Wednesday, 29 February 2012

YES IT'S TRUE : BRIDGE DOES BRING OUT THE DEVIL IN ALL OF US...... ( Unholy research By Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

Ever since the days when bridge was first introduced into England by Sir Francis Dashwood at the infamous Hellfire Bridge Club , the game has always been associated with the dark arts. As a result many phrases we hear today owed their origin to the Hellfire players , who were in total awe of the horned beast. He was their grand master , a being they had come to fear and respect.
Top players were complimented as being " devilishly clever ". Other less talented players who managed an occasional win were always labelled as " having the luck of the devil ". Certainly, on big competition nights the bridge arena  became a  " hot bed " of activity ,  a cauldron of seething emotions , where everyone's  " ears were burning ". Often, when players were reported to be " on fire ", the reputation of some of their vanquished opponents went up " in flames " . Moreover, players who ended up " at the bottom ", simply equated their losing experience as being in the " pits of despair " , or  having   " gone through hell ".
There is no escaping the fact that the Devil and Bridge are inextricably linked , and that the game has brought out the demon in all of us . The whole concept of the game has always been  to " play  tricks " on opponents in order to win be deceitfully impish in both the bidding and the play in the " endless pursuit of imps ". Indeed, countless bridge players have spent most of their time " soul searching " ,  after each and every abject and abysmal performance.
And let's not forget the evil that lurks within the bridge vocabulary itself :  words  that  were certainly introduced by Beelzebub himself to corrupt the mind of any unsuspecting Dr. Jekyll into a murderous Mr. Hyde.  "Killing leads, killing defence, suicide squeezes, menace cards, sacrifices " are all classic terms that clearly associate pleasure with wrongdoing. 
Yet bizarrely we now live in an age where zero tolerance is being introduced into a game which was purely designed to turn us into towards the dark side. Just how absurd is that ? The administrators of the game have clearly lost the plot. For all players are known to have a burning desire to win.  Indeed,  every  player who sits  down to pick up his first hand, is happy to let the devil inside him take over the driving seat. From then is only a question of time before  the fireworks begin.

BRIDGE BOOKS OWNED BY CARP....... AND HE'S GOT TASTE ....... ( Or so says Pun )
  • My Partner Is The Ultimate Dickhead..................Richard Boss
  • My Partner Talks a Load Of Bollocks..................Fuller Crapp
  • Partner , What Game Are You Playing ?.............Hayden Seke
  • Believe Me Partner, I Will Not Let You Down..... Candy Liver
  • Partner, This Incident Needs Reporting.......Candice Knott-Waite
  • With My Disability I Need A Sitting Seat..............Arthur Legg
  • I'm The  Anchorman In This Team of Four........Bob Sleigh-Ryder 
  • My God , She Really Let Her Partner Down.........Didi Slater
  • Whenever My Partner Loses , He Lets Rip..........Pierce Sincry
  • I Saw My Partner Peeking At His Cards.........Len Wright-Tover

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


( all because
Ronnie gets
the wrong
end of the
stick )  

"  Ronnie.....when I said I needed you to back me up.......this wasn't what I had in mind ....... "                                         
After yet another successful evening at duplicate bridge , Johnny was almost embarrassed with his 74% score. So good was his scorecard , he had managed to notch up 16 tops and 8 averages. Everyone marvelled at his ability to conjure tricks up from nowhere , but it was one hand in particular which had generated a great deal of interest and discussion.
The consensus of opinion was that the slam was so difficult to make ,  that even with all the cards on view , still no one could figure out the winning line to make 12 tricks.
Johnny , of course , had no problem  even at the table in steering the contract home , and this was against  opponents  who knew how to defend. Eventually, one puzzled member approached Johnny to find out how he managed to achieve the impossible, and what his secret was to winning bridge.
His reply was short and to the point :  " table presence.....a complex transfer squeeze......and always knowing what card to play next in order to maximise your chances of success   ".
Well, I think that answered his questions......

Saturday, 25 February 2012

(  As evidenced by a bitter exchange between Bigot-Johnson and a dissident member at a recent AGM )

Dissident ( D) :  Will the The Bigot in the chair now stand up , and explain to the members why the hell the club has installed surveillance cameras all the building ?
B-J : C..O..N...T...R...O...L..... of course ..... for if any member commits an inappropriate act we've got the evidence to have him or her up before a disciplinary.....and this means there's no need for any re-enactments......
D : Yes.....I do recall the last re-enactment of a knife attack, which involved the same victim being stabbed again by the same assailant .........a truly shocking state of affairs
B-J : Exactly, and that's why such tragic incidents like that will never happen again now that everything is recorded on tape......think of the deterrent effect these cameras will have 
D : Hmm....but what about this proposal of yours to set up an INTEGRATED DATA BASE  concerning every detail of a member's time once he's inside this club  ?
B-J : And outside as well......
D : So let me get this straight the press of a can inspect just about every detail of a member's life.....both inside and outside this club ?
B-J : That's about the gist of it....
D : Details about his competition successes and failures, duplicate scores, his attendance, previous partners, financial contributions , such as table money, bar purchases, ticket purchases, competition entry fees .....not to mention reported psychs, TD calls, TD rulings in his favour... and against, letters of complaint written by him ( and about him ).....and God knows what else.....
B-J : That lot just scratches the surface of what we've got planned....
D : My God......1984 is upon us !
B-J : Listen muppet head....if we are to succeed with our zero tolerance initiatives we need to identify all potential troublemakers....and to observe and record all incidents that could possibly constitute even the smallest  breach of the 1001 disciplinary rules currently being drawn up....... you see, knowledge is power.....and we need to be in the know to wield that power....
D : Well, it seems to me you're running this club like a police state and I for one have no desire to be spied upon or set upon by your thugs.....I'm off...
B-J : thankfully we wont need to review the recording of this exchange... or go through the motions of a disciplinary hearing for breach of rules 811 ( c) ....and 847 (b)
D : Pray tell me.... what rules are they......?
B-J : Being an awkward smart-arse..........and wasting important AGM time on trivalities for no apparent reason........
Ronnie : Shall I escort this person off the premises ?
B-J : Oh yes... please do so .....and  remember Ronnie.... this time....try to be more discrete 

Friday, 24 February 2012


( A short article by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

The answer is quite a lot , as the following listed points reveal :
1. We can look at the same detail and information and swear blind that our interpretation is the correct one.
2. Sometimes no matter how hard we look at the detail and information we can never see or accept the alternative view.
3. When we are drawn to focus on one aspect of the bigger picture , we become blinded to the others. 
4. We choose only to see what we want to see.
5. So few of us can ever see the bigger picture.

Indeed, these human failings manifest themselves when we come face to face with a bridge hand problem. Do we recognise what the real or actual problem is ? Do we see the hidden and lurking dangers ? Do we see the solution that is there to be found ?  Do we see what's  needed to counter our opponents' moves ?
Moreover, in the context of bridge club disputes one thing is certain : personal motives, agendas and prejudices colour and blur our vision to such an extent , it becomes utterly  impossible for either party to the dispute to see straight. The blinkers are immediately put on. Everything is either black or white , but never shades of grey. 
And so when a bridgemate is moved across a table in an exaggerated arc movement , what picture is formed inside your mind about the handler's motives , and is it possible for  your interpretation of the incident be the correct one ?  

Thursday, 23 February 2012

( Recommendations by Bigot-Johnson , many of which are based on Charles Dickens'  wonderful description of Miss Havisham's house in his novel , Great Expectations )

  1. Board up all the windows to stop natural light entering the building
  2. Leave doors open to allow stray dogs and cats to wander freely in and out
  3. Paint  luminous arrows on the floor to help guide them from room to room
  4. Scatter slippers and socks all around the landing
  5. Leave piles of unopened letters on a table by the front door
  6. Keep the central heating system permanently switched off no matter what the weather conditions outside
  7. Dampen many of the seat cushions with water spray 
  8. Regularly blast large amounts of dust onto floors, shelves and furniture  
  9. If finances allow, restore the decor to that of the 1950's 
  10. Immerse sets of false teeth in glasses of water, placing them on all toilet room shelves
  11. Under no circumstances whatsoever must cobwebs or dead flies be removed
  12. Encourage members to play while still wearing their hats and coats    

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

( AS

" Prunella Pantopod....... please allow me to put you right............. I , Bigot-Johnson, and my four trusty lieutenants Ronnie and Reggie Rooney, Joey Small, and Wally Beastman,  totally reject your claim that this disciplinary hearing was conducted like a kangaroo court.....
The fact that the hearing lasted 2 minutes  is irrelevant ......
The fact that an anonymous complaint about you was based on both fabricated and flimsy evidence is of no relevance either......
The fact that the punishment metered out far outweighed the triviality of the alleged wrongdoing is also of no significance.....
The fact that the decision to have you slung out was decided upon months before this hearing is clearly of no relevance whatsoever......
Because let's face bloody Pantopods are the scourge of all bridge clubs in this area, and like all bugs and spiders, you need to be stamped upon and crushed. Therefore, in pursuit of what can only be described as a truly noble and glorious goal, we feel totally justified in taking all the necessary steps to achieve this end. So on that note nothing more needs to be said...... other than........... WHY DON'T YOU HOP IT BEFORE YOU REALLY GET JUMPED UPON !! 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Far too many bridge continue to play this game with a crippling disability : decidophobia. This condition is defined as the fear of making decisions. Not only that , but the fear is both overwhelming and irrational. The player coping with this phobia is painfully aware that the game is full of choices, at every turn,  on which decisions have to be made. Choices over bids, defensive leads,  and lines of play as declarer. The decidophobic player, when fearful of making the wrong decision, becomes so paralysed that he cannot make any rational decision at all. Random selection ultimately takes over.
Indeed, research has shown that many players, berated and accused of slow play, are victims of this condition. Unmake to make decisions when multiple choices are made available, they sink into a soporific state of nothingness , out of which they return with no idea at all as to what to do..... other than to make a blind guess. 
Often, the person coping with decidophobia has experienced traumatic, past events , where  decisions taken at the table were greeted with derision and scorn, outrage and abuse, not to mention mockery and ridicule. Those experiences then automatically develop and feed this insatiable fear.
As beginners, bridge players are encouraged to make judgement calls and tight decisions after careful thought and consideration. Maybe these learners were consistently encouraged to simply stick by the guiding principles laid down by their teachers. Needless to say, when they are thrown into the lion's den of competitive bridge, only to discover that these book or " safe " decisions proved to be unwise, the phobia then quickly starts to develop. The devastating consequeces that follow will cause the victims to experience both anxiety and emotional turmoil, which completely disrupt his/her thinking processes for evermore. Tragically, this in turn takes the fear of decision making onto the next level. 
The symptoms of decidophobia are all too obvious. Victims when confronted by this fear will feel slightly uncomfortable, become nauseated or begin to perspire. At the extreme end of the spectrum of variable responses, some sufferers are so severely impacted by their fear of having to make a decision, that they experience full blown panic/ anxiety attacks or, as mentioned before, soporific blackouts. Moreover, all those with the condition have confessed to having feelings of being out of control, trapped and unable to escape, or having visions of impending disaster. 
And on a final, but rather disturbing note, this particular phobia can start up when a player witnesses, or has knowledge of, another player who makes a seemingly harmless decision, but one which unfortunately results in severely negative consequences. The infectious nature of this condition might well explain why it has become so prevalent in every bridge club across the world. 

I know there are people out there who closely monitor my blog with a view to listing all those posts, which could be used as evidence to discredit my good name. Therefore, I beg of these people to please put their names forward on my list of followers, because that is the proper and right thing to do in the circumstances.
I am very aware that some of my posts may come across as hard-hitting satire and parody, but my objectives are always the same : to raise serious points, and issues of concern, in what I consider to be a thoughtful, albeit tongue-in-cheek way.
Thankfully, there are people out there, who are very knowledgeable about the game and its administration, happy to voice their praise, and to compliment me on my efforts.
It is with their support that I shall continue to expose the " bizarre nature " of this strange and peculiar world of bridge , and how we as players are nothing more than walk-on actors, who love to perform in the theatre of the absurd. 

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi's recent article has strangely overlooked the biggest fear affecting huge numbers of rank and rile club members : bridge acrophobia. This condition is a fear of heights,  real or imaginary, but in the context of the bridge arena it is a fear of being in a lofty position.
For instance, if an afflicted player finds himself at the top of the ladder, or well above the chasing pack by getting to the top table, the symptoms of this condition immediately appear. Once the realisation sinks in of how high up he is, then comes the recognition of how far down he can plummet. Indeed, it is this fear of height ( coupled with the fear of falling ), which triggers the very neurological processes that help bring about such an immediate and dramatic fall.
Reaching the top is akin to being high up a mountain where the cold rarefied air causes the victim to experience giddiness, faintness, nausea and blackouts. With these symptoms in place, the victim becomes so light headed, even drunk, that mistakes quickly creep into his game, which soon bring about an inevitable and rapid descent towards the bottom. The fear of course turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Other manifestations of this fear are :
1. Climacophobia - when the sufferer claims not to be afraid of climbing up the ladder or field, so endeavours to remain close to the bottom by electing to play naff bridge
2. Aerophobia - a condition which causes the victim to fear and avoid flying. So whenever he perceives himself to be  " flying high " following a set of really good boards, his thought processing engines are quickly turned off as he embarks upon an emergency landing manoeuvres.
3. Vertigo - this is what acute victims experience when right at the very  top,  looking all the way down : an awful sensation of spinning and dizziness which causes them to lose their balance and conscoiusness, topple over and fall headlong into oblivion
4. Bathmophobia - this is the fear of climbing ladders and how high one has go up them to reach the top. After each and every upwards step the fear intensifies, to such an extent that paralysis can set in at a very early stage. This means the victim clings on for dear life to maintain his present position, before gently easing his way back down.
In conclusion,  bridge acrophobia starts off as an imaginary fear of heights, where being at the top automatically spells danger, with the chasing pack  " breathing down your neck, and desperate to stick one on you ".  Not surprisingly,  once the victim experiences that awful sensation of being toppled and sent hurtling towards the bottom, that fear becomes very real indeed the next time round. Now the symptoms will include panic, which leads to a catastrophe of woeful bids, defensive leads and play of the cards. Bridge acrophobia then becomes an ingrained condition which will never go away. In the main It is a learned response to previous falls, but its onset can also be down to partner's nervous reactions to unfamiliar heights, or lofty positions.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

BRIDGE PLAYERS' GREATEST FEARS ....... ( Research by Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )

It has now come to light that bridge players spend a disproportionate amount of time, sitting at the tables,  consumed by a multitude of fears.  In some cases  the extent of these fears caused many to turn a deathly shade of white, and/or shake uncontrollable in a panic-stricken way. So when my dedicated team of researchers conducted a survey, they placed the following anxieties ( from a list of well over 100 ) as the top 25 :
1. Playing badly
2. Losing badly
3. Going down in a crucial but otherwise straightforward contract
4. Being held responsible for the team's defeat
5. Being ditched from the team as the proverbial weak link
6. Moving a bridgemate in an untoward way and being caught out
7. Falling easy prey to opponents' well laid traps and psychs
8. Scoring less than 40%
9. Coming last in a very big field
10. Coming last in a field of rabbits
11. Being associated with the wrong 2 %
12. Asking someone for a game and being rejected
13. Being told by partner that this was indeed his last game with you
14. Making the only lead which gifted the opponents the contract 
15. Discovering an extremely nasty trump break
16. Having a TD called over by outraged opponents
17. Having a top converted by the TD into an outright bottom
18. Entering up 3H+4 when every other pair in the room bid and made slam
19. Being slagged off by partner in front of others
20. Being talk about in a derogatory way, even though you are standing nearby
21. Going for 3400 !
22. Throwing away the wrong card on a pseudo-squeeze
23. Being stared at by an intimidating opponent
24. Incurring a 2 trick penalty through a careless revoke
25. Going absent for 4 months only to discover no one missed you

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Everybody has memories good and bad, which will often pop into their heads when activated by all kinds of recall triggers. Many of us try to bury bad memories under the carpet, or to lock them away inside the skeleton cupboard, and even if those memories may never resurface again,  their presence will always be acknowledged. But then there are those who have mastered the remarkable art of transferring all their unpleasant memories into their neuro-recycle bins for permanent removal. This condition has been labelled selective memory syndrome, which unfortunately affects over 90% of all bridge players. 
The syndrome is nothing more than selective memory loss, where the affected bridge player chooses to forget all the mistakes he/she has ever made at the table. Banished from their minds are all the shocking misbids, opening leads and naff declarer plays, which were the direct result of recklessness, carelessness and rank stupidity . Only memories of their successful coups, masterly plays and glorious triumphs are retained, where a little embellishment usually takes place, before victims regale unsuspecting listeners about their  successful encounters, against extremely tough and awkward opponents . 
However, research has shown that lazy bridge players are more prone to picking up this syndrome that any others, but in all cases symptoms only appear when victims of the condition find themselves put under pressure to talk about their bridge experiences. Not surprisingly, the disorder can only be seen by others who are on the outside, because  the victims themselves lack the ability to be introspective.
I once asked a client to recall a hand where he made a bid or played the cards like a buffoon, but he couldn't. I then reminded him of the facts of a recorded hand where he did just that but his memory loss was so complete it simply wiped out the whole incident, including all the names of those in attendance. Furthermore, he was convinced  that the whole story was a figment of my imagination, and so it came as no surprise when a week later he had no memory whatsoever of being confronted by this tale .
Bizarrely, the condition appears to many independent observers as a gift or blessing,  allowing victims to live forever in cloud cuckoo land, where self-deception rewards them with an unshakable self-belief that they are immensely successful, playing near perfect bridge at all times.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

BARGAIN BASEMENT BRIDGE BOOKS ....... ( As recommended by price conscious Pun )

  • That Trophy Belong To Us You Cheats !.............Andy Tover
  • Don't You Dare Deviate From The System...........Noah Count
  • The Captain's Keen To Lodge An Appeal.............Enid Knott-Bother
  • Hallelujah We've Finally Won A Match !................Lloyd A. Bove
  • Lady Player From Perth Makes Shocking Confession....Mia Ozman
  • We're A Long Way Off The Pace, Partner............Hilda Clime
  • What Refreshments Have Been Laid On Then?..T. N. Biskitts
  • This Is The Biggest Match Of My Life...................Kent Waite
  • I Don't Think I Can Do Any Better, Partner............Dick Welling
  • That Match Really Shattered Him.........................E.S. Hall-Dunning 


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

( Bigot-Johnson had really over-stepped the mark this time,  by turning on his errant partner in a most savage and barbaric way to the utter shock and distress of onlooking members. A short extract from the hearing's transcript can be seen below . )

Chairman ( C ) : Is it true Bigot that you dragged your partner outside......stripped him bare....tied him to a tree....shaved his head..........and then tarred and feathered him ?
B-J : Correct.....
C : Don't you think that your behaviour was a bit over the top ?.......A slight over-reaction ?... An extreme form of retribution for such a tiny mistake ?
B-J : Tiny mistake !......... Are you stark raving mad.....this mistake is the mother of all f-ing outranks every kind of mistake ever committed at a bridge table. A mistake that beggars belief. A mistake that was so gross, so hideous, so outrageous, so really warranted death by hanging. In fact the bugger got off really lightly.......
C : Well......what did he do ?
B-J : What did he do ?.......I'll tell you what he did.......and it isn't a pretty story
C : Go on then....enlighten us ....
B-J : Well, our opponents ended up in 3NT despite my overcall of 1S. As it happened declarer held 98 in spades opposite dummy's 52, but were we able to make 5 spade tricks....along with my Ace of hearts to beat the contract ? ....Not on your life.............especially if you have a numpty of a partner like mine.
Holding AKQ43 in spades I lead the king at trick one ( system agreement ), and my partner correctly played the jack from his J1076. This of course promised the 10. Declarer meantime played the 9 !
C : So why the tar and feathering ?
B-J : Reading him correctly for having the 10, I played at trick two my fourth highest spade....namely the 4......expecting my partner to win the trick... and then to continue the suit to harvest five lovely tricks. BUT NO.....muppet features was on another wavelength. He foolishly believed that I had started out with five spades to the KQ, convinced that declarer was holding the A9........and so he played low, allowing declarer to win the trick with the measly 8. And that was that for the defence. Somehow he figured that by playing the 10 his 76 might block the suit......
C : A fair assumption ?
B-J : Are you as insane as he is ? If partner bothers to read the cards properly instead of the count, declarer must have started out with either A9 or 98. If on play of the 10 and the Ace takes the trick, communication between the two hands poses no problem with Q83 opposite 76. If the 10 happens to swallow the 8 then the 7 can be played at trick 3 before using the 6 to put me in with my Q3.
C: By're right....your partner was a complete prat after all...
B-J : Too right....
C : And we understand now why you got so miffed...
B-J : Miffed ! I was make just one trick from a combined holding of AKQJ107643 has to go down the worst example of bad bridge ever to be recorded in the history of the game
C : I agree....but you're still going to be suspended for 6 months for ungentlemanly conduct
B-J : Bugger I the only who can dispense proper justice in this world ?

Monday, 13 February 2012



Sunday, 12 February 2012

ALLEGING BIAS IS ONE THING : PROVING IT IS ANOTHER....... ( Follow up article by Carp ) 

Bias by definition is subjective : it reflects a person's state of mind. Even when a person is guilty of deliberate bias the chances of an apology, or a confession, are nil. However, the majority of us will deny accusations of bias simply because we believe in ourselves to be impartial and objective people. And no only that.....but we will certainly deny being in self-denial.
As one eminent Law Lord remarked "... bias is, or may be, an unconscious thing and a man may say he was not actually biased, and that he did not allow his interest to affect his mind, although, nevertheless, he may have allowed it unconsciously to do so. The existence of bias can only be determined upon the probabilities to be inferred from all the surrounding circumstances of the case. " 
If a player is to allege bias by a TD in favour of his opponent, or to the detriment of himself,  then he has a very difficult task ahead of him. Clearly it is almost impossible to get into ( or discover ) the TD's state of mind at the relevant time, not to mention establishing all the prevailing circumstances that support the allegation. 
Moreover, bias cannot automatically be presumed, because the correct starting point must be one of presumed innocence. In order therefore to rebut this presumption,  evidence to the contrary has to be both substantial and sufficient.  Nevertheless, the presumption can be rebutted if one can show a " pattern of conduct ", which is sufficient to dislodge the presumption of impartiality, replacing it instead with a reasonable apprehension of bias. 
Indeed, it is vitally important that the person who apprehends bias, and the apprehension itself, are both considered as reasonable.  Only if this two-fold requirement is met can the weight of the burden of alleging bias or its appearance,  be removed.
If a TD is accused of bias, then the apprehension of bias must be reasonably entertained. This is the first stage. In the second stage, the apprehension must be one which even the hypothetical reasonable player would have held, being someone who has no interest in the outcome of the matter, other than a general interest. The fulfilment of this general interest or concern should be restricted to a pre-occupation with fair administration or justice : a concern that justice is not only done but is manifestly and undoubtedly seen to be done. 
Regretably not all TD rulings are recorded, and therefore patterns of conduct can never be established. This means proving bias based on a one-off ruling becomes almost impossible. Players of course may successfully appeal against the decision, showing the TD to be in error. Whether that error was down to ignorance of the rules, or a poor judgement call or just plain simply bias, no one will never know for sure.   

Saturday, 11 February 2012

BIAS IN BRIDGE.................... ( Article by Carp )

Bias in people is a natural phenomenon : for who on God's earth can ever be truly detached, impartial and objective at all times..... in all situations ?  Bridge players, like everyone else, will fall victim to their own hardened attitudes, values and beliefs, subjective interpretations of questionable evidence, along with their unbreakable alliances and misplaced loyalties.
But what is bias ? How is it defined ? A slant ? A leaning ? A form of prejudice and/or favouritism ? Indeed, whenever prejudgement overrides future discussions and debate bias rears its ugly head. It certainly occurs when people attach greater significance to insignificant factors, whilst at the same time attaching less significance to factors that are worthy of much greater consideration. Moreover, bias occurs when a person makes a decision, which completely defies logical explanation, flying in the face of common sense, rhyme and reason : a decision which ignores all the powerful and convincing arguments used against it.
In the context of the bizarre world of bridge, bias manifests itself when an inferior ranking player mysteriously gets selected to play for a superior ranking team, over the legitimate claims of far more worthy candidates.
Then of course we see bias when a TD favours one party to a dispute over another, often by making a questionable decision by the cunning application so called " discretionary equity " , where the opportunity to make a judgement ruling is readily seized upon.
However, the most extreme form of bias can arise when a troublesome player ( the expert ) avoids complaints and disciplinary sanctions, because everyone is so beguiled by his status and charm they can only see the sun shining out of his arse. In sharp contrast to this, an equally troublesome player ( the whipping boy ) will instead be demonised, having the proverbial book at  him on each and every single occasion he happens to step out of line.
Then there are other occasions when the presence of bias cannot be denied. This is when someone speak outs and makes valid observations,  but no one is choosing to listen  ( selective deafness ), or when people display that lethal combination of short-sightedness, incorrectness, and extreme pushiness. And if animosity towards others exists then such negative energy will inevitably translate into biased decision making. However, we also need to consider those situations where people have a sphere of influence over others, which they often use it to bias the views of those willing to be compliant and supportive. Finally, the risk of bias is always present  where people have vested interests in the outcome of the decision making process they are actively involved in, or where they are operating in complete ignorance of the real facts and issues of a topic, or problem, under discussion.
In conclusion,  a bridge club with its ageing membership, so often made up of leopards who cannot change their spots, and old dogs who cannot be taught new tricks, cannot be anything but a hot bed of bias.........and not surprisingly where any one cares to look bias can be found............. even more so if one chooses to stare into a mirror ! 

Friday, 10 February 2012

  • Trick : something a top class player likes to keep up his sleeve
  • Score card : an intimate record of all the ladies and/or gentlemen you have partnered
  • Hog : a player noted for his insatiable appetite and desire to play all the hands. Never one to trust his partner's ability as declarer, the hog will endeavour to play inferior contracts at the risk of inferior scores.
  • Bridge teacher : a player , usually of modest ability, who has come to recognise the beauty and pleasure of making easy money out of the game 
  • Isolated menace : a disruptive player who is removed from an event, being confined to bar area for the remainder of the session
  • An auction : an activity that takes place at the start of each board,  where most players fall into the trap of over-bidding, only to pay a heavy price later on after the play of the hand 
  • Partner : a classic euphemism for " your worst enemy "
  • Bridge bore : what most pompous, full-of-shit, players become,  who not only love the sound of their own droning voice, but are hellbent on regaling everyone ( or anyone )    about their self-proclaimed triumphs, coups and successes at the tables 
  • Yawn : the typical response to a bridge bore, which is an honest opinion openly expressed  
  • Stiff :  What an excitable male player might have in his hand when wild distributions occur  

" You , Bigot-Johnson , have escaped justice far too many times but next time you might not be so lucky....."

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Dear Rebecca,
I was in a 3NT contract which needed me to secure 2 heart tricks from this combined holding :
dummy's  K10x opposite my Jxxx. Based on the bidding I took East to have 9 cards in the minors and...... with spades breaking 2-2 .....a likely doubleton in hearts.
Anyway I finessed the 10 losing to East's queen. On regaining the lead I played a low heart up to the King which held, but that meant of course conceding two tricks later with Jx sitting under West's A9.
Could I have done better.
Yours forever getting things wrong, Ima Pratt

Dear Ima,
From your initial description of the auction East was marked with values , which suggests he might well be holding one or both honours in hearts. If this was the case then there is every chance in you making two heart tricks from your combined holding.
Let's presume East started off with a doubleton heart Qx, then running the 10 from dummy first could be your best move.  East is unlikely to cover.... and so West is forced to win the trick with his Ace. Now the automatic play of the King swallows the queen to establish your two heart winners.
If East's doubleton is Ax, then again he is unlikely to cover the 10, which of course loses to the queen. Now is the time to get across to dummy to play a low heart up to the jack. With the Ace forced to beat thin air,  your K/J are still there to make the last two tricks in this suit.
Moreover, If East holds AQ doubleton in hearts, leading twice from dummy away from the king (10 first ) achieves the same happy outcome. 
If you carry on playing out suits without making logical assumptions about the layout of the missing danger cards, then you will forever be living up to your rather unfortunate name.

Yours  ( just how many numpties play this damn game ? ) enquiringly Rood

ps. ....and how come you're not in 4S with a 5-4 fit ?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

  • The Grim Reaper Comes Calling For Bigot-Johnson....Annabel Tolls
  • Nobody Ever Wants To Talk Bridge With Me...............Ivor Odor
  • With One That Size, She Must Be A Man.....................Adam Zapel
  • Something Tells Me The Club's On Fire.......................Isobel Ringing
  • Partner, I Need A Pick-Me-Up ......................................Al K. Seltzer
  • That Woman Needs A Firm Reprimand.....................Warner Stern-Leigh
  • God Grief, I Missing A Card ! .......................................Sonia Shew
  • That Old Player Used To Be A London Copper............Eve Ninall
  • She's Hell Bent On Winning This Pairs Event...............Honor Mishen
  • How I Won Crockfords By A Single Imp.........................Justin Nuth

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


( With several other Pantopods still clinging onto their membership, Bigot and his committee members still had a long way to go to finish them all off. Thankfully, the four new recruits to the committee, Bill " Back-stabber " Bowles, Rob " Hatchet Man " Harris, Peter Burke and Harold Hare had all worked miracles in persuading a huge number of rank and file members to attend this meeting. A short extract from a secretly recorded transcript appears below. )

B-J : This incredibly rushed..... and crudely drafted...... constitutional amendment needs to be voted upon and accepted right away
Voices from the floor : Yes...yes.....we'll vote it through......we'll vote it through
One puzzled member : Oh...will someone please tell me.......Why am I here....and what's this amendment really all about ?
Voice from the back :  How do we know......none of us have a bloody clue.....but  if the committee are backing it then that is what we must do
Dissenter : Hold on......we need to discuss the implications of this proposed amendment in a thorough and intelligent way 
B-J : If you must....
Dissenter : I believe this amendment change is potentially would give the committee carte blanche powers to do what it likes......
Voices from the floor : Yes...yes.....and why not
Dissenter : But these new powers would enable the committee to sling out any member..... on any pretext whatsoever........ without any right of appeal
B-J : Too right they will....because let's face it...... a club like this needs effective and focused leadership....not namby pampy, wet-behind-the-ears, wishy-washy, dilatory procrastinating wimps......a club needs a committee that is determined, resolute and decisive in every way
Voices from the floor :
B-J :  And since this club is overrun with Pantopods,  drastic measures are called for.....
Voices from the floor :
Dissenter : But this isn't right........there has to be constitutional checks and safeguards in place to stop the abuse of power  
B-J : We represent the voice of the majority......who I might add are all here tonight......why just listen to them....
Voices from the floor : We are with you Bigot ....all the way !
Dissenter : My God they're all brainwashed......
B-J : How dare you........these are fine, upstanding,  free thinking individuals
Brainwashed supporter (stands up ) : I'm totally behind the committee....200%
Dissenter : Well, rumour has it ....your life long friend and partner is next in line to be slung out
Brainwashed supporter : Oh ...but If that's what the committee intends to do then so be it
Dissenter : But you're on their hit list too, you moron
Brainwashed supporter :  Oh that's upsetting....but I must support the committee who are only acting in the best interests of the membership as a whole
Dissenter : Yes, but your fate includes a lynching....
Brainwashed supporter : Oh dearie me........but hey.......they know what's fair and just.....
B-J : I admire that man's loyalty....his blind faith....his blind obedience.....indeed, it seems a damn shame he still has to go
Voices from the floor : Long live the committee....
Dissenter : You're all stupid...
Voices from the floor : Three cheers for the committee......
Dissenter : I've heard enough....I'm off
B-J : Too right you are ....we've just terminated your membership here and now....
Dissenter : You can't .....this amendment hasn't even been voted on yet.....
B-J : Well...... within 2 minutes it will be part of a very new and exciting Constitution.....which of course enables us to make decisions .........all capable of having retrospective effect
Voices from the floor : Hurrah.....hurrah ......for Bigot's a jolly good fellow....for... 


Sunday, 5 February 2012


( This confession, susposedly written by this sad, broken,  near suicidal man,  was in fact loosely based on an excerpt taken from a Philip Larkin poem.....entitled " Ignorance " )

I sit down at the table
As always
" I can play this game " 

But it doesn't take long
A reality check
Sets in
Reminding me
Just how little
I know........
Never sure
Of what to do
Of what is true
Of what is right
Or real.........
Forcing me to qualify
My poor decisions
As "  That's what I felt "
" It seemed right at the time "
" I took a view "........
But at least I'm comforted
By the fact
I am not alone
For so many of us
Remain condemned
To live
In abject ignorance........
And as for those lucky bastards
Who do know
How to play this game
Well, I could count them
On the fingers
Of my right hand......
As it happens
Is holding
And pointing
A loaded gun
At the empty space
My bridge brain
Ought to be

Saturday, 4 February 2012

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO THIS GAME  ? ...... ( Article by Carp )

Not so long ago I came across a newspaper bridge article which reported an Irish international opening 4C on his one count, holding a 5-0-1-7 distribution. Now I've just come across another article about two top internationals playing weak two suited 2 level openers on 0-10 HCPs !! 

Quote :  " As is so often the case these days, especially at favourable vulnerability, West had a disruptive toy at his disposal. He opened two spades, which showed 5S and 4+ in a minor, 0-10 points. East's raise to three spades ended the auction and this drifted two down for minus 100. "

This bidding development has to be a bridge world gone made. Whatever happened to the rule of 18 ?..... or 16 ?.........or  20+ zars ? Why not scrap minimum requirements on all bids including the 1NT ?  Why not go the whole hog and have one level openings as follows : 1C = 0-6, 1D = 0-8, 1H/S = 0-11 showing a genuine 4+ card suit, and 1NT = 0-14 ? Why should bids at the two level enjoy the privilege of having diddly squat in HCPs ?
In my view the game is taking on all the dimensions of poker with its equivalent of blind bids, outrageous bluffs, and intimidating first round calls. I can only conclude that if such developments permeate their way down into humble arenas of local bridge clubs, then newcomers and novices alike will be heading straight for the exit doors.
As for the hand being reviewed in the article, this was it :
                             West :  J109xx ....xx.........x.........J10xxx
                             East  :  Axx.......A10xx....Q108x.....Qx


Thursday, 2 February 2012


( The following is short extract from
the disciplinary hearing's transcript )

Chairman : Ted....enough is enough....your persistent psyching has to stop.....
Ted : Excuse me ....but psychic bids are legitimate
Chairman : Only if you can prove there's no understanding between you and your partner
Ted : Well, having made one on the very first board my partner would automatically assume I wouldn't make anymore......that's how much of a simpleton he is
Chairman : might have a point there......but the fact remains you psyched 13 times in a recent competition securing 13 tops in the process
Ted : Yes.....but there are no rules limiting their frequency.... providing of course my numpty of a partner continues to believe in all my bids....  and let's face it psyching.....when no harm can come of it..... is wonderful......Why take the above hand ( board 24 ) partner opened 2S ( weak), pass and 2NT from me ! When the bid was queried by South my partner described the bid as a good opener, as stated on our system card. He then dutifully bid 3D showing a feature, and my 3S ended the auction.
Chairman : Well you certainly scuppered your opponents from finding their rigid vulnerable 3NT ...
Ted : Like shooting fish in a barrel.....even if we had been doubled careful play would have seen us making at least 6 tricks .... and minus 500 still gives us a cracking good top
Chairman : But these psyches are nothing than deliberate convention disruptions in circumstances where there is everything to gain and nothing to lose....
Ted : Yes...that is the beauty of the bid......and the beauty of this game
Chairman : You're incorrigible.....
Ted : I'm toxic
Chairman :'re worse than Bigot....
Ted : I know....

After reading his inspirational article on using film titles to make the names of bridge clubs far more exciting and appealing, several rather needy chairmen asked Bigot to suggest a few names, which might well raise the appeal rating of their men only unincorporated associations. All were desperately keen to adopt a new name that would really generate a great deal of interest and excitement, by simply projecting an image with a far greater wow factor. 
Well, it didn't take long for the great man to come up with this superb list of cracking suggestions for renaming ( and rebranding ) their gay bridge clubs :
- Pink Flamingoes ( this name came courtesy of David in Wales ) 
- Bell Ringers
- The Village People
- Candy Puffs
- Harbour Masters
- Marmite Drillers
- Uphill Gardeners
- Brown Hatters
- Kakpipe Cosmonauts
- Jacksie Rabbits
- Left Footers
- Backdoor Chums

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Historical records show that Lord Byron was indeed a member of the infamous Hellfire Bridge Club set up by Sir Francis Dashwood. Apparently his early death owed more to his painful experiences at the bridge table than anything else. Nevertheless he did find time to write this wonderful short poem, which is being published for the very first time here on Bigot-Johnson's amazing blog. Entitled  " A Loser's Tale " Lord Byron lists the bog standard reasons why success at the tables eluded him, as they have with thousands of other born losers......

If I hadn't doubled them into game
I wouldn't have felt such awful shame
Two hearts plus two gave us a painful score
Which saw my partner head for the door

If I hadn't been reckless by opening light
I wouldn't have turned a deathly white
For when a penalty double set us 800 adrift
My partner went apeshit, boy was he miffed

If I hadn't misplayed that lay down grand
By letting a trick through with winners in hand 
I'm sure my partner would have kept his cool
Instead of shrieking " You bloody great fool "

So if I had played
With open eyes
A bit of nous 
A bit of guile
A touch of flair
A brain in gear
We would have won.....
By a country mile !