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All comments by Jan Martel
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Actually, the USBF General Conditions of Contest do not currently allow weighted rulings. The USBC Directors have asked that we change the GCOC to allow weighted rulings and it is very likely that will happen, but for this event, the rules were ACBL rules, where a weighted ruling is not allowed.
June 28, 2012
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The rule about number of boards played is in the “Awards” section on page 18 of the tournament regulations. It applies only to masterpoints:
“Master Points will be awarded in accordance with the EBL Master Points scheme provided that
the player has played at least one third of the boards played by his team.”  
June 21, 2012
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I don't understand why you would want to reduce the scores from the first stage against qualifying teams - as I understand this basic format, the concept is that by the end all of the teams who qualify have played each other, either in the first or second stage. So long as the matches in each stage are the same length, it shouldn't matter whether you played a qualifying team in the first or second stage of the event. The relevant issue is whether you carry over any of your score against teams that didn't qualify, where only half of the qualifiers played those teams.
June 20, 2012
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We will be unable to have all of the teams in the USSBC (Senior Trials) Round of 8 play the same boards, because that stage of the event is being played in one large ballroom. We hope to be able to divide the ballroom into 4 sections with 2 tables in each so that we can use only 2 different sets of boards, with one table in each section playing one set and the other one playing the other set. In that way we'll be able to have two matches playing the same boards and the other two matches playing another set of boards. If we are only able to show 2 matches on Vugraph (at the moment we do not have enough operators for more – if you're in the Chicago area, and would be interested in being a Vugraph operator, please let me know), those two matches will be playing the same boards.
May 18, 2012
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Congratulations! And well done Brandon to wait until long enough after the NABC that you'll be home for his birthday, at least most of the time! Our grandson was born on St. Patrick's day and we're never around for his birthday.
April 4, 2012
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It is very hard to change matches after the first or third quarter, because not all of the matches start at the same time. We will switch matches for the second half, but with so many close matches, it's hard to know which to switch to.
March 21, 2012
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The email from the WBF started with:

14th World Bridge Games
Open, Women, Seniors Teams
World Transnational Mixed Teams
Lille Grand Palais
Lille (France)
9th to 23rd August 2012

And then went on to include the information Jonathan posted above, so I think that the dates and site are now firm, at least for bridge. Whether this event will include other mind sports games is less clear, but this email came from WBF not IMSA.
March 7, 2012
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Congratulations, Kyle. You're not only a great player and class act, but a WONDERFUL teammate!
Feb. 28, 2012
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Great article, Dana! Thanks for a smile (or several) to start the day.
Feb. 24, 2012
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I agree that starting times should depend on time zone, as I said to Henry when we had this discussion on BBO (it's OK, Henry, I can take the “fall out” when I'm identified, but if you're going to summarize part of my statement, I think you ought to include all of it). Early starting times on the East Coast are difficult for those of us from the West Coast (incidentally, I don't want later starting times so I can play in the morning games; I want later starting times so I can sleep); later starting times on the West Coast are difficult for those from the East Coast. So it makes a lot of sense to choose a “standard” set of starting times and then adjust by time zone - if we're going to start at 1:00 ad 7:30 on the East Coast, then we should start at 10:00 and 4:30 on the West Coast. Your point that we could start at 10:00 and 3:30 makes sense, but I think consistency is important.
Henry is right that when a playing session is 5-1/4 hours, it is almost impossible to finish in time for a “nice dinner” and then have time to sleep and get up in time to play the next day. Of course, Henry and I draw different conclusions from that - he wants shorter playing sessions (fewer boards); I want time to eat between sessions each day and time to wind down and sleep between days. Anecdotally (and I do recognize that I need more sleep than some other people), I got a great start on losing weight in the Netherlands, when even though they play only 48 boards a day, the day didn't end in time for me to have a “nice dinner” and then get a decent night's sleep before the next day started. I opted for a reasonable bedtime :).
In San Diego, the Senior KO started at 10:00 and 4:00. I was a Vugraph operator for the event, and so heard all the complaints from the players that they didn't have time for dinner between sessions or after the event with those times.
Next year, whenever the “normal” starting times are 1:00 and 7:30, the major KO events with screens will start at 12:00 and 7:00. That will help some with the very late ending times and still leave time for dinner between sessions.
Dec. 1, 2011
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I've had a little experience about this :). In answer to your first question, what each does depends to a large extent on what each is good at. Someone has to deal with logistics: make sure our convention cards are filed in a timely fashion, make sure everyone has hotel and plane reservations and whatever else will help them to play their best. Someone has to review the system cards and any other information available for the other teams in order to prepare defenses against things our players might not have seen before. Someone has to develop those defenses, both for methods where written defenses can be consulted at the table and those where the defenses have to be memorized. Someone has to help the players become familiar with defenses. It's often important for someone to help the players with their own methods, reviewing notes and discussing auction to make sure there aren't any misunderstandings. At the tournament, someone has to make sure that everyone knows the advance plan for the next day and what might cause it to change. Someone has to review the opponents' methods with our players before each Round Robin match. Someone has to submit the lineup in a timely fashion, and once the KO starts, make lineup decisions when we have seating rights. Someone has to choose the segments in which we get seating rights. In the Bermuda Bowl/Venice Cup/Senior Bowl, if we finish in the top 3 in the Round Robin, someone has to choose Quarterfinal opponents; if we win the Round Robin, someone has to choose semi-final opponents. Depending on the specific team, other things arise both before and during the tournament. Some players want someone to kibitz them all the time; some players don't like to have to deal with the bridgemates for entering results; some players need someone to go to the grocery store; etc.

As for whether NPCs and coaches are considered World Champions; no, they aren't, although the NPC is given a medal and, when the team wins, a trophy. But neither NPC nor coach gets masterpoints or placing points.
Sept. 16, 2011
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The Ned Rum team is Netherlands, Romania and the US (thus the “U” instead of “O” in Rum). Marius Agica, who is originally from Romania but now lives in the US and played on the US Junior team last year in Philadelphia is playing in this event with Radu Nistor from Romania and Bob Drijver and Ernst Wackwitz from the Netherlands. So although the USA team lost a tie-break to fail to qualify for the KO stage of the event, one USA player is still competing.
Aug. 24, 2011
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The rest of the world plays 48 boards a day, making the “start early, have time for a leisurely dinner after the second session” concept workable. With 2 4-hour sessions of play each day, it's much less feasible. I don't know about other people, but I can't get to sleep an hour or two after eating a big dinner (with or without alcohol), so the concept of being able to have a nice dinner after finishing play at about 8 pm just doesn't work for me. And the short break between sessions, for me, makes it more difficult to play well - I like to wind down and relax between sessions, as well as eating something. 10 and 3, in the NABC+ events (I'm not talking about the Vanderbilt, Spingold & Reisinger where it's much worse) means about an hour between sessions.
Aug. 5, 2011
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@Henry - sorry, but it takes my body more than a day or two to adjust to a time zone change. To do Vugraph, I have to get up at least 2 hours before the event starts - that would be 5 am my time for a 10:00 East Coast start time, something I'm not willing to do, much as I believe in Vugraph (in case anyone cares, no, I'm not paid anything for organizing Vugraph).

As for not playing at 10:00 Eastern time, I would have thought that choice was mine - I don't want to do it and I'm not going to. By the way, I would have no problem with having the NABC schedules be 1:00 and 7:30 East Coast time, so that the Western NABCs had an earlier start time. What I object to is having an EAST COAST NABC with an earlier start time.
Aug. 4, 2011
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@ Paul, about the Spingold & Vanderbilt: Starting next year, the starting times for these events (and almost certainly the GNT and Wagar as well) will be 12:00 and 7:00 for sessions played with screens. This should solve the very late night problem as well as the problem with starting the Finals 2 hours earlier than the Semi-finals and also allow players in these events to have a dinner break at approximately the same time as their friends who are playing in other events.

Philadelphia next summer will have the 10/3 schedule. As a West Coast person, I am very unhappy about these times - 10:00 is 7:00 for me, and that's much too early. I'm not planning to play in Philadelphia and an early riser will have to take over Vugraph organization from me, because I won't be setting up or operating Vugraph for the morning sessions.
Aug. 3, 2011
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JoAnna,

I agree with your interpretation, and I'll try to get official confirmation. I also think (hope) that the “same color” requirement applies per team, not per country.
July 12, 2011
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It does say the penalty is mandatory, so sounds as if they do plan to enforce it throughout. But how exactly the dress code will be interpreted isn't clear to me.
July 12, 2011
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I'm sorry that I was a little slow to post the final set of hand records. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I'm only one person and of course I can't post the hand records until play is completed. At the end of play Tuesday, I forgot to post them, although I did post all of the “web Vugraphs” which include complete hands and also the bidding and play records. I'm going to make a plug for those here, since I think some people don't realize they're on the USBF site. If you go to the bracket sheet page (the same place you're finding the hand records) and click on a segment score, you get to the scoresheet for that segment. Clicking on the score for a board gets you to the hand, biding & play.
May 26, 2011
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Laptops have become very inexpensive. I just purchased two for the USBF Vugraph (we have 10 that have been donated to us in the past, but some of them have started to fail and we needed more). They cost a little over $250 each. They aren't the newest and best, but they're completely adequate for BBO. I suspect that $250 is no more than most people spend to go to an away from home site for a weekend of play.
USBF has held Junior Trials online the last two years. I think the experiment has been a big success. BBO has been wonderfully supportive, helping us with setting up movements and making sure our players arrive at the right place at the right time, as well as providing knowledgeable directors and producing data for our online monitors to review. The tournaments take significantly less time than face to face, and that isn't just because Juniors tend to play fast, but also because there's no wasted time getting from one table to another, and when a round happens to have hands that everyone plays quickly, we don't have to wait for the scheduled starting time for the next round. We've used both live and on-line monitors and have seen nothing to suggest any collusion.
I think that especially for events like the GNTs and NAOPs, where people from spread out geographic areas are playing to qualify for a final, playing the qualifying stages online is a wonderful solution to a difficult problem. I hope we'll see more and more of it.
May 26, 2011
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Barry - Ish, who knew that 6 asked for the Queen of trumps, thought that if his partner had the Queen, he would bid his void along the way to 7. Then if the void was spades, Ish could bid 6NT. Later, he said that he should just have bid 6 to avoid an accident in a very new partnership.
March 24, 2011
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