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February 2016 English Bridge 57

February 2016 English Bridge


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.

Gordon Rainsford


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


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


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

Send your letters,

Lou Hobhouse, Raggett House, Bowdens, TA10 0DD, or e-mail

(please include your postal address)

The editor reserves the right to condense letters. Publication does not mean the

EBU agrees with the views expressed or that the comments are factually correct.




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