Unusual (but useful) Movements for Clubs
by John Pain

Switched Bowman for 11 tables

Here’s a movement that I first came across nearly 40 years ago when I started playing on a regular basis in Plymouth Bridge Club. It’s a movement that solves the problem of what to do with 11 tables. As you know, a normal 11-table Mitchell only allows for 22 boards. If your club likes to play 24 boards, you can do a Hesitation Mitchell which adds one more round, but if the club likes to play 27 boards, the Switched Bowman movement allows for 9 3-board rounds.

You could, of course, run two separate sections and combine the results afterwards, but unless you have exactly the right number of tables you are still likely to have spare board-sets in circulation - and then there's the problem of uneven section strengths, the possibility of a three-board sit-out if there's a half-table, and it's simply a better competition if you play against more pairs.

It can also be adapted for 10½ tables as well as 11½ tables, although the 11½ needs players who know what they are doing!

Imagine your tables arranged in a circle with tables 1 to 10 round the circumference and table 11 at the centre. Give out 9 sets of boards onto tables 1 to 9 respectively. Table 10 always shares with table 1. Table 11 shares in turn with table 9, 7, 5, 3, 1/10, 8, 6, 4 and 2.

As you can see the fifth round is a 3-way share at tables 1, 10 and 11 but it usually works okay – especially if the club takes a tea interval after the fifth round. Boards move down one table round the circuit 9 to 1.

Just to add fun to the movement you arrow-switch the last round at all tables. The Manning movement manual also says to switch at table 1 on round eight as well.

Adaptation for 10½ tables

Whilst the sharing is a bit tedious with 11 tables, the movement really comes into its own with 10½ tables. If you have the missing pair as NS 11, you eliminate the need for table 11 to share round the room. You still have the 1/10 share, but sharing three boards should never cause a problem. In the movement NS pairs play 27 boards and most EW pairs play 24 boards, although EW pairs 1 and 2 never sit out and thus play 27 boards.

Adaptation for 11½ tables

The movement can be adapted for 11½ tables by introducing the idea of a ‘bump displacement’ – sounds painful!

You set up the room as for the 11-table movement. On the first round NS 12 sits out. On the second round they displace NS10 (but keep their pair number 12). NS10 sit out on round 2 and on round 3 displace NS9. The movement continues like this with a NS pair sitting out and then displacing the next lower pair. The important thing is that the NS pairs keep their original pair number.

The 10½-/ 11-table movement cards are on pages 82/83 of the EBU Movement Manual (edited by the late John Manning) available from the EBU Bridge Shop (01296 397851).

John Pain
Education Manager