Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ping Hu
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I would suggest 1 denies 4 card major, but 1 does not guarantee it. So after 1, responder 1M shows 5 card major.

After 1, 1 is 1 round forcing to ask opener show his major, direct 1M shows 5 card major.
Feb. 4, 2015
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I play this way with a twist. 1 guarantees unbalanced hand. I prefer Polish Club 2, 2 and 2 but it needs Mid Chart.
Feb. 4, 2015
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Yes, I had one such case in NAP district final a few years ago. There were 14 tables. One pair were very weak and just played one session of 30%, did not play 2nd (final) session. I was in the opposite direction and was the only pair who did not play against this pair. Even we had 2nd best in our section, it was low compare with other top scores and we did not make up that deficit in the final session.
Feb. 4, 2015
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Kevin,

You brought up a very interesting issue. However when I looked at it deeper, I'm not sure what conclusion I could draw from it.

It is true that the chance of #1 seed (seat at #3 etc) to win the event is very high. But what is the cause? Is it because they were strong player and seeded as #1 or because they were seated at table #3, 7 etc.? I would think that #1 seed has the best chance to win no matter where they sit.

I'm in agreement with Peg that the seating in pair event should balance the player's strength for the entire section so that each player has an equal chance. In order to do that we need a true rating measuring player's strength like Chess's Elo rating. I have developed a similar rating for bridge and showed to a few players at Providence.

I tried to run my system with Las Vegas NABC games. The following table is the data from Von Zedtwitz LM pair. It includes section name, NS flag, Average rating of section, # of pair in section, how many Qualified for 2nd day and how many in the 3rd day (final).

Sec. ns. Rating # of pairs Q for 2nd Q for final
A 1 1384 13 8 4
A 0 1457 12 5 1
B 1 1647 13 7 5
B 0 1610 12 6 2
C 1 1655 13 10 5
C 0 1584 13 7 1
D 1 1642 13 5 3
D 0 1656 13 5 2
E 1 1486 13 6 3
E 0 1617 13 5 1
F 1 1380 12 7 2
F 0 1579 13 10 4
G 1 1506 13 7 2
G 0 1612 13 7 3
H 1 1549 13 6 3
H 0 1577 13 5 0
I 1 1505 20 10 6
I 0 1636 20 8 5
M 1 1359 13 5 2
M 0 1443 13 6 5
P 1 1389 12 5 5
P 0 1370 13 2 0
Q 1 1594 12 9 5
Q 0 1617 12 9 5
R 1 1329 13 4 2
R 0 1440 13 6 5
S 1 1447 13 4 1
S 0 1486 13 6 3
T 1 1274 13 4 1
T 0 1513 13 8 6
U 1 1437 13 7 4
U 0 1460 11 5 4

As you could see, there were some noticeably weak sections, i.e. P-EW has only 2 qualified for second day and none went to final. There were also some strong section like in B. If the seating were different, they might be more players qualified from those sections.

Scoring from multiple sections could help a little bit but it could not eliminate the problem if the sectional strength are not same. Suppose there is one bad pair that scored only 30%. For the players in the same direction, each one would get a benefit and a certain matchpoint so the chance are equal. But for players in the other direction only the pairs that played against this weak pair get the benefit. So the chance of players in other direction is unequal. In this case it would be better to only have combined score on the two sections this pair played in, so every player in other direction has the same chance.

A very strong pair would have the same effect but in opposite way. The current seeding practice to spread out strong players only solve the half of the problem. We need to solve the other half to get a real good solution.
Feb. 4, 2015
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It does not matter because the masterpoint will be calculated on ACBL server. The club version of ACBLscore could print out an estimated master point award, but the final award will be determined on ACBL server. Once ACBL has all the club game, validation could be done on ACBL server.
There might be some validation that needs in upload game files. For example, you submit a Unit Club Championship game but the game file does not have the correct type, this could be checked by a program and it asks TD to correct it. This is actually the process US Chess Federation used to process their game files.
Jan. 12, 2015
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We could have a slow migration process. ACBLscore is good at managing club pair games. As long as we don't add new movement and change scoring method (the last was 4th undertrick doubled from 200 to 300), it could still be used to run club pair game and produce game files. If the function to calculate award and club financial is put into a new application that only runs on ACBL master server (as I suggested early and Nic commented it was ACBLscore+ design), we just need to upload game file from old ACBLscore and there is no need to upgrade ACBLscore any more. It could still run without internet connection.

We do need an ACBLscore replacement to run tournament and team games where ACBLscore is not very good now.
Jan. 12, 2015
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TD could use existing ACBLscore to print out the estimated award (from the copy that has the bug fixed). However the final award is always calculated and controlled by the ACBL master server.
Jan. 7, 2015
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You don't need internet connection while running the game. Just need to upload the game file after the game or tournament. Most TDs do it now for other reasons like upload the game to website and publish the results.
Jan. 7, 2015
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In addition to simple software testing issue, this also illustrates an software architecture problem very typical to old programs. ACBLscore tried to do everything in one place. With this master point change, it needs to upgrade hundreds of copies of installations.
A better architecture is to calculate final master point award on a ACBL server. All club and tournament TD just upload the game files to the ACBL server. In case a software problem discovered, all it needs to do is to fix the program on ACBL server and recalculate the award. In this way, TD does not have to calculate it by hands.
Jan. 7, 2015
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Nic,

What I have in mind is some kind of common format to capture per board result. What is the card distribution, what are the bidding records and playing records. Of course it needs to keep information about who played it. These are the common data no matter where it was played or in that event it was played.

ACBLscore packaged a lot of data in its file. Each country might have different data for their tournament. Those data do not need to be in common game file.

PBN/LIN is probably best close to this. XML has too much overhead. It is best to use XML to keep tournament level data.
Dec. 21, 2014
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Kevin,

I completely agree with you that we could not expect ACBL taking a lead on this. It should be a bridge-community wide effort. In practice it should be driven by bridge software developers.

I think the first priority is to have a standard game file format. In chess, they have used PGN as game file format early on and all chess applications use it. Bridge does not have many moves as chess. It is limited to 52 cards and 13 rounds of card play. It should not be difficult to come up with a common standard. Once we have a standard, developers who want to do report and analysis software could all use it, and it is possible to build large database.

This should not limited to US only.
Dec. 21, 2014
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Nic, this requirement to support different club is not unique to ACBL. As we discussed in Providence, all it needs is ACBL has an central computer to process all game files, calculate master point award and club sanction fees. I say this based on my experience as a chess TD. I could work for different clubs. All I need to do after each game is to upload the game file to USCF website (for TD) with proper information (club ID etc) and USCF computer will calculate rating and how much the sanction fee is.
Dec. 19, 2014
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Greg, since you are on the technical committee, I urge you to seriously consider separating out club financial, membership and other features from ACBLscore. I have discussed this with you in private message. If ACBL just use another program to manage its own financial instead of bundle it into a scoring program (like USCF) it would make everyone's life much easier.
While talking about ‘big data’, I think bridge needs to have a game data base like chess while you could find major tournament data. All chess players know that chess game database is a big business. All serious players use it to study how their opponents' play. More frequently they use it to prepare their openings. Bridge needs something to capture all bidding and card play of a game.
Dec. 18, 2014
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As a player who is in early 50s I could discuss some obstacles that players in age 30-50 would face since I just passed this time period.
1. The availability of game. Players in this age group often have regular work and family obligations. They don't have a lot of time to spent on the game. A 3-4 hour bridge game during weekday is not always possible. In the city I lived, on the club that offered evening game Tuesday evening closed out a couple years ago. The best option now is online bridge like Speedball on BBO. The question is how much ACBL would like to promote online game over club.
2. Difficult to find partners. The players in this age group who wants to play are players with some experiences and generally bridge enthusiasts. However since they could not go to a lot of club games and tournament, it is difficult for them to find good partners. From my own experience I quitted playing in ACBL a couple times during past 20 years because of my partner could not play any more or my job change resulted in moving to a different city.

Bridge as a family activities might work for some but I doubt it works for most families. I have posted my experiences trying to teach bridge to my son on another thread. It was not successful. Kids are more likely to play with kids in this modern age.
Dec. 10, 2014
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All these could be automatically handled by an online partnership desk. Once potential partners are found, player will get notified. Once they agreed partnership an online entry for that event will be generated and the name will be automatically removed from partnership desk. ACBL sent me a survey and ask what features should be added to ACBLlive. I made my comments to add those features.
Dec. 8, 2014
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It snowed yesterday evening and overnight, but it was not heavy. It should get better over the weekend. If you rent a car, make sure you get a snow brush. When I picked up my rental car yesterday, it did not have one and I had to ask for it.
Nov. 28, 2014
Ping Hu edited this comment Nov. 28, 2014
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I'd like to suggest we go one step further. We could create an electronic bidding box and connecting it to BridgeMate. The system will work like online bidding on BBO. It would eliminate director calls from bid out of turn, insufficient bid etc. It could also record the time each player spent on bidding so it won't be what you said vs what he said. If a mandatory delay of 10 second is desired it could be designed so no bid could be entered within 10 seconds. It could work with or without screen.
Nov. 24, 2014
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I would bid 4 directly. The card you need are honors, A and K for slam. So even it is minimum, you could still have slam if they are the right cards. The problem is where winners come. It has to be our suit. If is 3-3 it is OK you just need 2 ruff. If it is 4-2 (more likely) or worse you have losers. It is hard to investigate without any special agreement. So I just have to make a call. It is very lucky in this hand you have 2 out of 3 key cards and 6 should make, but the probability for this to happen is <30% I guess.
Nov. 20, 2014
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The best thing to do is to replace STOP card with a 10 second timer.
Nov. 19, 2014
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Gary, “good” 12 HCP means at least 14 points. “Good” 9 HCP means 10+ points. So the combined hand has at least 24 points for a two level contract. Meckwell bid and made a lot of 3N with 23 HCP.
Nov. 17, 2014
Ping Hu edited this comment Nov. 17, 2014
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