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All comments by Jan Martel
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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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Which is one reason money doesn't drive this decision.
May 27, 2014
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Maybe, but I doubt it :). Clearly, the ideal number of teams is one where it is sensible to have a 2 day Round Robin to reduce to the number of teams required in the Round of 16. More or fewer means that we have to change the schedule at the last minute, and that causes a lot of problems (not all monetary).

That number depends on the number of Round of 16 “slots,” which is determined by the byes. With the 11 Round of 16 slots this year (1 Round of 16 bye & 2 Round of 8 byes took the other 5 Round of 16 spots), we would run a 2 day Round Robin with from 12-18 teams in the Round Robin. Fewer than 12 and we'd start with the Round of 16, more than 18 and we'd need more than 2 days in the Round Robin.

It would have looked silly to run a 2 day Round Robin to cut from 12 to 11, so that wouldn't have been a “good” number. OTOH, with more than 14 Round Robin teams, we'd have had to negotiate for additional playing space for the Round Robin, which might have meant paying for it. At some number of teams, we'd have needed a third director for the Round Robin. Additional Round Robin teams also means more pre-duplicated Round Robin boards at about $30 per team per day, more screens (moderate rent but probably additional shipping costs) and more lunches at $20 per person (I know, that seems like a lot for sandwiches and salad or tacos, but it's the least a hotel will charge for lunch).

So I guess the bottom line is that it really isn't clear. Our costs from the Round of 8 on are fixed, and the Round of 16 is fairly fixed, but additional entries are Round Robin teams and those costs aren't fixed.

Getting a large entry for this event isn't a goal. Making the event as attractive as possible to those who play in it is, which was the reason for this survey.
May 26, 2014
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Having celebrated Thanksgiving the week before its official date for many many years, and discussed with some people in Phoenix that they had celebrated Mother's Day the weekend before or during the week, I'm not so sure about that!
May 21, 2014
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Does anyone by any chance have a LIN file from the second segment of the Fleisher-Seligman match? I managed to call the third segment segment 2, so its LIN overwrote the segment 2 LIN on the Vugraph computers.

If you use the Windows version of BBO, were watching segment 2 when it finished, and weren't watching segment 3 when it finished, you should have a LIN file from segment 2 (it's in the “hands” folder in the Bridgebase folder on your C drive). If so, and you can email it to me (marteljan at gmail dot com), I'd appreciate it, so I can post the scorecard for that segment on the USBF site. Thanks.
May 14, 2014
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It was a procedural penalty for a mis-explanation of (I believe) opening lead methods. That's all I know.
May 12, 2014
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Actually, Diamond (who started as the 4 seed) originally shuffled with 3 (Gordon) and remained 4. For the reshuffle, however, the Conditions of Contest provide that a Bye team cannot be involved in a reshuffle, so if a team that originally shuffled with a Bye team wins the Round Robin and chooses a reshuffle, it shuffles with the team 2 below it (as Gavin said, it would make no sense for them to shuffle with the team 1 below because that wouldn't change their bracket).
May 11, 2014
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You're welcome :). And be sure to thank Al Hollander, also, as he was the one who asked me to provide this information.
May 11, 2014
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It's too embarrassing to see BYE rolling over their opponents :)
May 11, 2014
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Michael is correct. The Round Robin winner and second place teams get 8 additional seeding points, which might or might not change the rank of the teams. In addition, after the teams are “shuffled” in pairs, the Round Robin winner has the right to request a re-shuffle.

Conditions of Contest at http://usbf.org/docs/COC/ITT/2014CoCFINAL.pdf set forth the rules more completely.
May 9, 2014
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Funny, I guess we all have different experiences. I would have a much harder time limiting the nice people I have met in the bridge world to ten than limiting the truly obnoxious ones (yes, there are some, but not nearly as many as the nice ones).
April 26, 2014
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Partnerships change. Both Hamman-J. Lall and Martel-Zia started as a result of the Hamman-Zia breakup a couple of years ago. Neither partnership “clicked” so the players are moving on to different partnerships.
April 19, 2014
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As I said, yes, but the USBF Credentials Committee has to rule on whether they keep the bye with the added player.
April 19, 2014
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