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How to Kill the Game

This incident was related to me the other day by a young, relatively new player who is trying hard and really enjoys the game.

She was playing in one of the local clubs with a partner of similar skill.  The field was mostly older, much more experienced players of mixed skill levels.  Midway through the game her partner made a good guess which resulted in a fine result.  She remarked, "Well done, partner."

At that point, one of the opponents started berating her, telling her she couldn't say that.  And he went on and on.  (I wasn't there so I don't know all he said, but what she did relate was pretty bad.)  She was not being dismissive to the defence at all.  First, she's not like that.  Second, she's probably not experienced enough to have seen a defensive error (not that there was one) while being dummy.

The tirade brought her to tears for a couple rounds.  Fortunately, several players came to her to try to comfort her, and others took the bully to task for his behavior.

My advice to her was that as long as you're not rubbing it in, go ahead and complement your partner.  And the opponents, too, when they do something good.  Ignore people like that; they're the ones in the wrong.

She's not going to give up the game, though I would not be surprised if she avoids the club.  But the behavior of that (expletive deleted) player could easily have reduced our ranks.

I doubt any of the BW community would behave like that (I hope).  But we all have witnessed such things from time to time.  Please be especially kind to newer players, and be sure that such offensive and unwarranted behavior is addressed severely.

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