Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Let's face facts here. Cheating in this game is so endemic , it seems that nothing can be done to eradicate it. Half the players who cheat are oblivious to the fact that their behavioural nuances are being picked up by their alert partners as providing valuable albeit unauthorized information about their hands. Facial expressions , body posture or movements , changes in tempo , and hesitations provide real " tells " . This means that in well established regular partnerships , other channels of communication run in tandem with the bidding and play of the cards.
But wait there may be a solution after all : SEGREGATION.
All clubs ( and tournaments ) should split into two. One group of players , namely the cheats , need to play against each other in the dirty bridge section where anything goes. Then each pair can be reassured that they are playing on a level albeit filthy playing field. No one is disadvantaged because everyone is equally active in the dark art of cheating.
The remaining saints and purists will form the other group where the playing field is clean , open and transparent. Players are are more likely to play with a multitude of partners , everyone keeping to simple bidding systems , committed to making all bids in tempo and retaining a calm , still , placid posture when involved in play. 
Having two clubs under one roof should not pose any problems. As for deciding which group to join there needs to be a criteria for playing in the clean bridge section, which if unmet means players are obliged to play dirty bridge. Criteria should include a previous history of never having partnered someone more than once a month. A reputation for having a dead pan face , and always bidding in tempo with hardly any variation in body movement and gestures. A track record of always being ethical , being the first to admit or confess to having made even the slightest transgression. 
When problems can't be eradicated , then people must learn to live and manage the problems. Hells bells why the Olympic Bodies don't run an event solely for the drug taking athletes is beyond me. Doing all this drug testing is not only a waste of money ( the cheats still find ways around it ) the problem is never likely to go away. Athletes have already started to look at each other with great suspicion. So let's have clean Olympic events running alongside the drug fuelled ones, which Russia no doubt will be eager to place all its athletes.  


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