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All comments by Nicolas Hammond
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@Peg: What Kevin said.

Look at some of the past winners of the 0-<something you consider a small number> National event (that are no longer held). I played in some of these when I first started. One of the reasons to go to NABCs events - there was a ‘National’ event I had a chance of winning.

Some of these winners were from non-ACBL countries, but had substantial bridge experience in their native countries.

I remember one, I think it was the 0-99er, where the winners played Multi (no-one challenged them during the day), and had substantial experience in their own country. No-one prevented them from entering because they had 0 ACBL MPs.

Everyone wants a level playing field, so if you are not resident in ACBL-land, you should not be allowed to enter these limited masterpoint events. Simple.

You & Kevin should not be allowed to compete in the South Slobbovian National Champion 0-49er event.
Dec. 30, 2019
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If implemented, any national MP restricted event below, say, 5000 MPs, should be restricted to those members resident in ACBL land.
Dec. 29, 2019
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It would be nice to see the video.

ACBL has published the playlist from the Kaplan (Blue Ribbon) pairs here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcAft4FoUHzQNf9bkV18dgfy7CGYsXEF9

There is only video for tables 1-11 in section A for this session.

The long BW discussion (now closed) is at https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/honolulu-brp-7nt-lead-discussion/
There were other discussions as well.

The board was board 23, first session of final day of Kaplan Blue Ribbon pairs. Grue/Levin were EW 13 in Section B. Glubok/Antonson were NS 6. There were 13 tables, simple Mitchell. This board would have been played in round 7.

Here's the action from Board 23 in Section A (NOT these players) at Table 6 in Round 7, just to give you an idea of tempo of top level players. I could have used any of the 10 other tables.

Before you look at it; I will tell you that N/S passed throughout. E/W reached 7. How long do you think the auction took? The players first take their cards out here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dF9qQCQQ9U&t=2h12m51s

This is with one round of bidding to go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dF9qQCQQ9U&t=2h17m51s

In case you are wondering how could it take so long, Martel's second bid took over 3 minutes.
It starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dF9qQCQQ9U&t=2h13m50s and ends here
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dF9qQCQQ9U&t=2h17m1s

The final passes behind screens took 20 seconds (2:18:42->2:19:01). Admittedly this is on the side of the person on lead.

Here's the runner's up playing the same board. Cards out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJnfI8qRElY&t=2h43m5s. Auction finishes at 2:51:04.

The question is why ACBL has not published tables 12-13 for section A; and also why there is no video for section B.
Dec. 29, 2019
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@Jeff: Approximately 70% of players with < 750 MPs were from CA. How close to SF, I don't know.

There were approximately 70 players from NY (not sure if NYC) with < 1000 MPs.

If the 0-99 etc. national events are brought back (I remember playing in them), then they need to be restricted to ACBL residents. I remember playing in one where a couple from Germany (I think) happened to be on vacation at the city. They joined ACBL. Were assigned 0 MPs, and promptly won the event. Their equivalent in points for their home country was in the thousands.
Dec. 24, 2019
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Top players only make approximately 2/3 of all contracts at IMPs. So double them in the 1/3 of the contracts that will go down.

Look for 6 of a minor instead of 3NT.

Be willing to try 3NT instead of 4 of a major in a 5/3 fit (assuming that 3NT is a reasonable contract).

Review tactics after 12 boards.

Here's a write-up of a comeback of my team's comeback of 68 IMPs in 28 boards from 2006 mini-spin event.

Edit: added link http://www.njh.com/bridge/micro-spingold-2006.html
(thanks Ray!)
Dec. 19, 2019
Nicolas Hammond edited this comment Dec. 19, 2019
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I have just finished processing all the data from San Francisco (NABC 193). Some interesting information. I have data back to NABC 133 (fall of 2013). 19 tournaments though the data on NABC 133 is sparse and there are many missing hand records from NABC 173.

If I look at just the NABC+ open pairs events. The MF factor for NABC 193 is 1.546. This is higher than the average (1.439). This is the fourth highest MF value for open pairs events since 2013 (no records before then).

The percentage of makeable contracts made was 91.4%. This is the highest on record. The second highest was NABC 192 - just after the book was published. The average is 89.6%. I'd like to think that the book helped. Players know in ACBL events that they are being video-recorded and, since the summer of 2019, they are know aware that their results are analyzed. Obviously, if you are cheating, you are more likely to be cheating on defense, the fact that more makeable contracts are being made is either the declarer play is better, the defense is weaker or there is less cheating.
Dec. 18, 2019
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@Debbie: My partner (has played internationally) requested and received a one time waiver for the BRP. I don't know about the mini-blues.
Dec. 11, 2019
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Assuming that North enters the score after each board, you know how long each board takes.

You can now ask the players after the match is over why one board took so long, or compare with the result from the other table.

Or… you follow the ACBL rules and issue penalties to both teams if their final board is reported late. The penalties get progressively worse the more often you are late.

Once you have and use the technology, you see ways of using it to improve the game.

The NABC Swiss events were routinely taking 70+ minutes per round.

When D7 implemented the late penalties, we had one slow player (board member) who unfortunately thinks he is a fast player. First three rounds his team was late. It is always, “the other team” never him. Complained so loudly to the TD that they stopped issuing penalties.
Dec. 11, 2019
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The problem is that the crowds are too big and always around the directors entering the scores making it difficult to turn in results.

Much better is the same but done electronically. This way you can see the rankings change as scores are reported. It is the same; but much easier to see how rankings change when scores are reported. See Bridgescore+ at the next regional where it is run and you will see what I mean.
Dec. 11, 2019
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Foreign players are typically allowed a one-time exemption. This is usually handled by the tournament DIC (Ken in this case). It is rare for foreign players to be given a two time exemption. (My partner in the BRP was foreign and we had to get the exemption, but he won't be allowed next time).
Dec. 11, 2019
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Simple. Run software with electronic scoring devices. For example, Bridgescore+ records the time that the boards are entered. If the last board is entered late; there is a penalty. We did this at a Regional. The slowest players happened to be on the District Board. And… you can guess what happened next. No more penalties.

It is trivial to enforce slow play in Swiss events with technology. Just takes some political will.
Dec. 11, 2019
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If someone wants to update her Wikipedia page, please do so: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Meltzer
Dec. 9, 2019
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Bridgescore+ has been offered to ACBL for the last few NABCs. It is run at some regionals. Displays all results and assignments on a projector (or monitor). All assignments are done by computer. Players enter scores through Bridgemates or monitors. TDs hardly do anything. Runs ACBL Swiss events about 20-30 minutes faster per session. Requires far fewer TDs to run, particularly for the larger Swiss events. Can have multiple projectors throughout the room and also multiple input stations throughout the room.

ACBL did run one day of the National Swiss at one NABC. Each session finished about 20-30 minutes quicker than normal. The problem is that once it is set up at round 1, it requires almost no TD intervention so the TDs had little/nothing to do.

Bridgescore+ has been certified by the ACBL to run Swiss events.

Can create ACBLscore game files at the end of the session.

See http://training.bridgescoreplus.com. See the set of videos on Swiss.

Gatlinburg (ACBL's largest regional) has used Bridgescore+ for team games for last several years.
Dec. 9, 2019
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The DBV and WBF made procedural mistakes during the W-E case(s) which effectively negated the case(s).
Dec. 1, 2019
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Make sure you congratulate the DIC of the event. They are the ones that will have made this decision.
Dec. 1, 2019
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It's statistics. Nothing can be 100%; similar to Fantoni/Nunes.

However, as more boards are added, the statistical probability of this being a false/positive can be calculated.
Oct. 14, 2019
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Yes. There is. I wrote a book on it.

Shameless plug. http://www.detectingcheatinginbridge.com

Finding the best algorithms to detect cheating was difficult/time-consuming. But the software correctly identifies the known recent cheaters (FN, BZ, FS, Doktors, PS) as well as identifying pairs such as Buratti/Lanzarotti as a cheating pair. It also identifies some other pairs that I suspect will be found guilty soon…

The differences between top players is very small making the work difficult, however the different between cheating players and top pairs in certain parts of the game is measurable and quantifiable. Given sufficient boards and the right software, cheating pairs can be identified.

See http://www.detectingcheatinginbridge.com/selections.html and look at the snippets from Chapters 13, 28, 29. The data is best presented in charts/graphs not tables.

But… it is very important to understand the data behind the data.

There are pairs that have exceptional tournaments. This is statistically expected. What is not statistically expected is that you can identify a pair that will have a statistically exceptional tournament before the tournament happens. I did identify a pair to WBF before Wuhan. This pair did have an exceptional tournament. I should not be able to do that unless this pair was cheating. We will see what happens next…

And…. at some point I need to start listing some of the ACBL based players who have statistical “anomalies”.
Oct. 14, 2019
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She also had 11 second place finishes. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beth_Palmer

(TL/DR. Beth's Wikipedia page was created in 2014. At the time she had 26 NABC wins. No-one had updated the page for her wins since 2014. Anyone can edit Wikipedia. There are many other players/events that are in need of updates).
Oct. 3, 2019
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Beth had 29 NABC wins, not 26. I updated Wikipedia.
Oct. 3, 2019
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@Daniel. “Did the ACBL do a cost/benefit analysis before funding the movie?”

ACBL did not fund the movie.
Oct. 3, 2019
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