Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Matthew Dyer
1 2 3
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The bulk of our scoring issues stem from entering the contract played by the wrong direction. Assuming the bridgemates know the hands (which they should, or why bother), it seems you eliminate that ability to enter wrong contracts.

Some players, and particularly those who want to improve, pore over their results, and knowing that they got a bottom because they led a diamond when everyone else led a club (perhaps because they faced the only Polish Club pair in the room). That's useful information for those learning pairs.

It's a balance between the time to enter the lead, and the benefit to the people who will use the information. I lean towards more information, and I don't buy the argument that i can be used to find cards. Like any form of ch*#ting, this should be uncovered easily and the player ejected from the club, and eventually the acbl.
Oct. 6
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I also vote for giving Shawn his own event. Perhaps we combined those two age ranges, we could arrange a nice homestyle pairs game, and Sylvia would be welcome to join us (however old she is :)
). I also believe this event is called the midnights, and we allow Finn and his buddies to compete.
Sept. 30
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I'm all for more automation as a non-Luddite. The technical solution to card identification in any place and orientation is trivial even without barcodes (finding the card in an image and then identifying it are pretty much solved problems, and angle and placement of the card, and loudness of snap). I think Michael Shuster is arguing that this will prevent ch%^ting. Not clear to me, but I think he is talking about the poker cams you see on televised tournaments.

I wonder out loud about the human interaction of bridge - being able to watch the winces of the opponents, the selection and then replacement of a card - and in Memphis, the appeal between Zia and Kevin Rosenberg on his apparent selection of a card and movement to the edge and followed by an 85? second tank caught on camera. Was this him needing to think, or a deliberate (and therefore illegal) attempt to throw off declarer? Bidding electronically, did he just need to pee?

I find it odd that behind screens declarer can only see one defender fiddling with his cards and her winces, when a second hinge would largely solve this problem (folding down the outer half of the top).

Electronics (and I would argue the upper part of the screen) take away from the ability to feel a tell from an opponent (did they hitch, or were they just having a glass of water, or thinking about the last hand?).

Pattern recognition to capture bidding box cards by camera shouldn't be hard either. The conversation and explanations are tougher, but google translate and such should help, and would probably solve the language issues you raised.

But to the OP - I agree that your suggestions are necessary and that bridgemate and bbo should be looking into them as a matter of urgency.
Sept. 30
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I doubt it - Kevin Rosenberg is still a fully legitimate junior (I was tempted to say novice, but not everyone appreciates my humour). On the other hand Kevin Dwyer is in the “catchment area” for this event - but probably about to age out of the <31 events. Both of these players need to be playing in open events, and do not need a 26-31 international event.
Sept. 24
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the most impressive part of this deal is that North had the opportunity to both defend and declare.
Sept. 23
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Peg - it seems you are arguing for good quality competition for newer and younger players. This already exists in North America in the form of the Red Ribbon pairs, and the B and C flight NAPs and GNTs, where the median age is considerably below most other events in the bridge world, and so satisfies the “Youth-ish” aspect. This is where rapidly developing players who did not go through the various junior programs go to get their fix, not at World Championships. I thoroughly enjoyed these events in my 30s (yes, I'm actually not 27) as a decent B-flight player, but the idea of a WBF “Red Ribbons” based on age is stupid, particularly if national sponsorship is involved.

I don't understand why the dream-team of Kevin, Shan, Adam and Oren would want to play in this event anyway (without substantial financial incentive), although all were very successful in junior bridge. They know they are not juniors. Seeing that team compete as USA1/2 in an open event would actually be fun, but few countries would be able to provide a decent 26-31 team (since most non-professional juniors get busy with life once they graduate). But as pointed out by Shawn Drenning above - do we need to provide them with another event engineered for them to win.

Frankly, a non-senior event makes a lot more sense to me, and I don't expect that to be approved any time in the future.
Sept. 23
Matthew Dyer edited this comment Sept. 23
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Thank you Victor.
Sept. 22
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Debbie - I hear your point, and heartily approve of decreasing the ratio, if only so that the small number of junior women get hit on only half as often as they do now (which is true of the existing structure, and a separate and horrifying issue). I don't particularly care about “fairness” to male players. I take issue with the age range, and I don't think this does much to bring(/keep) more young women into the game. I think this would be better targeted to high-school and college-age groups (like SiVVy), rather than the “young professional” group that this targets.
Sept. 22
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I started playing bridge seriously towards the end of grad school, so never benefited from the junior program. And so this isn't about me.

This U31 thing makes zero sense to me (and Debbie Rosenberg's mixed suggestion seems to ignore the gender ratio of bridge players under the age of (how about we say 40 Debbie :) ). Someone mentioned retention? Are we afraid Kevin Dwyer and Justin Lall will leave? Are we afraid that people with newborns will leave bridge?

My understanding of the point of youth/junior events sponsorship was basically for younguns and college students without jobs (U21), eventually extended to grad students and the barely employed (U26), when being unemployed at 26 became a thing. U18 and U21 makes sense to me. I can stand U26. I just don't get the 26-31 group (which is where I landed). These people are not students in any country - they are adults. So who asked for this? I hope it wasn't Finn trying to lock in 10 years of sponsorship, but I don't understand why unless this is happening unless government sponsorship of national teams is a thing, and some country as good players in the 25-31 range.

This feels like another “anyone but Generation X” event as senior events get older and youth events match them (much like my graduation from, and reentry into both flights C and B -at 2500). I expect that when I pass 6000, then GNT limit will rise to 9000 for A flight, possibly in steps.
Sept. 22
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I think that if anyone proposed to a US college team of any competitive activity for n to 25 year olds that they should referred to themselves as the “girls” team then there would be uproar beyond belief, and title 9 complaints. Oren is pointing out current sensibilities and realities in his age group. For them, it isn't up for debate.
Sept. 22
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Thanks for the votes everyone. As always, this helps with the apportioning of blame with partner, and in this case in my direction.
Sept. 21
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My use of the word “mocking” confirms that it is a joke. I extend the joke in my post, and Paul Hightower's response beautifully explains why it is such a good joke. Or such a bad joke depending on your perspective.
Sept. 21
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While posting this, I did think that it was ideal for players who play Weasel … http://www.dressing.org/bridge/Weasel.html and toyed with a second poll about how long one should pause before passing with this hand, to convey maximum information to partner. To protect myself: Weasel is an excellent article mocking variable hesitations at the table.

I suspect Weasel-plus would also suggest that you reach in turn for the 3N card (showing a questionable stopper), a pause, then the 4H card (to show values but a problem in hearts), and finally the pass to let partner know that they can double for penalty with confidence, or wrongside 3N, or bid hearts with support.
Sept. 19
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Congratulations to both of you.
Aug. 19
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I'm glad so many people have had such extensive fun on Richard's response - I was simply going to respond that in international waters, the first rule about fight club is that you do not talk about fight club. But the rest of you have outdone yourselves. I heartily approve.
April 27
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I read through this thread and it reminded me of playing at the Young Chelsea club in London about 10 years ago, we had fully completed ACBL convention cards, and as is tradition in the UK, announced 5-card majors, 10-12 NT and 2/1 at each table.

And then we had some sort of major suit raise, followed by a cue-bidding sequence, some sort of keycard, probably a queen ask and landing in slam. When the auction was over, there was an enormous indignant reaction from an opponent who had passed throughout and had nothing to contribute to the auction, that we had alerted none of the bids (over 3N), even though we were in the process of explaining bids that in the US would be the post-alerts (as required in the US).

Looking through the respondents - it seems that almost to a T, US-based players polled no Alert and no Adjustment, while players from some countries polled as a bloc too. Suggesting that the various alert procedures between countries are a problem.

Last month we had a visitor to the club in downtown Chicago from Israel (on his way to Memphis), who expressed a great deal of surprise that support doubles require an alert in the US, and there was a second alert irregularity (I forget what it was, but I think it was the other way round, where he was astounded that something we did was not alertable).

I guess this whole thread highlights knowing local alert procedures before you sit down at the table, and not assuming that the US (or Hungary, or wherever you live) is standard.
April 27
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My assessment of part of the problem (which I think preceeded Hawaii) is the following: At most nationals, the ACBL negotiates a decent rate for last minute reservations (I remember as a Chicago resident having my jaw drop when I heard (in about 2010) the $170/night for the 2015 NABC at the host hotel - Chicago Hilton), but that was about right - you couldn't find much similar close by when the tournament happened. I was still horrified.

Honolulu has structural problems - everything is pricey, but everything nearby was cheaper than the acbl rate.

The acbl hotel model seems to be that their negotiated rates meant that they could resell everything because they were the cheapest at game time. The model failed in Honolulu - and reasonably given the rise of airbnb, but predictable.

I think we are back to normal acbl housing model, except we are going to Las Vegas, which will always have nearby options cheaper than the host hotel. I am actually concerned that the first night policy (allowing cancellations) will cause cancellation problems.

I'm curious to see whether market needs satisfy LV, or whether revenue management needs to happen
April 2
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When I was playing NAP B&C in the 2000s, I would always take two days off work to come in for the Reds as a warmup event, and I think this was very common, and a popular thing to do. There was a significant overlap between the two events. I like that the Collegiate event no longer overlaps with the GNT (kudos to whoever finally got that approved), but it now overlaps with the Red Ribbons instead. Scheduling these events together dilutes both events as people have to choose.

This is directly analagous to running a Women's event in parallel with a Mixed event, which I'm sure we all agree would be stupid.

To answer the original question about how to increase B/C attendance - many B/C players won't come for the full 10 days (cost/time/number of vacation days), but will take some time off from work or school if the events are attractive to them. Particularly if the schedule is such that they can make a 4 day weekend out of it.

Events that should not overlap are: NAP B/C, GNT B/C, Collegiates, Red Ribbons, Mini-Blues, and Mini-LMPs. These are all short events, so scheduling should be doable. The Mini/Micro Spingold is longer, so I concede that the later rounds have to overlap with something.

This is how you get more B/C players to show up.
April 1
Matthew Dyer edited this comment April 1
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I have no idea of the BW policy on discussing appeals (but it seems like a bad idea). It wouldn't be unusual to present this as a bidding problem. I may comment after the appeal is published.
March 26
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Has anyone found any vegetarian/vegan-friendly places to eat? This is something I would have hoped to see in the restaurant guide, particularly in a city that prides itself on its food (and future NABC restaurant guides take note).

But even in a city with a heavily meat-based cuisine, there are going to be a few ribs places with a kick-arse vegetarian option (other than a wedge salad without the bacon bits).

Maybe I should start a separate thread for this at all NABCs …
March 26
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