Pairs v. Team Trials
Since I have trouble writing on Bridge Winners (password problems), I felt compelled to quote in its entirety, a blog on the above subject, written by Bob Heitzman which appeared today on the BW site.
It is brilliantly stated and obviously from the heart. Bob pulls no punches and tells how he feels (and I certainly agree). Excuses for pair trials are simply selfish reasons to strengthen the professional community and are detrimental to bridge and certainly don’t give our country the best chance of emerging victorious – but does keep the money flowing.
December 19, 2011
I am very sad that there will be no pairs trials, although the outcome of the vote was totally predictable. The bridge "establishment" in the U.S nowadays is made up almost entirely of pros and clients. Clients would not like a pairs trial since it would be very hard for a client to do well in–in a pair event, there are no sit outs, and far fewer places to hide when you are in. Pros wouldn’t like it because it behooves them to like what their clients like. Besides, it is probably much easier to find a client to hire you for a team event than a pairs event, so in effect a pairs trial would mean one less payday for many pros.
In an ideal bridge world, there would be a pairs trial with lucrative cash prizes for those who do well along of course with fully subsidized expenses to the world championship. But that is not the way bridge in the U.S. has evolved. In effect, the money that is available for team trials and world championships is spent sending league officials to preside over these events and the money that the players need in order to be able to afford to compete is provided by the clients.
I know people talk about team chemistry and so on as the reason for a team trial rather than a pairs trial. Maybe there is something to that, but the cynic in me prefers to see other more nefarious motivations for the vote.