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EBU Selection Trials: a proposal

It seems to me that using a trial based around pre-selected teams-of-4 is perhaps not the best way to select a team-of-6; especially as we ideally want our 3 best pairs to make up the team. This has also caused further complications whereby team loyalties have resulted in the preferred 3rd pair declining an invitation to join the team.

I have sought to devise a method that selects pairs rather than teams but doesn't fundamentally alter the structure of the trial such that it could, if desired, be retrospectively applied to the recent trial. I note that, in this instance, pairs will not have played directly against their erstwhile teammates; but consider this to be unfortunate rather a showstopper. I have also addressed the thorny issue of substitutes, hopefully in an equitable manner.

Note that I have not carried out any calculations and so have no idea who might be selected via this process. I also have no axe to grind for one pair over another; I'd just like to see the best team we can muster playing!


Cross-imps are I know flawed, but they are what we have and so I have decided to work with them. One issue with cross-imps (and one that affects the Ranked Master's Pairs for example) is that a freak result on one board can have a major impact on the final IMP total. This is compounded when a one-winner result is required. To mitigate this effect I propose that the cross-imp total is converted to Victory Points at the end of each stanza; with the VP total alone being carried forward.

I have chosen to use 20 as the maximum number of VPs (maxVP) available for a standard length (24 board) stanza. Whilst fairly arbitrary it seems to be a fairly standard number for such use (please note that it does affect the additional suggestion at the end of this proposal).

Variable length stanzas

Simply adjust maxVP by multiplying by boards-played/24.


Re-base the cross-imp totals to zero. e.g. if the lowest score obtained is -39 then add 39 to everyone's total.

Assign maxVP to the pair with the highest stanza score; and VPs in proportion to the rest of the field. e.g. if the highest total is 100 then a pair scoring 50 would recieve 50*maxVP/100.


The carry-forward VP score for a stanza played with a substitute cannot exceed the lowest VP score for any stanza played by the regular player. This may need to take into account variable length stanzas. Note that this makes it more difficult for a pair that used a substitute to qualify but not impossible.

ADDITIONAL SUGGESTION (not applicable to the recent trial)

In order to encourage prospective team members to play together on a more regular basis in EBU events we could allow triallists to add 1 VP for each bonus green point earned in the previous year up to a maximum of 20. Note that this refers to the position based awards for pairs events only (and excludes the win awards for swiss pairs matches for example).

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