Monday, 24 October 2016


  • Pre-emptive raise : getting excited even before catching sight of an attractive lady opponent heading your way
  • Danger hand : the one that irate partner delivers from behind to smack you across your woolly thick head 
  • Losing trick count : a negative and pessimistic approach to assessing the trick potential of your hand
  • Top of nothing : coming first in a field full of novices and clueless rabbits
  • Direction : the flight path chosen by the pilot of a flying bridgemate
  • Responsive double : a large whisky consumed during the interval which galvanises a player into staying alert and performing better
  • Rectifying the count : being made to calculate the correct number of tricks your side has taken, having previously inflated the total 
  • Menace : the term given to a crazed, cavalier and maverick pilot of a flying bridgemate
  • Balancing : having to earn countless brownie points from your wife in order to gain essential pass outs for evening and/or weekend bridge
  • Top : what an overly demanding player will blow when his/her partner cocks up a bog-standard defence

Sunday, 23 October 2016


  • Hesitations : the communication technique preferred by most cheating pairs 
  • 4th position : the one likely to be occupied at the end of the day by a team of rabbits in a field of four 
  • Agenda :  a list drawn up by a committee naming all those undesirable members it intends to get rid of
  • Misfits :  the common term to describe partnerships where players operate on completely different wavelengths
  • Good raise :  what an easily excited player experiences when an attractive lady arrives at his table
  • Trump echo : the phenomenon  of a player's rather loud and smelly fart bouncing off a wall for a second attack on members' rather sensitive sense of smell
  • Trial bid : when a club opts to take a dispute to court rather than seeking much more cost-effective options such as mediation and arbitration
  • Rule of eleven : the number of cards a player should have left in his hand after the first two tricks have been taken
  • Smother play : what any player would like to do to his inept partner if a cushion happens to be close at hand
  • Switch : the action of an intolerant unforgiving player who quickly replaces one partner for another in his/her hopeless quest for flawless bridge

Sunday, 16 October 2016

CLASSIC BRIDGE BOOKS I FORGOT TO TELL YOU ABOUT.............. ( Says a sorry Pun ) 

  • Partner We Need To Get Off To A Cracking Start....................Onya Marks
  • 4S On An 11 Count And I Was Only One Trick Light...............Neil Lee Caymen
  • Partner Why Aren't You Scoring For Our Side ?......................Owen Gole
  • There's Only One Word To Describe How Bad We Were........Des Aster
  • Partner Stop Throwing Me Off With Your Wild Antics..............Buck N. Broncoe
  • So Sorry Everyone For Squandering All That Money..............Shay Moynue
  • I Made A Grand Slam Missing 3 Outside Aces........................Candice B. Dunne
  • I've Got One Helluva Surprise For You Partner !.....................Gus Watt
  • This Has To Be The Best Squeeze Ever Made .......................Hugh B. Judge
  • The Cheating That Goes On In This Game !............................Kent B. Levitt
  • Talking Bridge Is Easy But Playing The Game Is Hard............Fuller Flannel
  • Partner At least You Have One Great Attribute........................Dick Fitzwell

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


- So what do you call this ludicrous bidding system of yours ?
- The Foggy Unusual Club .......FUC for short
-  Is it licensed ?
-  Of course it is....the ACBL sanction anything these days.....not wishing to upset the top
   rank players from devising specially complex and baffling systems to combat and retaliate 
   against the real smart-arses...... who were seeking to put one over them with theirs
-  So tell me then.... what does your 1C opener say about the hand ?
-  In a nutshell..... it can be anything ........ a weak or strong hand......but not necessarily 
   denying clubs
-  And what about your responses ?
-  All bids at the lower levels are completely artificial......and alertable......since the auction 
   will be a series of enquiry bids and stepping stone answer bids outlining short suits and 
   high card strength, the final contract can only be decided upon at the very end 
- how do you know what contract you need to be in having never bid your natural 
   suits and HCPs
-  By a process of suit eliminations , logical deduction  and intuitive reasoning
- That fine for you but how the hell do opponents like me ever get to work out your hands
- You're not meant to. Even if you asked questions about the alerts , the lengthy and highly 
   convoluted answers will either blow your mind , or put you off  from ever asking again
- Well , I suppose I could look at your system card.... which thank God only appears to be
  a 2-sided document
- You could..... but It wont do you much good unless you read and fully understand the 14
   sides of supplementary notes that goes with it
- Christ almighty......this unusual system of yours leaves me in a complete fog
- That's its primary aim alright fuc the opposition good and proper   

Saturday, 8 October 2016


- So the Supreme Court judges shafted you good and proper
- Yes they sure did
- Well it seems to me that the commercial justification argument for a deterrent fine should 
   have only applied to serial over-stayers and those who overstay out of a blatant disregard 
   for other motorists ,  who.... in over-subscribed car parks..... are desperately looking for  
   any available spaces. Overstaying by a few minutes hardly undermines the effective 
   management of the car park , which aims to benefit all motorists hoping to use its
- I agree
- So why didn't your lawyers set out to make this distinction ?
- God knows 
- The notion of a flat-rate fine for any it 5 minutes or 5 hours ......has              
   to be regarded as an unenforceable penalty ......because it fails to separate and
   distinguish petty breaches from far more serious ones
- I agree
- A fairer system...... so easy to to fine offending motorists 50p for each  
  minute overstay ,  in keeping with the way magistrates vary the fines on motorists in 
  accordance with the actual speed they were clocked at......
- So why didn't your lawyers raise this particular argument ?
- God knows
- Well let me tell you that Parking Eye rely on four things in order to secure evidence on w
   which to levy a legally enforceable fine
- And what are those Bigot ?
- A camera that works with a clean, clear lens......a ticket machine with unclogged coin slots
  which accepts the coins and issues a valid ticket.......a signboard which highlights in big 
  bold lettering all the onerous terms , easily legible.... not being covered in graffiti......and 
  registration plates which are both readable and genuine
- what's the point you are trying to make ?
-  Well , if these requirements are compromised in any way......say for example by irate  
   motorists previously scammed by Parking Eye......other motorists would have a cast iron 
  get-out-of-jail card to thwart all these vindictive and mercenary PCNs 
- But wouldn't sabotage like that be classed as unlawful ?
- Yes it would..... but isn't extortion .....and obtaining money by threats and intimidation far  
   far worse ?
- I agree
- Nice talking to you
- It's been a pleasure and an education

Friday, 7 October 2016

J'ACCUSE........J'ACCUSE  ( Article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

The use of club funds for a costly and unnecessary legal defence does , in my view , warrants severe condemnation. Any club chairman who sets out to persuade the membership to back such a foolish course of action , rather than seek other far less costly options on offer , should now hang his/her head in shame.
If members knew or realised that outcomes of trials are unpredictable , and that money spent in mounting a vigorous and robust legal defence is never likely to be recovered , then such a course of action is pure insanity. What gambler would bet on an outcome where even if he backs a winner he wins nothing and loses his stake money.  
Moreover , if the chairman had been asked to pay these exorbitant legal costs from his/her own pocket , then I'm more than certain another course of action would have been chosen , such as a quick resolution through mediation , or an offer to the plaintiff to drop the action in return for getting a proportion of the damages sought after. 
Why the chairman and committee failed to undertake a cost benefit analysis of a long drawn out legal defense beggars belief. If one considers the opportunity costs involved in a club wasting over £130,000 in lawyers' fees , then one would surely end up being racked with guilt , shame and deep embarrassment : a new club house , new facilities , funds for marketing ( and promoting the game to encourage new members ) , sound a much more sensible use of such money. The secured long-term future of the club is, and always will be , of paramount importance.
Sometimes one has to choose the lesser of two evils : pay out a few thousand to a plaintiff who perhaps doesn't deserve a penny , or pay out tens of thousands to lawyers.... who then advise you to accept a hands-down offer to walk away from the dispute , indicating that the judge is far more likely to make each side pay their costs.  
I once heard of a club spending an obscene amount of money on private investigators in an attempt to unearth and track down the author of a series of poison pen letters , when the sensible option was to simply ignore them. So why in God's name spend a six-figure sum on fighting a wrongful expulsion law suit , when a simple reinstatement or begrudging pay off was all that was required. When inmates have taken over the asylum , someone has to step up to the mark and allow common sense to prevail over raw emotions if fuelled by crass stubbornness , prejudice and pride. 
Moral : if you are going to be wrong , do it after careful consideration.
Committee members should always be conscious of the conflict between their personal interests and those of the club. Moreover, they should continuously examine the proposed actions like embarking upon , and continuing with , a dogged and determined legal defence. Is such an action really meeting the club's core objectives ? These of course include (i) staying financially viable , (ii) investing funds for the future development of the game , (iii) up grading the club's facilities and (iv) putting funds aside for other capital expenditure projects.
The answer any sane man or woman would give is an emphatic " no ".
Such expenditure , which to the casual observer seems a colossal risk and a complete waste of money , is both utterly irresponsible and unacceptable , no matter honourable the motives and intentions appeared to be at the outset. Litigation is the road to financial ruin : the folly of fools.
Serving on a committee carries with it a significant legal responsibility. Common sense can take one very far in conducting club activities properly. Listening to advice from all quarters , especially from those who urge on the side of caution and prudence , can help protect one's position. Care , loyalty and fidelity in all committee actions represent the best form of financial protection for the club. The chairman must therefore strive be the guiding influence and voice of common sense and reason.
On breach of that duty I accuse.......I accuse

Monday, 3 October 2016

Bernard Yomtov 

Since bridge is a partnership game and chess is not , greater efforts are needed to stop opponents gaining an unfair advantage by having
complex and convoluted bidding systems. 

" If your opponent in a chess game does something very unusual you can, at least in principle, figure out how to counter it right there at the board. Advance preparation would be nice, but is not required.

In bridge, players faced with complex and unfamiliar systems cannot do that. Any counter requires agreement between the partners, and that can't be done at the table, by the very rules. Even pre-alerts and the like don't solve this, because of time constraints, incomplete understandings, etc.

Further, at bridge you will not know all the twists and turns the opponents' auction might take. In chess it is all right there in front of you, if you can just figure it out.

What I'm saying is that in chess there is no inherent obstacle to countering an unusual move. In bridge there are such obstacles. "

System cards loaded with obstacles , yet no licensing constraints's a recipe for anarchy .