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The Long Match

#1 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 11:36

I am slowly getting experience in long matches. We had our district GNT Superflight final this weekend. We were seeded 8th out of 10. First off, assuming you want to complete the event over a two day period, you have lots of ways to format an event with 10 teams:

1. One day swiss (9 matches of 7 boards) with four qualifiers to play a 32 board semi and a 32 board final.

2. One day swiss with two qualifiers to play a 64 board final.

3. Two groups of five to play a round robin with either the winner or the top two to advance into day 2.

4. Some combination of head-to-head, and three ways.

(Q1: How you would you run it?)


There are competing objectives at place. Any swiss ignores seeding. Group qualifiers have a lot of dumping issues involved. You would also like to run an event where a team gets to play all day, since some are travelling 4-5 hours to get to the event.

The C of C stipulates #4, although it also states that the final is supposed to be 64 boards. What the director did, and this seems reasonable, is to run two three way matches with one survivor and two all day head to head matches. He chose to take the two four teams and separate them which seemed fair. He then did a random draw of the opponents for each of the head to heads and three ways. Four teams would advance to Sunday with a 32 board semi and a 32 board final. I was joking with one of the members of the #1 seed, and said, wouldn't it suck if you drew the #5 seed the first round? We then looked at who the 5 seed was, and he said, no that wouldn't suck at all LOL.

We ended up playing the #2 seed. It is two very experienced H and W pairs that won the event in 2010 and 2009.

In the first quarter, my partner and I were very solid, and the opponents made some very bad decisions. Our teammates had a great set too, so we were up 67. In the 2nd Q, I thought we played even better, but our counterparts at the other table clamped down, but we still picked up another 18. The halftime score was 102-17.

Now, I have witnessed a lot of match results in the Spingold and the Vanderbilt, and I have seen teams jump out to enormous leads after one or two quarters. This sometimes happens with two good teams that aren't mismatched. Everyone talks about the great comebacks Nickell has made in 16 boards, but you don't hear a lot about what happens in blowout matches at the 1/4 or 1/2 way point, and I am speculating a fair amount here.

So what happened in the 3Q? Here are some highlights of the 1st four boards (at least at our table).

1. Partner holds xxx x Kxxx KJxxx and chooses to call this a limit raise of clubs over RHO's TOx. I doubled 3 (after I bid 3, pass, pass) on essentially a weak NT holding Txxx AKx xxx AQT. I don't lead a trump, so only two overtricks slip through. Our teammates thought they had a great result with their plus 790 (sorry). Lose 8.

2. I make a w/r overcall over a precision diamond opener who dealt with xxx KJTxx Qxxx x. Partner bounces to 4 on xxx xxxxx K9x KT. I misguess the play twice for -1100. Teammates bid to an inferior 4. I didn't ask about the play since it appeared cold, but they said 5 would have been better. 15 more.

3. I open 2N with AKQTx xx Axx AQx and drive to 6 when partner makes a slam try after I show five spades. Slam needs to find a queen or the A onside + some squeeze chances - plus 3-2 trump so its reasonable. The heart was onside, but spades were Jxxx offside. While this was a push board there is a morose feeling you are just gushing IMPs here.

4. Lose a partscore battle and five more.

Eventually we right the right the ship and stop the bleeding. We lose the quarter 50-13.

In the 4th quarter many bad decisions were made. This is the time where you might say, wow, they blew an 85 IMP lead and lost. However, what really happened was that the other team ran out of boards. We lose the quarter by 47 - win by one. Actually two on a recount. That extra IMP didn't seem to matter much. After the match I think the other team couldn't believe they could come from so far behind and almost win, and we couldn't believe that we could dump nearly all of an insurmountable lead. Its hard to understand what happens to your psyche through the process. Most bridge players have a large ego, and when you are playing well it validates your naturally high opinion of self-worth. When you spew IMPs, its hard to understand it all. Some things I would like to take away from the process are:

1. You need to fight the temptation to win by 200. When I doubled that part score, it was more a sense of, I'm going to punish these opponents early and let them know they can't win random part score swings and pick up 6 at a time. Sure, she might have been stepping out a little, but if she is +100 or 200 rates to be a pretty good board anyway, and -140 can't really be a terrible result.

2. You need to immediately shake off bad results and stay unemotional. The director changed the boards at halftime to give us a sequence (we had 1-8 and 17-24 the 1st half) and this seemed to rattle my superstitious partner.

3. You cannot lay down either. If your style is aggressive, stay aggressive.

In the semi-finals, we played the winner of the event, who wasn't as good as the team they played in the final (2nd place was Alex Kolesnik, Marshall Miles, etc..). Some of the decisions that I posted last night were from that semi-final match that we lost by 20, so I think we could have easily won that and played in the final.
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#2 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 12:35

I would hate to drive 4-5 hours and find that I had a 1/3 chance to advance to the second day when others had a 1/2 chance. Surely some sort of Swiss or all-play-all qualifier would have been fairer. If I were you I should lobby for the CofC to be changed for next year.

It is also strange for an event to have longer matches in the qualifier than in the semi-final and final.

I don't quite understand about the board sequence. You would have played all the boards each half, right?
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#3 User is offline   kfay 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 12:37

Good stuff
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 12:51

In our district, we don't try to complete it in one weekend. We use the weekend to select the finalists in Superflight, Flight A, and Flight B, and each pair of finalists then schedules the finalists at a later date (played either at a club or at a local tournament).

In Superflight, day 1 was a full round robin to reduce to 4 teams (I think we had 9 or 10 teams entered). I think they then played a 48 or 56 board semi-final on day 2.

In Flight A and B, I think there were 12 entrants this year. We played a Swiss on day 1 to select 8 quarterfinalists in each flight. The 1st and 2nd place teams were then allowed to select their QF opponents from the bottom 4, and the 3rd and 4th teams were randomly matched with the remaining 2. We then had 28 board QF and SF rounds on day 2.

Flight C just runs a one-day Swiss, the winning team is the district rep -- there's no KO phase.

#5 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 14:00

View PostVampyr, on 2012-April-16, 12:35, said:

It is also strange for an event to have longer matches in the qualifier than in the semi-final and final.

Yes this is the bizarre part. We played a 64 board match in the round of 8 (essentially) and then a 32 board semi - and what would have been a 32 board final.

Quote

I don't quite understand about the board sequence. You would have played all the boards each half, right?


One of the directors is local and not very qualified. Fortunately this director didn't have to make any rulings, but was involved in setting up the game. She placed non-sequenced boards on both tables, which created more confusion than was necessary, although Truscott cards would have helped.
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#6 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 14:09

View Postbarmar, on 2012-April-16, 12:51, said:

In our district, we don't try to complete it in one weekend. We use the weekend to select the finalists in Superflight, Flight A, and Flight B, and each pair of finalists then schedules the finalists at a later date (played either at a club or at a local tournament).


I think this is a great idea. The final can be conducted a later time. If its two teams from the same area, arranging a mutually acceptable time is easy, and if the teams are from different areas, online play makes a lot of sense.
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#7 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 14:35

"Truscott cards"?
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#8 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 14:39

View Postblackshoe, on 2012-April-16, 14:35, said:

"Truscott cards"?


Yeah, the little doo-dads you put into the top board before they get moved that has the name of the players at the other table.

Prevents a mistake from a caddy who might move a set of boards to the wrong table. It also makes sure that payers aren't sitting the same direction.
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#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 16:36

Interesting idea. Never seen it (or them). B-)
--------------------
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
Factor in Alzheimers, and I can not recall a bad result from aggessive action in this situation. -- Aguahombre
When I look through the hand records after a club evening, the boards I didn't play are always the ones where I would have done great. -- Cherdano
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#10 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 18:27

Oh, the boards were dealt by hand.

I suppose the distances involved preclude starting the first stages of the event with privately-played matches?
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#11 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 20:58

I seem to recall the SuperFlight Final being 64 boards. The full GNT CoC for District 25 are linked here:

http://www.nebridge.org/pages/15/

The Flight A final is 28 boards. There is a nice writeup on this year's final at the District 25 website:

http://www.nebridge.org/pages/73/

Tim

View Postbarmar, on 2012-April-16, 12:51, said:

In our district, we don't try to complete it in one weekend. We use the weekend to select the finalists in Superflight, Flight A, and Flight B, and each pair of finalists then schedules the finalists at a later date (played either at a club or at a local tournament).

In Superflight, day 1 was a full round robin to reduce to 4 teams (I think we had 9 or 10 teams entered). I think they then played a 48 or 56 board semi-final on day 2.

In Flight A and B, I think there were 12 entrants this year. We played a Swiss on day 1 to select 8 quarterfinalists in each flight. The 1st and 2nd place teams were then allowed to select their QF opponents from the bottom 4, and the 3rd and 4th teams were randomly matched with the remaining 2. We then had 28 board QF and SF rounds on day 2.

Flight C just runs a one-day Swiss, the winning team is the district rep -- there's no KO phase.

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#12 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2012-April-16, 21:26

View PostVampyr, on 2012-April-16, 18:27, said:

Oh, the boards were dealt by hand.

I suppose the distances involved preclude starting the first stages of the event with privately-played matches?



the distance is really quite small via driving inthis case.

in usa we dont have home private games in acbl.

in this event gnt...first round matches are very very local.

in most big population states the other matches are in same county or next county.

in small population states there can be a long drive. It may happen but very rare. at some point you get a train or fly.

in any event I would think in the UK a 5 hour drive is pretty rare. i WOULD THINK at some point you give up and take the train or fly in UK.

I know I would never drive 5 hours to anywhere.
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#13 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-April-17, 04:25

View PostPhil, on 2012-April-16, 14:39, said:

Prevents a mistake from a caddy who might move a set of boards to the wrong table.

For us Europeans it is of course not at all obvious how a set of boards could be move to a wrong table, after all if they've already played those boards they'll just pass them right on to the next table. ;)
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#14 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 07:30

View PostPhil, on 2012-April-16, 11:36, said:

1. One day swiss Round Robin (9 matches of 7 boards) with four qualifiers to play a 32 board semi and a 32 board final.


FYP
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#15 User is offline   CSGibson 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 09:51

District 20 has the setup with the 1 day round robin and 64 board final between the top 2. We might move to a 2 weekend set up with a 2 day round robin to get down to 4 teams, and two 64 board knockouts the next weekend to win. Because our region is so geographically large (Hawaii, N California, Oregon, S Washington, Boise, and Guam), we are trying an online setup for the round robin matches on Saturday, and potentially the final on Sunday this year, and, depending on how that goes, may expand that to flight A B & C as well.

Our finals are the weekend of May 12. I'll probably bounce online and post some hands win or lose, but it may be that you can kibitz the round robin since its being hosted by BBO; I'm not sure on that last part.
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#16 User is offline   Coelacanth 

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Posted 2012-April-20, 11:51

View PostPhil, on 2012-April-16, 11:36, said:

1. One day swiss Round Robin (9 matches of 7 boards) with four qualifiers to play a 32 board semi and a 32 board final.



View PostFluffy, on 2012-April-20, 07:30, said:

FYP

Thank you. This is one of my pet peeves. Our District's GNT CoC refer to a "round robin Swiss" and "Swiss Team Qualifer [with a] BAM-style movement". Drives me absolutely nuts.
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#17 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2012-April-21, 22:54

View PostCSGibson, on 2012-April-20, 09:51, said:

Because our region is so geographically large (Hawaii, N California, Oregon, S Washington, Boise, and Guam),


Wow. That is sick!
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#18 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-April-22, 12:17

A large reason you see this first half/second half thing in the vandy/spingold is that weak clients always play the first half. This can create an imbalance, even if the teams are equally matched, especially if the clients play at the same table against each other which they will often prefer to do. Whichever side the cards run, your team can be at a huge advantage/disadvantage.
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#19 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2012-April-22, 12:22

Also, doubling partscores when up a ton is clearly dumb unless you think your side might have a game, but doing things like making normal aggressive overcalls, or bidding slams when you think they rate to be good, or whatever, should all still happen as it is likely that the opponents are doing the same things. You can lose a lot of imps by not overcalling as well. Recently ish's team was down 70 and picked up 69 in the final 16 boards of their trials. One of the opposing pairs was clearly trying to be risk averse to the point of not making normal overcalls in order to not go for numbers, and they kept losing game swings for doing so. Taking bridge actions that you view as correct is almost always correct, except in areas that have a very small upside most of the time, and a huge downside some of the time, such as doubling a partscore, you would want to be a little more cautious. Of course, I would still say that it was just a bad bridge decision overall to be making a limit raise adn then ripping a partscore with AQT of clubs as part of your values, and that is why your team suffered.
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#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2012-April-22, 14:26

View PostCSGibson, on 2012-April-20, 09:51, said:

Because our region is so geographically large (Hawaii, N California, Oregon, S Washington, Boise, and Guam)

View PostVampyr, on 2012-April-21, 22:54, said:

Wow. That is sick!

Except for the inclusion of the Pacific islands (they're natually going to screw whatever district they're in), it's not nearly as sick as District 18, which stretches from Utah up to the Arctic Circle. Its contiguous area looks to be 3-4X District 20. But its states and provinces are among the lowest population density in both countries.

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