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All comments by Joel Shapiro
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When you have a misfit, the first player to pass wins.
May 7, 2015
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Yuan's example 1C - 1H - 4D would be a delayed alert anyway.
May 7, 2015
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The card gods exist. They all wear shirts that say “Tournament Director” on them. At least, that's what we're brought up to believe. Your results may differ.
May 7, 2015
Joel Shapiro edited this comment May 7, 2015
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In Toronto we have four daily papers, all of which run bridge columns by different writers (two Canadian, two American). Several years ago, one of the papers (I forget which one) dropped its column, and it got so many complaints that it was reinstated very shortly thereafter, with a heartfelt apology and a promise to never mess with bridge players again.

Maybe the New York Times, being a cheap rag noted for its imaginative fiction and beginner-level crossword puzzles, is in a different league.
April 27, 2015
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At my tournaments, North is wherever I say it is. However, I do ensure that the arrow on table 2's mat points to table 1.
April 21, 2015
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Sometimes we do run webs for 11 or 15 tables, but 10 and 14 are close enough to perfect movements that we don't bother for those. We would rather use a single board set than two or three if the movements are that similar, because making up new ones does take time.
April 21, 2015
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Press 1 for beer, 2 for scotch, 3 for vodka, etc. etc.
April 21, 2015
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So now we would have to test TD's for colour-blindness.

Why not go all the way and have the lights flash on and off depending on how irate the player is? We could also have an audible siren in case the director (or the caddy) does not appear, running, in five seconds flat.

But seriously, I think this would not be cost-effective. In a large ballroom, each director would have to be carrying a pager-like device which would not only tell him/her that a call is pending, but also have a small screen that displays the section and table number calling. And have the capability to display several at once, with a cancel button on either or both ends once the ruling is made. To equip ALL directors with such devices, and upgrade the Bridgemates/pads and the directors' computers, would be expensive.

Hey - why not have someone create an app for this and give every director an Apple Watch?
April 21, 2015
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Believe it or not, that actually did happen to me once. Now I say “everyone please put your remaining cards face up on the table”.
April 21, 2015
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Many years ago I encountered a pair that was using a convention card that was so dense with fine print it was almost illegible. I asked them why they played such a system and they replied, condescendingly, “we like our toys.” So I just said to partner, “Double every contract they get into. No one can possibly master such a dog's breakfast of a card.” So we did, and on the three boards we played against them we got plus 800, 1100, and 500.
April 18, 2015
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Interesting discussion. We use web movements every time we have exactly 11.5 or 12 tables, or more than 15, and we occasionally get complaints when we DON'T use a web when we might (10, 11, 14, 15).

Bridgemates - other than the few reprobates who want to see scores and percentages during the game (we will NEVER do this), they were welcomed with open arms. We don't, however, enter opening leads. The players just would not cooperate with that. ACBL numbers have never been a problem, and we even assign dummy numbers to non-members so that the Bridgemates will recognize them too.

Dealing machine - this was the first major piece of equipment we bought when we opened our club. At least 80% of the players take a hand record, even in NLM games. We only use ACBL cards - they don't seem to last very long, but they're cheap, and plastic cards gum up the dealing machine. If anyone knows of cards that will work well in a Dealer4 machine and will last longer than two months (we have 11 games a week), please let me know!

We usually hand out the boards right at game time and start the Bridgemates within a couple of minutes. No one ever seems to mind.

We don't mind psychs but they should not be frequent or expected, nor should an A player ever psych against a novice. Opening or overcalling NT with a singleton is fine if the hand warrants it, but will also be rare and unexpected by partner.

Most of the above applies to the tournaments I direct as well, except I do not use webs at tournaments. They are not friendly to late arrivals and we do not always have enough identical board sets available.
April 18, 2015
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At my club we do not show any percentages or results during the game and never will. Before we bought Bridgemates we used pickup slips only, not travellers (except for beginner games, where it was important for the newbies to learn how matchpointing works). Most of our players agree that not showing any percentages or results is best, and the few who disagree have become resigned to the fact that we don't show anything until the end of the game. We also do not generally allow any late plays. This means we can always play 26 or 27 boards, sometimes even 28, not just 24, and we give the players their money's worth. We use web movements for all open games of exactly 12 tables or more than 15.

Also - we tried to have the players enter the opening lead on the Bridgemates when we first got them, but most just put in some random card. I thought that was a great feature but the players wouldn't bother. Can't win 'em all.
April 14, 2015
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A less experienced (or ethical) declarer would excuse himself, visit the washroom, and come back ten minutes later with a story about being locked in and petition the (hopefully sympathetic) director for an average or a not-played.
April 12, 2015
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At our club, we use a dealing machine and have hand records for all games. However, the hand records are made up (by DealMaster Pro) in large batches weeks in advance, and we always have several different sets of boards available for any game, because we never know until game time whether we will need one, two, or three identical sets (the latter two cases for Web movements). So we never know until game time which hand record set will be used for that game. For STaC's and other special games, the hand record is of course tied to a specific game, but we still make up the boards several days in advance, so the director would have a very difficult time remembering specific hands if called upon at the last minute to fill in and play. So I don't think it's a problem.

For sectionals and regionals, our Unit does have a policy that only a non-player can make up boards.

Besides, everyone knows that I'm not nearly a good enough player to be able to use this information to my advantage even if I could remember it, which I can't.

April 12, 2015
Joel Shapiro edited this comment April 12, 2015
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This came up a while ago at a regional tournament. The ruling (from two senior and experienced directors) was that declarer can NOT stop the run of the suit if he just changes his mind partway through. The reason given was that one or both defenders have already planned their discards and made some according to that plan. “Run the clubs” is akin to a claim of as many tricks as there are clubs. It is, of course, best to call the cards from dummy one at a time, or claim the complete balance of the hand (minus whatever losers are to be conceded) with a full explanation.
Sept. 16, 2013
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