Sunday, 30 September 2012

( Unbelievably, it was the turn of Bigot-Johnson of all people to be randomly selected to sit in judgement with two others to hear an appeal from his arch-enemy Percy Pantopod . The appellant was contesting a 6 month ban which was imposed upon him by the committee for numerous assaults on fellow club members. Bigot of course took it upon himself to be chairman. A transcript of the appeal hearing can be seen below. )
PP : I would like to have my learned friend and club colleague in attendance to help and assist me in presenting my case.......
B-J : Not a chance........tell him to sod're on your own. We don't want any jumped-up Garrick room lawyers messing up these proceedings with their legal gobbledygook, tedious complex arguments and all that nonsense. This panel is only concerned with the facts.....plain and simple. And I would like to remind you Percy....that I should be at home right now watching the Wimbledon Men's final !
PP : But....but... I've come here expecting fairness and justice.....
B-J : For pity's sake man....this isn't a bloody court's a rubber stamp please, can we start the process of going through the motions.....
PP : Well, first off I would like to re-iterate the fact that I never committed any wrongful acts in the first place....
B-J : Hold on it not true that you have this offensive habit of introducing yourself to new members by shaking their hands .....with both vigour and gusto ?
PP : Yes..but....
B-J : But what ?.... My knowledge of the law may be diddly-squat, but I am very aware that shaking of any one's body parts is technically an assault......not to mention trespass to their person. And is not also true that you have this unfortunate habit of patting the backs of competition winners in an overly enthusiastic way ?
PP : Yes...but...
B-J : But what... all these acts constitute unwarranted assaults on members, which this club has no time for whatsoever in this exciting new climate of zero tolerance
PP : Oh.....but what about the way the committee reached its decisions ?.... firstly to uphold a complaint about me ........made by one of its own members.....and secondly...... to immediately impose a 6 month ban ? What happened was clearly unfair. It was the manner in which the process was carried out that was flawed. Many of the rules of natural justice were contravened such was the apparent lack of objectivity, impartiality and good faith.
B-J : How dare you suggest such things. I'll have you know that this committee is made up of decent and dedicated club members, who...yes.... might have unwittingly displayed a certain bias against you.......based quite understandably upon a deep seated dislike for you.....given your appalling dress sense and sick personality. But they did everything by the book so to speak !
PP : I disagree.....the committee erred ...
B-J : What the blue blazes are you prattling on about ? Let me remind you that there is an unwritten law that states " The committee can do no wrong ". Might is right.
PP : But I have a witness here who will testify that partisan bias undermined the committee's proceedings which led to this 6 month ban
B-J : Listen....that bloody whistle-blowing friend of yours is not someone I would trust for a single second. He is a devious bastard....and if I am obliged to hear what he has to say.....I am certainly not obliged to listen and take on board any of his observations. These will all be dismissed in the same way as this pointless appeal of yours.
PP : Oh.....but what about the fact that I never had an initial hearing to present my case to the committee before the punishment was handed out ?
B-J : As I recall, the committee had given you an opportunity to appear before well as take part in a re-enactment of a particular nasty back-slapping incident.......on dates which you were unfortunately away on holiday in America. That's life......So yes, in my mind the committee followed to the letter all the steps regarding the disciplinary process as laid down by the club's constitutional rules and regulations. It doesn't matter a jot if decisions were made in no faith, bad faith or blind faith......Natural justice ? What the hell is that all about ?
PP : But I've got a rock solid legal opinion here in writing that supports my claim that some miscarriage of justice had taken place....
B-J : All this is causing me to get really pissed doubt I've already missed the first set of the men's final...and this panel isn't really interested in your legal opinions, views, arguments, analysis and contentions,......we are only here to look at the facts...which , according to our earlier admissions, are as follows. You violently shook the delicate hands of unsuspecting new club members plunging them into a state of fear and dread, as well as thumping your fists into the backs of others without warning, inflicting upon them deep bruising, pain and untold suffering. And you expect us to overturn the committee's decision to ban you ! Are you stark raving bonkers ?
PP : Well, as far as I'm concerned my balls are still up in the air and I may have to consider going to court...
B-J : Jesus Christ......thanks for reminding me.....I really do need to get back home for the I now declare this appeal hearing is at an end....and yes Percy, I'm glad to say you've lost.... just like Murray has done no doubt...... in his first set against Nadal......
PP : So...... is that it ? Have you nothing more to say to me ?
B-J : No.....except for two words........ " bugger off "

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dear Rebecca ,
Please find the
enclosed hand ,
where my idiot
partner propelled
me into 7NT : a
contract that was doomed to fail no matter what. Although the major suit honours were well place ( 5 tricks there at most ) , the distribution of the adverse minor suit holdings was such that only another 6 tricks could be harvested . I was livid but then some know-all in the bar claimed the grand slam was cold.
Was this smart-arse correct in his assessment ?
Yours feeling mighty peeved , Ann Greer

Dear Ann ,
I hate to tell you this , but on the layout of the cards the grand slam is a simple make . A near identical hand appeared in George Coffin's wonderful book " Endplays ", where all 13 tricks come rolling in by means of a Triple-Double Automatic Repeating Squeeze

On the fortuitous spade lead , declarer must allow it to run to his 7, and then proceed to finesse the queen of spades , immediately followed by the Ace ( 3 tricks so far ) . Next comes the Ace and Queen of clubs , followed by the Ace and Queen of diamonds ( 7 tricks in the bag ).
By now , West has come down to :   K.......KJ6.......J8....void 
                            with East holding :  void...9875...void....J10 
So when Declarer plays both his Kings doesn't matter in which order......both defenders are squeezed. West has to keep the king of spades and the winning diamond , therefore forced to bare the KJ of hearts. East in order to keep his winning club , must part with one of his four hearts .
Meanwhile , North retains all four of his hearts. At the end , declarer's play of his small heart , finessing West ,  easily harvests the last 4 tricks. Grand slam made.   

So yes ....the smart-arse in the bar was correct.....but isn't that always the case when he turns out to be the one and only Johnny Supremo .  

Yours still smirking at your misfortune , Rebecca Rood

Friday, 28 September 2012

( A very true
story by Bridge-
meister Gibson )

The other day I
was playing an
afternoon duplicate
down at the club ,
where the standard 
of ability varies greatly.
I was with a very solid player , when next up was a pair where experience was partnering ( I presumed ) a relative beginner. 
Sitting North, I opened a spade........a slight hesitation on my left ?  2S from partner and a long think from my RHO , who eventually passed. I bid 3S to effectively end the auction .  My LHO passed in tempo as did my partner , when a nervous West.....pondered again.....only to bid 4H !   
I decided to pass hoping partner may have enough hearts herself to stick the boot in. No luck 4S bid either.....just another pass.
On my lead of the king of clubs ,  I was gobsmacked to see dummy come down rich with points, controls and distributional features. Quickly cashing a second top club , I noticed my partner's doubleton in the suit. Given that declarer clearly has 6 hearts and 2 clubs , it is almost certain she has a stiff spade and 4 reasonable diamonds  ( to justify the 4 level overcall ) . This of course  leaves my partner with  a 4-1-6-2 shape but very little in the way of HCP's.
Defeatist thinking persuaded me to continue with a low club at trick three in the hope that partner's ruff with a stiff king would set up my stiff queen for a winner. No such luck. Partner ruffed low and declarer over-ruffed. Two top hearts then cleared all our declarer    3 quick trump tricks . With 2 top diamonds, one top spade and 4 trumps left to make separately , the contract was safely steered home.
So when I realised she had overcalled 4H vulnerable on a 9 HCP hand , 2-4-5-2 distribution with a losing trick count that was a complete embarrassment ,  I thought was she a genius ?....Was she insane but incredibly lucky ?....or was she so inexperienced that blissful ignorance  had triumphed over common sense ?   Was she a brave reckless sort of player ? Or did she read her partner's fleeting hesitation to deduce a dummy which would be of great assistance ?
I concluded that the relative beginner was a completely random bidder , but a competent declarer.....and left it at that. 
So my eyes..... this is what makes bridge such a fascinating but equally frustrating game ! 

Thursday, 27 September 2012


( Having volunteered to do a stand-by,  Bigot , to his great dismay , was forced to partner Priscilla Pantopod , the loathsome sister of Percy . Inept at bridge as she was at pulling men , Bigot soon lost his cool , bullying and haranguing her after each and every board. Eventually , concerned onlookers called over the TD , and Bigot was disciplined yet again for gross misconduct. At the hearing his big mouth then got him into even more trouble.......)

B-J : At this stage of the proceedings I would like to say that you ( pointing to the chairman ) remind me of a DICK -
C : How dare you....
B-J : - ENSIAN character from the novel David Copperfield
C : So please explain to this panel why you bullied poor Priscilla so mercilessly ?
B-J : As a bridge player she is bloody useless
C : Surely not...she's been playing bridge for well over 4O years
B-J : Take it from me.....the woman may have a huge ARSE -
C : My God...your vulgarity knows no bounds !
B-J : - ENAL of conventions listed on her system card , but she doesn't really understand any of them
C : Even if that is the case there was no need to crucify the woman in the way you did...
B- J : OK.....I have to admit that it was FUN -
C : May lightning strike you down......what sort of sadist are you ?
B-J : - DAMENTALLY wrong of me to go over the top..... but the woman 's stupidity would have tested the patience of Job himself 
C : I'm not standing for're behaviour was simply offensive , vicious , and cruel.....and there was no excuse for tell me what have you got to say now ?
B-J : I am GUILTY -
C : Of course you are...... you monster...
B-J : - OF ONLY giving way to my feelings. My spleen had to be vented . One cannot keep the lid on a pot boiling over with frustration , anger and despair. I am a victim of the human condition. 
C : I'm not listening to this clap-trap......our minds are already made up......we are going to inflict upon you severest punishments possible.... as permitted under our new disciplinary regulations 
B-J : Hold on there.....I may be QUEER -
C : That's an understatement ....
B- J : - YING the validity of these regulations..... given that the membership has yet to approve a required two-thirds majority vote..... at the forthcoming AGM 
C :  Not so...... for we as a committee don't bother with such constitutional niceties........what I say as chairman goes...
B-J : that case I must therefore stand up and acknowledge you as the top dog and grand MASTER-
C : Indeed , I am....
B-J : - BATER  of all time !
C : Steward....remove this foul mouthed individual from the premises.......and hang him from the nearest tree 
B-J : I haven't finished yet....
C : Well...we have....
B- J :  Bugger.....
( Or so says
Gibson ) 

It has always been my view that slow players ruin the game of bridge for others in so many ways. They cause their partners and opponents to experience exasperation , frustration and despair on a level that would overwhelm the tolerance and patience of a saint. Movements can fall behind schedule ,  with many pairs unable to play the full quota of boards on their round when paired against these visiting slowcoaches . Moreover , they are " cheats " in that they deny others at the table valuable time , which in theory has been allocated to them to decide , or ponder over , what bids or cards to play next. These times bandits can make time stand still ,,,,suspended in fact ......which brings me onto another wonderful poem ( with its illustration ) from Reginald Arkell's " Bridge Without Sighs ". 
Indeed , George Whitelaw's depiction of what happens at the table , when a slow player is still dithering over what card to play , is masterful..........a scene of unbearable suffering ,  which we have to live through week in week out at our local clubs.


There is a man at Clifton ,
Who is so wondrous slow ,
He sits and contemplates his hand 
For half an hour or so .
He sits and contemplates his hand
In agony and pain ;
And when he starts to play a card ,
He puts it back again .         

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

WHAT A FIND !..........( Book review by Bridgemeister Gibson )

 The other my local bridge club were off-loading a lot of old bridge books in a bargain basement sale. But there.... in a rather drab and grubby khaki-coloured cover I found a little gem .....worth every penny of the 50p I paid for it. The book was priceless....and now it is all mine.
" Bridge Without Sighs " by Reginald Arkell ( illustrations by George Whitelaw ) is packed with very amusing poems........and wickedly funny cartoons. Some of them are so good I feel duty bound it to pass some of them on..... via this an appreciative audience. So here is a peach of a poem I'm sure you will this very gifted author, whose astute observations of bridge players long since departed seem equally relevant today !  


Beware the know his name...
Who says that Bridge is " just a game " ;
Who , every time he plays a card ,
Must introduce it to his " pard " .
When he has got a certain Ace ,
He always calls it " Mossy-face " .
If he is dummy.....sitting out.....
He can't sit still : he prowls about .
He plays with an impressive frown ,
And bangs his winning Aces down :
He is so anxious to convey
The false impression that his play
Brought the desired result to pass .
Beware of him.....he is an ASS .


Tuesday, 25 September 2012


"Bigot, What is the secret of your bridge success?"
"Two words"
"And…. what might they be ? "
"Right decisions."
"And how do you make right decisions?"
"One word."
"And…. What is that?"
"And how do you get experience?"
"Two words"
" Please tell me, what are they?"
"Wrong decisions."

Sunday, 23 September 2012


" budding bridge players you have to recognise that bringing home difficult contracts relies upon high level logical reasoning and deduction , common sense .......and superior problem solving skills. All too often the obvious solution to a tricky hand is overlooked , if declarer gets side-tracked by gimmicky plays he has heard , or read about in books . Allow me to illustrate the point. " 

Straight away ,  he asked one of his students to consider the following problem.

" Imagine that I have filled up a bathtub for you to empty . I then point out that  a teaspoon, a teacup or a bucket are at your disposal to the job ."
"Oh, I understand," said the student. " The obvious solution  would be to use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."
"No…." , replied a rather distraught and despondent Bigot ,  "Any one who is ever likely to make it as a bridge player would pull the plug...........and that's what I'm doing on you.  Now sod off….......... and for pity's sake........ take up a numpty pastime that doesn’t involve you having to think ?"
( Bullet points by Pun )

- Top players compete over claim of being " the bee's knees " 
- Nervous newcomers sit down to play duplicate with butterflies in their stomachs
- Berated partners leave the premises with fleas in their ears
- Male members return from the toilets exposing their flies
- Feuding players choose to slug it out
- Committee members get heavily involved in a hive of illegal activities
- Whistle-blowers' complaints open up a can of worms
- Club secretary in self denial claiming " there are no flies on me "
- A paranoid Bigot-Johnson places surveillance bugs all over the premises
- Alleged financial malpractice stirs up a hornet's nest
- Nit picking members scurry around with bees in their bonnets
- Absence of natural justice louses up a disciplinary hearing big time
- Bigot unable to worm his way out of trouble concerning corruption charges
- Unbelievable number of reports come in about flies on the wall

Friday, 21 September 2012


( The only place on earth where it would be totally out of order to accuse someone of cheating  )

Player 1 : Excuse me Sir.......... and please don't take offence........but did you just peek at my cards ?
Player 2 : Not intentionally .....I inadvertently caught sight of a few
Player 1 : Oh dear.....perhaps I accidentally moved my hand across into your field of vision ?
Player 2 : I believe that to be the case....
Player 1 :  I'm so terribly sorry to have put you into this awkward predicament . ......Please accept my humble apologies.....and allow me to show you the rest of my hand as a gesture of good faith and gratitude
Player 2 : Why thank you're a gentleman and a scholar

( The following board ) 

Player 1 : Excuse me Sir...... but did I see your partner counting out the seconds before you doubled my partner's opening bid
Player 2 : Indeed you observant of you.....
Player 1 : But what is most that on every previous occasion he did this...... the number of high card points you came up with actually tallied with the number of seconds you took before making your double
Player 2 :  That's amazing......the odds of that happening must be a million to one 
Player 1 : Or even more.....and so what are the odds then of you coming up with a 13 point hand ?
Player 2 : My God........ that's exactly what I've got........that's incredible......absolutely unbelievable ......the odds must be astronomical
Player 1 : Indeed they must have a sequence of such amazing co-incidences like that beggars belief..... it has been a privilege to see this miracle unfold before my very eyes......I thank you for that....
Player 2 : You Sir are a gentleman and a scholar......

Thursday, 20 September 2012

( An amazing
story as told
to Bridge-
meister Gibson
several years 
ago )

A rather gifted young 
player found himself in 
a very awkward and 
uncomfortable slam.
In order to bring home 12 tricks, he needed to execute the infamous that'll-teach-you-to-double trump coup, which involved picking up 3 of East's four trumps without ever having to lead the suit.
East of course soon regretted his "easy" double when he saw partner's opening club lead. Clearly , West had assumed the double was one  which called for the lead of dummy's first bid suit .
From there on , the play was swift and decisive. Declarer made the most of his good fortune by looking to play clubs at every opportunity, pinning his faith on the fact that East probably held all four trumps.
The opening lead went to Jack, Queen and Ace. Back to dummy to dummy's King to lead another high club at trick 3. What could East do ? Ruff with the diamond Ace only to see South pitch away his losing spade ? No.....East was forced to ruff low to prevent the spade discard , but declarer happily over-ruffed. Using the heart Ace as an entry , another club was played , ruffed and over-ruffed. Now with two heart ruffs available , two more clubs could now be lead from dummy. On the sixth round of clubs , East had come down to the singleton Ace of diamonds , which meant that declarer was at last in a position to pitch his spade and claim , losing only one trick to the trump Ace. 
When I told Johnny about this hand , he was quick to point out that East was wrong to pin all the blame on West for allowing this slam to make. Why ?......... Well ,  East should have ducked the Jack of clubs at trick one , giving declarer a chance to go wrong if he allowed the jack to hold. Such a mistake would leave him one dummy entry short to execute this devastating and spectacular trump coup.   


A student at the   

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


The Slaughter House BC Is A Pit... ……….. Helen Hurth
My Partner’s Behaviour Is Really Anal…..….Ria Dawman
Hey Partner, Just Look At My Holding…..….Ivor Stonker
The Complete Bridge Professional ‘s Kit……Ann Kay Budle
Someone In The Club Is Telling Stories…….Dickie Byrd
When You’ve Let Your Team Down Badly….Ronan Hyde
Players Who Rise To The Occasion…  Percy John Thomas Dickman
Ladies Who Most Men Love To Partner…….Nicholas Gurles
If Partner Gets Nasty , Carry A Gun…………Justin Case
My Concern Over That Bottom Was Obvious.....Dan Gilbury


Sunday, 16 September 2012


Prosecutor (P) : Bigot-Johnson were you partnering Percy Pantopod on April 9th this year at the Walnut Tree Allotment Society BC ?
B-J : Unfortunately I was……
P : And did you ….after watching Percy go down in a straightforward 4H contract….threaten to sort him out after the competition was over ?
B-J : I can’t recall….
P : And was it you who sneaked upon him in a black balaclava hat , as poor Percy was about to get into his car………only to set about him with a knife ?
B-J : I can’t recall….
P : Well,  witnesses will later testify.......... that minutes earlier in the bar area...  you threatened to “ dismember a member “…..and that the subsequent attack on poor Percy happened to result in serious injuries to his manhood…..
B-J : I refute that last statement …..Percy’s never been anything but a wimp….
P : The injuries he received were horrific…..
B-J : You can’t prove that…..
P : Oh yes I can….because Percy is here in this room today to reveal the evidence
B-J : Well ............ I will be very surprised if that evidence stands up in court….  

Saturday, 15 September 2012

" Mirror, mirror on the wall , who's the greatest player of us all ? " 

Thursday, 13 September 2012


Delusions can be categorized as either bizarre or non-bizarre , as well as mood-congruent or mood-incongruant . A bizarre delusion is a delusion that is very strange and completely implausible given the player's obvious passion for bridge ; an example of a bizarre delusion would be that the game is responsibile for his appalling behaviour . A non-bizarre delusion is one whose content is definitely mistaken, but is at least possible; for instance,  an unpopular player mistakenly believes that he or she is under constant committee surveillance. A mood-congruent delusion is any delusion whose content is consistent with either a depressive or manic state; for example, a depressed bridge player will believe that life is not worth living . Similarly , when diagnosed as being in a manic state , he immediately starts adopting new partners, new bidding systems and loads more superstitions in order to bring about a change of fortune . A mood-incongruent delusion is any delusion whose content is not consistent with either a depressed or manic state or is mood-neutral. A classic case is when a depressed player believes that thoughts are being inserted into his or her mind from an outside force, an alter-ego , or perhaps the King of the potato people , and as a consequence these thoughts will never be acknowledged as his own ( labelled as "thought insertions ").
In addition to these categories, delusions are often categorized according to theme. Although delusions can have any theme, certain themes are more common. Some of the more common delusion themes are:
  • Delusion of control: This is a false belief that another person, group of people, or external force controls one's thoughts, feelings, impulses, or behavior. A player will describe, for instance, that someone or something possessed him to make a certain bid or play , and that he had no control over the bodily movements.  
  • Nihilistic delusion: A delusion whose theme centers on the nonexistence of self or parts of self, others, or the world. A person with this type of delusion may have the false belief that the world of bridge has been completely taken over by cheats and coffe-housers , which helps to explain why he or she can never win .
  • Delusional jealousy (or delusion of infidelity): A person with this delusion falsely believes that his partner  clearly prefers to play with someone else. This delusion stems from pathological jealousy and the person often gathers "evidence" and confronts the partner about others he or she has been seen playing with.
  • Delusion of guilt or sin (or delusion of self-accusation): This is a false feeling of remorse or guilt of delusional intensity. A player may, for example, believe that he or she has committed some horrible crime at the table and that severe punishment is warranted . Another example is when an unlucky declarer is convinced that he or she is responsible for handing the opponents a top , despite the fact they earned that result through superior play and technique .
  • Delusion of mind being read: The false belief that opponents can read one’s mind and know one's thoughts. This is completely different from the reality of opponents listening to the bidding , counting the cards , watching for signals and making logical inferences and deductions.   
  • Delusion of reference: The player falsely believes that insignificant remarks, comments, or post mortem advice have personal meaning or significance. For instance, a person may believe that he or she is being condemned as a “ lunatic ” , when in fact the comment was nothing more a tiny little question or point of concern . Often the meaning assigned to a constructive remark is one of malicious , confidence sapping, ridicule  .
  • Erotomania: A delusion in which one believes that another person, usually someone of higher status, has great admiration and respect of his or her bridge ability. It is common for individuals with this type of delusion to then try and arrange a game with this other person , oblivious to the fact that a “ can’t do this week ” reply actually means “ NEVER IN A MONTH OF SUNDAYS ”.
  • Grandiose delusion: An individual exaggerates his or her sense of self-importance and is convinced that he or she has special powers, talents, or abilities. Sometimes, the individual may actually believe that he or she is a famous bridge player and/or celebrity (for example, Bigot-Johnson once claimed that he had made it big in the world of bridge blogging ). More commonly, a player with this delusion believes he or she has accomplished some great achievement for which they have yet to receive long overdue recognition.
  • Persecutory delusions: These are the most common type of delusions and involve the theme of being got at, harassed, harangued, bullied, conspired against, spied on, attacked, or obstructed in the pursuit of success at the bridge tables. Sometimes the delusion is isolated and fragmented (such as the false belief that partners out to make one’s life a misery). A player with a set of persecutory delusions may be believe, for example, that he or she is being hounded by adversaries because in his deluded mind he is their chosen prey.  
  • Religious delusion: Any delusion with a religious or spiritual content. These may be combined with other delusions, such as grandiose delusions (the belief that the affected person was chosen by God, to either fail or succeed at cards) . Failure of course is God’s retribution for having committed sins as a disturbed child , by performing unholy acts of masterbation in the school toilet during breaks.  
  • Somatic delusion: A delusion whose content pertains to bodily functioning, bodily sensations, or physical appearance. Usually the false belief is that the body is somehow diseased, abnormal, or changed. An example of a somatic delusion would be a player who believes that his or her fidgeting at the table is simply down to an  irritable skin condition, when in fact he  nervously fretting over what bid or what card to play next ( such is his level of his inability and incompetence ) .  
Therefore , a sad truth has to be faced up to and acknowledged :  in the bizarre world of bridge there is isn’t a single player alive today who isn’t delusional in one way or another .

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Johnny Supremo met up with a crestfallen  Bigot-Johnson in the bar ,  after securing yet another fine tournament victory. Bigot was still bemoaning his fate of having gone off one in 7S on the above hand.
After winning the opening jack of diamonds lead with dummy's queen he foolishly played off two top spades , before embarking upon his plan to ruff 3 losing clubs. Using top hearts as entries Bigot then found himself unable to get back to dummy to draw West's last trump. Praying that AK would now stand up to pitch away dummy's losing heart , the roof caved in when West pounced with lightening speed and malevolent glee to ruff the trick. 
Johnny was quick to point out the error of his ways. " At trick 2 play the Ace of clubs and ruff the next ( noting of course the fall of East's queen ). Return to dummy with a spade and lead another club to ruff. West's best move is to pitch a diamond . Return to dummy with a heart and ruff the fourth club high. Now of course you still have a spade to get to dummy to draw West's remaining trumps. With one top heart and two top diamonds to cash ,  the grand slam is made in comfort . "   
" .....And I suppose a smart arse like you immediately found that line of play ?......" retorted a rather upset and embarrassed Bigot.
" Oh no " , said Johnny , " I found a much more elegant play. Having worked out that East held 6 clubs and a singleton in both majors , I only needed to ruff 2 clubs keeping my club jack as a menace card. So after 10 tricks I had made 1D, 2H, 1C , two club ruffs , and 4 spades.....but crucially I was still in dummy. East of course had been squeezed to death and in order to keep his club king he was forced to come down to 2 diamonds. So my last 3 winners were the AKx of diamonds.  "  
And on that note , a sour face Bigot-Johnson left the building ready and willing to lay his head on a nearby train track.....  

Monday, 10 September 2012

STAYMAN ?......WHY BOTHER ?...... USE GOMAN INSTEAD........( Article by bidding visionary Bigot-Johnson )

Why players persist with Stayman God only knows. It's both limiting and inferior compared to my " GOMAN " . For instance , when a Stayman devotee picks up Qx...x...Jxxxx.....Qxxxx and sees his partner bid a 12-14 1NT he has to pass, only to watch his partner struggle in the contract. Goman of course will ensure declarer plays in a much safer and healthier minor suit contract.
So this is how Goman works when partner opens the bidding with a weak ( or strong ) INT :

2C shows both minors : now the no trump bidder can pass ,  convert to 2D , or even bid 3C/D with a maximum and excellent 4 card support

2D shows either a single major suit or a major/minor two suiter : over 2D the no trump bidder must automatically bid 2H . This can be passed or converted to 2S. However if responder bids on to 2NT , then he is showing a 2 suited hand good enough to play at the 3 level. Now the opener must bid 3C if he wants the final contract to be in the minor suit  , or bid 3H if he prefers the final contract to be in the major ( where each bid can be converted onto the  suit above ) 

2H shows both majors : now the no trump bidder can pass , convert to 2S , or even bid 3H/3S with a maximum plus excellent 4 card support

2S shows a long 6 card minor in clubs : a reply of 2NT indicates the possession of a high honour in that suit , whereas 3C denies one

2NT shows a long 6 card minor in diamonds : a reply of 3C indicates the possession of a high honour in that suit , whereas 3D denies one

3C/3D shows 4 cards in that particular suit and a 6 card major : opener to bid 3H ( or even 4H with a maximum hand ) , either of which can be converted into spades if necessary.

3H/3S shows 6 cards in that suit with four in the other major 

Naturally , not all hand shapes can be covered by the above , but hell what system doesn't have its drawbacks ?

But let's see the system in operation ( uncontested auctions only ) where the INT bidder holds  3442 hand ) :

Responder with Qx...x....Jxxxx....Qxxxx  must  bid 2C : opener will convert to 2D , or even 3D ,  to reach the perfect contract

With  he must  bid  2D : over the automatic 2H reply an obvious pass ends the auction

With KJ10xx...Qx...x.....K1098x  again responder must  bid 2D :  and over the automatic 2H reply follow up with a 2NT bid . Opener will bid 3H preferring to play in the major , which in this case will be converted to 3S 

With AJxxxx...KJxx.....xx....x  he must  bid a direct 3S. Opener with two spades, four hearts and maximum points might well bid game in 4H

Even in contested auctions there is scope for the system to work well . Over the opponents 2C overcall of your partner's 1NT , a double would say that was my bid showing as always both minors. Even over a double of 1NT,  2C again shows both minors. 
Could bidding be any simpler ?


Sunday, 9 September 2012


I remember playing with curvy Mabel
The pace was fast and furious
I slid beneath the table
Not drunk but merely curious
" Christ no knickers "  Was I taken back
Such was my great surprise
Only to receive one helluva whack
Which brought tears to my eyes
The pain the pain I was in such pain
This crack was beyond a joke
Confusion reigned inside my brain
When the oppo screamed " Revoke "
In a flash the TD came
To award them a decent score
" What .." I said  " Have you no shame
My partner's just broken my jaw ! "
Mabel fumed having flipped her cool
" Bigot... you're a sad pathetic loser 
I'd rather play with a total fool
Than a pervert who lives in a boozer "
And on that note off she went
Out into the cold dark night
Later to partner a vicar from Kent
Who sat very still ...and upright

Friday, 7 September 2012

( In celebration of the 2012 London Olympics , the Slaughter House Bridge Club staged its very own " Flying Bridgemate "  field events . Blessed with an abundance of home grown talent , the club nevertheless sent out invitations worldwide to get other players , renown for their remarkable and notorious " hurling " skills, to enter the competitions. The awards handed out were as follows .....)

Biggest Miss Award went to Kevin Karbunkle ( Ireland) , who on spinning around attempted to hurl the bridgemate with extreme force at his intended target ,  only to see the missile head off in the completely opposite direction
Miracle Hit Award went to Wanda Fillet (USA) , who waited till her target left the building , only to fire the missile from an upstairs window directly onto the back of his head , while he was bending down to get into his car.  The vehicle was positioned in an unlit area of the club's car park over 60 yards away.
Long Distance Award was won by Percy Thrower (Wales) , who hurled the bridgemate with such venom it smashed through a window , only to crash land 200 yards down the street at the foot of a kerbside telephone kiosk
High Impact Award was picked up by Dan Germain ( USA)  who , after having propelled the small but weighty scoring device at close range at his selected target , saw the man collapse to the floor with a completely shattered collar bone. Later charged by the police with attempted murder, he managed to escape a custodial sentence by claiming that he had no intention to injure anyone . " The damn thing just simply slipped out of my hand before I knew it .  "  
Artistic Impression Award went to Grace Ann Bewty ( Australia) , who was able to launch a bridgemate at quite considerable speed with just a gentle but extremely stylish flick of the wrist ,   catching out her victims completely unaware
Highest Score Award went to the Bigot-Johnson ( England ) who scored 192 short range hits out of 200 , with a very impressive strike rate of 96% . The man put down this remarkable achievement to the expert coaching provided by the infamous Neil Peck.
Golden Hand Award was won however by Ivor Armstrong ( USA ) , who in the middle distance category achieved a winning 75% strike rate hitting 15 of his 20 seated targets . 
Multiple Hit Award was picked up by the rather fortunate Rick O'Shay ( Ireland ), who on flinging his bridgemate in a pique of anger saw the missile stray into a crowd of spectators. The  missile then glanced off several heads in rapid succession , causing four fully grown adults to collapse to the floor  , and causing another to suffer from a broken nose.
Air Speed Award went to Buster Gutt (USA) , whose aerodynamically designed bridgemate achieved a world record of over 146 mph with no wind assistance. Three weeks later he repeated the same feat at a charity event , which set out to raise funds for victims seriously injured or maimed by these deadly missiles.
Pinpoint Accuracy Award was won by Wazi Spoton ( Nigeria ) who in the close range moving targets category would nominate the part of the body he intended to hit and then proceed to do so. Indeed , during his performance  an irritating fly got him so upset , that when it came to rest on a wall he took careful aim with his bridgemate. It goes without saying that he  achieved a crushing success , and the congratulations of all those looking on. 
Big Arc Award was handed out to Dudley Shott ( Canada ) , who successfully managed to propel his flying device well over the heads of those standing in a group nearby , only to score a direct hit on a distant target as the missile begin its sharp downwards descent. 
Synchronised Team Award  went of course to the Slaughter House Slingshots ( England ) who on several occasions picked on a moving target , launching their bridgemates at precisely the right time to ensure that a simultaneous strike took place. 
Collateral Damage Award was won by Lucy Ann Wilde ( South Africa ), who despite missing her targets still managed to clock up countless injuries to innocent bystanders, not to mention dozens of broken windows and huge chunks of plaster gouged from the walls. In a brief but frenzied 5 minute appearance damage to property reached an astounding £6,740.                   

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

(  In a landmark case Bigot-Johnson became the first bridge player in history to be charged with psychological grievous bodily harm ,  having for countless years subjected his regular partner  to a relentless barrage of verbal harassment , haranguing , condemnation and degrading insults. Bigot steadfastly denied the charge , electing to defend himself in court  despite the advice of the judge. A short extract from the trial's transcript appears below. )

Prosecutor (P ) : Do you admit to having made your partner's life sheer hell....
B-J : That may be your jaundiced interpretation of the facts.....
P : Is not true that you constantly put your partner through unbearable mental torture ?
B-J : Some observers might have perceived my behaviour as a bit unusual
P : Unusual ? .....It was vindictive , cruel and sadistic
B-J :  But my partner enjoys being treated this way......he loves to be punished.......the more I beat him up the more he's wonderful
P : So what you are alleging then is that you have a sado-masochistic relationship with your partner ?
B-J : Exactly....and what's best is that he willingly consents to being tortured and abused each and every time we sat down to play bridge. He is a glutton for punishment.......he can't get enough of it. Why...I genuinely believe he sets out to play like a buffoon just to get more savage treatment .......
P : Nevertheless extreme form of grievous psychological harm has been inflicted on this poor wretched man
B-J : Ah....but you can't do me on this charge because he consented exactly the same way as boxers do when they step into a ring to beat the living daylights out of each other
P : Yes.....consent can be a defence to physical injuries picked up in a sporting contest. However,  one crucial difference is that the a boxer is up against an opponent .....not someone you is meant to be on your side......indeed , an opponent can give as good as he gets. Moreover ,  boxers have to abide by a set of play fair rules with a referee watching over them at all times to see that they do......
B-J : But surely consent a well established defence to any charge of assault ?
Judge : Not when the unlawful act involves a degree of psychological violence such that the infliction of damage to the victim's ego , self worth , self esteem and self confidence is both unavoidable and irreparable.  You , Bigot , have committed wicked sadistic acts upon a sad feeble minded individual, which inflicted psychological injuries neither transient nor trifling , despite the fact that these sickening acts were committed in a private club with apparent consent from both the victim and the club's administrators.
B-J : God man...if you deny any player the right to regularly lambast his'll be taking all the fun out of the game of bridge . The whole concept of a perfect partnership is based upon a sado-masochistic relationship. The regular pairings at the Slaughter House Bridge Club is full of these made-in-heaven partnerships...
Judge :  That may be the case but there is no evidence to support the assertion that sado-masochistic activities are essential to the happiness of bridge participants. Such activities are a violation of their civil rights. These practices amount to extreme bullying , which are both unpredictably dangerous and degrading to those at the receiving end. You have clearly increased the degree of barbarity over the years , and have conditioned your partner into the role of a slavish gimp ,  whose consent was both dubious and worthless. Therefore, on grounds of public policy alone , consent cannot be allowed as a defence in circumstances such as these. Bridge club members , with masochistic tendencies , must be protected against a cult of violence that clearly pervades clubs such as your own. The sick  warped behaviour of your sadistic members must be stopped if  the danger of the proselytisation and corruption  of others is to be removed. In other words Bigot you are going down for quite some time....
B-J : Bugger....             

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY REVISITED ........                         ( Much appreciated contributions from an obsessed flying bridgemate fan )

1430  : the anticipated launch time of a flying bridgemate during an afternoon's duplicate
Splinter : fragmentation from a scoring device exploding on impact
Blitz : sustained mass attack using heavily weighted airborne weaponry
Defence : systematic plan for dealing with a fast  low flying bridgemates 
Rubber : the recommended incontinence underwear for intended targets prone to soiling their trousers
Director : the perpetrator of an airborne assault craft 
Stationary : not a recommended strategy for avoiding a fast approaching bridgemate
Sacrifice : someone you ask to stand in front of you when a scoring device comes heading your way at full velocity
Guard : a safety helmet many bridge players choose to wear in areas classified as war zones

Tank : an offensive and successful weapon of war that lacks the aerodynamic quality of a bridgemate

Monday, 3 September 2012




Kibitzers reveal their true emotions as they watch Bigot-Johnson go down in yet another easy contract....... 

Sunday, 2 September 2012


( Witness  here how Bigot-Johnson and his partner master the art of effective communication. After two hours of unrelenting criticism of his inept and woeful play , Bigot's partner decides to stand up against his merciless tormentor . ) 

B-J  : Partner ....yet another cold contract you've just gone and binned.....what the hell is wrong with your game ?
Partner ( P ) : One more peep out of you and I'll give you what for !
B-J : What for ?
P : Yes....a what for you've never seen the likes of.....
B- J : But what's the what for for ?
P : What...I'll tell you what the what for is's to teach you what's what.....that's what
B-J : But what on God's earth is what's what ?
P : Right....that's're for it now.....and boy am I gonna let you have it .......
B-J : Have what ?
P : Have what ....a right good what for of course......that''s what....Do you really want me to give you something to think about ? 
B-J : I don't know.... I'll have to think about it
( At this point his partner rose up from his seat , leaned over the table and clipped Bigot's delicate right ear very sharply indeed )
P : Any wiser now ?
B-J : bugger.....for the first time tonight you've made yourself abundantly clear 

Saturday, 1 September 2012


Duck : An evasive action adopted by those seeking to avoid a flying bridgemate 
Pass out : the neurological consequence of being struck on the head by a fast moving object you were meant to duck
Direction : the flight path taken by a flying bridgemate as it whistles unerringly towards its intended target 
Dummy : Often used as target practice by flying bridgemate pilots , before they become skilled enough to apply their trade  in a duplicate event 
High low : the curved trajectory of this mobile scoring device when the force gravity finally overcomes the muscular propulsion which initially generated its upward thrust 
Bad break : a term used to describe the impact on a skull whenever a heavy sharp object scores a direct hit ( see also split , cut , uppercut )
Good hand : the basic requirement of a pilot seeking to pass with flying colours his aeronautical bridgemate exam 
Ace : the name given to the most talented and gifted pilot 
Control : what a good pilot needs if seeking to combine power with directional accuracy
Count :  a boxing term which has only been added to bridge glossaries in recent years : whenever a player passes out after being struck by a small airborne scoring device , it is now commonplace to hear someone cry out " the silly bugger's out for the count "