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Problems with Timing Bridge

There are a number of problems with timing bridge that haven’t been addressed in any of the posts I’ve read. (I agree bridge must have time limits and penalties for exceeding them.) Assuming that a technology is available or could be developed for timing every bid and play, these would still exist. Clock (or more properly) time management skills in chess form an important facet of the game. But in chess the complete position and time on clocks are fully displayed. This is not true for bridge. Let’s look at 2 common situations:

1.Player A bids, this stops his clock and starts that of his opponent. His opponent asks a question, and A launches into a long, slow accurate answer – but B’s clock is running. The clock would result in fewer questions and slower explanations.

2.Player A is playing 3 NoTrump with exactly 9 tricks and no hope for a 10th. Currently, he would claim and move to next board. With a clock, especially if his opponents have been slow, he can try to choose a line of play that creates problems for the defenders, who don’t know that 9 tricks are cold. They might expend a lot of time and brain power trying to find a way to beat him. Again, use of a clock might lead to some slow boring hands.

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