A tale of a young bridge player, spirit crushed by “DIRECTOR!”
I posted this story before, but never as a post on my own blog. So I am writing it here now to preserve it for eternity, for I fear I might forget where I initially posted it:
Did I ever tell you why I quit playing bridge in the first place? I remember I was in university at the time. My parents and grandparents had tried to teach me bridge numerous times prior, but it was not until I actually saw my peers playing at the card tables that I actually took an interest in the game in the first place. Anyway, I took a few lessons from Eric Sutherland, who was a senior at the time that I knew him… I learned enough that my friend and I used a simple system, and there was a university tournament being arranged in the “big city” (Toronto) and we were all going on a field trip! As a small-town girl, it sounded like great fun to me. I was looking forward to it.
I was so nervous that I would make a mistake (This was well before I learned the lesson that every mistake is merely an opportunity for learning). Anyway… on the second or third board that we played, the dreadful sound “DIRECTOR!” emitted from my opponents mouth. I had never heard this before… What does it mean? The harsh tone that it was spoken with clued me in that this was not a pleasant word and that something very bad was about to happen. A very tall and intimidating gentleman appeared, spoke to my opponent, spoke to me (which was impossible because my brain shut off and I was rambling jibberish by then) and the director ruled against me.
It didn’t help matters that this particular director behaved inappropriately, was curt and rude to me, and said directly “I don’t believe you” after I gave him my explanation for my line of play. Eric Sutherland was also a director at that same event. When he noticed the goings on at our table, he came by. I proceeded to give the same explanation, and he made the same ruling as the first director, but at least he had a meaningful explanation: When you said “Ace, no small… No, play the ace”, you paused after you said “play small”, so that must be the card that we accept”.
I was distraught with the whole experience. It took all the strength I could muster to make it through the rest of the board, going down in a cold 3NT, before I had to excuse myself and go have a good cry in the hallway.
That was my one and only experience with playing in a bridge tournament. It will be a very, very long time before I choose to go back to that situation again.