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All comments by Max Schireson
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There was another event, I think earlier than the U16/21/26, that iirc was U13. I believe it was not a WBF event but something the host country put on, but that was open to players from all countries. IIRC it may have been a “schoolastic championship” or something similar?
April 17
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As someone who is going to enter the Blues, I think it is unfair to me *not* to allow drop ins. On the very small chance I win, I will know I did so against a field that excluded some of the strongest pairs that would have liked to play in the event.

I would rather take my chances that they drop in and beat me, rather than at best getting to feel like I won a consolation event. There are plenty of those and I lose them too, but I want my chance to beat the big boys, even if I fail.
April 17
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Ideally they would play all the days.

But if schedule conflicts arose, I would allow them to for example start the Clippers series two games late, with an assigned score of 1-1. That is less than their expectation, but better than the worst case, and I think the NBA playoffs would be better for having the Warriors in them.

Similarly I think assigning carryover as though they had qualified last would be far worse than their expected result.

Yes, they are choosing to play in the overlapping event. But the ACBL schedules events that way IMO mostly in the interest of the bulk of participants who won’t make it deep into the events. Doing so compromises the integrity of the event as a major championship wherein you have to compete against the best. I think it is in the interest of the event to mitigate that by allowing the players who perform extremely well in the first event to compete in the second. I think this matters more than everyone playing the same number of boards.

As for whether this policy provides an “advantage” in the Blues to those pairs dropping in, consider the position of Meckwell or another similar pair who has made it to the round of 16 in the Soloway (already an accomplishment at least on par with but probably significantly harder than making day 3 of the blues IMO). Say this drop in policy were in place - or even a more generous one which I do not advocate where they get average carryover. Do you think they have a better chance of winning the Blues by a) losing their round of 16 match and starting the Blues like everyone else or b) winning their round of 16 match and losing in the round of 8? I think even with average carryover they would do better to start on day 1, and with no carryover it’s not close.

There are already byes in the Vanderbilt and Spingold, whereby certain teams earn the right to skip the first day. Also the seeding gives some teams a much easier start; Fleisher earner the right to potentially face me if I had advanced in the Vanderbilt (sadly for me I did not, so they had a triple digit win against someone else). These byes are for scheduling convenience of the event itself, but the USBC awards deep byes that do not always improve the schedule. It seems reasonable to me to allow people to start on day two when they have performed extremely well in a sufficiently strong event.
April 17
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I am only suggesting dropping in to day 2.

I think the accomplishment of making it to day 2 is far less than the accomplishment of reaching the quarterfinals of a knockout, so I don’t think its unfair.

I understand that the schedule *could* be used to force choices; I strongly prefer that it forces minimal choices among the top events. I understand that forced choice can be useful in creating secondary national events; I just don’t want to see that happen to this event.
April 17
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My view is that to win a top-tier national event (which I think the Blues has been, and I would like to see it continue as), you should have to face the best. The fact that a pair capable of winning might be excluded for scheduling reasons is to me a negative.

If they were advantaged by skipping day 1, I would agree with you, but I think the odds that they would have survived day one are very very high, and likely with more carryover than they were assigned.
April 17
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It looked pretty classic to me. I don’t know how the common game finds the one player out there who opens 1H in a poll which is now 40 to zero to do the analysis…

Maybe he is waiting to have his shortness in spades and the HK rather than the HA (either of which would have made me, despite my general flexibility, insist that 1H was wrong and 4H was mandatory).

Have fun in China Peg, and go team USA!

— Max
April 17
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Not really (though often I think that is the issue). I held AKQxxx of spades and 8x of hearts, either major suit game was making an overtrick (heart finesse was on).
April 17
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Today I played with my mentee, who held this hand and opened 4H.

After the game she got the common game analysis, which recommended 1H.

I told her that I preferred 4H, but 1H was also reasonable. Was I too charitable towards 1H?

In general I am often disappointed with the quality of the common game analysis. I have seen enough clear errors in the analysis of the play that I have stopped reading it. Now intermediate players across the country are seeing that the “experts” open 1H with this hand. How concerned are you?
April 17
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First I think this is a really interesting and important question about learning bridge, and something I have both struggled with and thought a lot about.

So far very few players have been able to articulate how this works for them, or how they learned it. Yes, I have asked.

I selected newspaper diagram but that is only approximate, I almost picked “don’t know how”

As I am learning, a few observations from my own process:

- in general at the table I usually can’t visualize all four hands at the same time, but if I focus one one hand I can usually visualize it. This means thinking through play is kind of moving back and forth between “looking” at different bands.
- if I think about a hand a lot - almost always longer than I have to play it (now that might be just 10 minutes of thinking after playing it, it used to take longer), I can visualize all the hands at once and generally keep them all updated as I play though different variations
- the difference in my accuracy in playing through variations when I am able to look at all four hands vs one at a time is dramatic
- I therefore think that for me by far the best thing I can do for my game is figure out how I can get to that point of visualizing the four hands clearly in the amount of time I have to think about the play at trick 1; unfortunately I am about 10x off still, but it’s headed in the right direction
- I think what it takes for me to get there is really having thought through the relevant characteristics of the hand and how tricks might be taken or lost on different lines. When I feel like I understand what’s going on with a hand, I can see it as a whole hand and play through variations decently well.

One thing that was good practice for me was trying to visualize and play through complex squeezes in my head. Think about a say compound squeeze position and play it through in your head. Now think about whether a lead that knocks out a certain entry spoils it or not. Think about different ways each defender could pitch and whether you think you would know what to do in real life. Because positions like this involve all the suits and all the hands, it forced me to see everything in one big picture.

Still a work in progress, but getting closer.
April 17
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Yes I have been very lucky re: partners - Debbie and others.
April 15
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I guess that the exclamation point on making it to day two proves that it is still playing up?

I look forward to day two being expected. (Don’t worry I am not offended; I think the exclamation point is still warranted, but just barely.)
April 14
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Randy,

Wait, I don’t get a medal for not entering a gold rush with a world champion pro?

Yes my play with a Debbie is most visible but it has been less than half my play overall. It is most visible both because I get the most notable results with Debbie, but also because I don’t wanna write a lot about bridge players who might not want to be so public.

My first regular partner before Debbie was Cadir Lee who had about 200 masterpoints and we played mostly open games at the club but some GR, almost no 299er/499er (for my first few months I was awful and GR was playing up). When Cadir started working again I played with Bill Bailey who also had a few hundred MP at the time we played 90% plus open events including a few national events. Yes for a while open club games were playing up. With Sarah Youngquist (similar MP to me, both of us now barely ineligible for GR) now I mostly play home matches against strong pairs rather than club games and at nationals we found a pickup team for Jacoby Swiss rather than play regional events. With my daughter 20MP open club games and sectionals.

To each their own I agree with Ken that different people with different goals will make different choices. I am not saying that what I did was right for all but I do want to clarify that when I talk about playing up I am actually referring to times I had a choice, which is quite a bit.

(Also with Debbie there are a lot of easier events I could have chosen, eg regionals or even secondary national events vs mostly top tier national events).
April 14
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I just watched Free Solo. *That* is motivation. Wherever I am, Alex Honnold is a few sigmas further.

But yes, many of us here are not typical and need to recognize that most people don’t approach bridge the way we do.
April 13
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Two was probably a pretty big underbid.

I rated a heart game as less than 10%, which may be much higher than you give it.

It is possible that you miss some 140s in hearts when you would have been eg 110 or 130 in clubs, but I suspect that much (most?) of the time you would’ve been +140 partner raises…
April 13
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I am somewhere in between. For me personally when I was new I played mostly against players better than me, and only occasionally against players with similar experience to me. I think the second was a useful confidence refresher, but I don’t think it needs to be anywhere near half.
April 13
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Craig:

“under the assumption that I can’t hold 4 cards in the unbid major”

I am dropping the auction knowing full well that you might hold 4 cards in the unbid major - because I think that’s the percentage action. For each heart game I miss, I think I am probably avoid at least 2 minus scores.
April 13
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If I am potentially pushing us to the 4 level I want a better reason than a mediocre 5 card suit when I have tolerance for partners suit, and would hope my partners did too.

Partner could have doubled and didn’t. Presumably he doesn’t have support for one of the red suits. Looking at my hand it is probably hearts. Yes, good things happen sometimes when partner had a maximum and heart support, but I think more often bad things will happen.

I can accept “I would have bid 3H” (even though I would not have) but to say 3H is “simple and easy”, or that it is “not reasonable” for E to pass, is pretty out there imo.

Edit:typo
April 13
Max Schireson edited this comment April 13
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Sometimes bidding 3H will work well. But usually often partner will be 2245 or 2236. Then 3H might work very poorly.

Also if you bid 3H on this hand, but also when you are 2641 or 3631, it is hard for partner to judge how to respond.
April 13
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“Sorry partner I had the DK in with my hearts” makes it safe :)
April 11
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I think 3H would be the least bad option, if partner will be on the same page.
April 10
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