Why is it so? Australia vs Netherlands Yeh Cup

February 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

7 October 2008:
Email from Sartaj Hans during the 2008 Olympiad:
Heading of email: Brazil vs Italy.
Body of email: ‘And you guys can tell me why the final score was 97-4’

28 February 2009:
Yeh Cup 16 board segment
Australia 12 vs Netherlands 71

What I wanted to say at the time Italy trounced Brazil was ‘because it is easy for that to happen’, ‘because that can happen to anybody’. It is especially easy in teams because there is much more luck in IMPs teams bridge than in either rubber bridge or duplicate. I dare say if matches were long enough, the luck element would be negated, but unfortunately no teams bridge is accorded the dignity of the long run, so I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess as to when the long run kicks in.

We are left with short matches in which one person’s decision is matched against one other person’s decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting for one moment that Australia didn’t ‘deserve’ to lose. The other side played substantially better. But that doesn’t actually explain the scoreline. Bridge isn’t so kind a game that playing substantially better counts for much as a rule.

In this match, for example, Netherlands bid to 2 six diamond contracts neither of which was bid by Australia. One of them was a 50% contract and made. The other was less than that – it required a non-lead combined with a card onside and a failure to find a difficult defence. It made. Those two boards swung 50 IMPs. Reverse them both and the match is close to even.

That’s teams bridge for you!

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Entry filed under: thoughts on bridge.

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