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Simultaneous Pairs - Questions Answered

Why can my score differ greatly from the club to the overall result?

This is a very common complaint - and differences as high as 20% can occur. This is not an error in the scoring, but something that happens when you combine the scores from all the other clubs onto one result chart. Let me try to show you how it happens.

 In a 6 table section the 'top' will be 10, with other scores of 8, 6, 4 and 2 with a bottom of zero. Overall, the top will be, say, 4000 with scores going down in steps of 2 to zero. A 'top' in the club will not generally score a top overall. It depends where that score fits in with the scores achieved in all the other clubs.

Consider the following board from a fictitious club heat. It is Board One from a 6 Table Mitchell (share and relay). On this board, due to the favourable position of several cards, 13 tricks are generally made in Clubs, but there is a reasonable defence to hold it to 12. 3NT should lose 5 tricks (but pair 1 East/West let it through!). 7NT doubled by Pair 4 North/South was a disaster.


Club Scoring

 N/S  E/W  Score  Score  Match  Points
 Pair No  Pair No  +  -  N/S  E/W
 1  7  400    8  2
 2  9  190    6  4
 3  11  170    4  6
 4  8    1400  0  10
 5  10    50  2  8
 6  12  420    10  0


Overall Scoring

 N/S  E/W  Score  Score  Match  Points
 Pair No  Pair No  +  -  N/S  E/W
 1  7  400    1351  2649
 2  9  190    522  3478
 3  11  170    328  3672
 4  8    1400  5  3995
 5  10    50  136  3864
 6  12  420    1960  2040


As you can see, in the Club, 5 Clubs +1 is top for North/South while overall it is worth less than 50% (scoring 1960) because the most common score overall was 6 Clubs (scoring 2742) with many pairs making 13 tricks (for 3634). The East/West top with 1400 on the other hand was almost a top overall as very few North/South pairs tried 7NT (or they got away with a lesser penalty).

You will see that the two pairs scoring a top in the club (6 N/S and 2 E/W) have vastly different overall scores. This one board will make 2% difference to their overall scores and this effect, were it to be replicated over a number of boards, causes the (sometimes enormous) disparity in the scores.

Last updated : 21st Oct 2009 09:00 GMT