††††††††† Jason Fuhrman argued in his letter against a bridge rating system.This might be a good time to start a discussion about such a system.I posted a bridge rating system on Bridge Winners four years ago.I found a lot of arguments in Fuhrmanís letter are from misconception.


††††††††† First, he stated bridge is a partnership game.This is a valid point.It implies a bridge rating should be based on partnership instead of individual player.This is exactly what my rating system has.Meckwellís rating is always going to be Meckwell.No matter how many clients each of them play with, it is not going to change their rating as a partnership.


††††††††† Later, Fuhrman stated the form of scoring could impact results.IMPís is different from matchpoints.This is also a valid point.In my rating system, a pair will have different ratings for IMPís and matchpoints to reflect their strength in each type of game.


††††††††† Fuhrman also suggests that a rating system could create a disincentive for players to play.This is pure speculation without any real evidence.The English Bridge Union has implemented a rating system and bridge games did not die over there.The misconception here is that bridge rating replaces the current masterpoint system.This is not true.Masterpoints are a reward system.In chess tournaments, players who win often get cash rewards.There is nothing preventing masterpoints from coexisting with a rating system.


††††††††† Some of Fuhrmanís other arguments are related to some specific factors in a bridge game.All these are not factors in a duplicate game and do not factor in a rating system either.For example, you may have ďbad luckĒ on a hand.However, all players holding the same cards will have the same bad luck.Your result is compared only with those who have the same cards.The same is true for rating calculations: Your result is compared only with those who have the same cards.You might encounter a strong pair, but this is inherently included in the rating system.Your expected result against a strong pair will be less than expected results against a weak pair.What matters is simply your actual score compared to your expected score.In chess, a tie against a very strong player may result in more of a rating increase than a win against a weaker player.In bridge, a Flight C pair playing in open game who scores 45% may be very likely to see their rating increase, although they may not earn any masterpoints under the current system.


††††††††† What a rating system could really do is to help tournament organizers.Chess tournaments are usually grouped by rating.Players compete only against those of similar strength.A bridge system could be used in the same way.Instead of flighting by masterpoints, tournaments could be flighted by rating.In the current system, a long-term player who accumulated a lot of masterpoints is forced to play in a higher flight/strata, which could make it difficult to win masterpoints.It is possible that some players might drop out of tournaments because of this.Organizing tournaments based on ratings will ensure that most players have a fair chance to win and encourage them to play more.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† PING HU

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††† Naperville, Illinois