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APR_08_EB_p09 Cochemé 14/3/08 2:15 pm Page 9

Best Behaviour @ Bridge


Simon Cochemé investigates

what we can learn from other sports

SALLY Bugden, doyenne of the EBU’s the clubs to take care of that,’ commented

BB@B initiative, is keen to find out what Sally.

bridge could learn from other sports, so A cry of ‘One hundred and EIGHT-ee’

she invited other sporting bodies to send burst out behind me. I turned round:

bridge teams to a special event where they apparently one of the darts team at the

could be observed in action. table in the corner had made 1NT Simon Cochemé

The play had already started by the time I doubled.

got there. The first room seemed a bit We went into the second room, which

rowdy; as I entered, a player got up and ran was almost funereal in contrast. The table and dummy went down. West switched to

round the table with his arms outstretched. nearest the door had just finished the bid- the three of diamonds. A second man,

Then he dropped on to his knees, slid ding as we arrived. East took a pencil- whom I had taken to be a kibitzer, leaned

forward a few feet and lifted the front of his sharpener out of the pocket of his sponsor- over declarer’s shoulder and pointed at the

shirt over his head. Jeremy Dhondy, dressed crested waistcoat, sharpened his pencil and dummy.

in black and wearing shorts, came over to wrote the contract down in his score-card. ‘What is he doing?’ I whispered to Sally.

remonstrate with him. ‘That’s his caddy,’ she answered. ‘He’s

‘It’s the football players,’ sighed Sally. pointing out the best line.’

‘This pair are doing it every time they E/W Game. Dealer West. They finished their consultation.

make a contract. We’re trying to persuade ♠Q742 Declarer nodded and called for the ace of

them to keep it just for slams. Their other ♥ 10 7 diamonds. He then played the king of

pair are fine,’ she went on. ‘They’ve yet to ♦AJ5 clubs from dummy and threw the six of

play a hand. They think passing all the ♣K983 diamonds from hand, exchanging one

time is a good idea – they say it’s the ♠ A ♠9863 loser for another. West won the trick but

Arsenal way.’ ♥ K65 N ♥4 was unable to cross to his partner and get


We stayed to watch the footballers play ♦ Q983 S ♦ K 10 7 4 a spade ruff. Declarer trumped the dia-

the next board. I looked at their oppo- ♣ AQ764 ♣ J 10 5 2 mond return and soon wrapped up ten

nents. From the white outfits, and the ♠ K J 10 5 tricks. East tapped the table in appre-

lemon barley water on the tables beside ♥AQJ9832 ciation of South’s Scissors Coup.

them, I guessed they were tennis players. ♦62 ‘That’s what snooker players do when

My suspicions were confirmed when one ♣ Void their opponent plays well,’ said Sally. ‘Isn’t

of them started grunting loudly every time that great?’

she placed a bidding card on the table. Her South smiled his acknowledgement to

partner gave a clenched fist pump and a West North East South East. ‘We golfers try to avoid the rough,’ he

stifled cry of ‘Yes!’ as his 3NT bid was 1♣ Pass 2♣ 4♥ said. ‘It was just a matter of selecting the

passed out. The play was somewhat All Pass right club.’

disjointed because the pair of them

insisted on touching hands across the South took a glove off his left hand and What do you think bridge can learn from

table after every trick, whether won or put it into the hip pocket of his garish other sports? Write to the Editor and tell us

lost. ‘We would have to have screens in all check trousers as the ace of spades was led about it! April 2008 English Bridge 9


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