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Disclosure? You can't handle disclosure!

Many pairs have so many agreements that time constraints alone preclude full disclosure. This is particularly so when considering the added burden of illuminating all positive and negative inferences, styles, and tendencies. What follows is based on a piece I wrote that was published in The Bridge World magazine.

With so much controversy arising from issues relating to disclosure, I wonder whether there is an appetite to play in a game with no disclosure.

When I teach bridge to beginners, the concept of “full disclosure” of bidding and carding methods raises many eyebrows. In truth, I see their point; it is rare in a competition to be required to disclose one’s strategy to the opposition. Football players would be shocked to find that they had to announce their plays to the other side; baseball catchers change their signs when someone is on second base for fear of theft of information.

I am not the first one to suggest this, but bridge would be interesting if the norm was not to disclose anything at all. Not bidding, not leads, not carding. It would certainly end a lot of current director calls and follow-up committees! Anything could be played, as long as it was discussed before any head-on encounter, be it 2 boards or 20. Conference between rounds would be fine, time permitting; at the table, nothing. All other bridge rules would apply: There would be no change in ethics, deportment, politeness or other logistic aspects of bridge--only the Rule of Disclosure.

What would be the effect? In a long enough match, one might catch on to the opposing methods. Clever pairs (with great memories) might vary their approach, playing multiple systems, depending on various factors: Position, vulnerability, board number! Regardless, the fundamentals of the game require that at some point, one must name the final contract. Approximate lengths and values would be implicit, at least once the play has started.

New bidding methods would arise, aimed at handling undefined opposition bidding.

I would play in an event like this
I would never play in an event like this
All bridge should be played this way

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