to avoid “irrelevant” matches at the end?
Sept. 24, 2013
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Interestingly, they've added a slight twist to that procedure, which is the way it has been in the past. This year, the 4th, 3rd and even 2nd place teams have the option to say they are willing to be chosen by a higher team, so it's theoretically possible that 1 could choose from all of the other teams. Of course that's unlikely, but it is possible that the 4th place team would opt to be eligible for selection, thinking that would be better for them than guaranteeing that they play the best of the 5-8 teams.
Sept. 22, 2013
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There is no recording of bidding and play at tables that are not on Vugraph. Only the contract, opening lead and result are entered into the Bridgemates.
Sept. 22, 2013
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I want to correct some assumptions implicit in Mr. Bruno's comment. The ACBL International Fund provides support for United States teams in World Championships - ACBL mandates that that support must be the same for the Open, Women's and Senior teams. Subject to that restriction, USBF is in charge of distributing the International Fund money to the players. The amount available is usually somewhat less than the cost of participating in the World Championship, but has come closer to paying the full cost in the last few years.

Other than that, ACBL provides no support to USBF. USBCs (the selection events for our World Championship teams) are paid for from entry fees. When, as usually happens, the USBCs lose money, USBF makes up the loss out of its General Fund. The USBF General Fund has money because USBF has spent less on administration than it has taken in from dues and donations over the years. USBF is a volunteer-run organization. I'm not paid, nor are any of the USBF Board members. USBF does pay its counsel (although at far less than he could earn from any other client), auditor and web designer. That's it. For the USBC's, we pay ACBL for the use of screens, boards & bidding boxes, as well as for directors.
So if you don't think ACBL should be supporting our selection events - it isn't. If you don't think ACBL members who choose to play in International Fund games should help pay for the expenses of our World Championship teams, I respectfully disagree with you.
Sept. 15, 2013
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Of course Marty & I are rooting for the same team :), but if you want a slightly less bridge-oriented look at the Bali Bermuda Bowl, I'm also posting almost every day on the USBF site at <http://usbf.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1257&Itemid=513>;.
Sept. 15, 2013
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This post, and the comments about Hamman's rating on the Power Rating scheme, led me to look at the list of ranked players on the EBU NGS list. Andy Robson & Tom Townsend are near the top, but I couldn't find any of the other four players on England's Bermuda Bowl team in the top 400. And as I was scanning the final page I checked, I happened to notice that Zia is ranked number 401!! That led me to wonder whether Hamman at 109 in the US or Zia at 401 in England is a greater distortion.

What all of this suggests to me is there really isn't a good, easy & objective way to rank bridge players.
Sept. 4, 2013
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SportAccord covers some of the players' expenses, as well as having prize money. None of the WBF, the USBF or the ACBL pays anything to the players (except that the USBF provides uniforms - polo shirts with the USBF logo - which are required by the organizers).
Aug. 31, 2013
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Wallet seemed very easy to use. Why would you prefer Paypal, Aviv, if you don't mind saying.
Aug. 30, 2013
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That's a great idea, but why only at NABC's? I'd appreciate 35 hour days between now and Bali, please!
Aug. 14, 2013
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The main reason that NABC team events do not finish in time for a nice dinner is that we are playing 64 boards a day. In Europe, they typically play 48 boards a day, so the early schedule works. Here, and especially with screens, the day is just too long.

There were very few (I don't remember any) matches behind screens in Atlanta when the first half ended before 3:00; most ended at about 3:15. Restarting at 4:00 barely gave people time to run to the food court and grab something to eat. And starting at 4:00 meant that the second half was scheduled to end at 9:00 or a little after (ACBL allows 2 and a half hours for 16 boards of play, so 5 hours of play per half plus a few minutes to compare scores after each quarter).

Of course, the day is even longer for me, so I may have a biased viewpoint, but in Atlanta I ate nothing but food court food and mostly that was what Chip bought and brought back to the room for me, since a player on a 6 person team has more time off than a Vugraph organizer and I have a wonderful husband :).

Off topic for this thread of course, but perhaps the time has come to consider either requiring people to play faster (ACBL's time schedule is based on 9 minutes per board; WBF & USBF schedules are based on 8.5 minutes per board) or to play fewer boards a day. We don't have to go all the way to only 3 sets a day the way they do in Europe, but what about 56 or 60 boards a day?
Aug. 14, 2013
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