Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Dear Rebecca ,
I am appalled at the relentless decline in moral standards which now undermines this wonderful game of bridge . I fought a war for this country just to uphold the Great British values of civilised and refined behaviour .
I have heard a great deal about you , but I must admit I rarely bother to read your columns or your books. You see....I'm very much a man's man.
Anyway, do you agree that the world of bridge today has been taken over by unethical , nasty minded, results merchants , who haven't a shred of decency, morality, sportsmanship and goodwill left in them .
Why just the other night my twit of a partner quitted his trick incorrectly.....and the sharp-eyed, evil opponents spotted it.....and did likewise ! So as dummy , I naturally pointed out to these three players the error of their ways , whereupon I rounded upon and I told it was not my place to comment.
Well, if you can't point out a transgression without transgressing yourself, then what the hell is this game coming to ?
Yours Ray D. Tuckhill
Dear Ray ,
It's perfectly obvious to me that you have lost sight of what bridge is all about. If you were prepared to go to war , then going to your local bridge club must be like a walk in the park. The worst that could happen to you is damaged pride and a few injured feelings.
The game has indeed become far more sophisticated and far more competitive. There is no room now for sentiment, because results are what most bridge players are after. For many the joy of winning far exceeds the joy of participating , and that joy depends on getting tops , irrespective of how they come about. So long as there is no cheating involved then anything goes.
Having said all that you should have waited till the hand was over , asking all concerned to leave the cards face down until a TD arrived. Then you could point out your partner's mistake on quitting the trick, before really laying into your two opponents, who knowingly mis-quit the same trick in a blatant attempt to cheat their way to a better score.
All in all this comes across as a very disturbing tale indeed. Firstly, there's your ignorance of the rules and impetuous behaviour. Then there's your partner's lack of concentration and focus. And finally, there are those two low down, filthy, rotten cheats, who need a right good flogging. So yes, the game does have an unsavoury side to it, but doesn't every competitive sport. Nevertheless, bridge still remains the best game in the world. So learn to live with the harsh realities that it brings along. Stop your whinging and whining. Read up on the rules, and use the TDs to sort out the bad guys.
Yours as always incredibly Rood

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