Monday, 30 November 2009

UGLY RUMOURS DEPT : EBU INITIATIVE WORRIES BIGOT-JOHNSON As a result of the drug-taking scandal that occurred during the 2006 World Bridge Championship ( when a top USA player was stripped of her medal for refusing to take a drug test ), the EBU has finally decided to take clean up the game here in the UK. At present the EBU officials are seriously considering the idea of making it compulsory for all affiliated clubs to carry out random drug tests on its leading players. Any traces of performance enhancing drugs, in the samples tested at the EBU labs, will result in those players being banned from the game. Refusing to submit samples will be regarded as prima facie evidence of guilt. The call has been made to place strict limits on top players who use drugs clearly designed to keep them from:
  • (a) falling asleep
  • (b) becoming depressed
  • (c) getting anxious and agitated ( this is of particular concern to Bigot )
  • (d) losing focus, or having lapses in concentration
  • (e) falling victim to memory loss
  • (f) suppressing unnecessary, possibly self-destructive, emotions

Gossip around the clubs clearly indicates that many players are very worried about this initiative, and have called upon Bigot-Johnson ( a-hero-in-a-crisis) to speed up his act and form an opposition group. Ready to weed out and smack any dope who is prepared to back the EBU over this proposed move, Bigot is well and truly on the warpath. However, having just heard that the ACBL has made a hash at introducing a drug-testing programme at grass-roots level, Bigot's joy and ecstasy over this news had to be seen... to be believed. Not surprisingly, he threw an instant party and asked everyone he knew to bring along some coke.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

MOSES...WAS HE THE FIRST EVER BRIDGE PLAYER ?...( Research by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

Yes folks, I can assure you that parts of the old testament, translators of the ancient scrolls got it all wrong. Moses was without doubt one of the early pioneers who played an ancient form of bridge, which was very popular within his clan and groups of devoted followers. Moses did indeed climb a mountain top only to return with a tablet of stone on which ten commandments were carved. These commandments were in effect the first teachings on bridge ever to be published in a permanent form. Although religious fanatics then chose to reinterpreted the wording to suit their particular purposes, the truth remains that these 10 commandments, when accurately translated from Hebrew into English, were nothing more than a bold statement made by Moses himself about the way the game should be played. So for all you bridge players out there who want to know the truth.......but more importantly what Moses instructed us to do..... then here are the definitive rules he laid down:

  1. Thou shalt have no other commitments at times which are clearly designated for bridge
  2. Thou shalt not make any untoward bid that gives a false image of your hand to partner
  3. Thou shalt never question a director's ruling, or take his name in vain
  4. You must remember your system conventions at all times, and keep holy the law of total tricks
  5. Honour thy points, but also the shape, distribution, suit quality and texture of the hand
  6. Thou shalt not kill a crucial entry to dummy when trying to set up dummy's side suit winners
  7. Thou shalt not adulterate the good name and reputation of your partner
  8. Thou shalt not steal glances at opponents' cards, or tune-in to their post-hand discussions
  9. Thou shalt not bear false judgement on partner, when blame belongs elsewhere
  10. Thou shalt not covet the points dealt to other players, or their gift and ability to play the cards

Friday, 27 November 2009

A TRIBUTE TO HOWARD BIGOT-JOHNSON............ ( By Howard Bigot-Johnson )
  • This is the 250th post on what is now a bridge blog with a world-wide following. So shouldn't someone else be writing this tribute ? Hell no....because no one knows me as well as I know myself. Only I know how perplexed I am at commentators viewing my blog as utter garbage, with all the trappings of a dissident, subversive counter-culture. Moreover, it is easier for me to recognise their claim, that I and my band of alter-ego characters have discredited the game of bridge, is without any substance whatsoever....being both baseless and false. Their vile criticisms have already led the Cardinals Bridge Club to imposing a membership ban on me for being a heretic, a serious dissident and threat. However, my fan base has not been distracted or fooled, for they regard me as a very serious man....a messiah in fact.........who is prepared to deal with unpalatable truths in a light-hearted and satirical way. I may be unorthodox, or even a rebel...but I'm certainly not a reactionary.
  • I am a person who speaks his mind, and never one for sitting on a fence.....especially if it's barbed. The fact that some of my articles have been viewed as biased and savage means nothing to me, because I know that behind my mischievous mask lurks a very grounded, non-judgemental and open-minded person. Just because I express my opinions in a curmudgeonly way, that does not necessarily means I am one. Far from it....I merely strive to be a master of surreal comedy. However, I must admit I do find it difficult in separating the comic persona of misanthropy from the real me. Indeed, trying to separate myself from all my other alter egos is no picnic either. The arguments and conflicts that exist within my multiple-personality causes me daily problems and difficulties, not to mention restless and sleepless nights. There are parts of me I can't bloody stand....such as that pompous, trumped up, smarmy, thinks-he's-so-clever, self-acclaimed bridge guru...Johnny Supremo....what a tosser.
  • Anyway, it's best you see me as a man of distinction and eccentricity, but one who is committed to exposing the bridge world for what it really is.....BIZARRE BEYOND BELIEF. And if anyone thinks otherwise, then he or she a bigger tosser than Johnny himself.
DR. JOHN'S CASE NOTES....................................................................... Bridge players never fail to fascinate me with their endless afflictions and disorders, all of which are attributable to the game of bridge itself. Whenever a normal person takes up this game, he or she ceases to be normal. Indeed, there are so many psychological and behavioural disorders yet to be diagnosed and labelled, I still have a life-time of work ahead of me. Indeed, I am just on the verge of completing a book dedicated solely to medico-bridge terminology, and there are two late entries I want to share with you now. Both reflect the onset of illogical and irrational thinking that can quickly overtake players whenever they sit down to play bridge.
  • Lurkahemia : A debilitating psychological disorder which distorts the logical thinking of the sufferer. Despite being dealt a very biddable hand, the victim will elect to remain silent during the first round of the auction, firmly believing that a "trap pass" is going to yield a profitable return, especially if opponents enter the bidding, or continue to bid up. Often hands are passed out with easy part scores or games their way being missed. Opponents, surprisingly and gratefully, find themselves in makeable part-scores having not been pushed to bid to a higher level. If two sufferers should ever have the misfortune to form a partnership, both are likely to pass on their 16 HCP hands, with the inevitable consequence that even slam hands can be passed out. Yet perversely, they will enter a competitive auction on absolute tat, decisions which only fools and lunatics would make. The fact that they get doubled for embarrassingly large penalties only goes to reinforce the absurd notion that their chance to inflict the same punishment will come later........when they make another clever and cunning trap pass !
  • Oppophobia : An all too common condition found in players who are in awe of, or completely overwhelmed by, the reputation and status of the opposition. This desire to give them excessive respect leads sufferers to develop a whole raft of irrational fears. They either bail out of the bidding despite having the majority of HCPs, or refuse to double even when the opponents have clearly over-stepped the mark. In defence, the fear factor talks them out of making simple, straightforward, logical, contract-beating decisions, replacing them instead with absurd plays that gift-wrap presents to the opponents. This self-induced form of insanity results in victims taking a jaundiced view on everything. One example which comes to mind was when the bidding on a combined 32 points came to a sudden halt at 2NT, because victims with this disorder believed their talented opponents would find a way of defeating 3NT. So when the scoresheet revealed another galactic bottom, this merely reinforced the notion that top players deserve even more respect than before.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

CRIME SHEET FOR WAYWARD BRIDGE PLAYERS ( page 3 )......... Yet again, taking the lead from our very own UK Road Traffic Act, here are a few more crimes that need to be recorded and dealt with in order to tackle the widespread problem of poor bridge.


  • Pulling (cards) out in front of others
  • Causing a hold-up and/or accident
  • Giving way.... to temptation
  • Aiding and abetting declarer
  • Failing to signal
  • Failing to give correct indications
  • Failing to spot signals
  • Ignoring danger signs
  • Not maintaining a constant speed or tempo
  • Making incorrect turns at crucial junctions
  • Negligent steering
  • Losing direction
  • Failing to park.....away losers
  • Allowing declarer to get away with murder
  • Causing unnecessary delays through long hesitations and indecisiveness
  • Causing partner to commit acts of uncontrollable table rage

The list could go on for much longer, but one needs to be careful when handing your hapless partner his/her first crime sheet details. Too many ticks and board number statistics could be hard to take in at first. However, once your partners get used to the idea of being " crimed " each and every week, then you can afford to list all their crimes, big and small. This can be done in total confidence that your partners are now thoroughly conditioned, to take on board all their short-comings, faults and failings.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG....................................
  • Dear Rebecca, Certain members in my club who follow this surreal bizarrebridgeworld blog have cruelly alleged that Dr.John is a complete charlatan: someone who writes nothing but meaningless psycho mumb0-jumbo rubbish. You've met the man and read his articles and books.......what do you think? Yours a footballing legend, Ian Wright-Foot
  • Dear Ian, In my opinion Dr. John is a real legend, for I believe him to be the world's leading expert in bridge-related psychological disorders. I know this for a fact, because he diagnosed me ( quite correctly ) as having a disorder known as DISSOCIATIVE FUGUE. According to his research the cause of this affliction stems from a sustained period of poor scores and wretched results, which all bridge players encounter from time to time. Initial confusion sets in as to why this has happened.....contrary to their highly over-optimistic expectations. For those with fragile egos and a predisposition to fantasise, they are compelled to seek sanctuary in new identities that offer grandeur and fame. This may adopt all manner of disguises ( temporary or permanent ), where for instance victims proclaim themselves as club professionals, bridge teachers, or even budding bridge authors . Indeed, my affliction led me to re-invent myself as Rebecca Rood, a female icon in a bridge world dominated by men. Even Dr. John, who diagnosed himself as a victim, needed to lose sight of who he once was in his early career......a drop-out medical student. Moreover, Johnny Supremo has no more idea of playing bridge than the plastic gnome that can be seen pissing into my garden pond. Therefore, it is not surprising to see players in every bridge club the world over, seeking to escape the pain, which their acute inferiority complexes thrusts upon them. Not wanting to face up to the shameful reality of endless poor scores, embarrassing results, and a reputation of being mediocre and anonymous, the temptation to succumb to dissociative fugue becomes totally irresistible.
  • Ironically, the condition is a godsend in that sufferers really do develop good feeling about themselves, immensely secure and happy within their new impregnable identities. So yes, I have nothing but contempt for those that undermine Dr. John's outstanding research, world-wide acclaim, and breath-taking genius. Yours forever believing in the power of self-delusion, Rebecca

Monday, 23 November 2009

BRIDGE BOOKS THAT WE ALL NEED TO READ ............... ( Or so says Pun )
  • Bridge: All The Big Match Statistics ( 1932-2009 ).................Alma Nack
  • Bridge Gossip From Inside The EBU Headquarters................Bart Ender
  • Bidding With Zest and Zeal..................................................Gus Toe
  • Be A Devil To Play Against..................................................Lucy Furr
  • Learning Bridge : Key Topics To Revise................................Cilla Buss
  • Chasing Down A Top Man To Partner...................................Bunny Boiler
  • All that matters Is Winning..................................................Hanz Downe
  • I Want 60 Seconds Of Your time, Partner.............................Chester Minnet
  • Flitting From Partner To Partner........................................... Phil Landerer
  • You Accusing Me of Cheating ?........................................... Juana Fite
BRIDGE PARTNER'S CRIME SHEET SPECIMEN COPY ( Page 2) .....content as before inspired by the Road Traffic Act


  • Going off track
  • Taking a wrong turn
  • Losing direction
  • Failing to read the signs
  • Gross hesitation and indecision
  • Failing too see what other card users are up to
  • Negligent card play
  • Making decisions without due care and attention
  • Meandering all over the place
  • Failing to follow basic safety procedures
  • Attempting dangerous almost suicidal manoeuvres
  • Causing annoyance by proceding too slow
  • Failing to recall opponents' bidding
  • Forgetting to register what's gone by
  • Failing to spot risks and/or hazards
  • Not taking in account changing conditions
  • Skidding into trouble
  • Heading down one-way streets to disaster
  • Heading the wrong way down one-way streets
  • Carelessly pulling out (the wrong cards)
  • Overtaking in situations where it was completely unnecessary
  • Breaking down at a crucial junction

The list can be extended as and when necessary, with many blank lines provided at the bottom of each page. However, if any sheet does not have enough room to accommodate all the detail of crimes committed, with all the appropriate board numbers, then one can only presume there must be enough evidence present..... to have your partner charged with gross incompetence. This charge should be brought before the club disciplinary committee. Providing a detailed report is sent in with the crime sheets, the committee will use a penalty point system to compile an overall score. Should the total exceed 100, the guilty player will be obliged to attend classes on a bridge rehabilitation programme............another superb idea of mine. Only on successful completion of this programme would offenders be allowed back onto the roads of duplicate bridge. This in my eyes is the most creative and exciting initiative ever to be introduced into the world of bridge.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

BRIDGE PARTNERS : LIST THEIR CRIMES ON THEIR VERY OWN CRIME SHEETS..........( A revolutionary idea by Howard Bigot-Johnson ......but one which was totally inspired by the ROAD TRAFFIC ACT ) All too often we play with partners who are oblivious to their mistakes and failings. As reasonable people we refrain from lambasting these poor souls at the table for fear of damaging their already fragile egos. Moreover, letting rip at partners can also be a distressing experience for opponents, who might have sensitive ears and/or dispositions. How much better would it be to keep a log of partner's misdemeanours on a crime sheet, which you can hand over to him/her at the end of the session. This sheet will list every crime committed at the table, along with all the frequencies. This will enable your partners to leave the club totally unscathed. Moreover, it will be in the comfort of their homes, when they can get down to the job of absorbing and acknowledging the weaknesses in their game. They can take all the time they need, and hopefully with their therapists in attendance. So let's look at page 1 of a specimen copy ( other pages will appear in later posts ), which outline all the crimes that could well be committed by partner during the bidding stages:
  • Lurking with intent
  • Giving false and misleading descriptions
  • Inadequate braking system : failing to stop when required
  • Ignoring warning signs
  • Bidding on a convention card without a valid test certificate
  • Failing to display "L" plates ( if still a learner )
  • Failing to follow the system directions
  • Forgetting to use conventions
  • Improper use of conventions
  • Causing irreparable damage ( to your partner's reputation )
  • Failing to double
  • Pushing on instead of doubling
  • Not adhering to the law of total tricks
  • Failing to look both ways before proceeding on
  • Speeding ahead
  • Bidding on without due care and attention
  • Reckless bidding
  • Causing near death ( of partner ) through dangerous bidding
  • Taking wrong turns
  • Making wrong calls
  • Failing to use hand signals ( in emergencies )
  • Using poor judgement
  • Entering an auction without a licence to do so
  • Bidding when in no fit state of mind

Believe you me this idea has a lot going for it. It will take you just a few seconds to tick the offence with a note of the board number.......but partner will need hours to undertake a self-critical analysis, provided a hand record sheet is also made available to him/her at the end of the session. This initiative really needs to be taken seriuously if you want your partners to develop their game to the level of perfection that meets with your approval.

Friday, 20 November 2009

WHO AM I TO COMMENT..............................( Article by Howard Bigot-Johnson ) Both vulnerable and my partner ( East ) ended up in 6NT. This was good because my partner claims to be "one of the best players in the club who never puts a foot wrong". Don't for pity's sake ask me why we are not in 6 hearts because that's another story. Mr. Perfect has already binned a vulnerable game, and passed a forcing bid to bin a non-vulnerable game.....and this at aggregate scoring !! How I held my temper in check I do not know, but who am I to comment having been recently relieved of my captaincy, after going 11 off in a small spade slam ( see Nov 16th post) on the very last board of an intercity league match. Partner's hand was : 109...65...AQx....AKQJ10x..opposite my: Axx....AKJ9xx....Jxx...4. The only opposition bidding was a weak jump overcall of 2 spades by North. At trick one South led the queen of spades, which partner took in dummy with the Ace. He then played the Ace of hearts, followed by 3 rounds of clubs discarding 2 spades and a heart from dummy. Then came a second heart to the jack, which North won with the queen. Minus a bundle. How bloody clueless can one be? So I gave the hand to someone who really can play the cards....and it took him 3 seconds to get it right. His analysis agreed with mine: North must have some other values for his weak jump overcall outside his KJ of spades to six. The only points left in the pack were queen of hearts and the king of diamonds.....and he most likely had both. The odds of South holding the J of spades were slim. North was ripe for a squeeze. After runnning off six top clubs and two top hearts, North has either dropped the queen of hearts, or is still clinging onto it for dear life, along side his boss spade and two diamonds to the king. At trick ten, dummy's left with Jxx of diamonds plus the heart jack, while declarer has three diamonds to the AQ and the all important 9 of spades. A finesse of the diamond to the queen, followed by the Ace of diamonds ( King falls )then sets up dummy's jack for the 12th trick.
THINGS YOU WILL NEVER HEAR BRIDGE PLAYERS SAY......( Article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
  • No gossip please.....I'm not interested in tittle-tattle
  • Free coffee ?.......No thanks
  • Great.....even more rules on alerting
  • I'm not qualified to give an opinion
  • You didn't mean to play that card....that's ok....pick it up and play another
  • That TD decision provided equity all round
  • I can always rely on my partner to do the right thing
  • No matter what direction we sit, cards always go our way
  • I forgive you partner
  • Take as much time as you want over what to do next
  • I'll take responsibility for that bad board
  • Everyone here is committed to creating a friendly atmoshere
  • I don't mind if things go's only a game
  • It's pleasing to see members retaining their dress sense
  • I have no complaints whatsoever
  • Put your money away....I'm happy to buy another round
  • I'm standing for committee, because I care about the future of this club
  • I have to confess that I've overheard comments about the boards we are about to play
  • It doesn't matter if we win or lose....what matters is the joy of participating
  • I don't mind the noisy's makes the place vibrant, and exciting

THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY...................................................

  • Principle of Restricted Choice: a situation in which a player finds himself with a difficult choice. Desperate to play a game of bridge, he finds himself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Unable to find a replacement for his absent partner, an awkward decision now has to be made. Either he goes home, or plays with a stand-by he can not abide.
BRIDGE QUOTATIONS: THE CLASSIC ONE-LINERS..( By Carp ) Bridge players are well renown for their sharp wit and biting sarcasm. No can dispute their ability to make stinging remarks or cutting jibes. Bridge stories often focus on the banter between players, rather then the deal or the play of the cards. So here's a few of my favourite quotations that will no doubt strike a chord with bridge players, who have endured hopeless partners over the years:
  • Where's the hand you held during the auction?
  • Is it me or are my partners all weird ?
  • Why is it that nobody can see what I see ?
  • I hate this game I love
  • Let me guess partner..... it wasn't a play was a play concept error
  • Sorry....but my partner plays forcing hesitations
  • My partner's defence is very average.....he always operates in a fog of uncertainty
  • If you have the slightest touch of masochism, you'll love this game
  • Players like you, who reckon they have a feel for the game, lack the logic to be successful
  • What should you have discarded ?....... Any notion whatsoever you can play bridge


  • Success At Bridge Means Solid Defence....................Adrian Swall
  • Tall Bridge Stories....................................................Jack N. Orie
  • Deceiving Opponents................................................Faye Kennett
  • Bridge Capital Of Canada..........................................Winnie Pegg
  • I Tend Not To Criticise Partner...................................Casey Crise
  • Late Night Round Table Bridge Talk............................Lance Allott
  • Bridge On The West Bank.........................................Jerry Coe
  • Discover Your Partner's Holding..................................Eva Brahoff
  • What's For Tea?........................................................Buffy Ima Fraid
  • Risking Low Level Penalty Doubles.............................Chance Yerarm

Thursday, 19 November 2009

THE ART OF GOOD DEFENCE...........................................( Article by Johnny Supremo ) The other day I made a small slam courtesy of some poor defence. I was in 6 no trumps holding: QJxx.....Jx ..Jx....AQJxx, opposite dummy's: A....AQxx.....KQ10xx.....Kx. Five clubs and 4 diamonds were always there for the taking, but I had to make 4 tricks from the two major suits. I was extremely lucky to get a diamond lead, and so I continued with the suit until my LHO took his Ace. By now his partner had got across a signal for a spade switch. This request was duly met and the spade return was taken in dummy by the Ace. Now I proceeded to run off the last diamond and four winning clubs, ending in hand. I was down to stiff queen of spades, a small heart and one boss club, opposite dummy's AQx of hearts. However, my LHO opponent, who had thrown in the towel with an air of resignation, had discarded heart after heart, leaving partner visibly squirming in her seat. She was obviously trying to protect both her major kings. At trick 11 when I played my last club, my RHO opponent threw away her King of spades in abject hope and despair, praying for the possibility that her partner held the queen of spades. No such luck. Slam made. And the moral of this story is that good defence requires two things. Firstly, one defender needs to recognise his/her role in helping partner out, by means of deceiving declarer where it is safe and profitable to do so. My LHO opponent who knows he hasn't the king of hearts........ must attempt to keep hearts as though he does, especially when he knows partner also possesses the King of spades. Defenders must endeavour to force declarers into making guesses, rather than giving away vital information which removes the need to make such awkward choices. My RHO opponent who knows she is being squeezed, must give the impression that the opposite is true. Defenders must hide the fact they could be squeezed in two suits, by throwing away small cards in a suit needed to guard the King . Discards by my RHO should have been made without a flicker of emotion. Of course, baring both Kings involves a risk, but this may be the only option available if declarer is to fail. By creating a chance for me to go wrong, I might well have taken on what I believed to be a successful heart finesse.
REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG.............................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, My enjoyment of bridge has been considerably spoilt by the few recent experiences I have had at my local club. Can people be ruder and more arrogant than monomaniac bridge players? I just don't know. Indeed, I genuinely believe that these extremely unsociable players are sociopaths, if not psychopaths. What is your take on this? Yours still feeling shell-shocked, Ima Crab
  • Dear Ima, I have had many letters dealing with this distressing problem of rudeness and bullying found within the game. Many bridge clubs are quite rightly very concerned, as such behaviour impacts badly their ability to keep members and attract new ones. However, it is my contention that bridge appeals to people mainly from the professional and managerial classes.......and it is from this background where sociopaths and psychopaths are often found. Therefore, it is inevitable that some club members will display character traits associated with these two undesirable types. Believe you me, you don't have to look far to find people who: (1) show contempt for others, (2) fail to perceive that anything is wrong with them, (3) display glibness and superficial charm, (4) fail to recognise the rights of others, (5) see only their self-serving behaviour as permissible, (6) adopt a grandiose sense of self, (7) feel entitled to get their way as "of right ", (8) live on the edge, (9) display an impulsive nature, and poor behavioural controls, (10) appear authoritarian, secretive and paranoid, (11) crave for admiration, respect and gratitude, (12) seek to control others. So unfortunately, you will find people like this in bridge clubs, as you will do in the work place. Behaviours like that are part of the human condition, which most of us (thankfully) are able to keep in check. So please don't let these people ruin your enjoyment of what is the greatest game on earth. Look upon them as insane, since they are by definition morally insane. Please don't allow them to intimidate you ever again. Just offer them your pity and your condolences. Yours always in the ascendancy, Rebecca

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG....................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, I've been around the bridge scene for over 50 years, and more. And I know what I'm talking about. So much so, I find your replies to these sad gits who write in to you both pretentious and patronising. You make out that you have all the answers, when in fact you offer these pathetic problem-ridden wasters nothing. You too should get another life, and do something really useful. Yours I think not, Tony
  • Dear Tony, Well, one thing is for sure, and that is your name has been added to the list of sad gits who have written into me, whinging and whining as they do. However, I do need to point out one thing : I only publish those letters which are likely to expose the authors to both ridicule and humiliation...........someone that might be happening to you right now. Once readers see for themselves what losers, no-hopers,and loonies belong to the bridge world, they will all end up having a much better opinion of themselves. As for my life right now ?.....It couldn't be better. I'm famous, rich, successful, and every day exciting new oportunities come knocking at my door. I suspect that the only person ever likely to knock on your door will be the grim reaper himself. Up yours, Rood
THE WONDER OF BRIDGE..............( By Bridgemeister Gibson ) Whenever I pick up a scoresheet ( or view one using an electronic bridge-mate ) I am always amazed at how many different contracts have been reached........ by either side. Why just the other day after making a routine 3NT+ 1, I noticed a 3S tick on my side of the scoresheet.......but also a 3S tick on the other side as well !!!! Surely, this was a scoring error.....but was correct. Now I was intrigued as to (a) how the bidding got there, and (b) how the hell did they make it ? North held: 8xxx....(void) opposite dealer South's: Jxx.....1098xx...A....AQxx. South opened 1H, and the bidding went as follows: double - 2S(psyche) - 3C - double - pass - 3D - pass - 3s - passed out. Why West failed to double beggared belief, but it turned out a wise move as this rather bizarre contract came rolling in. East made an unfortunate opening lead with the King of hearts, ruffed by North. With the hearts splitting 4-4, declarer was able to make 4 ruffs with the North hand, using the Diamond Ace, and 2 diamond ruffs as entries ( 7 tricks). The successful club finesse finished off the story. Meanwhile, on another table East/West found themselves in an equally bizarre 3 spade contract. South again opened 1H, but the bidding here took a different sequence altogether: 1S - Pass - 2S (!!) - pass -3S - passed out. South's opening bid certainly saved E/W from a doomed 4H contract. However, West's overcall of 1S seemed to me a rather poor choice of bid, but West's 2S really did border upon the ludicrous. So an invitational 3S bid ended the auction. West held : AKQx....Axxx....KQJ...10x opposite his partner's: A witless North inexplicably led a spade at trick one. West immediately rattled off his top three trumps. Then he started on hearts conceding just one loser when North ruffed in with his last trump ( 6 tricks ). With 2 diamonds and a cluff ruff to come, nine tricks came rolling in. Now that is why this game is so truly wonderful... yet so bizarre.

Monday, 16 November 2009

BRIDGE CLUB DISCIPLINARY SUB-COMMITTEE HEARING No.61... Bigot-Johnson had only just come back from suspension, when he inexplicably chose to throw a hand in a intercity match league match. The circumstances were considered grave enough for the committee to review the incident and make a ruling. A transcript of the hearing appears below:
  • Chairman ( C ) : " Is it true Bigot that on the last board of an intercity match in which you were captain, you played a hand in 6 spades, where you contrived to go eleven off !! "
  • B-J : " Yes.. "
  • C : " Was it not the case that your other pair playing the same way as you also bid to 6S, and had no difficulty whatsoever in making the contract plus 1."
  • B-J : " Yes..."
  • C : " Could you explain for the benefit of this panel how, with top cards in every suit, and a trump holding of K963 opposite AJ852, you only managed to win one trick."
  • B-J : " Easy.....when my LHO led out the jack and ten of clubs, I was able to duck these cards in one hand, while jettisoning top diamonds in the other ( where there was a void in clubs ) . This of course set up winners for the opponents in diamonds. As for the handling of the trumps, there was no problem. Later on, when an opponent played a diamond I was obliged to win, an astute defender ruffed in with her stiff queen of trumps. This enabled me to under-ruff with my jack. The opponent who started off with 3 spades to the 1074, eventually got round to playing that suit. The 10 swallowed my 9 and 8, the 7 swallowed my 6 and 5, and the 4 took care of my 3 and 2. Not surprisingly, I managed to the win the last trick twice over with my King and Ace of spades. "
  • C : " Quite remarkable. In fact it's amazing to think that the opponents, who had nothing in the way of HCPs and 4 losing spades, then managed themselves to make a slam in spades......picking up instead +1100 in penalty points. However, did it not occur to you that you were playing bridge at the time.....not a game of solo in which you were aiming to make misere. What on earth possessed you to behave in such a frivolous way to the detriment of your team? "
  • B-J : " Listen to me, you muppets. I had just sat through 3 eight-board sessions where all seven members of the team had been pressing self-destruct buttons left, right and centre. Opponents were being allowed to make impossible game contracts. Cold contracts our way were going down because of the bumbledog mentality of motley crew I was forced to include in my team. At the start of the last session we were already 189 imps down, staring at a 20-0 defeat no matter what trees we pulled up over the last few boards.
  • C : " I can empathise a little with your frustration and disappontment, but that is still no excuse for what you did..."
  • B-J : " Please allow me to finish.....I then had to suffer more dreadful bridge from partner, who as declarer was giving tricks away like the Easter bunny gives away chocolates. So I laid him into him good and proper. An ear-bashing like he's never had before. So then he said...rather sarcastically....when we had bid to 6S on the last hand..... ' Well maestro, let's see if you can do any better '......and so I took that as a challenge to better his ability to lob tricks away ." This was meant to be the ultimate demonstration on how not to play the cards."
  • C : " Did it have the desired effect ? "
  • B-J : " No......he didn't even spot where I was doing wrong, which illustrates what a total tosser he was."
  • C : " Well, despite having some sympathy for you, I'm afraid that your behaviour was childish, petulent, and completely uncalled for.You owe it to the team and this club to do your best, and go down fighting. You embarrassed yourself and this club with such antics, and so I must suspend you again for another 3 month period. This should give you sufficient time to reflect upon your appalling behaviour, and to seek psychiatric help. Is there anything you would like to say ?
  • B-J : " Bugger..."

Sunday, 15 November 2009

DR. JOHN'S CASE NOTES : TETCHINITUS OBSTREPEROUS Most players, as far as I am aware, succumb to this affliction to some degree or another. When the symptoms lock in, tolerance, patience, forgiveness and understanding fly straight out of the window. Sufferers allow the smallest indiscretion committed by partner ( or the opposition ) to trigger off castigation and chastisement. Sometimes as an evening bridge session progresses, the severity of the symptoms do likewise. Now the victim requires no excuse at all to display total dissatisfaction with anything ......and everything. No one is spared from a their relentless onslaught of petty complaints and grievances. Nothing can pacify sufferers or make them happy. Inevitably, players who are at the same table become too frightened to do or say anything in case it meets with disapproval. Sometimes the fear is so great, that some people have been known to stop breathing, in case the sound of inhaled air might cause an offence. Egg-shells appear from nowhere to cover the floors from corner to corner. Tragically, for the unfortunate few, this irrational behaviour becomes so entrenched it becomes a permanent part of their bitter and twisted personalities. Extreme outbursts of awkwardness, stubbornness, and cynicism can quickly develop as indicators of the final stage symptoms. In such instances, practioners like myself tend to throw in the towel, in that these poor miserable souls have all gone beyond the point of no return.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

BRIDGE PLAYERS' HOROSCOPE ( Part 6 ).............
  • Aquarius ( January 21st - February 18th ) : Any political commentator would describe players like yourself as "complete and utter wets". So let's face facts: your recent results suggest that you are all at sea with your game, playing in competitions where you are clearly out of your depth, and sinking to the bottom without trace. Board after board you find yourself in hot water with your reckless and irresponsible bidding, but your real failing is your inability to tap in to partners' thinking and signals. If you want to urn their respect , then get onto their wave-lengths. Develop a thirst for success. Adopt the current trends in strategic and tactical bidding. Then perhaps, you'll notice your partners being well pleased.
  • Pisces ( February 19th - March 19th ) : Do you find yourself swimming against the tide, floundering around without hope of success, and merely ending up being the proverbial fish in a barrel......dead easy to shoot ? Are you taken in by the opponents' deceptive bids.... hook, line and sinker ? To most observers your game is so bad, you're like a fish out of water. In another world , you would be a mouse, where the opponents would be cheese-eating cats.......just waiting for you with baited breath. Well rest assured, Neptune may come to your rescue, now that it is in conjunction with Pluto. The time is certainly right for you to adopt a new school of thought on how to bid and signal information to partner. So now is the time for change : there's no plaice whatsoever for any of your out-dated and out-moded ideas. You must spend some serious dosh, perchace books that explain the modern game, and follow the authors' advice.

Friday, 13 November 2009

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG........................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, Am I paranoid or not? Whenever opponents call a TD over to my table, not a single decision goes my way. Even when I appeal I matter how much I feel an injustice has been done. Yours feeling particularly aggrieved, Aggie
  • Dear Aggie, You obviously haven't got a clue as to what the rules are, otherwise you wouldn't keep falling foul of them. However, I do have some sympathy for you. Given that bridge has become so much more competitive these days, there is I'm afraid an emerging culture of intolerance and profiteering. In the words of Tony Forrester " nobody understands the finer points of the rules, except those who have an opportunity to profit by them". So on that basis you are never likely to get a decision going your way, especially if your opponents know you've broken the rules. My advice to you is to read the rules and understand them. This knowledge will enable you to behave and act correctly......denying them opportunities.... while creating a few for yourself. In the world of bridge it's a case of dog eat dog. Yours getting down to the bone, Rebecca
BRIDGE PLAYERS ALL AT SEA... ( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson ) Victor Mollo may well have lampooned bridge players as animals, but he would have had more more fun depicting them as fish. For whenever I enter my local bridge club, it is almost as though I've dived into an exotic aquarium surrounded by weird and wonderful fish. Indeed, each species displays a particular quirk or behavioural trait , we have all come to recognise so well. So let's look at some of these fishy characters, some expertly schooled in bridge, which we so often encounter at tournament events.
  • Eel - one who can wriggle out of a doubled contract relatively unscathed
  • Carp - constant moaner
  • Minnow - fodder for the big fish
  • Monk fish - players who get a real face on if they lose
  • Barbel - female member who spends more time at the bar than at the table
  • Red Mullet - one whose face goes a deep red after making a disastrous mistake
  • Grey Mullet - an inconspicuous and unemotional player whose attendance at the club usually goes unnoticed
  • Goblin shark - predatory type with a voracious appetite for the little minnows
  • Tiger shark - renown for very bold and aggressive bidding
  • Flatfish - players who rarely get tops or bottoms - always situated in the middle
  • Tench - nervous sort
  • Duckbill - players who can always get out of paying their dues
  • Perch - one with a tendency to look down on others from a lofty position
  • Swordfish - renown for using "s" words to insult clueless partners, such as "stupid, scatter-brained, screw-loose"
  • Kipper - dozy sort having a tendency to nod off and lose concentration
  • Catfish - someone who occupies the bottom position for long periods of time
  • Brill - name given to players who are exceptionally gifted
  • Snapper - player who is quick tempered, flaring up at the slightest provocation
  • Whale - powerful player prone to occasional blow-outs
  • Humpback whale - their blow-outs leave them moody, mardy and miserable for hours to come

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

LAW REPORT : WBF v. BIGOT-JOHNSON, PUN, DR. JOHN AND CARP.... Yet another attempt by the WBF to rein in the editorial licence of the much maligned blog bizarrebridgeworld. This particular attempt involved a private prosecution, where the four accused were alleged to have committed a century's old common law crime........ of conspiring to bring a highly respectable institution and game into disrepute. The trial was heard at the Old Bailey before a learned judge and a packed courtroom. However, the proceedings were over in a matter of minutes as the following transcript reveals:
  • Judge : " How do each of the defendants plead....? "
  • B-J : " May I confer with my co-accused ? "
  • Judge : " If you must..."

( After a prolonged discussion and the shaking of hands all four defendants gave a plea of "not guilty" in unison. )

  • WBF : "Are you all contributors to this infamous, vile and pernicious blog called Bizarrebridgeworld ? "
  • B-J : " Yes.."
  • WBF : " Do you accept that your blog has made hundreds of statements designed to show up the world of bridge in an exceedingly bad light ? "
  • B-J : " That's not the way we see it. Our aim is to expose both the lighter....and darker.... side of the game. "
  • WBF : " Well, that not the way bridge unions around the world see it. They are alarmed by its content. They believe their members are outraged and distressed..... shocked and angry at what they have read."
  • B-J : " .....That just reflects what a fickle, fuddy-duddy, fussy load of old fogeys they all are. Have they no sense of humour whatsoever."
  • WBF : " Well, there you go again......with your snipes and insults.... but now is the time to move onto the real essence of the crime, which is the conspiracy........Therefore, answer me this.....Have you ever been involved in any discussions or plans with any of the co-accused which set out to crucify the game of bridge, and/or its governing bodies ? "

( Another huddle is formed where views are quickly exchanged and decisions agreed upon. )

  • B-J : " No....absolutely not. We never meet face-to-face, and we all act independently of each other, sitting at our computers, in our separate bedroom-studies, randomly submitting material on a blog we all know the password to."
  • WBF : " Excuse me !.....But what about these two episodes of conferring here is in this court ? "
  • B-J : " On both occasions we were simultaneously talking to ourselves..............out loud it seems! "
  • WBF : " But is not not the case you are widely known as... the gang of 4 ? "
  • B-J : " We were once a team of four that managed to lift the prized Turnip Trophy at the Walnut Tree Allotment BC in 2004 in a field of three.......but might I point out at this juncture that we do meet on occasions, but only by chance, if we happened to turn up at the same event. Obviously, we chat and exchange views on a variety of bridge-related subjects. So even if our grumbles, moans, and whinges coincided, or were shared in some way, that doesn't mean we were conspiring to take the piss out of bridge. For instance, do you object to the way governments deceive us with their lies ? "
  • WBF : " Yes "
  • H-J : " Well, I do too. But does that now mean we are conspiring to take action against such deceitful and corrupt governments ? I think not. "
  • WBF : " I see your point. "
  • Judge : " And so do I....there appears no evidence whatsoever to establish a conspiracy involving the accused. They seem to me a group of anonymous and insignificant writers, of little or no skill whatsoever, who all share the same warped, twisted, jaundiced and prejudiced view of the bridge world. But there's nothing to suggest that they have ever acted together, to support a conspiracy theory. Therefore, there is no case to answer and so I'm bringing this trial to a speedy end.

( Immediately, all four men in the dock embraced one other, utterly overwhelmed by a combination of unbridled joy and immense relief. )

  • B-J: " Thank you, your Honour....and if you don't mind we 're just heading off to the pub across the road .........being the first stage of our pre-planned victory celebration. "

( Seconds later, as they were marching their way... in perfect step....out of the courtroom, one observant commentator noticed that they were all wearing the same coloured shirts under their jackets. )

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

BIGOT GOES BALLISTIC...................( Short report by Bridgemeister Gibson) It had to happen. Bigot Johnson was up against Johnny Supremo ( a smart-arse know-all he has gradually come to hate ) and he was determined to put one over him. He mumbled prayers before reaching for his cards : " Dear God deal me a good hand ". Sure enough God obliged when Bigot stared at : (void )....KQ10xx...AQx....AQJxx. His partner too was blessed with a few tasty cards, holding : x.....AJxx....1098x....Kxxx . So the scene was set for Bigot to bid and make an easy slam. However, the bidding took an unexpected turn. After Bigot opened 1H, Johnny Supremo sitting West overcalled 3S. Partner went to 4H only for East to compete with 4S. Undeterred Bigot punted 6H to finish off the aunction. But no.....Johnny was back in with 6S, which was followed by two passes.....and a hefty double from a man who was going ballistic. He had no way of knowing whether 7H would make, or not. With no more bidding, North led his singleton spade, and after a flurry of cross-ruffing West was able to establish dummy's long diamond suit to ditch a losing club and his one remaining heart. Six spades made plus one for a gallactic score of +1860.....and all on a combined 14 count: KQJxxxxx.....xxxx...(void) ..x...... opposite his partner's rather fortuitous holding of Axxx....(void) What was of course most galling for Bigot was the fact that 7H could make, given the double finesse in diamonds working. Johnny had just lit his fuse alright and the words "bugger...bugger " echoed around the room. It was just a matter of seconds now before the explosion........
REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG........................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, My husband and I play bridge as a regular partnership, but we don't do well. In fact. most of our scores border on the abysmal. Why just the other day we notched up our worse score ever......a humiliating and highly embarrassing 18%. I was gutted, devastated and traumatised by the whole wretched experience. My husband god bless him knows he is a terrible player, and has accepted that he carries nearly all the blame. Since then he has steadfastly refused to pick up a hand of cards, vowing never to go back to the club. Should I quit the game or carry on without him? Yours in a quandary, Martha
  • Dear Martha, I can't help recalling the case of the John Bennett murder where his wife, Myrtle, shot him for playing a hand like a cretin. Obviously, you've seen your husband play thousands of hands with the same degree of clueless ineptitude. On my reckoning if you were to shoot your husband now, there's an excellent chance you could get the murder charge reduced to involuntary manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. But I suspect you care for him enough not to take such a drastic course of action. However, what you have said about his wretched play certainly adds up to irrefutable, rock-solid evidence of " unreasonable behaviour ".................which paves the way for an easy divorce. If that idea doesn't inspire you, then I suggest you carry on playing bridge without him. If he's a decent sort, I'm sure he won't mind. You must seize the opportunity with both hands to free yourself from the restrictive shackles, a marital partnership creates. Use his current phobia of cards to start afresh, and carve out a bridge career that offers real hope of better things to come. So what's wrong with leaving him at home with a book, a hot cup of cocoa and a packet of crisps. Nothing at all. Yours always putting bridge first, Rebecca
BRIDGE HOROSCOPE: ( part 5 ).........
  • Sagittarius ( November 22nd - December 21st ) : Your game at present isn't delivering. You clearly need another string to your bow, if you aim to hit those targets you've set for yourself. Your system card is in dire need of drastic improvement, especially with respect to replacing out-moded conventions, with ones much more suited to tournament play. Don't let big name opponents intimidate you. Make sure that flight does not take precedence over fight. Never sell out to your opponents cheaply. This year more than ever, the signs of the zodiac are all in your favour. So no more quivering. Get shafting. And remember to use all the special tips that the top professionals recommend.
  • Capricorn ( December 22nd - January 20th ) : Why do you allow opponents to get your goat up ? This only causes you to lose your composure, and with it your focus on playing the cards well. Please don't kid yourself that all is well with your game. The fact that you are making mistakes even your grandmother (nanny) would never dream of doing is evidence enough of a troubled mind. Now is the time to ignore your opponents' irritating and unethical behaviour. Just grass on them to the TD and stick in loads of formal complaints. No buts. So buck your ideas up, and get into them before they get into you. And with your opponents silenced, you will then be able to tap into the celestial calm, which the future re-alignment of the planets is about to bring. Once this heaven sent cosmic karma comes your way, match winning bridge is back.

REBECCA ROOD's MAILBAG...........................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, For years now I've been playing every 3rd Thursday of the month with a genuinely nice guy called Stanley. However, this bloke has an uncanny knack of cocking up the first few boards of every session, which gives me ( in particular ) a mountain to climb......just to get back to average on the night. I'm at a loss as to what to do for the best? Yours in need of advice, Jeremy.
  • Dear Jeremy, It sounds as though you have a partner who would be ideal foil for an up-and-coming newcomer to the world of duplicate. He would be perfect at putting a beginner at ease with his obvious gentle and friendly nature. But more importantly, his knack of kicking off a session with some right howlers should make his novice partner far less worried ( or guilty ) about his mistakes. Indeed, I once knew a chap who more failures in his short bridge career, than the rest of us experience in a lifetime. Everyone avoided him like the plague except for the unsuspecting newcomers to the club. Not that it took them long to realize they too had to the earliest opportunity ! So my advice is this: palm him off on a beginner under the pretext that he is best person in the club to do a mentoring job. Because let's face it, you've already suffered enough to warrant a sainthood. So sever that umbilical cord. Only then will you be free to seek out a more reliable partner. If that doesn't work just bite the bullet and tell him: " You doing my head in....try not to take offence....but I've found someone else ". Yours wishing you the best, Rebecca
NOW WHY DID HE DO THAT ?....................( By Johnny Supremo ) Addressing this question about a defender's play may provide you with an answer to a crucial question as to the location of a particular card. The following hand I played the other day serves up an excellent illustration of what I mean. I had arrived at 4H after my partner opened the bidding with a pre-emptive 3D on : Q7....953...KJ10963....104. I was naturally a little disappointed, because hand was :..... 43...AQJ1076....AQ....KJ5. At first glance it looked as though I had 5 possible losers ( 2S, 2C, 1H ). However, My LHO ( West) made an opening lead of the queen of clubs, taken by his partner with the Ace. Good news so far. This was followed by the Ace of spades, and a low spade across to my LHO's King. But at trick 4 West played the 2 of clubs !!.....allowing me to take the trick in dummy with the 10. Now why didn't he smother the 10 with his jack he was known to have ? Why was he intent on giving me an entry to dummy ? Well, there is only one conclusion that could be made after being handed such an unsolicited gift: West was wanting me to take the heart finesse on, because he had the king. So logic dictated that taking the finesse was a no-win option. Therefore, I had everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by rising with the Ace of hearts. Game made, but this was all down to some pathetic and inept play by the defence. Because, if left to my own devices I might well have taken the finesse.

Monday, 9 November 2009

BRIDGE WORLD: WHAT YOUR STAR SIGNS SAY.................... So as promised, here are two more commentaries as to what your star signs say about your bridge. The aim of this horoscope is to provide readers with an accurate diagnosis of why they fail at the game, but what can be done to remedy the situation.
  • Libra ( September 23rd - October 22nd ) : Be honest with are getting panned every time you sit down at the bridge table. You never, for instance, get the balance right between active and passive defence. Your results are so poor you have failed to scale up the EBU ranking ladder for several years now. Can anything be done to tilt the results the other way ? Well, now that the Sun is in harmony with Mercury and Mars, it is time to find new heavy-weight partners to counter-balance your weaknesses. They will certainly raise your game, but more importantly, they will be there to offer sound advice. Listen to what they have to say, especially about weighing up the available evidence from the bidding, before making any decisions as to what might be the best tactics in defence .
  • Scorpio ( October 23rd- November 21st ) : You have a real ability to inflict immense damage upon your opponents, but unfortunately you allow yourself to be stepped upon first. Good results seem to desert you. Why spend all your time lurking around, when you should be on the attack. Hiding underneath stones and in dark corners is not the way to succeed in bridge. So now that Jupiter is in conjunction with Saturn, the time is right to make a sustained series of pre-emptive strikes. Paralyse the more exposed opponents with a barrage of weak two-bids, and weak-jump overcalls. Sting opponents with penalty doubles that really hurt. Make sure your aggressive bidding never gives them any room to manoeuvre, or find an escape. Stick in a few biting remarks to unsettle them, and if necessary get under their skin. In no time at all your poor results will begin to tail off. Then, and only then, will the rocky road to recovery begin.

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG...............................................................
  • Dear Rebecca, I'm at a my wit's end and almost ready to commit murder. For years I've been stuck with a partner who believes he can read the cards. However, it's his inability to read the cards which is second to none. Why just the other day, he railed on me for not playing the queen of clubs ( which he was swore I still had in my hand ), only to be told that he had played that card at trick 3. What do you do with partners like him? Yours ready to kill, Cy Coe
  • Dear Cy, I really do sympasthise with you. I too have had the misfortune to partner people who have no card reading abilities whatsoever. I remember one chap who failed to make in a single trick in hearts holding KQ76. Declarer held four hearts to the J1098 opposite dummy's A43. When declarer started on the suit he played the 10 from hand. My fool of a partner quickly surmised that I had the jack ( !) and so calmly played the 7. When declarer got back to hand with a trump, he next played the 8, and so yet again my partner read the situation with alarming inaccuracy. He now figured me to hold the 9, and rather than waste an honour he stuck in the 6 !! A few tricks later, declarer played over to the Ace, and still had a trump in dummy to ruff the 4th heart. At the end of session I told partner that he was a complete turnip, and that he needed to find partners of similar ability and skill. Sure enough, he accepted that fact we would never play again.....and so he happily went off seeking grandmasters to partner him, such was his misplaced arrogance and blinded conceit. Yours always ready to jettison riff raff at the first opportunity, Rood

Saturday, 7 November 2009

MAGIC TRICKS APPEAR FROM NOWHERE.......( By Johnny Supremo ) Either I'm lucky or God loves me. Why just the other day I found myself in 4S after the bidding went 2S (weak), 3D overcall, and 4S from my over-ambitious partner. As she tabled her 11-point hand : was looking very despairingly at my
  • I knew immediately I was facing a minus 3 score for a wretched bottom. But hold on.......the power of prayer was still there to be exploited. My RHO opponent took the opening King of diamonds with her stiff Ace ( prayer one answered ). Then she switched to lead back a club ( prayer 2 answered, for a spade return would have meant curtains ). This I gratefully seized with my stiff Ace. At trick three I hopped over to dummy via the Queen of hearts to pitch my two losing diamonds on the club King and Queen. Things were beginning to look better, because one-off may still earn a few match-points..
  • However, when the 4th club was played, my RHO opponent ruffed in with the 3 of spades, which was immediately over-ruffed by me. So now, if the remaining spades were breaking 2-2 ( prayer No. 3 ) this impossible contract was coming home. Next came the Jack of spades taken on my left with the queen, and I noticed my RHO dropping the 8. On recapturing the heart return with my King, I volunteered the 10 of spades, taken on my left with the Ace.........only to be shocked in more ways than one, when seeing my RHO discarding the 3 of clubs !! Play continued until the King of spades appeared........and when it did it turned up on my right. This meant I could establish 2 revokes ( prayers really answered this time ) . Obviously, my short-sighted opponent had suited the 2 black threes incorrectly. With uncharacteristic meanness, I asked for a ruling and I obtained a 2 trick adjustment, giving me an unbeatable score 0f +450. So four tricks magically appeared from nowhere..............and the moral of this true story is......always believe in the power of prayer.
LATEST BRIDGE BOOKS TO HIT THE SHOPS........( All reviewed by Pun )
  • Captains Orders: No Bidding Dodgy Games................... Tilly Sezso
  • Autumn Bridge Has Arrived.............................................Russell O'Leeves
  • Quite A Few Haven't Paid Up Yet....................................Collette Watts-Owen
  • Taking Defeat Badly.......................................................Sir Lee Bugger
  • Give Me Hands With Shape Anyday................................Polly Gonn
  • I Hate Being Dummy......................................................Manny King
  • How A Sex Change Helped My Bridge............................ Ima Newman
  • You Says I'm A CLown ?............................................... Harley Quinn
  • Don't Ever Do That Again, Partner...................................Wanda Hoff
  • Fundraising Bridge Events..............................................Charity Pears

Friday, 6 November 2009

BRIDGE WORLD: HOROSCOPE ( Part 3 )..................
  • Leo ( July 23rd - August 22nd ) : You've been going through a bad time lately, yes ? Whenever misfortune rains on you it pours. Time now to restore your pride. Because let's face it, you are in the main a fine bridge player. But you do need to remember who you are. You're a big cat.....a predator.....a beast.....a jungle king. So start looking for game. Target weak opponents and extract maximum penalties from them, whenever they wander into doubling territory. Bid wildly at times, forcing weaker opponents to enter the bidding at dangerously high levels............. ready to bite their heads off each time they raise them above the parapet. Believe that you are The King at the table, and roar triumphantly after each and every successful board. Never allow yourself again to become the tame pussy cat, which no one ever fears. Because if you do, your score-card will end up like all the others........straight into the litter-bin.
  • Virgo ( August 23rd - September 22nd ) : Your feminine side has played havoc with your bidding and play at the tables. Your big bottoms are in keeping with your massive boobs. All too often you start the session in erratic form. It then becomes impossible for you to recover, having fallen so far behind the early leaders. This situation becomes more acute when Uranus is fidgety, and the rings of Saturn are shifting around. You need to get yourself sitting in a relaxed and comfortably way. This might help your emotions to settle down. Base all your decisions at the table on logic, common sense and clinical calculations. Don't rely on feminine instinct and intuition : these do not help you to get good scores. Avoid hell-bent notions that your partner is to blame. And for goodness sake, stay abreast of all the new bidding conventions, which are far superior to the ones you currently employ. It is imperative for you to use every macho instinct that currently lays dormant within your feminine psyche, if you are to avoid ending up in the rear half of the field.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

BRIDGE: THE ART OF COMMUNICATION........( By Bridgemeister Gibson ) The purpose behind any bidding sequence is to communicate information about your hand across to partner....and to receive information back. In other words, each bid should carry a particular message or , as is some cases, the bid chosen should have a precise meaning. So here is a truly marvellous example of a bidding sequence, where the precise meaning of each bid has been recorded and verified:
  • 1H - p - 1S - p ( 1H = I have hearts : 1S = I have spades )
  • 2H - p - 2S - p ( 2H = I have long hearts and no spade fit : 2S = I have long spades and no heart fit )
  • 3H - p - 3S - p ( 3H = Get a grip, partner. When a misfit comes to light, it's your duty to shut up. Now for heaven's sake let me play in 3 hearts : 3S = Are you off your head ? I've told you once, and so I'll tell you again, the contract will play much better in spades. )
  • 4H - p - 4S - p ( 4H = How many times do I have to tell you, I've umpteen hearts, but no bloody spades whatsoever : 4S = I don't give a damn if you're void in my suit, my spades have got to be better than your hearts ! )
  • 5H - p - 5S - p ( 5H = If you bid that bloody spade suit again, I'll break every bone in your body : 5S = When will you learn to shut up, and trust your partner.... you stupid moron ! )
  • 6H - p - 6S - D ( 6H = You've gone and done it now. This is war. and I mean business. Our partnership is as good as dead : 6S = No way am I going to let you play in hearts, because you really have pissed me off good and proper, with your reckless and undisciplined bidding. )
  • RD - p - 7H - D ( Redouble = Now, I just want you to suffer. So here's hoping you go off at least 6 for a whacking great penalty : 7H = I know your game you nasty piece of work. So here, have your heart contract and I hope you get crucified with it )
  • 7S - D - 7NT - D ( 7S = I too can play that game, you evil bastard. And since you so desperately wanted to play in spades...then go ahead sucker.... and do so. Moreover, I'm going to redouble again just to make you squirm even more in pain. 7NT = I'm not going to give you the satisfaction of seeing me go down in my suit. I don't give a fig if I fail to make a single trick whatsoever in no trumps.
  • RD - p - P !! - p ( Redouble = I'm doing exactly what I promised. I'm determined to punish you for once and for all, you tosser ! : Pass with malice aforethought = When this hand is over I suggest you run for your dear dear life......because a very slow and agonising death is what I have in store for you ! )

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Gemini ( May 21st - June 20th ) : You are unfortunately made up of two diametrically opposed personalities. Your constant failing at bridge is the result of indecision and confusion, solely down to hearing two voices inside your head...... one advocating X, and the other advocating Y. As an inevitable result you tend to listen to the wrong voice, making far too many incorrect choices. One twin of course adopts caution, but advice offered here is only valid when Mercury is in conjunction with Saturn. This happens about 3 or 4 times a year. The other twin represents the risk-taker, the creative and flambuoyant half of your personality. Advice offered from his side is much more productive in terms of gaining good results: so be aggressive, stick in a few psyches, plenty of penalty doubles......not to mention light openers and weak-twos in 3 suits. This twin knows that to win at bridge you need to take risks to create winning opportunities.

Cancer ( June 21st - July 22nd ) : For too many years now, you have gone along with all your partner's ridiculous suggestions, fearing that resistance on your part could jeopardise this fragile relationship. However, it is this blind obedience to do things by partner's book ( and not your own ) that is the major factor behind an endless string of hopeless and crabby results. Why you persist with the misguided belief that you might actually benefit from the lessons metered out such a toss-pot beggars belief. Have you no self-respect or personal pride anymore ? I doubt it. Well, now is the time to claw your way back to the top. Pinch yourself several times a day if necessary. Come out of that shell of yours, and establish your authority over partner. If he/she can't accept this role-reversal, then cast him aside and return to the pool to see if there are any decent floaters around.....players who you could really get on with. Look for partners who will be compliant. Partners who will clam up when you tell them to. And don't worry if you end up with a reputation for being crusty and snappy on occasions.........your star sign says it's OK.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

BRIDGE: A RULE TO REMEMBER......( By Bridgemeister Gibson ) This not-widely-known rule evolved from a true story, which will always be one of my all time favourites. Way back in the 1930's at Boston Chess Club, a bridge player named Resnick played in a slam, with a side suit loser....but with a trump fit of 6 to the queen opposite 6 to the Ace. When he led the trump queen his LHO showed out. Resigned to losing a trump trick, he ducked in dummy with the air of a man persecuted by bad luck and gross misfortune. His opponent, of course, snatched the trick with his singleton king. And from that point on Resnick's Rule was formulated: with 12 trumps but missing the King, play for the drop.
DR. SIGMUND T. SCHUKELGRUBER AT YOUR SERVICE................. Not many people know this but I am one of the world's leading astrologers. And so for the benefit of readers out there who like their bridge but also their horoscopes........ I am over the next few posts going to reveal to you..... what your star signs say about your bridge. Far too many players ridicule the notion that our star signs have an impact upon our lives....and upon our bridge results. But these people, by failing to heed the advice and wisdom laid down by the celestial gods, condemn themselves to missing out on lost opportunities, and solutions to their problems. They actually believe that their miserable fate at the bridge table has nothing at all to do with the stars..... laying blame elsewhere......on superstitions that are as ludicrous as they are absurd. " I must have got out of bed on the wrong side.....a black cat must have crossed my path....I should never have walked under that ladder"....are all pathetic statements we hear from disgruntled and demoralised losers. So take it me from me, old wives' tales and cranky superstitions play no part whatsoever in your results at the bridge table. Results are, in fact, solely determined by your star signs as this 6 part horoscope will surely reveal:
  • Aries ( March 20th - April 19th ) : Not been doing so well lately? Well, has it not occurred to you that being a ram you cannot afford to partner players who have a sheepish attitude to bridge. Timid, stupid players who are forever the proverbial lambs to the slaughter. Players who constantly bleat on about their inadequacies, and are forever apologising. People you must select as partners are other horny rams, or better still, players that have real bite or a sting in their tail..... such as Leos, Scorpios, and even crabby Cancerians. So go out and forge partnerships with them. This means of course putting all your old weak woolly-headed partners out to grass permanently !
  • Taurus ( April 20th - May 20 ) : If you're were destined to be a bull, then start behaving like one. Start seeing red, get snorting, make a few charges, and get the opposition running for their lives. Wreak havoc wherever you can. Treat all bridge rooms like china shops. Strut around the place with real menace. Do a lot of posturing, and loads of puffing.......and scraping of feet under the table. Indeed, if you fail to adopt this form of intimidation and aggressive posturing, the opposition will simply regain their cool, composure and confidence. This in turn will enable them to triumph over you yet again.................and do you really want that ?.