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All comments by Jan Martel
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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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Thanks, Henry. And since the success of USBF Juniors in the WYOBC has now pushed the SportAccord off the first page of the USBF website, here's a direct link to the article: <http://usbf.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1240&Itemid=1>
Aug. 13, 2013
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That's exactly what you get if you click through to the scorecard and then either click on “Play as a BBO movie” in the upper right corner or on any score on the scorecard.
July 25, 2013
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All of the Senior USBC matches that were shown on Vugraph are posted on the USBF website. This match is from the USA2 bracket of the event. Go to www.usbf.org and then in the upper left corner of the page, click on “Senior USBC USA2” to get to a page where you can click on the stage of the event you are interested in, which takes you to the bracket sheet for that stage. Clicking on any score on that bracket sheet takes you to a scorecard where you can see board by board results or “watch” the match as a BBO movie.

For the final segment of the Finals of USA2, you'd end up at <http://usbf.org/docs/vugraphs/USSBCUSA22013/USSBCUSA22013_F_2_s6_scores.html>;.
July 25, 2013
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The Midchart includes the following paragraph:

“A defense to a method which requires the above pre-Alert (whether
the approved one or one provided by the opposing pair) may be
referred to during the auction by both pairs.”

It took me a while to find it, but it is there. I also looked quickly at the USBF and WBF Conditions of Contest and neither of those seems to address the question of whether the pair employing a method for which there is a written defense can look at the written defense.
July 9, 2013
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Seymon was such a wonderful person - he always had a hug and a cheerful smile for me through the years. We'll all miss him.
June 13, 2013
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Thanks, but I really don't deserve the credit. If this happens, BBO will deserve far more thanks than I do.
April 28, 2013
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That's a great idea, if only I could figure out how to do it - the URL doesn't seem to be specific to the player you've searched for. But I'll ask someone who knows more about URLs than I do :)
April 27, 2013
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The name of the event was changed from International Team Trials to United States Bridge Championship over 15 years ago. The change was Rena Hetzer's idea, because she hoped that calling it the USBC would result in more publicity. But there's an old saying about leading a horse to water - we have never been able to persuade players to stop calling it the Trials. Look at this thread - the title is “Why aren't you playing in the USBC?” The first post uses the word “Trials.”

It bothers me that you think decisions are made by “entrenched interests.” When the “entrenched interests” wanted to eliminate the USBC in the Rosenblum year, the USBF chose instead to poll the players and do what a majority wanted. Ever since Mike Becker took over as Chair of the ITTC, he and his successors have tried very hard to keep the decision making process as democratic as possible. The USBF Board has agreed that the ITTC should have the primary say in deciding the Conditions of Contest for the event. This involves far more work than having a dictator or small group of “entrenched interests” make the decisions.

Why don't we have a longer Round Robin? Because the ITTC has consistently voted not to have the event last more than 10 days (11 in two team years). And the ITTC has consistently voted to have the Quarterfinal, Semifinal and Final matches be 2 days long. That leaves at most 4 days for the Round Robin and Round of 16. I'm probably the person who would be most disadvantaged if the event were longer - I don't get paid for being there, it's a lot of work, and I miss my horses when I'm away from home. But I voted for a longer event this year. I was in the minority. That's how democracy works.

The WBF has a week long Round Robin not because they think it is more true to form, but because they want everyone who comes to a World Championship to play that long before being knocked out of the main event. The Bermuda Bowl Round Robin cuts from 22 teams to 8. That means you can be plus VPs in the Round Robin and be eliminated. The ITTC, after a lot of discussion, decided that no team should be eliminated if it was plus VPs, which is the reason for having a 2-stage Round Robin with some numbers of teams, and part of the reason we choose to cut to 16 instead of 8 teams. We can (and the ITTC has) debate at length what format will result in the team that is playing best winning. That, after all, is the primary goal. If we can achieve that result and also make it a great event for those who don't win, that's a big positive. But first things first.
April 24, 2013
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Probably I wasn't clear. Combining with a Regional doesn't save us much (if any) money. Regionals don't have screens, so we still have to ship and set them up. Ditto for duplicated boards (not that Regionals don't have them but we'd have to have separate ones). We won't save on directors' fees or expenses, because we need 2 top-level dedicated directors. We might save a little if we need a third director for the Round Robin and the Regional can spare one - that would save us travel for that director (we'd still have to pay the session fees). So the entry fees wouldn't be much lower, if they were lower at all. The only advantage to being at a Regional is that teams that lose have something to play in.
April 22, 2013
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Unfortunately, very few hotels have the sort of playing space we want for the KO stages of the USBCs. Even at NABC's, where ACBL has all sorts of clout and goes to big, nice hotels, the late stages of the Vanderbilt & Spingold are very often in unsuitable rooms (by which I mean meeting rooms without bathrooms in the rooms or large ballrooms separated by air walls, which don't provide adequate sound barriers). In St. Louis, the two Vanderbilt Semi-Final matches were in two different buildings in order to get reasonable sized rooms & the bathrooms for one match were a floor below the playing room; those for the other match were in a relatively public area where someone who was watching the match on Vugraph might easily be using the bathroom at the same time as a player. The San Francisco Marriott was an exception, but it's far too expensive for a Regional, and too big to be interested in the USBC. ACBL has to find a hotel that works for all the other events as well as the main team games. For the USBC, we can be pickier and insist on playing spaces that allow us to have adequate security.

There aren't any Regionals at a suitable time of year that have sufficient additional playing space for the USBC or the USSBC. In 2015 I expect that the USWBC will again be held at a Regional.

We hold a USBC in the Rosenblum year because when we took a vote among USBC participants about whether they wanted to do that, an overwhelming majority (my recollection is about 70%) said they did. The USBC has as its main objective choosing our International Teams, but another objective is running a great event, and the players voted to have that great event every year.
April 22, 2013
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