Tribunal rules bridge is not a sport

Contract bridge - Wikipedia
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The English Bridge Union failed in its bid to reclaim VAT on £631,000 of tournament fees after a lower tier tax tribunal ruled that bridge was a game rather than a sport.

The EBU went to tribunal to appeal against HMRC’s refusal to repay VAT on competition entry fees it raised between 30 June 2008 and 31 December 2011. HMRC argued that under the Euroepan VAT directive and UK law, contract bridge was not a sport, so competition fees were not a VATable supply.

Dr John Petrie, the EBU treasurer, submitted correspondence to the tribunal from French, Dutch, Belgian, Irish and Polish bridge bodies explaining that VAT was not charged on entry fees in their countries. The union’s barrister also pointed out that bridge was recognised as a sport by the Olympic Committee.

He also cited HMRC’s VAT reference notice 701/45which includes activities such as croquet, darts, billiards, flying and gliding, where physical activity plays second fiddle to mental skill. The natural meaning of “sport” is not limited to activities which principally involve physical skill or exertion, he argued.

HMRC countered that sport was something that involves physical activity or physical fitness...

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26th Feb 2014 00:33

Bridge and tiddlywinks

But what about tiddlywinks? (And I mean the real thing, not the kids version).

Certainly more a sport than bridge.

 

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26th Feb 2014 11:33

Probably correct...

...to say that card games such as bridge are games not sport.  Bridge is only different from, say, snap in that (1) it requires a good deal more in the way of thought (2) it's highly organised and regulated.

To put it another way, if you say that bridge is a sport, it's not a huge step beyond that to say that computer gaming is sport.  Whereas IMHO it's the very antithesis of sport.

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By khirsah
26th Feb 2014 13:15

yet...

andrew.hyde wrote:

...to say that card games such as bridge are games not sport.  Bridge is only different from, say, snap in that (1) it requires a good deal more in the way of thought (2) it's highly organised and regulated.

To put it another way, if you say that bridge is a sport, it's not a huge step beyond that to say that computer gaming is sport.  Whereas IMHO it's the very antithesis of sport.

 

Yet computer gaming is a growing worldwide recognised competitive sport...

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26th Feb 2014 11:43

And where does that leave chess?

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26th Feb 2014 11:52

Dunno mate

I'll have to check.

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By LesDes
26th Feb 2014 16:18

you do that mate

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26th Feb 2014 12:07

Monopoly?

Monopoly certainly had an element of physical exertion, usually wrestling or boxing, from my memory of playing it - usually preceded by questioning the sudden appearance of a hotel on one of my brother's properties! Ah, happy days.

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26th Feb 2014 12:14

Winter olympics

The IOC agreeing that bridge is a sport confirms certain misgivings I had about the Winter Olympics...

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26th Feb 2014 12:23

Bridge not a sport

Totally agreeing with the foregoing. But I think the distinction is between a game and a sport. 

However is it true to say the only difference is physical exertion ? If yes what underpins that exactly I wonder. I will have to read the judgement as this is going to worry me for some time...

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26th Feb 2014 12:58

Why?

Gimlet2008 wrote:

Totally agreeing with the foregoing. But I think the distinction is between a game and a sport. 

However is it true to say the only difference is physical exertion ? If yes what underpins that exactly I wonder. I will have to read the judgement as this is going to worry me for some time...

Why?

MtF

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26th Feb 2014 13:10

looks like...

...they were trumped

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By nigel
26th Feb 2014 13:18

We need a definitive definition

I heard someone on the radio suggest that if you could smoke a cigarette while playing it, it's probably a game. Can't immediately think of a sport where that would be possible, but I suppose that raises the question we're all thinking - what about darts?!

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By Old Greying Accountant
26th Feb 2014 14:07

Go back a few years ...

nigel wrote:

I heard someone on the radio suggest that if you could smoke a cigarette while playing it, it's probably a game. Can't immediately think of a sport where that would be possible, but I suppose that raises the question we're all thinking - what about darts?!

... and a half time puff was common in football and rugby.

What about bowls, David Bryant  always had a pipe clamped in his jaw - that involves physical exertion.

To my mind anything that involves chance (other than the pre-match coin toss) cannot be a sport, skill being the prime factor in sport.

Shooting is called a blood "sport" but for the guns standing in a field has no more physical aspect that sitting at a table moving chess pieces! And they will often be driven between pegs so not much exertion there either.

Darts is tricky, but on balance, along with snooker is probably a sport as both combine skill and physical exertion, however sedantry, and both lack chance.

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By SWJWBA
26th Feb 2014 13:39

Suits...... you Sir

Lets call a spade a spade. You have to be a real diamond to be a member of this type of club and I hadn't got the heart to tell them that they would lose this case........ ahem!

SJ

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26th Feb 2014 13:45

VAT and hairsplitting

The whole ethos of VAT has stupid divisions.  Childrens' clothing for instance, where a woman with small feet can avoid VAT on shoes.  Or the famous Jaffa Cake case.  The recent VAT case on visitor green fees at golf clubs, where potentially millions are involved.  Car parking with and without VAT depending on whether there is an option to tax on the building.  Zero rating the building of domestic property but VAT Exempt rentals after construction.  Ever tried to make sense of the rules on various money off coupons and VAT?   I could go on.  Just part of belonging to the EU I suppose.  The rules keep getting amended by law and by case law, but the basic problem is that they are trying to fit a one size fits all tax to the myriad of possibilities that exist in the real world.  Witness the place of supply rules change because VAT doesn't cope very well with internet trading!!  This is what happens when politics overrides common sense.

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26th Feb 2014 14:22

Chess is a sport so why not bridge?

The human brain absorbs 30 per cent of the bodies calories. Chess player brains use 40 per cent of the bodies calories. This is due to the extra concentration required. I bet its the same with bridge, probabley 35 per cent.

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
26th Feb 2014 14:33

But ...

... chess is pure skill, bridge has a large element of chance.

Admitedly there is skill in how you bid and play your hand, but it is pure chance the hand you get (apologies if not using the right terms, but I do not play myself).

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By evely
26th Feb 2014 18:10

skill / chance

The point of dealing a hand after shuffling the cards is to get a unique set of cards, there is the biding process then the play. For tournaments the same hand is given to all sets of players and the end result is often different outcomes, there by showing the skill of the players which can involve 'luck' if the opponents miss their opportunity.

Now if you take a motor sport either on a track or across country then the road/track remains the same, the shape of the track is 'constant' from season to season. However there are a number of variables such as the weather, general condition of the surface etc that add variety.

So the chance element of the deal is the same as designing a racing track, it is there to give variety and a challenge.  

If you then look at horse jumping, what happens? the course can change during the competition to give variety and a challenge.

Basically Bridge is purely skill based, it changes with each hand dealt and you have to do the best you can. Chess the components (pieces and board) remain the same, openings have standard patterns, whole books are written on different approaches and games analysed etc. 

Hence to I would argue Bridge has significant skill and the element of luck is minimal. Chess is not pure skill as portions of the play can be 'memorised' and tactics worked out in advance as you know what the options are before you sit down to play - the starting layout never changes.      

 

 

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By Old Greying Accountant
27th Feb 2014 14:58

So ...

evely wrote:

The point of dealing a hand after shuffling the cards is to get a unique set of cards, there is the biding process then the play. For tournaments the same hand is given to all sets of players and the end result is often different outcomes, there by showing the skill of the players which can involve 'luck' if the opponents miss their opportunity.

Now if you take a motor sport either on a track or across country then the road/track remains the same, the shape of the track is 'constant' from season to season. However there are a number of variables such as the weather, general condition of the surface etc that add variety.

So the chance element of the deal is the same as designing a racing track, it is there to give variety and a challenge.  

If you then look at horse jumping, what happens? the course can change during the competition to give variety and a challenge.

Basically Bridge is purely skill based, it changes with each hand dealt and you have to do the best you can. Chess the components (pieces and board) remain the same, openings have standard patterns, whole books are written on different approaches and games analysed etc. 

Hence to I would argue Bridge has significant skill and the element of luck is minimal. Chess is not pure skill as portions of the play can be 'memorised' and tactics worked out in advance as you know what the options are before you sit down to play - the starting layout never changes.      

... there are no unwinnable hands in bridge? And memory is not a skill that can be honed by practice?

I would say all sports are games, but not all games are sports - so back to my original, sport is a game based on skill, not on chance, and would tend to veer to saying it physical rather than mental skill, although rugby, football, cricket etc are as much about strategy as about strength, speed and dexterity.

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By chEEK
01st Mar 2014 18:44

Unwinnable

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... there are no unwinnable hands in bridge? And memory is not a skill that can be honed by practice?

That's right, there are no "unwinnable" hands at bridge.

Opponents may have all the cards and bid to the wrong contract. They may also misplay the hand - or in terms of skill, they may be INDUCED to misplay the hand by the defenders. Or the side with the worst hands may be able to bid pre-emptively to consume the "bidding space" to make it difficult to judge the right place to play.

These are elements of the skill of the game, and there is an element of risk in doing these things (risk of being doubled and conceding a large penalty), so there is a significant skill factor there.

 

What makes bridge a far greater challenge than chess is that in bridge there is an 'unseen' element, whereas in chess all the pieces are always on view. So the strong player builds up a picture of the unseen hands based on the actions of the players so far and also looks for inferences as to the things they did and did not do (things they would have have done had they held... whatever) and acts on the basis of the conclusions from all that mountain of information.

That's why a chess computer can now beat a world champion at chess, but the best bridge computers are nowhere near doing that (a good club player will beat the best bridge software) - the ability of the human brain to process inferential info is way beyond a computer's pure number-crunching capabilities. 

Some of the most fantastic plays in bridge are those where a deception is created. or even just an alternative line of play is created for the opponents (i.e. a chance to take a losing option) where none would have existed by playing woodenly.

Anyway, enough said - it's a stunning game, intelligent people should give it a go. It certainly shouldn't be taxed more heavily than darts! And smoking is banned in bridge these days by the way,

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02nd Mar 2014 16:47

Correction

Good point; I like your nuance.

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By chEEK
01st Mar 2014 18:27

Luck not really a factor

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... chess is pure skill, bridge has a large element of chance.

Admitedly there is skill in how you bid and play your hand, but it is pure chance the hand you get (apologies if not using the right terms, but I do not play myself).

You're probably thinking of rubber bridge. Competitive bridge uses duplication of deals (known as "duplicate bridge") where all play the same hands and the scoring is by comparing how each pair did relative to each other on each hand.

Major competitions are played in teams (of 4 or sometimes 8) so that one pair of the team plays a hand in a North-South direction against one pair of the opposing team,  and their team mates play the same hand at another table in the East-West direction against the other pair of the opposing team. So whatever happens at one table, say N-S make a small slam, then the opponents have he opportunity to match or better it when their side hold those cards at the other table when the deal is replayed.

That eliminates the luck aspect to a large extent.

 

Rubber bridge does appear to have that 'luck of the draw' aspect at first sight, but many of the decisions in bridge are made on a statistical probability basis which means that making the right decisions pays dividends over time as compared to those who make fewer correct decisions. Those who play for money know this and accept their losses in the knowledge that they're playing the long game, not a short one looking for a fast buck.

The problem bridge has is that it has a bad rep from old days when it was played by the upper classes and secondly, you have to be prepared to learn a fair bit before you can start to play - there are ways to start people off these days though, such as Mini-Bridge which has almost no bidding in it. And bidding is what most people find challenging. When computer games can be designed to be learn-as-you-go people with low attention spans play those instead - but the great thing about bridge is that it will be here in 20, 30 or 100 years whereas that computer game will be in the dustbin in a pretty short time.

 

The skill factor in bridge is unbelievably high in the better levels of the game, but can be quite rustic in the average game. People can find a level to play at, whatever their level of skill/experience/interest,

 

The bottom line is that there's more going on in modern bridge than any other game/sport/whatever, bar none.

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26th Feb 2014 16:03

Have you ever

played 3D chess OGA? We bought one years ago but I've not seen it in the shops for ages. I can see why it didn't catch on but it makes you think a bit more.

Back to the plot. Customs, through VAT, are continually trying to raise money and keep up with new methods of sales.

I personally think that if a game (whatever the game is) is played competitively. with people paying money to watch then there should be no VAT. What are the Olympics called????? GAMES not sports. Therein lies the answer.

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By mwngiol
26th Feb 2014 16:38

I'm no dictionary but...

My personal definition would be that a game involves mental skill whereas a sport involves physical skill (may also involve mental skill). Bridge and chess etc involve no physical skill so would be games along with draughts and backgammon (although thinking again it may mean that Buckaroo and Kerr-plunk might be sports...hmm not as simple as I thought!).

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26th Feb 2014 19:49

'To my mind anything that involves chance (other than the pre-match coin toss) cannot be a sport, skill being the prime factor in sport'.

Many would say that in a game of chess between two competent players neither will win but they play until one makes a mistake i.e. the superior skill wins.

Personally I don't condone the notion that darts etc are sport although if physical exertion is the deciding criteria perhaps the raising of one's right arm on a regular basis or heaving oneself out of a chair when weighing 17st would.

Applying some of these legal arguments one can see that many tax avoidance cases that HMRC have won have not been sport because they were in front of their 'lucky judge' while some they lost were sport because the defendant had a better barrister (all skill, no chance).

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27th Feb 2014 13:42

What else will HMRC challenge?

Two comments to make:

- the Tribunal included some discussion about whether a reference should be made to the ECJ. Finally, this was rejected, but it does leave the door open for such a reference. The reasons provided in the decision (paras 41-44) are pretty basic. Neither party seems to have made much effort in researching other language versions of the exemption. I note that, in today's Times, the chairman of the EBU, has indicated his decision to Appeal the decision. Perhaps other sporting organisations would support it in doing so.

- my wider concern is whether HMRC will take the opportunity to apply the definition in the decision to other activities, and thereby remove other sports from the exemption - darts, billiards, and others might be in the firing line. Watch out for HMRC revising the Public Notice this year!

And, finally, love the puns!

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By KetcZ
27th Feb 2014 10:25

What Value

What Vaue was being Added to what to require a VAT charge at all?

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28th Feb 2014 13:11

there are no unwinnable hands in bridge?

Oh, yes there is.

 

Many years ago an American bridge devotee couple were playing and Mrs was dealt 7 Clubs. She was so excited she promptly bid seven no trumps; her husband promptly shot her!

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By Old Greying Accountant
02nd Mar 2014 19:08

I don't think ...

... you have done bridge any favours!

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By chEEK
03rd Mar 2014 23:48

I think...

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... you have done bridge any favours!

You had already made up your mind.

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By Old Greying Accountant
04th Mar 2014 20:44

Don't tell me my mind ...

chEEK wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... you have done bridge any favours!

You had already made up your mind.

... and I was referring to the people who play rather than the game itself.

"it's a stunning game, intelligent people should give it a go" - somewhat patronising, to put it mildly!

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By chEEK
04th Mar 2014 23:18

Sigh. Utter nonsense.

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

chEEK wrote:

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... you have done bridge any favours!

You had already made up your mind.

... and I was referring to the people who play rather than the game itself.

"it's a stunning game, intelligent people should give it a go" - somewhat patronising, to put it mildly!

1. If you were referring to the people who play then you should use clearer language - your words certainly don't mean that.

I.e. "you have not done bridge any favours" certainly does not = "people who play bridge have not done it any favours".

.

2. What you quoted is nowhere near patronising. Either you don't understand the word or you're desperately trying to find something to argue with.

Please quit while you're behind. Scrabbling around for a logical foothold always looks ridiculous.

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03rd Mar 2014 10:05

A computer

will eventually beat the best in bridge. It's all a question of memory. The computer will store every conceivable move and play the strongest so all the best a chess champion can hope for is a draw. Admitted the computer doesn't know who holds what cards but it will know what's been played and what's left and no doubt build a scenario around the opening bids. 

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By chEEK
04th Mar 2014 00:32

You missed the point

johnjenkins wrote:

will eventually beat the best in bridge. It's all a question of memory. The computer will store every conceivable move and play the strongest so all the best a chess champion can hope for is a draw. Admitted the computer doesn't know who holds what cards but it will know what's been played and what's left and no doubt build a scenario around the opening bids. 

A computer can have as much "memory" as it likes, but it needs a way of making decisions about human actions to play bridge well.

Currently they run a lot of simulations and assess the outcomes, but they are unable to do many things that humans can do, and they are not that great at assessing the outcomes because they are still only processing raw information, not inferential logic... and THEN they have to prioritise that logic when it appears conflicting and then they have to assess players abilities and levels of knowledge (does he know enough to do that deliberately?) and spot false card situations, mandatory and otherwise... there's far too much human stuff for a computer.

Maybe one day, but not any time soon since chess can be done on a simple bit of software and a lot of hardware, but bridge is a software issue and for this game our human software is better than theirs by a long way. And perhaps we should see that as a good thing :)

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04th Mar 2014 10:02

All you need do

(I know it sounds easier than to do) is tell the computer every possible hand that 4 people could hold (memory) factor in opening bids, (that bit wouldn't be too difficult) make a few assumptions about how most people play cards and you will have a program that would give you a run for your money, especially if you tell it to adapt to the way the people are playing. I don't think that is too far off.

Then I think of the Rocky film where the Russian gets all the techno devices and Rocky has to make do with the great outdoors and what it has to offer, but that was a few years ago.

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By chEEK
04th Mar 2014 23:36

Experience factor

johnjenkins wrote:

(I know it sounds easier than to do) is tell the computer every possible hand that 4 people could hold (memory) factor in opening bids, (that bit wouldn't be too difficult) make a few assumptions about how most people play cards and you will have a program that would give you a run for your money, especially if you tell it to adapt to the way the people are playing. I don't think that is too far off.

Then I think of the Rocky film where the Russian gets all the techno devices and Rocky has to make do with the great outdoors and what it has to offer, but that was a few years ago.

Please believe me, the software we have today is already much more sophisticated than you suggest - and it comes nowhere near to playing at a good standard. as I said, about average club player standard. Not to mention that the bidding and carding methods that can be selected in even the most modern bridge programs are rather limited.

I don't think what I said about inference and it's more tricky cousin, negative inference, psychological/deceptive plays etc etc can mean much to people who don't already play the game at a decent standard - and there's no crime in that, so I'll just have to ask you to believe me.

The unseen element makes this a very, very different game from chess - there are no 10-year old bridge prodigies for the same reason, because such human experience takes time to acquire. To be a good player you need all the skills that a computer can be programmed for - statistics (probability theory), card-counting skills, memory of cards played etc, massive knowledge of bidding systems and being able to devise and refine methods and also counter-measures to opponents methods... and then all the inferential stuff, reading and scrambling their signals, drawing conclusions from break in tempo etc etc etc all on top of that.

Modern bridge goes way beyond anything as simplistic as "sport".

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04th Mar 2014 14:08

Not sure about the computer

 

Not sure about the computer beating me at bridge. It has yet to happen I assure you. 

I was shocked to read of  the fellow who shot his wife, I don't think that is right at all. I cannot find where this response is listed in the Stayman convention so can only conclude something else was seriously amiss with the man. 

It could all have been averted if they had done a bit of honeymoon bridge, I know its frowned upon in the higher echelons but I play it a lot with the Mrs when we are on holiday and it can be enjoyable. 

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By evely
04th Mar 2014 14:15

Wow so many bridge players?

WOW when I did my piece on bridge / chess I did not expect such an interesting debate to follow. Certainly it would appear that the 'Old Greying Accountant' is not convinced and neither is HMRC.

Bridge will have to reinvent its self with a strenuous work out and physically component, perhaps combining with a HMRC listed sport such as Baton Twirling, Petanque, Unihoc, Rambling or Yoga.

I favour a relaxed form of Bridge Yoga, undertaken in a comfortable relaxed environment with a number of yoga positions, stretches and Meditation. Such as the dummy position, sitting still watching the play,  Enlightenment Meditation when bidding seeking the truth in the mantra of the other players and your partner. Or the intermediate level 'Reclining Hero Pose' (kneeing on the floor and then lean backwards to your shoulders touch the floor) amongst other things it improves digestion.

Some may favour extreme Bridge, the 'sport' played on say the side of a mountain. It is believed that skydiving/bridge would not provide enough time and the problem of the cards blowing away has yet to be solved. The suggestion that if a person fails in the bidding they should not pull their parachute cord as a penalty is deemed unacceptable.    

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04th Mar 2014 14:29

Have you ever played

bridge where you have to pass 3 cards to your left, after your opening bid, of course. You can see every body thinking and trying to work out what's what.

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04th Mar 2014 15:08

Seriously I would like to try that

 

  

Mr Evely I find your ideas most innovative but I think in upper echelons some unkind souls may take the view that they are a bit left field. 

 

 

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By evely
05th Mar 2014 21:00

Innovation has to start some where

Gimlet2008 wrote:

Mr Evely I find your ideas most innovative but I think in upper echelons some unkind souls may take the view that they are a bit left field.

I do prefer left field than far right.

So the revolution may be left to the more adventurous and those capable or going through life with their tongue metaphorically in the cheek. 

However extreme iron has made the break so who knows, there maybe a chance. 

Innovation has to start some where at some time, is there sufficient interest to give it a twirl (not baton twirling). I live in London so if there is enough interest why not an evening of extreme bridge? 

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By Old Greying Accountant
05th Mar 2014 01:48

Nothing more boring ...

... than a fanatical zealot.

I also see little evidence of this intelligence in your diatribes - you write like somebody cares!

And if you have to be intelligent to play, then my meaning should have been clear, to an intelligent mind the implication that people like you play the game is reason enough not to is patently obvious.

For the record - patronising: treat with an apparent kindness which betrays a feeling of superiority. - fits the bill pretty well I'd say, or would you prefer "characteristic of those who treat others with condescension" - sounds about right too!

I think your final comment shows who is "winning"

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By chEEK
05th Mar 2014 21:54

Yawn

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

... than a fanatical zealot.

I also see little evidence of this intelligence in your diatribes - you write like somebody cares!

And if you have to be intelligent to play, then my meaning should have been clear, to an intelligent mind the implication that people like you play the game is reason enough not to is patently obvious.

For the record - patronising: treat with an apparent kindness which betrays a feeling of superiority. - fits the bill pretty well I'd say, or would you prefer "characteristic of those who treat others with condescension" - sounds about right too!

I think your final comment shows who is "winning"

Please don't waste my time any further.

Trying to re-invent the meaning of your words is a puerile schoolboy debating tactic. The meaning was clear - what you later tried to suggest that your words meant was very clearly NOT a possible meaning of the words.

Producing a definition of patronising does not mean that my words were in fact patronising. The missing element being that I treated no-one with apparent kindness or condescension. Saying that intelligent people should give bridge a go is neither of those - it's a straightforward expression of opinion. It is not flattering any unintelligent people by suggesting that they are in fact intelligent - people know if they are or are not intelligent, so they will not be flattered if they think I'm referring to them.

I guess you're a little miffed at the realisation that you were excluded. Never mind.

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05th Mar 2014 11:46

@chEEK

I understand the difference between any card games and board games (without dice). With cards and dice there is always an element of luck, however if you tell the computer cam that this blokes scratches his ear that woman fiddles with her blouse collar etc. etc.then eventually all bases would be covered.

My point is that you can program a computer for the "luck" and "sign" element given enough memory. Whether any one would want to go to that degree or not is another matter.

I started playing all games when I was 6 or 7. I absolutely loved the skilled games but got very frustrated with dice and card games. It did teach me a different kind of strategy though, which has allowed me to think outside the box.

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By chEEK
05th Mar 2014 22:01

Please read earlier posts

johnjenkins wrote:

I understand the difference between any card games and board games (without dice). With cards and dice there is always an element of luck, however if you tell the computer cam that this blokes scratches his ear that woman fiddles with her blouse collar etc. etc.then eventually all bases would be covered.

My point is that you can program a computer for the "luck" and "sign" element given enough memory. Whether any one would want to go to that degree or not is another matter.

I started playing all games when I was 6 or 7. I absolutely loved the skilled games but got very frustrated with dice and card games. It did teach me a different kind of strategy though, which has allowed me to think outside the box.

I think you missed the point of my post on duplication of boards in competitive bridge. The luck element is minimised by doing that - the challenge is to do better than the other people who held the same cards in the same deal. The only element of luck is:

 

(a) maybe getting to play the worst pair in the room on a tough deal - and they hand it to you by poor play

(b) The laws of probability run against your actions in a streak in a competition

Play enough deals and that evens out and the most skilful players win.Most club sessions play 24-28 boards/deals. More important competitions, such as world championships, can play hundreds over some days/weeks.

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05th Mar 2014 13:42

Resilience

 

Yes I agree I think it does teach you to think outside the box. And it may in some circumstances help with mental resiliance I think they call it. Very good for that sort of thing. 

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05th Mar 2014 17:09

I would suggest the millions spent and the total man years invested represents the reason why chess engines are stronger than bridge programs.

Chess fan that I am, I would not consider it or bridge a sport, despite the IOC classification, both lacking a physical element.

Darts? A physical skill, just because I can compute the double out does not mean I can hit it, I'm the sort who doubles out on 1, eventually. Snooker, can I cue straight? Maybe in the Post Office, yes OK, I know the spelling's different!

One point I do have to object to is that you can separate memory and skill. If I knew ITEPA inside out would that make me a skilled accountant? If I know the best defence to the Caro-Kahn opening would that make me a skilled chess player? If I had practiced taking free kicks so knew where to strike the ball and how would that make me a skilled footballer?

All of the above are just examples of experience. I would also refute that chess is 'simply' memory, once into the middle game the skill/experience/knowledge to assess 8 to 10 moves ahead is not a simple memory trick, if it was, there would be a perfect way to play that would make you an unstoppable opponent (solitaire for example).

I find the denigration of one game over another to be unworthy of an intelligent professional, personally I enjoy a lot of sports, board and card games, each has its place, even if you prefer yours in a white tower.

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By Old Greying Accountant
05th Mar 2014 22:07

It is not what you say ..

.. but what people hear that makes something patronising.

Your implication was crystal clear, you have to be intelligent to play bridge.

Intelligence "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills" - chimpanzees can do that!

Had you said "it's a stunning game, people should give it a go" I would have no issue. Apart from the unfortunates with mental deficiencies, all people are intelligent, so dropping in a redundant term can only be to patronise and infer a self-deluded superiority..

 

 

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By chEEK
06th Mar 2014 21:42

More drivel?

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

.. but what people hear that makes something patronising.

Rubbish. Coming up with a statement that makes you, as the reader, the sole arbiter of what is and is not patronising is typical of your ridiculous debating tactics.

Something is or is not patronising based on what is said, not how it is perceived.Some people take umbrage very easily, that doesn't make them right that they were insulted. If anything, it is  the intent of the person writing/speaking rather than the person reading/listening that matters. You are jumping through hoops to try to squirm out of your daft accusation and it ain't gonna fly mate.

Quote:
Your implication was crystal clear, you have to be intelligent to play bridge.

That's certainly true, but... who was patronised by that statement? Your assertion does not support your previous conclusion.

Quote:
Intelligence "the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills" - chimpanzees can do that!

So what? Another truism, adding up to nothing that supports your position. To quote... you... the meaning of my words was crystal clear. Unless you think I was suggesting that chimpanzees should take up the game? Didn't think so.

Quote:
Had you said "it's a stunning game, people should give it a go" I would have no issue. Apart from the unfortunates with mental deficiencies, all people are intelligent, so dropping in a redundant term can only be to patronise and infer a self-deluded superiority..

But your definition above had any creature that could use tools as intelligent, so even those with mental deficiencies should be classed as "intelligent" by your previous definition.

You're making it up as you go along.. Wasting peoples time with clever-clever word games.

The one thing we do agree on is that the meaning of my words was clear - I would not recommend that anyone takes up bridge unless they are reasonably intelligent because I think they would be letting themselves in for a lot of frustration. My intent was not to patronise anyone, but to spare the less cerebral the pain of something that is probably not for them.

That said, many players are not particularly intelligent in the conventional sense though, some do ok and enjoy playing - people are free to ignore my opinion and play any game they wish.But that is my opinion and I stated it - that's not really any of your business.

Can you stop now please?

P.S. I don't think bridge would be for you.

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