XG's vs Rank

SnippetSnippetNow that XG's have been with us for a few months and some 40% of players are progressing from Evolving (less than 1000 boards) to Mature status it seems timely to look at what sort of numbers our higher-ranking players are coming up with. The spreadsheet attached below clearly demonstrates what we all suspected .. top players have top XG's.

The population of 3116, sorted by XG Rating, was divided into 31 bands of 100 players of X-Club deals. Because some of the ranks had small numbers - eg 44 Life Masters vs 1375 Local Masters, the raw numbers would mask the point of the exercise. The chart is presented as the percentages of each rank falling into any particular band. A sample of how to read the chart might be: 50% of the 52 Grand Masters who play X-Club deals have XG's in the top 100 band: 15% in the second band of 100: 12% in the third etc …

Other observations:

  • One third of NZB-affiliated members play X-Club deals
  • Only 40% of these 3116 players have XG's over 50 which translates to 40% have negative handicaps while 60% have positive
  • XG's for top of the table exceed straight averages by some 5%, about equal for middle of the table, 5% lower near the bottom of the table. This seems to indicate that handicapping by straight average (as clubs commonly do) favours the stronger player

Have a look .. it's interesting

Skating on Thin Ice

Competing over an opponent’s 1NT can be fraught with danger, as many EW pairs discovered when they played this deal. It certainly helps, if you’re going to have the nerve to come in with a poor hand, if your declarer play is good enough to handle what may happen later.

Board 6 from Thursday 23/05/2019
Dealer E EW Vul

A
T98632
K92
876
Q9853
AJ4
84
QJ5
7642
AQT53
AT42
KJT
KQ75
J76
K93

Over The Top ...

Sacrifice bidding is something that few new players have as yet mastered, and perhaps that is just as well. But it helps to understand what it is about and how you can recognise when you have a good enough hand to compete, be it at a low part score level, or much higher.

Board 13 from 22/05/2019
Dealer N All Vul

A9
AJ987
KJ
AJ83
KJT762
Q6
T872
T
Q843
3
A653
KQ72
5
KT542
Q94
9654

A Risque Business

As declarer, what risks are you prepared to take for extra match points? And how do you assess your risk? Here is a very good example of when you might consider taking a risk and why.

Board 15 from Thursday 16/05/2019
Dealer S NS Vul

QT9
KJT753
6
A83
K4
A96
T84
KQ975
J76532
82
J975
4
A8
Q4
AKQ32
JT62

Point Count Schmoint Count!

How many lessons can we learn from just one deal? Look at board 4 from this session:
Board 4 from 15/05/2019
Dealer W All Vul

652
K73
AKT82
K6
KT73
QJ654
A752
AJ94
Q962
73
T84
Q8
AJT854
9
QJ93

Better Get Thee to a Nunnery, perhaps?

To bid or not to bid? That is the question. Simply passing a (suitable) hand out at the one level (as in yesterday’s article) or in 1NT is most likely to result in a below average score on the board, and this one was no exception.

Board 14 from Thursday 9/05/2019
Dealer E Nil Vul

T87652
95
J5
AKQ
K3
K432
9843
J98
AQJ
QT87
K76
T42
94
AJ6
AQT2
7653

What happened at your table?

There could be a lot of different bidding on this board, some of it right, some of it clearly wrong, and some of it debatable. Which category would you have fitted in? Let’s take a look.

Board 4 from 8/05/2019
Dealer W All Vul

A32
A63
K9
AT987
K6
QT842
QT84
Q2
J987
K9
AJ65
KJ5
QT54
J75
732
643

Doubles vs Overcalls

Takeout doubles are something that you and partner will need to learn, understand, and agree about as soon as possible. You have probably been taught different things about when you can double an opening one level bid and when you can make an overcall. I am pretty much fixated on “Major Oriented” takeout doubles, so would have no problem with the hand that South had when East opened the bidding with 1H.

Board 20 from 1/5/19
Dealer W All Vul

T962
98
AT954
AQ
43
43
KJ863
9762
K87
AKQT62
2
853
AQJ5
J75
Q7
KJT4

Slowly Slowly Catchee Monkey

Seldom do I write about slams but this deal was one that prompted me to discuss slam bidding, mainly because it is more about thought processes than straight out bidding theory. The latter is based on point count, the former more on processes of communication and fact finding.

Board 17 from 24/04/2019
Dealer N Nil Vul

6532
Q5
954
8432
AK
K986
872
AQJ6
T98
AT432
AQT
K7
QJ74
J7
KJ63
T95

Just An Ordinary Day (not)

There are always match points to be gained or lost even on the most ordinary part score hands like this one. The bidding should be pretty well universal: after a pass from East, 1S from South, 1NT from North and 2S from South should close the auction. It is in the declarer play and defence that things may differ.

Board 22 from Thursday 18/04/2019
Dealer E EW Vul

Q5
T74
6532
AQT7
97
J65
A74
K9842
KT6
A983
KJT8
65
AJ8432
KQ2
Q9
J3

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