Unplayed boards. Reasons to adjust or not. 

When time runs out on a board, you may have noticed that BBO scores this as “Ave==”.  This means that both pairs will get 50% on the board, pretty much as if you’d never even started the board.

Fair enough?  But what if, with just a few cards to go, you were about to make your contract which would have scored a
top?  Or perhaps you bid to a ridiculous contract that was doomed from the start.  Should you be denied your top (or bottom) because your opponents played their cards slowly?  Maybe, even, the reasons for the time-out were unrelated to this hand.

For these reasons, we try to look at any boards that have been scored as averages, and see whether a particular outcome is likely. If that is the case, then we will change the result from an average to the most likely result that we think would have happened had you continued.

Example of clear adjustment? If you click next below you can play the hand as we would to get to the point play stopped – and thereafter it is clear that declarer is about to go one down in 2S, so we adjust the score…). If you click GIB you see this too.


When determining a result, what we won’t do is assume that you will play perfectly, as if you could see through the backs of the cards.  So if you’re not sure what to do when you have a choice between taking a finesse or going for the drop, don’t assume that, by letting the clock run down, we will get the choice right for you!  We don’t believe that any of our club members would slow down deliberately in the hope of improving their score, but if there is evidence of such, we might report this back to the club.

It is not always easy to determine what would have happened. Often there will still be many ways to play the hand.  If the possibilities are too numerous or unclear, we might let the average stand as it is. As a general rule, we will not adjust if the board has been timed out before the end of the auction.

  Two Examples of unclear outcomes

[IMO, it would still only be correct to award 50%50% if this is at least an approximate compromise of the likely outcome of a weighted ruling – but we don’t want to get into too much detail about this!]

In some of our games, especially the evening games, BBO itself will assign a bridge result if a board finishes with only a few cards left to play:  BBO gets four of its robots to complete the play – no doubt they will play well, knowing the percentages, etc., but still not with x-ray vision! Please note that when we adjust an average to an actual bridge result, we are not doing this to penalise or reward slow play, but just to ensure that your bridge results fairly reflect how you played (& bid)!

Did we get it wrong?

If you think there is something wrong with a ruling or adjustment on a deal, please send a message to EBU_6 asking for a Review Form. You can complete and submit the request and our most Senior TD will review our decision. The reviewer will respond and also send a copy to your club. We do not ask for a deposit, but if the Reviewer and your club think the request was frivolous, we reserve the right to invoice for the time.

I am the Lockdown TD who adjusts many of the unfinished boards, with a lot of help from my colleagues.

I also am responsible for getting the results from BBO onto your club websites, including changing your BBO names into real names.  Of course, for this, I need to know who you all are in advance!  So if you bring along a new player, please make sure you let the organisers know, and hopefully they will pass on the info to me.