Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 9th, 2020


Iain ClimieAugust 23rd, 2020 at 10:38 am

HI Bobby,

With regard to Master Points, the English Bridge Union introduced a grading scheme (NGS) where grades can go up or down, similar to ELO grades at chess. I wouldn’t take such ideas too seriously though. Although Andrew Robson was the highest grade in the UK, I was just playing club bridge in one county (Hertfofdshire where I was registered but played when working away from home in Hampshire) and at one stage waz the highest ranked player on the county list just ahead of an ex New Zealand internatiinal. I was emphatically NOT the best player in the county although that didn’t stop players at a delightfully friendly club (Hitchin) dining out on any good results they had against me.



bobbywolffAugust 23rd, 2020 at 2:13 pm

Hi Iain,

My experience and particularly my age enables me to at least think I should know something about the qualities necessary to be a winning bridge competitor at a very high level.

Our site is blessed with more than just a few who I could count on, to make that list. Without specifically naming them (for many practical and personal reasons) no doubt, at least to me, if they could gain some experience with whomever they would pair up with, they, once time allowed them to catch up with the current worldwide bidding structure, hold their own against all comers.

Considering the determining factors, at least in my view, compatible and sophistocated enough bidding system with enough partnership harmony (not too fancy), playing well under pressure, devotion to bringing out the best qualities of partner, and above all, overall mental toughness, would represent our calling card every time some group shouted, “table up”.

Adding to that would be a constant flow of others who have appeared occasionally, but, of course, needed time to mightily catch up with the necessities of consistent learning, some of who might make it and others would not.

But, as a determined group, I sincerely think that we could team up and after going through a get acquainted period of discipline and resolve would have a chance to play any current world foursome and, even over a significant number of hands, at least hold our own.

Of course, such an experience will never happen, but no harm can come of just dreaming away, especially when I sincerely believe all of the above.

Finally, TOCM TM would need to take a necessary well-earned vacation.

Iain ClimieAugust 23rd, 2020 at 7:24 pm

HI Bobby,

Thanks for the kind words. As Patrick and I have a partner in common (Chris Stevens) and are the same far side of the Atlantic, we might be a potential pairing. More seriously, I’m sgure your advice plius kind and encouraging words are appreciated by us all.



Patrick CheuAugust 23rd, 2020 at 7:37 pm

Hi Iain,Who is partnering who!? 🙂 Regards Patrick

Iain ClimieAugust 23rd, 2020 at 9:45 pm

Hi Patrick,

Either of us could partner Chris, or we could try a session together some time. Sadly I’m no longer going down to Weymouth but, if I ever start doing so again, let’s meet up.



Patrick CheuAugust 24th, 2020 at 6:24 am

Hi Iain, Let’s hope we can all return to a bridge club soon…anywhere..where we can meet up with old friends and share some bridge memories of past and present. Regards Patrick

Iain ClimieAugust 24th, 2020 at 8:04 am

HI Patrick, Totally agree – online just isn’t the same without the human contact. Iain

bobbywolffAugust 24th, 2020 at 3:59 pm

Hi Patrick & Iain,

Amen to face to face bridge and a pained hello to virtual.

So many bridge lovers, including many or most of the very top ones crave being at the same table as their talented or especially, even not so much, opponents.

Some, who I’ll openly call heretic others, who sing the praises of virtual by claiming “table feel
has to deal with inferior ethics” could be true in a small percentage of cases. At least among the real bridge lovers and usually upper crust,
but my experience and for more years than I can count will only apply to reading opponents, not partner,. When strength plays against strength, at least when no collusive cheating is occurring, there is almost never anything close to taking advantage of partner’s tells, instead of the sometimes careless opposition, simply because everyone present will know what happened.

Finally and downright very sad fact will ALWAYS remain that when players, (proven recently even relatively young ones with virtual unlimited potential) become victim to the lure of winning, rather than enough love for the game.

Unfortunately humans, particularly in this day and age, are just as likely subject to outlandish horrible temptation as were many biblical characters depicted acting shamefully.

While now changing the subject to topical issues beyond bridge, it seems downright laughable to me that any somewhat intelligent human being could begin to think that after all history is examined, how they could expect for different races or religions (which generally covers many significantly different ways of thinking) could ever be trained, even including hurtfull penalties, for not, to get along peaceably and healthily.

DREAM ON, but carry a big stick and even hopefully, a more tolerant attitude.

Judy Kay WolffAugust 24th, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Sorry .. we are waiting for Monday to be posted.
Thanks for your patience. Judy

bobbywolffAugust 24th, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Hi Everyone,

Apologies for not having the Monday column up, but there are computer problems, which hope and figure to be solved soon.

Patrick CheuAugust 24th, 2020 at 7:03 pm

Hi Bobby, Me thinks we have learned to become better human beings here,and not just bridge, through your thoughts on various matters in our everyday life. Regards Patrick

bobbywolffAugust 24th, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Hi Patrick,

Much thanks for your post and would be gloriously happy with only a portion of what you so beautifully wrote.

However I am down in the dumps in what America has shown signs in becoming a bunch of spoiled brats who think they are facing what has bedeviled other countries for many moons.

We need to come together like we did during the World War days and stop at least most of the internal squabbling and instead reach out to each other for more love and much less hate.

As it is now, we have become unrecognizable with apparently no end in sight.

In no uncertain terms, you made my day or rather, month.