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All comments by Max Schireson
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Marty,

I think having the Blue Ribbons completely overlap the Swiss is problematic, otherwise I would agree with your suggestion.
5 hours ago
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Brian,

Your suggestion is logical even if I personally hate it :)

The issue I have is that I can’t play bridge over Thanksgiving weekend due to family commitments. I don’t know how many others have similar conflicts.

In some ways it’s a non-issue because some event will lie over that weekend, but it’s worse for a premier event than a 2 day. For me it’s even worse to lose an event that is personally significant - it was the first national event I ever played in, the first event in which I ever made it to day 3, and for a time the only 3 day pairs event for which I was eligible.

While all of this may sound specific to me, because each 3 day event qualifies differently I suspect that I am not unique among ambitious new players in starting with the Blues.
13 hours ago
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The Soloway is a great event (even if I can’t play in it).

The watering down feels noticeable and is very disappointing.

We have Spring, Summer, and Fall nationals.

Why not create a Winter nationals? Make the Soloway the premier team event there, and return to a matchpoint/BAM focused Fall nationals? Perhaps a 3 day IMP pairs to go with the Soloway in the new winter nationals? (Yes, IMP pairs is more random, but I think having one serious event of that format on the calendar might be popular). The new nationals might need a bit of time to build but would be a lot of fun.

Fall and Winter would each have their own distinct character. I suspect that most who regularly attend nationals would be happy to have another to attend (even if schedule/cost would not always allow everyone to attend all 4).

Am I crazy?
22 hours ago
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John,

Sorry if my comment missed your main point.

My intention was to respond to your question about whether they are afraid, and I think that may likely play a big role.

I understand that being on the cusp of eligibility for along time can be really frustrating and I didn’t intend to minimize that, sorry.
Dec. 4
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Not so clear to me from the cheap seats. If partner has Txx, KTxxx, xx, xxx, which seems like a “very light” overcall to me, 2H seems like a fine place, and you are happy to encourage partner to lead a heart. It easily could be winning. It might be wrong or clearly wrong but I don’t think it’s even outrageously wrong, never mind worse than that.

FWIW I actually dislike the overcall on Axxx more than the raise.

Edit: just checked and I now see I am assigning the blame to Brad.
Dec. 3
Max Schireson edited this comment Dec. 3
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Jeff,

I understand the idea of non-pro events, but to be clear that isn’t what has been created. Since the ACBL doesn’t seem to officially recognize professionalism, and anyway it might be hard to draw a line and enforce, there are no amateur-only events. Even the 10k events have pros - just fewer of them and mostly different ones than the top events.

I do agree that people like the thrill of winning or doing well, and seem to like it better when the event is labeled a national event.
Dec. 3
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John,

Afraid? Probably something like that.

It’s always risky to attribute motivations, but the new spring schedule provides a whole track of “National Championships” where you won’t have to play against a top level field.

I think there is a significant population that wants to come to NABCs and play in “National” events that they have a chance in. If that opportunity gets more people to show up and play than just calling the events without the top players “regional” events, I guess no damage is done (except when they overlap premier events, but that’s a different rant).
Dec. 3
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@Justin,

Thanks. It seemed high, in part because I suspect that on a decent day a team of me might have decent chances with a 1 imp per board per table handicap (don’t even ask about a bad day…) and if the top team was also blowing an imp per board at each table that would mean that all I need is about a 50% reduction in errors, which feels way wrong (off by enough that my estimate of 1imp per board can’t be wrong enough to fix it).

@Lynn,

Your interpretation makes a lot of sense, and is very very different.
Dec. 2
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Craig,

Totally agree that it is natural that there will be some howlers.

That said my guess is that they average quite a bit less than an IMP per board on clear errors, despite the difficulty of the competition. I am curious if anyone has analyzed that, or if anyone in or near that level of play has a sense for how many IMPs they blow.

Of course there are additional IMPs swung on judgement calls that might later turn out to have been inferior choices, but I don’t think matters of subtle judgement are what the OP is talking about (though they may have been included in Edgar Kaplan’s estimate, not sure about the context of his statement… also some errors wind up gaining so not sure what he was measuring). Obviously how many IMPs they lose to errors depends on the error threshold.

I think the error loss rate of top players is interesting - is a hypothetical pair that loses one imp per board to these players blowing twice as many IMPs (if they lose 1 imp per board) 50% more (if they lose 2), or 3x as many (if the top pairs only blow half an imp per board)?
Dec. 2
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Unfortunately I think the competition would be pretty stiff. At first I was shocked to see world champions doing crazy things, but over time I realized that crazy things happen. As good as they are, they are human and make terrible errors - throwing away winners to keep losers, miscounting tricks on claims, passing artificial forcing bids for no reason, etc…

That said, vg has errors too, which means that a reasonable proportion of apparent crazy errors didn’t actually happen.
Dec. 2
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Well, I started playing bridge 5 years ago and I am no closer to being eligible for senior events than when I started.

But on the plus side, with the addition of the U31 events I am also no further from being a junior.

Junior events seem like a lot more fun. While I am not close to either cutoff - over a decade too old (with some to spare) for juniors, and over a decade too young for seniors - I am definitely more excited about the prospect of becoming eligible for junior events than senior events!

I am eagerly awaiting the U51 junior events, but I am afraid that by the time they add them I will need to lobby for U56.

:)
Dec. 2
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Michael,

Thanks.

Yes it’s true that some might have gotten to 4S differently, or be in 2S. I can’t know from this data that my judgement about what people would do with my hand is wrong (although I can know that my judgement that few would force to game with my partners hand combined with few accepting with my hand was wrong).
Nov. 7
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Arg, sorry, mistyped dummy, the stiff was a club. AQxxxx,9xx, 9xx, x. Sorry!

Craig: I am not such a big believer in simulations for hand like this where the lead might matter. One thing I would do if i were trying to se simulation to see what I thought of a bid was check for the , hands where it did not make how often it made on some lead… (I might look at that in comparing 3N to 4S too…). Of course there are other ways double dummy can differ from real life but the lead is a big one and we can get some data to at least understand its potential impact.
Nov. 7
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Thanks for all the comments.

After having bid, I decided that it was probably anti-field to accept with a flat 15 in a club game, and that any advantage of bidding did not compensate me for my positive equity in playing the field contract. As it turns out at our club 4S was a more common contract than 3S so I had misjudged the field.

Anyway I guess I can’t have been trying too hard to play the field contract because I offered 3N, which got fewer votes than I expected. I am not surprised 3N lost to 4S in the simulation, but I pictured lots of hands where 3N could make on the lead and 4S was terrible (eg AQxxxx, x, xxx, xxx) that might bias the sim… and also plenty of hands where 3N was pretty decent and 4S clearly worse (ATxxxx, xx, Kxx, xxx)

For those who are interested in results, HQ was led and dummy came down with AQxxxx, 9, 9xx, 9xx. Not great but it has play. I won, crossed to dummy and led a club, RHO flew A and switched to a diamond from KJxx and I was down, but if they win the club and don’t play diamonds immediately the ruffing heart finesse gives me my 10th trick.
Nov. 7
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Systemically those hands go through Stayman, so I won’t say *never* (partner might decide to be creative/ different) but systemically they shouldn’t need to bid this way, and I would not cater to it.
Nov. 6
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It appears that the Bermuda Bowl final was only 96 boards. In my (brief) prior experience with bridge it has been 128 boards. If indeed it was shortened, I am disappointed by the change.

Does anyone know anything about what happened and why?
Sept. 29
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One general thing and one specific thing:
- general: in the past when facing these choices we have put our most aggressive pair against the weak pair, regardless of whether the aggressive pair was the strongest… aggressiveness probably matters more than strength for matchups
- specific: as legendary as Meckwell is and as strong as their butlers were, i think there have been discussions on this site that they are not coming back to the Nickell team in the future… so it is possible that the team might not perceive them as the strongest pair (rightly or wrongly); I certainly would not assume they are perceived that way under the circumstances
Sept. 29
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Yeah your are right I had the auction mixed up in my head. Partner 100% has to be running, thank you.

Now does partner 100% have to have misbid to pull? Could partner have 4 bad spades and a long suit and be guessing that the other suit is better? Should an expert do this? Probably not. But maybe my partner would. Would it be possible that I would go back to spades (esp if, as on the actual hand, I have 6 of them?). I don’t know. My decision to pass is very much easier because of partners tempo. So I think my logic was definitely wrong, but I think I should not pass if partner bids my short suit. Prob ok if pard bids my 4 card suit.
Sept. 27
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On the actual hand partner had a good diamond suit, an almost opening hand, and thought there was a decent chance to make 3N but was worried about a heart lead so thought it was best to just blast 3N.

I think that is losing bridge especially at matchpoints and especially given that I could have opened light 3rd seat. Partner is young and new and creative, and I am happy that she is thinking creatively and considering the cost of giving opponents info for the lead, even if I disagree with the conclusion she reached on the actual hand.

All that apart from the forgotten agreement it wasn’t shocking to me that she would blast 3N here. With other partners where that just wouldn’t be possible, I would think a forget is much less likely because 3N still wouldn’t make sense.

Thus it was more than partners tendency to forget that made be believe she had forgotten here; it was also her general tendency towards creativity and sometimes just blasting that made me think a natural 3N could be possible. This probably contributed to me wanting to emphasize the possibility of a forget, and my strong belief (which also factored UI) that this is what had actually happened.
Sept. 27
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Ok Michael I will bite… the wisdom of publishing something not meaningful is…
Sept. 27
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