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ZAR points for dummies ? Convert ZAR into more usual pt ranges ?

#1 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 02:57

Hi all,
having read the article on ZAR points ("ZP" from now on), I agree the basic calculations are easy to perform (adjustments need more practice though...).

However, then the small "trouble" is remebering the point scale of the ZAR range.

Here is what I have found useful, and I invite comments/corrections from more experienced users.

I noticed that an opening hand is 26 ZP.
The old-fashioned hcp rage needed to open was 13 hcp

An Invitational hand is around 22+ ZP
Invitational is about 10/11+ hcp

A hand worth more or les a reverse is around 34 ZP.
A reverse in hcp is about 16/17.

A combined strength for small slam is around 32/33 hcp, often 30 is enough
A combined strength for small slam is about 62+ ZP.

(please correct the ZP ranges if I am wrong)

So I came to the conclusion that an approximate transformation of ZP-> usual assessment scale is simply DIVIDE BY 2

This may not be 100% accurate but it is simple to explain to your partner if you want to convince him to try Zar Points evaluation ! :)
"Bridge is like dance: technique's important but what really matters is not to step on partner's feet !"
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#2 User is offline   Trpltrbl 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 12:39

I just gave my pd's either a prinout of the Website or e-mailed them the link.
It's not that hard, and when you started playing bridge you didn't know within one week what every point count was. Start playing it, and you'll get it quick enough.

Mike B)
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#3 User is offline   csdenmark 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 13:08

Chamaco, on May 24 2004, 10:57 AM, said:

an approximate transformation of ZP-> usual assessment scale is simply DIVIDE BY 2

And whats the point Mauro! I haven't read those articles - maybe pity. I know quite well you are not responsible.

I count Goren - DOUBLE - and oops I have ZAR points - or what?

If such is revolutionary news - we have some fine danish words for that!

------------------------------------------

I understand quite well the meaning and intensions of loser trick counting!

I understand quite well the meaning and intensions of quick trick counting!

I dont understand the meaning of just one more general counting!

I would like to know how many additional tricks such counting produces!
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Posted 2004-May-24, 14:00

Well, perhaps you should read the article. If I remember correctly, it is about 30 pages of nice text.

No, simply mulitiply goren by two does not work. Here is a slightly modified hand from Zar's article


Most "goren" players would pass both these hands. Zar points out that West is worth 26 and East is worth 26. In support of hearts, east gets two additional points for his two heart honors, plus three points each for each over three. So his hand has grown from 26 to 26+2+6 = 34. The other ZAR addition is for honors in "partners" suits. When one partner shows , the other can count one (east) or two (west) for the extra face card there. And the secondary fit is worth an additonal 3 points to west. So the total has climbed another at least 4 points and maybe five. So instead of 26+26, we are talking 34+26+4 = 64. All of a sudden this one opener opposite another not opener is in the slam zone. Reverse the minor in one hand, and game is the limit, of course (if htey lead the right suit), but you get the point. This hand is worth 64 ZAR's or so.

Now for the comparison of ZAR points to Goren points, Let's divide 64 by two, you get 32 "goren" points. Even using a 5-3-1 scale for singleton and voids, you can't come up with 32. WEST has 9 hcp plus five for void would be 14. East has 8 hcp + 5 for void rises to only 13, for partnership total of 27.

On his webpage, ZAR says to convert from ZAR pionts to goren, first subtract 8 (ok 64-8) = 56. Then divide by two, ok 56/2 = 26.5. Turns out 26.5 is pretty darn close to the 27 we calculated above, but using the 5-3-1 scale. The reason is we also added ZAR points for second fit and second fit honor (four points). If we take those points out as well.. the math becomes...

64-8 = 56 (original converssion), 56-4 (second fit ZAR points) = 52. 52/2 = 26.

The Goren points, using more familar 3-2-1 would be 9+3 = 13 for west, + 8+3 = 12 for East. for total of 25.

Ben
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#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 14:26

OK, NOW I'm really confused:

>On his webpage, ZAR says to convert from ZAR pionts to goren, first
>subtract 8 (ok 64-8) = 56. Then divide by two, ok 56/2 = 26.5. Turns
>out 26.5 is pretty darn close to the 27 we calculated above, but using
>the 5-3-1 scale.

This quote indicates that its possible to perform a linear transformation on Zar points and end up with Goren points.

You can not simultaneously claim

(a) Zar points are more accurate that Goren
(b) You can use a linear transform to turn Zar points into Goren points

I suspect that that there are a whole lot of words like "approximate" missing in one of the discussions...
Alderaan delenda est
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Posted 2004-May-24, 15:13

Sorry to confuse you. Zar points don't really relate to a simple doubling of goren's, this is because ZAR, correctly imho, takes into account location of honiors (experts do this, of course in other systems, Zar quantified this) in partner suits (opponents too, btw), extra legnth in side suits, super fit points, and so on. It turns out, for run of the mill hands, (ZAR-8)/2 approximates goren. But even here, you see this is not quite right. This is also why tysen2's point system approaches ZAR's. Tysen counts 4.5 for ace, 3 for king, 1.5 for Queen, 0.25 for Jack, and uses 5-3-1 for voids, singletons, and doubletons (there was also something for tens', but I forget).

Zar points is not perfect, but what is? Take the Grand slam hand with 17 hcp I showed from his book. Even counting ZAR's fit, superfit, etc, this only comes to 64 points. The reason it doesn't total 67 (for slam), is that adding the Queen to either hand in exchange for a small doesn't improve the trick taking potential. In fact, if WEST ask for the heart QUEEN, EAST will show it and then, perhaps, correctly "add" the queen to his values (two points for "having it") getting you right up there to the grand slam value. But that is another story (counting points NOT in your hand as if they are there... what the heck... .hehehe... no wonder I bid so much).

Ben
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#7 User is offline   csdenmark 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 15:55

Mauro has opened this thread for dummies. Please count me in here.

I dont understand a word of it.

What is the purpose of ZAR points? (in 10 words please)

I read a bit of the thread about fine tuning. From that I understood ZAR points was to be used by computers and not human beings. Right?
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#8 User is offline   DrTodd13 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 18:36

I too noticed that (ZAR points / 2) brings ZAR point ranges inline with the current ranges that everyone is used to. Many other hand evaluation systems try to maintain this invariant so as to enable more easy comparison with other hand evaluation methods. For example, if I want to compare how ZAR evaluates a hand with BINKY, how do I do it? The systems operate on different scales. Maybe it isn't as simple as dividing by 2 but I'd like to see an easy way to scale ZAR down to the ranges were are used to.

Todd
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#9 User is offline   Ulrich 

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Posted 2004-May-24, 21:33

"I dont understand a word of it.

What is the purpose of ZAR points? (in 10 words please)"

Claus,

Zar points is a method of hand evaluation that has nothing to do with computers. (15 words, but who is counting.)

Incidentally they are nowhere near as effective as the Ulrich hand evaluation engine, (but then what is?)

Sincerely,

Ulrich of Lichtenstein PSPEM

(President of the Society for the Preservation of European Monarchies.)
Ulrich von Liechtenstein.
Freiherr von der Steiermark.
Minnesaenger
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Posted 2004-May-24, 22:42

Improved evaluation method that lets beginners obtain expert-like judgement.
   (1)            (2)          (3)     (4)    (5)    (6)        (7)        (8)    (9)        (10)

All you experts don't need. For me, i will try to muddle along with it.
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#11 User is offline   mikestar 

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Posted 2004-May-25, 00:23

The (Zar - 8 ) /2 = Goren is for distribution points only, not the total count of the hand.

An example:

xxxxx
xxxxx
xx
x

is worth 3 DP points in Goren 1-2-3.

Zar DP is 14, transforms to (14-8)/2 = 3 DP, in this case agreeing with Goren, but it won't always agree.

xxxxxx
xxxxx
xx
--

is 4 Goren DP, but 17 Zar DP transform to 4.5 Goren DP.

High card conversion needs to also be considered. Goren has 40 HCP in the deck, while Zar has 52 HCP + controls. Zar honor points need to be multiplied by 10/13 to transform to Goren.

AK AK is 14 HCP, and the 20 Zar Honor Points transform to 15.4 HCP equivalent.

Similarly QJ QJ (6 Zar HP) trasform to 4.6 HCP equivalent.

So combining two of the above calculations,

AKxxxx
AKxxx
xx
--

is 18 points, but the Zar points of 20 + 17 = 37 transform into 19.9 Goren points.
Clearly this is not a "conversion" in the strict sense, but a reduction of Zar points to a scale of a similar magnitude to Goren 1-2-3. (Opening = 13, game = 26, etc.)
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#12 User is offline   csdenmark 

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Posted 2004-May-25, 02:10

inquiry, on May 25 2004, 06:42 AM, said:

Improved evaluation method that lets beginners obtain expert-like judgement.
   (1)            (2)           (3)     (4)    (5)    (6)        (7)        (8)    (9)        (10)

All you experts don't need. For me, i will try to muddle along with it.

Thank you Ben - I hope you are serious as your explanation is rather different than what I expected.

This means ZAR is for Helene and Maureen and will soon be a must for beginners?

Is it so that ZAR is something similar to expert computer applications in which you put knowledge and then the users feed some facts and the result is not a simple computerization but instead an advice for how to act wisely?

Fx.

66 = slam laydown
65 = slam makeable with 1 finesse + 1 squeeze
64 = slam makeable with 1 finesse
52 = game in No-trump only
etc.

Informing that if you don't master the adviced techniques - don't go that high?
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#13 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2004-May-25, 12:35

csdenmark, on May 24 2004, 09:55 PM, said:

What is the purpose of ZAR points? (in 10 words please)

From my (dummy) viewpoint, in 15 ;) words, it boils down to the following:

"Hand evaluation based on improved Losing Trick Count with adjustments for controls and fit honors."

As Ben has suggested several times, I did look at some past hands I played and reviewed them with ZAR and the conclusion is that ZAR points would have helped a non-expert oplayer like me, who has not fully developed the judgment skill of a master.
I do not expect ZAR system to substitute judgment (just like any evaluation method such as the Losing Trick Count or the Law of Total Tricks), nor I will change my bidding system to cater for Zar points; however I do think that in borderline, unclear situations I will make use of what ZAR evaluation suggests.
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Posted 2004-May-25, 12:39

Hi Claus,

Zar points is a tool, like any other. Beginners would clearly benefit from it. Some people evaluate by counting hcp, adding distributional factors. Then they add small pluses and minuses, what are three ten's worth? How much better is AJx in one suit than Ace in one suit and Jack in another? (it is better, but by how much)? The location of honors (in partners suit generally good for offense, if opponents suit, generally bad for offense). Those kind of things.

Zar does this same thing, using a different scale. There is a large group that uses ACES as 4.5 points, kings as 3, queens as 1.5, and jacks as 0.75. I don't like decimal math, and I find ZAR's 6-4-2-1 for these hcp quite ok, and results in same value scale.

Zar's distibutional count is different. I calculate it as suggested in another thread, twice the long suit, and shortest subtracted from the second longest. This is easier to do in my head.

So a typical hand....

KQxx
AQxxx
xx
xx

This hand contains 14 "zar hcp" (on 6421 scale), long suit is 5 so 5x2 = 10, second long suit is four, short suit is 2, so 4-2 = 2, so total ZAR count is 14+10+2 = 26. Easily a one heart opening bid. Now ZAR will write and tell you I told you how to count ponits all wrong. It is hcp (this case 11) plus control points (2 for an ace, 1 for a king, so here 3), long suit plus short suit (5+4 = 9), plus the difference between the longest and the shortest (5-2 =3). Now when add all that up, you get the same 26 points (11+3+9+3).

This does not require a computer or even a great analytical mind. That is what is called the intial ZAR count, before bidding starts.

Now, ZAR also allows for more points.For example, you get a point for honors in your partners suit (no more than 2 additional), you get points for long trumps (if you have short suit as well), you get a point for some honor concentration in two suits (11 -14 hcp) or three suits (15+). So you start adding these up for final score. It is these adjustments that will help you pin point how high to bid (with aid of blackwood and cue-bidding of course).

Is it good for beginners? If I was teaching one, I would start them with ZAR from day one. Period.

Ben
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#15 User is offline   csdenmark 

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Posted 2004-May-25, 13:24

Thank you Ben - I appreciate your efforts to teach me very much. I think it would have been easier 30 years ago. That was really why I asked for 10 words - your big novels goes over my head and this time I really wanted to be able to judge whether this was important or not.

You see Ben in many ways I have an easy life playing club systems. HcP only, no distribution or other kind of features. Such is all defined and is disclosed during the action but not counted in points. This means your example hand I do nothing else than counting 11HcP, 5 carder. A simple hand without strength for reverse so I prepare to support partner. I don't count any distributional values - such dont exist in art. systems.

So what I will be looking for is really something like the feature I asked whether ZAR was. A feature similar to what in computer language is known as 'expert systems'. They are not to be used by experts - the word refers to expert knowledge is build in software so your compuzation will result in an advice for how to act wisely according to experts. In that way ordinary people will be able to gain from deep knowledge of others.

I came to the thought it might be such a tool as I read a reply from ZAR in your thread about fine tuning. There ZAR explained something about the computer counted a bit different than you did which was the reason for different results.
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#16 User is offline   Zar 

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Posted 2004-June-01, 08:11

Wow - a new thread with 14 postings already and I didn't even know about it ... Sorry I was away for 10 days and have a bit "catch-up" to do, but I'll go through all the questions and try to answer them.

*** chamaco wrote: "So I came to the conclusion that an approximate transformation of ZP-> usual assessment scale is simply DIVIDE BY 2
This may not be 100% accurate but it is simple to explain to your partner if you want to convince him to try Zar Points evaluation !
<

Zar Points are 2 times lighter than the "normal" points indeed. That means that you need 52 for a game (as opposed to 26 in Goren terms), you need 26 to open (as opposed to 13) etc.

This in turn means that the precision is also doubled, meaning that (since ALL the points ranges are covered) in Zar Points you "capture" the hands with hapf-points valuations, like a hand that has 14 1/2 normal points (correspondind to 29 Zar Points, or a hand with 18 1/2 points (corresponding to 37 Zar Points) etc.

The "conversion" is not mechanical, though. I am sure you realize that.

Another (trivial) way to look at the Play Level determination is to simply divide the SUM of the points by 5 and see what the whole-part of result is. For example, if you have 53 points combined, you divide by 5 and the result is 10, meaning you will make 10 tricks with this 2 hands. Again, it is an "approximation" that will just give you an idea where you stand. In practice, since your standards are based on 26 Zar Points for opening, 16 for responding etc, you catually are "forced" to go to the right limits.

Direct conversion always results in loss of precision, of course. It's like having counted the coins in a bag, saying "well, it's one bag of coins" :-)

I'll go through the rest of the questions here also:

ZAR
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#17 User is offline   Zar 

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Posted 2004-June-01, 08:27

*** csdenmark wrote: "I haven't read those articles - maybe pity.
<

You haven't read them, but you write about them :-)

This reminds me another "perl" from one of the Zar Points threads here, which read something like "I have never read this Zar Points thing, but sadly, I have never seen anything better than 4-3-2-1 ..."

Sadly indeed.

Because in order to see, you have to look. If you don't look, you'd see nothing :-)

It's probably better to stay with the "4-3-2-1, let's have bridge for fun" - most of the bridge players are quite happy with it, that's a fact.

Sadly :-)

ZAR
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#18 User is offline   Zar 

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Posted 2004-June-29, 10:13

Good morning, guys:

This is a short message just to let you know that the Offensive Bidding numbers for Zar Points have been posted to the main Zar Points thread “Zar Points – useful or waste of energy” while the defensive bidding once are in the “Competitive Bidding” thread for Zar Points.

IF you are interested, the corresponding numbers for:

- Goren offensive;
- Goren defensive;
- Milton (HCP) offensive;
- Milton (HCP) defensive;

are also available. They would enable you to “check” the probabilities against the overloading of the bids in your system – you might be surprised by the picture.

Let me know if this wouldn’t be “too much” for the purposes of this forum:

ZAR
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#19 User is offline   Trpltrbl 

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Posted 2004-June-29, 16:41

Zarpoints are just a different way of evaluating your hand. That's all Folks :rolleyes:

Mike :lol:
“If there is dissatisfaction with the status quo, good. If there is ferment,
so much the better. If there is restlessness, I am pleased. Then let there
be ideas, and hard thought, and hard work.”
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