Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ping Hu
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July 6
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I would replace human TD with a robot TD. Just load a pair's full disclosure agreement into a program and check if their explanation matching it or not. Let the robot assign a penalty.
June 20
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I would like to add that in between mini-bridge and bidding, I play a game of BridgeIt. This is a game I found from Kitty Cooper's teaching manual.

In this game player does not expose his hand like mini-bridge. Instead, each player write down his HCP and shape (4432 etc). Each player could look at everyone else's HCP and shape and take turns to bid a contract. This help students to learn about bidding's procedure (from lower to higher) and look for trump fit as well as how high they should bid (based on some knowledge from mini-bridge). It also make the introduction of my simple strong club open bidding system easier once they know what information to look for. This is in contrast to my class where I taught Standard American. You need to go through opener's rebid and responder's rebid that took a lot of time to learn and master.
June 17
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I also teach 4th-7th grade student to learn bridge. I started with mini-bridge that start with basic 4-3-2-1 counts. Then I give them a sheet to keep track how many HCP they had vs how many tricks they took. This leads to the concept of 25 HCP for game. In the process, they also learnt concept of balanced and unbalanced hand and looking for 8 card trump fit.

For teaching bidding, initially I started with ACBL's textbook. After two years I found it was not very effective. Last semester I tried a new approach. I used a simple strong club system. Good hand open 1C (17+), responder 1D is 0-7. Any other bids are natural and shows 8+, now they are in game forcing (17+8). After 1C-1D everything is natural and they just try to find best partial if they could not find enough HCP for game.

Now all other openings are limited, so responder has a better chance to judge if there is a chance for game than opening from Standard American.
June 16
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@Kevin, it is in the process of being certified by ACBL. If you are interested, PM me and I could give you a copy.
June 7
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What about we increase MP awards for team event?
June 6
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I was in Chicago Duplicate Club last Sunday. This club also used duplicated boards for their Swiss team for quite a while. They played 6 boards per round for 4 rounds. Their general set-up is to use set 1-6 and 7-12 during round 1, 13-18 and 19-24 for round 2, 25-30 and 31-36 for round 3. In round 4, they announced pairing and ask the two teams to find a set of boards to find a set of boards both did not play. They also had an extra set in case there is a need to use it. The reason for this arrangement is they don't have a lot of sets of pre-duplicated board.

For last Sunday we also used my software BridgeTD (mentioned by David White early) to run the game with ACBLscore and Bridgemate. This allowed players to enter their names into Bridgemate and upload to ACBLscore directly. Game results were also calculated by program and upload into ACBLscore directly just like pair games. The only thing that had to be manually done is to input the board number for each table in the program that got to send to Bridgemate. This is special because of the way this club wanted to run it. If you run Swiss with same boards per round like Bud did, the program will take care of everything.

Last Sunday's game there were 13 teams. So there were 3 way tables that used the extra set of board (different from other pre-duplicated boards). Two sets of pre-duplicated boards were used for other 5 head to head matches. For round 1, 3 matches used board 1-6, 2 used 7-12. Round 2 and 3 were similar. All boards were collected after each rounds and put on a table. At round 4 director announced pairing and asked the two teams to go and find a set of board both did not play. Then we went around to find what boards were played on each table and put them into the program.

Everything went smoothly last Sunday except at the end of round 2 one team found they entered a wrong score. We simply corrected it in BridgeTD and updated ACBLscore before doing next round pairing.

The score is almost instantly available in ACBLscore once the last table entered into Bridgemate. Even we had a slow table the game still finished on time.
June 6
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@Bud, my program will allow you to run Swiss team using ACBLscore and Bridgemate. It is in the process being certified by ACBL. It should be available soon.
June 5
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@Bud, the best thing to do is to run it with Bridgemate or BridgePad. Player just have to enter the scores. They don't need to say anything.
June 4
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@Rich, I don't know there are different skill other than bridge. The difference in team game and pair game is that in team game both of them play the same boards. If the match has a large amount of boards the strong team eventually will win.

For pair game one session is usually only 24-30 boards. You play against a random number players, and your results are compared against random number of players who played the same boards. You don't have control for all factor that needs to win. Even we could make the best prediction based on player's ability, the real score is going to vary a lot. There is a large uncertainty (sigma). Based on my study from the Commongame with 1.5M data point (one data point is a pair's score from one game), this sigma is 5-6%. So my conclusion is pair game has a large factor of luck.
June 4
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This is quite true. In fact if ACBL wants to revive KO event, all it needs to do is to change MP formula to give it more master point.

Your second argument is also to the point. Is MP awards matching the merit of event? Does pair event deserve more MP awards than team event? I happen to believe team events test skills more than pair event. In general you need more luck to win a pair event. So I could not agree ACBL's rule change a few years ago that gives pair event more MP awards.
June 4
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If the expectation is based on the different level of bridge expertise, then the rule should be different for different level of game. For example, Open+ do not require alert in any level, players should always protect themselves. With other levels of game, they should always be alerted.
May 13
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If the alert procedure is to provide same information access for opponents, I don't see there is a valid reason to do it differently for bids above 3NT.

I had the following experience. Opponent was in a slam bidding, but their 4NT was to show control. It did not require immediate alert. Without this information I thought it was regular RKCB. Once they bid slam I made a Lightner double for lead. At the end of auction, they disclosed their agreement. I called the director saying if I know the information I would not double (because dummy's control would be definitely based on shortness). Director ruled the bid stands. Apparently I should protect myself by asking about their bidding before my double.
May 13
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@Mike, I completely agree. I first played in NABC in 2011 when I qualified for NAP and GNT flight C. After that I've tried to go to NABC whenever I could. I really think this could encourage a lot of new players to go to NABC.
May 7
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Yes. I also find miniBridge is very useful in teaching basic concept of playing. Initially I just use it as a way to have a quick start of game when I follow “Bidding in 21st Century” because I have a lot of bidding lessons to cover. Now I spend more time on mini-Bridge so students have a good experience about playing in the game. I also use a Bridgeit stage between mini-Bridge and regular Bridge. In Bridgeit, player don't lay down the card, but announcing distribution as well as HCP. So players learn the importance of distribution and fit in addition to HCP.
May 4
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I would like to suggest ACBL trying to recruit Math ans Science teachers from Middle school to High school, maybe set up a summer camp or something. They could provide us access to public schools.
May 4
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I used the similar method to start with mini-bridge. They could learn count HCP and basic scores. Then they could get idea of looking for 8 card fit for trump contract, a game needs 25 points.

Bidding is a difficult part. After using ACBL teaching material for a couple years, I find it is difficult for kids to master them in a short time (especially minor opening that you need a couple rounds of rebid to clarify your hands). So I come up with my own simplified strong club system:
1C = 17+
1H/S = 5+ in major
2C = 6+ in C or 5C+4M;
otherwise,
1N = balanced or semi-balanced;
1D = unbalanced

In this way they learn a bid could show a hand (1C, 1D, 1NT) or a suit (1H/1S/2C). After 1C, 1D response is weak (0-7) everything else is natural, you could for 8 card trump fit or play NT. After 1N open, Stayman and Jacoby transfer.
May 4
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The only place it could save bridge is online. Instead of a 3-4 hours club game, I could play a BBO speedball in one hour. I think that is why we saw it grows.
May 3
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The current aim is at retirees, unless you have a big change in this population, whatever you do may not matter.
May 3
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Steve, I agree. It is difficult to get a bridge program into school. I've been teaching bridge in a Saturday school for a couple years. There are some students who are very interested, but it is difficult to find enough local players to organize a club. The current duplicated club is not very appealing to young players (I DO have a couple of students going to local club).

However in this internet age, we don't need to limit the game to local club. USBF has a training program but it is mainly geared for international competition. I would suggest ACBL to organize an online youth club/teaching program so students over the country could join even they could not find local partners.
May 3
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