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BBO Skill Level Description

#1 User is offline   3jsnac 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 06:38

I recommend that BBO add a new Skill Level. I am a Silver Life Master and I feel that I am more than an "Intermediate" player - but I would not rate myself "Advanced". After "Advanced" the categories go to "Expert" and then "World Class". I recommend that BBO add a new category like "Proficient" or "Experienced" or "Skilled" to describe those that feel they are between "Intermediate" and "Advanced"
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#2 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 14:47

In some countries you could rate yourself World Class and be in the upper percentages of those who self rated World Class. The overall quality of play on BBO is pretty abysmal at the lower levels, so Advanced looks like an appropriate level to me.
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#3 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 15:38

Intermediate means that you have played more than 12 months. Advanced means that you are generally successful in club level tournaments. Expert means that you are successful at national level. And World Class is success at international level. The vast majority of bridge players fall under the umbrella of Intermediate. You can judge for yourself where you stand - your Masterpoints have nothing to do with it.
(-: Zel :-)

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#4 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 15:49

Why not let a person describe their level with words of their choice If they don’t like the ones on offer? Of course there is always “private”.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#5 User is online   spotlight7 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 16:39

Many people list their ACBL rank. Put Silver Life Master on your profile.
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#6 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 17:27

I would certainly prefer to be able to describe my level using my own words - I don't really fit into any category - and I don't really like "Private" as a level - so I end up with Intermediate - who knows what variation there is in that category :)

How would you rate someone who certainly is not a beginner or a novice, has played their whole life, knows a fair bit of advanced theory, can bid reasonably well but can't always make the contract, can occasionally put advanced theory into action but tends to be fairly ordinary - that kind of level :)

Many people do seem obsessively concerned over their level though - maybe we need to rate everyone on a scale of 1 to N(bridgebase users) The level doesn't really cover the complexity of experience, knowledge, skill, ability, number of matches and/or points of different types etc etc I've been playing on and off my whole life but hardly ever been to a club and have zero poinnts etc. Its difficult knowing who to play with and can often hold my own with a polite and patient advanced player. You also never know if a novice or beginner is going to be any good (huge variance there) so dont want to describe yourself as that because you miss out etc The other problem with caling yourself beginner/novice is that you tend to get endlessly patronised and rather than getting a decent game of bridge get fobbed off into classes - which you dont need etc But I'm a bit old school in everything - nowadays you need a certificate in every tiny life skill from brain surgery to tieing your shoelaces to get anywhere. And there will be somebody with a little business down the road or online teaching introducting shoe-lace tying. Hopefully not introductory brain surgery but who knows

Sorry about talking about my own level but I think we all have the same problem at our respective levels. To me it seems crazy that a Silver Life Master would consider being Intermediate :)
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 18:33

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-15, 17:27, said:

How would you rate someone who certainly is not a beginner or a novice, has played their whole life, knows a fair bit of advanced theory, can bid reasonably well but can't always make the contract, can occasionally put advanced theory into action but tends to be fairly ordinary - that kind of level :)

Novice or beginner have specific meanings on BBO that might differ from what you think. Basically you automatically stop being a Novice after playing for 6 months and stop being a Beginner after 12 months. Your hypothetical player is therefore Intermediate unless they are consistently winning in clubs or minor tournaments. For reference, I self-rate as Intermediate.

View Postthepossum, on 2020-October-15, 17:27, said:

Sorry about talking about my own level but I think we all have the same problem at our respective levels. To me it seems crazy that a Silver Life Master would consider being Intermediate :)

Life Master titles might sound impressive but most of them are available just by playing for long enough. There are plenty of essentially clueless players in America that have the right to some sort of LM title. I do not know the differences between them so it might be that SLM is a title that actually means something. If so then they are probably capable of winning club tournaments consistently and would be Advanced. If not, or if like me they generally do not take part in tournaments, then they are Intermediate. This is not a difficult concept as far as I can tell.
(-: Zel :-)

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#8 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2020-October-15, 19:59

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-15, 18:33, said:



Life Master titles might sound impressive but most of them are available just by playing for long enough.

Paul Soloway (1941-2007), when asked about his 50,000+ masterpoints replied, "It just means I have a good attendance record." I've always admired his humility.

#9 User is offline   PaulJHad 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 02:45

View Post3jsnac, on 2020-October-15, 06:38, said:

I recommend that BBO add a new Skill Level. I am a Silver Life Master and I feel that I am more than an "Intermediate" player - but I would not rate myself "Advanced". After "Advanced" the categories go to "Expert" and then "World Class". I recommend that BBO add a new category like "Proficient" or "Experienced" or "Skilled" to describe those that feel they are between "Intermediate" and "Advanced"



I agree, "Intermediate" suggests a transitional status, aspiring towards the majority group (average players). "Advanced" Suggests having surpassed this level.
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#10 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 03:31

It's only relevant when it comes to seeding in competition.
Who cares what people self-rate themselves as out of an abundance of ignorance of understanding, or out of a desire to be included in competitions where they think that they can graft cheap masterpoints.
If you really want to put a stop to all this nonsense then recognise that Bridge is Bridge. Every time one is faced with the problem that has to be solved and compared with the ability of a bunch of others you get ranked and points get awarded on a log scale.
The amplitude of the points differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but the scaling is identical.
I've said it before, I'll say it again: either you introduce a ranking system - eg Elo like normal sports have, or you allow central aggregation of masterpoints somewhere. Then this whole problem flies out the window.
Masterpoints are longitudinal, but so is a ranking.
You can't be the number 1 tennis player when you're 60, no matter how hard you try.
Remember, masterpoints are not there to create a ranking, they exist so that the Bridge organisations have something to sell in order to maintain the infrastructure.
The same thing happens at colleges, students get passed through even if they aren't great because the college makes money by selling them grades. They know that eventually, the dead hand of the economy will decide whether or not to pay for their labour.
So long as we keep pumping money into the slot masterpoints will keep popping out the other end. The rate simply depends on the quality of the candidature we happen to find ourselves in and how good we happen to be playing that day.
Call yourself an intermediate, a high spot card, a lowly serf, a buttoned-up dandy, Call yourself ready for dinner.
Your opponents will examine your ranking, the date you started playing, the conventions on your card and the quality of your play. It doesn't take long to sort out what's happening.
It doesn't affect how I play against you.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; N'écris jamais une lettre et n'en détruis jamais une.
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 05:34

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-October-16, 03:31, said:

It doesn't affect how I play against you.

Quite so and to be honest I completely ignore self-ratings other than to laugh at the majority of players that self-rate as Experts. What I do find useful is the MyHands average. Every opponent at my table gets an entry added to their profile description containing this average and I record the high and low score, with months of <100 hands being regarded as provisional. This I find gives a fairly reasonable approximation of ability within the club environment I typically play in. Obviously it would not be useful for players who regularly play against real experts though.
(-: Zel :-)

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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 05:40

View PostZelandakh, on 2020-October-16, 05:34, said:

Quite so and to be honest I completely ignore self-ratings other than to laugh at the majority of players that self-rate as Experts. What I do find useful is the MyHands average. Every opponent at my table gets an entry added to their profile description containing this average and I record the high and low score, with months of <100 hands being regarded as provisional. This I find gives a fairly reasonable approximation of ability within the club environment I typically play in. Obviously it would not be useful for players who regularly play against real experts though.


Where does one find the My Hands averages?

Forgive me if everyone else knows the answer to this question: why post a rating at all?
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#13 User is offline   NBBC 160 

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  Posted 2020-October-16, 05:47

I think that people should be truthful about their skill level - even if only to prevent their (temporary) partner from becoming frustrated.

I describe myself as Advanced because I (and my regular partner at the time) consistently win the 26-week league at our club as well as the occasional single-event competition.

Playing in the "Casual" area, I have found that lots of "Advanced" and "Expert" players bid in a way to make sure that they become declarer (often in the wrong contract) and are then incompetent when it comes to playing the cards.

Further, most contracts do not require protracted thought but many of these "Good" players are very slow.

Finally, if they are so good, why not CLAIM when there is no way for the ops to get another trick in on that board (the regular Tourneys that I play in allocate 7 minutes per board - plenty of time for most boards and claiming is encouraged).

I could go on, but if you've read to here, I'm sure you're getting bored now . . . . . .
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#14 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 06:00

View PostVampyr, on 2020-October-16, 05:40, said:

Where does one find the My Hands averages?

Forgive me if everyone else knows the answer to this question: why post a rating at all?

MyHands. Log in to your BBO account, then add any username and change the period to 1 month.
(-: Zel :-)

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#15 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 09:36

View PostChas_P, on 2020-October-15, 19:59, said:

Paul Soloway (1941-2007), when asked about his 50,000+ masterpoints replied, "It just means I have a good attendance record." I've always admired his humility.
He also said "the first 1 is the hardest. After that, they just come." I've used that one (with appropriate credit) many times when directing the limited games.

Life Master is an achievement. It may not be evidence of excellence, but even now when you can get it without playing anyone with 750, the difference between a random new LM and a random new duplicate player is incredible. As is, of course, the difference between said new random LM and me. And the difference between me and real world class players.

But "the best tennis player at the club" is still an achievement, even if the chance they could even return a serve from Serena or Rafael is near-zero.

After a while, the only "what's your level" that matters is "what have you won?" (and I'll count "upset the 30th seed in the Spingold before getting crushed by Nickell" as "win"). If your only answer to that is Masterpoints, that *also* tells a story about "what's your level".
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#16 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 10:24

The EBU has introduced an ELO-style "national grading system". 50 is median across its membership and the leading players are on about 70. It is limited to pairs games though.

The "help" pull-down menu at this address explains more. https://www.ebu.co.uk/ngs

It has limitations but it is a better indication of form than a totting-up system
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#17 User is offline   sjlove1944 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 14:22

I think the step from intermediate to advanced is appropriate.
What I think is needed is a step between advanced and expert.
I am far better than an"advanced" player, but would not consider
myself an expert, which is a difficult term to define. I cannot think of the right word for my bridge proficiency, but advanced doesn't cut it.
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#18 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 14:37

These terms are all vague, and players are hardly consistent in how they apply them. Adding more gradations will not make things any better.

#19 User is offline   microcap 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 15:32

I suggest the following categories: terrible, abysmal, pathetic, dreadful, and "why do I play this stupid game?" I will let
all of you decide which is best and which is worst... ;) :rolleyes: B-)
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#20 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2020-October-16, 15:37

View Postbarmar, on 2020-October-16, 14:37, said:

These terms are all vague, and players are hardly consistent in how they apply them. Adding more gradations will not make things any better.

They are really not that vague Barry but certainly the way players actually self-rate often has little to do with the official definitions:-
--
Private
This indicates you do not wish a skill level to be displayed when people view your profile information.

Novice
Someone who recently learned to play bridge.

Beginner
Someone who has played bridge for less than one year.

Intermediate
Someone who is comparable in skill to most other members of BBO.

Advanced
Someone who has been consistently successful in clubs or minor tournaments.

Expert
Someone who has enjoyed success in major national tournaments.

World Class
Someone who has represented their country in World Championships.
--

sjlove, if you have had success in major national tournaments you are officially an Expert on BBO, however else you might describe yourself privately. That might be easier if you stem from Vanuatu rather than the USA, at least assuming Vanuatu actually has major national tournaments. If not but you have consistent success in clubs or minor tournaments then you are Advanced on BBO. If neither of these apply then you are actually Intermediate, no matter how much it rankles with you to be lumped in with everyone else. Or you just lie, which is the path most players take. Just don't fool yourself that you are something that you are not; the definitions are pretty clear.
(-: Zel :-)

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