2018 is drawing to a close, so we thought it would be fun to wrap up the year with a few facts and figures.
Let's start with high scores, and we'll look only at matchpointed pairs. The clear winners, with the incredible score of 92.50%, are Lorraine Cameron and Anne Tierney, playing at Halifax Bridge Club on 15th June. If you look at their scorecard they scored a frankly ridiculous 12 outright tops on their 15 boards.
It's easier to get high scores in shorter sessions, so the award for the highest score in a session of 20+ boards goes to June Dixon and Jennie Rea, who scored 85.30% on March 7th at Grantham Bridge Club.
Lorraine and Anne were the only pair to score 90% this year. 65 pairs scored 80% or higher (minimum 10 boards played).
These weren't the largest NGS jumps of the year, though. For that we have to go to Linton Bridge Club, where on 22nd June Graham Liddington and Lian Watkin scored a whopping 33.10% above par. They were one of only three pairs with mature grades to beat par by 30% or more.
Where was the strongest bridge played this year? Unsurprisingly, EBU events dominate this list. In fact, the strongest event this year is the strongest event we've ever held: the European Pairs Trials in January. This is the only event that has ever had an average grade of an Ace of Spades. The five strongest events of the year (note that the Spring Fours is not graded):
|1||European Pairs Trials, January||67.14|
|2||Premier League Division 1, September to November||66.84|
|3||Crockfords Final, September||65.76|
|4||Four Stars A Final (Summer Meeting Teams), August||65.36|
|5||European Seniors Trials, February||65.07|
The strongest non-EBU event of the year was the A flight of the National Inter-County League Final, which is an event for the winners of the regional inter-county leagues. They had a 62.75 strength of field. The strongest county event was the Berks v Bucks A Team match (62.39), with the Yorkshire Congress Pairs Final close behind (62.15). And the strongest club event, with a 61.03 SOF, was a quiet Wednesday evening at the Young Chelsea in October - apparently only the strong pairs turned up!
We won't look at the very worst scores of the year, since they're all likely to be beginners. But the worst performance of the year for someone who had a 50+ grade is 20.00%, a heart-sinking 30% below par. Their grade has since recovered, you'll be pleased to know.
Best of luck to everyone for 2019, and may you enjoy your bridge no matter what scores you get.