Friday, 31 July 2015


Thursday, 30 July 2015


Wednesday, 29 July 2015


Inspired by Carp's article , Bigot decided to up the quality of the duplicate fields by slinging out members found guilty of mindlessness. Moreover he told them to form their own club dedicated to mindless bridge. 
Much to his surprise they did just that , being subservient by nature , happy and content to follow orders blindly and routinely. Consequently , The Mindlessness Bridge Club was formed with a start up membership of Bigot's 58 rejects. However , despite having a group of mindless people coming together as a clueless committee to discuss mindless things , the one and only good idea to emerge from their meaningless discussions was to raise local awareness of what this club had to offer.
Mindless word of mouth quickly followed, along with a meaningless web page being set up on line. Many members engaged in trivial and pointless conversations on both face book and twitter. Not surprisingly this frighteningly inane advertising campaign appealed to like-minded bridge players in other local bridge clubs. By encouraging these wooden tops to jump on board and embark on a journey into an insipid world of simple, basic, random mindless bridge, the club's popularity suddenly took off. Members loved the whole experience , where no one could possibly criticise another , because they were oblivious as to what mistakes or gaffs had been made. This was the welcome dawn of a new bridge age.  

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

DEFINING MINDLESSNESS........... ( Article by Carp )

In a sport which requires sharp keen minds , and a mindful watch as to what is happening at the table, there are far too many mindless players around , who appear to have completely abandoned the idea of thinking . 
Such a player is one who bids and plays the cards without justification, and with no concern for the consequences. These mindless liabilities operate on autopilot , making decisions which are so simple or repetitive as to be performed without effort or thought at all. Indeed , they perform like wooden tops  , never thinking about the possible problems that might lie ahead, let alone the possible ways of solving them. They are not concerned about such things , resorting instead to making random choices , and instant off-the-wall decisions. In essence , mindlessness is all about acting on whims, or just going through the basic motions , albeit in a dilatory and haphazard fashion. 
Indeed , you'll know when you have been paired up with a mindless moron, by observing some of his/her trademark characteristics :
- failure to remember what bidding system they agreed upon to play  
- unable to recall the auction , or any of the cards previously played
- an inability or reluctance to count up to 13
- never able to determine what the opponents are up to  , or plans they might be hatching
- oblivious to recognising alternative , far superior lines of play
- random in their choice of leads , discards,  and bids 
- forever staring out of the window or at their watches 
- easily distracted by anyone or anything
Mindless players play the game without any purpose or plan. They seem more interested in other things that are going on the room as opposed to what is happening at the table. Many come across as being in dream land or on walkabout. Irrelevant thoughts are the only ones which enter into their empty minds. 
These are players you must never consider partnering , to be avoided like the plague. They blight the game of bridge by handing out galactic tops to all and sundry who have the good fortune to play against them. But being " mindless " means they haven't the wit or ability to recognise their gross deficiencies. So they still keep turning up week after week , because habit and routine dictate their lives. Such is the bizarre world of bridge.   

Sunday, 26 July 2015

DO PROFESSIONAL BRIDGE PLAYERS NEED TO WEAR ID TAGS ?.................. ( Article by Carp )

I don't think so. The whole idea is ludicrous because these mercenaries of the game stand out like a sore thumb. They don't need gold encrusted badges , or neon lights on their heads , to announce their lofty status in the world of bridge : their demeanour , behaviour and mannerisms are a dead giveaway. So here are the most obvious clues to spot a professional when partnering his less experienced sponsor.

1. A complete look of utter disdain and contempt for his partner , the moment he/she makes a 
2. Legs akimbo, leaning well back sitting posture which smacks of gross superiority and 
3. The constant barking out of orders one normally associates with a master-servant 
4. A rather large bulge under his jacket, being a wallet stuff full of money nesting in the inside 
     pocket ( having of course been handed over up front in the usual tax avoidance brown paper 
     envelope )
5. Expensive clothing and shoes befitting a person with a penchant for lavish living, first class
    accommodation and exclusive members-only restaurants.
6. A Rolex watch which is regularly looked at with despair and disbelief , as the agony of 
    partnering an inferior player never comes to an end , when time seemingly stands still
7. The constant laughing and guffawing during session breaks , when meeting up with fellow
    professionals , as they exchange personal horror stories
8. A rapid exit from the competition in order to get aboard the next plane to meet his busy 
    schedule , with a first class seat reserved and paid for by their next sponsor
9. A stature resembling a portly , rather rotund gentleman used to fine dining and wine. His
    high body mass index reflects far too much time spent sitting down on air travel and bridge
10. An uncontrollable desire to engage in ( a) relentless name-dropping to impress their
    sponsors and (b) the necessary sucking up to powerful well connected sponsors, who can 
    pull a few strings with selectors   

Friday, 24 July 2015

BALLAD OF A FADING BRIDGE STAR........( By John Howard Gibson )  

Your memory's all gone
Your bidding's all wrong
You lose track of the play
What more can I say
This game's too hard for you now

It's all but gone.... that will to win
Lack of focus is such a big sin
You can't recall cards only just played
Contracts fail which ought to have made
This game's too hard for you now

Your eyes look empty, sad and tired
Gone are the days you used to be hired
Being a has been  is never easy to take
So why not give bridge a permanent break
This game's too hard for you now

Once a man of glory , success and fame
Alas , no one today even knows your name
As an ageing player you offer no threat
So just face the truth and admit with regret
This game is too hard for you now

Thursday, 23 July 2015

DEFINING HAPPINESS ?..................

Happiness means different things to different people. But in the bizarre world of bridge happiness to a results merchant means only one thing , as I was to discover when I interviewed the infamous chairman of the Slaughter House BC, Howard Bigot-Johnson.

- So Bigot .....let me guess....... happiness for you is getting an above average score ?
- No
- Getting a near top ?
- No
- Getting an outright top, perhaps ?
- No
- Getting a galactic top ?
- Sorry , no
- Getting a top against two top class opponents ?
- No
- So please tell me then....what is happiness for you ?
- Well, if you must is getting a top against opponents I can't stand the sight off
   ...opponents who are renown for being patronising and condescending bastards....tops 
  against these tossers always provide me with immense , overwhelming pleasure .........
  especially when I see their sickening . smug , sneering smiles disappear from their fat ugly 
  faces ! 


Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Tuesday, 21 July 2015


Saturday, 18 July 2015

FOR SO MANY.......

Friday, 17 July 2015

FINALLY I HAVE THE ANSWER..............( Article by Carp )

Many bridge clubs are naturally concerned with falling membership totals , especially when the average age of the membership continues to rise. Young people are not taking up the game in sufficient numbers to buck the trend. So what might be the biggest single underlying factor behind this distressing state of affairs ?

Well ,we all know about how young people today prefer to engage with technological pastimes and fast living?  For them bridge is something that one has to cross over to get from one side of a river to another. It is game that their grey-haired grandparents play in grey stone buildings.
But yesterday I read a newspaper article ( see below ) that revealed a startling fact , which helps explain why so many young people today have no bloody idea at all as to what the game of bridge is all about. Te sad reality is that they don't even know what a pack of cards looks like. 

If children are never introduced to simple card games , then they certainly don't progress onto such games like 5-card nap , solo , and whist  . And without this progression , bridge remains well outside their radar. My parents introduced me to cards at a very early age , and trick taking games become my favourites , because skill played a much greater part than luck in being successful. The fact that my parents never played bridge themselves was irrelevant. My passion for cards has been ignited. Indeed , discovering better and more challenging card games was now my ultimate quest. So when I eventually discovered bridge  ( at university ) I knew I had made it to Eldorado.

So unless ways can be found to get parents encouraging their kids to switch off their computers and games consoles and to play cards as part of a family activity ,  young people of tomorrow will get to realize what pleasures and benefits this wonderful game of can provide. 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

( Article by Carp )

The things bridge players do !  Actions and antics which beggar all belief.  Behaviour that is so absurd and bizarre it raises serious questions about their intelligence and sanity.

How the hell does one explain why they

  • constantly seek to partner higher ranking players who they know will make their lives a bloody misery with relentless barrages of criticism and insults
  • agree to play bidding conventions and gadgets they don't fully understand 
  • expect TDs to offer them sympathy , understanding and justice when rulings have been called for by intimidating and imposing opponents
  • talk themselves into adopting a line of play which is grossly inferior to the one they first considered
  • believe that committee members will always place the interests of club members as a whole ahead of their own personal aims and ambitions
  • continue to believe that the experience of being thrashed and humiliated week after week will turn them into better players
  • spend countless thousands of pounds in the quest for ranking points , when everyone knows that whole ranking system is flawed and totally meaningless
  • think sponsored partners will enjoy the experience of the occasion , when it is so obvious that these mercenaries will show nothing but disdain and contempt for them
  • believe despite all their numerous failings and shortcomings that they are entitled to call themselves " club experts "
  • never learn from past mistakes , allowing magical thinking to convince them that next time the same hopelessly inferior lines of play will reap big dividends 
  • allow committees to crack down on rude behaviour but to ignore the far greater sins of slow play and soft cheating 
  • claim to be sensible and rational people when allowing actions and decisions to be dictated by irrational beliefs , omens , and superstitions
Indeed , the truth is out there : the world of bridge is far more bizarre than anyone could ever possibly imagine.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


  • How To Keep Unruly And Disruptive Members In Check.....................Layla Lordowne
  • What Punishment Will The Committee Impose On You And I ?...........Angus Forshaw
  • My Partner Is Incapable Of Making The Simplest Deduction...............M. T. Heddid 
  • My Partner Is So Full Of Shit He Really Needs Seeing To...................N. E. Marr
  • Most Bridge Club Treasurers Hate Spending Money...........................Penny Pinchin  
  • Outside Bridge I Love To Play Old Fashioned Slot Machines.............Penny R. Cade
  • That Bloody Man Just Loves To Preach From Way Up High...............Paul Pitt
  • Finessing Missing Honours Often Requires Just Taking A Punt ........Gus Werk 
  • Recommended Dress Code For Nudist Colony Bridge Clubs.............Noah Parell 
  • I Just Love Bridge Clubs Where Anarchy Rules................................Ron A. Mock

Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Dear Rebecca ,
How is it that whenever I'm dummy I immediately know how the hand should be played, even though I am not able to see what is in declarer's hand.
Yet the strange thing is that when I'm declarer my partner instantly knows what needs to be done to steer the contract home. Seeing just one hand seems to be far more enlightening than seeing both. So how do you explain this conundrum ? 

Yours utterly perplexed,
                        John from Manchester

Dear John ,
Since the world of bridge is so surreal and bizarre , nothing should ever shock or amaze you. Accept that fact that many aspects of the game will seem absurd. Accept the fact that mysteries of bridge will forever remain unsolved. In this game anything and everything is possible. Indeed paradoxes are the norm.
Quite frankly I haven't got a bloody clue as to why this particular phenomenon exists but it clearly does. I've experienced this absurdity so many times myself.
Perhaps dummy's main advantage is that he/she is under no pressure at all , being able to think without distraction or worry. Declarer on the other hand has to decide which line of play offers the best chance of making the contract , and/or securing a match winning result. With so much to consider he may take his eye of the ball.... especially if dummy is giving him a look of utter disdain , disapproval or disbelief. 

Yours just as perplexed, 

Sunday, 12 July 2015


Once upon a time when men were men , there was a big difference between bullies and cry babies. The former were strong rock hard aggressors while the latter were weak , feeble ,  I'm-telling-my mum-about-you-did-to-me wimps.
Fast forward the last four decades and things are not so clear cut. This is the age of cry baby bullies, a hideous hybrid of victim and victor , weeper and walloper. In the bizarre world of bridge they are everywhere , these duplicitous Pushmi-Pullyus.
At the table , when nerves are fraught and tempers are high ,  the cry baby bully will scream abuse at his woeful partners or annoying opponents until they decide to snap back with equal venom. At this point the aggressor immediately changes into a blubbering victim , drowning in floods of tears , threatening to take his ball home......or fleeing to the bar room area where he " feels  safe ". The hypocrisy of those players affected by bawlus infanto tormenta is overwhelming : they constantly bang on about their own mental fragility yet mock others in an unceasing and merciless fashion , without any concern whatsoever for their feelings.
Cry baby bullies are serial complainers , who crave help and support from others in skillfully connived vendetta campaigns to get plain speaking members , who had the gall to answer back and retaliate, removed from the club.
Indeed , many eminent psycho-analysts such as myself , define this type of behaviour as an unusual variant of the Munchhausen's syndrome: manipulating others to bring misery upon themselves in order to complain about it and seek sympathy from caring bystanders. The aggressive responses which inevitably come their way are , of course , completely self-induced. 
Nevertheless cry baby bullies usually end up being abandoned and isolated , as club members come to realize the type of person they really are. Moreover , whenever sufferers of this disturbing condition  believe " others "  have adopted an opposite point of view.....shock..... theirs , they feel cheated and betrayed. Then they start claiming that the presence of anyone opposed to them are actually violating their " safe territory " , even though they are standing several yards away. Cry baby bullies besiege  committee members to support them in their hour of need to act upon their complaints and wishes. Otherwise they too will be subjected both tears and wrath , before finding themselves in the firing line with allegations of gross incompetence and neglect of duty. 
This syndrome above all others sums up why the world of bridge is so utterly bizarre ! 


Thursday, 9 July 2015


" My partner respects , he respects me not, he respects me , he respects me not..."  could certainly be the mantra of bridge players who unfortunately suffer from this generally unknown mental disorder , both characterised and epitomised by crippling indecision
Many eminent psychoanalysts , such as myself , define this affliction as " the paralysis of the mind ".  Indeed , a staggeringly high proportion of slow players are diagnosed with this particular disorder known as aboulomania. Sufferers will ,  before the bridge event gets underway , appear mentally alert and sharp in all aspects of analysis and problem solving. However , as soon as they sit down at the table their brains turn to mush. The ability to make quick decisions completely disappears. Even when faced with simple easy choices like which way to take a finesse,  which card to discard , or how many rounds of trumps should be taken, 
they run into a major psychological block. They become overwhelmed by anxiety and indecision. Once they become aware of the growing impatience and disbelief of others at the time , the more they get anxious . Then , inevitably , paralysis of the mental function sets in.
Most sufferers say their incapacity or chronic indecision originates from the need to be a 100% certain. Hence the sufferer can become paralysed in his/her inability to make a decision even when probabilities of success are as high as 90%. The mere fact that a finesse through North is almost certain to work , the nagging doubt.... that on this occasion the 10 % option of taking the finesse through South should be the one to take ....will slowly but surely eat mercilessly away at their confidence. A sufferer will become paralysed by the fear that to reject the outside 1-to-10 chance is the very choice which was destined to be successful. Experience tells them that going with the odds doesn't always work out. So what in God's name should they do ?
So imagine what it is like for a victim of aboulomania to find himself facing several choices , such as which suit to make an opening lead from , and which card to pick ? The sheer scale and magnitude of the choices involved will send the player into the think tank for an indeterminable length of time. Racked with crippling indecision , hesitancy and despair will be deeply etched on his distorted and twisted face. Doubting each and every considered option , nothing ever emerges from his hand. The agony of those looking on only intensifies his inability to arrive at a decision. So when at last a card does emerge from his hand , it is quickly withdrawn and put back with the others. Sometimes aboulomania manifests itself with complete paralysis of movement , self-induced sleep and comatose-like trances.
Sadly , there is no cure, because even though there are a vast range of treatments available , sufferers seem completely unable to decide on which one to choose. 


Monday, 6 July 2015


  • It's Amazing How Many Players Cheat At Bridge.............................Eve N. Mee
  • My Partner Is A Complete Numpty And Brainless Moron..................Ria Tard
  • There's Something Really Fishy Going On At That Table..................C. Bass
  • Tell Me What Kind Of Player Makes The Ideal Female Partner ?......Nick  R. Lestart
  • I'm Convinced That Woman Is Cheating In Some Way......................Bess Watcher
  • Cheating Again ? You're Gonna Get Banned For Sure.....................Hope Pinnott
  • What Will You Say When The TD Is Called Over ?...........................Chantel Allie
  • Never Use Your Real Name When Writing Scurrilous Blogs.............Sue Denim
  • That Man Plays Bridge Like A Swashbuckling Pirate........................Buck Kinnear
  • Should I Play For The Drop Of The Queen Or Finesse ?...................Honor Gess
  • I'm Afraid We're Fighting A Losing Battle Here , Partner ..................Ali Moe
  • I Pride Myself On Obeying All The Club Rules And Regulations.........Laura Byder 
  • Disasters In Bridge Can Happen When You Least Expect Them.......Oliver Suddan
  • A Good Writer Will Often Slip Porn Into Great Bridge Stories............Ray C. Bucks 
  • My Partner Bids Like A Maniac If Dealt A Good Hand.......................Carrie D'Whey   

Sunday, 5 July 2015


- Christ man....I haven't seen you in ages
- I'm not surprised.....I don't go to the club anymore
-'ve given up bridge ?
- No....I'm playing the game more than ever before
- Yeh ?
- I quit the club along with several other members to form our own virtual reality bridge club
- Well bugger me what's that all about ?
- It's bridge on the internet....each of us downloaded the software to play duplicate bridge
  at agreed times. The standard of bridge is not only high but the playing field is absolutely 
- No kidding
- Yes....we all take the North seat , with a randomly chosen robot partner , to take on all the  
  East/West robot partnerships. The East/West robots all play to the same system card , but
  they are also programmed to provide different levels of challenge. Nevertheless , the  
  programming also gives them different personality profiles , to reflect both basic human 
  strengths and weaknesses
- Amazing
- However , your robot partner will play to whatever system you like ....but at the same time
  he/she too will occasionally succumb to human-like failings and shortcomings despite being a 
  solid and reliable bridge player
- I'm gobsmacked by all this
- But the best bit is this.......the robots don't cheat or hesitate.....they don't lecture or  
  answer back.....they never revoke and they play the cards quickly. Not only that ....they     make  intelligent and logical decisions based on all the information they have gleaned from  
  the bidding and the play of cards to date
- Sounds great
- The play of the hands is very fast although you are allowed .....because of your sluggish take a little longer. Mind you 24 boards can be easily got through in 90 
  minutes ......and whichever North wins the event he/she knows they all had the same cards 
  playing and the same opponents. Never can a playing field be as level as this one
- God am I impressed
- should be because this is the only way to improve your bridge in leaps and
  bounds. In fact all our robot opponents are now pre-set at near-expert and expert levels 
- Can I join this club then ?
- Of course....but the initial cost of downloading the software is around £200
- No problem to a man of my means....count me in
- Well , log in 7-30pm this Wednesday then
- Will do my friend

Saturday, 4 July 2015


First there will be the proliferation of virtual reality bridge clubs and then.........after the last few remaining bridge players have died of old age.......there will only be the robots left who can take the game forward into the next millennium 

Friday, 3 July 2015

REBECCA ROOD'S MAILBAG................

Dear Rebecca ,
The other day I returned to my old club for a night of duplicate bridge only to find a deserted bar room and unused rooms. It wasn't all that long ago that 16 or more tables would be in play but I found myself playing in a very disappointing six table field. 
The club seemed empty and the atmosphere dead. There was no " buzz " about the place , and for me the evening was a massive turn off.
So do these dwindling table numbers represent a trend towards oblivion , one which other clubs are also experiencing ? Is the game of duplicate bridge , as we know it ,  in its death throes ?  

Yours in despair ,
               Hope PInnott

Dear Hope,
It hurts me greatly to read your letter because I too share the same fears and concerns about the future of bricks and mortar bridge clubs. No one can deny that this wonderful game gets people's brains ticking and their hearts pumping , but today's world is technology driven.
At my club both membership numbers and attendances have been falling steadily over the past 20 years. Once the rot sets in it's difficult to stop its progress. One factor has been the growing number of smaller bridge clubs being set up by splinter groups enticing members away. For it seems that people ,  who like to play " social " bridge with players of a similar standard , prefer venues where soft cheating is both overlooked and accepted .
However , I believe the biggest contributing factor to falling attendances is internet bridge, which involves lovers of the game preferring to stay at home. Here they can play bridge for as long as they want , whenever they want.... for no or little expense ,  without the hassle of travelling there and back in all weathers, plus all that waiting around. Moreover , they can elect to play with well behaved robot partners , who will never volunteer any criticism or verbal abuse. 
So no.... bridge is not in its death throes at all , but unfortunately as more and more hands are being played on the internet ( than with real packs )  virtual reality bridge clubs will be the inevitable next chapter in the history of bridge. 

Yours facing up to the facts , Rebecca       


Thursday, 2 July 2015


THE FORCING PASS IS SUCH AN UNDER-USED BID........... ( Article by Howard Bigot-Johnson )

I am always perplexed as to why the forcing pass is never used as an opening bid. It has everything going for it simply because both your opponents are denied the option of sticking in a double , cue bid or Michaels convention. They are compelled to bid a suit or no trump knowing that the forcing pass bidder has a good opening hand, never having any information as to its shape , strength and major suit holdings.
If the opponents elect to stay quiet , partner has all the one level bids at his disposal to move the auction on. Why players haven't latched onto this opening forcing pass is beyond me. Far too many are wooden tops who simply haven't got a feel for this game , reluctant to adopt the cutthroat tactics needed to shaft your opponents in the bidding auctions. It is an incredibly powerful weapon  but one which never involves you putting your head on the chopping block. That's fate belongs to the opponents when they step into the auction.  Why the other day in first position I opened with a pass ( alerted as forcing ) , and the hand was passed out for a complete top. Partner had a miserable 2 HCPs opposite my 18 , and with no communication between the hands not even a one-level contract was possible our way. 
So what are you required to do when dealt a hand , which is either mediocre or worse. Well , the following system is used :
1C shows a 0-7 points with a 5 card suit 
1D shows a flat 0-7 
1H shows 8-11 with a 5 card suit 
1S shows  a flat 8-11 
1NT = 12-14
Pass ( Forcing ) =15-18 any shape

Weak hands with a 5-4 shape or better may well be suitable for a weak opening two. 

Should the LHO pass ,  and finding partner with a weak hand , there's every opportunity to wriggle into a low-level contract .  So even when the double arrives , with a big penalty to be incurred ,  there is every chance of a good result , especially if game is on for the opponents. I remember once I opened a club on 6 HCPs with a 5 card heart suit to the Q10. My LHO passed and partner with his miserable collection of points bid 1D ( weak and asking ). MY RHO opponent passed with the big hand , lying in wait and biding his time. I dutifully bid 1H , which partner thankfully had Jx in support . Pass ....pass.........DOUBLE!. This was left in for penalties which went for 3 off for minus 500 against their vulnerable game. 
But what is really great about the opening forcing pass is that you get into ( and quickly out of ) the bidding in nearly every auction , an initiative which gives you a whole load of advantages and the opponents a whole load of headaches. Take this example for instance , I opened 1D in second position  with 8 HCP only to see my LHO double straightaway. This bid now gave my partner ( or possibly me ) the advantage of using another grossly underused bid.....THE REDOUBLE. This bid in our system , says I just happen to have a very good suit of my own..... requiring me to bid 1H . This of course may well be left in , or converted to 1S/2C/2D.  If however partner happened to a have flat hand himself,  an immediate non-forcing 1NT  would be the obligatory response. So being intensely irritated at not knowing a thing about our hands , the opponents took control of the auction to arrive at 3NT. I surmised that partner's suit had to spades , and the opening lead 9 from my doubleton put the contract for 2 off for another glorious top.