Eye Opener

May 9, 2013

This deal from the 1999 New Zealand Open Pairs Tournament should be an eye opener to a vast majority of Indian players. In my experience, as a tournament director at the state & National level for the past 12 years, I have not come across such an example of sportsmanship. These days, players go to any extent to win a match or a tournament however small its stature may be. I remember, in one local tournament, a very senior player, who has won countless number of titles all over India, won the board a match event. After the time for correction was over, the team which had finished 2nd came forward with a correction against the said senior player’s team. The score of 800 was written in the wrong column. Had the correction been made the team coming second would have won the event. But citing the technicality, that correction time was over; the senior player refused to change the score, & clung to the prize. Compare the action of that player to the one involved in this deal.

South, Stephen Burgess, was in 4S after West opened 3H & East raised to 4H. The play was simple. West led the HK, which East overtook & played a trump. Burgess won, cashed the DA & backed a small D, ducked to East. Now East made the fatal error of returning a third D. Burgess ruffed & ran all the trumps. In the last 3 card position dummy had DJ & CK10. East was squeezed in the minors, unable to keep 3 Cs & DK. Had East backed CQ after winning the D the squeeze would have evaporated as West could guard the Ds & East could guard Cs. But that is not the point I am trying to make on this hand. 

East-West inadvertently entered the score as south making 12 tricks. Burgess – Marston did not check the score. The results were announced & Burgess & Marston were declared as winners. Long after the correction time was over Burgess found out the mistake which was actually in his favour. He approached the director & insisted on changing the score in favour of the opponent. The director, at first refused, but later gave way to this display of sportsmanship & changed the score. As a result of this change Burgess – Marston were placed 2nd & their opponent on the above deal, Del’monte & Bach were declared as winner.


Such honesty is evident neither in sports nor in politics nor in business in India. This is the era where, in Bridge, if a player shows such honesty, his teammates would curse him. I faintly remember some cricketer criticizing Adam Gilchrist of Australia because he “walks” thereby pressurising other players.


What the world needs is more of Burgess & Gilchrists.


  • Comments
  • About post

You must be logged in to post a comment. - Log in

posted on May 9, 2013
in Articles, Laws, Ethics and Rulings
tagged , ,
about author Ananth Bhagwatanant_bhagwat

Ananth Bhagwat

All posts by this author

2014 © Bridge Federation of India
Skip to toolbar