Ted's Bridge World Table Guide Cards
for Rotary Movements

A movement that is 'rotary' in nature — that is, a one-winner design such that the moving pairs follow each other around the room in an uninterrupted pattern — lends itself to the use of table guide cards, which eliminate the necessity of providing said instructions in another way.  The so-called Howell movements and certain Individual and Team-of-Four schedules fall into this category.

Several vendors sell guide cards for many Howells and Individuals, adopted long ago as "standard" by the ACBL (and subsequently by other organizations as a matter of expedience).  Because I am not trying to supplant the printing industry, most such schedules are not featured here.  What you will find are some original creations that provide one or more of the following benefits:

A single downloadable file contains the data for all featured movements; simply discard the ones that you don't wish to use.  The PDF files enable easy printing of guide cards.  The other files are compatible with ACBLscore.  Just copy the MOV files into your \acblscor\MOV folder and the IND files into the \acblscor\IND folder.  When you later specify an External Movement during a game setup, they will show up on the list, easily identifiable by the hyphens in their names.

The filenames reflect the number of tables (pairs) or players (individuals) and the number of rounds.  No more information can be included, because ABCLscore has an old-fashioned limitation on the length of a filename.  A further description of all schedules is displayed on the computer screen.

As with most ACBLscore movements, the number of boards played per round is optional.

Download:   MOVEMENTS.ZIP     This file is safe!






These movements have long been out of favor; but they can come in handy for home games or those times when most of your club's clientele is trapped in a snowstorm.



Ideally, a rotary movement is set up such that the tables are bunched together as closely as possible with respect to the board sets, and the boards go out of play from Table-1 to a bye-stand.  That is the natural order of things.  Not all movements can be so intuitively organized, however.  The 4-table Howell requires a pair of bye-stands, and certain others need even more.

The well-known Howell and Individual schedules have been around since the early days of duplicate; unfortunately, those same original designs are being used to this day even though better setups are available in many cases.  For example, the ACBL adopted a 4-table configuration that starts with board sets 1-4-6-7,  even though a less confusing 1-2-3-5 matrix was known at the time.

Similarly, the standard 6-table complete Howell utilizes no fewer than four bye-stands, even though only two are required.  It didn't have to be that way, because designing such movements simply isn't that difficult.


Most directors who opt for a Howell movement expect it to provide a more equitable game, in that all pairs compete against each other for the matchpoints to some extent; unfortunately, that is not always the case.  Ideally, every pair would play, as nearly as possible, half the boards in the same direction as every other pair and half the boards in the opposite direction.  Of all movements analyzed, only four are mathematically capable of perfect balance — the complete Howells for 4 tables and 6 tables, plus the complete Individuals for 8 players and 12 players.

The other complete Howells are reasonably and symmetrically balanced.  The so-called three-quarter movements, though — curtailed such that not all pairs meet — are mathematically flawed; and the arrow-switching scheme for the stationary pairs further corrupts the matrix.  Under these conditions, programming even a palatable configuration is problematical.  In particular, the standard Howell for 6 tables, 9 rounds is so utterly unfair to certain pairs that it should have been replaced seventy years ago.

The ACBLscore program has a built-in feature for designing virtually any movement of one's desire.  For those that I tested, however, player balances ranged from mediocre to horrid; in fact, a couple of them are worse than the dreaded 6-table three-quarter Howell.  A workable schedule is generated, all right; but no coding has been spared to select a matrix that is even remotely equitable.  Additionally, the usage of any of those movements would entail the printing of personal guide cards.

Now you don't have to do that, however, because new and improved table guide cards are available right here at Ted's World.  For every schedule posted, all possible configurations have been tested and the fairest available option has been selected.  Enjoy.

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