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All comments by Jan Martel
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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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Bridgemates are not used in the Spingold. This is largely because the players don't like them, and most of us still believe that the players' wishes should come first.
July 25, 2014
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Kevin & Michael played against each other the first quarter. I don't know who had seating rights.
July 22, 2014
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Playing the same boards in team matches creates very serious security issues, especially when all of the tables are in the same, often crowded, room.
July 22, 2014
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Semi-Final scores at the half:
Championship Flight:
Coren 66 - Donn 54
Dunitz 54 - Spitalnick 43
Flight A
Bianchi 44 - Barrere 106
Emanuele 99 - Hinton 63
Flight B
Neill 126 - Shannon 43
Breihan 98 - Fleischman 59
Flight C
Kuang 63 - Sprick 70
Chang 105 - Gripman 36
July 19, 2014
Jan Martel edited this comment July 19, 2014
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Or for a better than ringside seat, volunteer to be a Vugraph operator for a session or two :)
July 15, 2014
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Nice article, Greg. But your picture of the cat's ass trophy is good enough to show that you can't be the first person to win the trophy twice - Russell McLellan did that already :). Of course, he had two different partners …
July 15, 2014
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I don't think any bid with a 12 card hand is a psych :)
July 7, 2014
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@ Michael: Players are allowed to refer to written defenses against multi in WBF and EBL events as well as in ACBL events. I haven't looked at the Systems Policies for any other non-US events, so I don't know about any others.
July 1, 2014
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I'm often laughed at for saying that it's worth having a long, specific and detailed written defense to Multi. Page 11 of our 14 page defense says that Texas applies over (2)-P-(2M)-3NT (and defines 3NT as 19-20 or the equivalent with a long suit). Without a specific agreement, I don't know what this would be.

The ACBL Multi defense doesn't cover this and I have no idea how many “simple” multi defenses would provide an agreement for this auction.
July 1, 2014
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This comment is very much off-topic, and I almost didn't respond for that reason, but it is really not right to criticize ACBL for not facilitating Vugraphs. ACBL provides monetary and logistic support for Vugraph coverage of the Vanderbilt, Spingold, Reisinger, GNT & Wagar KO's at NABC's.
June 26, 2014
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@David. Actually, Nickell didn't play in the 2011 Bermuda Bowl, having lost in the finals of the 2010 USBC to Fleisher and in the Quarterfinals of the 2011 USBC to Zagorin, who went on to win the USBC, defeat Fleisher in the Semifinals of the Bermuda Bowl and lose to the Netherlands in the Final. Italy defeated Fleisher for the bronze.
June 20, 2014
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I don't think you can play duplicated boards in a 3-way. You have 3 matches: A vs B, A vs C and B vs C. If all of those matches play the same boards, each team will play them twice, perhaps gaining an advantage the second time :)

Sorry, I see Henry already addressed this below - I should read all the comments before posting. My only excuse is it's BC (Caffeine).
June 3, 2014
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Actually, Multi is specifically excepted from being Brown Sticker - it can be played in all stages of WBF events. I know of no difference in treatment between weak-only Multi and Multi with a strong option.In WBF events, the opponents are allowed to refer to a written defense to Multi.
May 31, 2014
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“Do they allow written defenses at the World Championships??”

Yes, to Multi 2 and to Brown Sticker bids.

Sadly, not everyone completes a System Summary as well as you have.
May 31, 2014
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I don't understand what makes you think that a 2 bid that is only a weak 2 in a Major is HUM. The sentence you quote:
“Any 2? or 2?? opening that may show a weak hand in either major (6 cards) only or as an option among any number of strong hand types.”
certainly doesn't say that and no one has ever suggested that that exception doesn't cover weak-only Multi's.
May 31, 2014
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If you represent your country in a World Championship, you are allowed to consult your own written defense to Multi, so learning how to use one is useful for those who aspire to play in World Championships.
May 30, 2014
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Kibitzers are not allowed to look at the Vugraph computer at a table. It's bad enough that operators might inadvertently give away information by their body language, we certainly don't want other people to be in the same situation. That restriction is explicitly covered in the USBF General Conditions of Contest (under Security):

“e) No one other than the Internet broadcast personnel and Tournament Directors may watch any computer screen or any other mechanism for enabling the Internet broadcast at any time in either the Closed or the Open Room.”

I don't know where the rule is in the ACBL Conditions of Contest, but I do know that as a Vugraph operator I have always been told not to allow anyone but a director to look at my computer, and I always tell other operators the same thing.
May 28, 2014
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