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All comments by Alan Shillitoe
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As I keep saying, it is not a sport but it is also not not-a-sport. It is something else - a mind sport and needs to be treated as such. The powers that be keep trying to force this square peg into a round hole, but inaction is not the answer either.

We need a new approach based on our requirements, not physical sport requirements, and those also relate to Chess, Go and the like.
Jan. 16
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My view was and remains that attempting to shoehorn Bridge, Chess and the rest into the IOC under the current framework is a nonsense. The IMSA was a step in the right direction, and it is this that should be recognised by the IOC as a separate wing - the Mind Sports are their own category of sports. Attendant with this would necessarily be a different approach to doping (there are drugs that are beneficial, just not all the same ones as on the WADA list), cheating and so on that was tailored specifically for the Mind Sports.

The Mind Sports under this framework could benefit from potential commercial benefits of being under the IOC umbrella and have their own separate IOC sponsored and promoted games. The IOC would be far better placed to bring on board the type of blue chip sponsors that would want to be associated with the best mental athletes in the world and drive the commercial and TV aspects than the WBF or FIDE. The Mind Sports wouldn't then look utterly ridiculous for trying to claim that they are something that they are not, trying to shoehorn themselves into a product in which they don't fit and look immeasurably more credible in the process.

The current structure does little good for anyone.
Jan. 15
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You're right it wasn't the key factor but it's one thing that group got right.
Jan. 11
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No it isn't. But the same principles of team dynamics still apply as they would across pretty much any activity.
Jan. 11
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Deleted
Jan. 11
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This area was something I studied as part of my Sport Science degree and came from research across a variety of sports. If I were to moderate these thoughts on Bridge it would actually be that unlike other sporting activities, the leadership is much more loosely defined. Football teams have a managerial figurehead who establishes the framework and role definitions for the group. In Bridge, where the NPC (and coach) can be more hit and miss or absent and this structure doesn't exist. Then the team can lack a leadership structure and this causes problems.

In Beijing, the team was well organised by Phil and Simon and they were respected by the players.
Jan. 11
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A team doesn't have to get on socially to perform. The research suggests no correlation between social cohesion and tram performance. Task cohesion is the key predictor of success. There have been plenty of great teams that have won everything with players who disliked each other, didn't hang out or worse. Of course you'll enjoy it a whole lot more but you won't necessarily do any better.
Jan. 11
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In the days when we had enough juniors to do make those trials viable, it made more sense. Numbers declined massively even over the next few years such that an 18 pair trial had reduced to a 6-8 pair trial - or worse.

I took a lot of recommendations from people to look at players and personally scouted a lot of others at various schools events and JTIs. Now the challenge is to promote awareness of the squads because it has become our job now to take them from virtual beginners in some cases to the finished article because there simply isn't the instruction elsewhere for most of them.

I could chat junior development all day…
Jan. 11
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We abandoned trials on the basis that a two-year continual assessment was a better option. But regardless the method of determining a squad, there is still more than a fair amount of lumbering…
Jan. 11
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Apologies Coops. I only ever saw the one you lost. And I recall you getting a much harder wall than they did.
Jan. 11
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There are plenty of other bigger clues that might be the case…
Jan. 11
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From what I recall I don't think they let the proper quizzers on Pointless - they'd chew up the average punters on there for fun - they're after ‘characters’.

The smart cookies have to stick to Mastermind, Only Connect and Eggheads.
Jan. 10
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One of the current England U21 euro bronze winning juniors (Kripa Panchagnula) appeared in this year's series of University Challenge, representing Corpus Christi College from Cambridge. They won their first round match but got stuffed in the next match.
Jan. 9
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Chris and Nick didn't do so well on Only Connect though!

Periodically there's the odd bridge player I recognise on Only Connect, there have been a few others take on the Eggheads and I know of another couple who made it on to Pointless too. There have been a few others who were successful on Countdown too. One of the big early winners on Millionaire (£250k) was a Bridge Player too.

And I know where Stewartby is - I lived a handful of miles from it for a number of years!
Jan. 9
Alan Shillitoe edited this comment Jan. 9
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@Mike - biscuits minimum. Full buffet was the norm in Bedfordshire. And that went for the half time refreshments too as well as the bridge.
Jan. 5
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Agree. See my previous comment about biscuits and the standard thereof.
Jan. 4
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I played the Essex Leagues a number of years ago while I was still a junior, played in some of the neighbouring counties now. I've won three of the Eastern Counties Div 1s, I should try to get the full set!
Jan. 3
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Jim, out of curiosity, which county?

Most of them all operate pretty much the same. 24-board matches on a 20-0VP scale, starting at 7:30 (or some other time by agreement), privately arranged, played in people's homes, sometimes Home and Away, other times only match against each other side (H or A decided by the draw), rulings made by agreement at the table (according to the laws, obviously) with referees available by phone for tricky decisions.

EDIT: In 2x12 board halves, swapping opposing pairs at half time.

County KO competition matches run on the same basis (apart from the VP scale), as do national KOs like the Gold Cup (GB KO), Crockfords (English KO) and National Inter-club KO.

Running matches privately is very common here.

It gives you a great chance to snoop on other homes and the standard of refreshments provided can tell you a lot about someone as a person. Especially if they provide inferior biscuits.
Jan. 3
Alan Shillitoe edited this comment Jan. 3
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Where's the option for ‘I haven’t got a f**king clue'?

(Can be said about most of my game TBH)
Dec. 5, 2017
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What would double have been?
Nov. 29, 2017
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