Should BBO EBU games affect NGS

I'm concerned that maybe they shouldn't for the following reasons:
* Possible lack of Correlation between F2F and Online performance
* Numbers of players who are playing under aliases without disclosing their EBU#s
* Numbers of non-EBU players affecting the mix
* People who are playing online in stressed or distressed conditions affecting their performance
* The possibility of deliberate or inadvertent collusion

Interested in others' views

Peter Bushby Suffolk

Comments

  • It was always our intention to do this if possible, but we have only recently been given the reports that enable it to be done. Unfortunately a lot of them are not yet processed because of the number of robots and players whose EBU numbers we have not been given, but we are identifying more of them which increases the number of games processed and are also looking at the possibility of grading the robots' results, since they already do have a grade (56.84 currently) based on the games in clubs where they have been used to avoid a half table.

    We are in unusual times and it provides us with opportunities to look at things differently and to take advantage of new options. We will be keeping an eye on the effect of all this, but it would be a shame to not be able to provide one of the most popular features of EBU membership - the NGS - during this time of discovery and experimentation.

  • @Peter said:
    I'm concerned that maybe they shouldn't for the following reasons:
    * Possible lack of Correlation between F2F and Online performance
    * Numbers of players who are playing under aliases without disclosing their EBU#s
    * Numbers of non-EBU players affecting the mix
    * People who are playing online in stressed or distressed conditions affecting their performance
    * The possibility of deliberate or inadvertent collusion

    Interested in others' views

    For (1) I'm sure they correlate pretty strongly. And even if it's not quite perfect, I'm not sure that's an argument not to grade them. We still grade teams games and butler IMPs and various other formats, even though some people might not be as good at them as match points.

    (2) and (3) shouldn't be a problem. If there are enough of those in the field for it to start affecting things adversely, NGS won't grade it.

    (4) I sympathise with - clearly people are more likely to play while ill if they're online than going to a real club. I'm not sure that's a good enough reason not to do it, though.

    (5) - perhaps. But there's cheating in clubs, too, and they're a lot easier to catch online.

    Not that there are no drawbacks, but I think the advantages outweigh them.

  • @Peter said:
    * Possible lack of Correlation between F2F and Online performance

    There is indeed a strong correlation from observation of EBU members who are also BCL members. BCL has a scheme ("PPI") very similar to the NGS. There are a number of players, though, whose NG is consistently higher than their PPI and a number for whom the opposite is true. Nevertheless, it is unsurprising that the correlation is strong.

    When the NGS was being designed and programmed, it was never intended to apply to online bridge. How times can change! :)

    Barrie Partridge - CTD for Bridge Club Live

  • EBU online games have been subject to NGS since the beginning and it has always been stated that this is the case. For virtual clubs, they are able to decide for themselves whether or not they should have NGS>

  • Robots are unusual to play against. For a start their leads aren't always standard and second they can always remember the cards that have not been played. I can play with robots any time I like on BBO and sometimes that's fun but I'm not sure I like playing against them on the EBU games. It often is down to chance whether you get a good or bad score when playing against one. I would rather the robots were kept in a separate section where they could play against each other. Is that possible?

  • @108839 said:
    I have already seen players deliberately running down the clock, hoping they get awarded a good score without having to work
    out how best to play the hand.

    Imagine you are in a Slam. Double Dummy you can make the contract, so you just play slow, run the clock down, and wait for the good score.

    We had defenders do this today. We played in 1NTXX. It backfired. +1 for 93%, but a defender, after giving declarer a cheap trick, didn't play for 3 minutes, then played with 1 minute to go, and the clock ran out.

    While this type of play is obviously against the rules (and hopefully is the result of non-EBU players entering the competitions as opposed to actions of EBU members), the EBU TDs are very quick to respond to issues and you should definitely call the director to note your concerns. At the very least, your score can be adjusted to a weighted score as advocated in the Sky-Blue book, and in more extreme cases players can be barred from future EBU tournaments (I don't know whether this is currently the case).

    @108839 said:
    I have seen the comment that it is much easier to catch people cheating online. I have a mobile phone. I know how to use Zoom. My wife plays in the same room. It would be nice to think there is no cheating, but there is certainly more opportunity to cheat online than in a club.

    Again, with regard to your cheating comments, the EBU games are set up to allow players to continue to play bridge in the same way as before the lockdown as best as possible, and again I suspect most if not all of the EBU players have far less interest in trying to cheat their way to a good result than just having a good time (and trying to win legitimately). People who invest their time into learning and playing bridge and then play in short competitive tournaments like these have very little incentive to cheat; There aren't monetary prizes after all.

    @AlanB said:
    Robots are unusual to play against. For a start their leads aren't always standard and second they can always remember the cards that have not been played. I can play with robots any time I like on BBO and sometimes that's fun but I'm not sure I like playing against them on the EBU games. It often is down to chance whether you get a good or bad score when playing against one. I would rather the robots were kept in a separate section where they could play against each other. Is that possible?

    There is definitely something to be said for the EBU keeping their robot tournaments separate (through Funbridge, for instance), though preventing robots from playing in the new 11am games is a good starting point for the 9-or-below sessions. Robots do allow individuals to participate in games they couldn't otherwise so there is a trade-off there, though I know of partnerships that choose to play with robots in the online games separately as opposed to playing together. Finding out why would be interesting - I suspect if you had to pay the full $1.50 for a robot partner, the number of robots would be much lower and be restricted to those looking for a game without a partner.

  • When the results for an EBU game come up why do the Robots have 18 results shown? After all we only play 12 hands. Again, too many robots getting good scores.

  • @AlanB said:
    When the results for an EBU game come up why do the Robots have 18 results shown? After all we only play 12 hands. Again, too many robots getting good scores.

    If you're referring to the NGS column on My EBU, I think that's just because the software is (understandably) not designed for people who seem to be playing in 2, 3 or indeed 18 places at the same time! As such, it searches for any partnerships the Robot has played in and puts them all in the NGS column together. This is probably an unintended effect of allowing for e.g. pivot teams where each player can see their X-IMP score to par with each of their three partners in the event.

  • @495670 said:

    @AlanB said:
    When the results for an EBU game come up why do the Robots have 18 results shown? After all we only play 12 hands. Again, too many robots getting good scores.

    If you're referring to the NGS column on My EBU, I think that's just because the software is (understandably) not designed for people who seem to be playing in 2, 3 or indeed 18 places at the same time! As such, it searches for any partnerships the Robot has played in and puts them all in the NGS column together. This is probably an unintended effect of allowing for e.g. pivot teams where each player can see their X-IMP score to par with each of their three partners in the event.

    Yes, exactly this. It's on my to-do list to make that look less messy, but haven't got there yet.

Sign In or Register to comment.