Sunday, 7 February 2010

As you know, or may not know, the Yanks have set up a Hall of Fame to honour those who really know how to play the game. At present it seems to be an American HOF, because only Americans were selected to enter it by the front door. Apparently, Canada felt that two of their best players were overlooked, and after voicing concerns, justice was eventually served, when they were later added to the list by decree.....or should I say " allowed in by the back door" . However, some criticism has been made from various quarters ( even from within the Hall itself ) , that a few too many players have sneaked in at the expense of more deserving cases. These questionable selections apparently concern a small group of big money sponsors, who by regularly hiring professionals have achieved success on the big stage. Success which some observers believe results from being " carried " on the shoulders of giants.
Well, hopefully all that is about to change, because I'm going to set up Howard Bigot-Johnson's World's Best Players Hall of Fame. And I can assure you that there's going to be (1) no secret bulging brown envelopes, (2) no mutual back-scratching societies , ( 3) no secret cabals, ( 4) no unhealthy conspiracies, ( 5) no nepotism, and (6) no despotism. In other words, players who get into this Hall will have to meet the following stringent conditions:
  • They have never " hired" players to be their partners, or to play in their team. Successes by virtue of this practice are discounted agaist them ( but not their partners or team-mates).
  • Nominations by regular partners and/or team -mates are out of the question, in that mutual back -scratching societies are banned.
  • Nominations only count if made by highly placed OPPONENTS involved in the same big stage or world stage competition..... who are not of the same nationality . Moreover with each nomination, evidence of hands must be provided where the player nominated really showed his/her genius at work.
  • Players with the most nominations over a given period can qualify for a " player of the year award " confined to their own particular country.
  • Players, who achieve several player of the year awards, can be put forward by their country to be considered for Howard Bigot-Johnson's World's Best Players HOF.
  • Those nominated to get into this great Hall will have to sit Howard Bigot-Johnson's " Lets see the final proof of how good you are " examination. This will consist of a five 90 minute papers covering the following topics: (1) bidding on awkward hands, (2) opening leads and defence, (3) awkward contracts for declarer, (4) declarer squeeze play , and (5) reading the cards. Scores below 90% will be deemed " a fail" ... earning them the big "F" certificate and " better luck next year" condolences. Those players who pass will be allowed to join Bigot ( who of course is an Honorary member ) in the Big Hall for a badge of merit and a slap-up meal.

Now if any Tom, Dick or Harry can think up a better system than that, then either send me a post, or submit your views on some other blog ( and advise me where to look ). Or if it's your wish, where to get off .....Yours full of cracking good ideas Howard Bigot-Johnson.

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