The World Bridge Federation's
Response to Mike Becker's Letter
Mike Becker's letter has many useful suggestions and some justified criticisms of the organization of the World Championships. Having in mind that the World Bridge Championships, conducted by the World Bridge Federation (WBF), are completely different from the North-American Bridge Championships, here are some comments on various matters mentioned in Mike's letter:
1. The Victory-Point Scale: There is no doubt of the merits of the United States Bridge Championships' Victory Point Scale. The WBF studied it 10 years ago, but, after conducting some research on the previous World Championships, concluded that: (a) there was practically no change in the ranking of teams at the end of the round-robins; (b) the benefit of greater accuracy in the results would not compensate for the complicated way in which the scores would be presented (mainly to the general press and to the public).
2. It is philosophy of the WBF that the requirements for master points and the title in the Rosenblum should not be as strict as the American Contract Bridge League's requirements for its championships. The present requirements probably will be revised but not to require 50 percent of the boards played.
3. We agree that the seeding of the Rosenblum in the round-robin at Philadelphia was not well done. That was due to the lack of more specific rules in the Conditions of Contest; this will be corrected for the future. We thank Mike for his suggestions on the seeding process, mainly for the knockout stage, but it should be mentioned that the WBF does not need so sophisticated a seeding system, since we need to use the process only once every four years.
4. The WBF Systems Policy is quite complete; unfortunately, some directors prefer not to implement some of the rules, perhaps owing to some self-indulgence. The case referred in Mike's letter was an isolated one in the championships.
5. Every year, the WBF tries to make the Rules and Regulations for the World Championships clearer and easier to understand; sometimes it fails, such as where the numbers of boards to be played in each match of the knockout phase was left out of the Conditions of Contest. Also, the changes made during the Championships (practically inevitable in this kind of competition) should be published in more effective way, in the Daily Bulletin and on the Notice Boards.
6. The Drop-In Rules cover perfectly well the situations that may occur during all superpositions of different tournaments. If, on some occasions, such rules were not correctly applied, that is regrettable; the WBF is now aware of all the mistakes and omissions that occurred and, of course, as usual, for the next edition of these Championships, the Drop-In Rules will be revised. The Shane Blanchard case, extensively described, occurred only because the decision to allow him to play was made based on the information that it was only a one- or two-session substitution.
7. We thank Mike for his suggestions and for calling attention for some mistakes. Of course, the WBF analyzes all of its events afterwards and tries not to repeat errors in the next Championships, but, unfortunately, perfection doesn't exist.
WBF Rules and Regulations Committee
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