Not so long ago I was kibitzing the knock-out final of a team-of-4 competition run by our local league group. At the table emotions were running high. and in the pressure cooker atmosphere partnership harmony was severely under threat. One player in particular could not refrain himself from " getting at " his partner, subjecting the poor man to a barrage of criticism and vitriolic rebuke. The haranguing and harassment was unrelenting.
Eventually, one of the other kibitzers decided he had heard enough, and that words needed to be said to the perpetrator : " Christ man......I once told my partner that he was a nasty piece of work, hell bent on making my life a misery......but having seen you in action ......I now feel I owe him an apology ! "
Amazingly, this timely interjection had the immediate effect of keeping the perpetrator quiet for the rest of the match.
Amazingly , his reprieved partner began to play some inspired ( and as it turned out ) match-winning bridge.