Nov 072002
 

Dear Dr. Robert:

Does Gerard really believe he’s an expert? Or does he think, deep down, that he just can’t play this game at all?

–A Tyro

Ty,

Of course he really believes he’s an expert. He is an expert. However, Gerard has been, for some time, playing an elaborate confidence game on the rest of the bridge world. Several years ago he perfected his game. With nothing left to learn, he grew bored. And to create a new challenge, he began, with the aid of a few trusted conspirators, known in public as “students,” to try to convince the world that he is, in reality, awful.

The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. Could anyone compress defensive tricks at such an astonishing rate without knowing the location of every card in the deck? Could your everyday Joe misplay hands so regularly without a solid grounding in the fundamentals of declarer play? Could you or I misbid so consistently if we didn’t know what the correct bid was in the first place? Of course not! So the next time you sit down to oppose Gerard, remember this: He is toying with you, the way children pull the wings off flies, and if he wanted to beat you, oh he would. He certainly would.

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