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All comments by Nicolas Hammond
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The ACBL member DB that clubs/TD can download contains the number of MPs that a player has. It does not contain a breakdown of each color. That information is in the main ACBL DB stored in Horn Lake.

At some regionals, you can use a laptop to look up a player's information, but this is not Internet connected.
Feb. 26, 2015
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ACBL is very good at processing entries at the last minute.

ACBL only takes entries 30 minutes before game time so as players we have been trained to buy entries this way.

This doesn't mean that it always has to be that way. BW have done a good start with selling entries at NABCs, but this doesn't help the TDs at all, as they have to re-type all the information.

Metrics will help.

At an NABC, a TD processes a pair entry every 6 seconds, on average at peak time. That's taking the cash, giving change, assigning entry, and moving on to the next person. Typically another TD may previously have walked down the line (queue) and made sure everyone had the correct change, but the TD behind the table is processing a pair every

I didn't do metrics last year for KO entry selling at Gatlinburg. In the big hall, there were 13 TDs at peak time. Let's say 12 brackets, 16 teams, 200 teams (rounding up). They may have had only 2 TDs selling entries, so assuming the last 150 teams were sold in the last 15 minutes, that's about 12 seconds per entry. I think it's probably a little quicker as they also use TDs to make sure everyone has the correct change and has a pre-filled out entry form (total # MPs, # players).

It takes a good TD about 5 minutes to enter all the ACBL player numbers from a 16 team bracket. At least 64 7 character string. At least 468 characters, excluding Enter and/or Tab. The fastest I have seen was 3:30 (you know who you are, Mr. Texas). ACBLscore is single-threaded, you can only enter one bracket at a time, one team at a time. So, for a 20 bracket KO, one TD is entering player numbers for about 100 minutes.

Take a typical NABC Swiss, 150 teams, 600 ACBL player numbers, it is usually not until round 3 or 4 that all players are entered and we know the rosters.

What you as a player wants, is simple/easy for you.

From the TD perspective, it's different. What they are about is starting the event as quickly as possible. They can't work out the brackets (or movements in pairs) until they know who is there. A problem with pre-selling is making sure that the players are there. Selling at the event guarantees that you are there.

Yes, other places around the world do it different, but that's the current ACBL TD mentality. And it has worked “for centuries”.

Let's analyze some improvements.

This focus was on Gatlinburg, which is similar to an NABC, but different than most regionals so these comments are Gatlinburg-focused.

Credit cards. Way too long to process at game time. Some Districts (e.g. MABC - D6/D7) are selling vouchers, same as ACBL at NABCs. But trying to take a credit card instead of cash won't work using the current system of selling.

Adding up MPs. This will only work if ‘we’ know all the players on the team before hand. Getting a TD to enter all of your names won't work from a timing perspective.

The ACBL player/MP database is updated once per month, and available for download for TDs. Part of their job is to have the latest database for tournaments. It can lead to a strange situation where you can have say 1499 MPs on July 6, win 50 points at a regional before the NABC but still qualify for the 0-1500 Spingold. The rules are the MPs you have in the database. Remember that clubs don't report as quickly as tournaments so your correct total is always a few days behind. If you make LM, after the deadline, the DIC will quite often let you play in an LM event, if you can show you are a LM (even if the database is wrong). In both cases I think ACBL has the correct policy. Everyone wants you to play in an event if possible. Clubs can download the full MP database (or at least used to be able to, the rules may have changed). There are about 167,000 ACBL members; there used to be about 315,000 names in the full DB.

Clubs will often download only the players in their local Unit or District which is a much smaller file. The problem for club managers is the merge with their local information, and the master DB from ACBL.

ACBLscore+ fixed all of this; but that's a different story.

Most MABC tournaments (D6/D7) have a laptop where you can look up the player MPs. It is running ACBLscore in DOS mode with the current full ACBL DB. They have found it is easier/quicker to offer this feature than for you to ask a TD how many MPs a player has. In Gatlinburg, the laptop is usually close to the TD office, about half way down the wall in the big Hall. You can always ask a TD.

Online entry is a possibility. But circumstances change for many teams. The correction rate is as high as 5% (1 in 20 teams) will change their circumstances _after_ they have bought their entry. You can imagine what an on-line scenario can be.

We do have some plans for Gatlinburg that will address some of the above. I don't want to give out details because some issues are being worked out. It is likely to be a limited trial. We probably won't release details until Gatlinburg.

Using Bridgescore+ we typically start KOs within a minute or two of last entry being sold. The delay is waiting on the TD to decide the number of teams in each bracket, and also to decide which teams should play in which parts of the hall.

The current metric for Gatlinburg is that, pre ACBLscore+/Bridgescore+, the typical KO started 25-27 minutes after the last entry was sold. My definition is when all teams have a table assignment that can be read.

Barcodes require players to put the barcode on their entries. Some players do have pre-printed barcodes, but ACBLscore has no ability to read them. I did look at it for ACBLscore+ but it wasn't part of the original contract. ACBLscore+ does support a web service to input names so it could be implemented later.

Feb. 26, 2015
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“We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.” Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost (1887)
Feb. 18, 2015
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The motion was, I think, somewhere in the 1990s.

ACBL's new web site currently only has board minutes on-line from 2000. The older web site had earlier minutes. I found the information on the old web site when trying to find out all the masterpoint rules. If ACBL want to post the older minutes, I can probably find it fairly quickly.

Perhaps one of the former board members can post the date of the board motion.

The reason it wasn't implemented is simple. It was complicated to do. Jim saw no reason to do it. Implementing this would have changed the structure of the game file. Throughout the code, nearly everything is hard coded to 3 strats. Making this one “simple change” would have changed the format of the game files and require lots of changes to ACBLscore and lots of testing. This is why it hasn't happened.

This type of stuff is one of the many, many reasons that ACBL opted to develop the replacement for ACBLscore. (ACBLscore+/Bridgescore can handle 5 strats….)
Feb. 18, 2015
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One of the issues with using a projector is support.

I know that Greg had some issues when using ACBL-supplied computers/projectors. He's smart enough to know what the problems are/were, how to fix/work-around.

Part of the issue with rolling out new technology is support. Most of the issues are going to be not new software/technology related, but ‘simple’ issues like connecting projectors/computers/Internet/cabling etc.

This is new technology for TDs. Not trying to be a smart-alec about it, but the ACBL TDs are great at customer support, using the current software (ACBLscore), but the full time TDs have not been exposed to any modern technology.

Am making this statement because if you see TDs struggling with something new, bear with them. Same with the volunteers using Bridgescore+.

Getting some great feedback from Regional in Florida this week. Been sent some photos if anyone cares to see.
Feb. 18, 2015
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Yup.

Am familiar with the work that Greg has done. It is nice.

I am not sure who provided the projectors.

The IT/logistics side of the projectors (correct cables, no dangling power cords, connectivity to machines/Internet) is a skill set most TDs do not have. They would have to be trained.
Feb. 18, 2015
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Pretty much.

The videos listed were are all part of the ACBLscore+ project which ended last year. ACBL didn't even realize that they had this code! Probably shows you how much technical time they spent reviewing ACBLscore+ code. But they wrote off $150K to review this code. (I suspect most of it was lawyer fees).

Since then, on my free time, I've enhanced the software. If I'm running it at a tournament, players or TDs will come up with suggestions. The nice thing about the design is that you can make changes on the fly. It has been run for about 100+ events so lots of suggestions that I have incorporated. The version that I have now is better/faster than the version that ACBL has from a year ago. The videos I posted (see above) are actually from the code they have.

As my company has a license for the code for ACBLscore+, I've made it available on the Internet, for free, for Districts to use at their tournaments. There's a regional going on in Florida at the moment using the software. No cost. My company has no marginal costs for providing this software, or hosting this software on the Internet, through April of this year so might as well offer it for free.

Bridgescore+ is much quicker/better at starting a KO than ACBLscore is. For me, I typically have all the assignments up, posted on the projector within 1 minute of last entry sold, i.e. 1:01pm for a 1pm game time, sometimes quicker. Go to your typical regional and see how many TDs there are, and how long it takes for all assignments to be ready.

One of the items in the $600K budget was to make it easier to start a KO. In addition to the projector start, I wrote some code to automatically create a KO game file. Won't mean anything to players, but if you are a TD you have to re-enter the same information - Event name, rating, event code. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpTyN7tEviM for what TDs have to go through to enter data into ACBLscore. It's about a minute per bracket (ask your favorite local TD). With new code that I wrote, and posted for free on the Internet, it is less than a minute no matter the number of brackets. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqLxZLS1beA

Bracketed Swiss are even worse for a TDs. Typically more brackets than a KO. More data entry just to set up each bracket.

ACBL announced that they were going to spend $600K this year on several IT initiatives. This was presented at the ACBL BOG meeting in Providence.

I saw the list, and thought this was a little silly, rather a waste of money. Some of the things they were budgeted for they already had. I found out just recently that the ACBL didn't even know that they had some of this software. This only re-emphasizes that the reason for dropping ACBLscore+ was a legal issue, not a technical one. They hadn't even bothered to find out what ACBLscore+ could do.

From memory (if anyone has the list from the BOG in Providence, or knows what the $600K is being spent on, please post)

1. Speed up start of KOs for TDs.

2. Use projectors for players for start of KOs.

3. Use projectors for players for running of Swiss events.

4. Put ACBLscore under code control.

5. Speed up start of bracketed Swiss events for TDs

6. Use of projectors for players for start of bracketed Swiss

7. Use Bridgemates for running a Swiss.

8. Something to do with Fast Results/ACBL Live.

I may have missed something. If I have, please correct me.

The list seemed to be almost entirely written based on what Bridgescore+ could do, and what Jay Whipple's Fast Results could do.

I think it would have been a much better idea to focus on some of the things that the ACBL BOD have voted on in the past and directed ACBL to implement. For example, support for a 5 strat pair game at tournaments. This was voted on by the ACBL BOD years ago, TDs currently have to do all the masterpointing by hand. The players love the 5 strat pair games because there is more of a chance to win masterpoints, particularly if you are in the lower strat, but very few tournaments run it because the TDs don't like the extra work for them. This is a perfect example of the BOD directing the ACBL to help improve attendance of the newer players at tournaments, and management not implementing what the board directed them to do.

I've posted about items 1-4 above. I'm working on item 5, it's almost done. I have item 6, I have used it for local tournaments, but I haven't posted a video or put it on-line yet.

Item 7 is a little harder to do, but Bridgescore+ has the built in ability to support all data for team events from electronic scoring devices (ESDs) (e.g. see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj-EMNhOJX0 for the Swiss qualifiers from the Bermuda Bowl and the level of detail that Bridgescore+ can store). I just need to finish the interface from the ESDs to Bridgescore+.

Trying to put it another way: it doesn't cost me any extra money to host Bridgescore+ on the Internet. If I'm at a tournament, someone makes a reasonable suggestion, I'll implement it. Got to do something while I'm waiting for teammates to come back with their scores. The benefit for me is that when I'm at tournaments, I'm not spending all my time waiting on the TDs to set up the event. So I get to start playing quicker, I get to finish quicker.
Feb. 18, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Feb. 18, 2015
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Not sure if that is a non-sequitur.

No/Yes is the answer to your question.

You can use Bridgepads, or use Jeff Smith's program for Bridgemates, see http://www.bridgemate-us.com/User%20Guides.php?subpage=Team%20Games%20using%20Bridgemates

In both cases I believe that you need to enter the scores manually into ACBLscore (lower case ‘s’).

Bridgemates for Swiss was never part of the ACBLscore+ contract.

I'm looking at adding it to Bridgescore+, but this is all volunteer effort for me at this point. Only got so much time….
Feb. 17, 2015
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From discussions with TDs, this was planned by ACBL 30 years ago. But never got done. It got added to the ACBLscore+ project when ACBL decreed, “no paper” during the contract.

It was shown to ACBL at a Sectional tournament in Atlanta in November 2013. Code was available to them since then. But they didn't want to run it at the NABC in Phoenix in November 2013, or the NABC in Dallas in March 2014. I have no idea why. Perhaps they didn't want to show code they didn't have the copyright for. I wasn't going to be playing in the NABC Swiss in Dallas so perfect opportunity to showcase the software, but they said no. They have had the software since the end of November 2013.

I offered to run it (for free) in Providence in December 2014. Also offered to make it available (for free) in Dallas for March 2015 (I hope I'm playing in the event), but they have declined.

It appears that they only just discovered the fact that they had this code. Rather embarrassing as they spent $150K “reviewing the ACBLscore+ code”.

I did look at the visual display of some of the other scoring programs out there. For Swiss, ACBLscore's matching algorithm will match and assign teams while scores from the current round are coming in so need to be able to handle that situation for displays. Not difficult, just different.
Feb. 17, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Feb. 17, 2015
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Can someone make the edits to Wikipedia so we have all the data in one place. You don't even need to logon, you can make edits directly.

At this point, it is a cut/paste type operation. Cut something that works, paste it into the correct spot, edit it for the specifics.
Feb. 17, 2015
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The data should be objective, the results can be subjective.

Lies, damned lied, and statistics.

A spreadsheet could be created, interpretation of the results will depend on what you want to read into the numbers.
Feb. 16, 2015
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You can probably do the numbers yourself, you would not need an outside consultant.

The various table counts, average age of membership, number of tournaments are typically published as part of a report at the BOG meetings. You would just need to collate them.

One very important factor for determining these numbers is that each year there is a large turnover. I don't remember the exact number, but let's say it is 10%. So each year ACBL loses 10% of its current membership, and gains a new 10%. One important statistic would be the average age of the lost members, and the average age of the new members. As juniors would have a big impact on the average age, you may choose to factor those out. All of this is fairly simple to put into an Excel spreadsheet. I would guess that the average age of new members is fairly static, and below the average age of ACBL members. I would also guess that the average age of the lost members is above the average age of ACBL members. Pure speculation, but we should assume that someone, somewhere either has the spreadsheet or it can be easily created.

You can see the NABC attendance on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Bridge_Championships#Recent_tournament_highlights
Feb. 14, 2015
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This type of information is probably best put on Wikipedia unless there is a volunteer host.

I added a section on Districts to the Wikipedia page on ACBL.

I added the links above.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Contract_Bridge_League

If you have any additions, or I missed something above, please make it to the Wiki and not contact me.

It would be nice if we can get all District web masters to archive their DD reports.
Feb. 14, 2015
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Thanks.
quiet_assets is licensed under the MIT or GPL license.
I chose the MIT license.
Configuring quiet_assets reduces the number of log entries, thus speeding up the runtime environment.
Feb. 11, 2015
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Didn't see it.

I guess the first step would be ACBL contacting me to let me know. I haven't heard from Robert or Peter Rank. There may still be some NDAs in place. The board passed very strict rules at its last BOD meeting so I need to make sure that I don't violate any of those new rules, particularly as I got a written threat from ACBL last year. Yuk. Probably means yet more time with my lawyers…

ACBL has all of the status reports, the code. First step would be for them to show the Technical Committee all of this. Some of the Executive Status reports would probably be under strict NDA as they mention individuals by name. I assume that ACBL has setup all of the code, what they claim is wrong with ACBLscore+ from a technical standpoint. I assume that they have shown the new members of the committe how the software works (or doesn't!).

There are Wikis (ACBL has all the Wiki dumps) on documentation etc. I assume that they have set these up for the committee to review. There was several man years of effort in ACBLscore+. One of the Wikis documents all the issues that have a > 3 month delay, along with the tracking of when something was requested, the repeated requests for the information etc. etc. (I started the CYA program about a year into the project, about the same time I first documented problems to ACBL management).

My guess would be that they are going to take a 20th century Windows XP machine with < 512Mb of RAM to showcase ACBLscore+ to the committee then turn on full developer logging, run in developer mode, fail to properly configure database etc. etc.. Nothing can beat ACBLscore in DOS mode for speed of a single operation, but ACBLscore+ flat out thrashes ACBLscore for any tasks. See the Youtube videos. Starting a KO/creating KO game files etc. etc.

I've just focused on improving the code so it is easier to run at local tournaments and helps save our District/Unit in TD session costs (we need fewer TDs to run the events because of better use of technology). Given I never received some of the specs from ACBL, I'm no longer going to try and reverse engineer the parts of the code they never gave specs for. Too much work.

Some of the members of the committee has seen Bridgescore+ in action at tournaments, as have some of the other BOD members.

Am not sure to what technical depths the committee has gone to, or plans to.

I heard that Robert is going to be in Gatlinburg, so he will see the code there.

The recent fiasco with masterpoints (I understand that it is still not fully resolved) has been illuminating to all. ACBLscore+ has an 8,000 line C library that handles all of the masterpoint code, along with extensive test case and test suites. I wrote this in C because it was likely to be easier to maintain. It also kept the code as a self-contained stand-alone library so it could be independently tested outside of the UI code. I haven't updated this for the 2015 rules. As soon as there are a sufficient number of correct Game Files, I may look at this work. I'm still waiting on ACBL to deliver the Masterpoint Assignment and Eligibility rules.
Feb. 11, 2015
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For a list of the open source code, see

http://www.hammondtest.com:60000/license
Username: td
Password: happy

It lists all the open source code used in Bridgescore+. Only a small fraction is used on this site, but I have listed credits for all. There are over 70.
I am a firm believe in not re-inventing code that someone else has already done.

IANAL=I am not a lawyer.

ACBL did want separate license agreements with some of those providing an MIT license. Little unbelievable but there we go. The MIT license was created around 1988. May have been a little too new for the legal team at ACBL. I did have to try and explain what an open source license was, how it was free, they didn't have to pay for it, they didn't have to create their own license. But IANAL, they are.

Feb. 11, 2015
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I know who they are, both the individual and the firm, as have emails backing up all my statements above. But probably not appropriate to disclose.

Being known not to show up for scheduled conference calls with other lawyers without any excuse or reason is not something good to have on your professional resume.

It would be common to use different outside counsel based on their particular expertise so I would imagine that ACBL does not have one outside counsel but has access to several if needed.

They are “one of the top in the country” as described by ACBL to me. BTW, so is mine.
Feb. 11, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Feb. 11, 2015
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The original contract would have been different.

If you are a contractor, you normally have a work-for-hire type contract. Hiring company owns everything.

If you are a software company creating software (e.g. mine), then you often re-use code you have in from previous projects on new projects. This makes the code a lot cheaper for the company buying the software. It also means that you want to use the underlying code for your next project. This was the case for ACBLscore+, we were re-using existing code created before the contract started. And I've used the underlying code for new projects. The technology behind ACBLscore+ is very powerful. Very proud of it.

Take a look at http://results.bridgescoreplus.com. This is all code developed before the ACBLscore+ contract started.

The price would have been very different. The number of hours I spent on the contract work would have been very different (my time was billed monthly, not hourly).

ACBL got (insisted?) on a 10% price reduction during negotiations. I would not have agreed without the cross-licensing deal.
Feb. 11, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Feb. 11, 2015
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In reference to your “It is 2015” comment.

See http://results.bridgescoreplus.com

This is the results and Fast Results from the March 2012 Memphis NABC, almost 3 years ago. I found a back-up copy and put it back on-line. I added information about the Fast Results from that tournament.

See the on-line version of the Platinum Pairs, Sat evening semi-final session at http://results.bridgescoreplus.com/results/nabc/2012/01/120317-plat-eve-full.html

This was done before the ACBLscore+ contract started. I used the gfprint tool we had created, along with Jon Gustafson's results display. This is all 3 years ago. See how quick Jon's tool is for navigating around the event and looking at other scores, other players etc.

Now look at the results that ACBL are giving you with ACBL live, including the “Detailed Results”.

Compare the two for ease of navigation/speed, ability to find what you as a player would want to know.

Do you want 2015 or 2012?

Jon's made many improvements to his results display since 2012.
Feb. 10, 2015
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ACBL's firm no decision came from their lawyers. Backed by management and league counsel.

The original ACBLscore+ contract was negotiated by Peter Rank, ACBL league counsel. During the negotiations, he insisted on a 10% cut in the price. At the same time, my company got a license to the code. I do not think Peter Rank used outside counsel to review the contract. As he put it himself at the time, he was not an expert in technology contracts. The contract was a fairly typical contracting company contract. It was not a work-for-hire contract.

Just over a year into the contract, ACBL hired outside counsel to review all ACBL contracts, including ACBLscore+. Their outside counsel told ACBL management/ACBL league counsel that they needed to have the Copyright in order to protect ACBL. IANAL, but as the software was developed by Hammond Software, Hammond Software has the Copyright.

Starting around the summer of 2013, ACBL management and league counsel put enormous pressure on me and my company to change the original contract and make it a work-for-hire contract so that ACBL would own the copyright. They also wanted to take away my company's license, no compensation offered. ACBL engaged in some rather despicable business practices. They stopped paying invoices to try and force the issue. They went a few months without paying. My company had to borrow a lot of money (into 6 figures) to make sure that all of our employees and contractors were paid on time (they were). When ACBL did start paying, they back-dated some of the checks (or wrote the checks, held on to them before mailing them). The photocopies of the dates on the envelopes did not match the dates on the checks. During this time, I had to put some of the contractors on “furlough”, including some who were working on critical path items, which obviously had a big hit on the completion date. ACBL also stopped providing necessary required documentation and specs. Whether this inability to deliver specs was deliberate or incompetence we may never know. There were some incentives in the contract for early delivery etc. which obviously we were not going to be able to make. It would be naive of me to believe that the board was not aware of what was going on. ACBLscore+ was the most critical strategic technological development for ACBL in the last 30 years.

During what was supposed to be the most critical time for development and integration (last 9-12 months of contract), I was spending way too much time with lawyers trying to get this and other legal matters resolved, and trying to get paid. When we were able to set up a conference call between my company's lawyer, me, ACBL's league counsel, and ACBL outside counsel to resolve these issues, neither the ACBL league counsel nor their outside counsel bothered to show up for the conference call. Trying to get 3 lawyer's schedules together was difficult enough. To have ACBL not even show up for a conference call with no explanation ever offered was ridiculous. It all seemed to be part of the ACBL negotiation strategy. I have previously mentioned that anything with a 3+ month delay, or longer, could not be delivered. Some of the delays in getting simple legal issues with software releases resolved took over 6 months, and were still not resolved when we ended the contract.

We terminated the contract in March 2014. Couldn't deliver without specs. ACBL wouldn't deliver them. Still never received the masterpoint specs at end of contract. Over a 7 month delay with the masterpoint spec, with all work on masterpoints essentially on hold pending the specs. Most important output from the scoring program - scoring, ranking, masterpointing. No specs.

Despite all of this, HS delivered everything we were supposed to do, on-time, on-budget, except anything that had a documented 3 month or longer delay from ACBL.

In March/April 2014, ACBL/HS tried to negotiate a new contract.

ACBL were insistent that any new contract must be accompanied with a re-write of the original contract and making the original contract a work-for-hire contract. ACBL insisted on re-negotiating the original license agreement so that any and all new software that HS may create that was based on any of the code for ACBLscore+ would be owned by ACBL. For example, if a bank paid us to create some code for the banking industry that re-used any of the underlying ACBLscore+ code, then ACBL wanted to own ALL the new code. It was ridiculous and absurd. But they were insistent and intransigent.

Their outside counsel insisted that this had to be way.

Robert made one last attempt in May 2014 to see if ACBL had any leeway regarding re-negotiating the original contract. Their outside counsel said no. So nothing was going to happen with the ACBLscore+ code.

We politely declined to give up all rights to the code. We now use the underlying fundamentals for other projects. I used it to create the tool I described in this post. I think the majority of the code in this tool was done during one long flight around New Year. Going to take ACBL $600K. That's the advantage of using modern tools. ACBLscore+ is a very powerful tool. Took me a little longer to upload as I have been busy with other projects, but you can see from the dates of the YouTube videos that the software has been running for a while.

ACBL management and league counsel were now in a little bit of a pickle around May 2014. In a bit of fury they “terminated the contract”. As HS had now been paid in full, what it meant was that I did not have to make myself available to ACBL for up to 10 hours/month if they wanted to use me. Seemed silly; they didn't have to pay if they didn't use me. Basically they cut off their nose to spite their face because if they had any questions about the software, they had just removed their ability to ask!

Back to March/May 2014. The board were put on a ‘gag’ order. The BOD was told that there was a possible lawsuit, but not told who or why. If ACBL were to sue my company, the board would be involved. There is nothing that my company could sue ACBL for, we were paid in full after canceling the contract. The BOD should find out what this “lawsuit” could have been. Management/league counsel had signed a contract which outside counsel had now reviewed and told them that the software was useless (to ACBL).

So… all the software has been written off. The good news is that my company has rights to it, so it's not a waste. I've been providing it for free to Districts and Units since.

As part of the write-off, ACBL have written off $150K to “review the ACBLscore+ software”. At least this was the line item presented at the BOG meeting. I think they flew in 2 BOD members for 1-2 days in Memphis. Perhaps had someone look at it for a couple of weeks in Horn Lake. I suspect the vast majority of this $150K was in legal fees. You can imagine what my company had to spend.

All of this because ACBL didn't use outside counsel for the original contract.

Once you understand the legal dimension, it really doesn't matter about the technical stuff.

I suspect that ACBL management found a Windows XP machine with 512Mb memory from last century, tried to run ACBLscore+ on it, said it didn't work, convinced the two BOD members. I've not been involved with any demo to ACBL management. I do, however, quite happily run the software at the tournaments I've been at. Any time I hear a false claim about ACBLscore+, I'm happy to post a video on YouTube contradicting the claim.

Merlin Vilhauer (D20 BOD member) posted in his district newsletter (see http://acbld20.org/trumpet/2015Jan-FebTrumpetweb.pdf page 8) that “we're released as much information as possible without going into confidential agreements signed at the time the contract was terminated”. I didn't sign any. Can only be the lawyers. Or maybe someone else. There's a lot of conflicting information coming from ACBL. At least tell us who you've signed confidentiality agreements with.

Since the BW articles, ACBL management and league counsel have now threatened me with a permanent ban from ACBL. Fortunately, everything I have done is covered under the ACBLscore+ contract, and my company has full licenses for all software, but they've threatened me anyway. The ACBL Board have passed resolutions in Phoenix which were specifically designed to stop Bridgescore+ (the wording in some of the resolutions is identical to wording I got in an email threat from ACBL prior to Phoenix). So the board is complicit in the cover-up. I've posted elsewhere the questions that should be answered.

In the mean time, I carry on. My company was paid, and paid in full. I'm not complaining. I will however protect the reputation of the people that worked on the ACBLscore+ contract, and my company. We delivered.

Last week, we had a Sectional in Atlanta. Sunday Swiss had a 14 table AX Swiss, 42 tables BCD Swiss. All assignments/scores/leader boards etc. displayed on projectors. All run from a single server. Two different projectors, one in each room. All run from Bridgescore+. We don't even bother with the Jeffrey's chart or rack as backups any more.

So… the firm ‘no’ comes from the ACBL outside counsel based on his/her opinion on the league using software that ACBL do not have the copyright to.

Blame those at ACBL that created the original ACBLscore+ contract.

They negotiated the original wording, then wanted to change it for no compensation.

Peter Rank/Robert obviously have all the documentation from their outside counsel; I assume the board has been provided with it as well. The board should have been aware of this issue since summer 2013, certainly by the board meeting in November 2013.
I can't believe that the board were not told about the non-payment and the copyright issue. If they were not, then there are bigger issues at stake.

The ACBLscore+ software isn't perfect. It was ready for real live testing by TDs. It's what I've been doing the past year on a part time basis, making steady improvements. I've documented a roll-out plan.
Feb. 10, 2015
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Feb. 11, 2015
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