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No Bridgemates in World Championship BBO Matches

#1 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-August-18, 22:55

I'm not sure if everyone is aware of this, but it seems that the WBF scoring department has adopted a policy of relying on the BBO operators to be the "official" results for broadcast matches which, but for a handful of very skilled operators who regularly cross-check against player scorecards, is a big mistake imho. In the recent World Youth Championships in China, the team I was captaining played on BBO about a dozen times and it was rare for there not to be at least one score correction each match/segment and in one match there were three score corrections. With so many of the KO matches in Lille being decided by just a handful of imps, I don't think the level of inaccuracy we experienced yesterday was acceptable. I would strongly suggest:

1. Go back to having the players responsible for entering scores in the Bridgemates.
2. Require BBO operators to periodically cross-check their scorecard against either or both of the WBF running scores and (preferably) a player scorecard at the table.
3. Require BBO operators to not close their table until the results are official; especially for the last segment of a KO match.
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#2 User is offline   ahollan1 

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Posted 2012-August-19, 02:17

I agree Dave - thanks for opening this thread.

There are fundamental flaws in making the BBO operator the official scorekeeper.

The list includes, but isn't limited to:

a) it is an inconsistent implementation to have some official scores from bridgemate with direct entries from players [matches not on vugraph] but others from indirect methods [vugraph]
1) is there an advantage then to being on vugraph rather than not?
in the 2012 WMSG, a couple of countries paid WBF to ensure their country was on vugraph
EVERY session. So, not only is the implementation of official scorer inconsistend, but
so too is the selection of who's on vugraph. [another possible discussion topic]

b) the operator has a tough enough time because players often
1) don't let operator see cards
2) don't clarify claims to operator
3) make claims that are inconsistent with the record of play
4) what about other irregularites?
can/should the operator be a source of information for TD re:
* BIT [breaks in tempo]
* slow play
in events where nationality can be a factor, there is a potential conflict of interest
based on operator/competitor nationalities

c) IF the operator is going to be an official source of information rather than a mechanism of unofficial historian then checks & balances are needed. these would need to include
1) PLAYER responsibility regarding getting correct information to the operator
2) Operator responsibility AND RIGHTS
ex: just obligated to ask "can you confirm the claim" vs questioning validity of claim
3) a mechanism to highlight results that are in question

IF BBO result was a SUPPLEMENT to the scoring record, I agree that there should be a comparison of the entered scores. But i think it should be an automatic software comparison rather than another manual step for the operator who needs fewer rather than more distractions from trying to capture bids, alerts, play and claims when the current software often hinders operator ability to keep pace.

I do like the idea of keeping the table/.lin file open until the results become Official


A very important key that is missing is a definition of the goals of vugraph
Is it a requirement/goal/wish that vugraph become an OFFICIAL record/arbiter?
If so, then more must be done to ensure accuracy beyond giving operator more manual steps.

Al
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#3 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2012-August-19, 03:14

I like this. Now the players will tell/show operators the score after every hand instead of having them to guess in cases of claims/too fast play.
Of course players should be able to look/verify after the match is over.

Bridge will be more pleasant to watch now :)
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#4 User is offline   mrdct 

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Posted 2012-August-19, 18:29

I've done quite a bit of BBO operating over the years and adopt the following approach to ensure scoring accuracy:

1. If I don't clearly hear the claim, I confirm the number of tricks claimed on every hand; even when it's quite obvious how many tricks were taken as I don't want to be generating UI that I've got some doubts about a claim (which can and does occur and operators must never draw attention to misclaims).

2. At the half-way point of each segment I borrow one of the players' scorecards and cross-check it against the BBO score. This takes no more than 30 seconds and can be easily done while the players are sorting their hands for the next board.

3. I repeat (2) at the start of the penultimate board.

4. I try to leave the room open until the scores are agreed, although sometimes this is difficult if there are short turn-around times between segments but it is always possible to do it at the end of the last segment of a KO match.

Neutral BBO operators is an interesting issue. It can't be too hard to roster the operators so as to avoid potential conflicts of interest, but I like to believe that people are inherently honest so I don't think it's a big issue. I understand the situation with Italy is that FIGB actually provide some number of operators (presumably paying their travel and accommodation to be at the event) in return for a guarantee that Italy will be on BBO each round. I think that's great and well resourced NBOs should be encouraged to do the same; however it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to have the Italian operators cover over matches. I've done BBO operating on many occassions with my brother, son and/or sister-in-law playing and just go about my business in the usual way and, as far as I'm aware, nobody has ever accused me of any monkey business.

As for BBO as a source of BIT information, my view is "handle with care"! My own practice is to use the time from the claim to well into the 1st or 2nd round of bidding on the next board to do other things such as have a drink, respond to messages, check scores or just zone-out and clear my head; so the tempo for the 1st round or two of bidding is rarely accurate when I'm operating. Depending on how noisy my mouse is, I usually enter bids two at a time when the tray is passed, but if I'm using my own laptop which has a silent trackpad I don't bother. Tempo on cardplay is usually quite accurate. I was once called to give evidence at an appeal about whether or not I noticed a BIT and in that case I explained that when operating I rarely pay full attention to what's going on in the auction so couldn't really say for sure.

I think the next advance in BBO operating will be when the optical recognition technology developed by bridgecardreader.com can be integrated with BBO, but probably still with an operator at the table to iron-out anomalies, mis-reads, claims and adjustments. This will have the huge advantage of indisputable data as to BITs as the placement of every bid and card is time-stamped. I recently saw a graphic from BCR with four columns showing exactly how much time was consumed by each player in a match which would be very useful (but not infallible) information for assessing slow play fines.
Disclaimer: The above post may be a half-baked sarcastic rant intended to stimulate discussion and it does not necessarily coincide with my own views on this topic.
I bidding the suit below the suit I'm actually showing not to be described as a "transfer" for the benefit of people unfamiliar with the concept of a transfer
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#5 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2012-September-06, 15:18

View Postahollan1, on 2012-August-19, 02:17, said:

4) what about other irregularites?
can/should the operator be a source of information for TD re:
* BIT [breaks in tempo]
* slow play

Definitely can. This should be entirely up to the TD's discretion whether or not to consult the operator.

View Postmrdct, on 2012-August-19, 18:29, said:

As for BBO as a source of BIT information, my view is "handle with care"! My own practice is to use the time from the claim to well into the 1st or 2nd round of bidding on the next board to do other things such as have a drink, respond to messages, check scores or just zone-out and clear my head; so the tempo for the 1st round or two of bidding is rarely accurate when I'm operating.

I doubt Al was suggesting the TD should do his factfinding by watching on BBO. Asking the operator is definitely the only way to go. Whether it helps depends on the operator of course, not all are equally qualified.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
    -- Bertrand Russell
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