Meets every Thursday at 7.25 for 7.30
at Mountnessing Village Hall, Roman Road, Mountnessing, Essex, England, CM15 0UG

Computer Generated Deals – THE VERDICT

Firstly, thank you to everyone who shared their views on this subject.

It is clear that very strong opinions are held both for and against the use of computer generated deals, though it is clear that a significant number of club members would welcome their use on a regular basis. It is terribly difficult to meet the desires of all of the members all of the time, but we have decided as follows:

Club Championship and Simultaneous Pairs events (6 events in the published program for 2011/12): custom always has been to use computer-generated, but manually dealt hands for these events. In the future these hands will be computer dealt as well as computer generated.

Teams of Four events (Four are programmed for 2011/12): custom has been, whenever appropriate, to use computer generated hands that are dealt at the table. In future we will use computer generated / computer dealt hands for all teams of four events. This change means that the hand-sheets will include the ‘Deep Finesse’ analysis showing what should happen on the boards given the very best double-dummy Declarer play and Defence. The boards will be manually shuffled in the parallel pairs event.

For all other club evenings (41 in 2011/12) I shall set out with the intention of running the club in two sections – one with computer generated / dealt hands, the other with manual shuffling.  In order to avoid disrupting the whole evening for all club attendees, by 7.25 I have to make a decision as to whether it is viable to run in two sections. If there are too few tables for two sections, we will ‘go with the majority on the night’, which may mean running with manual shuffling. The ball is in the court of those players who passionately favour the use of computer dealt hands: if they arrive BOTH in sufficient numbers AND in sufficient time then they can benefit from use of the computer-dealt boards.

NOTE: The arrangements may vary on evenings when Dorothy & I are away, as a ‘stand-in’ Director may not necessarily be in a position to collect the computer-dealt boards.

The club is currently attracting an average of just over 14 tables per week, and unless that average rises we may often be facing the prospect of running two sections both with a less than ideal number of tables. My usual preferences will prevail: ideally I will play 12 two-board rounds in both sections, but that desire may be at risk if the number of tables is small, and 8 three-board rounds could become a regular feature, subject to avoiding the prospect of three-board sit-outs. There is a note on the Club’s website accessible through the ‘Document Index’ link that sets out the preferred movements for a given number of tables; that note includes some changes from past practice.

We will keep the situation under review, but for the time being the intention is that in order to ensure fairness, the weekly wine prizes will go to the highest scoring pair in the manually shuffled section. The competitors in the ‘computer dealt’ section will in effect all be benefiting from the hand sheets and well shuffled boards, which will be an additional cost falling on the club. If, when computer generated hands are in use, the total number of tables reaches or exceeds 17, both sections will be playing for wine prizes. Whenever we run a single section then the wine prizes will be awarded as now. Wine will still be awarded to the overall ‘Player of the Month’ as now.

I hope that all members and visitors enjoy these new opportunities.

Alaric Cundy

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