jl8e: (Default)
More bridge esoterica.

I still need to clean up some of the formatting, but all the major points of the system are now here.

Hand Evaluation )

Notrump sequences )
Two-Level Openers )

Major Openings )

One Diamond )

One Club )
jl8e: (Default)
Posting just the first chapter of the Protest manual for now, partly to see how much work I need to do to convert.

(Why start with Protest, when I think Mamic is a better system? I'm not sure that Mamic ever got a proper manual of its own, rather than existing as a set of patches onto Protest.)

Danger! Bridge esoterica ahead! )
jl8e: (Default)
This is bridge stuff. If you don't play, you may not understand some of this.

My father first started designing systems in 1985, when the official Goren system changed from being the last bastion of four-card majors in the US to the five-card major systems that were ubiquitous in tournament bridge here.

Being a transplanted Acol player, he decided this betrayal could not stand, so he set about designing a system where opening five-card majors was forbidden.

The system went through several versions over time. In 1990, he found somebody to play it. I'd been playing less than a year. This either means that I was still open to radical ideas, or that I didn't know any better. Or both. (A previous regular partner of his had sensibly given the system manual to her kids to scribble on.)

We played the system for a couple of years. Of all his systems, this is the one that broke people's brains the most. We occasionally had club games refuse to let us play it.

With the lessons learned, he designed a less iconoclastic system that shared a lot of the same design principles. This was MaMiC (Major-Minor Canapé. No, he didn't like the name either. In a weird coincidence, it shares some distinctive features with the system Midmac, which somebody in Australia developed at about the same time.)

Once he'd devised Mamic, he persuaded me to try it, and we dropped Protest for it. Protest is not, IMO, a bad system, but its design constraints weaken it. The 1NT structure could stand a rebuild, but the rest probably holds together. (Well, all the bits that were played. The 2C structure in the manual never was, and not all of the competitive gadgetry was, either, but those are peripheral to the system itself.)

Except for a six-month period (more on that later), we kept playing Mamic until his death in 1999. I think that it's a good system overall, though the 2/1 structure is a bit iffy.

Once he'd started tinkering with systems, he didn't stop. He stole some concepts from the Swedish Scanian system, and built a system of his own, which he naturally called Mock Swedish. Mock Swedish was a weird system, but it was differently weird. Protest and Mamic were canapé systems. (Opening shorter suits before longer ones.) Mock Swedish changed from a 4-card major system to a 5-card one based on opener's strength. (If opener showed extra values, he also showed a fifth card in the major by implication.)

I never really liked Mock Swedish. We played it for the six months between when the ACBL's conventions committee banned strong artificial 1NT openers, and when the ACBL board overruled them, probably because George Rosencrantz is well-connected with the ACBL board, and his pet system (Romex) uses a strong forcing 1NT.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the system; it just didn't appeal to me at the time. This may be because I liked Mamic a lot, and was smarting at the injustice of it being banned arbitrarily. I intend to post Mock Swedish, assuming I have or can obtain the files.
jl8e: (Default)
Pulled a 42% and 50+% yesterday, for nothing in particular, It would've helped if I'd played well.

Today was the first qualifying of the National Fast Pairs. Fast pairs is just like normal pairs, except that you have five minutes per board, instead of the usual 7-8. Also they enforce slow play penalties,a rarity in normal events.

I love fast pairs - I play my normal game at my normal pace, and the session finishes in about 2:40.

I thought we'd put together a decent card both sessions, but barely broke 50% in either.

Still, we qualified.

Still no hands of interest.
jl8e: (Default)
No memorable hands yet.

Played in the qualifying sessions of the national open pairs today.

I seriously think that if my partner and I put together two solid sessions tomorrow, we have a realistic chance at winning this.

Now, it's still odds-against. Neither of us is that great a player. (He's probably more reliable, while I think I'm better when I'm "on".)

However, there's no field. Virtually everybody who is anybody is still in the Spingold. Many of the good nobodies are either in the Spingold or the mini-Spingolds.

What's left is probably no better than your average open regional event, and I've done well in those before.

We scored 56% in the afternoon, playing reasonably, and managed 50% at night, despite playing quite poorly.



Jul. 18th, 2006 10:40 am
jl8e: (Default)
The Spingold is a seven-day knockout teams event.

This year, there were 78 teams entered. To reduce the field to 64 for the second day, the top 24 seeds were given a bye, and the rest of the field play three-survivor four-way matches.

Well, almost all the field. The math requires one head-to-head match, so the #25 seed (the Chinese national team, containing the pair who just won the world pairs championship) played,,,


'Twas an enjoyable match, despite the brutal beatings involved. We had our chances to at least keep it close, but did not play particularly well. (Lost some in the first quarter, got buried in the second, clawed back a little in the third, then lost a bunch more in the fourth.)

Oh well. Pairs today, in what almost has to be the weakest nationally-rated event around, since everybody is still in the Spingold.
jl8e: (Default)
(Writing preemptively.)

I'm heading straight from Dexcon to the ACBL Summer Nationals. I will be playing in the Spingold, and then whatever national events are scheduled after I get knocked out. (I don't plan to, but I know my odds. The Spingold is one of the toughest bridge events in the world. I've yet to survive the first day, though I'm probably on a better team than I've had before.)

I may post some hands while I'm there.
jl8e: (Default)
I just got mail from the AARP.

The form letter starts "Our records show that you haven't yet registered for the benefits of AARP membership, even though you are fully eligible."

(Emphasis added. Go hop over to my LJ profile for a second.)

I have this urge to fill in the included form, just to look at people's faces when I try using my AARP membership card. (Not only am I not quite old enough, I look younger than I am.) However, it would require sending them money, and lying on the form, so it's not actually going to happen.

I'm assuming they just bought the American Contract Bridge League's membership list, and carpet-bombed it.
(This is not quite as silly an idea as it might sound. Something like 85% of the membership is over 55.)


jl8e: (Default)

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