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 3NT......no 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 count.......er 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 you....how 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 . )