Blair Fedder


While playing in a tournament and waiting for the paramedics to move the heart attack victim from the next table, my opponents, partner and I got into a discussion about my campaign promises if I were to be elected the next president of the United States.  A crowd was starting to gather and our discussion became an open forum for questions and answers.  In rapid fire order people wanted to know my position on those topics which most interested them.  Not a lot of concern from the bridge crowd about affirmative action, improvement of the educational system, health care, job loss, rising cost of goods, multiple fronts of war or the collapse of the U.S. dollar.  Not one mentioned the failure to create legislation for campaign finance reform or the president’s new policy of no change is good change.  The discussion did have a direction.  That was a concern over the slow play and bidding being seen in tournaments.  The consesus was that there was no room any longer for any pair not finishing a round in the proper amount of time.  The fact that the field needs speed pairs intermingled with the slower players to keep the game moving at all, just meant that a further hardship was being placed on those faster players, who deserve their allotted time to play their best game.  The other topic was the dreaded hesitation.  A rash of questions ensued, with opinion far and wide.  How long a time before a hesitation is officially a hesitation?  Do some players quick count that time?  After a hesitation, what do you do if the opponent says, ” I’m sorry, I did not know it was my turn to bid” or “I just say a flying pink elephant.”  Do you call the director after such a hesitation?  This of course slows the game, which is counterproductive, as no crime has been committed yet, except that of intimidation, which no one likes…..

I think I prefer to discuss campaign finance reform or how to protect social security and save our health care system.  The wars are easy to solve versus the riddles of slow play and hesitation, as you just stop fighting and let the dominoes fall as they may….



John Howard GibsonApril 3rd, 2011 at 9:37 am

HBJ : To put it simply slow players and serial hesitators are cheats. As in English football matches, offenders should be yellow carded before getting the red one, which entails dismissal from the field of play.
Good bridge players should know what to do and apply the principle of preparedness to whatever bid (or bids) are made infront of them. Moreover they should always be aware any half-decent partner will easily read what the hesitations say about the hand, putting them of course into impossible situations.
The game would be much better if we were all made to stick to a 20 second rule. If no bid made in that time…an automatic pass will be substituted instead.

Judy Kay-WolffApril 3rd, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I wouldn’t make so light of slow play and hesitations — especially slow play in a high level game where there are serious problems that require deep thought. Hesitations with intent to deliver illicit information is despicable but unfortunately most club directors are not qualified to rule upon them and don’t want to antagonize or lose either customer.

Players just have to learn the rules and play by them. That will solve a lot of problems and be better for the game. It is high time they straightened up and flew right!

PimoApril 3rd, 2011 at 5:04 pm

HBJ: I like the idea of using the yellow and red cards with immediate dismissal. Of the two sins, I do believe slow play is the real culprit, as good players who play slowly are worse for the club games than the neophytes who don’t yet understand bidding, as well as hesitating. Often, this slow play is caused by unethical tempo breaks in play, the worst of all forms of hesitations…Thanks for your input

Judy: The point missed was that it’s easier to bring about world peace than to solve the problem of slow play, but no remark by HBJ or Pimo makes “so light of slow play and hesitations”….

Hesitation is solvable as to bidding with the use of screens…it is truly despicable during play, especially by an experienced player.

I do not yet consider club games to be “high level games where there are serious problems that require deep thought”…thanks for your input

As an additional point to this blog, I would like to expand this discussion to include the following thought: Bridge clubs, which have monstrous overhead costs versus $1 internet games, will be a rare breed of cat by the next decade. Club owners really aren’t being given a fair shake. The social network created by the community club is now extremely fragile and needs to be a nurturing environment….

Judy Kay-WolffApril 4th, 2011 at 12:41 am


I have been playing bridge longer than I care to admit. I see the rules and laws being more and more relaxed as time goes on. It is all about the dues, card fees and keeping the customer happy. I do not think club rules should be any different than any other sanctioned bridge game awarding masterpoints as eventually these players will attend tournaments and find themselves before committees. People must be dealt with gently and politely but they must be tuned into what is expected of everyone.

People must begin learning sometime. The duplicate club ground level is the normal starting point. Beginners, as well as old timers returning to the fold, must be familiarized with protocol. I am not as concerned with the fragility of keeping the customers as I am with a nice, polite way of teaching them the no-nos of bridge so that one day it can retain the majesty it once possessed. Huddles, hitches, breaks in tempo, undisclosed understandings, falure to alert or misalerts are all subjects that must be clearly delved into so that all contestants play by the same rules. Let’s not turn the club games into a circus where the animals run the zoo.

I know Dixie Perkinson has tried to explain if you have a bidding problem, you may as well bid as a huddle and pass may bar your partner. She also explained that when someone puts out a STOP CARD, you must wait 10 seconds before you make a call. It is a beginning and more people should try to be like Dixie. The Club (LV Bridge World) also has a Monday morning beginners lesson with Rick Price in an effort to get people started out on the right foot. I have gotten nothing but rave reviews from the attendees.

Blair, it is good to see you back blogging. I know as a teammate you are a very ethical player and just want to see bridge make its way back to the good old days where so many shenanigans did not take place. The ACBL has to be sterner and try to get the game back on track. It won’t be easy as it has slipped a great deal.

Donna suttonMay 11th, 2011 at 5:50 am

Blair,If you are the baseball dealer I knew in Stanton please send me a email at
Donna sutton

Blair FedderMay 28th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Hi Donna,

How is Jim? Your brother? Cats and things?

KattiaOctober 28th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Tony kasday it was the best man I met!!! with a heart and feelings that thousands envy, and try to blacken his name!!!!He could make mistakes, but never hurt or cheat anyone!!! Poor people who simply because can’t be as he was, speak bad of him ,to try to win the respect and affection which Tony earned simply by being the great man he was, such people are those that nobody wants to have as friends and feel so miserable looking and harm to people so excellent as Tony Kasday!!!!

PimoOctober 31st, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Wrong blog whomever, try again and thanks for the WARNING that you are out there….

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DiyetApril 19th, 2014 at 4:42 pm


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