Stats 9YA4 by Richard Pavlicek
Being dismayed by the state of major events, I will no longer be updating the partnership stats. The idea seemed good, and the rankings generally ran true to expectation, but top-level bridge has become an oxymoron. Cases in point:
- WBF ruining the 2014 World Championship (Rosenblum). The event was laughable, with its greatly reduced match lengths, biased segment lengths, and the difficult retrieval of vugraph results, most of which were riddled with errors.
- ACBL ruining the Vanderbilt and Spingold. Two classics, since 1928 and 1938 respectively, with ideal 64-board matches and 16-board segments, are now history. In its infinite unwisdom the ACBL has cut them to 60 boards, creating uneven vulnerability conditions and biased 15-board segments. (Yes, this is one for Ripley.) For what? Give me a break. Sigh; so we now have a Vanderbil and Spingol imagine if chess followed suit.
- USBF catering to wealth, not bridge expertise, with exhorbitant entry fees. In the old days the Trials were complimentary (including travel expenses) for the year's major-event winners; now it's all about money. Even the format is pathetic, with matches reduced to 120 boards in biased 15-board segments. Worse yet, they play Boards 1-60 twice, which means four more boards with dealer nonvul than with dealer vul. Hard to believe this can happen.
- Cheating scandals. What should I do with the past partnership stats? Eliminate all the cheating pairs? Mark their results with an asterisk as tainted? And what about the results of innocent pairs? Do I remove all their results against the cheaters? And with these cases being dragged out for due process, when do I make the changes? Whatever, its not something I want to get involved in.
- Inept vugraph records. The quality of vugraph records has decreased steadily, mostly a case of quantity over quality: More recorded matches require more operators, many of whom are unfit for the task. I also fault BBO for their inability to record a contract without an auction. For example, if the contract at the comparison table is 4 and the auction is unknown, the operator has to make up an auction (usually 4 P P P) to get the contract. You wouldnt believe the number of bogus auctions Ive had to remove over the years.
- General public apathy. Over five years ago I put up a page Calling Sherlock Holmes trying to find player names that had been omitted from some vugraph records. Certainly, many bridge players would know, but in five years I received not a single reply; thats right, zero. I wasted my time, thinking people might care.
What ever happened to the good old days? Somebody give me a call when real bridge returns.
© 2016 Richard Pavlicek