Wednesday, 28 September 2016


In the minds of many,  bidding systems have become the play toy of smart-arse players deviously designed to be convoluted , destructive and overly complex. How and why governing bodies have permitted the use of such systems are questions yet to be answered. Are they afraid of offending those you put forward claims that they are fair and legitimate , thoroughly deserving of a licence. 
What was once a system card on a 1-sided piece of paper now run to a 4-5 page booklet with umpteen supplementary notes. Moreover auctions are peppered with " alerts " ,the explanations of which are often long and confusing ......not to mention the time consuming in the process. So when one alert is followed by another , and yet more , the auction ultimately descends into a farce. Opponents are never any wiser , and in no real position to implement counter-bids of their own. So the smart-arse bidders have gained a very significant but unfair advantage. They know what's going on but no one else at the table does. 
When will this madness stop allowing level playing fields to return in order to restore the integrity of the game.
I often come up against ultra aggressive players who bid on tram-tickets solely with the aim to disrupt their opponents casting doubt and uncertainty in their minds. Pre-empts even on 5 card suits. Weak two ( 2-suited ) openers usually in a 5-12 hcp range,  1C bids which might be a few as one in that suit. Light openers and super light openers non-vulnerable or in 3rd position. Psyches , semi-psyches and off-centre bids. Stepped responses and loads of enquiry bids. And not forgetting weak or strong , either-or bids to join the wonderfully ambiguous multi-2-diamonds  Most of them to be alerted , to accompany dozens of announced bids. No wonder the game has become a big turn off for those who try it out for the first time.
Every one should go onto the Bridgeblogging site to read Paul Cronin's September 21st where he shows genuine concern over opening bids which don't even satisfy the rule of 16. So why don't we all abandon system cards , allowing everyone to benefit from having secret coded bids instead.  

Thursday, 8 September 2016


Sadly , this blog has completed its journey because in essence it was a story , which like any other story comes to an inevitable conclusion.
The motivation behind this blog was to expose ignorance and injustice , and the harrowing tale of two parties locked in a bitter legal dispute wasting huge sums of money on legal fees without resolution. Such stupidity , such insanity.
The story kicked off with the flying bridge mate incident which triggered an all out witch hunt by the club committee to get rid of the pilot member,  who had over the years been involved in other skirmishes with club officials. The disciplinary process that took place breached every known rule of natural justice , which the committee vehemently denied. The fact the accused never had an initial hearing was never considered to be a major issue , let alone the presence of blatant bias which bordered on blinkered lynch mob mentality.
With the club committee spurning the offer of early mediation to right the wrongs of the internal appeal debacle , the rocky road of expensive litigation was soon embarked upon. Six years on,  but a few weeks before the scheduled trial each side was now out of pocket to the tune of £130,000 plus. Then , out of the blue , a reality eventually sunk in that the judge was almost certainly going rule that each party would have to pay their own costs irrespective of the outcome. This of course made the trial a pointless and futile exercise as the recovery of costs had ultimately taken over from the question " had there been a wrongful expulsion ". Why therefore waste any more money ?
However , what really galled me was that the committee members were never at risk of being made personal liable for the legal fees , having secured the backing of nearly all the members to fight the action using club money. Needless to say the these members were never given the full facts at any time about the dispute, or the financial implications of proceeding to court ,  having to vote on resolutions in ignorance of the committee's inexplicable errors of judgement.
When at last the plaintiff's hands down offer was accepted by the committee, the new chairman declared that a line needed to be drawn, and that this sad and sorry affair should be confined to the history books and left alone. Nobody was held to account and certain individuals who were ultimately responsible for wasting and squandering club funds on a lost cause were allowed to remain on committee , never prepared to acknowledge or apologise for their failings. 
As a blogger I wanted to tell this story if only to warn all other bridge clubs to avoid making the same mistakes this club did over a 6 year period. Hindsight may be a wonderful thing but foresight is so much better........and far less costly.