Mr Bridge
card fan

for BRIDGE Magazine, holidays and much more

Welcome to our Community!

If you want to take part in the discussions, sign in or apply for membership below.

Hosting at local club

Hello, this is my first post here, I hope I'm not posting "out of order".
Question: How is 'hosting' a guest player normally organised, is this common practice? 
I recently had an experience where I turned up for the first time at a supposedly 'friendly' club without partner (my regular partner had recommended the club but wasn't able to partner me on that day).  The club advertises itself as "we always guarantee you a partner".
As it turned out no other 'singles' turned up so the organiser/TD partnered me.  This didn't turn out very well - partly my fault, but not all of it!
I now don't think it's a good idea to go to a new club without partner.


  • edited 5:43AM
    Why did it not turn out well? If anyone got upset with anyone else, that person needs to understand that when playing with a pickup partner, all you have a right to expect is a pleasant person who plays at the lower intermediate level -- and sometimes better. No club manager should ever let anyone there for the first time leave unhappy UNLESS the unhappiness is the fault of the newbie.

    So tell us what happened :)
  • edited February 2018
    Hi Terrence, thanks for reply.

    I have conflicting motives: I want to 'put things behind me', forget all about it, but on the other hand, to speak out, to 'get things off my chest'.  I am reluctant to say too much.

    Post-mortems, after a hand has been played out, are commonplace aren't they? - and not against any Laws, and it often happens that someone speaks out-of-turn, and I won't deny that I put a foot wrong: e.g. I commented on opponents' serious under-bidding of a certain board (would have been OK at some places but not there it seems). 

    In mitigation I'll add that my own play also attracted adverse comments - but I'm easy about that, after all I was a guest!

    No: I went away from that club after the first session feeling reasonably happy about things, and in fact went there twice again - on these occasions with my 'regular' partner - and it all went well - or so I thought.  Third visit, we even came out 'top' (pairs MPs) :-)

    On the third occasion I tried to sign up for the club.  The TD said "didn't you get my E-mail?"  I said "what E-mail?"  I then offered to check out my spam folder, and he said he'd check his outbox.  He took my application form anyway.

    A few days later the E-mail finally arrived - forwarded.  He'd mis-spelled my E-mail address.  It was very unwelcome and unpleasant - it accused me of just about every breach of etiquette possible, in the game of bridge....

    Enough said. :-(
  • edited 5:43AM
    Just so you know, commenting on what the opponents did (or should have done) while they are at the table or in hearing distance or for anyone other than your partner to hear is a big no-no. It is called either boasting or just plain rude. A good rule of thumb is to NOT teach unless you are being paid to do so or unless someone asks you to please comment.

    Therefore, when you spoke about the opponents, you violated the most important principle of a friendly bridge club: do not tell the opponents anything except "Hello" or "nice to meet you" or some such thing.

    And enjoy your games in the other clubs now that you know why they were upset.
  • edited 5:43AM
    I take your point, Terrence, but believe me, where I usually play, those sort of 'comments' get passed to and fro all the time.  I'm on the receiving end as often as not, and I take it all with a good humour - as do most of the folks I play with.

    I do wish some people weren't so 'touchy'.

    Or should all clubs ban 'post-mortems' of any sort, no argument?  Even when waiting for other tables to finish the round?  Maintain a stony silence - or talk about the weather - or "my bad back"?

    As it happens, I was very far from 'gloating' in this instance.  I've dug up the traveller for the board in question: opponents (EW) were in 2H, making +3.  But we got 50% on the board - of the seven tables, three bid game and four bid part-score.  If our opponents had bid their game and made their +1 (my poor defence no doubt!), they'd have got a joint top.  So it was more like - er - 'commiseration' with EW on a missed opportunity...

    Another thing I feel like adding is, that I was being treated as a beginner.  Despite the fact that I'd declared my experience and there were several people at the club who know me and could have vouched for me.

    Anyway I see this as 'lesson learnt' and shall be more careful with strangers, next time.  I think that's all I have to say, thanks for the feedback, I'll leave it at that.
  • edited 5:43AM
    You wrote:

    Or should all clubs ban 'post-mortems' of any sort, no argument?  Even when waiting for other tables to finish the round?  Maintain a stony silence - or talk about the weather - or "my bad back"?

    The only rule you need is to not comment on the opponents' play, bidding, or defense. Instead, you can talk to your partner about your bid, your play, or your defense. Rixi Marcus, now deceased, one of the best players of all time, used to say that you should talk about what YOU could have done, not what anyone else could or should have done. That talk is either left till the end of the game or not discussed at all, depending on your partner's response to critiques.

    Treat the opponents as though they are very sensitive and you will be welcomed anywhere. Treat them as they are anonymous, not even there to hear you discuss what they did, and you will not be a friend of those players. 

    If your club engages in post-mortems where they say what the opponents should or could have done, it is still wrong and should not be used as a reason to act the same way at other clubs. 
  • edited 5:43AM

    Hi RR:   I don't know what area of the country you are in.  I run a number of weekly games in the London area and we guarantee partners for new players at everything.  You sometimes play with other singles and sometimes with the tournament director if there is an odd number.  If there is a choice I would try and match you for standard and compatability though sometimes you have to partner who is available.  I am always very concerned that new players enjoy the experience and quickly integrate into the club.  Bridge needs new players and clubs should make an effort in this regard, never forgetting the players have a choice of how they spend their leisure time.

    If you're in the London area google me to find my list of clubs and contract details.


    Ned Paul

Sign In or Register to comment.