IF BRIDGE IS A SPORT THEN HOW COME THE MEANS BY WHICH THE GAME IS PLAYED FAIL TO CONFORM TO ANY REGULATORY STANDARDS ?........( Article by Carp )
In chess both players start out with the same pieces , which conform to particular rules of movement and placement. In cricket both the ball and the ball must confirm to material , size and weight requirements, and with rules on handling and usage. In golf , players'clubs must confirm to rules regarding the number carried , head types and shapes plus length and weight specifications. Athletes must strictly adhere to rules governing shoes, intake of medicines and dietary supplements.
Why have such rules one might ask ? The answer of course is to insure that all participants enter the competition on a level playing field , to deny any competitor to seek out and exploit AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE.
So back to bridge and the means by which the game is played : the system card declaring what bids mean and what defensive manoeuvres will be used . If every competitor was obliged to conform to a standard bidding system, the playing field automatically becomes level. Success will now depend upon how well the players master and apply that system if they are to triumph over their opponents. By allowing extreme diversity of bidding systems as exists today the game has become a mockery, with some players armed with rocket launchers up against others who choose only to start out with pea shooters. The rocket launchers are designed to benefit the users to the detriment of those who have little or no time to grasp and understand their complex and convoluted sequences . made up of artificial , multiple possibility bids. This is equivalent to having a golfer carrying around 40 odds clubs . one ideally suited for every contingency , or a batsman electing to go in with a 12 inch wide bat,
Governing bodies have , in my view , lost control of the emerging farce, allowing so-called experts to use their overly complex custom made systems , designed primarily to achieve two goals : (i) to feed their vanity in naming the system after themselves - a way of achieving immortality (ii) to dope their opponents through sheer mental exhaustion leaving them permanently confused , dazed and befuddled - a seemingly legitimate way of cheating.
Bridge can only retain its integrity and majesty once competitors start out FROM THE SAME STARTING LINE .....WITH A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH......HONEST INTENTIONS.... AND OF COURSE STANDARD CONFORMING EQUIPMENT.
No wonder the game is in the doldrums.