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All comments by Max Schireson
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The other candidate is the imp pairs (if that counts not being matchpoints) with its second day opposite the start of the Vanderbilt.

It is particularly a shame that fall nationals goes from having two pair events with undiluted fields - the most of any nationals - to zero.
April 28
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Besides the major/non-major distinction which I think is primary, there are two other distinctions:
- simultaneous start: when the two events start on the same day, choosing to enter one feels much more like a decision not to enter the other than when one event starts on day 5 of the other event
- impact: even if the Nail LM top finishers were allowed to drop in, and even if they did pretty well, it seems to be a stretch to believe that they would have accounted for a strong majority of the top teams, whereas the most recent Vanderbilt quarterfinalists being unavailable would have removed or altered 4 of the top 5 pairs from the most recent Blues.

An endless series of bad ideas for drop ins is not an argument against a good idea for drop ins.

An argument against it would be a rational explanation of why one believes that all pairs playing on day one (which I agree is desirable) is more important than significant mitigation of the lost of what could, based on history, cause the loss of the majority of the top pairs from a premier event.
April 28
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Yes my 60% was intended to be across the Soloway, not just the most recent round. Of course like any compromise one could argue it errs in one direction or the other.
April 27
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“all in the service of Max feeling like he is competing against more of the best”

If I had known the extent of the support for my feelings, I would have asked for a permanent 64 seed in the Spingold and Vanderbilt!

In all seriousness is good to see at least one mind changed.

Personally the conditions Debbie stated would not be my exact choice but I would still be in favor of the change with those conditions. I would be somewhere between you and Debbie (though closer to her proposal) and require something like 60%+ play, and like you I would probably start the drop ins at the bottom of the field.

I don’t care about how masterpoints are awarded for drop ins, but I do think it is important to announce that in advance.
April 27
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Note also that the “seeding” of those events (which includes the Reisinger) often results in byes, where the seeded teams get to skip early rounds. In the extreme case this can mean going straight to a semifinal; this year one team is starting the USBC on day 5 (quarterfinal) and another on day 3 (R16).
April 27
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I do have a serious question for Michael Roche.

Michael you have won a similar non-conflicted event, and seem to be suggesting that the conflict would not diminish the accomplishment of winning. Here is my question:

If the LM pairs you won had been opposite the Spingold R8, with all those players removed from the field, would it have felt the same to you to win? What about the R16? If the Wernher which starts on Wednesday (opposite the R32) had a 3rd day would that feel the same? For you personally, in what proportion is it the history and name of the event that matters, vs the field, vs the length of the event?
April 27
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Sure, there are always *some* players who don’t enter for whatever reason - but to my knowledge 8 teams worth would be unprecedented. Can you tell me a single time in history that any of the 3 day pairs championships has been so diluted by a schedule conflict?

8 teams is a *massive* impact on the event.

Look at the top finishers in the Blue Ribbons in Hawaii. If the same teams that made the quarterfinals of the Vanderbilt had made the quarterfinals of the Soloway, 4 of the top 5 pairs would not have been able to enter. That’s a different event, and to my knowledge this type of conflict with a premier pairs championship has never happened before.

Let’s not play word games about what defines “many” top players, or hide behind “IMP is different from matchpoints”. However different they are, in real life the players that last to the late rounds of the team events are by and large the same players who do well in pair events.
April 27
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Michael,

Since you have won a similar event recently I rate your chances to be pretty good :)

So, on that topic, would it feel the same to you to win the Blues without many of the top players? No Meckwell, no Steve Weinstein, no Bobby Levin, no Joe Grue, etc? Would it feel very different from winning a Silodor or other secondary event? Somewhere in between?

Your comment may have been tongue in cheek but I am curious if it would have an asterisk for you?
April 26
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The asterisk will be there in my mind in the unlikely event I win.

I suspect it will be in many other’s minds - for example I would expect winning would not be the same for Chris Willenken or Brian Platnick or Steve Weinstein, all of whom have commented and have more hands than I do of winning, and may other players between me and them.
April 26
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Al,

Yes, you have to do really well to earn a bye to the semis.

This year one team has a bye to the quarterfinals and another to the R16.

Last year there were 2 QF byes and one R16. I don’t have enough history to say what is typical.

My point is that this is much further than just going straight to day 2, and the event is still highly credible.

Steve, I know it’s not an ACBL event. I just put it forward as an (another) example of byes not appearing to tarnish an event. That seems independent of sponsoring organization, so might help you get comfortable that no great catastrophe is imminent if we provide a second path to day 2.
April 26
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Steve already suggested the Senior Mixed Pairs as an alternative to the Blue Ribbons, then the Mixed Swiss as compensation for missing the Reisinger, for the losing Soloway Semifinalists.

I don’t even know how to begin explaining the priorities of players who seek out top level competition to someone who would suggest that, so maybe someone else should try.
April 26
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Mark,
Was this discussion after the creation of the Soloway?
These things are balancing acts. I didn’t feel strongly prior to the Soloway. I think many now feel strongly that this should be reconsidered in light of the Soloway.
April 26
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Agree Debbie.

For me this has nothing to do with something for those pairs to do - I think for most of them playing what will be a strong bracket 1 KO would be fine, and perhaps financially better than playing the Blue Ribbons. The problem isn’t for the pairs, it is for the event.
April 26
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I think in recent years day two has been 78 tables/156 pairs, though Hawaii was smaller.
April 26
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Steve,

Just so that we have our facts straight:

1. Yes, there are byes to the semifinal of the USBC, though it’s not the penultimate day because the rounds are two days. But despite byes to day *7*, I think most would say that the USBC is at least one of the handful of best events in bridge, if not the best. It is the single event I would personally most like to win, and I don’t expect to have a bye.
2. Yes, there are byes to day 2 in national Swisses - even when that is the penultimate day.
3. Since we would know who the quarterfinalists are before play starts in the Blue Ribbons, we would know who has a bye, just like in the Swisses. Of course the teams that advance would not use their bye.

Oren,

If there are some missing commandments about the Blue Ribbons, I look forward to the hearing in front of the almighty. I will take responsibility for the drop ins, others will take responsibility for the schedule conflict with the Soloway (and yet others for the debasement of Blue Ribbon Qs). Somebody is gonna get eternal damnation for screwing with his favorite pairs event, but I don’t think its gonna be me.
April 26
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Steve,

Perhaps you misunderstood. Did I suggest anyone was seeded to the penultimate day of any event?
April 26
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First, we already do run tournaments that consider players past accomplishments.

1. Many teams don’t have to play on day one of the Vanderbilt or Spingold due to past accomplishments. Should this be replaced by a Swiss where everyone has to play?

2. The USBC offers byes based on past accomplishments; these can let teams bypass the round robin and advance potentially as far as the semifinals without playing a match, while other teams have to play for a week to reach that point.

I don’t think these events are considered illegitimate. In fact they are considered to be among the the best events in the world.

The argument for an alternative method to qualify to day two is not that every single player who would have qualified that way was 100% guaranteed to qualify the other way. Instead it is that on balance those players would significantly strengthen the event, and that in the case of this event it is important to have as strong a field as possible.

It seems that you prefer to require everyone to play the entire duration of the Blue Ribbons. All I equal I would agree that is desirable, I just think that strength of field matters more in the case of this event.
April 26
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There are a few differences.

Most importantly, when two events start concurrently, entering one of them is more reasonably construed as a choice to not enter the other event. Entering an event and surviving three eliminations seems like less much less of an indication of what you wanted to do next.

Also to Oren’s point I think that it might have been a close call looking backwards at the Nail as it was, but once it overlaps a major KO I would expect a much weaker field where the top finishers (even if promised a spot in the Soloway) would be unlikely to make a strong team.

Finally, I don’t think there is an actual problem that quite a few of the teams that would have been likely to win the Soloway won’t be available due to conflicts with the Nail.

This seems like yet another argument not founded in rational thought. I am not proposing random drop ins from any event to any other event; instead I am proposing drop ins from late in a very tough event to day two of an event that I believe should have as strong a field as possible. The idea that other drop in scenarios would be flawed has nothing to do with this scenario.
April 26
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In fact making the quarterfinals of the Vanderbilt, Spingold, or Soloway does earn a blue ribbon Q.

But yes, most of those players would likely have a few already :)
April 26
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Through most of Lynn’s comment I was thinking about a similar class taught by the son of a SiVY board member.

I think both teachers were knowledgeable and engaging and both classes were oversubscribed.
April 25
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