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All comments by Jan Martel
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Sometimes we open 2 tables even with only one operator and get someone to bring the scores from the table without an operator to the one operator we have, who can enter scores from both tables so there is a running score. That's actually how Vugraph was done in the “stone ages,” but rarely now.

Once in a while, we also have a kibitzer who can write down the bidding for the one operator to enter, but usually that doesn't happen. Of course, someone could also bring information about which players are sitting where, but obviously that didn't happen in the reported match, and if there wasn't enough staff for a director to check directions, it's not at all surprising that there weren't enough people to provide more information to the operator.
March 16
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It's a lot harder to notice if only one table is on Vugraph.
March 16
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Even if someone tests as not having it when they leave home, couldn't the be exposed on the flight to Schaumburg?
March 13
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Did AA refund a non-refundable ticket? Or had you bought one that allowed for refunds?
March 13
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I think for an online event, you should have 32 or 64 board matches. You don't have the same time constraints as for a face to face event, so you can have the purity of the same number of boards with each dealer/vulnerability in each segment.
March 12
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One other “advantage” we have is that we don’t use the same cards each day, there are at least 3 days between use.
March 11
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There is no U31 in 2021. The 4 categories are Open, Women’s , Senior & Mixed
March 11
Jan Martel edited this comment March 11
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Chip passed 3 when I gave him the hand and auction, so I guess both he and Geoff are not top players. Wonder how they managed to win the Vanderbilt as teammates?
March 10
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Other - I'm not playing, but will be there to organize Vugraph. Maybe you should have used “attend” instead of “play” in your answers :-).
March 2
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The 4 events run consecutively, not concurrently: Open from May 5-14, Mixed from May 17-23, U31 (if needed) May 18-27, Seniors May 26-June 2nd and Women's overlapping the Seniors May 28-June 2. So it's not as many tables as you speculate. We'd need to be able to handle the number of teams in the Open Round Robin (the largest number in play at any one time).
The plan was to have one of the tablets communicate by wifi with a laptop in another room to record the contract and result. Other than that, the communication is between the 4 tablets at a table, to display the bids, alerts & explanations to the other players. There aren't any cards shown on the tablets, those are delivered in the old-fashioned way with boards from which the players remove actual, physical cards.
If the wifi fails or software for communicating results doesn't work, that's not a disaster - we're not going to base final scores on that information any more than we do on Vugraph records - players will report scores after each segment and those scores are the official ones. But the communication between tablets is essential - players need to see other players' bids at the time that the other players “send” them (not when bids are made, but when the first player on each side of the screen pushes a button to reveal the bids to the players on the other side of the screen. If that fails, we need to revert to bidding boxes and trays, and of course the first time we actually try to use the tablets, we'll have those available. But we hope to be able to do away with them later, except perhaps for people who have religious objections to using electronic devices on the Sabbath.
Feb. 24
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We aren’t going to have the play on tablets at this time. Our “model” is to cater to the players, not (much as I support Vugraph) to the spectators. And the players want real cards. That may change some day, but not I think today or tomorrow.
And although wifi has become more and more reliable, I’m still not ready to be completely reliant on it, which is why the hard-wired alternative is attractive if the physical issues (both set up & use) could be worked out.
Feb. 23
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I was given those new rates as the American $ rates. Wonder if ACBL is charging in Canadian $ in Canada and US $ in the US at the same rates.
Feb. 23
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Using wired connections, as both you and Ping suggest, is interesting but I'm not sure how easy it would be for the players to use the tablets if they're wired. And the cost of 20-25 PCs would be a very serious issue for us. We've been looking at PCs to replace the old ones we rent from ACBL for Vugraph operators, and there aren't any inexpensive ones these days.
Feb. 23
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@Ping - I'm not sure what you're suggesting with a USB hub. The concern is that someone at a distance could access information about results.
Players are already required to bring their system card to the table; I'm not sure there would be a benefit to having the card available on the tablets. I do hope to have explanations on the tablets, both for clarity and to have a record.

@ Ed - that is the main problem with it.
Feb. 18
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What USBF is hoping to do is to use tablets only for bidding. We'll still have boards with cards that people hold in their hands and play. The tablets will replace bidding boxes and trays. Our hope is that that will eliminate a lot of unintentional UI, as well as eliminating deliberate communication by how the bidding cards are placed on the tray. It will also give us a very good measure of time taken in the bidding, as well as an electronic record of the contracts and results.

The problem we're having with the tablets is that we don't want them on a wireless network for security reasons - we want them to “talk” to each other using bluetooth and that is proving more difficult to program than we had hoped. I still have my fingers crossed that we'll have them this year, but I'm afraid it's not likely.
Feb. 17
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I played with a smoker in the 70s, and I know you won't believe this, but once we arrived close to game time for a Sectional and they had already sold all the seeds in the smoking section, so we got to play in the non-smoking section and my partner was allowed to smoke!!

I definitely don't miss smoke-filled rooms. My least favorite was the Palais de Chaillot in Paris - I wasn't playing (lucky me), but walking into the playing room after the game - huge high ceiling, marble everywhere, gorgeous building - couldn't see through the smoke.
Feb. 14
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@Jim - yes, for this year, except that Open winners are ineligible for other events. The Board plans to reconsider that question after this year's events are over. The specifics are slightly different this year. If a person enters 2 events (other than the Open), they have to specify in advance which World Championship they would play in if they qualified in both events. Last year, they had to play in the WC event for which they qualified last.
Feb. 13
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Thanks, Tom. This year's Open USBC starts on Tuesday, May 5th with a 2-day Round Robin to qualify (probably) 11 or 13 teams for a 2-day Round of 16. The Mixed USBC starts on Saturday, May 16th, the Senior USBC starts on Tuesday, May 26th, both of those have a 2-day Round Robin to qualify 8 teams for a 2-day Quarterfinal. The Women's USBC starts on Thursday, May 28th and will have a 2-day Round Robin to qualify 4 teams for 2-day SF if there are more than 4 teams entered. After the initial round, all 4 events continue with 2-day KO matches.
All of the USBCs are held in Schaumburg, IL (near O'Hare). For more information, or to enter any of them, go to www.usbf.org & click on the event you want to know more about under the USBF Tournaments menu. To enter, you need to be registered & logged in on the USBF site.
And of course I'm very prejudiced, but I do agree with Tom that these are great events :-).
Feb. 13
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Thanks!
Feb. 8
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When we first started posting ACBL convention cards, we used PDFs, but as more and more people started using BW convention cards, and in part because the PDF you create from a BW convention card doesn't display well on a computer screen (it puts the card at the bottom of the page, so unless you have a large screen, you have to scroll down to see it), we went to using a link to the BW convention card. It now seems that was a mistake, since all of those links just broke.
Feb. 7
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