February 2016 English Bridge 57
February 2016 English Bridge
MISSING MASTER POINTS
The EBU has changed the master
point system so that unless
players have played 70% of
boards no master points can be
awarded. I am a director on
bridge holidays. Suppose I have
14 tables on the first night. I only
want to play 18 boards because
many of the guests were up at
3am for flights. If I run a 14 table
Mitchell (two boards a round, 28
boards in play) I cannot give
master points because 18 out of
28 is less than 70%. But this
permutation allows players to
meet nine opponents on the first
night. The master point system
has been highly successful for 50
years. It motivates players, and
provides a lot of money for the
EBU. Are they are killing the
goose that lays the golden egg?
Andrew Kambites by email
There have always been regulations
limiting the issuing of master points
and this latest one came about to
allow Bridge Club Live and other
online providers to issue master
points in a way that would be fair.
When we first proposed this as the
75% rule, a small number of clubs
brought to our attention problems it
would cause, and so we modified it
to 70% to take account of them.
We have provided assistance to
directors about movements on our
website as well as answering
individual queries. Andrew has been
given a suggested movement to
comply with the regulation, fit his
requirements and provide a better
competition. No one should be
deprived of their master points.
WEAK JUMP OVERCALLS
Andrew Robson has many
followers (quite rightly so) but
he is handing a licence to
commit suicide to my partners
with his weak jump overcalls
advice (see December issue, p8).
On the last hand his suggested
auction is 1™-2´-3™-P-4™-all
pass. Really? Is that how the
auction goes? Not where I play.
1™-2´-3™-P (no chance!). East
bids 3´ every day of the week.
South bids 4™ (I'm not going to
let them steal the contract). West
is in a turmoil "I was not going to
bid again . . . I'm a bidding addict
. . . I can feel it coming . . . I can't
stop myself . . . that lovely big
black spade with 4 on the top
looks so handsome." He bids 4´.
North flourishes that red card
with the cross. DOUBLE!
Down 300 with the wrong side
Richard Cross by email
Dear Richard, thank you for your
very amusing riposte. On an
instructive note, though, there are
two styles of preempting.
There is the Sound style, where
you always have your bid and
partner can freely support with J-x
(although this East's hand is so
defensive eg ™Q-J-10 that I'd be
reluctant to do so here).
Then there's the Freewheeling
style of pressure bidding where you
cannot be relied upon to have full
values (or even half-values) for your
bid and the last thing you want is for
partner to support you with J-x.
Both styles are workable, but you
have to have a partnership
agreement. I prefer the second
approach: (a) you get to bid more
often; (b) you do not give a virtual
blueprint of your hand to the
opponents because your hand is so
wide-ranging; and (c) it's more fun!
Whichever style you agree to play
with your partner, though, you must
not bid again. To go on with 4´ in
the auction is a clear break of
discipline. Andrew Robson
TOO MANY SLAMS
In the December 2015 issue, a
very large proportion of the
sample deals are slams. In real
life, slams are only the icing on
the cake. In a normal session of,
say, 12 hands, there may be about
nine part scores and three games
bid. I suggest your sample deals
should reflect this accordingly.
Jim Seddon by email
AN END TO CHEATING
Surely the 'cheating video' proves
that physical cards are numbered
at top level bridge? To eliminate
cheating, all players will sit at
computer terminals and not
within 'coughing distance'.
Players would alert their own
bids and opponents' systems
would be available electronically
as on BBO. Play at all tables
would be available for viewing in
real time and stored for later.
Electronic clocks could keep a
running total of each
partnership's 'thinking time'.
Necessity is the mother of
invention, so perhaps the cheats
will make top level bridge a
better experience for players and
Ian Dalziel by email
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