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EBL/WBF: hands diagrams and Butler ranking

In addition to the fair criticism of the Montecatini championship there are voices praising the technical level of the championship organization and the information provided to players about the level of their game and achieved results. Yes, undoubtedly, there are many positive points in this area, e.g. preparation of deals. But I would also want to mention some of the shortcomings accompanying the EBL (and also WBF) events that last way too long and should have been eliminated years ago.

I wonder how it is possible that EBL does not show the hand diagrams played in pairs tournaments on its web site. As an example, if we look at the competitions in Montecatini, we can see: If you try examining previous championships, hands diagrams are not mentioned there, either.

At WBF competitions this is often even worse. There you will see only ranking in the pair's tournaments ( and in teams competitions ( you will not be able to see any hand diagrams. Please note that these are randomly selected examples.

The situation with butler rankings is a story of its own. It is usually published after the competition is finished, mostly in one of the bulletins. However, except the overall performance there is hardly anything interesting there. You do not see the opponents you played well against, opponents you played poorly against, in which round your results were great and in which just below average, it cannot be used for any efficient analysis or for learning practical lessons from the top pairs. Just for comparison I’d like to show you a butler ranking from a local Slovak competition (; or . This butler ranking is published continuously after each round, and it is not hidden from the players for some hypothetical and/or speculative reasons until the competition is over.

Such situation is simply unjustifiable. It is important to note that many NBOs, member federations of EBL, WBF or both, already provide players at their competitions with complete information service as a default (for example JSS Bridge Scoring Programs or Polish software) and this is often complemented with different secondary information, such as statistics. On the other hand, EBL and WBF are not able to deliver documentation during the competition. Someone may argue that it is available, however queuing next to 2 printers with hundreds of other players jammed around with the same objective may be an elegant option for the referees and organizers but really uncomfortable for the players (for me sure). And most of all, it is definitely not worthy our top continental event.

Someone may help me with finding a relevant reason why a complete documentation is not published on the organizer’s web site after the tournament is finished. Here it is right to mention that players in Montecatini was pay EBL 400 euro per pair for such an incomplete service while the above mentioned quality at national levels is provided for roughly a one tenth of this amount, not speaking about the number of participating pairs/teams. If we take it economically, a true market would have rejected this situation a long time ago. How long will we let these conditions continue before the responsible authorities within EBL and WBL wake up and adapt what is not just available but also proven and apply it for the benefit of us, the players?

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