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Status: Bridge (2017 - September)
(Text as at 09/10/2017 23:25:26)
(For other versions of this Note, see the tables at the end)
Rationale for this Project
- I showed some natural talent for bridge in my youth1, and wanted to see how far I could 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 enough.
- I withdrew from the game2 for most of 2015, but returned in the final quarter. This absence allowed me to get things in perspective for a while - playing twice or three times a week, with the occasional tournament.
- However, as from July 2017 I have now retired from the game again, though I still keep in touch with what’s going on via my bridge website activities.
Summary of Progress during July - September 2017
- I had a very busy first 20 days of July, since when I’ve not played.
- Results in general were rather depressing, and my rating dropped further from a K to a Q, when I called it a day.
- The real crisis point was superficially a success, in the London Swiss Teams (see below). The problem was with the X-IMPS, which were flat for Albert and me, when we thought we’d had a good day. It was substantially down to one board where we correctly stopped in 5 of a major knowing there was an AK out against us in a side suit. Unfortunately, lots of pairs had been in small or even grand slams, sometimes doubled, and always making. So, we got a terrible X-IMPs score, while our partners got a good score for only letting through the small slam. This was in a field with a lot of international players. I decided the game was too silly to continue with, given the time it takes from other projects.
- I spent only 41% of planned effort on this project; details below. This was due to my retirement mid-July.
- The Highlights of the quarter were:-
- London Swiss Teams (YCBC, Sunday 16th July, with Albert; Peter & Pat as team-mates): 6th out of 27 in a very strong field. 1 GP gained
- Essex “C” vs Cambs & Hunts (Sunday 2nd July): With David. Pretty abject. The team lost 0-20, and David and I were -32 Butler-IMPs, for no good reason.
- I’ve continued supporting the ECBA website (Essex Contract Bridge Association) and Bernie’s Website (First Class Bridge) as well as various sites for small clubs (Essex Bridge Results).
- I spent a lot of time %age-wise on system and session reviews which, as always, needs to be kept in check. I was trying to determine what was going wrong, other than random fluctuations.
- Effort Expenditure: During 3Q17 I expended 87 hours on this project (870 hours YTD, where for “YTD” – Year to Date – I mean the (academic) year commencing in October 2016). That’s 41% of the planned effort, 101% YTD. Overall, 12% of my Project effort in the Quarter was directed towards this project (making 33% YTD) – as against 30% planned (32% YTD).
- Statistics: by partner and club-category can be obtained by following these links – for the last quarter and to date.
- Recent Results: Follow this link. Further information can be found from my Bridge Page3.
- Local Points:
- 33,768, bagged to date, including 1,175 Blue Points, 98.56 Green Points and 0.22 Gold Points4.
- That makes me a National Master. My next aim – if I play again – will be to achieve Premier National Master status (40,000 LPs, including 100 GPs) – so just there as far as GPs are concerned5, but still a long way to go for local points.
- I think I had about 5,000 LPs from my student days, but never registered any, more’s the pity.
- EBU Grading:
- My rating continued to decline in 3Q17, and was down to a mid Q by the time I stopped playing.
- See EBU: NGS for full details of the scheme, and the summary6 and previous reports for my detailed meanderings over time.
- Summary of Progress to Date: I’ve hived off the history to a separate document7.
- Further Details: of time expenditure against task are given below, extracted from the relevant version of my Summary Task List8 (which is regularly updated between Quarterly Status Reports).
Bridge (Total Hours = 87.25)
- Bridge - Reading / Writing
- Bridge - Admin (Total Hours = 11.75)
- Bridge - Play (Total Hours = 43.75)
- Bridge - Bernie's (Albert) (3 hours)
- Bridge - Bernie's (Colin) (3.5 hours)
- Bridge - ECL vs Cambs & Hunts "C" (David Tennet) (4 hours)
- Bridge - Hutton (David Tennet) (3.5 hours)
- Bridge - Hutton / St Edith's (Colin) (3.25 hours)
- Bridge - London Swiss Teams (Albert) (7.5 hours)
- Bridge - Mayflower (David Tennet) (6.25 hours)
- Bridge - Mountnessing (David Tennet) (9.75 hours)
- Bridge - Woodham (Albert) (3 hours)
→ See "Admin - Bridge - Playing"
- Bridge - Study (Total Hours = 28.75)
- Bridge - Question from Dennis (0.75 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews (Albert) (4.5 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews (Colin) (2.5 hours)
- Bridge - Session Reviews (David Tennet) (9.75 hours)
- Bridge - Systems Review (Albert) (3.75 hours)
- Bridge - Systems Review (Colin) (1 hour)
- Bridge - Systems Review (Strong Diamond) (6 hours)
→ See "Admin - Bridge - Study"
- "Chawner (Marc) - Your Lead Partner" (0.5 hours)
Plans for the Near Future:
- I don’t intend to play in the coming academic year, so I’ve drastically reduced the schedule to a mere 2 hours a week throughout the coming quarter. I’m not sure whether I’ll produce another of these reports until this time next year – it’ll depend whether there’s anything interesting to report.
- Keep in touch with the Bridge scene, if possible.
- Probably attend the ECBA Committee meeting on 1st November.
- Bridge Study9:-
- Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines",
- Read a bunch of books and papers on the topic of counting the hand, namely:-
- "Bourke (Tim) & Smith (Marc), Bird (David) - Countdown to Winning Bridge"
- "Lawrence (Mike) - How to read your opponents' cards: The bridge expert's way to locate missing high cards"
- "Baston (Jim) - Memory Systems at Bridge"
- "Doroshow (Bill) - The One That Got Away"
- "Frick (Robert) - The Subtle Joy of Counting (at Bridge)"
- "Kniest (Tom) - Count, count, count (at Bridge)"
- "Schamehorn (Danny) - Danny’s Musings and the Joy of Counting in Bridge"
- "Schutzman (Howard) - Counting Distribution (at Bridge)"
- "Walker (Karen) - Developing Counting Skills (at Bridge)"
- Study various lecture-handouts from Marc Chawner:-
- "Chawner (Marc) - Competitive Bidding",
- "Chawner (Marc) - Slam Bidding",
- "Chawner (Marc) - The Case for the Defence",
- "Chawner (Marc) - Pairs Tactics",
- "Chawner (Marc) - Teams Tactics", and
- "Chawner (Marc) - Your Lead Partner".
- Study "Kelsey (Hugh) & Glauert (Michael) - Bridge Odds for Practical Players".
- Study "Mollo (Victor) - Case for the Defence".
- Read (or complete) a few books recommended by Dave:-
- "Lawrence (Mike) - The Complete Book on Overcalls at Contract Bridge".,
- "Kelsey (Hugh) - Deceptive Plays in Bridge", and
- "Lawrence (Mike) - How to Play Card Combinations".
In-Page FootnotesFootnote 2:
Footnote 4: These have been amortised over the years.
- 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 performed as a psychological substitute.
Footnote 5: Taking into account the BPs, which are converted at the rate 300 BPs = 1 GP.
- There may not be time or enthusiasm for much of this!
- However, it is essential if I want to improve.
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- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019