Nato a Londra nel 1958, attualmente vive a New York con sua moglie, la campionessa Sue Picus e oltre la Bridge ama il teatro, la musica, l'arte e viaggiare.
Analista, giornalista, commentatore e scrittore di bridge ha pubblicato una dozzina di libri di successo tra i quali ricordiamo "Card Games for Dummies".
Come giocatore si è messo in mostra nel 1982 guadagnando la medaglia d'argento per l'Inghilterra nei Campionati Europei Juniores a Squadre seguita nel 1987 dalla vittoria nei Campionati a Squadre Miste del MEC.
Come Capitano non Giocatore ha guidato all'oro la Squadra Femminile USA nella Venice Cup del 1997.
Ha vinto la Gold Cup nel 1991 e riveste alcune cariche nell'ambito dell'ACBL.
Barry may not be well known in this part of the world, except by our international players.
This is not because he does not have a significant role in the bridge world, simply because he lives and travels to bridge tournaments so far away from our shores.
Barry, 51 together with his wife, leading U.S. International player, Sue Picus live in New York. Although Barry was born in London he made the move to the greener bridge pastures of the USA in 1994.
I sometimes wonder how much more I would be involved in bridge if I did not have kids in my life and perhaps should have this discussion with Barry as, having no children, he is free to travel to any and all tournaments on the far-flung bridge circuit. His main role is that of a writer for the Daily Bulletins at World and Regional Championships as well as commentator for VuGraph presentations.
He learned bridge at the age of twelve and in response to the question have you been playing continuously ever since he answers “AND HOW”? Although he was self-taught at school he sharpened his bridge skills at University. “At school I played with Pete Jackson (a future junior international) and at university and afterwards played with Steve Lodge and Peter Czerniewski who was my regular partner for 7 years”.
As one could imagine Barry is an avid reader of bridge books and cites “Uncensored Memoir of a Tournament Director by Jerry Machlin as one of the best books and the only truly funny bridge book I've read”. So it would come as no surprise that Barry’s tips for improving your bridge game are headed by (1) read, read and read some more then (2) do not learn conventions until you understand basic card play and finally (3) Learn how to play rubber bridge.
Ed: unfortunately today most bridge students are not taught rubber bridge but only learn duplicate bridge and duplicate scoring. Rubber bridge, often played for money, is an extremely challenging form of the game and players generally play twice as many hands in a session leading to faster learning of the game. Also, changing partners and opponents leads to a much better understanding of the psychology of the game and reading opponents and the cards.
His philosophy to improving your game is “as the world's worst at this I'd say try not to talk at the table but don’t start the new board till you've mentally dealt with the previous one”, an excellent philosophy which I find hard to stick to.
“My best moment at bridge was spotting a back-wash squeeze and playing for it...and getting it, while my worst moment at bridge was losing the junior European champs in 1982 to Poland”.
Finally one of my favourite questions, what do you think administrators can do to promote bridge, “master the art of licensing systems properly” and where do you see bridge in twenty years time, “not much change but computers will take a much higher profile in the game” Ed: I recently played in the US Nationals only to find that a 2² opening showing a weak two in either major was not allowed.
The American Contract Bridge League have “dumbed down” systems in an effort to make the game more marketable which regrettably makes it less enjoyable for many.
Barry will be a team mate with me in the Open Teams so now that you have met him, feel free to go up to him and say G’Day and make him feel welcome at our premier tournament.
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