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Alan Taylor: a tribute



Keen bridge players have enjoyed the writing of Alan Taylor. He has been writing about the game since the 1980s though most prominently from 1993 for some 20 years as Editor of the Daily Bulletins at our National Congress.

Alan died a week ago at the age of 79.

He was much more than just a writer of the game. For more than a 20 year period, he was an important member of the National Congress Organising Committee and brought to that Committee both many new ideas and also a high level of common sense amid a group of people passionate about the event and the way it should be run. Their views did not always coincide!

Alan was also involved for many years at the Akarana Bridge Club and the Teams Group in Auckland, both as a player and administrator.

Yet, it is for his bridge writing, both serious and humourous, that he will be best remembered. As well as writing the Daily Bulletins at our Congresses, he performed the same role at the Canberra Festival of Bridge. He was much in demand.

He could write both serious and fun articles and in the latter category was certainly the “Even Homer Nods” concept which Alan created and promulgated during his time at the National Congresses.

As a tribute to Alan, here is his introduction to his 6th appearance as Bulletin Editor at the 2000 National Congress.

Alan Taylor.jpg

Alan was extremely camera- shy. However, the above was taken at the prize-giving ceremony of a National Congress with Alan announcing the winner of the "Homer" award. 

“As always, the part of the Bulletin in which I personally am most interested is the “Even Homer Nods” award. The award is given annually to the expert who manages to make the biggest prat of himself and herself. This prestigious prize has so far been awarded to:

1993        Andy Braithwaite     on lead to 7NT with 6 cashing tricks, Andy lacked sufficient faith in his own defensive capabilities to double.

1994       Jason Pitt                 Jason was doubled in 4NT and retreated to 6NT, this contract being defeated by two tricks!

1995      Chris Ackerley       He was nominated for quantity as much for quality. He was nominated 5 times in one year and overwhelmed his competitors with the sheer volume of his insanity.

1998     Michael Cornell    He doubled for take-out after his partner, Dwayne Crombie, had already done so to the same contract. The contract made! This followed hard on the heels of Dwayne rebidding board 19 while the rest of the table had moved on to board 20.

A pretty good cross- section of our bridge elite with a trans-Tasman flavour to boot!”

Nominations were debated with Alan making the presentation, with the award in a picture frame, at the end of each year’s prize-giving at the farewell dinner.

Alan was a school teacher, a principal, in his daily life and a great lover of bridge in his spare time. He made a considerable contribution to our game through his writing, his wit and his organisational skills.



Richard Solomon


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