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Status: Bridge (2023 - September)
(Text as at 04/10/2023 21:59:02)
Rationale for this Project
- I showed some natural talent for bridge in my youth1, and I’ve wanted to see how far I can get with a bit of application (but – given the breadth my other interests – without fanaticism).
- However, this project has always needed to be kept rigorously in hand, something that has rarely been the case since I returned to the game.
- Basically, Bridge is fun and I do reasonably well, but not well enough2 to justify making it a major focus of my efforts.
- I’ve been back playing again since December 2007, with numerous intermissions3.
- I’ve now decided I’m much more suited to Bridge than Chess, and will take Bridge the more seriously.
- As of September 2021, two local Clubs which I used to attend regularly – Billericay Mayflower Bridge Club and Mountnessing Bridge Club – re-opened. This was after much misplaced worry in the latter case that there would be insufficient enthusiasm. That said – especially during the winter months – both have been somewhat on the ropes, and I’ve had to repeatedly prod the Mountnessing members in order to ensure a quorum, sometimes to good effect, sometimes not. Mayflower has been the healthier Club.
- Mountnessing had several ‘no quorum’ cancellations and a few sessions with the absolute minimum of 3 tables. At the end of July 2023 I decided to stop playing, and the Committee proposed that we wind up the Club, which was accepted at an EGM at the end of August. Liquidation is in progress. A great shame, but it had been ‘on the cards’ for years.
- In default of other enthusiastic volunteers I have taken on various roles on the Committees for both Mayflower and Mountnessing4. I’m now Webmaster and Secretary for both Mayflower and Mountnessing. I had also taken over running the scoring system at both Clubs and remain a signatory for Mayflower. I volunteered for the ECBA Committee and was voted in but recovered my senses a few days later and withdrew.
- Having said all this, I’m now intermitting again while I get my philosophical researches under control. Involvement with Mountnessing was obviously terminal in any case.
- See my Bridge Page5 for further information on my Bridge activities.
- I had settled down to playing with David Piper at Mayflower on a Tuesday and alternating between Robert Elliott and my long-standing – not to say long-suffering – partner David Tennet at Mountnessing on a Thursday (DT and I had reverted to the ‘Strong Diamond’ system, which we enjoy). I have occasionally play with Colin Scott or Graham Beeton when DT is unavailable. I’d also started to return to ECBA events.
- Statistics: by partner and club-category can be obtained by following these links – for the last quarter and to date.
- Results: Follow this link. Further information can be found from my Bridge Page6.
- Master Points:
- 37,5297, bagged to date, including 1,298 Blue Points and 107.39 Green Points.
- That makes me a National Master. My next milestone8 will be to achieve Premier National Master status (40,000 LPs, including 100 GPs) – so comfortably there as far as GPs are concerned, but still a long way to go for local points.
- EBU Grading:
- I bobbled around a bit this quarter, but ended up a mid-Q.
- See EBU: NGS for full details of the scheme, and previous Status Reports and my Summary of Progress to Date9 for my detailed meanderings over time.
- Summary of Progress to Date: I’ve hived off the history to a Summary of Progress to Date10 document, which is in need of a minor update. I’ll probably only update it once a year unless there’s an exciting development.
- Further Details: of time expenditure against task are given below, extracted from the relevant version of my Summary Task List11 (which is regularly updated between Quarterly Status Reports) and YTD here12..
Summary of Progress during July - September 2023
Plans for the Near Future:
- I spent 126.25 hours in 23Q3 on this Project, or related work (748.75 hours YTD, where for "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the (academic) year that commenced in October 2022). That's 74.7% of the planned effort (119.8% YTD). Overall, 19.3% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 28.9% YTD) - as against 25.5% planned (23.1% YTD).
- As can be seen, I was 25% down for the Quarter, but 20% over for the Year. As I stopped playing at the end of July, the quarterly time was inflated by administrative work winding up the Mountnessing Club.
- Significant Events in 23Q3:
- ECBA Handicap Pairs (Sunday 9th July 2023): with David Piper. Disaster – came bottom after the handicap, and not much better before.
- ECBA Club Pairs (Sunday 16th July 2023): with David Piper. For Mountnessing; with the Vedes as the second pair. Satisfactory. The team won, in a weak field.
- Further details follow:-
Bridge (Total Hours = 126.25)
- Bridge - Reading / Writing
- Bridge - Admin (Total Hours = 59.75)
- Bridge - Play (Total Hours = 36.5)
- Bridge - ECBA Club Pairs (David P) (4.25 hours)
- Bridge - ECBA Handicap Pairs (David P) (4.5 hours)
- Bridge - Mayflower (David P) (9.75 hours)
- Bridge - Mountnessing (David Tennet) (3.25 hours)
- Bridge - Mountnessing (Graham) (3.25 hours)
- Bridge - Mountnessing (Robert) (6.5 hours)
- Holiday - Estimation Whist (5 hours)
→ See "Admin - Bridge - Playing" (36.5 hours)
- Bridge - Study (Total Hours = 24)
- Bridge - Laws and Alerting - Bernie (0.75 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews - David P (7.5 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews - Graham (0.5 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews - Robert (2.5 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews (David Tennet) (1 hour)
- Bridge - Systems Review - David P (5.5 hours)
- Bridge - Systems Review - Graham (2.25 hours)
- Bridge - Systems Review - Robert (2.5 hours)
- Bridge - Systems Review (Strong Diamond) (1.5 hours)
→ See "Admin - Bridge - Study" (24 hours)
In-Page Footnotes:Footnote 2:
- My view is that anyone sufficiently smart to play bridge at the expert level is probably sufficiently smart to do something more useful with their time, so ought not to be playing, except in retirement.
- That said, anyone would like to play like an expert should this be possible while still keeping bridge as a relaxation. I doubt this is possible, certainly in my own case.
- I withdrew from the game for most of 2015, but returned in the final quarter. This absence allowed me to get things in perspective for a while thereafter – playing twice or three times a week, with the occasional tournament.
- When not playing, I didn’t miss the game at all, but maybe this was mainly because acting as the Essex County Bridge Association (ECBA) Webmaster provided a psychological substitute.
- I again retired from the game for 18 months, commencing in July 2017. I didn’t miss the game during this period either and I no longer did any Webmastering.
- I then played 2 games in 18Q4 and 6 games in 19Q1.Thereafter, things returned pretty much to normal until the Covid-19 pandemic, when all bridge in clubs and tournaments was shut down from the outbreak and lock-down of mid-March 2020, until full re-opening started in September 2021.
- While there were lots of opportunities for on-line bridge, and several local clubs ran their own sessions, I decided not to take part as it’s too much like a busman’s holiday (given I spend all day in front of a computer). The systems on offer were BBO - Bridge Base On-Line and RealBridge, which has the advantage of having video and audio links, with links to the EBU’s NGS and MP systems. While the development of RealBridge undercuts some of my objections to on-line bridge, in that there is inter-personal contact, it still has the drawback of being stuck in front of a computer screen. As in other “intermissions”, I don’t miss the game in the least – this time because I was happily focusing on my philosophical researches.
- I intermitted for two months in 22Q2, partly to focus on my philosophical researches.
- I’m intermitting again as we speak; from end-July 2023, again to focus on my research.
- I was previously – as now – Secretary and Webmaster for both Clubs. This is quite a lot of work, some of it duplicated.
- I had primary responsibility for sorting out the details of a proposed merger of these two clubs, and had prepared what I considered to be an excellent case for the merger.
- Unfortunately, I had a falling-out with the Chairman over the detail in this case and resigned – and a much weaker case was presented, which was rejected by Mountnessing.
- There’s a slight discrepancy between my records and the EBU stats.
- When the EBU had 33,776, my calculations had 33,915, made up of 22,962 LPs, 1,175 BPs and 100.06 GPs.
- I’ve not been bothered to determine the reason for the discrepancy, nor repeated the comparison as now I’m playing regularly timing issues also play a part. However, I have written a reconciliation program, but haven’t sorted out the discrepancies yet.
- I think I had about 5,000 LPs from my student days, but never registered any, more’s the pity.
- My Gold Points have now “aged off”.
- I no longer aim to climb the greasy pole, but simply to enjoy the game.
- As I’ve currently no intention of playing in GP events, there’s no point worrying about advancing my ranking, which is fairly meaningless in any case.
- I had been invited to play with DT in the ECBA Fletcher Trophy, representing Mayflower on Sunday 22nd October, but declined (citing Becky’s birthday and our Wedding Anniversary).
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Text Colour Conventions
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2023