ACBL Unit 503


SWISS Teams

If you're new to SWISS Teams, or just want to learn more about them, here is some information you may find useful:

Description

Swiss events consist of teams of four, where your team's north-south plays against the opposition's east-west and vice versa. Each round is typically seven boards and a caddy trades them between your and your partner's tables for you as you play. At the end, you rejoin your teammates and compare the north-south scores to the east-west scores and tally the difference. For example, if your team's north-south make a vulnerable 4H game worth +620 points, but your team's east-west defeat the opponents two tricks for +200, it gives your team 620+200=+820. Then the team uses a scale called "IMPs" (for "international match points") scoring which appears on the back of all convention cards to assign a value to the score. Often IMPS are then converted to Victory Points according to a scale also found on the score cards.

After each round, the director pairs teams with similar records. So, winners are paired with other winners, and losers with losers. Therefore after the third match a team with two wins and one loss would play a team with the same win-loss record.

Strategy

Swiss Teams, and indeed all Teams play, is basically a different strategy than Pair events because of how they are scored. Games and Slams are far more important because the total score on each board is vital, and it's only played one other time - not many times like Pairs events boards.

In Pairs events (Matchpoints) every trick is vital, and players scrap for every one, and sometimes get disastrous results and go down 1100. In Team events (IMPS or Victory Points) a trick more or less doesn't affect your score much. However, in Team games the difference between bidding and making games and slams does make a big difference - it could lose the whole match for you and your teammates.

So, in Swiss Team play, be aggressive about bidding even skinny Games and Slams - go for Slam if it's even a 50% chance, because of the other team does and you don't, goodbye match. Also, don't risk doubling your opponents into game, so don't double them unless you are sure you can set them.