We recently received an email from a couple of members who had gone on holiday and stopped by a local club for an evening’s bridge. They offered to give the director their EBU numbers, but were told “the scorer will find you”. A month later they had yet to be credited with the session so, chasing the Master Points they had won, they enquired with the club and were told that since they had not given an EBU number they were processed as Guests. Nothing to be done. Tough luck. Thanks for coming.
This article is not about why this was incorrect. We’ve gone through this plenty of times in previous articles, and the club scorer in question could, of course, have asked the EBU for assistance in getting the session transferred if they didn’t know how to do it. What I want to emphasise is although it was only 12 Master Points and an indistinguishable increase in their NGS rating it mattered to the visitors.
In fact, quite a lot of people care about this sort of thing. Bridge appeals to a wide range of personality types, and those who have a mind for details and an interest in statistics are a not insignificant section of the bridge world. They love to look at their sessions history and see a record of everywhere they have played; they love to watch the Big Data mathematics of the NGS shift their grade up and down every time they play; and they love to build up their Master Points, blocks stacked on blocks until they reach whatever height they’re aiming for.
If you’re not one of these people, that’s ok. You don’t have to understand why some people care about Master Points and the NGS, you just have to understand that they do. So, if you want to do a good job for the people who come to your club to play, it’s really important that you get this right: identify the newcomers whenever they have an EBU number, get the results in promptly and try to correct it promptly if you're told about a mistake.
Michael Clark, email@example.com