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Tempo management

#1 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-February-21, 16:55

This discussion heartened me not so much about tablets vs cards (slightly disappointed by those who insist on Chromebooks as if that was the problem, or bidding with tablets but playing with cards as if preparing boards was not a problem) but to learn that USBF at least is thinking seriously about tempo management.
I think this is a core issue for the future of the game and that WBF cannot wait until 2027 to experiment and regulate the possibilities technically available.
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#2 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2023-February-22, 02:14

I'm still stuck on inappropriate(?) attempts at humour

Is tablet testing anything like pill testing and anything we need to concern ourselves with?

That thread makes me think of Australians who apparently will bet on anything, but some people apparently will argue about anything

But I am despairing at that thread. I will try and visit a Bridge Club soon and see if people are still interested in Bridge

It used to be a card game but every domain in the world appears to have been taken over by the same people

Anyone like to join me for a few hours fun social sitting round a table with a couple of packs of cards

And maybe talk about thinks more exciting than Chromebook interfaces to a fun card game

It has to be said that the inappropriate humour about the Ten Commandments was the only thing worth reading

For tempo management could they not just fit everyone with robotic straightjackets

But as mentioned the game has changed and if I make it out of any club I visit I will report back

The way Bridge (and the world) is being taken by some is that you don't even need to show up. Bridge systems set in stone. Just delegate to a robot
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#3 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2023-February-22, 06:07

Iím with thepossum in general, but I also know that these developments canít be stopped, even if the majority of the players want that. Iím afraid (?) that the future of the game, certainly the serieus competitions, is in the digital domain. That might also be true of younger players. But I also know that the majority of the social players, whether members of the national bridge unions or not, still want to sit with four at a table and have cards in their hands. Where thereís an advantage, as with bidding boxes, electronic scoring devices, duplicating machines, websites were the results are published and what have you, they will use these, but the advantages of digital bridge, no LOOTís, no revokes and the lot, are quite unimportant to them.
May I remind you that even the top level players were happy when they could play f-t-f bridge again and could hold real playing cards in their hands.
But what is the reason behind the OP for posting it in this forum?
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#4 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-February-22, 07:07

@thepossum: but electronic play in general and tempo management in particular is the opposite of a strait jacket, it's all about letting you behave as humanly as you want (and will), including taking time to think when needed, pulling faces, cursing and whatever... without your partner knowing.
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#5 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-February-22, 07:23

View Postsanst, on 2023-February-22, 06:07, said:

Iím with thepossum in general, but I also know that these developments canít be stopped, even if the majority of the players want that. Iím afraid (?) that the future of the game, certainly the serieus competitions, is in the digital domain. That might also be true of younger players. But I also know that the majority of the social players, whether members of the national bridge unions or not, still want to sit with four at a table and have cards in their hands. Where thereís an advantage, as with bidding boxes, electronic scoring devices, duplicating machines, websites were the results are published and what have you, they will use these, but the advantages of digital bridge, no LOOTís, no revokes and the lot, are quite unimportant to them.
May I remind you that even the top level players were happy when they could play f-t-f bridge again and could hold real playing cards in their hands.
But what is the reason behind the OP for posting it in this forum?

I posted it here because it is a place of discussion about Laws, so with a narrower focus and a different audience compared to the BW discussion which is inevitably more from top players point of view. Just interested to know what you all think.

As for the current and potential furure advantages of digital bridge, you (accidentally?) failed to mention by far the most important one, reduced UI. Which is important to everyone, although whether everyone really wants UI reduced is not to be taken for granted I agree: in my experience there is resistance at all levels, from club players to top players and even RAs.
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#6 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-February-22, 15:39

In Australia there are frequent "surveys" that push-poll the idea of getting people back to ftf so they can enjoy "the feel of the cards".
The statements that "the majority of players want to feel the cards and get back to ftf" may be true of the aging generation that currently plays.

But people under the age of 60 weren't brought up with playing cards.
Their parents stuck tablets in their hands and ignored them while absorbed with their mobile phones.

The previous generation of Bridge players learned to play around the kitchen table with the family.
Sharing the house with grandparents who taught them the game.
Those days are disappearing, melting with the snows of yesteryear.

University students don't have common rooms where they play cards anymore.
A person retiring in 2025 at 65 was born in 1960 and went to university in the '80's. The start of the digital age.

Another problem is that Bridge is not a world game. Every RA has different rules.
In a world where people grow up playing digital games where the rules are the same all over the world this is tedious.
No popular game (Chess, Go, Tennis Football...) has a system where players are constrained by a collection of unnecessary rules unrelated to the structure of the game.
The rules themselves are so arcane and convoluted that not only are the players themselves confused but even the Directors can't figure them out.

The ACBL in particular appears (from the outside) intent on crushing freedom of expression and imposing a meaningless Bridge hegemony.
People that don't agree with ACBL edicts (insert your RA here) are suffering from a "false consciousness" and are in need of "re-education".
The irony of the AmericanCBL organisation adopting a Marxist ideology to the management of a game purportedly devised by a robber baron on a boat is startling.
Competition Bridge is designed to block entry, not encourage it.

A third problem is that the encrustation of a complex rules system leads to the requirement of expensive infrastructure pushing the game further away from anyone attempting to learn.

Small wonder that Bridge is increasingly confined to very small groups of very old people.
The salient feature of thepossum's post is his inability to find a friendly game of cards.
Unsurprising given that the population of players is dwindling rapidly.

If Bridge RA's are serious about encouraging ftf, and acquiring younger players, they should stop sitting around telling each other how wonderful they are, look at how leisure is constructed in the modern world, and make changes.

Instead they send pointless "polls" to each other and are baffled by the lack of interest.
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#7 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2023-February-23, 03:20

View Postpescetom, on 2023-February-22, 07:07, said:

@thepossum: but electronic play in general and tempo management in particular is the opposite of a strait jacket, it's all about letting you behave as humanly as you want (and will), including taking time to think when needed, pulling faces, cursing and whatever... without your partner knowing.

I hope you realize that thereís a rift between the serious, competitive players on one side, the group to which you obviously belong, and the social players on the other, who hardly care about the rules and donít bother about UI - quite often they donít even know what that is. In that last group are the majority of the Dutch players and itís probably the same in many other countries, too.
Bridge is in a deep crisis and nobody has a solution. According to a former manager of the Dutch bridge union the game is dying and canít be reanimated. Others are less pessimistic, like that union, that has plans that would result in a million players by 2030 - at this moment there are just over 75.000 members. Digital bridge might and will probably be part of the solution, if thereís one, but it will certainly not be a miracle cure.
Deep down the problem facing bridge is the image it has: some game for the typical middle class elderly who are not dead, yet. That view has probably also led to the ruling by the European Court of Justice that bridge is not a sport, which doesnít help to attract people that want some active pastime.
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-February-23, 11:51

View Postsanst, on 2023-February-23, 03:20, said:

Bridge is in a deep crisis and nobody has a solution. According to a former manager of the Dutch bridge union the game is dying and can’t be reanimated. Others are less pessimistic, like that union, that has plans that would result in a million players by 2030 - at this moment there are just over 75.000 members. Digital bridge might and will probably be part of the solution, if there’s one, but it will certainly not be a miracle cure.

Digital play has been a miracle cure for chess... but that is an individual game and has rules that players understand.
Good luck to the Dutch bridge union reaching a million players, they are already a freak success having 0.42% of the population (75K of 17.5m) as compared to the 0.10% of EBU (54K of 56.5m) or the dismal 0.02% of FIGB (12.5K of 59m) at end of 2022.
And what is truly notable is that decline since the onset of covid has been devastating (-30%) and has continued since the (forced in some countries) return to F2F play in clubs (Italy was at 12495 at end 2022, but only 10524 on 6 February 2023, although a few will renew later).

View Postsanst, on 2023-February-23, 03:20, said:

Deep down the problem facing bridge is the image it has: some game for the typical middle class elderly who are not dead, yet. That view has probably also led to the ruling by the European Court of Justice that bridge is not a sport, which doesn’t help to attract people that want some active pastime.

I'm not convinced that is the biggest problem bridge faces: the image of chess was equally unpromising, a stoic Russian frowning at a psychotic American for days on end (and winning the title by intentionally drawing 7 games in a row), far from attractive to the average young person.
The ECJ ruling was a disgrace (confusing sport with physical exercise, despite the recognition of Mind Sports by the IOC) and will undoubtedly be reversed in future, but it hasn't crippled chess in any case.

View Postsanst, on 2023-February-23, 03:20, said:

I hope you realize that there’s a rift between the serious, competitive players on one side, the group to which you obviously belong, and the social players on the other, who hardly care about the rules and don’t bother about UI - quite often they don’t even know what that is. In that last group are the majority of the Dutch players and it’s probably the same in many other countries, too.

Yes and no. I see a rift between those who appreciate the advantages and virtues of digital bridge and those who only enjoy F2F, although there is a middle ground too (quite a few of us enjoy both, in different ways). That rift is very bad news because those who only appreciate F2F form a slight majority overall and a huge majority among those making decisions in the RAs - there is a strong conservative reaction underway both in US and mainland Europe (not UK). This is extremely dangerous because we have strong but wrong direction, as the plummetting membership numbers above indicate. Many younger (less old) players (and TDs) who were content to play online are frustrated by current attempts to wind the clock back to 2018, some have already left the RAs and more will do so. While the (even) older players are leaving due to death and infirmity as well as difficulty of reaching a practicable number of tables F2F.

As to the majority that hardly care about the rules or UI: I play and direct and have eyes and ears, like you. But I think you are missing my point, that *this* is the core problem for the future of bridge, not the image of an outdated middle class pastime, the difficulty of the game, or even the need to sit around with strangers for hours in a church hall doing only one thing. If the players don't understand the rules, or understand them but prefer to break them, then it's not a good game.

Continuing to play the same old hymn on the deck of Titanic will lead us nowhere, whether you like the tune or not. To survive, bridge needs to become simpler, clearer, faster, ubiquitous and more accessible to the current generations. It also needs to come to more effective terms with the paradoxes inherent in its laws, in particular the need to exchange information only through calls and plays (so tempo management, virtual screens and other measures to reduce UI) and the need to disclose agreements while retaining some right to deviate from them (so structured documentation and automated explanation, automatic monitoring of adherence and psyches). All of which has to be reconciled with the capabilities of robot partners and pickup human partnerships. The game might even have to give up some of these fine but elusive ideals and become duller but less arbitrary.
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#9 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2023-February-24, 05:11

View Postpescetom, on 2023-February-21, 16:55, said:

This discussion heartened me not so much about tablets vs cards (slightly disappointed by those who insist on Chromebooks as if that was the problem, or bidding with tablets but playing with cards as if preparing boards was not a problem) but to learn that USBF at least is thinking seriously about tempo management.
I think this is a core issue for the future of the game and that WBF cannot wait until 2027 to experiment and regulate the possibilities technically available.

Very commendable.

Serendipitously last week I returned to considering the terms of electronic tempo management and began outlining the components for an algorithm- including the definition of an individual's normal tempo, its dynamic determination, its effect and interaction on the players, control points, algorithm design, user interface, and the consequences. So far there are nuances that are best considered altogether. I'll return when the outline is reasonably complete and then after a period of matriculation to smooth the rough spots.
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#10 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-February-25, 16:50

View Postaxman, on 2023-February-24, 05:11, said:

Serendipitously last week I returned to considering the terms of electronic tempo management and began outlining the components for an algorithm- including the definition of an individual's normal tempo, its dynamic determination, its effect and interaction on the players, control points, algorithm design, user interface, and the consequences. So far there are nuances that are best considered altogether. I'll return when the outline is reasonably complete and then after a period of matriculation to smooth the rough spots.


please let us know your conclusions. FWIW I suspect it would be better for the WBF to allow multiple profiles of tempo management for levels and models of play (a 12 hands tournament for intermediates on BBO is not the same as Bermuda Bowl with tablets), but even a "one size fits all" proposal (as outlined in the linked thread) is certainly useful to discussion.
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#11 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2023-February-27, 07:22

View Postaxman, on 2023-February-24, 05:11, said:

Very commendable.

Serendipitously last week I returned to considering the terms of electronic tempo management and began outlining the components for an algorithm- including the definition of an individual's normal tempo, its dynamic determination, its effect and interaction on the players, control points, algorithm design, user interface, and the consequences. So far there are nuances that are best considered altogether. I'll return when the outline is reasonably complete and then after a period of matriculation to smooth the rough spots.


You might find the following of interest:

https://www.dropbox....ge+Analysis.pdf

This is more along the lines of an Exploratory Data Analysis of timing information, but (arguably) this sort of information should probably be used to parameterize any implementation. Lovebridge has really good data available, both from the pairs tournaments that they have been running win Hungary as well as a few years worth of information from the USBF Team trials
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