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All comments by Kevin Barnes
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Yes, I (on lead on the actual hand) wasn't up to the low spade lead, possibly earning my zero. Still it was pairs and not entirely obvious to me that opps would be the only pair in slam. Couldn't Ron have KQx in spades?
Nov. 12
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Melanie,

My point was that I believe Marc Warner's team, whose request to play up in the top bracket was turned down, included a player who has won an NABC and therefore, from next year, would automatically be in the top bracket.
July 9
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Actually I believe the change referred to in Melanie’s last paragraph would mean that the team whose request to play in the top bracket was turned down this time would be automatically placed in the top bracket next year..
July 8
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I talked to a couple of players on the team that was (fairly comfortably) fourth in the Swiss (and came back to play the second day). I also have a few observations.

First, the drop-off in masterpoints was fairly precipitate. Their team masterpoints totaled about 11,000 compared with well over 100,000 for each of the top three teams. Indeed, it's pretty likely that each of the players on the top three teams had more masterpoints than their team combined.

They clearly hadn't expected to play in the top bracket. But they did get some mileage out of playing against the very strong opposition, noting that even the best make mistakes, with eg Mike Passell noting that he had misplayed a hand.

Most of the strong and fairly strong local players (of the group that is certainly very used to taking on Robinson, if not Meckwell) chose to play in the A/X pairs that day. I don't know, but doubt if players in the pairs were offered the chance to switch to play for free in the teams. The choice may have reflected all sorts of reasons, particularly scheduling specifics, but I doubt it was a general reluctance to play against strong opposition. While one or two “name” pros played pairs this time (and Meckstroth played pairs with a client last year), it seems that professional economics still favor knockouts.

The bottom line, however, is that demographics are clearly changing the regional model that organizers and players have become accustomed to, and this implies a need for flexibility on the part of organizers. Chris Miller made the observation that it is now too much to start knockouts every day. There was also some mention of a handicap in play on the second day of the Wednesday-Thursday knockout. I don't know how this fits with the conditions of contest, but indicates that the need for flexibility was recognized.
July 6
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I think Cory's point is a good one, and some clarification would be helpful from ACBL. In particular, the GNT would presumably be considered a flighted event (even if it is currently possible to play in more than one flight at the district level), as might the Blue Ribbon/mini-Blue Ribbons and a player with the GM qualification would have to play in the highest level. But it is not clear that in the case of, say, the 0-10K Swiss there is a higher flight or bracket in which you could be “forced” to play.

Oddly (with the ACBL's typical attention to detail and consistency), some of the 0-10K events are defined as “no more than 10K” while others (mainly pairs) are defined as “fewer than 10K.” So in the case of the former, perhaps an automatic allocation of exactly 10K masterpoints would leave you eligible to participate.
March 26
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The damage to players in your position appears to be an unintended consequence of a policy change that was not fully thought through. It is odd that before the change a World Championship was only thought to be worth 100+ masterpoints, and now suddenly it is equivalent to 10,000.

However, I think that the “lose 80%” of my partners estimated by your teammate is an overbid. I doubt whether many of the people you usually partner (myself included) are sufficiently concerned by masterpoints to be unduly concerned as to whether the partnership is in flight A or X of the WBL unit game. And some might be attracted by the kudos of playing with a World Champion. I think it is true, though, that you might have more difficulty putting together a team of your peers for a regional knockout, which might not be competitive in the top flight, or to play in the Open flight of the GNT, rather than the A flight. And it is great pity that you will be prevented in competing in some events with players who are, realistically, your peers.
March 25
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The motion passed as above seems to apply to all ACBL-sanctioned events, not only including regionals, but also club games. There seems to have been very little discussion in advance - I alerted one of my partners who is affected, who was also unaware.

The one silver lining is that you won't be faced with any problem in “playing up” in the top bracket of knock-outs. It could even be that a market could develop for this privilege!
March 23
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Item 183-66: GLM Players Eligibility
Chapter XIII, Section F, Paragraph 1.1.4(b) of the Codification shall be modified to read as follows:
(b) Flighted (By masterpoints only). Three flights event. Each flight may have two strats.
Note: Flighted KO events at Regionals may be bracketed (but may not be randomly grouped) to finish in 4 sessions. Any player who has won an event that would qualify that individual to be designated Grand Life Master when 10,000 masterpoints are accumulated, will automatically be entered into the top flight of the particular event.

Chapter XIII, Section F, Paragraph 1.1.4© of the Codification shall be modified to read as follows:
© Stratified: (By masterpoints only). Two or three strats. Up to five strats are permitted in a one-session event which has an upper limit of 300 or fewer masterpoints – specifically an IN event. Note: At sponsor option, the stratification of a team in an Open Stratified Swiss Event may be determined by the average master point holding of all team members. Any player who has won an event that would qualify that individual to be designated Grand Life Master when 10,000 masterpoints are accumulated, will automatically be entered into the top strat of the particular event.

Chapter XIII, Section F, Paragraph 1.1.4(f) of the Codification shall be modified to read as follows:
f. Bracketed (KO and Swiss Teams) Based on masterpoint holding of entrants. Any player who has won an event that would qualify that individual to be designated Grand Life Master when 10,000 masterpoints are accumulated, will automatically be assigned the higher of their actual masterpoint holdings or 10,000 masterpoints when determining their team’s bracket designation. In a Bracketed Swiss in which the top bracket is open to all teams, or in which there is a Flight A/X Swiss being played simultaneously, such player shall be placed in the top bracket, or Stratum A of the Flight A/X Swiss, as applicable.

Effective January 1, 2020
Carried Nay: 2, 6, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 21, 25 Abstain: 19
March 23
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I posted this as a sanity check on a ruling. W tanked for a long time (maybe a minute) before passing. The ruling of score stands appears to imply that E had no logical alternative….to the double he chose! Result was -1 rather than -2 on misdefence.
Feb. 11
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15-17, I believe
Feb. 10
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On the substance, many have commented better than I could. I was broadly aware of the dilemmas you faced. In fact, knowing you planned to play the third quarter on Friday I even asked a work colleague what he would do in your circumstances. But I wasn't aware of the complex intra-team dynamics. In the circumstances it was even more impressive that you were both able to shrug it off and play near your best.

Thanks for the comment re conventions. I was going to protest that in my longstanding partnership with Chris Miller (limited for the past several years by his directing commitments and my family responsibilities) I play a complex strong club system in which virtually everything is alertable, lots of things are inverted, and nothing is what it says on the tin. But then I realized that the system is based on Barry Rigal's (literally) dated “Precision in the Nineties” and that didn't get me off the hook for being “old-fashioned”…
Oct. 11, 2018
Kevin Barnes edited this comment Oct. 11, 2018
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I think the suggestion is that Law 73 B1 was breached.
Oct. 7, 2018
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I have to say I thought that was really gutsy. I wondered what you would do in that third stanza given the state of the match and the stakes at play. As it was you played one more stanza than your counterpart in each of the last three matches. Really glad it worked out. Congratulations to all!
Oct. 7, 2018
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Do the implications of an early discard of the 7D need to be disclosed in response to questions on carding?
April 11, 2018
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So now we have a full list of entrants for the BW Fantasy Vanderbilt Brackets can we choose to withdraw? Entrants include one LF…..
March 15, 2018
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It would be helpful if, once you have gone online and found the form it was possible to fill it in electronically. And even better if one of the recorder's e-mail addresses was current..
Aug. 9, 2017
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The problem was that North took about 2 minutes to bid 3NT, but there was ruled to be no logical alternative to South's jump to 6C!
Sept. 15, 2016
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“And kudos to Judy Gartaganis of Canada who is the only woman still playing in the Open Teams. ”

Kudos to Judy indeed, but I think you'll find that Frances Hinden is still playing on the England Open team…
Sept. 9, 2016
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From the OP: “However, to a large extent it is up to the players to keep our game clean. They know when they are being cheated. It is their duty to tell their captain, who may advise his concerns to the chief tournament director. It is preferable for the players to avoid confrontation at the table, for they have enough work to do. Better to leave it to the NPCs. Finally, let there be no mistake: The WBF will do whatever it takes to bring cheats to justice and it will enforce the penalties defined in the Laws without fear or favour”


From the(unapproved) minutes of the English Bridge Union Selection Committee meeting of June 8 2016 : “Jeremy Dhondy had reminded Gianarrigo Rona he had not received a reply to his letter regarding the alleged cheating in the Seniors event. David Harris had responded that investigations had been made but there was not enough evidence to pursue the matter. Jeremy will reply to David that that neither the player involved or the NPC of the team had been asked to give any evidence.”

Anyone discern a disconnect?
Sept. 4, 2016
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The as-yet-unapproved minutes of the English Bridge Union Board meeting of June 28 posted on the EBU website note that:

“JD circulated a letter which he had received from the WBF in response to a formal complaint which had been made at the 2015 World Championships regarding perceived ethical violations by an opposing pair. JD expressed his disappointment at the response from the WBF.”
Aug. 18, 2016
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