This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Round we go to the playoffs

One concern I have with round robins as selection methods for the playoffs is that matches against the not-so-good teams count just as much as those against the very best. The not-so-good teams will distribute their gifts at random to the other teams, and later in the event will not be careful.

This year, I decided beforehand that I would prorate the round robin results to see if anything appears. First note that Bobby Wolff, via a post on his wife's blog, is quite happy with the round robin and the teams that made it into the playoffs:

Thus this exercise might produce the wrong teams, but here's a look at the top ten in each event.

The prorating was done by reducing the VPs obtained in matches against teams that finished 14 to 22, and team 14 was reduced to 90% of the VP, team 15 80% etc. down to 10% for team 22.

In the Bermuda Bowl this produces this order:

1 ITALY (was #1)
2 NORWAY (was #2)
3 BULGARIA (was #3)
4 USA 2 (was #4)
5 RUSSIA (was #7)
7 NETHERLANDS (was #5)
8 ARGENTINA (was #9)
9 GERMANY (was #6)
10 CHINESE TAIPEI (was #11)

Germany doesn't make the playoffs, and Argentina does.

Venice Cup:

2 FRANCE (was #2)
3 USA 1 (was #3)
4 GERMANY (was #6)
5 USA 2 354 (was #4)
6 ITALY 348 (was #5)
7 SPAIN (was #7)
8 DENMARK (was #9)
9 SWEDEN (was #8)
10 ARGENTINA (was #11)

Sweden doesn't make the playoffs, and Denmark does.


1 ENGLAND (was #1)
2 BELGIUM (was #2)
3 USA 2 (was #5)
4 POLAND (was #3)
5 USA 1 (was #4)
6 EGYPT (was #6)
7 SWEDEN (was #7)
8 JAPAN (was #9)
9 ITALY (was #10)
10 INDONESIA (was #8)

Indonesia doesn't make the playoffs, and Japan does.

Here's a look at the top dozen pairs in the Bermuda Bowl Butler (how many IMPs they would have won/lost in the round robin if everybody else was their teammates), married with the system they play:

1 0.91 Alexander SMIRNOV - Josef PIEKAREK Germany - Modified Polish
2 0.88 Boye BROGELAND - Espen LINDQVIST Norway - Modern
3 0.79 Claudio NUNES - Fulvio FANTONI Italy - Fantunes
4 0.70 Kalin KARAIVANOV - Roumen TRENDAFILOV Bulgaria - Modified Polish with variable ranges
5 0.68 Antonio SEMENTA - Giorgio DUBOIN Italy - Standard short club
6 0.61 Vadim KHOLOMEEV - Yury KHIUPPENEN Russia - Standard
7 0.57 Georgi MATUSHKO - Alexander KHOKHLOV Russia - Modified Polish/Swedish with variable ranges
8 0.54 Ulf Haakon TUNDAL - Glenn GROETHEIM Norway - Big Club
9 0.52 Alejandro BIANCHEDI - Ernesto MUZZIO Argentina - Modern + 18-19 bal 2C
10 0.52 Michael ELINESCU - Entscho WLADOW Germany - Big Club
11 0.51 Lixin YANG - Jianming DAI China Long Zhu Open - Big Club
12 0.51 Weimin WANG - Zejun ZHUANG China Long Zhu Open - Big Club

There is only one pair in the top dozen playing 1C as 3+ natural opening.

Here is the return of the pair that can't bid spades, from the last session of today's quarterfinal matches (session 3 of 6):







Well Rodwell bid spades, but that showed 5+Hs, game force. The 2D overcall took just enough space away that spades got abandoned, for a 11 IMP loss. The Dutch were able to open 2D to show a semi-multi, the strong options being 22-23 bal, 28-29 bal, or a strong two suiter, and once East showed the strong spade and club hand, they reached 6S. Does Ken Rexford open this hand 2D strong with 4+ spades?


  • At 7:08 PM, Blogger kenrexford said…

    Yes, I would, with the two-way force. Moreover, I actually have a method for showing a "Super Canape," meaning five spades and longer in a second suit. Had Responder held fewer than four spades, he'd respond 2H to the opening 2D call (promising 4+ spades), after which Opener would leap to 4S, showing a two-loser hand with five spades and six clubs. With either red suit, opener bids 4D or 4H instead. 4C is reserved for strong 4441 hands (short club).

    In practice, however, the spade fit is found immediately. Responder has a good raise and bids 2NT, and we are off to the small slam.

    Give South the North hand, and some audacity, and we still land the spade fit, obviously, and the slam bidding is easy. Even if the overcall were 6D, we'd have a fighting chance. 2D-6D-6S-P-P-P works.

    I also could handle a 5H/6C parallel, by the way, although not quite as easily. Easily, just not immediately with the fit.

  • At 2:17 PM, Blogger Larry said…

    We find the spade fit also as we respond 1NT (G.F.) to a strong club with 54 in the majors or better, or 44(41).


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