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All comments by Max Schireson
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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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Mark,
There are two reasons I think drop ins to day two are much less problematic than drop ins to day 3:
- The day that isn’t played by those pairs is attenuated twice by carryover calculations, so other than the binary question of making the cut or not has relatively little effect on finishing order day 3. Performance on day 2 is only cut once in the carryover calculation for day 3, so it is much more significant
- There are plenty of two day pairs championships; we have therefore already decided that four sessions is enough to have a meaningful pairs championship, even if it hasn’t been the choice for the most important championships. It therefore seems like a much less disruptive change to allow an alternative way to qualify which leaves that pair playing two days.

For those two reasons it seems like the costs are relatively low and we get four teams worth of strong players. In my judgement this makes a superior event, thus my advocacy.

I think the cost of allowing drop ins after the second day is much higher. Would people view a championship as legitimate if the winners only played one day? Not clear. Should they? Not clear. On balance I think the trade offs probably aren’t worth it to get two more teams of top players into the event, but I am sure that others differ.

Edit: typo
April 25
Max Schireson edited this comment April 25
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One objection I heard was that drop ins should not be allowed from a limited (senior) event to an open event. That is no longer the case so I think the issue deserves review, as I believe was the intention when the Soloway was added.
April 25
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I think the Thursday of Fall nationals is problematic (Thanksgiving), but I do hope that alternative schedules with a shorter Soloway are considered. I liked both ideas suggested in the other thread.
April 25
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Re potential appearance of self interest:

The times I have played against Steve in pair events, he has been playing with another top player; presumably neither of them is getting paid.

I am incredibly grateful to be able to play against Steve and Dennis Bilde, or Bobby Levi and Joe Grue, or Sabine and Roy, or Meckstroth and Rodwell in a pair event, and many other top players and pairs. These are cases where players who I believe could easily be getting hired to play with a client in the pair event or with their pro partner in a top bracket regional KO are instead playing in a top level pair event because they want to. I think this is great for bridge and the event would be diminished if those players elected to play with clients more often.

So what will happen when they aren't allowed to drop into the Blues? I would guess they will be hired for a bracket 1 KO.

So it may be self interest, but maybe it is the self interest of someone who loves bridge wanting to be able to play in a great event - in preference to being hired. That's not the worst kind of self interest, and I 100% believe that Steve would have the same view in my position.
April 25
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Responded to above comment based on misread.
April 25
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Sounds like Michael’s “more like 5 to 3” is a slight underbid and it is exactly 5:3.
April 25
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Ahh makes sense. I should have read the post more carefully, and apropos this topic been aware of the person who posted to know it wasn’t really possible you would think a trump coup here was nearly 100% :)
April 24
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Michael - am I missing something here, it seems like I am short two dummy entries here? Put the AK of clubs in the other hand and I just need RHO to have 3+ diamonds and no singleton when he has Jxxx of hearts?
April 24
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I played against one declarer on day two of the Jacoby Swiss that I would be pretty confident had no idea that it would matter to play an honor from JTx here.

What may be more interesting than declarers who have no idea is whether a declarer who knows they should actually does often enough. I certainly know I should make false cards like this, but I don’t think I do it 100% of the time at the table. Sometimes when my signaling might matter I shouldn’t, which is fine as long as I do it often enough that opponents shouldn’t finesse. But do I sometimes just play small out of laziness to avoid figuring out if a big one might give damaging trump suit preference to partner?

Am I 100% confident that I play an honor often enough here, even feeling like I understand the situation? No. I think I do, but can’t be certain. I will be more careful about this going forward.

I suspect than many players good enough to understand why they should don’t bother to actually play an honor often enough against a good player, thinking “they will never finesse”.
April 24
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I should have specified this was not possible on the hand in the interest of purity - but it is point against going down immediately on general principle. Of course in real life sometimes the dummy entry isn’t 100% safe either.
April 24
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Since I specified that you have shown all the KCs and the Q, opps should know that partner won’t have the Q or K.

This makes it safe to play an honor from JTxx, but also irrelevant (assuming the rest of the hand is solid.
April 24
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Great article.

I look forward to seeing more writing from you and watching you progress at bridge.
April 24
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