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All comments by Sylvia Shi
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Because there were three teams, we played rings and the comparisons happened after both sets were done. The event started with the US and Europe neck and neck after the team event with China back. Then Us did well in 2/3 segments of the pairs and pulled ahead to a 7-8 board lead on Europe after the pairs. However we had a rough time in the individual including getting a full board taken away due to having an incorrect convention written on the card. Going into the final segment, we were 1 board up on Europe. We ended up tying Europe in the final segment and both teams lost handily to China so the 1 board lead was maintained and China ended up much closer than they had been for the rest of the tournament.
April 28
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I don't think he put any money into this event. It was sponsored by Hainan government and I think the owner of the happy farm resort we stayed at.
April 28
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I voted against, but I think it would be fine if the dropins had 0 carryover. The main reason I voted against is that it seems they tested dropins in an event and people didn't like it, so it feels like this issue has already been decided.
April 25
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Totally agree. If you have been a collusive cheater and you wish to still play the game, NOTHING is stopping you from playing bridge at the kitchen table with your friends. A ban from competitive bridge is not the same as a ban from bridge. If you decided to turn to collusive cheating to win at bridge you don't deserve to be allowed to play tournament bridge ever again.

If you just want to play bridge, all you need is a deck of cards and three people. You do not need membership to the ACBL.
Dec. 11, 2018
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Dave, Hawaii has great food. You are about a 10-15 minute walk from a ton of options, pretty of all of them good. Don't eat in the Hawaiian village.

If you go south, there is the Waikiki area which is more touristy. The further north you head the more reasonably priced the food options are. I would recommend things but I feel like most anywhere you stop it will be good. Don't waste your meals on $25 cheeseburgers.
Nov. 23, 2018
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I don't think I've ever seen four of a kind in the end position. I've had three of a kind of few times (most recently 3 9s, but they were all winners :D)

See you in Memphis!
Nov. 13, 2018
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I would like to stress that if someone could guarantee qualification in an event, I think it's totally fair that they play in that event and do not participate in any future trials. But you don't know if you are going to qualify or not!

The big problem in my opinion is that because the trials are so close together you may be forced to choose which trials to even play it at all. If you know you can play in a later trials regardless of whether you win or lose an earlier one, it would help a lot with planning, plus presumably more teams would enter every event, resulting in stronger fields and better overall teams chosen from the trials. I think it's fair to say that if no one wins two events, it is clearly better to allow people to play in as many events as they want.

The problem to deal with is what happens when someone does win two events. I have written at length on this already.

The best solution is to have longer time between the trials but I understand that is not financially possible.
Nov. 13, 2018
Sylvia Shi edited this comment Nov. 13, 2018
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Hi Joann, I made a long post in the team trials committee forum addressing many of these concerns as well as the pros of the new policy. Maybe you can ask for access to the forum? I'm not sure if there's some way I can forward the post to you otherwise.
Nov. 3, 2018
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There are other scenarios that may cause a “real” team to not be the team that ends up going to the worlds. For example, in 2016, one of my teammates died before the worlds. Is it unfair to the opponents that we just got to replace her with someone of our choosing? Maybe we would have lost in the event had she not been playing.

This happens in the juniors a lot. One team this year and two teams last cycle ended up going five handed because one of their players could not travel. Again, the team that went was not the “real” team that qualified.

Clearly intention matters. I really feel that as long as you intend to play the worlds at the time you play the trials, you should be allowed to play. So on the flip side, if I knew that I wanted to play the mixed, which comes later, and I knew I was going to qualify for certain, I should not play any earlier events. But no one can really know they are going to qualify for certain.
Aug. 28, 2018
Sylvia Shi edited this comment Aug. 28, 2018
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The easy way to prevent this from occurring is just to not allow it to occur. If I want to play in the mixed trials after winning womens, I have to play mixed worlds, end of story. If I don't qualify, I will play the event I already qualified for. No unsavory intentions. This is also fair to the womens teams because everyone who was playing at the time did intend to play the event at worlds. They just aren't prevented from having the best chance to qualify for anything by being restricted to playing the one event they want to qualify for the most, whichever it may be.

I don't think the scenario you refer to is likely to happen because the teams are formed before anyone knows who qualifies.

I would say though that even if the scenario you fear occurs, it would not lead to worse teams. Let's use meckstroth rodwell as an example since I believe they are widely acknowledged to be the best pair. Let's just say you decide you can keep playing the trials no restrictions. Meckwell win the open and but are also on a senior team. Well first of all if you are plunking down that amount of money you aren't going to hire some second rate senior pros as your other pair. Likely you are going to have the next best available senior pair on your team. Then if you win, meckwell are off your team but you just add the next best pair that's available. You still have a client playing with the two best pairs available.

Look at the flip side. You hire meck and 2nd best pair in the seniors. Meck wins, can't play. Now you scramble and hire 19th best pair who just so happens to not have a commitment. You lose. 2nd best pair ends up not playing the worlds at all.

I don't want to get too in depth on that because it's not what I'm advocating for. I think it's totally sensible to allow you to only continue to play in events where you intend to compete at the world stage in preference to a previous event. That is an easy policy change to implement for this year.

In future years you can continue to look at the timing and order of the trials and see what's going to both produce the best teams and make the most people happy.
Aug. 28, 2018
Sylvia Shi edited this comment Aug. 28, 2018
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There are a lot of ways to work on this in future years. Maybe in future years WBF will have the Mixed teams not run alongside the other events and then it will even be a mostly moot point. :) I like my scheduling I proposed to Matt Granovetter a couple comments ago.
Aug. 28, 2018
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Or you could still run the event from most prestigious to least to reduce the number of people who would even want to continue playing.

Anyway, I think apart from Open, you would find people who would prefer playing in any event to any other event. So it's pretty hard to rank the other three events.

I talked a little more in depth about fairness and intent to play issues in a comment to Dave Caprera above. It does seem that for optics, you need to get players to agree to drop off a previous team if they qualify for a later team rather than have them decide later because you can't really tell if they were always planning to play in the original event or not. But that is an easy enough policy to have.

I think historically pairs qualifiers have not worked well because you just don't want to put two pairs on a team who aren't going to get along… they will underperform. :) Team chemistry is actually a thing. Also pairs is more random than teams for selection purposes.
Aug. 28, 2018
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I believe that you should run the Opens, then the Mixed, then the Womens/Seniors simultaneously. You run the Open event first because it's Open. Everyone can play in it and should not have to choose between it and any other event. If you win the Opens, you play in it, end of story.

Then you run the Mixed event for the same reason - everyone is eligible. However, if you qualify for the Mixed event, you are still allowed to try to play in the Womens or the Seniors assuming you will drop of the Mixed team if you happen to win one of those. Then you run the two restricted events at the same time. The reason to run the last two events simultaneously is that as I said, there is almost no overlap between the two.

But I don't think that's something that can change this year, so I didn't really bring that up.
Aug. 28, 2018
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Hi Dave,

Why is it a bad thing for someone to earn two paychecks? There are four different trials events after all. Even without the Mixed teams, it is very common for someone to get two paychecks for the trials. All you have to do is just lose… If you are a scheming 66 year old woman in high demand I suppose you could get up to four separate paychecks. :) A few years ago Meckstroth lost in the Open trials and won in the Seniors. He was obviously paid for both trials. There are quite a few pros who are hired for both the Open and the Seniors every year. If money is the sole motivating factor and you are really in such high demand, you would maximize your income by losing in the opens, losing in the seniors, and then winning in the Mixed. In practice this just doesn't happen because money is just not the sole motivating factor.

I think that who is getting paid should not be a concern. Pretty much all the teams that qualify are going to be pro-client teams. If you want to make it harder for clients to win the trials, you can force the teams to play four-handed. (But that is a totally different topic)

I can see the concern about “intent to play.” It is very fair to expect that if you enter an event and qualify you should plan to play in the event in the Worlds unless you qualify for a more attractive event. Let's say there are two trials, the Opens and the Seniors. The Opens comes first, however if you qualify for the Open trials you can still play the Senior trials AS LONG AS if you win the Senior trials, you cannot play in the Open trials. I would guess that 0% of qualifiers for the Open team would attempt to play the Seniors, money or not. So if you are able to rank all the events in order of desirability, you won't actually run into this problem at all. You could let people keep playing but no one would.

However, let's say you decided to run the Senior trials first. Don't you think it would be fair to allow players to continue to compete in the Open trials even after qualifying for the Seniors?

So to address intent to play, you can do as you propose - if you play in a trials, you must play in the event for the worlds unless you win a later one, then you must play in the later one. And you would try to schedule the events from most attractive to least attractive to reduce the number of people who might drop off a team. But if someone out there would rather play in the Seniors and qualifies for the Opens, you let them try to play in the Seniors. Who knows what their motivation is… does it really matter?


By the way, I think the easiest way to determine which event is most attractive is just by looking at how many teams enter each event. I would guess that the number of teams that will enter will be something like Open, Mixed, Senior, Womens in that order. But if I happen to be someone who would rather play the Seniors than the Mixed, I could try to qualify for the Mixed and then if I did qualify, I could still try to play in the event I really wanted to play in.


So this solves the issue of “intent to play” because you will always intend to play at any given moment. But is it fair to the teams who played the earlier event? That is, someone play plays in Womens, qualifies, plays Mixed, qualifies and then plays Mixed at the worlds. This is obviously a fair competition for the other Mixed players, but what about the other Womens teams?


From the perspective of the Womens teams, yes this is still fair. The reason is that you don't KNOW who is going to qualify for any given event. At the time, the competitors are all just trying their best to win a berth to the Worlds. There is no sense of trying to break the system - you are legitimately trying to qualify. If you prefer to play the Womens and you qualify, you don't play the Mixed. (Or vice versa if the event timing is switched)

And I fully believe that if you actually asked the competitors whether they would like the option to continue playing on in trials at the risk of an earlier event losing some qualified players, the majority would say yes, this is a good option. Think about it from the perspective of a player who loses in the Womens final. If you forced the winners to play in the event, the losing player would have no chance to be added to any team. But if some of the winners happen to win another event and drop off the team, now you have a chance to be added. So even from a losing pair's perspective this seems more attractive.

I also want to stress that while the chances of someone qualifying for multiple events is not 0, I don't think it is super high either. For one, if you have the rule that people cannot play in an earlier world event if they qualify for a later trials, people will just self select out of playing. And then the issue of dropping off teams ONLY becomes a problem if someone does happen to qualify twice, not even remotely a certainty.

Finally, having this policy one year does not mean it is set in stone. If you try it one year and it turns out that it looks really bad or that the competitors are unhappy about it or there are unforeseen problems, you can always change it the next year. Based on history of GNTs and such, I just don't think there will be problems.

Oh, second finally, this is certainly a pro-friendly policy but the vast majority of the competitors are pros. There are some enthusiasts, but they really don't have much of a chance in most of the events (exception of the Womens, maybe, because of the dwindling number of pro teams). So it seems pretty good to have a policy that is friendly towards the people who are actually competing.


Sorry if maybe my response was a little disorganized. :) Hopefully I understood the concerns you had and addressed the right points.
Aug. 28, 2018
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Have not been to the playing site for long enough to tell but the hotel is great. The rooms are very nice and the buffet is excellent. Only problem is the wifi, but well, that's China.
Aug. 8, 2018
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I like to play redouble is doubt. That way if partner redoubles and I leave it in and go down I can say, hey I wasn't the one who redoubled.
July 20, 2018
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You will feel silly because covering would have ensured you of a trick. Whereas now you would have to rely on 1. Partner false carding 2. Declarer getting it wrong
July 13, 2018
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You should cover because you should always take the legitimate play for the extra trick when you have nothing to go on. If partner has 109x you will feel pretty silly. Also if you cover quickly, declarer may still assume you have KT and try to drop it.
July 13, 2018
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West initial pass fine. Dbl fine. This is not a forcing pass by any stretch of the imagination. Passed hand pushed into a game and also hard to imagine passed hand wants to bid at the 5 level. East should not double with 1 defensive trick. 5s is a real possibility knowing about the double fit, but understandably difficult.

Edit. If West knew this was a forcing pass then he should just bid 5s.
July 11, 2018
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Current generation of youth would be plenty happy to play
a game called bumblepuppy. Look at the success of card games exploding kittens.. Unstable unicorns..
May 19, 2018
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