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All comments by Mike Becker
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Oh. I forgot about the Soloway increasing the SPs available.
But since the Soloway is just starting, the cap of 70 should be phased in somehow. Above my pay grade.

Yes, the Platinum points component of Master points is double counted. Let’s see what the ACBL C& C committee comes up with and decide whether that fits what we think the right relationship is. When will the ACBL implement the new formula?
Oct. 12
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When I proposed the USSBC RR be the equivalent of the Reisinger, I thoughtlessly thought the USSBC RR was 2-3 days. If 1.5 - 2 days, the value should be less than the Reisinger. Apparently the current rules are in the “Special Conditions of Contest” which I could not find. It might be that what I am proposing is what is done now!

Using Platinum Points (in addition to everything else) to seed the V/S/S is an improvement on seeding by performance, which is what seeding is all about.

Raising the ACBL performance cap from 50 to 70 seems a bit too much. A top player’s performance record is emphasized more with a higher cap, when a lower cap would place more emphasis on the “weakest” player’s performance. These days, seeding is less about how good the top player is and more about how bad the weakest player is. IMO.

Also, (I think) the ACBL caps WBF performance at 25 in the V/S/S, so ACBL performance would be emphasized more if this is enacted relative to WBF performance, which IMO is not the right balance.

But I’m not on the ACBL seeding committee (anymore). I’m preaching to the wrong group.

Bottom line: mirroring what the ACBL winds up doing should be considered in our USBCs.
Oct. 12
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I disagree with David but offer a compromise.

We could make the RR, a 2-3 day event co-equal to the Reisinger, another 3 day event.

There would then be 5 events that give SPs to set the USSBC bracket – V/S/R/ Soloway/ RR.

The Resinger scale is 85-60-42-29-21-17-14-12. About 85% of the V/S/Soloway.

All teams that make the RR would get these SPs added to their SP total.

We all know the R is a much more difficult event than the RR. But the RR is a current-form event. Hence its upgrade.

As a side question, are there no SPs given to performance in the previous Open or Senior USBC?
Oct. 9
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In the 1990’s, Ronnie Rubin and I were playing “The Ultimate Club,” and we had recently added an understanding, on our card and pre-alerted, that a 1M opening in 1st or 3rd at F.V. was either an opening bid or not (likely a psyche). Our Vandy opponents were Steve Weinstein and Fred Stewart. They had been barred from opening on the one level with hands containing fewer than 10 HCP. They appealed several hands where we had done this.
A very good committee told me that I could not play any system where the opener could, by agreement, open a hand with less than 10 HCP. The committee adjusted our score by 27 IMPs, solely based on the 10 HCP rule.

Has the minimum 10 HCP rule changed?

FYI we could and did do this in the 1993 Bermuda Bowl. It was very effective.
July 27
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There were 8 comments in the discussion article, with, I think, 5 clearly in favor of scoring the 2 matches separately and 0 opposed. I wish more had commented. That said I will follow the commentors.

A review of matters discussed by the Tournament Policy Committee suggests that this matter be discussed by them, so I voted that way, but without much conviction.
June 21
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When there is an appeal I presume the entire team is appealing.
Is that right?

I would probably approve the change but would need to first consider what the parameters of the penalty could be.

It might be that, after discussion, we cannot come up with an agreed upon penalty structure.
June 19
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There are good reasons to do it either way. I have no strong opinion, yet. Sorry.
June 18
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I approved of the change on the basis that the old wording was previously approved of by the TAC and the Tournament Policy Committee.
June 14
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Main issue is a no brainer. Mike R's issue needs brains.
June 12
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In this case, had BROD won the USA 1, all would have been well.

Apparently this team had no intention of finishing the event after they lost in the USA 1 bracket. I don't think there is anything in the current rules that forbids a team from withdrawing at any time.

Should there be?

A more convenient time to withdraw would be after the team lost in the USA 1 bracket, since they knew then they could not win the USA 2 bracket. However, unless rules are written to modify the movement because of that withdrawal, the team that was scheduled for Brod to play would have a walk over. A walkover at any stage of the event does not seem right.

What, if anything, should be done in the future?
June 7
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The ITTC (when writing the CoCs for the Open USBC), decided to base seeding on objective criteria (rather than, say, have all the teams vote on the seeding order). The ITTC debated the mix of present (RR) performance and past performance. A lot. The ITTC came up with a scale that added Seeding Points for good performance in the RR into the seeding of the bracket, and also included the right for the RR winner to one re-shuffle after the initial shuffle. We wanted all teams to try their hardest toward the end of the RR stage to avoid the appearance of dumping.

Even in this Senior USBC, there can be dumping because one could help a poor team qualify so a better team got knocked into the USA 2 bracket. So offering perks to encourage playing hard helps to avoid the appearance of dumping.

Once we determine the event should be seeded, we have to weigh past performance with current performance, and place a value on both.

~~Past performance~~
a. in ACBL NABC events, (seeding points that decay 10% a year), plus
b. master points, using the ACBL Master Point Log, , plus
c. performance in recent Senior Trials.

In terms of SESSIONS played, past performance is hundred(s) of sessions in the ACBL majors over many years (against superior competition), plus a lifetime of Master Point accumulation (a smaller component), plus sessions in past senior trials.

~~Current performance~~
a. The four RR sessions that measure how a team is currently playing. Current performance does have extra value when measured against how the players have played in the past.

The senior CoCs also add value to performance in the RR, but since brackets are shuffled, the likelihood of there being a change out of one's bracket is minimal for a team originally seeded, say, 5 thru 12. There is no extra perk for winning the RR.

In conclusion, as a participant, order the teams in skill level after taking into account their past and present performance. Ask yourself, who would I rather be playing or not be playing against in this match - team A or team B? If the seeding is done right, the organizers will have seeded the event as well as possible using objective criteria.

Senior CoCs: Section 2H and IV
https://www.usbf.org/docs/COC/2019-Senior-USBC-COC-FINAL.pdf
June 2
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Marty says above “The USBF made this decision after the rule change was requested by a member. It was debated at the technical committee level, then by the board on several occasions. There was a forum on bridge winners where everyone could weigh in and vote. If you were going to be outraged by this, you had your chance.”

Actually, the Board decided to make the change and then asked the TAC how to implement what the Board had decided. See this, which started it all:

http://bridgewinners.com/forums/read/usbf-tournament-tac-committee/request-from-board-re-players-who-drop-off-world-championship-teams/

I sort of lost my cool in this discussion.

Then there was a follow-up thread. 42 comments:

http://bridgewinners.com/forums/read/usbf-tournament-tac-committee/back-again-about-players-who-qualify-in-two-usbcs/

Just about all the good reasons to implement or not implement the CoC changes are contained in these two threads.
June 1
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More input:

The USBF BoD narrowly favored the principle of the CoC change and asked the Technical committee (TAC) for input on how to write the new rules. It did not initially ask the TAC for its opinion on whether to make the change. Then was there a brouhaha because the BoD ignored the existing procedure that the TAC be asked before implementing any changes in the CoCs. This resulted in a discussion and vote by the TAC.

The USBF Tournament Technical Advisory Committee is a subcommittee of the USBF. It has 37 members. The majority are Active Members who play in USBC's, and there are some administrators (directors, Jan) as well. The members are well respected and very good in this area. Many are veterans of writing the USBC CoCs. It has its “meetings” on a private forum on Bridge Winners. It is an efficient way of having “meetings” these days. TAC Members only. Having a larger group or a public group would add too much noise to the discussion. Trust me on that.

There were 82 comments on the initial discussion of this topic. Then another 42 on a follow up thread, and then 4 votes were taken (along with more comments) on what the rules should be once the BoD decided to make the change. The 4 votes on what the rules should be were pretty close. The conditions of what the rules are now can be found at:

https://www.usbf.org/docs/COC/General%20Conditions%20of%20Contest%202019.pdf
in Section V.

It would be nice if someone in authority would allow us to see the discussions on this topic to read the good reasons why this change was made as well as the mostly negative side being discussed here (essentially the 82 comment and 42 comment threads).
May 30
Mike Becker edited this comment May 30
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In November of last year, the USBF Technical Advisory Committee of the USBF took up discussion of being able to play in a subsequent USBC after winning an earlier USBC, after being asked to do so by the USBF BoD, which favored this making this change in the CoCs.

It was a heated and thorough discussion. I lost my temper typing away at what I regarded as a stupid new rule!

The TAC voted 17 to 13 against changing the CoCs to their present (new) format. But the BoD deemed the vote so close that it decided that it would decide the matter itself. By a 4 to 3 vote of the BoD, the CoCs were changed. This is the first time in the history of the TAC and/or the ITTC that the BoD reversed a vote on the CoCs taken by one of these committees.

Once the theory of being able to have a winning player play in a subsequent USBC was approved by the BoD, it took a lot of additional close votes and time to establish the nuances of how to actually implement this rule. If you win both, must you stay on the first team or second team? Or can you decide which team to play on? If you win the Open USBC can you play in a subsequent USBC? What happens if a resignation from a winning team causes the team to have fewer than 4 members? There were about 10 important iterations discussed. All very difficult issues and all with close votes. Hundreds of man-woman hours went into writing these new CoCs.

Well, here we are.

(Someone involved can add or clarify some facts if I am wrong).
May 28
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Good idea
May 18
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The rules are vague. Paraphrasing Nick's excerpt of the EBL's rules:

2.7 of the GCoCs says the Credentials Committee of the EBL, may bar anyone for any reason and need not provide the reason. This clearly allows the latitude to bar players. Similar rules have been used by the WBF for 50+ years, I believe.

However, 1.1 of the Special CoCs says that entrants must be members in good standing of their NBO to be entitled to apply for entry, and, in 1.3, that only accredited players can enter the venue of the championship.

Apparently convicted cheats who have sued their way back into bridge are legally accredited players of their NBO.
I wonder, must the NBO, under its own rules, (what are they?), accredit such members for international play or may they limit such accreditation to play within their own country?

I oppose rules that allow the governing authority to “Barr” a player without giving the reason. So these may not be the best rules. But there they are. The EBL Credentials Committee can choose to bar players, IMO. Apparently they have not done so, yet. Does anyone know?

FYI - From memory, almost 50 years ago Egypt refused to play Israel while at a WBF event and were assigned 0 VPs in a qualifying round. (I don't remember what Israel scored). Then, as a result, a rule was made that if you entered a WBF event you had to play against everyone. There was another instance where South Africa was barred from entry for many years because of Apartheid.
May 4
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Thanks all. Your congrats are much appreciated.

Our victory gives hope to the masses. We won because we played better than expected, and our opponents played below their average. We needed both. What are the odds of winning 6 matches as a 17 seed (without knowing who you'll be playing in any match)? If you do the math, maybe 2%.

This is the first Vandy win for Jeff, Steve, Alex and Peter. The Brits were and are incredibly good. One set stands out – the first quarter against Pszczola. Mike and I thought we were flat at our table. Before we went to compare we peeked at the BBO monitor's computer and saw the score was 59-14. And then we saw we had the 59! Mike K thought that had to be a mistake, but the monitor assured us it wasn't. Jeff and Steve were solid all the way. In the last 4 matches, we were +7, -3, +10 and -11 when they were in, and they played the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

I've never played in an NABC K/O with a partner who played as well as Mike Kamil. By my count, he gave up 24 IMPs in 270 hands. He was easy to play with and brought out the best in my game.

At 75, I became the second oldest Vandy winner. The oldest player to win the event was….my dad, at age 76, in 1981! :)
April 6
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I like the reorganization very much. This better fits how things are done.
Feb. 14
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Yesterday I stumbled on many comments about my father and Dorothy Hayden in this thread. Here's the 709th comment in a thread whose 708th comment was on January 8th. I don't expect it will be seen by many people.

I was saddened and surprised to see Bobby Wolff write that my father and Dorothy were “…caught red-handed and tried in the Atlantic City Pair Trials in either 1966 or 1967 and found guilty as charged…” News to me. I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it, so I decided to type in cyberspace today so maybe I can sleep better tonight. I doubt it. This sort of thing is unnerving. When an undocumented story is 50 years old, there's bound to be more than one version of what happened. I supply my version of the facts I recall them as a son living at home with my parents back then.

What I remember is that around 1966-1967, my father told me that he and Dorothy had been accused by “others” of cheating. He was quite disturbed about it. Me too. An ad hoc committee had been formed, consisting of Edgar Kaplan, Oswald Jacoby and Alvin Landy to look into the accusations. Edgar and my father were on good terms. Jacoby and my father were not on good terms. Landy was the head of the ACBL and a decent player. This type of investigation was right up Ozzie's alley, as he was a keen analyst. All three were very well respected. The investigation took several months, after which a thick report was presented to the “powers that be.” (I don't remember who.) My father received a copy of the report and I read it all. Slowly. There were many hands that were analyzed and summaries. I was an expert, so I understood what I was reading.

The unanimous “verdict” was that the accusations were “unproven.” Neither innocent or guilty. We both had mixed feelings. B. Jay and Dorothy continued to play together. In the 1968 Spingold, for the first time, I played on a team with them, partnered with Steve Altman. We placed second, slaughtered by Edgar and a bunch of other people eventually to be in the HoF. Sometime after the 1968 pairs trials in Atlantic City, my father told me that he and Dorothy had been quietly asked to not play together anymore. I don't remember who asked them. It was a request. He was beside himself, and we thoroughly discussed whether they should stop playing or continue. He and Dorothy decided to end their partnership, so I wound up partnering him in the 1969 Vanderbilt.

There are deep holes in my memory – What was the basis of the accusation? Exactly who accused them? Who was the report submitted to? I can't remember a single hand, or what the committee was looking for. Now, Bobby is 86 and I am 75 and we are trying to remember something that happened 50 years ago. There are bound to be differences. Landy died in 1967. The 1968 trials were in Atlantic City. I played in them. He says they were caught red-handed there and found guilty as charged. I never heard of that. I say accusations were made about two years before the trials and have first hand information that the charges were found to be unproven. Well, that's a big difference.
Jan. 27
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1. There is a big difference between more than 90 days and 90 days or more. 1 day! Is three months more than 90 days or less than 90 days or 90 days? Does it depend on which three months are used and/or if it starts at the beginning of a month?

2. Look at those on probation or suspension and the offenses they committed. For example, Levin, Passell, and Lair, Morse and that team?

I don't recall who got probation or suspension or for how long.
IMO 3 months probation may be a regularly used length.

3. Suspension is a pretty strong sanction. Should that be treated differently than probation ?

I have no opinion.

But consider in writing the rules.
Jan. 20
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