Monday, December 9, 2019

Is it bad etiquette to discuss a bridge hand after it has been played? - by Yan Drabek

In 1996 Champion USA bridge player Zia Mahmood co-authored with David Burn a bridge book called Ask Zia (subtitled “Your Top 50 Bridge Questions Answered”). Question 2 in that book was ‘Is it bad etiquette to discuss a bridge hand after it has been played’. As part of the answer, Zia said: “If you watch the great American pair Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell at the table, you will not hear them utter a word to each other during the entire period of play. They don’t say ‘Thank You’ when the dummy is displayed, they don’t say ‘Sorry’ on the rare occasions when they make a mistake, they don’t even say ‘Well played’ on the less rare occasions when they do something well. Meckstroth believes that this policy can give them a competitive edge. He says if your opponents hear you apologizing to one another, it gives them strength and reinforces their sense of well-being after they have obtained a good result. Or if your opponents hear you congratulating one another, it will increase their determination to do well on the next deal, just to knock the smiles off your faces. By saying nothing, you can build an aura of omnipotence and invulnerability around you which can only work to your advantage”.

ACBL has a law written for Etiquette as following:

As a matter of courtesy a player should refrain from: 

1. paying insufficient attention to the game. 

2. making gratuitous comments during the auction and play. 

3. detaching a card before it is his turn to play. 

4. prolonging play unnecessarily (as in playing on although he knows that all the tricks are surely his) for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent. 

5. summoning and addressing the Director in a manner discourteous to him or to other contestants.

You can view the entire document by clicking here: LAW 74 - CONDUCT AND ETIQUETTE

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