The Bridge Diary – How I knew exactly what you meant by that bid.

The Bridge Diary

by Jude Goodwin

Many famous people kept journals or diaries. Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and perhaps most famous, Leonardo Da Vinci. Journals can leave a chronicle of thoughts and agreements as well as document successes, events and help you remember important dates. The bridge player’s diary is no different.

Primarily the bridge diary, or duplicate players logbook as it is often called, is used to keep score at a bridge game and as well, to carry along a partnership’s convention card. Most bridge diaries offer you at least 50 pages, which is 100 score sheets. Carrying a bridge diary saves you the time of filling out new convention cards every time you sit down to a game and as well you can write comments on hands, notes to yourself, you can doodle, you can write down the cards in a hand, and more. Similar to keeping other kinds of journals, carrying along a bridge diary can also help by allowing you to keep a permanent record of your progress. Humans forget success easily but a journal can help you look back at your past accomplishments and track your development. Or the development of a partnership.

Some variations of the bridge diary are prefaced with interesting articles, handy scoring charts, bidding summaries, hand patterns and distributional odds and calendars. Everything you might need for an evening of bridge. If you’re like me and you experience tension waiting for game time, or waiting for your next opponents to show up or even waiting for partner to finish declaring a hand, these pages can be a great distraction. In fact, I’d like to see a bunch of sudoku problems in there somewhere as well!

One of my favourite diaries was full of convention cards, then score sheets, then cards they score sheets. This way I could keep all the convention cards I had with all my different partners in one little book. In order to avoid filling out new cards each game, I used a giant paper clip to link the relevant card to a fresh score sheet.

Some Bridge Diaries are made up of plastic insert pages where you can insert the convention cards, with their game scores on the back, from your different partnerships. Or you could insert the convention cards from a select group of games – a championship perhaps, or an NABC week. You can purchase score sheets to use as inserts for these diaries. The advantage is that when the diary filles up, you can remove the score cards and convention cards and start over!

Most bridge supply shops or book tables at tournaments will carry some variation of the Duplicate Players Logbook. However, some of my dearest diaries were given out at tournaments as a hospitaly gesture, with the regional schedule printed up in the middle and enough convention cards and scoresheets to use throughout the tournament. Below are some product links we thought we’d like to share:


Baron Barclay Bridge Supplies offers a duplicate logbook that provides 20 clear vinyl pocket sleeves for holding convention cards. Store all your partnership agreements in one place. Includes one EZ Score bookmark. Shop here


This shop’s Play Nice Log Book has a happy face on the cover and the write-up claims it will help make a friendlier bridge game. It holds 50 double sided sheets, (100 games) and has a vinyl sleeve will hold your current Partner Convention Card. While you’re on this store’s page, you’ll find other, similar journals. Shop here


Although it has no score cards or convention cards, Andrew Robson’s Bridge Diary for 2016 is a lovely little book and would  be enjoyed by any bridge player. It is printed on white paper with a 16 page full colour bridge section at the front of extracts from Andrew Robson’s enormously popular Essential Bridge Flipper and Beginner Bridge Flipper. Information includes a Stayman summary, and rubber and chicago scoring. A slim diary, only 166mm long x 82mm wide (approximately 6.5 inches long x 3.25 inches wide), it acts as an agenda, with one week to view per double-page spread so there’s plenty of room to write in. Soft luxury cover with rounded corners. This year’s diary runs from 1st December 2015 to 10th January 2017 and is excellent for keeping notes and keeping track of upcoming bridge tournaments and games. Handy and small enough to tuck into your purse or pocket. Shop here


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