2017 President’s Awards

by Matthew Kidd

At the January 28, 2018 unit game, president Matthew Kidd presented the fifth annual President’s Awards. These awards are based on the unit game results for 2017 and emphasize partnership performance rather than individual performance.

The full set of awards given are listed below:

Award Result Partnership (or Players)
Best Game 67.37% Tim Flaherty and Junko Hemus
Best Partnership 58.17% average Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger
Best Slam Partnership 2.00 slams / session Matthew Kidd and Ruth Ng
Most Improved Partnership +3.08% average Ron and Mary Huffaker
Most Consistent Partnership σ = 3.05% George and Kathee Bessinger
Wildest Partnership σ = 7.99% Supriyo Datta and Robert Mann
Best Attendance 24 of 25 games Sue Kane
Best David Partnership +2.22% Ben Domurat and Frederick France
Best Meanie Partnership +4.87% Avram and Susan Ninyo
Best Pair-Pair Overperformance +16.74% Ron and Mary Huffaker
against Avram and Susan Ninyo

Best Game is straightforward. Tim Flaherty and Junko Hemus won it on the final unit game of year on Christmas Eve with a 67.35%, beating out Tom Herzog and Larry Sherman who had gained the lead with a 65.34% game on October 22nd when they beat out Matthew Kidd and Wirt Gilliam’s 64.13% which had stood up since May 28th.

Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger won best partnership for the fourth year in a row with a 58.17% average, second only to their 59.37% average in 2015. The new partnership of Davis Bennett and Jim Johnsen put up a good fight until November, tumbling to a 57.22% by the end of the year. The Huffakers are in third place with a 56.70%, edging out the Coopers, who also put up a good fight until the end, at 56.42%.

Matthew Kidd and Ruth Ng won Best Slam Partnership, bidding and making 10 slams in 5 sessions, four in notrump, three in the majors and three in the minors. This result is only based on 5 sessions. The highest ranked partnership with more than 5 sessions is Scott and Carol Nelson who average only 0.83 slams / session over 12 sessions.

The Most Improved Partnership compares 2017 performance against 2016 performance. Ron and Mary Huffaker rebounded +3.08% from their subpar 2016 performance. This is a smaller improvement than we normally see but keep in mind that their subpar performance in 2016 was still a 53.62% average. Also improved were Lynne Anderson and Ursula Kantor (2.64%), Kathie Angione and John Lagodimos (2.22%), and Steve and Jill Seagren (1.84%).

George and Kathlee Bessinger best won the Most Consistent Partnership with a standard deviation of 3.05% over 15 games, achieving a new record for consistency. Barbara Norman and Chuck Wilson had won the Most Consistent Partnership for preceding three years, achieving their most consistent performance of 3.58% in 2015, which is below the theoretical long term minimum observed in Partnership Variability. Perhaps the threat of winning a fourth time caused them to loosen up, achieving a standard deviation of 4.90% for the year. The Bessinger’s result presents a new challenge to the model. Jeremy Fields and Linda Gu are the runners up with a standard deviation of 4.26% over 12 games.

Supriyo Datta and Robert Mann won Wildest Partnership with a standard deviation of 7.99%, below the shocking 8.81% achieved by Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin in 2016, who reined in their crazy this year for a restrained 4.66%. Runner ups include the partnerships of Meenakshi and Nirmala Krishnamoorthy at 7.51% and Carolyn Casey and Marilyn Peters-Dunn at 7.15%.

Best Attendance is straightforward. Sue Kane, who was in a four way tie in 2016, won outright this year, attending 24 out of 25 unit games. Bob Brobst, Ben Domurat, and Alice Lane were the runners up, each attending 23 games. Alice and Bob were in the four way tie in 2016.

Four years ago, I introduced the Payoff Matrix and the examination of pair-pair interactions after factoring in differences in partnership skill so as to evaluate over- and under-performance. The Best David Partnership and the Meanie (formerly Best Bottom Feeding) Partnership awards are based on those results. The Best David Partnership, named for David and Goliath, goes to the partnership which overperforms the most against the stronger half of the field. Since this award is cast in terms of over- and underperformance, it simultaneously implies they are not beating up as much as they should against the weaker half of the field. The Meanie award goes to the partnership which overperforms the most against the weaker half of the field, and simultaneously underperforms against the stronger half of the field. Ben Domurat and Frederick France won the Best David Partnership with a 2.22% overperformance based on 20 games, pouncing in particular on the partnerships of Scott and Carole Nelson and Bill Grant and Lynne O’Neill. Three pairs did better but none are based on more than 7 games. Avram and Susan Ninyo won the Meanie award with a 4.87% overperformance against the weak half of the field.

The Best Pair-Pair Overperformance award is often subject to a tradeoff between magnitude and statistical confidence. But this year we can award it to the Huffakers whether for their 16.74% overperformance against the Ninyos over 12 boards or their 14.35% overperformance against Carolyn Casey and Marilyn Peters-Dunn over a more robust 17 boards, or even their 10.40% overperformance against Bill Grant and Lynne O’Neill over 14 boards. The steadiest drubbing is the 5.35% overperformance of Chuck Wilson and Barbara Norman against Frederick France and Ben Domurat, conducted over 30 boards.