Monday, 30 August 2010

In bridge, it is so important to feel at ease with your partner. Someone you have total control over. Someone who looks up to you as the expert. A scapegoat.....eager and willing to take all the blame-shifting flak that will come his way. These are some of the basic requirements for a long lasting and workable partnership. So if you are still desperately searching for the ideal partner, here is my very own Person Specifications List which could of great benefit to you all...................
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to look for a partner with the following attributes :
1. Must have a high pain threshold
2. Must possess a seriously disturbing masochistic tendency
3. Must be of the same gender as yourself ( to avoid any accusations of sexist bullying )
4. Must be more compliant than competent
5. Must always be willing to accept you are right.....and that he is wrong
6. Must never get ideas beyond his station
7. Must recognise that bridge is more of a contact sport than a contract sport
8. Must readily accept that knocking sense into him may require the use of cudgels
9 . Must never take control of auctions : and on no account bid a major or NT ahead of you
10. Must learn to accept that your attitude is far greater than your aptitude
11. Must have a strong work ethic on improving his level of mediocrity
12. Must recognise your right as the expert to be rude and abusive
13. Must expect a gruelling after just one hand, if only to ensure your urge does not die of starvation
14. Must be acutely aware that winning is a matter of life and death.......namely his
15. Must be prepared to leave by the backdoor, when racked with depression and low self-esteem
16. Must be facially expressive, letting you in on inadvertent but crucial tells
17. Must play doomed contracts quickly in order to minimise your pain
18. Must not engage in hundreds of hours of practice ( because who wants to partner an expert loser ? )
19. Must not be a convention freak, because the road to bridge oblivion is paved with them
20. Must have all the enduring and welcoming qualities of a doormat

Saturday, 28 August 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO CARP.....................
Dear Carp,
In my bridge world, the reality is so bizarre I often feel as though I'm always being magically transported to Alice's Wonderland . As you seem the only one on this blog capable of eliciting comments from your readers, I would be very grateful if could invite readers to offer their points of view regarding this recent but true incident.
My partner and I were held accountable of a deemed hesitation. It came about when my honest partner denied hesitating, after being openly accused by one of the opponents. The TD was summoned . When I was asked about what I had seen, I told the TD I had seen nothing, as my mind was concentrating on the bidding and what I ought to do for the best. The partner of the accuser seemed unwilling perhaps fearful to offer an opinion of her own. So basically, it was one person's word against the other. Notwithstanding these facts, the TD took the view a hesitation had taken place. I needed to know how he reached this conclusion. Two reasons were given : (i) the balance of probability in favour of the accuser, in that his perception of the passing of time is more likely to be accurate than that of the alleged offender.....and (ii) a player would not claim a hesitation if one had not taken place. In other words the claim itself is prima facie evidence of a tempo infringement.
As a result, the bid I made ( shocking as it was ) was declared unacceptable because of the established hesitation. Moreover, I was told that my failure to spot my partner's delayed pass was irrelevant , because this is how the Bridge Laws work !
So there you have it. If one does not see a hesitation , which partner also denies, the TD can determine that one might well have taken place .....especially when the accuser, who also happens to be a registered TD, clearly has a better grasp of time....... plus of course the balance of probabilities going in his favour.
But what I want to know are answers to these questions :
- Can a hesitation be established if only the accuser believes a tempo infringement has occurred ?
- Can a questionable hesitation be treated as an unmistakable one ?
- What actually constitutes a break in tempo/ hesitation ?
- Do the laws make any reference to the balance of probabilities, and the presumption that the accuser has a better grasp of " real time " than the alleged offender.
Incidentally, the bidding went as follows : 1NT - Double - Redouble ( showing clubs ) - Pass ??? ( weak 6-card diamond suit ) - 2C - 2H ( flat 15 count with 4 hearts ) - 3C - 3D !!! - passed out. This went one off, but the TD substituted a 3C+1 score for the opponents.
If you, or anyone else, could shed some light on this matter I would be most grateful.
Yours Robert C. S. Jay
Dear Robert,
As I am not a qualified TD I cannot answer your questions. But it does seem peculiar that the balance of probability requirement was only applied to the question of " Can I possibly believe you ? ". If however it had been applied to the question " Would anyone else with your hand bid 2H, opposite a known passed hand ? " , then surely the answer would be not a single sole...... 0%.
If one had to bid again to force partner to bid his lowest 4 card suit, perhaps another double might have been in order. Indeed, on the balance of probability only one of 2 things can be established ; you are either ( i ) a very undisciplined maverick-type bidder , or ( ii ) completely bananas.
However, let's hope someone out there who reads your letter can offer more authoritative observations.
Yours respectfully, Carp

Friday, 27 August 2010

( This case came before Sheffield Crown Court followed a police raid on the Walnut Tree Allotment BC after receiving a tip-off from Percy Pantopod. Bigot-Johnson and other committee members were subsequently charged with offences under the Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971. Bigot of course elected to conduct his own defence. A short extract from the trial's transcript can be seen below. )
Prosecutor ( P ) : Were you and your fellow committee members responsible for the running and operation of the club during the period Sept 1992 to September 1993 ?
B-J : Yes....
P : And on the night of the raid were you the person in charge.....being the acting TD ?
B-J : Yes....
P : So now answer me this question : do you regard bridge as a severe addiction ?
B-J : Yes.....
P : Furthermore, do you consider that all bridge addicts get a real buzz from playing their favourite game ?
B-J : Indeed, I do....
P : Well, allow me to present the prosecution's case as I see it. You and your fellow committee members are charged with the manufacture and production of illegal drugs.
B-J : You're jigging me ? Are you completely off your head ?
P : No....this Bridge Club of yours is nothing more than a clandestine laboratory. And it appears that you have no license to manufacture controlled drugs as listed under The Misuse Of Drugs Act 1971.
B-J : You're pulling my chain ? Is this a wind-up, or what ?
P : I'm afraid not.....You recruited members to enter the premises , and under your administration and management, you induced their bodies to produce chemical drugs that gave them a real buzz. Not only that but the euphoria created by this buzz quickly transferred to others, who then also experienced their own " highs " their bodies got to work. Players were experiencing " rushes " every time they picked up the cards........ but then rushing the play in order to get onto the next hand.
B-J : Well, tickle me pink....and knock me down with a feather.
P : Moreover, as the law stands, it is irrelevant if the controlled substances are produced in small amounts, or consumed immediately by the production operatives themselves. Your duplicate bridge work-outs simply created a drug-addiction culture , and the chemical dependency resulted from a process that was taking place right under their skin.
B-J : I'm flabbergasted....
P : And so you should be. You are responsible for all this body bio-chemistry at work. Indeed, their endocrine systems , which are in charge of all body processes, were working flat out. " Happy stresses " were being experienced all the time. The players, or should I say workers, became totally dependant on internal drug flows for their sense of fulfilment. Their acute addiction can only be described as dangerous and illegal.
B-J : Well, upon my soul...
P : Yes, Bigot you were the instigator of that production process on the night of the raid. And because you personally were responsible for the hand deals....many of which caused players to buzz with excitement...... you are by definition the " drug dealer " of the worst kind. Therefore, I'm sure the jury will find you, and the rest of your motley crew, guilty of all charges laid before this court.
Judge : Too damn right....
B-J : Well, I'll be buggered.....
PSYCHES, CONTROVERSY, ACCUSATIONS AND CHEATING......... ( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson )
If a psyche is a genuine bluff, which deceives all the other players at the table equally , then its legitimacy cannot be questioned. However, if psyches are part of a secret arrangement, agreement, or understanding, then they are clearly illegal, and the perpetrators should be branded as cheats.
But how does one go about dealing with situations when a regular partnership has a renown psycher in its midst. Surely experience of a psycher's style and habits might enable his/her partner to recognise the conditions in which they might well be employed. Given that psyches are most effective in certain situations that arise at the table, then it seems logical to deduce that the psycher's partner will recognise those situations, where a psyche becomes a distinct possibility. This " sense " has to be defined as " an understanding " albeit a tacit one. As a result, the opponents are put at a much greater disadvantage. So even if there is no evidence of " fielding ", the fact remains that the opponents are far more likely to be damaged by the psyche than the expectant partner.
Many years ago it was common practice for players, to make a weak response bid over the opponent's double of partner's opening bid. This created a situation where the responder had an opportunity to psyche knowing that partner might not choose to bid again.
This awkward and controversial free bid cropped up on a hand, which led to accusations of cheating against Terence Reece and Boris Schapiro ( in the 1965 international match against the Italians ). Reese held Qxx....AJxx.....Kxx.....AKQ, and opened a prepared club. North doubled and Schapiro with his J10xxx...4.....Jxx....10xxx responded 1H ! South bid 2D on his x....K10xx.....Q1098x...Jxx, only to hear Reese bid 2NT. Pass from North, followed 3C from Schapiro which ended the auction.
So many questions needed to be asked, and could be asked, about this auction :
- Did Reese know that partner's bid over the double proclaimed weakness and even dire distress, but that it might also be funny ?
- Clearly, Schapiro had two escape options ( clubs and spades ) so the heart psyche could hardly get his side into trouble. But what of the damage to the unsuspecting opponents ?
- Reese described such psyches as " baby psyches " not expected to deceive class opponents, such as Forquet and Garozzo. But what of the 2NT bid, which left the door open for Schapiro to pass now that the damage had been done ? Or did 2NT confirm a heart fit plus a strong hand......or was it a bid that wanted Schapiro to confirm the genuineness of his suit bid ?
- Was the only interest in Schapiro's bid, harmless if fatuous in itself, purely down to its possible significance in the light of the alleged finger signalling charges involving the heart suit ? If he knew that Reese had four hearts, from an illegal signal, why should he seek to deter the Italians from running into an unlucky trump break ?
- Moreover, if Reese knew Schapiro had a singleton heart, why didn't he double 2 diamonds ? As the cards lay, the penalty would have been 800.
Yet despite all these unanswered questions, I do feel that Schapiro had an ideal opportunity to try out a " baby psyche ", which Reese might well have expected ( hence his chosen definition of the term ). Moreover, his 2NT bid was an exceptionally clever one, because it covered both the possibility that the 1H bid might be genuine or not. In a sense, his understanding that the 1H could well be a bluff , he needed to find a bid to keep all options open................because otherwise, why not just jump in hearts to the 3/4 level.
It is my contention that regular psycher in a regular partnership cannot make legitimate psyches, because his partner will surely have an understanding in place, based upon his past experience and knowledge of style, frequency and relevant situational factors, where the possibility of such a bid becomes very real. Honest players who are obliged to bid will never field a psyche, but the likelihood is the psycher has picked out a situation where the opener might well pass, or is unlikely to be damaged if the auction continues. This is because the psyche is a " controlled one " in that the psycher already knows a fit exists elsewhere, which will always provide an escape.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

BIGOT-JOHNSON BLOWS A GASKET................ ( Short report by Pun )
Bigot , as we all know, is immensely proud of the fact that his blog title is an original.......that he is the first person to publicise the perception that the world of bridge is bizarre. However, I unfortunately upset his cosy apple cart when I foolishly told him of a recent discovery of mine. In amongst a pile of very old books, a job lot purchase at a recent auction, I came across an unknown bridge authoress from the 1930's. She too had arrived at the same conclusion as Bigot. Indeed, this very rare priceless treasure was entitled :
The Bizarre World Of Bridge E. Malhouse
On hearing this Bigot went completely ape, which of course was perfectly in keeping with Ann's observations about the primitive behaviour displayed by most male bridge players. She perceived them as grunting, growling, chest-beating, foot-stomping, gesticulating, hairy-arsed gorillas : a description that fits Bigot to a tee.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

THE GREAT PSYCHIC DEBATE................... ( Article by Bridgemeister Gibson )
The art of deception propels the game of bridge onto newer and higher levels. Deceptive bids in particular pose problems for both partners and opponents. The guile and cunning needed to use psychic bids in a most profitable way is a string which is often found on the expert's bow. However, over the years it has been the psychic opening bids that have been castigated by many players as a major source of irritation. Some regard such bids as a violation of the spirit of the game, an unsportsmanlike tactic, and at worst an unacceptable form of cheating.
A psyche is clearly defined as " a deliberate and gross misstatement of honour strength or suit length ". Obviously, a minor deviation does not constitute a psyche because gross means " gross ".
However, the one great thing about psyches is that they feature in many of the most colourful and amusing stories about bridge hands, ever to be told and published in bridge books across the world. John Collings has been immortalised by some of his brilliant and equally disastrous psyches. Yet the statistical reality shows that these high risk bluffs generate more bad scores than good ones. Like dangerous weapons they are best left to experts to use against each other in their tactical and complex bidding wars.
So to finish of the first of many articles I intend to do on this subject, I want to leave you with 3 home grown stories of successful psyches, where the perpetrator clearly had a sound tactical motive for his/her bid. Often this involves identifying the " correct conditions " in which such bids can do real damage to the opponents, yet pose little or no risk to unsuspecting partners being led astray.
The first hand was given to me by a club member, who was partnering one of Sheffield's finest. After he had passed, his LHO came in with a strong two opener. His expert partner looked at his woefully weak 7 card diamond suit to the Ace alongside his club void......and so he naturally made a 3C overcall ! This psyche was clearly designed, should the opponents reach their vulnerable game or slam, to get partner ( if ever on lead ) to play a club to secure an instant ruff. Should the 3C bid get doubled, the expert had his diamond suit to fall back on, without having to bid up a level. A brilliant manoeuvre don't you think.
Next came a story given to me by another club member who told me about a hand that cropped up on the net, when against good opposition the psycher opened 3C on a 4 card suit ! His LHO passed, but his partner ( who had nothing but a good 5 card club suit and no spades ) decided to make a psyche of his bidding 3S in an attempt to muddy the waters. Clearly, the psychic double whammy proved very successful, even though the opponents entered the bidding and eventually bought the contract at the 5 level...........ignoring in the process the chance to double 5C. Not only were the opponents in an inferior contract, but they had completely missed out on finding the easy slam.
The last story comes from a recent club duplicate with many good players in attendance. The opposition opened 1NT and my non-vulnerable partner doubled ( showing 15+ points ). However, when an honest South bid 2NT clearly indicating good values........I now looked at my K10xx....Kxx....Q109xx......x thinking just how many HCPs are there in this pack. Clearly, someone was over-stating their hand, and my bet was on partner. If he hasn't got the 15 points then he must be bidding on a long solid suit, which can only be clubs. So I bid 3C, which received a prompt double on my left. A pass from partner which I duly " alerted " to confirm my analysis of his hand. Strangely, no further bidding took place. When dummy came down with a broken 7 card club suit to the AQ, I was to say the least a little crestfallen.....if not shocked. My LHO was also taken by surprise much so that with sloppy defence, I was able to make all 7 clubs plus my two precious kings, to scramble home the contract for a stunning top.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Horses for courses is what I believe in. Many bridge players may be diagnosed with the same disorder or affliction, but I have to consider what treatment each client might best respond to. Sometimes the whole therapeutic process requires a trial and error approach, but over time I have developed a 6th sense of picking the right therapy first. Anyway, the two therapies I want to review in this article have been condemned worldwide by establishment figures, but my clients swear by them........and the money they were happy to hand over is testament to their faith in my methods, and the sense of well being they have experienced afterwards.
The Dice God :
This therapeutic method first came to light in the book " The Dice Man " written by Luke Rhinehart. The main character is a psycho-analyst who believes that each individual is made up of multiple personalities. Or to put it another way, each person has multiple selves. However, it is always the case that one dominant self tends to rule the others....but at the risk of highly dangerous lapses. These unfortunate blips occur because dogged repression of the other selves leads to numerous inner conflicts, which in turn cause massive build-ups of frustration and tension. Since these conflicts never get resolved, umpteen psychological and personality disorders begin to emerge. Keeping a lid on any boiling pot is simply asking for trouble, because when the lid blows it really blows. Bridge players, of course, tend to have these explosive outbursts once inside the heated cauldron of the bridge arena. Inevitably, they succumb to " another self " which has wrestled control in a most disturbing and shocking way.
However, clients who agree to follow the teachings of " The Dice Man " immediately start to see some positive and beneficial outcomes. By allowing the other selves to be released on a controlled basis, the client can overcome their inner conflicts and deal with the root causes of their disorders. Dice therapy enables bridge players to approach the game in a calm and settled way.
Clients tend not to challenge the randomness element of their dice life, because the outcome of every dice roll is purely down to God.....and who would dare argue with him ! By assigning each self and its needs, desires and wants to a dice score, there is an equal chance of any self being put in control, albeit temporarily. Destiny of the roll will then dictate which self will have its day. So although this means a bridge player may turn up to the club as the devil incarnate, the next time might well see him as a god worshipping bible-bashing christian. With no one self ever in permanent control, the client is far more likely to play their bridge in a stable frame of mind. A routine pattern of random behaviour replaces the routine pattern of permanent abnormal behaviour. The madness and aggression, that was once brought on by the internal repression of the other selves, completely vanishes. The therapy is not about role playing : it is about being true to all one's selves.
Sweep It Under The Carpet :
This approach involves creative and imaginative thinking on the part of my bridge playing clients. Their first task is to learn that all the nasty issues........ that cause them to fall victim to a multitude of disorders, afflictions and conditions.......can be swept under the carpet for good. The whole process starts by making them go into an empty room, with dead bugs, rabbit droppings and other assorted nasties littered all over the carpet. They are then told that in order to leave the room they must get rid of all this unwanted trash. Very quickly, these brainy bridge players figure out the only way this can be done is to sweep it under the carpet. The realisation that " once the nasties are out of sight, they are also out of mind " is the all important breakthrough.
Then, of course, the therapeutic process turns to the nasties that occupy the rooms inside their minds. Now they must transfer the learning from that first physical challenge into the greater mental one........ where they simply use an imaginary brush to sweep away all their fears, anxieties and negative emotions, under the imaginary easy-to-lift-up carpets inside their minds. Again, out of sight becomes out of mind.
Some critics dismiss this therapy completely, arguing vehemently that these problems will always resurface with a vengeance.....causing the disorders to become more serious and more damaging. Not so. Because the most important element within this therapy is the client's acquired ability to use their imaginary thinking either lay down even bigger carpets, or to use bigger and stronger tacks. Indeed, should any nasty try to escape from under the carpet, it can be immediately pushed back under, making sure twice as many tacks are used this time round. Indeed, magic carpets are not things you fly around on : they are the simplest solution to a bridge player's troubled mind.

Monday, 23 August 2010

For most bridge players the desire to win is of paramount importance, even in the less heated social arenas of the game. This desire can become so acute that any repeated experience of failures immediately triggers stronger and more negative feelings. Sadly, these manifest themselves into all sorts of personality and psychological disorders. So with a certain type of client, I often resort to one of the following two therapies:
Reality Adjustment :
In bridge it is widely accepted that the winners are those with the highest overall scores. But this is a perception that can be changed. It becomes imperative to " re-condition " their minds to accept and believe that they are always the true winners.....even if they are in the bottom half of the field ! This reality adjustment can only be done by convincing them that all those pairs who came higher are cheats. Therefore, every therapy session defines the world of bridge as a world full of cheating, deceiving, lying, unethical, unscrupulous, pathological, malevolent, evil bastards.......leaving them as the only honest ones left in the field. Once that message has been rammed home, it matters not a jot where they now come on the results list since they will always come top of the true and honest pairs who competed. The fact they may have beaten a few of the cheaters in the process is an added bonus. Nevertheless, the therapy only works best if they can avoid coming last. The problem, of course, with coming in last is that another reality adjustment suddenly dawns on them : they can't possibly call themselves winners, if they are the only competitors in a one-horse race.
For Pity's Sake Get A Grip On Yourself :
Some clients have it within themselves to " change ". This therapy requires them to overcome their problems by applying a right good dollop of will power and self-determination. In order for them to take a grip of themselves, they need to do this in a symbolic way to get the process underway. All clients therefore are given ( or should I say have to pay for ) extremely over-priced replica dolls of themselves. Then, the moment any of the symptoms linked to their disorder or affliction first surface, clients must immediately take hold of the dolls and grip them......and continue to grip as hard as they can.......until those symptoms subside. In practice a " transference " has taken place : the doll has become the client, and the client takes on the role of an exorcist. By squeezing the living daylights out of the doll, they are in fact performing a gripping act of " de-possession ", and in doing so strive to remove all the demons belonging to that disorder . Indeed, at my local club over 50% of the members carry their dolls around with them, often seen running from the tables to find quiet spots where they then get a real grip on themselves in private. Then having quickly cast aside all those symptoms which were starting to show, the doll-handlers are now in a stable condition to return to their tables as normal, considerate, peace-loving players .

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Many people have tried to discredit my methods but the facts speak for themselves. Bridge players have been forced to seek me out with their numerous psychological, personality, and behavioural disorders, simply because previously prescribed standard techniques have all failed. Bridge players' mental health problems are often so severe that dramatic and innovative interventions are called for. My methods may be frowned upon by the medical establishment, but they do work for the majority of my clients.
So rather than keep the bridge world in the dark, I intend over the next few days to reveal the therapies which have proved so successful. They may be unorthodox....... but extreme disorders require extreme methods.
Reverse Thinking :
If clients perceive their disorders simply by looking at so called normal players, it becomes imperative to get them to perceive their shocking and alarming symptoms as " normal ". This requires them of course to perceive the characteristics of normal people to be extremely abnormal. The theory behing this method of reverse thinking is based on R.D. Laing 's claim that " a normal person lives in the strait-jacket of conformity ".
Clients, of course, are not expected to change their weirdo ways, let alone their sick thoughts, feelings and behaviour, because after lining my pocket with gold they always leave my surgery happy in the knowledge that they......and only they..... are the lucky ones. Lucky in that they are completely free of the far more serious disorders, afflictions and mental health issues that affect everyone else !
Aversion Therapy :
Some clients , who clearly possess masochistic traits, seem quite happy to consent to this rather discredited form of treatment. Contracts are drawn up with clients that permit me, on every reported display of symptoms linked to a given diagnosis, to inflict upon them some some extremely painful punishments. These may include severe thrashings, or large withdrawals from their bank accounts. The pain that my clients experience, when these punishments are venomously carried out, will always over the long term bring about forced changes in both their behaviour and thought processes. Eventually, they become so conditioned to this alternative pain free way of " being ", the disorders that previously controlled their lives are confined to the past. The fact that their lives now become controlled by me seems to be of little concern to them. This of course is good news, with essential " refresher " sessions providing a never ending inflow of funds into my pension pot.
THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY...................
  • Unseen hand : the one that hits you from behind
  • Seed : a term that describes the downward path that top bridge players often go, once they cease playing the game at the highest level
  • Re-entry : a common manoeuvre adopted by most oversexed players with high levels of testosterone
  • Round Robin : an overly round red breasted bird who has spent too much time eating and tanning herself on sun-beds, at the expense of playing bridge
  • Rusinow leads : a pathetic carding method which attempts to fool novice declarers as to the location of the higher touching honour
  • Rule of 11 : no substitutes allowed
  • Shaded bid : one that is made by an extremely dim and unenlightened player
  • Sec0nd hand : the kind of bridge books tight-fisted, money minded bridge players look to acquire on the cheap

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Avid readers of this blog will know that Bigot-Johnson lived his whole childhood as an inmate of an orphanage. Abandoned by his parents, he was forced to spend many unhappy years incarcerated inside this loveless institution. Cursed with club feet, gargoyle features, and a terrible habit for bed wetting, he became an obvious target for unrelenting ridicule and abuse.
However, not long after leaving the orphanage Bigot took it upon himself to teach bridge despite his gross inexperience , and under-achievement, at the game. As chance would have it many of his tormentors found themselves in one of Bigot's beginner classes. Their shocking and unbelievable experience, where each of them was subjected to ritualised and habitual bullying, caused many to seek psychiatric help. Others felt obliged to write books about their terrible ordeal, their living nightmare, and the demonic way he set out to reek his revenge. Yes , he was determined to turn them all into accident prone nervous wrecks. So not surprisingly all their book titles share a common theme......
  • Look Bigot, At What You've Gone and Made Me Do.......Jimmy Riddle
  • Why Are You Ignoring Me Partner ?............................Ulrika Yurin
  • Ooops, I've Made My Seat All Wet...............................Ada Slash
  • Don't You Dare Aim That Thing At Me..........................Percy Ponting
  • So Sorry, I Just Can't Stop Myself.................................I. P. Hallot
  • Hey Bigot, Are You Taking The Piss Or What ?..............Mickey Takin
  • My Seat's Soaking, But The Need Was Pressing..............Ray Leaf
  • You Said Bigot That I Was Your Friend ?......................R. U. Kidding
  • Look I Need To Go, I Can't Hold On Any Longer...........Mustapha Leek

Friday, 20 August 2010

BRIDGE BOOKS FOR TODAY'S EXPERTS......................... ( By Pun )
  • Solid Defence Is What My Game Is Built On .......... Iona Stonehouse
  • Just Lately My Bridge Brain's Gone Walkabout......Norma Leigh-Lucid
  • This Appeal I'm Certain of Winning.......................Lauren Myside
  • Now That was Some Bottom, Partner....................Sawyer B. Hind
  • If That Rich Bitch Wants To Sponsor You..............Cesar Monet
  • Sorry Partner, I Keep Pulling Out The Wrong Card...Kent C. Strait
  • How To Become A Star Defender............................Jed I. Knight
  • As A First Reserve Team Member, He's Pretty Limp...Willie B. Hardigan
  • Cheap Accommodation Tips For The Brighton Congress...Cara Van
  • I Am A Walking Bridge Encyclopedia.....................Noah Lott

Thursday, 19 August 2010

( Buried away in the Law Reports one might unearth this very obscure and unusual case. This involved one of Bigot's earliest partners, who decided to sue Bigot for damages under the heading of actionable nuisance. This law of tort test case received little publicity, but the precedent that it set should serve as a stark warning for all bridge players who have become too big for their boots . Bigot, of course, elected to defend himself, as seen from this extract from the trial's transcript. )
Counsel for the Plaintiff ( CP ) : Bigot, would you please tell the court how long you and Small have been partners, having been paired together for the club's A-team
B-J : About 4 months...... ever since that ridiculous captain thought it would be a good idea to put us together......What a plonker !
CP : Hmmm...but are aware of the tort of private nuisance in English law ?
B-J : No....and that's because I'm a bridge player.....and not a namby pamby lawyer
CP : Well, allow me to fill you in......A private nuisance can be established when the actions of the defendant cause a substantial and unreasonable interference with the claimant's use or enjoyment of the land he or she is occupying.
B-J : How the blue blazes has any of this got to do with playing bridge ?
CP : I'm glad you asked that question. As a bridge player you are obliged to pay table money. This entitles one to occupy a particular seat or place at the table. Small , who nearly always took up the South seat , became the paid-up lawful occupier of that tiny piece of land....... on that side of the table. For the time he sat there, his rights under nuisance law entitled him to the quiet, peaceful enjoyment of that land.......which I might add includes a right to light.
B-J : This is a load of poppycock. What has " light " got to do with us playing together in a team's match ?
CP : Ahh.....I knew you would ask that question. You see....the "right to light " has been an established part of English law for the last four centuries. Every occupier of land has a right to natural light, which can enforced against those who attempt to block it out by physical means.
B-J : But how can I be blocking any one's light out..... when we are in a room full of windows, and with ceiling lights all switched on ?
CP : The crux of my argument is this. You Bigot-Johnson were forever keeping Small in the dark , with your off-centre and anti-system bids.....not to mention a whole barrage of psyches and shaded overcalls. On no occasion did you shed any light on what these bids were supposed to mean. You constantly over-shadowed Small with your gross pomposity, inflated ego, and overwhelming arrogance.
B-J : Oh dear....
CP : Moreover your complaints to the captain about Small's inadequacies cast a real shadow over both his credentials and reputation as a competent bridge player.
B-J : Is that it.......?
CP : No..... you were forever putting Small in the shade. So much so..... you are guilty without a shadow of doubt of giving Small a psychological disorder, known as The Mushroom Complex...
B-J : What's that ?
CP : Feelings of being kept in the dark and fed on bullshit. In my mind Bigot, you are made up of different personalities all of which are shades of the devil himself. Never can a more shady character exist in the world of bridge than you. The shadow you cast around you is one of moral darkness and gloom.
B-J : That bad ?
CP : Yes....when Small teamed up with you ......for him it was like taking a leap in the dark. His time with you were the darkest hours of his life. Never again should you be allowed to darken his door. Never has a man been so deprived of " light ", so much so that his bridge experience with you was one destined never to be enlightening.....never to be enjoyable. But now comes the time Bigot for you to face your darkest hour, when the judge I know he will......on what damages to impose upon one of biggest nuisances I have ever come across....
Judge : Too right !
B-J : Ooops ......
Judge : Yes......having reduced poor Small to a shadow of his former-self, I can only conclude that you Bigot are a monstrosity of a human unmovable mountain.......a permanent eyesore on the bridge scene.....a nuisance of the highest order. And irrespective of my stretching the interpretation of the law a tad too far, I am awarding Small £20,000 in there
B-J : Bugger.....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Rebecca Rood here again.....the blog's now world famous Agony Aunt...... at your beck and call to put you right on some of your gaffes at the bridge table , and in no uncertain terms I might add. I call a spade a spade, and a dimwit a complete buffoon.
So if you have dropped a clanger be bold.....tell the world....and then you can rid yourself of the demons of shame and guilt, to stand tall and upright once again, and start the game afresh. Indeed, you only have to read my latest correspondence to see what I mean. Here we have an ordinary....... a very ordinary player by the sounds of it....who wrote to me bemoaning her fate, when she went off in a rigid, you could throw-it-at-the-wall, rock-solid, ice-cold, routine bog standard contract, even my 6 year old daughter could have made.
Dear Rebecca,
I cannot for the life of me figure out where I went wrong. I thought at the time my logic and reasoning were perfectly sound, and that I was the victim of an astute defender's very clever and deceptive trap. The hand in question is as follows :
North : K954....Q875......KQ......AQ5
South : AQ2.....J9632.....63....1082
West : J86....A10....J10954 .....K93
East : 1073....K4.....A872.....J764
The uncontested auction went : 1C ( prepared )- 1H-3H-4H
Personally, I didn't like his 3H bid one bit, for I would have preferred a 2H response on such a motley 16 count. Naturally I went to game not one for declining an invitation . West led a diamond which East won with the Ace. Continuing with diamonds I took the trick in dummy to consider the best way of playing the trump suit. So I lead the queen of hearts from dummy, feeling incredibly smug when the King appeared on my right, with the stiff Ace falling on my left ? West then retuned a club, which I could afford to duck, and so I wasn't too upset when I lost the trick to East's jack. Again East switched, but this time to a spade, which I elected to win in dummy with the King for the marked heart finesse. nine lost to West's 10 and the contract was 1 off.
Was my play really that bad, or was I outsmarted by a superior player ? I welcome with some trepidation your comments.
Yours Still Very Perplexed
Dear SVP,
That was a truly harrowing tale. As clangers go this one belongs in the Hall of shame, with 10 tricks there for the taking ( 3H,4S, 1D and 2C ).
Firstly, let us consider the bidding, and I must agree with you, North might have been wiser to bid a conservative 2H, but what staggers me is your stretch to game.......which in my opinion showed an unjustifiable faith in your ability to play the cards.
As for the play, then running the heart queen from dummy only works if you trap the singleton 10. What you needed to guard against was a singleton King or Ace, which was twice as likely. Therefore, the correct line is to lead low to the 8 or 9. The contract was clearly a poor one, but once you were given an opportunity to make 11 tricks, your 9 trick haul quite rightly exposed you as a fool.
For pity's sake, did you not notice the complete absence of any sign of annoyance from West when he won with the heart Ace ? You showed about as much table presence as an oversized cabbage. Moreover, it was patently obvious that the finesse of the club queen was always a requirement for the contract to make. So why not play the jack of hearts and let the defence take their trump trick.
West deserves some credit, because he knew the club finesse was on, as well as the 3-3 spade break. But you needed to kep your eye on the ball. Why not join all those other players who only faced 2 heart losers and 1 diamond loser.
I despair at your gullibility and incompetence. Yours Thoroughly Rood.
ps. I would recommend you to read my latest book entitled " Hoisted on your own petard is what comes of being too clever ".

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY.........................
  • Outstanding trump : an imminent explosion of methane gas
  • Master trump : an explosion so loud and so long, it is impossible for any other player at the table to beat it, irrespective of how many spicy baked beans they may have eaten hours earlier
  • Trump reduction : a rare and unusual manoeuvre in which declarer uses up his little trumps to ruff out dummy's winners . This helps to reduce the embarrassment of allowing a defender to succeed in making a trump of his own.
  • Dummy : a dead, lifeless, transparent, plastic type of player, often the subject of derision because of his inflated ego, his ability to spout hot air, and his undoubted capacity to blow up at any time
  • Flier : ( i) a huge jump bid to game that gambling players might resort to, or (ii ) a weighty object, such as the aerodynamically designed bridgemate, which is often seen whizzing through the air prior to making a sudden and painful crash landing

Sunday, 15 August 2010

( In a truly unforgettable case , one of Bigot-Johnson's stand-by partners felt obliged to bring a private prosecution against him, alleging that he was the victim of a psychological assault. This was a crime supposedly covered by The Offences Against The Persons Act. Here below is an extract from the trial's transcript, which reveals the full horror of the accused's clearly dreadful and shocking behaviour.)
W : I put it to this court that you Bigot are guilty of an assault......
B-J : Wait a mo....I never hit or threatened to hit you once
W : That is not a relevant point. The fundamental requirement of assault is that the victim ( who I might add was me I ) had been put into a state of fear. And this can easily be done by means of psychological attacks.
B-J : Excuse me Whittle.....the context for claims of psychological assault relate only to domestic violence, rows between married or cohabiting couples
W : Well....were you and I cohabiting the same tables throughout the whole evening ?
B-J : Yes....
W : And did you regard me at that time as " your partner " ?
B-J : Yes...
W : Then that clears up that requirement.......
B-J : But how can I be accused of instilling fear upon you......when someone as feeble minded as you is so fearful by nature....... a pathetic wimp riddled with fear" . Surely then, it is an impossible feat to instill fear into someone you..... who oozes fear from every pore ?
W : May be so....but it was the level of my fear which became intensified when you launched your attacks
B-J : But has it not come to your attention that many bridge players display aggression towards their partners ?
W : Oh give the court some examples.....
B-J : Well, there's.......dishing out insults, going into major sulks and tantrums, refusing to talk to partner, stomping out the room to cool down, saying things to spite partner, banging one's hands 0r head on the table, and showing displeasure by means of exaggerated gestures and facial expressions. You know....the usual things.....
W : Yes....but taken together they provide an all encompassing context of violence. Your actions were a systematic attempt to convert psychological violence into a lethal weapon.
B-J : But hold on there....all of this stuff was meant and intended to be taken as " a joke "
W : That maybe your limp excuse which you now choose to hide behind.....but to all those who were there that night your actions were far more sinister.... all loaded with menace. I have dozens of witnesses to back this up.
B-J : You are stretching the law too far. Bridge clubs are no more than boxing arenas. You know that once you enter the ring, you're in for a fight. You know your opponents are going to throw punches and inflict a great deal of pain. the same way a boxer consents to be hit, bridge players consent to the " psychological damage " that may come their way.
W : Not so.....your analogy is flawed in two respects. Firstly, I was not your opponent, but your ally and partner. Therefore, I did not consent to be the target of your aggression and anger. Secondly, being hit during a boxing match is, if punches are thrown fairly acceptable consequence, which falls within the rules of the game. However, your assaults all fell outside the rules of best behaviour at bridge....and therefore were completely unacceptable.
B-J : You little silver-tongued toad-faced smart arse ........
Judge : Enough of that....I'll have no psychological assaults taking place in this courtroom
W: Too late......he's done it again.......he's started an irreversible process......arhhh......I'm turning......yes....I'm turning into an emotional cripple and nervous wreck.........I want my mummy.......I want my mummy.......where's Dr. John......I need him........ his little pills and calming words........what are all these rainbow coloured elephants doing here ?.....where have all these banana people come from ?...........tell mummy to bring my pinkie with her.....will daddy read me a bedtime story ?
Judge : Get this poor sad blithering idiot out of here . I have no choice but to bring this trial to an end. are free to go. Have you anything you would like to say to this court before you leave ?
B-J : Well, I'll be buggered..............
SURELY THAT RULING CAN'T BE RIGHT ?................ ( Article by Carp )
Yesterday at the club I met up with my regular partner ( a decent fellow who rarely complains ) , who was especially keen to hear my views about a particular incident that took place the night before. This was his story :
" Mid-way through the session we had the misfortune of having to play three boards against two rather unsavoury characters, one in particular renown for his abrasive nature and acerbic wit. On board 14, I opened 1H, and with no interference bidding from our opponents the bidding proceeded as follows: 3C ( forcing agreeing hearts) -3S (showing extra strength) -5H ( an overstatement for sure ) - Pass. West, the nasty one, led out the king of diamonds, which I took in hand with the Ace. But on cashing my A/K of hearts I discovered West was sitting there with 4 hearts to the 10. So now I played a low spade over towards dummy's QJx, only to see West hop up with the Ace like it was a stiff. He then continued with the queen of diamonds which I had to ruff in dummy. At this point I paused to reflect, for prospects of steering this contract home looked bleak. Dummy had come down with QJx....Jxxx.....x......AKxxx, opposite my Kxxx...AKQ9....A10x...84. While I pondered over what to do next, West's sarcastic-laden voice boomed out " what on God's earth can you be thinking about ? " . My instinctive and honest answer was " how many tricks this contract might possibly go down by ". Finally, I decided to play the queen of spades, which West gleefully ruffed, before continuing the force in diamonds. Using my last trump in dummy to ruff his diamond jack, I played out A/K of clubs, and with the suit breaking 3-3, I was able to ruff the third round, draw West's last trump, hop over to dummy's jack of spades, and claim the contract.
The crestfallen West knew he had dropped a bollock by ruffing the spade queen. Discarding a club would have been the killing defence, because he could then ruff the Jack of spades which would have followed next. Now he could a play diamond for dummy to ruff. Because this time on the play of the clubs he ends up making his 10 of hearts no matter what I do. But typical of this man..... he calls for his saviour, the TD, claiming that my remark had somehow influenced him to ruff spades early.......something he would not done if he suspected this was a makeable contract after all. The TD agreed and substituted a score 5h-1. "
Well, I was flabbergasted. If that was a judgement ruling, then it was naff. In my view there were several points the TD needed to consider :
1. Why did West make such a unwarranted and sarcastic comment ? In my mind it was solely to break up declarer's concentration and focus. When a player clearly has a problem , it is completely out of order to sabotage his thought process.
2. Declarer's reply was a genuine confession based on his sound analysis that the contract was far from secure.
3. West's quick and immediate ruff of the spade queen was in keeping with his impulsive nature and manner of play.
4. If West was arguing that declarer's comment had lulled him into a casual and complacent approach towards his defence ( given he was assured the contract was doomed ).....then this flies in the face of competent defending in that West should be looking at all times to inflict the maximum damage possible......or at least to make certain the contract goes down.
There can be no doubt about the TD copping out, being too frightened to challenge or upset a player, who belongs to his favoured clique. In this instance, cowardice and prejudice had a far greater impact on his judgement ruling than justice and fair play.
Is it not time therefore to insist that all TD training courses have classes on " assertiveness ", whereby trainees must demonstrate both an ability to be impartial and assertive, before they can be considered for taking up such posts ?
Does anybody out there agree ?

Friday, 13 August 2010

And now the match is over
I must face the final curtain
The captain goin' to do me in
That I know for certain
I have never played like such a dick
I find it hard to say
Hopeless contracts I take the blame
But I had to bid them my way
Doubles, oh there were a few
In fact, too many to mention
Most cost 500 plus and more
Always without exception
In defence I did my best
Not to go astray
But declarer read my signals
To find a winning way
Yes, then there were times in which I knew
I'd bitten off more than I could chew
For on rare occasions, when there was hope
I blew my chances like a dope
I felt so stupid, so very small
Now comes the time to grovel and crawl
I binned that many contracts I cried out loud
I'd played like a cretin, I wasn't proud
And here's the Captain with his evil eye
About to sentence me to die
He said I played like " an utter prat "
But I'll have him know I've played worse than that
So bloody what..... if it wasn't my day
We all at times choose the wrong way
So here I stand like a battered loser
Captain's buggered off to the local boozer
To drown his sorrows, to curse and swear
For he's not a man who likes to care
'Bout injuries I got from his vicious blows
But hey... that's the way his captaincy goes

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Yes, this is serious. As we all know, urban myths are nothing more than fanciful, imaginative stories that evolved from a single grain of truth. Indeed, the same can be said of Greek Mythology. These are stories which over thousands of years have clearly evolved into weird and wonderful tales. Inevitably, scholars of today dismiss them as pure fiction. But not us, here at my institute, where my team of researchers have at last been able to translate some ancient Greek documents ( recently discovered in a secret cave high up in the mountains near Athens ) to set the record straight.
These fragile parchments prove beyond all reasonable doubt that there was a world in which Zeus and other Greek Gods ruled over. A world in which mortals co-existed with immortals. A world full of monsters and magic. A world in fact in which the Gods created a truly great and wonderful game for all its inhabitants to play......yes, the game of bridge. They even went as far as building a huge temple , shaped like a box, where enthusiasts could go in to play the game in large numbers. And the person the Gods put in charge of running these duplicates was a Greek Eve called Pandora. Not surprisingly, this great temple then became known as Pandora's Box.
However, the translations reveal that this perfect game did not always lead to perfect social harmony and personal well-being. Negative emotions were getting out of control. Players were allowing their worst characteristics and human traits to come to the surface. Their inner demons were taking over. They had " corrupted " a beautiful game into something mean and nasty. The Gods were angry ......that they rounded on Pandora, and as punishment she was turned into a mere mortal. Not only that but they shrunk Pandora's Box into the size and shape of a bidding box, killing all those inside. The spirits of poor unfortunate victims were now condemned to purgatory, and to remain forever inside that box, and any other like it.
Yet so the curse of Pandora's Bidding Box holds true today. Players who elect to go bridge clubs, and open up bidding boxes, will inevitably unleash hundreds of demented and tortured spirits........ a form of collective " negative energy" out to inflict untold misery and pain upon those present . Any player who opens a bidding box is asking for trouble. All kinds of torment, and all the misfortunes of existence will be released. The sorrow, pain, and conflict will become all consuming. Players will experience untold woes in abundance. These poisoned gifts within the box will occasionally provide a modicum of joy for the few, but overwhelming misery for the rest. The undeniable truth is there for all to see week in week out : Pandora's Bidding Box will never stop working its mischief. All bridge players, as decreed by the Gods, must suffer and share, like those in the temple, the horrors of the game.
Indeed, this curse will never be broken, and this explains why whenever we next go to the club, sit down to play bridge, the same things will happen the moment we open up that bidding box. We will become victims to the dark forces that lurk within. Powerful, unforgiving forces that will subject us to terrible, frightening and awful experiences. So no, this phenomenon is not a Greek myth ; it is a 21st century reality. Pandora's Box really exists, and it appears everywhere, sitting on each and every bridge table across the world, waiting for players to yet again ignore the warnings, and open them up at their peril..........................
Boy was I thrilled when asked to step in as cover for an absentee from the BBO's commentary team. I guess I got lucky by intercepting that e-mail invitation sent to that smooth talking bridge know-all Johnny Supremo to do a guest slot. Nevertheless, the organisers have pulled off a real coup in getting me on board......because let's face it, the current line up needed a shake up. The BBO needed someone like me to show them the way commentating should be done. Thank God, they were prepared to chuck out the odd bone or two for an outsider like me to seize the chance................. and let an old dog have his day.
Anyway, the present system dictates that when one of the regular commentators goes down, the replacement must be a celebrity player who knows the game inside out. A former world champion, renown expert, or an acknowledged bridge book writer. Well, so what if I have only won a few trophy events at the Walnut Tree Allotment BC congresses, or that my only contribution to the world of bridge literature is my blog........I'll have you know I've done commentating before. This was in 2005 at the Walnut Tree Allotment's summer gymkhana. With Percy Pantopod having been involved in a hit and run accident, I volunteered to step into his shoes. Mind you, I had to delay the start in order to wipe blood traces of my car's front bumper.
As for my BBO debut ......that started off really well. But sadly my appearance behind the mic was short lived. However, in those 30 minutes I was on air everyone could see and hear for themselves what had clearly been missing from previous bridge commentaries. Naturally, I kept a CD recording of my stint, in case others out there needed to know what it takes to be a great commentator. So here is a short extract, which clearly illustrates my true genius and exceptional talent at this racket :
" - Welcome to the BBO's world pairs final, where 14 pairs are ready to do battle
- This is going to be a cracker of an event
- Something I've been looking forward to for days
- Well, it's the start of the second session and sitting at table 1 are .......are.......are......4 players with bloody unpronounceable names. A couple from the Netherlands, and two from that big country somewhere in SE Asia
- So I've been looking up their stats regarding their past triumphs, but in my view they don't add up to sod all. Both pairs are leading the field at this stage, but I'm not convinced about their ability to win this event. Nobody but me has noticed how the two Orientals are using finger signalling to assist their communication in bidding. However, a skill like that could give them a winning edge, and perhaps become a deciding factor in the outcome of this competition
- Yes....he's holding his cards with his two upright fingers closed together, which coincidently matches the number of spades he has in this hand
- Bugger me...if he hasn't opened a spade.....a filthy, mean, low down psyche if I ever saw one. This is likely to shaft his opponents good and proper............ but his wily partner certainly knows the score.
- Well, at least the opponents have competed and correctly got to game.....but oh dear oh dear....they have landed in 3NT having been huffed out of 4S.
- Oops they just gone one off in surprise there......but they are utterly distraught at the realization that 4S was a simple make. Guess the psyche did its job alright
- Yep, the psyche been reported, but no request for an adjusted score................the muppets
- This could be a real turning point in the game for these slant-eyed oriental demons. What with China running up a population into billions, it is not surprising bridge has taken off in a big way over there.....especially when you consider most of the houses over there have rooms far too small to accommodate full-size table-tennis tables
- So back to our table and Board 2. Hell, I need to get my head together. The Chinese have landed in 6NT on a combined 27 is it 28 ?............ yep, declarer's got the obvious club lead and his prospects don't look good. Infact, he hasn't got a cat-in-hell's-chance of making it
- Upon my soul.....I'll be blowed.....the bugger has just gone and made all 13 tricks in no time at all. Not a flicker of hesitation or concern. He obviously saw squeeze possibilities that somehow slipped me by. Mind you, he had to rely on West holding a 4-4-4-1 distribution, with all the critical key cards in each of the long suits. Now I ask did he managed to work that out ?
- Has he got the observation and deduction skills of Sherlock Holmes ? I very much doubt it. My sixth sense tells me something fishy has been taking place here.........right under our noses
- This sort of thing really pisses me off......I'm sorry about my language.......but hey we'll all grown ups here....and when I'm tired, I get irritable
- I'm barely able to keep my eyes open......especially after watching the hands from the first session.....God, were they boring !
- Hold on.....the producer has told told me to " get off the mic "
- Well. tough kittens......I've a job to do
- So back to the action and board 3. Jesus, the bidding here has made as much sense to me as the enigma code did to the British and the Ameicans in 1940. What is happening to this game today ? Far too many smart-arsed competitors dream up bidding systems only they understand ! If someone has the decency and time to explain it all to me, then I might stand a chance of telling you lot out there what all these goddamn bids actually mean
- It's so bloody ironic.....I see two dutchman coming up with bids that are completely double-dutch to all and sundry !
- ............................. ( At that particular moment my mic and monitor both went dead.....and two men in uniform came into the booth to escort me off the premises, claiming this was essential safety procedure following any bomb alert. Odd that they should lock the door from inside once I was pushed out into a quiet and deserted back alley . )

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY....................
  • Hog : a player with a voracious appetite for always sticking his snout in first, choosing to make anti-system bids in a desperate attempt to be declarer
  • Deviation : a psyche that has not cut its teeth. This type of incorrect bid is the nearest approach to an honest bid an habitual psycher can make.
  • Psyche : a dishonest bid guaranteed to undermine partnership understanding and trust. Often chosen as a mischief-making tactic, born out of frustration and/or boredom
  • Orange Book : a classic example of literary gobbledigook. A book which top players genuinely believe was written for them by their illustrious peers. Some critics claim that the rules were purely designed to punish lesser players, who clearly didn't know them. Other commentators have gone on to say that The Book provides irrefutable evidence to support a conspiracy theory : one that states that top players are deemed to be " thinking " before making a bid, whereas inferior, low life players simply " hesitate ".
  • Harangue : a verbal onslaught or tirade , only made by players renown for their primative instincts and uncouth habits. Not surprisingly, these immensely ignorant primates are often labelled as " harangue outangs ".

Monday, 9 August 2010

  • When I Win At Bridge I Praise The Lord...........................Eve N. Song
  • Winning At Bridge Is Such A Wonderful Feeling...............Shia Bliss
  • Things You Should Complain To The TD About...............Y. Botherman
  • I've Reached My Nadir, Partner......................................Lois Point
  • Who The Hell Should I Appeal To ?..................................Judy Cater
  • Captaincy For Me Was Too Heavy A Burden....................Wade Hallot
  • The Problem With TDs.................................................Tobias Byhalf
  • Partner, I Am Trying Harder...........................................Buster Gutt
  • Oh, What A Sore Loser.................................................Omar Deebum
  • Partner Appealed Against The TD's Ruling.......................Bertie Fayled

Sunday, 8 August 2010

BIGOT CALLS IN ON DR. JOHN AGAIN...........................
- " Doc....I keep having this terrible re-occurring nightmare......"
- " Please continue...."
- " Well, there I am at a bridge congress, only to see 3 to 4 hundred people, strangers to each other, but all looking exactly like me. Even my partner turned up like a clone of myself....for pity's sake...."
- " Now that is weird...."
- " So in this room full of my selves, we 're all sitting there as calm, peace-loving, ultra-friendly individuals in excellent spirit and good heart............. exchanging pleasantries and warm words of welcome. But within minutes of the start, the room rocks with emotion. Men and women......Bigotesque in both appearance and behaviour......are now exposing their true colours. Victims of some hideous change, we all move from being well adjusted, well functioning people into highly charged and highly emotional banshees. We are stirring to our depths......"
- " How interesting......tell me more...."
- " Inside all our heads.......deep within our minds......the same messages are being pumped out time and time again....... I want to win.....I want the fame......I want success......I want to be a bridge champion......I want to become a bridge legend........someone who will be revered ......and feared. "
- Yes Bigot, I can see all those wants. But I also see so much longing. And for you so much pain. Pain that is always close to the surface, only minutes deep. Destiny pain. Loser's pain. Pain that will always be there, waiting for you at each and every turn. Pain that is all too easily accessible. Even if you try to become someone else.....The Bigot in you will return to condemn you to more suffering, more loss, more humiliation, and more pain. "
- " But hold on there doc.....surely one of the Bigots in my dream has to win ? "
- " Sadly not.....because as you have revealed about your past , success has only come about from underhand, unethical, ireprehensible tactics at the table. The guilt and the shame of how that success was achieved returns again and again to haunt you, without mercy or respite. Success at this price is no succcess at all. "
- So what does all this mean, Doctor John ? "
- Well, firstly you are someone who recognises and projects all your shortcomings and failures ( not to mention your appalling looks and appearance ) onto every other player. This of course explains why you end up seeing yourself everywhere you look. Secondly, the more the pain of bridge cuts into your psyche.......the more you crave for real success. And the more you crave for success......the deeper the cuts become as you experience more and more defeats. Moreover....the harder you try the more likely you are to fail. "
- " Jesus....this is terrible......surely , there's no more bad news ? "
- " Sorry to say this....but have forced my hand.......... Bigot, you also have a classic paranoid personality disorder which is utterly incurable. "
- " Any other more bad news ? "
- " Possibly so.....this session has just set you back £ 200.......and you still owe me for several others ! "
- " Bugger...."

Saturday, 7 August 2010

A BLAST FROM THE PAST.................... ( Feature article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
Why just the other day, I was rummaging through a few old boxes in my attic, when I stumbled across an old Australian news clipping. I remembered bringing it home after a visit down under way back in the early 70's, during the time a big money winner-takes-all bridge teams match was taking place between the Aussies and the Brits. Written by Barry Mckenzie, the infamous bridge columnist for the Sydney Standard, the report focused on a critical hand which ultimately determined the outcome of the 6 day battle. So here it is......this wonderful piece of Australian unique and so unusual, its literary style will never be emulated, copied, or repeated.
Jeez.....this match went all the way to the wire. Those lily-skinned pommies didn't arf ride their luck, but on the very last board Brucie, for once, picked up a ripper of a hand. " No wuckers ", he thought, " 3NT should be as cold as a polar's bear's bum ". Not surprisingly, the bidding was all over in seconds : 2C-2D-3NT.
Westie, a rather untalented, fat pommie gay bastard, was on lead. He figured he was up shit creek without a paddle, having to underlead away from one of his 4 queens.......the big puff. Well, bugger me if he didn't find a low club, which was taken in dummy with the stiff Ace. Holey dooley, dummy's only friggin' entry was gone. Poor Brucie was staring at 5 diamonds in dummy to the jack ten nine, opposite his Axx. Suddenly, his mouth went dry. " Strewth.....that lead's buggered me....hell, I need some of that amber nectar double quick.....I'm that thirsty I could drink out of a Japanese wrestler's jock strap ! "
Eventually, declarer decided on running the jack of diamonds from dummy, covered by East's King, which was topped by his Ace. Next came a low diamond towards dummy's ten. No soddin' joy there as the queen failed to hit the table. Turning towards Westie, Brucie screamed " I hope your balls turn to bicycle wheels and back-pedal up your 'airy arse......why your bloody galah of a partner couldn't have been dealt with KQ stiff I just don't know......crikey, it just goes to show what a jammy bunch of pommie bastards you all are ". And so in the fullness of time, poor Brucie ended up losing to each of the four queens, plus another, to go one off. Declarer's partner stood up like a bandicoot on a burning bridge, giving Brucie the evil eye. At this point declarer just slumped back in his chair like a stunned mullet. " Strewth played that hand like someone who's got a few kangaroos loose in the top, that what happens when you go walkabout. If you had come across to hand to play a low diamond towards dummy's jack, you might well have induced the drongo West to play his queen. Then the play of the Ace on the next round would fell the King, giving you access to 3 diamond winners in dummy ".
So when old Westie, full of puff and bluster, tried to intervene with a sarcastic observation, he immediately got it in the neck. " It's none of your bizz, yer grouse looking Nancy boy ".....and on that sour note, Brucie got up out of his seat and stormed off. " I need another drink....and an obliging Sheila....I'm that randy I could root the hair on a barbershop's floor ". And away he went into the night, completely unaware that bigger disasters had occurred elsewhere with this hand, giving the match to the Aussies by the narrowest of margins.
Now it was the pissed off pommies to behave like sore losers, by setting fire to all the tables, and putting the ashes in a bidding box as a parting gift to the victorious Aussies........a grand gesture of their ill-will and unsportsmanlike behaviour.