NS Tricks // N has 7222 // N has 7321
6 // 4019 // 4455
7 // 10778 //11089
8 // 14016 // 12307
9 // 10811 // 9886
10 // 5371 // 6146
11 // 2344 // 2869
12 // 532 // 1033
13 // 178 // 215
It is clear from this table [cd not work out how to use tabs in Blogger] that the variation is higher for the slightly more shapely hand, which fits in well with our intuition: A 7-3-2-1 hand is more likely than a 7-2-2-2 to meet with either a particularly unsuitable hand for partner (with wasted values opposite the singleton, perhaps holding the partnership to six or seven tricks) or a particularly suitable one (with values opposite the tripleton, often allowing the partnership to take from 10 to 13 tricks.)
I used to think that anyone who had seen hundreds of books published would have a bridgeplayer's sense of fit; would see that writers rarely have balanced hands, so that a fit with an agent or editor is likely to be very good or very bad.
It seems not to work that way. There are disciplines, cultures that value intellectual elegance and economy. A serious bridgeplayer does not have to explain the value of elegance to his peers. A programmer does not have to explain the value of elegance to other programmers. A mathematician does not have to explain the value of elegance to mathematicians. Explanation comes into play only when one deals with what dance schools call beginners and improvers. Whereas.
Over the last 15 years I have had conversations with many, many people in the industry. Mainly agents and editors, but also accountants, lawyers, designers, production managers, publicists, marketers, booksellers - the number of people who have to get paid out of the cover price of a book is not small. These conversations have certain features in common. Blank looks. Incomprehension. Disbelief. Comment: 'I've dealt with hundreds of authors, and no one has ever wanted this before.'
So I think it may be necessary to do something else. I thought I might be happier in IT, but the programmers I know have not been very helpful in suggesting entry-level jobs. It may be best to go back to London and work again as a legal secretary for a few years; if I had an evening job I might do a BSc. during the day. It's possible that a public blog will turn out to be incompatible with that sort of job, in which case pp may have to go offliine. We'll see.
(Martelli, by the way, is also a member of the Python Software Foundation, author of Python in a Nutshell and co-editor of The Python Cookbook. Wikipedia: 'According to Martelli's self-evaluation, his proudest achievement is the articles that appeared in The Bridge World (January/February 2000), which were hailed as giant steps towards solving issues that had haunted contract-bridge theoreticians for decades.' If you are a writer who is haunted by the kind of issue that bothers contract-bridge theoreticians, you are probably in the wrong line of work.)
How do we get back, from those average numbers of tricks taken by the partnership, call it P, to the "strength of North's hand," call it N? Well, if we knew N, we would estimate P through the forumla, P = N plus one-third (of 13 minus N), because, by symmetry, on average partner's hand can be taken as supplying one-third of the "remaining" tricks, 13 minus N. From that equation, it follows that
N = (1.5 times P) minus 6.5
Applying this to the earlier values (7222 Average 8.26 and 7321 Average 8.33 yields hand-strength estimates of 5.90 for Hand 7222 and 6.00 for Hand 7321.
How can Hand 7222, that will surely take six tricks itself, be worth a bit less than six tricks in this scale? Because the hand-strength values were computed under the assumption that the ratings of th North and South hands would be added to produce a partnership total. When North holds 7=2=2=2, his shape will (on average) destroy some of the values that South will count on.