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Matchpoint or IMPS

#1 User is offline   NemoJames 

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Posted 2017-October-07, 02:41

I play in a very small club with between 2 and 4 tables. We always play IMPS because someone was told with 3 or less table that is what we should play. Is that correct ? It seems to me that if someone makes a wild bid and gives 1400 points to their opponents (as happened last night) another pair will get a very bad score and as I understand is difficult to recover when playing IMPS.
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#2 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-07, 03:26

My friend has run a bridge club for many years, and when there are a low number of pairs playing - say 6 pairs - he adopts Mini Swiss Pairs Scoring, where 5 board matches against each pair is converted to Victory Points.

I'm not sure that's the answer you want as if someone drops a big score in a set of 5, it can also end up with a maximum VP win automatically too.

Maybe you should adopt an individual tournament format instead, where all players have to play with the player who overbids regularly too. I am sure a few disapproving glances will soon get them out of the habit of dropping -1400 :)
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#3 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-October-07, 05:37

View PostNemoJames, on 2017-October-07, 02:41, said:

I play in a very small club with between 2 and 4 tables. We always play IMPS because someone was told with 3 or less table that is what we should play. Is that correct ? It seems to me that if someone makes a wild bid and gives 1400 points to their opponents (as happened last night) another pair will get a very bad score and as I understand is difficult to recover when playing IMPS.

IMO, you should use whatever format members prefer. At imp scoring, a lucky swing-board (e.g. opponents bid a grand-slam, depending on a finesse), can dominate all the others. Whereas, at MP scoring, each board has roughly equal weght. Hence MP events require more consistent skill.
With larger fields, a Swiss format makes sense.
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#4 User is offline   NemoJames 

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Posted 2017-October-07, 15:31

Most players don't really have any preferences. Thay have adopted IMPs simply because they assume that's what you should do with 3 tables or less. What I am asking is is there any there any truth in that assumption or does it not matter either way ?
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#5 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-October-07, 19:44

There's no truth to that assumption. Doesn't make any sense to me. Kaplan said IMP pairs is kind of like MP where every x boards director randomly rings a bell and says this board is worth 10x the other boards.

I don't know where they got such an idea that IMPS is better if # of tables are low.
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#6 User is offline   NemoJames 

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Posted 2017-October-08, 02:21

Excellent thanks.

To go one step further can it be said that with few tables it is better to play matchpoints so if there is a wild score it will have less impact on the result? With a lot more tables a wild score would become diluted ?
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-October-09, 08:46

View PostNemoJames, on 2017-October-08, 02:21, said:

Excellent thanks.

To go one step further can it be said that with few tables it is better to play matchpoints so if there is a wild score it will have less impact on the result? With a lot more tables a wild score would become diluted ?

There are two things to think about:

1. With a small number of boards, it's better to play MP, so that one big swing doesn't dominate the entire result. This is one of the reasons why short Swiss Team matches are converted to Victory Points: that mitigates the impact of one bad board. This is usually not an issue for club pair games (but you can see it on BBO in the 8- and 12-board IMP tourneys).

2. With a small number of tables, it's a little easier to play IMPs. If there's a small field, you don't get much "field protection". The worst case is Board-a-Match (aka Point-a-Board in the UK), in which you're just being compared with one other table (your teammates playing against your opponents' teammates), where there's no field protection at all; this is generally considered the toughest form of scoring. MP with 3-4 tables is not too much easier.

E.g. in MP with a large field, if there's a random guess for an extra trick, the difference between guessing right and wrong is likely to be 60-70% vs 30-40%. But if there are just 3 tables, and 2 declarers guess right, they each get 75% while the wrong guesser gets 0%.

On the other hand, it's just one bad board, and in MP every board is worth the same amount.

#8 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-October-09, 09:50

I like the idea of mini Swiss Pairs, as described above, where it is not really Swiss but all-play-all converted to VPs. This is more interesting than an ordinary Howell with 5+ boards, since the match element makes it fun.
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#9 User is online   gwnn 

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Posted 2017-October-09, 11:52

Why call it mini Swiss when it's not Swiss at all? It's a bit like calling a soccer league an "extended cup competition."

@OP: the reason why people think IMPs are preferable at small numbers of tables is that they think team matches are pure tests of skill. That they are (in a sense), but only if they participants can choose their own teammates!
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#10 User is offline   VixTD 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 06:20

I can understand the appeal of switching to IMP scoring when there are two or three tables. If you make an inspired play on one board for a huge score, at IMPs your reward reflects your efforts. If there are eight tables playing matchpoints, at least you guarantee yourself a top of 14 MPs for beating seven opponents. Winning two or four matchpoints as you might for quite ordinary plays on other boards doesn't really do it justice.
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#11 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2017-October-18, 08:30

For 4 pairs I think it best to play teams of 4, IMPs. You want equal number of boards with each of your 3 opponent pairs, which fits 24 boards nicely. Sit in pairs randomly, then play boards 1-8 as one independent match, then getting together with the pair in the other direction at the other table to score IMPs as a team of 4. All except one pair rotate positions, then play boards 9-16 and score, and repeat for 17-24. Each pair then sums their 3 lots of IMPs to get a pair score for the night.

For 5 pairs I would draw straws to see who goes home, then play as above. The dismissed pair gets its partnership recorded so that when it happens again, it is excluded from that draw, and subsequent draws when 5 pairs turn up, until everyone has been sent home once, then start a new record.

For 6 pairs and up play normal matchpoints and normal movements with a sit out if necessary.
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#12 User is offline   Strangway 

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Posted 2017-November-04, 16:58

OKbridge used to run huge fields of Swiss pairs. It was a super-fun and competitive format. It would really be nice if BBO would run at least some of it's event in the swiss format.
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#13 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2017-November-05, 10:04

Board a Match would compress everything in that you win lose or tie every comparison for 1,0 or 1/2 a point.

That format is extremely rare these days but if your crew is willing to try it and likes it........
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#14 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2017-November-05, 17:02

It is indeed sometimes said that MP is better with many tables and IMPs better with few tables.

I did some simulations to shed light on it and the results indicate that the conventional wisdom may hold some truth, but there are a lot of issues with the modeling assumptions so I don't think the issue is settled: http://www.bridgebas...008-mp-vs-imps/

FWIW I think it is mostly a psychological thing: It just feels annoying to spend five minutes on a relay auction to the superior 7NT, just to see that 3NT+4 would have given the exact same 100% of the matchpoints. That frequently happens in small matchpoint fields, especially if the field is not so strong.

In terms of fairness (i.e. the probability that the best pair wins) I think matchpoints is always best but that it probably makes more of a difference in larger fields. That matchpoints is better in larger fields I am sure about, but about small fields I am less sure.

Another issue is that many people prefer IMPs because they don't consider the talent to gauge the frequency table a "real" bridge talent. That is what is meant by IMPs being a "purer" form of the game. So if you agree with that position, you may take the view that MP should only be played in large fields with few rounds, since under those circumstances MP is significantly "fairer" than IMPs.
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#15 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2017-November-06, 09:38

View Posthelene_t, on 2017-November-05, 17:02, said:

Another issue is that many people prefer IMPs because they don't consider the talent to gauge the frequency table a "real" bridge talent. That is what is meant by IMPs being a "purer" form of the game.

IMPs is also more consistent with the way the game is taught. If you read most bridge columns and lessons about card play, they emphasize making your contract (when declaring) and defeating the contract (when defending); overtricks and extra undertricks are not addressed very much. Techniques like endplays and squeezes are often taught in the context of contracts that are really close. It's much harder and rarer to teach the skills necessary to get tops in MP in normal contracts.

And if you came to duplicate bridge by first playing rubber bridge, IMPs is the closest form of scoring.

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