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October 2019 English Bridge

I have to say I was very

underwhelmed by the whole

thing and honestly do not feel it

was a true representation of the

game we love.

I know that there are bickering

and disagreements in the game

but the amount between the

players was excessive. And as for

the cheating section, it gives the

completely wrong impression

that cheating is commonplace

and normal. We have lost a good

opportunity to advertise what a

great game we have. John Pelley


I read the letter about the NGS in

the August issue of the magazine

and thought I might raise an

alternative view of the system. I

realise that it is technically a

brilliant set up and gives

everyone constant feedback on

how they are performing, which

sounds fine but I can't help

thinking that overall the system

is not helpful. I know it shouldn't

matter what the NGS says about

one's standing but on some level

it does.

If the result always counts

towards your current rating it is

a bit like every piece of work you

hand in counting towards a final

exam result. What this means is

that on some level I am less likely

to play if I have had a busy day

and am feeling a bit tired, as

opposed to just participating in a

relaxed mode and not minding if

I have a poor session. I may not

be alone in thinking this way so

across the country there could be

fewer people playing than would

otherwise be the case. I can't help

feeling that it is a system that

people should have to opt into

rather than try and opt out of

and perhaps the Americans

would be wise to make some

changes before they make any

decisions about launching the

system there. Just a thought.

Ian Wright


What is the latest thinking on the

masterpoints system? It seems to

me that it is out of date and

should be discontinued. The

NGS is a much better measure of

form and could be further

improved by incorporating

personal playing percentages. Is

it not time for bridge players to

grow up and rid themselves of

the masterpoint nonsense?

David Berrisford


Your last magazine cover English

Bridge is SO bracing made us

smile and could have been

written for us.

Some of you will know that

the 'so bracing' is usually linked

with Skegness in Lincolnshire.

And that was, and is, the location

of our bridge club's (Bourne,

Lincolnshire) annual social

outing. Our weekend was

advertised as 'Brace yourselves

it's Skeggy.'

Our first club weekend, in Feb

2017, saw over 50 members

coming together for a social

weekend with some bridge

staying at The Savoy Hotel. We

had so much fun and laughter

that we immediately booked a

repeat for February 2018 only for

it to be snowed off. We rearranged

for November 2018

and the event grew and we took

over the whole hotel with 64

people joining us. This was quite

an achievement as our

membership stands at 120.

We're currently preparing for

our next weekend in November

2019. As a club we're delighted

that Skeggy ticks all the boxes -

good hotel, facilities for bridge,

not too far for us to travel and

the opportunity to offer our

members a sociable weekend to

get to know everyone better.

So glad that EBU also knows

about Skeggy !

Sandra Webb & Sue Beevers

Bourne Bridge Club


As an enthusiastic player and

reader of the magazine could you

possibly do an article (high

profile) on hygiene? I'm sure the

problem exists in many areas.

During our warm weather, the

temperature is high and the

adrenaline gets going with good

bridge. The BO smell becomes

quite invasive - mostly men -

occasionally ladies. It only takes

an underarm deodorant stick or

a body spray to prevent this.

Anon, Anon, Anon!


I was most disheartened to read

Robin Barker's answer to Roy

Young's question (Ask Robin,

August 2019, p25). It's the sort of

answer that keeps new players

away from established bridge

clubs, dissuades non-affiliated

clubs from becoming affiliated

and convinces club members of

the risk of becoming a director.

In the answer Robin mentions

bids being in tempo. I'd suggest

that tempo isn't a fixed period. It

may be a short period in a simple

bidding sequence but longer

when, as with this example, there

is an and then a convention used.

Is the suggestion we should make

all bids at the slowest pace to

ensure they're all in tempo?

Secondly we're told this was a

casual session at a local club.

Rules may be rules but is a

rigorous application appropriate?

We don't know if the 'offending'


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