Some causes of slow play are corrected more easily than others. At times, all that’s necessary is a polite reminder--to the player whose turn it is to make the opening lead, or to the dummy to put down his cards first and fill in his convention card second.
At other times it's more delicate.
We've received several e-mails asking how to stop a declarer from holding up the game by openly criticizing his partner’s dummy.. At times this can take several minutes. Everyone at the table is uncomfortable.
According to an old bridge joke, a declarer will gaze at an unsatisfactory dummy and ask: “Where's the hand you held during the auction?” Of course, etiquette experts frown on such questions. One possible retort: “Play like the experts, who play the contract they're in, not the contract they wish they were playing.”
Any criticism of partner's bidding, or of declarer’s play, isn't consistent with the American Contract Bridge League's Zero Tolerance policy. It’s probably best to request (politely) that the declarer get on with playing the deal. If that doesn't work, ask the director to help get the game moving.
Your emails with comments and suggestions are welcome. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org