though NGS was right to assign a higher
grade to one of the pair, but in a minority
of cases the difference between the pair’s
grades seemed more likely to be due to the
effects of chance on the system. Although
this seems to adversely affect less than 1%
Top Table David Gold
of EBU players, that’s still a few hundred
people. This is a limitation of any bridge DAVID GOLD was born in Perth,
grading scheme that relies on partnership Scotland, in 1979, and started his career
results to determine individual grades.
Some of the pairs that nearly always play
in the sports world as a top junior chess
together feel that NGS should give them player. He became a full-time bridge
almost equal grades. Currently in NGS professional at the age of 19 and it did
there is no formula which is equivalent to
‘If a stronger and weaker player partner
not take him long to make his mark on
each other regularly, and almost exclu- the bridge scene. His international
sively, it should be assumed gradually that successes include a bronze medal in the
they are of equal strength’. Perhaps there
Open Pairs at the 2005 European Open
Championships, a silver medal in the
Plans for the Future Bridge Open Teams at the 1st World
There are a number of enhancements
Mind Sports Games in 2008, and
being planned. We’d like to provide more recently qualifying for next year’s particularly enjoyed was Play These
Hands with Me by Terence Reese.
details on the EBU website about your Bermuda Bowl (World Open Teams).
grade and about the graded events you’ve What are your hobbies?
played in, and to give more visibility to When did you start playing bridge? Cooking, dining, watching stand-up
partnership grades. When I was 16. I learnt at Reading School comedy, playing a little chess, and, cur-
Many tournament players would like us in the common room, and played with rently, enjoying the gym.
to include team events. We’ve got a friends in the free time. I once turned up What do you like and what would you
scheme for this which will work for at Reading Bridge Club with my school change in bridge?
multiple team-of-four events and Swiss partner, and was told to come back on the Bridge is great because it enables people
Teams events. It involves knowing which beginners night; I swear one day I will. from all over the world and all walks of
pairs were sitting North-South and East-
How often / where do you play? life to play a great game against each
West for each board, so there are changes
I play bridge most days, my favourite other. What makes bridge so great, the
needed to various bits of the software,
clubs are the Ace of Clubs and the Young greatest game in fact, is that unlike other
both in scoring systems and in the central
Chelsea, both in London. contenders (chess, go, poker) it is not
EBU systems. That all takes time to agree,
one-dimensional: it has many different
change, and test, but at least we’ve started Do you always play with the same
facets and involves so many skills. It is
on this. partners / team-mates? What do you
also incredibly difficult to master – if one
It would also be good to enable clubs to expect of them?
day I do, I will be happy, but I doubt it.
download their players’ grades in a way I play bridge with a variety of partners.
What I would like to change about
that would let them be used easily for Generally I play with Tony Forrester, my
bridge in England is to introduce new
handicap-based awards. Although the regular partner, or I play with clients.
events with new formats to liven up the
principle is straightforward, there are a When I play with Tony I hope for a high
tournament scene, perhaps at least one
few snags, as grades – and therefore standard of play and for us to see the
BAM event – that’s ‘Board-a-Match’ in
potentially handicaps – change on a daily game the same way – which we usually
the US, where such events are quite pop-
basis, and few venues are online to get do. When I play with clients, what I expect
ular, or ‘Point-a-Board’ over here, where
grades while the event is in progress. depends on their standard. Luckily most
they are almost unknown. At interna-
Various minor changes to the system of my clients are good players and I
tional level we need to realise how far
have been proposed and are under expect a lot from them, but most impor-
behind the best nations we are falling and
consideration by the team. There is also tant to me is that we both enjoy it.
work on our bridge to catch up.
an ongoing task to monitor the statistics
behind the scheme, to check that all is What do you do for a living?
What’s the bridge success (so far)
well, to assess the likely impact of any I play bridge for a living, mostly by part-
closest to your heart?
changes, and to verify some of the values nering people or playing on profession-
My biggest success and disappointment
quoted above. Only some of this is al teams, but I also do some coaching
in one go is winning a silver medal in
currently automated, and new sugges - and occasional teaching.
the world championships in Beijing
tions on what to measure keep being What are your favourite bridge books? 2008, by far my greatest achievement
made. I mostly like to read World Champion- but we didn’t win the gold and another
Any qualified statistician with time to ship books and bulletins but a book I opportunity could be a long way off.
volunteer is welcome to apply. r
www.ebu.co.uk October 2012 English Bridge 19