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NigelDutton3 (47K)

President's Report

by Nigel Dutton

For as long as I have been playing bridge in WA the default scoring method for Swiss Pairs was IMP scored and generally converted to Victory Points (VP) Teams events are also typically scored using the IMP/VP procedure. All state selection events are also IMP scored even though the movements may be a Round Robin or Swiss. Club duplicate sessions and many qualifying / final club congress use Matchpoint scoring. The main issue with Matchpoint scoring is the increased luck / random factor as well as the inherent encouragement to play a different / poorer standard of bridge. Whilst there is still a luck factor in IMP scored pairs events it is certainly less than in Matchpoint events.

Consequently is was quite a surprise to turn up to a recent congress and have the director announce that the event, a Swiss Pairs, was to be Matchpointed. It would seem that the decision to change the scoring method was made after the event was full. An attempt to contact all players was not a success. Comments were received from a significant number of players that suggested they would not have played had they known. I certainly wouldn't have.

So let's be clear; clubs can run their congress using any movement method and any scoring method they choose. However, both must now be clearly stated on the congress flyer and neither can be changed once entries have opened. The Red Point Regulations have been amended to reflect this.

David Cowell has written an interesting and thought provoking article which is featured in this edition of Focus. I have to say that I am in full agreement with David. Up to $180 for a pair for a weekend (4 sessions) of bridge seems quite steep. With the exception of country congresses, where obtaining lunch could be an issue I, and David, fail to see the need to supply lunch which might not even be to everyone's taste. Personally I would much rather bring my own. I would point out that even a modest 20 table 2-day congress charging $40 per player raises $6400 in table fees. That's a lot of money particularly for clubs using their own premises. Just in case my comments stir a memory I expressed similar views in Bridge West May 1997, May 2000 and June 2001.

The BAWA Tournament Committee has received comments re players failing to alert and failing to leave the bidding cards on the table until the opening lead is made. So let me remind you; when a bid requires alerting a verbal "Alert" is obligatory followed by an overt reference to the alert card. Regulations also require the bidding cards to remain on the table until the opening lead is made and any questions settled. Now this is not suggesting we give carte blanche to the local club commandant. If the bidding goes 1NT pass - pass - pass. Please let's not be too pedantic.


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