Magazine article The Spectator

Bridge

Magazine article The Spectator

Bridge

Article excerpt

The 2012 European championships are upon us. No, not football, I'm talking about the ones we actually stand a chance of winning: bridge. England has fielded three excellent teams in the Open, Womens and Seniors events, held in Dublin. I'll be following the Seniors with particular interest because my friend Simon Cocheme is making his England debut as non-playing captain.

Simon is well known in the bridge world for his hugely entertaining articles on the game. Recently, he's been focusing on the language of bridge, and how it differs round the world. Thanks to him I now know, for instance, that the Poles call an 800 penalty a snowman, and in Thailand a 1,100 penalty is known as a Fiat. In England small cards are known as rags, but in Iceland they are dogs and in Bulgaria vushki, fleas. Americans say hook for finesse, but the Greeks use hook to mean a Jack; in Sri Lanka a Jack is a donkey;

and in India donkey means dummy. …

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