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A Small Request for a Big New Year

Alert:  my guess is that my request will be ignored or rejected by many. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to to speak.

For this year and years thereafter, can we stop describing decisions in bidding or play as "assess the blame" (otherwise known as "ATB")?

Yes, sometimes one - or both - partners have made pretty horrific choices. Plenty of obvious blame to go around.  Yet many other times, I think it is easy to agree that what to play or what to bid is not wholly clear cut. Thus - we weigh and we choose.  Sometimes we select a winner and sometimes not. (I don't even like to say "get it right" as "getting it right" can often merely depend upon the lie of the cards or whether partner has A987 or A543.

We could go back in history and resort to "You Be the Judge."  This title from The Bridge World, for me, has a far more thoughtful and non-accusatory tone to it.

After all, can't each one of us go back throughout our bridge career and think of hundreds of hands where we had to make a choice - and the choice wasn't clear? Or the opponents made an odd bid or play, so we ourselves went wrong?

In case you can't tell, I find that part of what makes bridge so fascinating is how complex and how difficult it is.  I know I've had disaster results where I didn't think that partner nor I "deserved blame" - we just didn't choose well when choosing well was not obvious.

Thanks to all who switch to something more benign for 2020 - and hope it is a good year for all!

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