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JUNE_08_EB_p03 Editorial 12/5/08 11:16 am Page 3

English Bridge ‘I was adored once too’

Editor: Elena Jeronimidis

23 Erleigh Road, Reading RG1 5LR

Tel: 0118 926 2602

(Twelfth Night, Act II)

Editorial Board

Sally Bugden (Chairman),

Elena Jeronimidis

Jeremy Dhondy and Elena Jeronimidis

Advertisement Manager

Harpreet Gill at Blue2

Charlton House, Old Estate Yard,

East Hendred, Oxford, OX12 8LL THE reason for the quotation in the title MPs, and the MP Ranking System, are a

Tel: 01235 833060 fax: 01235 862589 will, I hope, become apparent later, though record of achievement, that is to say they

you may wonder about its relevance when I mark a player’s individual progress. I still

Printing: St Ives (Andover) plc

say that this column has been prompted remember the excitement, when I began to

English Bridge Union by a post-bag rich in comments about the play duplicate, of vying with friends for the

merits of Master Points. shortest time it took each of us to attain a

General Manager

Barry Capal Master Points (MPs for short) are one of new rank. Of course, there are players who


the most contentious aspects of duplicate accumulate MPs merely by doggedly play-

Broadfields, Bicester Road, Aylesbury HP19 8AZ bridge in this country. They are bonus ing week in, week out – and also there

Tel: 01296 317200 points that the EBU awards players who end comes a time when players peak, or gain

Fax: 01296 317220

in the top third of the field in any one fewer MPs because, for whatever reason,

Web site: duplicate session, and they come in three they play less. As players never lose their

Bridge play online: colours: Black, or local, Points (BPs); Green, rank, irrespective of whether it is truly re-

Direct EBU helplines and e-mail addresses

(STD code 01296 for all telephone numbers, bar the one or national, Points (GPs), worth 100 BPs presentative of their standard, those whose

asterisked, and suffix for all e-mail addresses) each; and lastly Gold Points, which lose current ability no longer matches their MP

Telephone E-mail value with time and, being earned by those Ranking have the comfort of looking back

Accounts 317210 account who gain blocks of at least 5 GPs in any one on their record and thinking: ‘I was good

Bridge for All 317217 bfa

Bridge Shop 397851 event, only matter to a tiny elite (5% of the once too’ – to paraphrase Sir Andrew in

Club liaison 07814 861307* krys EBU membership) and are not required in Twelfth Night. And what’s wrong with that?

Communications 317215 Matt order to climb the MP ladder. To progress Nothing much, in my opinion, but it has

Competition entry 317203 comps

Education 317218 ebuta along this, you need a combination of BPs to be recognised that while MP Rankings

Laws & Ethics 317218 lecsec and GPs; ranks are determined by a scale provide a record of achievement, they do

Licensing of events 317205 license

Master Points 317202 points devised by the EBU and start at 100 BPs not provide a record of current form. To

Membership 317201 ebu (Local Master). At the top end of the ladder resolve this problem, the EBU is proposing

Technical services 317207 technic

Tournament orgn. 317204 tourns

are Grand Master (120,000 MPs including to launch a National Ratings Scheme (NRS)

at least 600 GPs) and Premier Grand Master, which will run alongside the MP System

a rank very few attain (1,500 GPs). and, like MPs, will be a benefit of member-

INSIDE GUIDE The value of MPs, obviously, lies in the

eye of the recipient. Who is it that does not

ship if Pay to Play is approved on June 4th.

Quoting from the final Strategy Proposal

Duplicate pairs tips 5 care for them? First and foremost those who document, ‘the basic principle is that the

Camrose 2nd weekend 7 lack competitive spirit and are thus perhaps result of every board of every rated session

BB@B revisited 9 less likely to gain them. However, MPs is reviewed taking into consideration the

Fine-tuning 11 are also considered irrelevant by many National Rating of one’s partner and the

Director, please! 13

successful players, in so far as MP Ranks National Ratings of the opponents. In this

Bidding quiz 14-15

are not perceived to be a fair measure of a way an individual’s contribution – good or

Lady Milne 17

EBU problems 19 player’s ability. Now, while it is evident bad – to the overall result at a duplicate

Letters to the editor 21, 23 that even average practitioners can easily session can be assessed and weighted, the

EBU news and diary 26-27 move up the MP ladder if they have the older results carrying a progressively redu-

Scoring Pull-out (page 3) money and the stamina to play in lots of cing influence.’

Bridge Extras 29 events, especially the one-day green- While waiting for the vote on 4th June,

Schapiro Spring Foursomes 31 pointed ones, what the system’s detractors think of all the applications the NRS may

Standard English 32 fail to recognise is that one cannot but have: handicapped events at all levels, for

EBU Easter Congress 33 improve if one plays a lot and thus gains starters, may well revitalise the interest in,

Competitive Bidding 34-35

experience. and enjoyment of, tournament and club

Prize play quiz 35

So, what is the point of Master Points? play. See you at the table soon . . . ?

On-line bridge 35

The debate 36-37

Good technique 38-39


From the floor 34

Prize play quiz solution 31 Instruction EBU News Features On-line Bridge Reports

County news 42-50

Front-cover design: Neil Aiston June 2008 English Bridge 3


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