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All comments by Jan Martel
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Far be it from me to suggest that the truth should ever get in the way of anything :-)
Aug. 29, 2014
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I can't help wondering whether you know that your NBO is the USBF not the ACBL.
Aug. 29, 2014
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I try very hard to call the Rona Cup players “Young Women” but I seem to have failed on that.
Aug. 25, 2014
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Well, in order to make you proud and Kevin blush, let me mention that Kevin and his teammates, like the rest of the “Junior Program” players, has always been wonderfully helpful, polite and enjoyable to be around. I'm always happy to see any of them in the room when I'm starting a Vugraph broadcast “just in case” something goes wrong and I need a fill in operator or help with a contrary laptop.
Aug. 21, 2014
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I’m Jan Martel and I am responsible for content on the USBF website, www.usbf.org. We also use Joomla, which Kitty Cooper set up for us several years ago. I’ve learned how to write articles and store pictures, and I can even sometimes figure out HTML, but I’m not really very good at technical things, so I’m grateful to have Kitty’s support when I want to do something a little off the beaten track. For several years I posted pictures from the USBC’s to the website but last year Peggy Kaplan, our wonderful photographer, set up a Facebook page instead and that is more user-friendly, both for Peggy to post pictures and for people to look at them. I do post team profiles on the site and try to include pictures and biographies of the players, but sometimes getting those is not easy.
As you probably already know, the USBF site is very limited – we provide information about the United States Bridge Championships (aka “Trials”) that USBF runs each year. It’s a very busy site during the weeks before and during the USBCs and mostly quiet the rest of the year. We have some things that are different from other sites – entries for USBCs, USBF System Summary Forms that are completed online (some of them are very good, some are minimal; it depends on the players, although I do try to “clean up” some that are particularly difficult to read).
During the events, I post scores as soon as they are confirmed. We show all of the tables on BBO Vugraph from the Quarterfinals on, and then convert the LIN files to “web-vugraphs” so you can replay any of the matches after the fact. I know that’s a very useful feature for players who like to go over the hands after the event and also for journalists.
The site also has a bunch of information about USBF, which I try to keep updated, but as it’s pretty much a one woman shop, I sometimes fail in that. But you can usually find minutes from USBF board meetings; information about USBF committees; financial reports; as well as dates and locations for future USBC’s, World Championships & any other international events I hear about on the site. If you know anyone looking for an unpaid position as assistant web person, tell them to contact me!
Aug. 10, 2014
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This is my understanding of the rules, also, but I didn't think that answer #1 described the fact that if you have a written defense it is deemed part of your convention card and therefore should be available to your opponents both before the round and during the bidding. So I chose “other” as my answer :).
Aug. 5, 2014
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I'm sorry if I was unclear - yes, ACBLScore can score different kinds of team games, but it can't do so from the bridgemate database, or at least it couldn't when I looked into that several years ago. I think that the way the software works is the IMP result of the match needs to be entered into the computer in order for it to score the event and do the pairings.
Aug. 5, 2014
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The software that does this for most ACBL events is called ACBLScore. It doesn't handle Round Robins and I'm not sure about Swiss Teams.

I'd love to see the alerts and explanations behind screens made on an electronic device, but it don't think that would be easy to implement.
Aug. 4, 2014
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Bridgemates store data entered at the table in a spreadsheet. You still need software to use that data to determine scores and (for Swiss teams) pairings for future rounds.

Google translate needs something entered in a web page to be translated - I don't think it works on hand-written paper notes.
Aug. 4, 2014
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I don't know, and I don't know whether it is spelled out anywhere. The description of OurGame's exclusive rights is to the “the final phases of the various competitions in Sanya.”
Aug. 2, 2014
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I know that in 1978 the US was officially allowed only 10 pairs in each of the Open & Women's Pairs. I don't know about 1982. I'm pretty sure that the monetary support continued thru the ‘80s and was one of the things the Blanchard lawsuit cited as discrimination.
I’ve done a little research about the history of the Team Trials and although there were some years when a team was selected by means of a pairs trials, even in those years, eligibility for the Trials was based on performance in the NABC team events (Vanderbilt, Spingold, Reisinger and GNT).
July 31, 2014
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Are you sure, Henry? I thought that in the 1980's the winners of the GNT, Vanderbilt, Spingold & Reisinger were eligible for the Open Trials. There wasn't a Women's Trials (that I know).

If I remember correctly (and the article about the lawsuit seems to confirm) the event for which points were awarded for Open & Men's events was the World Open Pairs, which at that time had a limited entry from each country. The Women's Pair events awarded points for the World Women's Pairs, which also had a limited entry.
July 30, 2014
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Although the match was frequently in time trouble, this table was never in anything remotely resembling time trouble. The time issues were at the other table.
July 30, 2014
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The alleged misinformation was a note written by N about S's pass of the RDBL. “Usually no 4 card Major” When S led the 8 of clubs, making it obvious to N that S had 2 clubs and thus must have a 4 card Major, she put the screen down and pointed to “usually” to make clear that she did not mean always.

East's first-round play in the diamond suit was based on her belief that S was 3-3-5-2. Her second round play is harder to understand. At that point she knew that diamonds were not 5-0. She knew or should have known that she could not make 3NT if diamonds were 4-1 (2 diamond tricks isn't enough and with no dummy entry that's all she'd get). So she had to play for diamonds 3-2 and was down to deciding whether N or S had the K. On the auction it was probably more likely that N had the King, but how much more likely is not clear.
July 27, 2014
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So do you think that it would have been “right” to show the match with the second largest margin at the half? Or do you think that ALL of the Round of 16 matches should have been shown? In my opinion, neither of those makes any sense, but I am sure you know better.
July 26, 2014
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In answer to you question about who pays - ACBL pays the Vugraph operators. I am not paid anything except when I act as an operator.
July 26, 2014
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The difference between Thursday and Friday is that Friday is the second day of two 2-day NABC+ events - there are always some people who play on the first day and don't qualify for the second day, so that means that we very often have more Vugraph operators available on the second day of 2 day events. For instance, today (Saturday), I would love to be able to cover the 0-5000 Spingold as well as the “real” Spingold, but I can't find enough operators because everyone is playing in the 2 day weekend Swiss. Tomorrow, when there's only one match, I'm sure I could cover 8 tables.
July 26, 2014
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It takes more time to use them for virtually no benefit to the players in a team game. There are a huge number of errors when they are used, although one hopes that will change as people become more familiar with them.
July 25, 2014
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Although I also am generally a 1 & 7:30 fan, I do think it would make sense to play at 1 & 7:30 East Coast time - so Las Vegas would be at 10 & 4:30 (should there be a shorter break between sessions if we're starting at 10? Maybe) and Chicago would be at 11 (or is it 12) and whatever. 1 & 7:30 on the West Coast is difficult for Easterners, just as 10 & 3 on the East Coast is difficult for those of us from the West.
July 25, 2014
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@ Mr. Silver - At the half of the Spingold, there was one match that had a 5 IMP difference, three with 10 IMPs, two with 30, one 42 and one 83. Perhaps you would have been psychic enough to show the 42 IMP match, but I was not.

@Gonzalo - the automated Vugraph in 2011 didn't work very well and was difficult for the players (bids and cards had to be placed just so for it to work). As far as I know, the project has been dropped.

Several people have suggested that we need to cover Appeals Committee hearings on Vugraph, but I do not think that is likely to happen :)
July 25, 2014
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