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All comments by Joe Hertz
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I may be completely off base here, but I was under the impression that a unit cannot run a game that runs at the same time as other club games in the unit.

So if a club closes, their former time slot potentially opens up for a unit-run game to move in.

If this is the case, that's a potential conflict of interest for the unit. Is Ellis implying that was the issue/motivation of the unit in not helping him out?
Jan. 2
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Oh, I agree, I don't want to devalue the experience.

Kevin's idea goes that far, and I totally am with you on that front.

But say one big NLM centric event at each NABC that doesn't require that entrants to grass-roots their way into the room…? Something making an NABC experience unique for NLMs?

Surely that's a good idea?

It was deemed to be once before.

And if the lack of attendance at those events is the problem, then that's speaking badly for the future of the game. Events like this are valuable just for the barometer readings they provide. Shutting them down because we don't like the bad news? Someone thought that was a good idea? Shudder.

And if people sign up to join the ACBL just to compete in them, even as a one-shot, and decide they like reading the bulletin and keep re-upping their membership, and maybe playing in a local club they didn't realize was in their neighborhood? A total bonus.

Then they will be more than earning their keep.

In contrast, events like Blue-Ribbon Pairs can do none of that.
Jan. 2
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We are NOT getting the whole story here. To wit:

N/S have some history of making weak bids with better than weak hands.

Do tell us about that history.

“East balanced, and North-South reached 5♣.”

Who pushed to 5?

This matters a great deal. I mean, this ain't a limit raise. It's 6 clubs, a side ace and 4 meh cards in the overcaller's suit. It's North that has the goods. For some reason, I'm pretty sure it's North, because if it was South, I can't imagine that wouldn't have been a VERY prominent plot point.

I know a lot of partnerships that would be stuck for a bid here. My gut is that N/S are being punished for crying wolf before even though this time they actually had an arguably good reason to use the W word.

The director seems to think that their history happens to bar them from getting to make the same judgement call that others with their agreement would make.

As far as smoking guns go, this one is lame. It seems likely to me that they are being punished for prior bad acts, and while I can understand looking forward to holding them accountable the next time, “Screwed Up Before + NOT Screwing Up Time == Didn't Screw Up This Time.”
Jan. 2
Joe Hertz edited this comment Jan. 2
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My blood is boiling just reading this.

I was once in a similar situation on a different auction.

1 - 1
1 - 2

I forget the rest

1 was strong either clubs or balanced
1 was 0-9 hcps and 4+ hearts
1 was likely a heart fit or else 23+
2 was at most 2 clubs and an invite with 5+.

After it ended where my partner was trying to “correct” my explanation of his 2, as a natural invite. I tell him “No, that's not correct” and they go to grill him anyway about what he thought it meant and he's trying to tell them.

Mind you I was by far the most junior bridge player at the table and the director was watching rather than trying to stop the trainwreck in process. I got blunt and told partner that he's wrong and he needs to not misinform the opps.

My LHO chided me, “Look. I don't care what you thought his bid showed. I care what HE thought it showed”.

And I'm like, “You're entitled to know our agreement. You already know that he forgot it. You're not entitled to any more than that. The fact that you got told he forgot already exceeds what is required by full disclosure as it is”.

“Well how do I know what you're agreement actually is when you disagree about it?”

“I would be happy to show you our system notes.”

And that's when the opp got VERY quiet.

So yeah, player memo that noise.
Jan. 2
Joe Hertz edited this comment Jan. 2
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I'm sure you're right and it didn't matter to them.

I'm going so far as to guess that – your parents went to that NABC to see you as much as they came to play bridge, if not more, right?

Because it sounds like your folks had a reason to attend that was independent of the game itself. Yes, winning the event, whatever it was, was exciting, but their attendance wasn't in question.

My issue is with the folks without a relative in the area. If the I/N room at an NABC is identical to that of a Regional, what's the selling point for I/N players to travel to an NABC? It clearly has nothing to do with the specific events held in the room, right?

I think Kevin has gone overboard here, but surely we can given them *something*…
Dec. 31, 2019
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The last time I competed in the National 199er pairs was the same NABC I first competed in the Wernher Open Pairs.

And the Wernher ran (still runs?) concurrently with the Spingold.

There are places where there are multiple platinum point events running concurrently, but no more national events for NLMs at all, aside from the grass-roots ones.
Dec. 29, 2019
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Ed, the problem is that his reason for wanting to double doesn't wash. He would be the one on lead vs a diamond contract. What's his purpose in doubling there that wouldn't be true over clubs?

Weigh the likelihood of his explanation vs that he didn't want to double per se, he wanted to both pass and THEN double all before his partner got a chance to bid, i.e. he's using the possibility he was mis-informed for the purpose of getting to get more data to his partner, and that the manner that he was misinformed doesn't really matter to him. Just that he gets to do that.

Give him a biddable spade suit and we'd talk. He didn't have that.
Dec. 29, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 29, 2019
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Assuming you mean NLM's then I say, “Hell yes. This. Precisely this”

I mean, if you can have 3 LM pairs events on the Summer NABC schedule running concurrently (Young*, Bruce, Von Zedwitz), surely there is room right there for such an NLM pairs event, right?

Yes, the Young is no longer restricted just to LM's, because people recognized how unfair it was to deny up and coming NLMs any shot at a big win (especially given there were likely some very good NLM's getting bounced out of the KO stages of the GNT-C just before those pairs events started)…

But still, there's a huge swath of players (one we're depending on for the future, I might add) that could be better served and here is an obvious place on the calendar to do something for them.

For LM's we have a fair number of limited events. Off the top of my head, those include:

Mini-Blue Ribbon Pairs
Mini-Spingold I and II.
Red Ribbon Pairs (which I thought was correct for it to NOT be held at the same NABC as the Spingold(s), but now it is)
Bruce and Young Pairs
Dec. 29, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 29, 2019
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Ended in the early 2010's.

I played in it twice. I was suggesting playing in it to someone at an upcoming summer NABC when I found out it had been discontinued and I thought that was legitimately terrible.
Dec. 29, 2019
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Steve writes, "South, hearing ‘transfer’, assumed that meant clubs.“.

And that's the problem… right there.

Let me make sure I understand South's position here. Not the merits of it. Just the claim:

South would have us believe that when he/she heard an improper ”transfer“ announcement, they did not think it was important enough look at the system card or inquire as to what suit was being shown, and that one in their position was totally justified in assuming that it had to mean clubs…but that had they heard the correct phrase of ”alert", then everything changes.

Specifically an Alert…that very much would have mattered simply because an alert tells them nothing and that they, for sure, would have asked due to that lack of data…and at that point, having found out about the *possibility* that the opps MAY wind up in diamonds, then, and ONLY then, South would have doubled the spade bid before finding out if the spade bidder's suit was either clubs or diamonds?


This is the claim we're supposed to be adjudicating here, right?
Dec. 28, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 28, 2019
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No, we would have lost the match if not for the cell phone penalty. Because of the opponent's cell phone going off, a full board was assessed against them, and we won by 3 IMPS.

Had we lost, we would have been allowed to continue in a lower bracket because we had been mis-sorted, and our opponents would have gotten credit for their victory.

But since that cellphone penalty handed us a victory, they were out and we got to continue in the wrong bracket.
Dec. 27, 2019
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I think you handled it right. If I get South's point here, South didn't care when told that it was a “transfer”, but he apparently would have cared a lot if it was a diamond transfer? And despite this plot point mattering to him, he still didn't inquire as to which suit was being shown?

Yeah 2 is not likely to be a diamond transfer, but he's conceding he gets no redress if that was the actual agreement, improper announcement and all, but didn't think it was important enough to ask if that's what it was. A proper alert gives him even less data than he got and he wasn't necessarily misinformed by the improper announcement.

I don't like rulings that the non-offenders didn't protect themselves for the most part, but the in-action of south speaks volumes. I've got zippo sympathy for south. This sounds like he is playing, “If it announces when it is supposed to alert, shoot it”.
Dec. 27, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 27, 2019
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In a perfect world, if we can get all of the boards played without rushing, that result should be the one that matters.

In the world we have? You can't change the conditions of contest after said contest has started, even if the CoC sucks. We have discussed this many times here. Change them for events in the future. It is wholly unsatisfying, but it's really the only option.

I mean, if the result of their tardiness is that we are forced to rush, or boards get removed because we failed to sufficiently rush ourselves, whatever penalty gets attached is one that ostensibly serves a purpose. It might go overboard, but it serves it.

I don't at all want to win because of an unduly harsh penalty, but I *really* don't want to lose due to my trying to rush, or losing because we did not get to play boards, when the necessity to rush or pull the boards was generated by the opponents' infraction… The non-offending side shouldn't get to milk the adjustment.

If rushing or removing boards is the resolution to the problem caused by the tardiness of the opponents, then some adjustment must occur, even to only server as a warning to future competitors in this event to not be late. I'd say this even if it was me being late.
Dec. 26, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 26, 2019
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Why is a time penalty different than a lead out of turn,failure to alert, BIT?

Because those are matter of law and this is a matter of the conditions of contest?

Not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but you asked.
Dec. 26, 2019
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Been there, done that, and the rule was changed very shortly thereafter.

MABC (D6/D7) Regionals would fine you a whole board for a cell phone that went off.

We won a first round KO match by 3 imps because of that (it was at the other table).

To add insult to injury: We had been misplaced and put into a bracket too high up. The “normal” procedure after discovering this would be to have let us advance anyway “when” we lost – just into the correct bracket.

Except we didn't. Because of a cell phone penalty.

Next such regional I went to, it was (I want to say) now 3 imps for a first offense.

Getting tough sounds cool until it sounds cruel.
Dec. 26, 2019
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Kevin O beat me to the reply to Chris Compton. I just got an email reminding us on the deadline to register for the D6 GNT-A. It specifically mentioned that it precedes the event itself by 9 days.

My belief is that we are one of the Districts that wants to send more than a single GNT Squad to the National event if we could, certainly for Flights A and B.
Dec. 26, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 26, 2019
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It is if you don't know any better… It's something you could be blissfully unaware of and naturally bid your hand.

And violate the rules by doing so.

I am trying to think of any other place in duplicate bridge where you can make legal, sufficient, in-tempo, natural bids, have no unusual agreements about them, and still be considered to have done something wrong. The issue is that you have an unusual LACK of an agreement. 1N-(P)-2 as natural maybe?

I'd submit that failing to alert a reverse that doesn't show extras should be like failing to announce a 15-17 1NT opener.

Yes – You're supposed to do it but the opps are also supposed to know to inquire about it should you fail, so there's basically never a case where redress would be awarded.

“Did that reverse show anything specific/minimum strength?”

“What's a reverse?”

If they don't know then you likely have your answer.
Dec. 25, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 25, 2019
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DonM wrote:

Michael B wrote: “Yeah gnt and nap are gateway opportunities for newer players.”

Yes…gateway for the few that survived the cut at the district level.

No, not a gateway. Not at all.

If you play enough duplicate to even have heard of the GNT or NAP events, managed to qualify at the club level, and then affirmatively planned to enter at the district level competition (which requires you register for it 9-10 days in advance..least it does around here)…

If you knew that much about it and did all that to participate…?

Then, sorry, that's not a gateway event for you. Or anyone else that enters it. By the standards of anyone who doesn't play bridge, you must already reasonably serious duplicate bridge player if you're doing all that.

A gateway event is necessarily one that people can just show up to and play in. Want to require people to be ACBL members in order to enter a National 49er/99er/199er/NLM event? By all means! Just be willing to sell them an ACBL membership at the door. That's what we want to see happen, right?

We'll also get the “NAP/GNT aware” crowd to play in those events too.


As an aside: During the NAP qualification period for 2018, I noticed a pair of NLMs always playing up in open club game sections and opting for A/X at our unit game. They got killed quite often there, but not always. At the club this night, it was one of the last NAP qualifiers of the year and they scratched. So I asked if they were going to play at the district level.

They had no idea what the NAP was. None. Even after qualifying for it in an A/X section.

So I told them. They got their entry for NAP-C in days before the deadline.

And then won one of the trips to Philadelphia.

What we are having here…is a failure to communicate.
Dec. 25, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 25, 2019
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But I think Rohit's point is that the reason we have a name for it in the first place is because it generally has special meaning.

If that's the point, I'll dispute it.

The reason we have the name is because the suits are being bid in the reverse order from what is typical.

A reverse puts responder in the position of having to bid at the three level in order to retreat to opener's first bid suit.

The name had to be given to the sequence because it's a problematic one in standard bidding. What you do about that problem? THAT may have “special meaning”. Ignoring the problem that reversing can cause is not special.

Requiring an alert from people who ignore the problem necessarily means we are assuming that the people that ignore it AFFIRMATIVELY CHOSE to ignore it…

That's not a fallacious assumption…nope, not in the slightest.
Dec. 24, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 24, 2019
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THIS.

The I/N room at an NABC is not too different from what you would find at a regional now.

It wasn't always the case.

Events for NLMs that are no longer held at NABCs include:

National 49er Pairs 1998-2007
National 99er Pairs 1998-2013
National 199er Pairs 1995-2013.
National NLM Pairs 1981-2012
National NLM Swiss 1982-1997

Even if events like this don't draw much, they need to be on the schedule. You won't get NLM's traveling to a NABC for stuff they can get at home with less of an expense.

What can they get to now? NAP-C and GNT-C are it*, and those require qualification at the district level, so you necessarily limit the size of the field.

* == There was some sort of logic involved in changing the Young LM-1500 (now 2500) pairs to no longer require entrants to be LifeMasters – presumably that NLM's shouldn't be excluded from everything going on, given the Bruce LM-5K(6k) and Von Zedwitz were all being held at once.

This may sound like a crazy idea, but put something on the calendar that matters and lots of them could enter… killing these events because not enough people play in them is essentially conceding the game has no future and is doomed.
Dec. 24, 2019
Joe Hertz edited this comment Dec. 25, 2019
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