There are at least two main types of tournament scoring: matchpoints (MPs) and IMPs. It is often said that these two are "different" games, claiming that the strategy you use is completely different.

In the first case, a difference of as little as game ten points can get you from an average to a top or bottom match score. A double in a contract that always goes one down can turn your average match score into top score.

In the second case, more game points are better than fewer, but the scale is more graduated. In some cases, only missing a game, not to mention a slam, will really hurt. Especially if you are vulnerable (such distinction in vulnerability when trying to reach slams is not that important in MPs).

While there are different strategies according to the type of scoring, my main question is the following:

Are world class players likely to be ranked similarly given the different rankings for IMP matches and MP matches based on their "experience" with actual rankings?

  • 1
    There is no right answer to this question - it is simply an excuse for a discussion. Jan 8, 2014 at 14:31
  • I made the question more objective by asking for "experience" with actual rankings, and wonder if it can be reopened in its current form.
    – Tom Au
    Jan 12, 2014 at 20:41
  • It's OK Tom. I think now last question is easier to be understood. Do you also have any answer to give? Do you think ranking will be similar? Jan 13, 2014 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


Barry Crane was throughout his lifetime regarded as the quintessential matchpoint player - yet due to his busy work schedule competed almost solely in weekend regional events dominated by a Saturday Open Pairs and a Sunday Swiss Team. His great success over several decades in both events speaks to the relatively minor differences in strategy between the two types of scoring.

One must know which game one is playing but only in extended team play, with matches longer than 16 boards, are 4-card majors or even fast-in-and-fast-out bidding systems like Crane's starting to have a noticeable disadvantage.

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