Sunday, 28 April 2013


Dear Rebecca,

Would you agree that my partner has kangaroos in his top paddock ?  Someone who clearly belongs in the nut house with all the other lunatics,  who are completely deluded by the idea that they too can play bridge.
Why just the other day he went off in a cold 6NT..........protesting about a wicked 5 -1 split in hearts.
Dummy came down with  :  A........AKQxx....KJ9xx......9x

While Mr. Fruitcake held : KQ9xx......Jx.....10x.........AKxx

( As it happened,  his LHO had  J10x......xxxxx........Qx....QJ10 )

So what did ding-a-ling do on the queen of clubs lead ? Well, I will tell you !  He tackled hearts first only to discover the 5-1 break. Nevertheless, he proceeded to rattle off the top 4 heart winners. Next came the Ace of spades and back to hand with a top club.  After cashing the KQ of spades,  he did at least receive some good news, with five winners being harvested in that suit. 
However on leading a diamond at trick 12, East joyfully pounced with the Ace to cash the winning 8 of clubs.

Yours in abject despair,

 Dear Aristotle,

Yes, I do agree with you.....the guy must have water on his brain.....and that experience for you must have been very painful indeed..  At trick two, anyone with a grain of common sense would have approached spades first.
With the jack coming down in three, his LHO will be well and truly under the cosh. He can't discard hearts, so he must let go of both diamonds, or J10 of clubs....or a hesitant card in each in each of the minors.
So with declarer getting back to hand with the jack of hearts at trick 3, the following three scenarios exist after running off the 4 remaining spade tricks :
1. If LHO opponent chooses to lob away Qx of diamonds, a diamond winner can be easily established for the 12th trick, by playing a diamond to the KJ in dummy   
2. If the J10 of clubs are discarded instead, a low club can be played to dummy's 9, followed by three top hearts, and now it is the turn of the RHO to feel the pinch. He is forced to keep Ax of diamonds by pitching his losing club. LHO must keep his master heart along with the queen of diamonds. And so the smothering play of the King of diamonds at trick 12 wins the day.
3. If LHO discards one in each suit, then the finesse of the diamond queen has to be taken on.  

Hoping you've fully recovered now from your terrible ordeal,
                                                                           Best regards Rebecca 



Friday, 26 April 2013

BRIDGE BOOKS WRITTEN BY CRAZIES.......( As certified by Pun )

  • What 13 spades !  I Must Be Seeing Things....................L. S. Dee
  • I'm Gonna Kill All These Evil Bastard TDs........................Mo M. Downe
  • Well, I'm Also Out For Doing Them In........... .................Ann Mia Hatchet 
  • First, Suck The Oppo In, Then Sting Them Hard..............Honey Trapp
  • I've Been Getting Away With Murder At This Game.........Wilma Lucklast
  • We Thumped The Favourites Good And Proper...............Sasha Goodwin
  • How come You Were Made To Play With That Idiot ?.......Drew A. Shortstraw
  • That Chairman Is Determined To Kick Me Out..................L. Bent
  • One Of Our Team Members Needs Sectioning !..............Ivor Madden
  • The Committee Really Went For Me At That AGM...........Gladys Ovaman 
  • Well, I Got Banned For Burping At A TD............................Ariel Belcher
  • Not Only Did He Threaten To Do His Partner In  ..............Egan N. Dunnett

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Carp's Corner


Far too many committees
are strictly run and controlled
by ruthless, domineering, no-
nonsense, " cross-me-at-your
peril-matey " chairmen. These
despots will never allow 
rebels in their midst to thwart 
or scupper their plans. Their
private agendas become the
committee's agendas, and all
lesser mortals in attendance
are bound by a duty of blind

These small-time Hitlers will                        " If anyone wishes to vote against my proposals
use a variety of strategies, and                     free feel to do so ....."
uncompromising tactics, to get              
their own way on all important
voting issues ( see opposite ).                                                                     

However, in extreme cases,
dissenting committee members
will be given Hobson's Choice.                  
" Do as I say and succumb to"
the dark force " or  " Pay the
ultimate price for refusal ".                          " Chairman Mao Bigot-Johnson has kindly
The latter option, of course,                           sorted out all your neck sizes......."
involves the chairman instructing
the secretary to hand out three-
legged stools and hangman's 
nooses to all those, who would
rather sacrifice their lives than             
their precious souls.  


Wednesday, 24 April 2013


In most committees, one or
two members are compelled
to break ranks, and disagree
with the majority. Sometimes
their firmly held principles of
fairness and justice fly in the
face of group decisions, born
out of ignorance, prejudice
and bias. And when such
dissenters are vilified and set  
upon, they often resign in protest.
Some resignations involve                                       ".... Just for the minutes......did anyone
a great deal of soul-searching                                 manage to catch the treasurer's parting 
before a letter, full of regret, is                                 words, as to where we should shove
reluctantly sent in. Other more                                our ideas on borrowing more money.... "
dramatic resignations are the                                 
abrupt, on-the-spot , " I've had it
up to here with you lot " departures,
usually involving door slamming,
paper scattering, plus the usual
barrage of unsavoury, profane,
but carefully chosen expletives.  


Sometimes committee meetings
spend a disproportionate amount
of time dealing with, and trying to
resolve, the countless letters of
complaint from nasty, mean
spirited, petty minded, members.
These nitpicking, born-to-rant
troublemakers are obsessed with 
personal agendas and vendettas.
Not surprisingly,  a flood of counter-
complaints will follow, confusing
the issues even more. Discussions
become so lengthy and bogged
down that anyone present at these
meetings inevitably experiences
the acute symptoms of sleep
deprivation, paralysis, and self-
induced comas. Ultimately, the 
last person standing brings the
proceedings to a halt, phoning
relatives and para-medics to 
remove lifeless bodies from the 


The most distressing
fact about committees
is their unshakable 
belief that they know
what's best for the
ordinary members This
of course requires the 
careful  " doctoring "
of information so as to
satisfy their annoying
curiosity, and to dispel
any of their growing
worries and concerns.
Committees therefore 
are often skilled in the  
dark art of putting   
a positive spin on 
depressing and disturbing
information..... or going  
the extra mile by the ruthless suppression of all bad news.
This Godsent prerogative
on being able to decide 
what members need to
know, enables many skeletons                " Christ almighty....our recent decline in                  
to stay hidden away in the                          membership is shocking, but we can't
closet for quite some time.                         afford to alarm the members....therefore 
                                                                I vote for putting this graph on the notice
                                                                board.......upside down ! "

Monday, 22 April 2013

MORE ON COMMITTEES........( Article No.2 )

Lycanthropic manifestion : Bizarre 
at it may seem, but the human response 
to having, or exercising, political power  
is to turn a committee meeting into an 
" animal house ". Indeed, the harsh reality
of committee proceedings is that those in
attendance cannot stop their true lycanthropic  
selves from surfacing . Everyone around the 
table will turn into the animal or beast that  
lurks deep within his/her psyche. A few will
manifest themselves themselves into                                          " How dare you suggest I'm
snarling wolves, while others will simply                                         trying to pull the wool over
adopt the animal personae of bleating                                           your eyes ! "
and obliging sheep.                                                                                                                                   
Not surprisingly, proceedings are always
dominated by political mind games, as the
competing wolves  set about cajoling and                                 " Listen up you muttonhead...I
manipulating these feeble-minded sheep to                                need to ram this point home "
fall in line.


THE LIGHTER SIDE OF BRIDGE CLUB COMMITTEE MEETINGS...( A series of revealing observations by Carp ) 

No one should ever knock committees. Those elected to run the club do so by sacrificing a great deal of effort and valuable time.....usually for the benefit of the membership as a whole. Whatever members might think of committees, they must try to remember that they are made up of volunteers , with very few possessing the knowledge, experience and expertise to fulfil all the legal requirements involved in the executive process. To criticise any committee, or its officers, seems to me both negative and unfair. Indeed, the trials and tribulations of being a committee member should always be looked at with a sympathetic mind and point of view.

Boredom :  many will claim that
the hardest part of serving on a
committee is trying to stay awake.
All too often, the bulk of agenda
items are petty,procedural and
tedious. Minutes of the previous
meeting have to be agreed upon
and approved. Reports need to
be read out, followed of course
by irrelevant, inane questions, and
pointless discussions.
All incoming letters have to be
circulated and scrutinised.
Inevitably, crippling and overwhelming
boredom sets in......consigning more
serious matters to the backburner, or to 
the waste paper bin.

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Club committee members who get involved in disciplinary hearings are on a hiding to nothing. They have to be seen as unbiased but that unfortunately is easier said than done. How can a committee member of a small club be detached, independent, objective, impartial and of " an open mind ", when he or she knows the person who is next up on a disciplinary charge......and has an established opinion of that person already. This liking or disliking will inevitably prejudice (a) the way the facts of the case might be interpreted, and (b) the direction in which the decision making is likely to go.

If, for instance, the accused has a bad disciplinary record already, or is regarded by many as being an unpopular and undesirable club member, then the likelihood of pre-existing negative opinions and natural prejudgements can not be ruled out. " Give a dog a bad name " is an idiom which immediately comes to mind.

Sometimes the bias reappears in the mind on impulse, such as seeing or hearing of an incident that confirms one's negative opinions of that person. The evidence introduced at the hearing may be very selective,  and presented in such a way as to promote only one interpretation....and outcome. Committee members may be subconsciously compelled to reach a decision which simply confirms the original opinion they had of the accused. Indeed, the bias can be expanded when committee members are told or reminded that the latest incident is similar to so many earlier ones,  on which their original opinions were formed.

All too often raw emotions fuel the prejudice, such as anger, annoyance and contempt ( wanting the alleged offender to disappear for good ) , or hatred and loathing ( wanting to inflict revenge and retribution ). If however committee members can prove themselves to be completely indifferent, then there is a good chance they can achieve the required standards of impartiality and objectiveness. It has to be noted that in law, it only requires one influential member on a committee to invalidate the decision-making process at the hearing, and therefore the decision that was ultimately reached. One extremely biased member is of course in no position to take part in a hearing and deliberate on the issue with total detachment. Because where there is established evidence of personal animosity towards the accused, there is an unavoidable direct interest in the matter being discussed by the committee,  and therefore a real likelihood of bias existing on his/her part. Whenever someone takes a strong stand against the accused during the process, then it is highly probable that he/she will have persuaded some of the others at the meeting to follow suit,  in both the interpretation of the facts and the recommended outcome.

Sadly, no self-respecting committee member is ever going to come right out and say " I'm very sorry but I'm biased against this person. and therefore in the interests of fairness and justice I had better stand down ". If the committee as a whole has reservations about being able to remain detached, impartial, and to approach the hearing " with an open mind ", then it would have been prudent to let an outside, independent body undertake the process.

So on a final note,  I would like to leave you with the following observations as to how one might recognise the presence of bias at a disciplinary hearing :

-  sudden changes to existing custom and practice
-  choice of words and language used *
-  tone of the language
-  level and extent of emotions expressed ( both verbal and non-verbal ) 
-  the carefully selected facts, on which decisions were made
-  the interpretation and framing of the facts to procure a certain outcome
-  biased selection of the accused's past history
-  members arriving at the meeting with decisions already made up in their minds
-  stifling of debate on any contentious facts or issues
-  suppressing minority and dissenting point of views 
-  the haste at which a decision was reached 
-  the disproportionate nature of the punishment in relation to the alleged offence
-  the absence of the accused,  to challenge the evidence and/or to plead a defence
-  the refusal to acknowledge the possibility of having made procedural errors or flaws      

The above observations clearly suggest there is no such thing as unbiased committee because the nature of The Human Condition forbids such a possibility. And one frightening characteristic of that human condition is the corrupting self-delusion that " although I strongly dislike this person and have been active campaigner to have him kicked out of the club, I can surely review his/her case in a completely unbiased way ". And no doubt in their self-delusion ( and eyes ).....that pigs can fly.    

( Footnote : *  There's a marked difference between " We may need to consider the option of expulsion "   to  " Sling the bastard out ! " )  


Tuesday, 16 April 2013



Club member (CM) : Well, I never.....if it isn't Bigot-Jonson.....pray tell God's name what on earth brings you to travel by bus today ? 
B-J : Yes.... it's come as a shock to see you travelling by public transport......but as I have very important legal business to attend to in can piss off
CM : Oh dear...... so please excuse me for pointing this out........... but I recognise that animal that has just followed you onto this bus
B-J : What animal ?
CM : ......The elephant of course.... the one that has been holed up in your committee room for ages
B-J : You sir are grossly mistaken.....and as far as I can recall there has never been an elephant present at our committee meetings.....moreover I can tell you.... with absolute certainty and conviction....... there's no friggin' elephant present on board this......unusually lop-sided bus

Monday, 15 April 2013


If ever a man could pull of an impossible slam then it is Johnny Supremo. The other day I watched this wizard weave his magic, after he launched himself into a risky 6H in order to secure a trophy winning top. The bidding went 2C-2D-2H-4H-6H
The maestro's monster hand was.....  Axx.....AK109xx.....void.....AQJ10,  but dummy's motley collection was a very disappointing..... Jxxx.......Qxx......Jxxxx........x
The defence got off to a cracking good lead of a small heart ( from 3), which Johnny correctly won in dummy, RHO opponent playing the J. However, this restricted dummy hand to making only two ruffs. Johnny soon realised the chances of making this contract depending on 4 things:
(i) the clubs breaking 4-4
(ii) the spades breaking 3-3
(iii) the club king being off-side 
(iv) RHO having both the KQ of spades.
So a plan was hatched. At trick 2,  a club to the Ace.  Queen of clubs, covered and ruffed in dummy. Back to hand with a diamond ruff. Jack and 10 of clubs allowing  two small spades to be pitched from dummy. Now came a low spade to the jack taken by RHO's queen. The diamond return was ruffed. Next the ace of spades, with Johnny's third spade being ruffed in dummy. Now came a third diamond ruff to enable declarer to get back in to pull his LHO's remaining two trumps to secure the contract.
So yes, miracles can happen if the cards lay right.....but every now and again in bridge, a miracle is what you have to plan for if asked to take on a mission impossible .


Saturday, 13 April 2013

THE WONDERS OF HESITATION.......... ( Article by Carp )

Hesitation is the deadliest weapon a bridge player can use from his armoury when seeking to befuddle or rattle the enemy. Some hesitations are of course flagrantly unethical ploys which are clear-cut attempts to convey unauthorised information which helps to give partner a vital but accurate feature about one's hand . Other nasty and naughty hesitations are designed to convey misinformation in a way which are similar to psyches : persuading opponents to believe that one may be possessing an honour, or a long suit, when the opposite is true. But the best of all are those purely designed to wind up the opponents in a bold, calculated attempt to impair their focus and concentration. 
When defending an unbeatable contract you must go into the tank for a considerable length of time when  it is your lead, even when there is nothing to think about. No declarer will be lured into thinking you are holding key values, which you are reluctant to lead away from, since they are all in his possession. The purpose, therefore,  of dwelling on some sort of non-existent problem in the play is simply to get the declarer to take his eyes off the ball. Firstly, this might be achieved if the interminable delay lulls declarer to sleep, or at least into a state of cerebral  lethargy, as he awaits your next move. Secondly, but far more likely, these pointless hesitations will get declarer get so worked up, infuriated, and rattled, the loss of his composure and focus become the inevitable consequence. 
Yet, what is so wonderful about these non-specific hesitations is that the only crime that can be alleged against you is one of " slow play ", which of course is very difficult to prosecute. Moreover, they can be used to great effect when up against expert declarers,  if the aggregate delays incurred result in the last board has being scrubbed for just an average minus. Hells bells  isn't that so much better than getting a complete bottom, which was previously destined to come your way ?
So whether you are declarer or defender, these meaningless and non-significant hesitations can work in your favour, without running the risk of being declared a cheat. Excuses like " I needed time to decide which ( useless ) card to play ", or " I was still thinking about the previous hand " simply classifies your behaviour as annoying , not wrongful. And on a final note,  you must always remember that when playing at clubs commonly known as approved centres for cheating, you  will need have a few dodgy tricks up your own sleeve, if only go into battle with on an equal footing.       

Thursday, 11 April 2013


This manoeuvre should only be attempted by players who are out to make a real name for themselves. Desperate for any sort of acclaim, recognition, and publicity regarding their talent for creativity and invention, this coup is all about making a bid or play that is guaranteed to be unique : something that no other player would do,  or could possible dream of doing
Whether the result is good or bad is immaterial. The objective of course is secure a top from absurd, bizarre, illogical and erroneous thinking, which is guaranteed to come up with an action that even a semi-decent bridge player would have never considered. And if by fluke the objective is achieved, the hand may well be cited as one where divine inspiration triumphed over disciplined logic, statistical deduction and sound analysis.
However, in the event that the action proves to be an unmitigated disaster, one can always fall back on quoting classic idioms like " one has to speculate to accumulate " or " fortune only favours the brave" . Alternatively, one might choose to wax lyrical about the excitement and benefit of creating big swing boards, because flat boards achieve sod all, being the scores that only wimps and losers happily cherish.                                                                                                                                            

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


( thank God )

Tuesday, 9 April 2013


Monday, 8 April 2013


Saturday, 6 April 2013




Friday, 5 April 2013

BRIDGE BOOKS THAT NEVER REALLY MADE IT..... ( by a not surprised Pun )

My Days Of Sponsoring Are Over..........................................Lackov Kash 
The Day I Decide To Kill My Partner......................................Ann Mia Gunn
Who Said Bridge Players Are Slimy and Poisonous ?...........Cain Todes
Gay Bridge Player Makes A Shocking Confession.................Alec Littlebuoys
What Horsey Players Often Do In Their Spare Time................Roger N. Moules
The Best Way To Greet Your Opponents   ............................Ed Butting
I Just Keep On Making The Same Bloody Mistakes................Stella Pratt
Be Really Bold And Bid Games Blind....................................Ava Punt
I Always Play Bridge In My White Tuxedo..............................Austin Taychus
If Results Keep Getting You Down, Just Grin.........................Ann Barrett



Wednesday, 3 April 2013


( Large numbers of police burst into the Slaughter House Bridge Club, midway through a duplicate, to arrest Bigot-Johnson. Pointed out to them by Percy Pantopod, poor Bigot was seized before he could make his escape. The charges laid against him related to keeping members in the dark, and the reckless and needless waste of the club's precious cash funds. Moreover, anyone who dared to question the misuse of the members' money was dealt with in the most brutal and unsavoury way.   Outside the packed courtroom an angry,  volatile crowd was gathering.  Once described as upstanding, deceit, law abiding club members,  this baying mob were clearly hell bent on seeing Bigot get his comeuppance.  Nevertheless, the man in the dock decided  yet again,  with the aid of club funds,  to defend himself. A short extract from the trial's transcript can be seen below.)

Judge : Call the next witness, Percy Pantopod, to the stand
Prosecutor (Pros) : Do you Percy know the accused ?
PP : Yes I do.....he's the devil incarnate.......the antichrist
Pros : Were you there when he was arrested ?
PP : Yes....I was the one who pointed him out to the police
Pros : How did you do that ?
PP : With a kiss
B-J :  You Judas !
Pros : Is that the man over there.... sporting that hideous moustache... and wearing that insane mariner's hat.....Bigot-Johnson ?
PP : Yes it is
Pros : So what happened to his disciples.....his chosen flock....I mean his inner circle of cronies and hired thugs ?
PP : They legged it
B-J : Whatever happened to the commandment of loving one's enemies ?
PP : It doesn't the likes of you
Pros : And did Bigot-Johnson really keep all the club members in the dark and squander thousands of pounds of the club funds ?
PP : Oh yes.....the man is extremely devious......always getting the club into trouble with the law ....and then having the nerve to spend club funds on paying his legal expenses for taking on the job of counsel for the defence. The man has made himself very rich with all this litigation work.
B-J : But I was attempting to save on legal costs. Real lawyers would charge twice as much
PP:  And I would also like to add that he has demonised the game of bridge to such an extent that cheating, physical violence, and all out slanging matches are commonplace activities at our club.  In fact, he is personally responsible for plunging the club into a world of darkness, sin and eternal torment.
Judge : My God....are you saying that the accused has converted players to take up to follow his dark teachings and practices ?
PP and Pros ( in unison ) : Yes....
Judge : Well, unfortunately he hasn't committed any crimes as laid down by statute.....therefore he is beyond the kind of justice I can administer......despite being a very dangerous and subversive man.......
B-J ( interjecting ) : Hoorah ! Three rounds of cheers for the judge !
Judge : Consequently, I am compelled to wash my hands of this responsibility....
Pros :  Just like Caesar ?
Judge : Yes indeed....and this simply means I can throw this man to the lynch mob that has gathered outside the administer justice in a good old fashioned kangaroo court way........... ideal for this kind of situation
PP : ironic is that........ Bigot ....a former carpenter......minutes away from having to build and carry his own wooden cross
B-J : I demand to be locked up
Judge : Sorry, can't oblige.... I'm off.....and any way....the cells aren't in operation anymore .....government cuts you know
B-J : Bugger....


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

DO I LOVE REGINALD ARKELL .......says Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber

" Bridge Without Sighs " is without doubt one of the best books ever written about this amazing but tantalisingly frustrating game. The contents of this rare old book are a delight..... full of wonderful poems, many of which are complemented by the truly stunning artwork of George Whitelaw. To be without this book ought to be one of the biggest regrets in your life. So let's look at one of my favourites,  which I hope you will savour and enjoy.......

Bridge And Golf

Bridge is a game that people play
At every golf club, every day.
The language used at either game
Is, speaking coarsely, much the same.
( We use the same opprobrious terms
When cutting cards or killing worms.)
A colonel who goes up in smoke,
Because that blasted caddie spoke,
Says much the same if you revoke.


Monday, 1 April 2013


( An Ode To My Sponsor )

Oh why do you hesitate
And stop me from bidding
You deserve to be crucified
And boy I'm not kidding
Your mind goes on walkabouts
As it wanders and drifts
Giving oppo top after top
With thumping big gifts
Then, on crucial hands
You always revoke
Our card's full of bottoms
It's no bloody joke
Your bidding is woeful
Your defence is as bad
Everything you do...
Just drives me mad 
So why I partner you 
When your game really sucks
Well, it's down to the fact