Monday, 31 October 2011


Sunday, 30 October 2011

A reality of all club committees , including those from the world of bridge , is that elected group members often fall victim to self-justification, self-serving bias , and a " we " mentality invoking conformity and the suppression of dissension .
The mode of thinking that committee members adopt is one of concurrence-seeking , which becomes so dominant in a highly cohesive " in-group ". Not surprisingly, in this situation there is an unshakable desire to over-ride any minority points of view , appraisal of a situation and alternative courses of action.
The starting point of this phenomenon is the initial belief of the ruling majority that " might is right ", which is then followed up by a belief in their own morality. The next stage comes when the committee begins to discount challenges from a dissenting member by collectively justifying their decisions. Following this basic rule to conform , group members soon recognise the need for self-censorship , accepting the illusion of unanimity, and putting up the necessary mind guards. Ultimately, there will be a failure to seek and discuss contrary information and alternative possibilities, because when the leader promotes or endorses an idea the rest will extricate and distance themselves from any dissenting views.
Within any committee all types of bias will undermine the decision making process. Gender bias is all too evident when the group is predominantly all male , or all female. Then there is the in-group bias where there is a tendency to favour one's own group. Also group members might fall victim to self-serving bias , compelling them to adopt the superior identity of " we " , in order to maintain a lofty position from where they can look down on the ordinary rank and file members with an air of distain and contempt.
Inevitably, in situations where committees have to deal with troublesome members already labelled as " undesirable ", then the risk of a collective and deeply entrenched prejudice is all too apparent. Indeed, wherever there is prejudice there is prejudgement , and prejudgements serve only to guide their memories, attention, and interpretation of the evidence down a particular path. Social psychologists have long recognised the presence of confirmation bias, where there is a compelling tendency to search for, and unearth only damning information , thereby confirming their own preconceptions or prejudices. However, if these prejudices were present at the outset, then the errant members are likely to be hung, drawn and quartered long before the rubber stamp disciplinary process gets into full swing .
All too often , when a troublesome member fits their negative stereotyping, these prejudicial attitudes tend to surface with a vengence , completely undermining the manner and way in which the disciplinary process is carried out. Indeed, it is these prejudices which persuade or coerce wavering committee members to follow the party line for the sake of conformity, appeasement and co-operation.
Is it therefore possible for committee members , if asked to discipline an unpopular and disliked club member , to step outside themselves and act independently with a blank or open mind ? I think not , and especially so when the evidence against him or her is ambiguous. We are all shaped by our genetic flaws, upbringing, and life's experiences. We are all prone to wanting power , only to abuse it when given the opportunity to rule . The shocking reality of all club committees simply reflects the shocking reality of The Human Condition and " The Beast In Man " .

Saturday, 29 October 2011

BRIDGE BOOKS TO BUY YOURSELF FOR CHRISTMAS......... ( Suggestions from Pun )
  • She's 94 But She Still Loves Her Bridge...............Gay M. Olberd
  • Things I Need To Drum Into Partner...................Tim Panney
  • What Bridge Players Hate Most...........................Constance Bickering
  • This Bloody Game Tears Me To Bits.....................Art Hake
  • I Love Big Turnouts.............................................Morris Merrier
  • I've Got A Partner Who Plays Lightning Quick......Jack B. Nimble
  • I Like Partnering Young Buxom Females.............Randy Alman
  • Sometimes In Bridge You Just Have To Grin........Ann Berritt
  • You Won Crockfords, You're Having Me On ! ......Paul N. McChain
  • Partner, Just Look What You Made Me Do.......... P. D. Masself

Friday, 28 October 2011

Like all good magicians expert bridge players are always capable of ............
- working minor miracles
- pulling things out of the hat
- turning bottoms into tops
- reading the cards correctly
- producing something from nothing
- keeping cards close to their chest
- creating illusions designed to deceive
- conjuring up one trick after another
- keeping one or two Aces up their sleeves
- turning hands quickly ( in the twinkling of an eye )
- stuffing rabbits into big black holes
- perfecting the art of mind reading
- finding an extra trick from somewhere
- taking centre stage
- safeguarding their treasured secrets
- giving performances with style and finesse
- picking the pockets of others
- mesmerising those who seek to catch them out
- becoming grand masters of their craft
- saving their best tricks till last

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Many people wrongly believe that this proverb was a 20th century Australian modification of an earlier one " little pitchers have great ears ". The "ear" of the pitcher of course was the handle, which always had an ear-shaped design. The old adage was then modified further into " asses as well as pitchers have big ears ".
However, today most people have come to associate the meaning of the term as useful advice to grown ups, who need to watch what they say in front of children, in case the little ones hear something extremely sensitive or confidential , or bad language that should never be allowed to enter their vocabulary.
Yet the truth is this : only in bridge circles is the proverb used wisely and correctly, since its true origin dates back to the days when duplicate bridge became extremely popular. The advice given to many players was that one never talk about the hands after having just played them, because inferior ( little ) players, referred to as " rabbits " are more prone to eavesdropping than any one else. Desperate for any help or freely given information to help improve their scores, they would " tune in " to table post mortems on hands they were about to play. This desire to elicit valuable information caused them to " prick up " their ears , which to anyone looking on made it seem as though their ears were actually growing in size.
Clearly, this big ear , growth phenomenon became associated with players of little ability, integrity and honesty, hence the importance of the advice emanating from this wise old proverb " little rabbits have big ears ". When it comes to post-board discussions , either talk very very quietly or say nothing at all...........because the frightening reality is ......... the walls have ears too !

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Dear Rebecca ,
What do you do when playing 5 card majors and your partner opens 1S, with this miserable collection in your hand : x.....xxxxx.....Qxxx.....KJx ?
Well , I bid 1NT and sure as eggs are eggs he rebid 2S. In comes the loudest double ever by my LHO , passed round to me. Oh what to do ? Having nothing more to say, I passed and the contract went down 3 for 800.
Yours Enna Pickle
Dear Enna ,
Your 1NT is a perfectly sound bid , and has everything going for it. Any rebid by partner (2C/2D/2H) will be gratefully received and passed. Moreover 1NT might well be passed out , and even if partner does rebid his spades , the suit may be ( or should be ) robust enough to withstand a double. On occasions declarer will come up against a very nasty trump break, but there again so will every other declarer that night , which should make it a flat board.
Mind you we have a pair of dodgy grandmasters in our club who use a very simple system to cater for this awkward type of hand which have descibed . Any long delay before bidding 1NT tells partner you have a void or singleton in spades and not much in the way of outside values. A moderate delay shows a weak hand with a doubleton spade , whereas an instant 1NT response shows top-of-the-range points with a doubleton spade. It works a treat but please only use it at centres for approved cheating.
Yours never missing a trick, Rebecca
( In this epic landmark case Bigot and two others were charged with offences under the Theft Act , when it appeared that a title, trophy and prize money had been obtained as a result of cheating by their two team mates . Bigot , who had never won a proper competition before , denied any wrongdoing on his part, and consequently refused to hand back these ill-gotten gains. A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below, with Bigot of course conducting his own defence . )
Prosecuting Counsel (PC) : Please tell the court, Bigot....were you aware of your team mates cheating ?
B-J : What .....members of my team cheating...... a preposterous suggestion !
PC : Well, we have their written confessions in court...
B-J : Forced out of them no doubt under duress....
PC : No...they were freely and openly made without fuss
B-J : Well, that just goes to show what honest cheaters they were......unlike all those bastards who cheat and remain dishonestly dumb
PC : Are you suggesting that cheating is a widespread practice in the game ?
B-J : Have you ever played the game yourself ?
PC : No
B-J : Well, if you had then you would know the answer to that question
PC : Well, let's get down to the nitty gritty of this case. Under Section 5 (4) of the Theft Act a person is guilty of theft if he/she obtained property by another's mistake, and was subsequently under an obligation to make restoration of the property, or its proceeds, or the value thereof, but fails to do so.
B-J : God you know your stuff....
PC : The property in question was the national title, the silver cup, and the prize money.....which I might add rightfully belonged to the runners up. The competition organisers mistakenly declared you the winners, despite being made aware of the cheating allegations. The spoils were wrongly handed over to you, but once your unscrupulous team mates had confessed to cheating , you were duty bound to transfer the property back to the rightful winners.
B-J : Ah....but isn't bridge a game of chance ? A game in which big money can ultimately be won on the turn of a card ?
PC : Please explain....
B-J : You see ....the entrance money is like the stake , and all entrants have a chance of winning it back plus more. Given that there is only going to be one winning team, it is often down to chance as to which team will eventually walk away with the money. This means therefore that the tournament is a wagering and gaming event . Therefore, I was not under a legal obligation to restore anything as payouts and /or paybacks are not recognised as legally enforceable. Moreover, even if property had been handed over to us by mistake , there is no form of civil restitution that applies to ill-gotten gambling proceeds.
PC : An interesting observation I might say...but one which is totally flawed. Bridge is not a game of chance but one of skill. Entering a bridge venue is not the same as walking into a betting shop. Even if you were not under a legal obligation to restore the property to its rightful owners , there was an overwhelming moral obligation to do so.
B-J : Ah....but what you have failed to establish is the mens rea element of theft.....which is dishonesty. Firstly, the cheating carried out by my team mates was not dishonest.....their actions were nothing more than frowned upon table antics......naughty school boy pranks.......inappropriate behaviour.......but as for " dishonest " I reject that claim entirely. And secondly, my motives were honest in that I genuinely felt we deserved that title for the way the three of us had played out of our skins.
PC : know full well that the trophy would not have been won but for the cheating by your other two team mates. Closing your eyes to this reality, and condoning the cheating of your team mates, all fuelled no doubt by your insatiable greed for fame, glory and money, makes you an extremely dishonest person.
Judge : Well said that man.....clearly there's nothing left to argue over............. so will you jury members nip off for 5 minutes and return with your guilty verdict.....then we can all be home for tea-time
B-J: But I haven't finished my defence yet...
Judge : No point...
B-J : Bugger
( This law report was inspired by a recent , must-read , hard hitting article written by Cam French involving a major incident with a similar story line...but as yet with an unresolved outcome to correct an ongoing injustice . )

Sunday, 23 October 2011

" CARVING UP THE OPPONENTS" : THE ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE........ ( Article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
Many scholars believe that the phrase " carve up " was an English bridge term meaning to spoil a player's chances, or to scupper his prospects of making the contract. Other scholars claim that the term referred to the share out of prize money illicitly earned by players , who had taken the art of cheating to unprecedented levels.
However, they are all wrong. The phrase " to carve up your opponents " goes back back to the days of Sir Francis Dashwood, who formed a private bridge club like no other. Here such words had a more literal meaning, in that Sir Francis mercilessly picked off and gruesomely murdered any opponents , who dared to breach the rules of acceptable play and etiquette. Inevitably, the end-of-year profits of the club would be carved up between Sir Francis and the few surviving members, giving them a far bigger share than they deserved.
The term " carve up " had since been applied to motorists, who aggressively cut in front of another driver, an action which has led to the phenomenon of " road age ". In fact today, there are now all sorts of " rage " situations to describe the frustrations of modern life. " Trolley rage " in supermarkets when shoppers get carved up by queue jumpers. " Air rage " when passengers on board a plane have their itinerary plans carved up when told of unscheduled diversions, landings and stop-overs at another airports.
However, in the modern game of bridge , carving up the opponents has now come to mean beating them hands down, and metaphorically tearing up their score cards into tiny meaningless shreds. Not surprisingly, the victims then display a behavioural phenomenon that dates back centuries , but one which has become far more extreme in today's highly competitive world of bridge ....... " TABLE RAGE " .

Saturday, 22 October 2011

( In this civil action Bigot-Johnson was being sued under Occupiers' Liability for negligence. The plaintiffs were claiming breach of a statutory duty under the 1957 Act . Bigot of course elected to defend himself, and a short extract from the trial's transcript appears below. )
Counsel for the plaintiffs ( CP ) : Bigot .....I put it to you that as owner occupier of the Slaughter House Bridge Club you were under a statutory duty of care to see that all lawful visitors would be " reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which they were invited or permitted by you to be there "
B-J : For God's sake premises are always safe for both lawful and unlawful visitors . Carpets are regularly nailed down.....big holes in the car park get immediately filled in with bodies of ex-members and quick-setting cement.......the vicious rottweilers are always kept chained up the cellar.....and all the highly toxic poisons we keep for emergencies are safely locked away in the boot of my car.....
CP : That may be all well and good , but the real danger that pervades your club house has nothing to do with the premises itself or its contents , fixtures and has everything to do with the type of people you allow to play there !
B-J : What on earth are you insinuating .......that some my members pose risks to others ?
CP : Exactly, some of your more undesirable members are walking death traps, lethal assassins....ticking time bombs......posing danger at every turn and at every table . Error prone newcomers , especially beginners, are put at constant risk....
B-J : Ok...I must admit that from time to time a few players go a little bit over the top , when irritated or upset, but all that comes with the territory.
CP : Excuse me...but these so called merchants of death display all the characteristics of vicious psychopaths, looking out for any opportunity to sadistically bully and mentally torture helpless human prey. Look at these two clients of mine......psychologically broken and maimed....both now in constant need of psychiatric care.......mentally crippled for life.
B-J : Hold on there a mo.....these two bunnies only got what all bunnies get.....loads and loads of bollockings.
CP : Well, can I point out to you that in the case of Cunningham v Reading Bridge Club 1991 the court held that in certain circumstances an occupier may be liable for negligently failing to prevent deliberate injury done by one visitor to another. Throwing insults and abuse is no different from throwing stones, bricks and bridgemates........ they all cause severe injury and damage.
B-J : Oh....
CP : What won the case for the plaintiff was the fact that the wrong-doing was foreseeable.....and nothing was done to prevent warnings, no interventions,....a complete absence of any supervision or control
B-J : Ah ....but surely these two numpties were equally aware of the risks and were quite prepared to accept them..... permitting me, therefore , to use the defence of consent.....referred to by you smart arse lawyers as volenti non fit injuria
CP: Nice try..... but no....the dangers they fell victim to were extra hazardous and out of the ordinary, being well outside what one would normally expect to encounter at a bridge club..... risks far beyond what they could be expected to foresee. To put it frankly.....they were victims of brutal psychological assaults that would make KGB torture methods look soft and fluffy in comparison
B-J : Oh....
Judge : " Oh " indeed....I have heard enough....You , Bigot, have created a club which truly lives up to its name. There was a duty of care imposed upon you, which you flagrantly breached by failing to ensure that novices and newcomers would be safe from known psychopathic bullies and predators,.....thugs..... who you allowed to go about their business with your obvious blessing. Therefore, I find in favour of the plaintiffs with each to receive £50,000 damages.....
BJ : Bugger .....there's goes my new Porsche and 3 month winter Mediterranean cruise

Friday, 21 October 2011


Thursday, 20 October 2011

PISSING IN THE WIND ....... ( Another poetic masterpiece from the pen of Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber, a true fan and ardent admire of Bob Dylan )
How many times must a man misbehave
Before he obeys a command
How many players does he need to upset
Before he gets verbally panned
How many times must a bridgemate fly
Before he is eventually banned
Getting answers , my friend, is like pissing in the wind
Getting answers is like pissing in the wind
How many years can a committee exist
Before it's cast out in a vote
How many years can a dissenter survive
Before he is hung by the throat
How many times must a chairman be told
That his smile looks more like a gloat
Getting answers, my friend, is like pissing in the wind
Getting answers is like pissing in the wind
How many times must a committee look up
Before eventually seeing the light
How many warnings need to be heard
Before agreeing to give up the fight
How much money will have to be spent
Before knowing they weren't in the right
Getting answers, my friend, is like pissing in the wind
Getting answers is like pissing in the wind

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

BRIDGE BOOKS MASTERPOINT PRESS CHOSE TO IGNORE..... ( And quite rightly so says Pun )
  • My Partner Just Never Shuts Up.................................Des E. Harpon
  • " I've Got Two Big'uns For You, Partner ".....................May I. Oldham
  • As Bridge Celebrities Go, She's The Biggest..................Ella Fantine
  • The Only Way I Can Keep My Partner Happy...............Alec Hiscock
  • Jesus , They've Sussed Out Our Cheating Methods.......Bess B. Hoff
  • This Partnership Is Made In Heaven...........................Ewan Mee
  • Even At 50 I'm Seen As A Juvenile Club Member .......Mia Youngblood
  • At Last Partner You've Calmed Your Bidding Down....Alisha Passmore
  • We Need To Be Frank And Honest With Each Other.....Les. B. Blunt
  • Some Players Can Be Very Prickly Indeed..................Rose Bush
I have always been fascinating by the fact that so many bridge players come across as cantankerous , stubborn , mule-headed, awkward, ill-tempered and quarrelsome. Why is it I asked myself ?
Was it down to these players being well into their 60's, where being grumpy and miserable has become part and parcel of being old and cynical ? Was it down to the nature of the game which draws out from players their darker side and inner demons ? Or was it down to a specific as yet undiagnosed psychiatric disorder ?
Well , my research initially focused on the idea that such behavioural traits suggested victims were suffering from clinical anxiety, but the reality proved to be something else. Bridge players are oddly aggressive, because ODD is what they are. All of them have simply fallen victim to an OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER, which as it happens sits at the far end of the stubbornness spectrum. The line that divides being just difficult and stubborn from ODD has its own set of diagnostic criteria.
Players diagnosed as ODD quickly develop a pattern of negativistic, hostile and defiant behaviour which if unchallenged and untreated will last forever. The game of bridge seems to nurture and exacerbate this condition tenfold. Conflict situations crop up on almost every hand , where players feel compelled to argue with one another, to lose their temper, to actively defy or refuse to comply with requests, rules and TD decisions. Moreover, their inability to cope with bad scores fuels a burning desire to feel angry, resentful, spiteful and vindictive, whilst getting extremely touchy when others behave in a like way towards them.
So concerned have I been about ODD bridge players, I felt obliged to do this blog in order to stimulate more research into this alarming problem that is blighting bridge clubs the world over. However, what I have found to be the key criteria for ODD is spitefulness and vindictiveness. Bridge players cannot stop themselves from blaming others for their mistakes. In my view, " their destructiveness and disagreeableness " are purposeful in that afflicted players actively seek revenge by getting others mad. They choose to be " oppositional " not because of some stubborn streak they have suddenly developed, but because of an irresistible desire to rile those that have upset them.
If club committees would like to know more about this disorder, and what can be done to combat it, then I suggest they send off a cheque for a copy of my latest book entitled..... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of ODD and The Study of the Ongoing Pattern of Disobedient, Hostile and Defiant Behaviour in Bridge Clubs. Most of the material involves clinical case studies of the ODDest bridge players I have ever encountered.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

During one heated session a smart alec student stood up and asked the great man how important was it to heed all the advice that was being spewed out in class.
Bigot was incensed . There he was giving out pearls of wisdom and wonderful tips on how to play winning bridge , only for this egit to dare question the value and worth of his teaching.
" Listen you muttonhead .....never ignore good advice. So please pay attention to the story I'm about to tell you........ and try to grasp the message it carries.......
It was a burning hot day and a local businessman had stopped to fix his broken-down car on remote stretch of road high up on the moors , when a man approached him begging for a drink of water...............with deep regret the businessman said he had no water to give him, but would he like to buy his tie for £5......immediately, the thirsty man snapped back telling him what an idiot he was...... it was water he had asked for..... and not a naff second-hand tie. The businessman was then asked if there was any place nearby where water could be purchased...... and to his great relief he was told that 2 miles further up the road was a privately run Country Club but that.........
Abrupt to the point of being rude the dying man had sped off in pursuit of a drink even before the sentence had been completed. Two hours later when the makeshift repairs on his car had been done, but who should be staggering back down the road towards him was the very same thirsty man..... looking in far worse shape than he was before.......hardly able to speak , he eventually managed to whisper the following words ....why on earth did you send me to that unforgiving place.....that stubborn doorman brother of yours wouldn't let me in without a bloody tie !! ..............

Friday, 14 October 2011

........... But they all told him where he could shove his money

Thursday, 13 October 2011

  • I Expected Partner To Lead My Suit..................Bert Noe
  • Now, She's A Woman I'd Love To Partner.........Amos Bedder
  • Bridge In These Parts Is In A Right State...........Minnie Souter
  • Only God Can Help Me Win Crockfords..............Mercy Fullord
  • My Partner Behaves Like A Savage....................Mo Hekon
  • Let's Play Bridge Down At The Pub....................Rose Ann Crown
  • I Need A Partner Who Is Up To The Task...........Roger Mee-Knightley
  • My Partner Always Pulls In Top After Top........Joy Maiker
  • He Spent A Whole Week With Her At Brighton...Didi Screwer
  • Not Seen You At The Bridge Club For Ages........Ben A. Weighman

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Yet again, for the benefit of all those players who have yet to achieve, I have decided to reveal even more golden nuggets of wisdom to help you rise up from the status of " the mediocre and crap ". If these new guiding principles have helped me to become one of the greatest talents in the world of bridge today, then surely to God they must be able to help you get off base one.
So once you take on board all these little bits of visionary and philosophical advice , your results should dramatically improve. No more will you hang your head in embarrrassment as the results lists get published : no more will your names be overlooked for team selection. Yes, you will indeed become a star in the making.
- Results fade or improve in proportion to one's courage
- Why not go out on a limb ? Isn't that where the fruits of success lie ?
- The mark of a gifted bridge player is his ability to entertain a line of play without necessarily adopting it
- When an expert stumbles he is able to prevent a fall
- When faced with a problem don't miss the donut by looking through the hole
- Good scores in bridge are not the consequence of good fortune, but the consequence of wise choices
- Before you choose the right bidding system , it is necessary to choose the right partner first
- Bridge genius is knowing what to do , when in reality you don't know what to do
- A bad player is one who would rather commit himself to defeat than think
- The secret to being successful at bridge is to have no other interests
- Constantly messing around with your bidding system is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
- Travelling on the road of achievement requires regular stops for reading
- As your island of bridge know-how grows , so does the shoreline of wonder
- To advance into the unchartered territories of top level bridge , you must travel on the dangerously rocky edges of hard experience
- Winning is not everything in bridge but making the effort to win is
- Think like a man of action : act like a man of thought
- Naff players see an obscure line of play and say " why " : experts see the same line and say " why not "
- To learn something new often requires taking the same path you took yesterday...but this time with your eyes open
- An average bridge player is one who thinks he isn't
- A bridge problem well defined and understood is a problem already half solved

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A LOAD MORE OF THESE WONDERFUL BRIDGE PROVERBS......... ( As unearthed by Professor Hu Chi ku Chi )
1. A bad bridge player will forever blame his partner
2. If you make your bid, then you must live with it
3. Do unto opponents what they might do unto you
4. Tricks can easily be found, and easily lost
5. Half the match points are better than none
6. He who hesitates about which card to play is lost
7. Opening light is like opening blind
8. A bridge player is known by the partners he keeps
9. Tricks don't appear by magic
10. You can't make a good player out of a hapless greenhorn
11. Speak of bidding nightmares, and they will appear
12. You can't teach an old player new ways of making tricks
13. True bridge disaster stories are stranger than fiction
14. Two wrongs in the bidding wont make the final contract right
15. Zeal without bridge know-how is the sister of folly
16. One good board doesn't make a good card
17. The road to becoming a grandmaster is paved with costly bills and sponsorship payouts
18. Small part-scores please players of small expectations
19. A fool and his bridge credentials are soon parted
20. The Ace in your hand is worth two in your partner's
CENTURY OLD BRIDGE PROVERBS .......... ( Rediscovered and revised by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi ) )
Proverbs are without doubt one man's wit and all men's wisdom. However, all the proverbs we know and use today owe their origin to the early days when a dark, secret, bizarre world of bridge began to surface in the games rooms of gentlemen's clubs inVictorian London.
So let's go back in time and rediscover a few of the original proverbs, before they were so crudely adapted to suit the world at large.
1. It's no use crying over spilt tricks
2. Childish partners should be seen and not heard
3. Seeing impossible contracts come in is believing
4. The proof of the bidding is in the result
5. Fortune favours the aggressive bidder
6. Play in haste , and repent in leisure
7. Every bridge professional has his price
8. What you lose on the roundabouts you gain on the swings
9. A little bridge knowledge is a dangerous thing
10. Players on nearby tables have ears
11. A bad bridge player always turns up for a game
12. In a field of blind rabbits, the one-eyed player is king
13. An expert never forgets
14. Seeing contracts home is easier said than done
15. Fools rush in with bids where experts choose to pass
16. In bidding, when nothing is ventured then nothing is gained
17. As you sow mistakes so shall you reap disasters
18. If at first you don't succeed, then try taking up whist
19. Forewarned of a misfit is to be forearmed
20. Every little inference helps

Thursday, 6 October 2011

" ...I keep
telling him,
but George
can never
buying a
bridge book
he's not seen
before ...."
Let's get real here and face the facts.....most players rarely progess from base one. These losers and no-hopers are only there simply to make up the numbers, becoming fish in the barrel, sitting ducks, and easy pickings for the top players, who with consummate ease will collect one top after another.
No matter what these poor souls do against the experts, they are never likely to get a good match pointed board. Bidding against experts is fatal. So what they need to do is to "pass" every hand no matter what their point count is. Even if they are blessed with a 23 count the pass bid is compulsory.
Clearly this tactic can do them some damage, but has every chance of earning them a good board for the very reasons I've outlined below.
1. If two weak players enter the bidding , only to discover a fit, then the expert opponents will either by implication or deduction recognise a fit of their own. Once they enter the bidding with overcalls or take out doubles, they will either push the hapless pair into an unmakeable contract, or steal and make the contract on minimum values. Either way a passed out board will score much better.
2. Should the inexperienced pair manage to win the auction, the experts will be far more adept at finding the best defence, especially if all the bids were of textbook honesty. Given that other pairs will be in the same contract against lesser opponents, then the likelihood of getting a good result is zero. However a passed out hand will score a huge top if the defence was always bound to succeed.
3. By consistently passing all hands, the experts might well enjoy an uninterrupted auction, but they don't receive any information whatsoever as to where the missing honours may be located. This means that without any interfering bids to go on more guesswork has to be done, some of which will be wrong : " he can't hold any more points otherwise he would have opened ? ". A false assumption like this will result in errors giving you every chance of securing a good board.
For experts their power comes from knowledge , and a great deal of knowledge comes from their opponents' bidding. So weak players need to keep their fingers well away from their bidding boxes no matter what. This will guarantee them a few good scores without even trying ......a far better prospect of getting rubbish scores after umpteen huffing and puffing attempts to compete.
So remember this is Bigot-Johnson speaking.....the man who was himself taught by the amazingly canny Shona Watts-Watt.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

HOW TO RECEIVE YET ANOTHER TROPHY WITH MODESTY, HUMILITY AND DIGNITY................. ( Article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
All to often its the same smiling, smug ridden, faces that stand proud on the victory rostrum, beaming with delight as they are handed yet another trophy to add to their obscenely vast collection. In my opinion, these players need a sharp lesson or two in humility, which I am only too happy to give.
Winning at bridge is all to easy if you are a top player partnering a person of your own standing and ability, especially when the rest of the field is made of a mediocre and average bunnies. Winning for them is simply a matter of turning up, but do they acknowledge this gulf in class and overwhelming superiority. Not a chance.
It's all smiles, constant laughing and self-congratulations over the many coups, deceptions and traps they successfully pulled off against these unsuspecting rabbits.
So here is my 8 point plan on how to receive a trophy with uncharacteristic humbleness and dignity :
1. Look genuinely surprised when it is announced you've come in first
2. Surpress your desire to be annoying smug
3. Attempt to look extremely embarrassed by this latest success
4. Be surprisingly gracious by saying " luck was really on our side " .....even if it wasn't
5. Offer feigned praise to the gallant runners up, who on any handicapping system would have beaten you out of sight
6. Avoid the temptation to rub in the fact that victory was achieved despite dozens of uncharacteristic and stupid errors , made by both you and your partner
7. Praise your partner for being the rock , even though he may have played like a jerk
8. Leave the venue by the back door immediately after the award ceremony has finished

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

In all my years treating warped and disturbed bridge players, nothing has amazed me more than the mental disorder known as pontificus regalia. This rather unusual but specific affliction involves players falling victim to a delusion of majestic grandeur.
They see bridge venues as their palaces, and themselves as noble kings who can command audiences and hold court , just at their beck and call. Amazingly players of all ability levels gravitate towards them like moths to a bright light. As pontificus regalia takes hold victims begin to spout sermons on the finer arts of the game, offering both advice and instruction to those eager to learn. Often they will regale listeners with incredible stories of their achievements and conquests. Anyone who dares to challenge them will hear outraged cries of " treason with his head " or " see to this man....he's off his head ".
This condition strangely enables victims to beguile the people around them to such an extent that they start behaving like sycophantic courtiers , desperate to obtain favour, patronage and approval. Onlookers have remarked that the delusion overtakes all those in attendance, depicting a scene from the king in the land of the blind. Like an emperor wearing no clothes, no one seems able or prepared to tell him what an embarrassment he is.
Indeed, the first client I came across with this regal delusion was Rex Kingsley, who began taking his soap-box, clad in expensive purple velvet, to his local club at Hyde Park simply to rant and rave about the unethical practices of his those he had come to dislike. After he was arrested and charged with causing a public nuisance, he successfully claimed immunity from any crown court proceedings by virtue of a royal prerogative. The consequence of this however was an indefinite stay at one her majesty's institutions for the criminally insane.

Sunday, 2 October 2011


  • Hard Evidence That Proves Bigot-Johnson's A Puff ... Annalee Keane
  • My Wife Won't Let Me Play Tonight.........................Erin Dawes
  • My Partner Is Coming On Really Strong..................Randy Newman
  • Playing Bridge Can Be Really Hard Work................Manuel Laiber
  • I Hate Players Who Only Talk About Themselves....Mimi Mee
  • I Gave My Hapless Partner A Real Blasting..............Buck Shott
  • So What's The Latest Bridge Gossip Then ?...............Phil Mehan
  • How Far Have You Got With Your New Partner?.....Ivor Cocking
  • She Might Be Up For A Quick Rubber......................Al Hasker
  • All My Partners, Bless Them, Are Cross Dressers.....Jess E. Buoys

Saturday, 1 October 2011

( Yet again Bigot-Johnson was ordered to attend a disciplinary hearing to answer serious complaints about his cheating behaviour. Several allegations had been made about his ability to read his partner's tells, gaining unauthorised information about his hands. )
Chairman (C) : Bigot.... can you tell what partner has got in his hand from his giveaway tells ?
B-J : Of course I can....he is complete tosser.......but I'm not the only one who can tell what's in his hand..... the opponents are often on the ball as well !
C : Well, what about the opponents who aren't in the know......those poor sods are damaged by unauthorised information that only you get ?
B-J : Yes....but I didn't ask for this unauthorised's thrown at's hard to fact it's impossible to ignore
C : Well ...unsolicited or's still bloody cheating
B-J: Excuse tell me of any established partnership in this club where reading tells doesn't go on ? Many players acquire this amazing gift based on their ability to form patterns of hand shapes based upon past experiences of partner's awkward bidding .
C : Please explain....
B-J : Well...take board 17 that I played against you and Pantopod last night...... remember I use to partner that egit so many times I always knew what he'd got even before the bids hit the table. Why....the longer he stayed in the tank the more I gleaned from the time delays prior to his bids.
C : Yes....
B-J : You had opened 1H and I made a weak 2S overcall.....Pantoprat took an age before bidding 3H ! If the bid was made instantly, it would show no spades, with all his values in a decent 4 card heart suit. Slight delay indicates values elsewhere with 4 poor hearts....moderate delay would mean mediocre 3 card heart support , no biddable minor suit, and possibly a small double honour in spades....... a long delay flashes up decent 3 card heart support but with a weak 5/6 minor not worthy of mention.....super long delay suggests 3 miserable hearts, which offer ruffing values because of a shortage in one of the minors, plus 3 or 4 small spades.....and a super super long delay flags up 3 small spades, a stiff KQ or KJ of hearts, and two 4 card minors.....and oh yes, since Pantopod's delay was moderate I read him for having
C : By're right....that exactly what he had. Why, even I damn well knew he had a problem hand ..... certainly one with with 3 hearts, no spade stopper and a ragged long minor !
B-J : Well, that proves my point.....
C : Oh my God so it does.....I'm so gutted now..... I feel I owe you an apology....
B-J : Indeed you do
C : But you're still not getting one.....and that's because you've just exposed me as a cheating dog like bastard
B-J : You bugger....