Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Barry Dehlin
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Congratulations on a great win. I enjoyed the story, and appreciate the discretion in not naming your opponents with their bullying and intimidating tactics.
Aug. 15, 2017
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Thanks for doing these articles…very interesting and enjoyable. Some comments on your closing comments:

1. My first reaction when you mentioned that your final scores were lower than your provisional scores was that stronger players played early (maybe others in Toronto like you). But that doesn't square with the observations that you almost always had just two comparisons immediately post-play. I think the implication is NOT necessarily that GIB would finish lower than average, but rather that GIB would expect to finish lower than YOU, and there's plenty of room above average there.

2. I too enjoyed the event, thought it was a good value, and would play again. Agree that it would be worth at least trying it without the best hand element, but I want to reserve judgment on whether that would be better. Simply put, I enjoy declaring and do like that emphasis in this format.

3. I agree that they should try cuts, but also don't want to leave anybody out who wants to play a full complement of sessions. Here's a solution that actually includes an element of pseudo-stratification, and it's based on some of the experiments BBO has tried on some weekends w/ their robot tournaments. Play two sessions, then cut the field in half to A and B groups and finish with what is effectively two strata (technically, two different flights) but only A participants eligible for the title. I think they should start experimenting with something like this and then there's lots of room to fine-tune (how many sessions between each cut?, multiple cuts?, what's at stake for winning a lower strata?, etc.)

4. Love the idea about basing a new grassroots event on robot bridge, with a possible face-to-face final. I'd also like to see at least one big robot event associated w/ each NABC. (I don't care if they have “NABC title” associated with them.)
Aug. 9, 2017
Barry Dehlin edited this comment Aug. 9, 2017
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So the challenges are basically two-player/two-table BAM events?
Aug. 5, 2017
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“This is a book for experts about high-level play.”

Nobody would consider me an expert, and I think the 80% of the book I've read is excellent. So merely “advanced” players should not fear or shy away; this is very accessible and appropriate for a broader audience than suggested.
Aug. 5, 2017
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Question for the “not real bridge” crew…
Is the game that human novices play also “not bridge” because they make errors and mistakes even more egregious than the lapses of the robots? Is it even more “not bridge” because they make more types of errors than the robots, and make all types of errors more frequently?
July 26, 2017
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I see it now. Thanks for the correction.
July 9, 2017
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When I click your link, I see only 5(!) results for that board, including Munday's.
July 9, 2017
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Not sure why, but he only has 6-7 comparisons per board here.

Excellent player + few comparisons per board + only 8 boards = extreme scores.

Not sure this says anything about likely scores in the “real” tournament, which will have more comparisons, and will be 96 boards.
July 9, 2017
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Thought experiment: What would people think of a goulash event at the nationals? Not OK under any circumstances? OK only if the winners aren't awarded an NABC title? Something else?
July 5, 2017
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I don't accept that the approved laws of bridge determine what I or others can call “bridge”.

Goulash also violates 6b and I think can reasonably be called a variant of “bridge.” My impression is that kitchen or social bridge often violates (many?) aspects of the laws, but that can also reasonably be called “bridge”.
July 5, 2017
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@Gary
I apologize if I miscontrued your comments as demeaning. I think it was easy to do the way they were phrased, but appreciate you clarifying and withdraw the (hopefully mild) implicit criticism.

The suggestion that a “live and let live” attitude would impede criticism or pursuit of cheaters is pretty much a non-sequitur; it's generally understood that motto merely leaves out “…unless someone is harming others” for brevity's sake.

Finally, I would disagree on whether robot bridge deserves to be called “bridge”, but this is really an artibrary judgment with no objective standard to use in argument…so there's not really anywhere to take that. One curious comparison is whether robot vs. FTF bridge is more or less different than: (1) matchpoints vs. IMPs, or (2) club vs. (high level) tournament bridge. I'd probably agree that robot bridge is “more different” than these but I'm not sure that's 100% clearcut.
July 5, 2017
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To me…
…face-to-face bridge is enjoyable and challenging.
…robot bridge is enjoyable and challenging (and more accessible), in different ways.
…some video games are enjoyable and challenging, in different ways.

I'm baffled by demeaning comments about other pursuits that many clearly find worthwhile. People are different, they can and should enjoy different things…let's let them do so without scorn.

I've yet to see any convincing arguments that robot bridge harms face-to-face bridge (including suggestions that it will hurt club or tournament attendance). Live and let live!
July 4, 2017
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@Bob Heitzman

I work for a Fortune 10 company, and in this century the company has devoted an increasing amount of resources toward “corporate and social responsibility”. Lots of things fall under this umbrella, but most noteworthy are charitable donations of both money (much of which is matching funds for employee-chosen causes) and employee time, and environment-friendly policies at our various offices and properties (of which we have hundreds). I'm not a leader driving these activities, but my sense is that the primary motivation initially was rehabilitation of our corporate image following some bad acts by our leaders and bad publicity 10-ish years ago. However, I think that episode is largely behind us, yet we have maintained and even grown these investments in recent years with an evolving rationale of employee retention and morale.

I can't speak to Mr. Gidwani's company, but it is a perfectly plausible that a service to help companies understand how they might be judged from a social responsibility perspective would have value.
June 19, 2017
ATB
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Yes, with K off too. But still a slam we should have been in.
June 5, 2017
Barry Dehlin edited this comment June 5, 2017
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2…which is leading the votes right now
June 3, 2017
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So apparently we've been using a modified (bastardized) version of what we “thought” was Kokish…OP edited to reflect this.

Which prompts a side question…what would be your auction using “proper” Kokish, with the key issue being how North expresses extra strength? North hand is AKQJ2 AK9 A9 AK3.
May 25, 2017
Barry Dehlin edited this comment May 25, 2017
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Is the principle that “I decline to profit from something I should not have done” really that nebulous?
May 19, 2017
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I definitely did not intend to ask the question you pose, but my question could be rephrased as such: “Would/could you bid 2N with a hand that would be an upper-end 1N-opener point count, but which you deemed not right for a 1N opening?”

Would you open 1N with the sample hand given (Ax KQxx KQ QJxxx)?
May 9, 2017
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I was making simply giving full disclosure, but agree it should not be on here. And partner was indeed giving an odd diamond count.
May 4, 2017
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I was the leader. Logic was that it seemed highly likely our side held the majority of (maybe a significant majority of) the hearts. With declarer's distribution weighted toward the minors, this was much less likely in clubs. And at matchpoints, I was focused less on setting the contract than on not giving away a trick…which seems likely just about any time declarer has the J.
May 4, 2017
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