Getting Into ‘The Common Game’
You might’ve heard the talk in Bridge circles about something called ‘The Common Game’. But just what the heck is it about? Great Bridge Link’s Alex J. Coyne did some investigating.
The Common Game: What is it?
“The Common Game is a service offered to clubs and players,” says Sara Whipple, the Director of Communications over at TCG. The Common Game is offered through local clubs, which provides bridge players the opportunity to play the same hands and compare their results with players at other clubs across the country every day.
This initiative is partially thanks to Jay Whipple III, a name most players might already know from his role as an ACBL board member. According to The Common Game’s FAQ page, games are scheduled every day of the week and split up into three sessions per day: Morning, afternoon and evening.
Benefits for players, also according to the FAQ, include encouraging more players to play in clubs, reduce redundant board preparation efforts, offer what they call “postmortem analysis” of hands and it gives the smaller clubs access to a larger playing field.
And, one of the best features about it, it’s completely free to participate in.
Hand, hand, hand generation…
According to Vancouver Bridge Club, the hands played are generated at random using BridgeComposer software. The Common Game specifies that they also make use of the Big Deal option within Bridge Composer to generate hands, after which hands are added to TCG’s ever-expanding library of hands and “never touched again”. So, yes, hands are not altered in any way. You can read more about the statistics behind it at their Hands FAQ, here.
What it gets YOU
“Players have access to emailed results, matchpointed results, personal play analytics, pro analysis, integration with BBO, and more,” says Sara. This allows you to learn more about your game and how you should be playing it. For members, your personal game results can also be downloaded (by clicking on PBN next to “Boards Date” if you can’t find it) and then uploaded onto other bridge software platforms like Bridge Base Online or Double Dummy Solver Hand Analysis Tools.
Make sure you’ve got an ACBL number. The FAQ mentions that if you’ve got your email address already registered with the ACBL then you’ll get your results sent to you automatically; also, if you or your partner don’t have one, you won’t be considered for any official recognition – including rewards.
I like it. But how … ?
Tell your club about TCG: It’s definitely something that’s going to improve your game, and it could kick some life into your local bridge clubs.
Clubs can contact Sara directly to enroll via email at Sara@TheCommonGame.com. (You can find the registration form for Club Directors hosted on Google Docs for download over here.)
For more information about TCG, you can visit their official website at www.TheCommonGame.com
by Alex J. Coyne © 2017 Great Bridge Links