The Bowl

September 9, 2009 at 7:51 am 10 comments

As I write, our friends and neighhbours Indonesia are a few IMPs up in the semi-final against England in the Seniors. Come on Indonesia!!! I can’t believe they haven’t won a world championship yet. They need to get out of the habit of coming second. Maybe this week will be it.

Meanwhile, what of the Australian team? The point of its performance to me, is once again that it drums home the point what an important pair Delivera-Robinson are. Their consistently winning record in Australia has been poo-poohed by a certain type of player here. And part of the argument has been well, winning here is one thing, but wait until they get overseas.

But now look. In the Pairs ranking for the Bowl, they came in 30th, which is a nice, solid result. You can see the data here. I think that this was Arjuna’s and Ian’s first tournament overseas and that is not an easy time to play well, I assure you.

Come on, you doubters out there. You can log on as anonymous and give your mea culpas please. Delivera-Robinson rule, okay?


Entry filed under: thoughts on bridge.

What do you lead on this one? Concluded. New Zealand hit by scandal involving a bridge player.

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. khokan  |  September 14, 2009 at 7:31 am

    It’s fantastic to see Zia finally win a world championship, as he’s an amazing player and a great ambassador for the game. When you look at individual achievements, this is a guy who’s steered Pakistan to two world championship finals – amazing!

    • 2. cathychua  |  September 14, 2009 at 10:34 am

      Yes. Strangely, in the world championship book for Shanghai I wrote something about what great ambassadors that US team (which included Zia) was, but the editor cut it out. I thought it was important to mention as internationally the US is so often seen as badly behaved. I will never forget the Victory Dinner in Shanghai and how utterly gutted the US open team was. Gracious, but gutted. Zia must be over the moon!

  • 3. Ben Thompson  |  September 13, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Arjuna-Ian with Thommo-Richard have been routinely flogging everyone in Australia for a couple of years. Any selector who didn’t select them this year would have needed his head read. And removed.

    And who would have thought – selection by play produced the team it should. That is, one based on the core 4 players who have been the winningest 4 in Australia recently.

    Meanwhile, how did the selected English team, silver medallists from last year go in Sao Paulo. Hang on, I can’t find them – because they didn’t qualify. Have the English selectors lost their mojo, or is selection just a long-term loser?

  • 4. Peter Gill  |  September 10, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Weren’t Appleton – Reynolds -0.38, not -0.51?

    Very interesting that the average datum of the pairs fielded against Australia was plus. I guess that would be true for most teams, since opponents tend to bench their “negative datum” pairs more than their “positive datum” pairs. Another factor might be that coming 5th in the previous Bermuda Bowl meant that teams fielded stronger line-ups against Australia this time.

    At events like the Gold Coast and NOT, I often am proud to be alone amongst our team members at the bottom of the team’s datums, simply by me sitting out the bunny-crunching Round 1 match.

    At my tennis game last weekend, we discussed briefly whether the BB field this year was stronger than in 2007. Conclusion – proabably yes: Argentina (no need for playing sponsors this time), USA2, Brazil, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei (no sponsor this time), NZ and Europe all seemed to have stronger teams this time, and perhaps only Norway,USA1 and Egypt weaker in 2009 than in 2007.

    Admittedly, subjective judgement of how strong teams are, like that above, is frowned upon by many.

    Three Grand Finals now – and it’s hard to pick who will win in each field, I think.

    • 5. cathychua  |  September 11, 2009 at 6:49 am

      Peter, Actually, the story of the Argentinian team in 2007 is quite amazing and had nothing to do with sponsors. I intended this story to go into the world championship book, but unfortunately there were communication problems with my copy for this and the whole thing turned out to be a shambles.

      What happened in the end was that Pablo got together the only six players he could. Most of them did not play together or did not want to. He had to pay the entry fees himself despite begging the WBF for financial aid. The WBF simply refused to accept that Argentina needed assistance.

      By the time Lambardi and his crew got to Shanghai it was already a minor miracle and a debilitating drama. They had no luck in Shanghai – this is something I did chronicle in the part of the world championship book I wrote.

  • 6. Bill Jacobs  |  September 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    A few years ago, I wrote up an Australian Women’s team performance in the VBA Newsletter saying: “well done to pair A who scored extremely well in the Butler rankings”.

    Pair B took me vigorously to task, saying: “Pair A played all the weaker teams, we played the strong teams”. So I did a standardization to check (discovering that Pair A were still the best performed, but pair B was close).

    So I did the same for this Aus Open team:

    Arjuna – Ian (+0.14); their opps: +0.01
    Thommo – Richard (-0.38); their opps: +0.15
    David – Peter (-0.51): their opps: -0.01

    So the effect is to bring Thommo and Richard’s score up a little, but clearly Arjuna and Ian were the best performing pair, on the raw numbers.

    I find the results interesting, but would warn against drawing firm conclusions – I doubt it’s a statistically valid evaluation of any sort.

    • 7. cathychua  |  September 10, 2009 at 2:20 am

      Bill, There can be huge exceptions to the raw data, I agree. My partnership was the victim once of this. Two pairs on a NSW Open Interstate team had averaged +20 IMPs or so a match. The other pair and everybody else thought they were playing at least as well as us…but in fact they had played a very weak field and we’d played a very strong one. Our opponents scored many more IMPs than theirs.

      Still, it amazes me how often the simplest data gives reliable results. I keep testing it when I can and it keeps looking surprisingly good…

      I was assuming that our best pair would be playing the strongest field – that’s what I’d be doing if I were captain.

  • 8. phil markey  |  September 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

    i havent heard the same gossip you have – i have ranked arjuna for the last 4-5 years as a very good player and everytime i say that to someone they have quickly agreed – i havent heard anyone say he was going to be “found out” in international company

    i think reynolds/appleton are the real deal and needed the experience

    thommo when talking about winning the playoffs said that he didnt think it was australas best team just australias best prepared team – i admire his frankness – i think there is some truth to that and when it came to the job in the bowl they were overwhelmed

    i’m feeling a selection argument coming on…

    • 9. cathychua  |  September 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm

      Selection argument? Here? On this blog? Surely not.

      I imagine for Reynolds/Appleton it was a matter of timing. They had a long period of walking on water – not mean insultingly. I mean playing so well that nothing could go wrong. Whoever you are those periods can’t go forever and I’m guessing this is the case here. I am merely saying that based on looking at their indifferent butler score. Haven’t had a look at so much as a hand.

      As for Arjuna-Ian, it isn’t the sort of thing people talk about in public, which is why I have invited people to retract anonymously!!

    • 10. Richard  |  September 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm

      I’m a little confused by the best/best prepared thing. Isn’t preparation part of the deal, exactly what Sartaj has been going on about? I would assume that you’d want to select teams that can (and do) prepare well. No?


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