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Bridge is an improbable solitary vice, but I confess to its lonely pursuit. I no longer play, but I remain an obsessional reader of bridge columns and books. I also sneak away for one-handed sessions with my electronic toy, which is too predictable to be a satisfactory substitute. The ingenious gadget has another, vulgar defect: you cannot play it for money. Wittgenstein pondered if you could play chess without the queen; he might as well have asked whether it can still be bridge if there is no price to pay for ineptitude.

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thirty years ago, I was…

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