I should have stayed in bed.

February 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm 5 comments

What a crap start to the day.

Nobody cares to comment on the hand I posted yesterday – so that’s what happens when you put bridge content on your bridge blog.

And I discover that the chess community all around the world is fighting about everything and nothing. It’s odd that they seem so much better off: prize money, publicity, part of the education system, a household name and yet they argue nonetheless.

Much of the argument was about what the administration should do for them. I confess that I’m not a big fan of criticising administration. If you aren’t prepared to do it, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of manoevering space for complaint. I don’t understand why any individual player of either game can’t help themselves to be better. The idea that we rely on others for this doesn’t make any sense to me.

I don’t think that anybody is disagreeing, for example, that we need to play stronger opposition – so go out there into the world and do so. What’s stopping you? I do love the idea that the ABF brings teams to Australia, but it really isn’t the sensible answer. If you care, go overseas and play. If you don’t care, don’t!

Speaking of administration, the details for the ANOT are available now. Make your plans!

I’m leaving the hand today, just in case somebody has a go at it….


Entry filed under: thoughts on bridge.

Plan the play Plan the play answer

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Gill  |  February 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    In my rough guide to World Bridge Rankings, in 2010 Australia went up from 26 to 21 at bridge, due to good results at PABF Teams (2nd by 2 VP, 20 VP ahead of Indo, miles ahead of Japan, China and NZ), Silver Medal at Commonwealth Nations then winning India’s highest rated teams event. Topping the
    48 qualifiers at the recent NEC Cup with Gosney – N Edgtton +1.21 IMPs/bd effectively topping the datums pushes us a bit higher to about 19, ahead of the likes of Egypt, Ireland and Indonesia.

    At Women’s bridge I have us 26th and Youth 6th. My rankings are roughly based on where you finish in PABF, Euro, BB etc.

    I agree 100% with Cathy about bridge not getting into homes and schools being the main problem, with all attempts in the last 50 years having failed. There’s also a disconnect between bridge at schools (e.g. the scheme in Bairnsdale at present) and duplicate bridge. I think a brand new concept is needed – am I allowed to rave on about one such idea in a future comment?

    • 2. cathyc  |  February 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      Are you allowed?! Peter, your ‘raves’ have been the most popular thing on this blog in the past!! Plese do.

    • 3. Ben Thompson  |  February 25, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Khkokan and Peter got me wondering what the WBF masterpoints might tell us about where Australia ranks. Remember WBF points degrade 15% pa, so they’re not a bad measure of recent form.

      I looked at the top 1000 ranked Open players, and added up all the masterpoints by country. The top 5 are (in order): USA, Italy, Poland, China, France. Australia runs 19th.

      Then I looked at the total of the top 6 players for each country (what’s the “strongest” team each country could field). The top 5 are: Italy, USA, Norway, China, Poland. Australia is 25th (our Open team membership is less consistent than many other countries). Monaco is expected to make an interesting appearance in the top 5 next year.

      Australia’s ranking is consistent on that basis with Peter’s rough guide. What are your top 5 Peter?

  • 4. Simon Hinge  |  February 23, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I whole heartedly support your comments with regard to not criticising the administration of chess or bridge especially if you are not willing to do it. It doesn’t mean you cannot help by commenting appropriately etc. Both administrative organisations are performed by volunteers and unless you are willing to pay professionals which is currently impossible with out greatly increased costs I suggest we have to make do! We have small gene pools and we have to wear those consequences as well.

  • 5. khokan  |  February 23, 2011 at 7:08 am


    I reckon you’re doing a great job in getting the discussion going on some tough bridge issues. There have been some lively debates so far. One thing that’s been illuminating for me is to discover that Australia’s world standing in chess seems to be considerably worse than for bridge. I’m guessing Australia’s world ranking at bridge would be around the 20 mark, whereas it’s around 50 for chess – not that that’s any cause for celebration. However, I also think that Australia ciould actually have a top four finish in a world championship, if all the stars align, whereas this would be a pipe dream for Australian chess, in spite of some creditable performances in chess boards that you mentioned earlier – is this similar to Australia beating, say, Italy in a Bermuda Bowl round robin match?

    With regard to going overseas to play strong competition, it’s a bit tough unless one is sponsored. It makes sense for the ABF to send its representative team to play in one US national each year, though.


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