Monday, 27 June 2016


Many players take on many roles 
Like for instance Bridge Bigot Bowles 
He knew more than all the rest
Even the experts even the best
This arrogant King of the know-alls

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

ANOTHER POETIC MASTERPIECE FROM DR. SIGMUND T. SCHUKELGRUBER  ENTITLED " BASHING PARTNER BLUES "......based on and inspired by Kristian Leontiou's brilliant and moving song The Years Move On

Sometimes my distress just passes you by
I'm never appreciated or admired
You build me up just to knock me down
I can never get up for being dead tired

I try so hard to do things right
I've always wanted to play a part
But your sniping remarks hurt so much
They break my spirit and my heart

And as the boards move on and on
I've yet to play the cards the way you do

I hear your whispers of discontent
Hurtful comments which make me weep  
It's my ego here you've ripped to shreds
Making demands of me I cannot keep

Why on earth do you keep me on
I find it hard to understand
Is partner bashing your only true love
Rubbing my eyes with salt and sand

And so the boards move on and on
I still haven't the courage to leave you

The price I pay for playing this game
Is having to cope with feeling blue
These verbal bashings I regularly get
Are simply for never knowing what to do

Monday, 20 June 2016


Wednesday, 15 June 2016


" We all know that the biggest problem facing any bridge club you today is bullying. Indeed at the Slaughter House BC it's widespread. So if other members tell you that their club has cracked the problem , then they need sorting out somewhere quiet where their screams can't be heard.
In most clubs , except for mine of course ,  the bullying has become less physical and far more psychological. In this modern age a new bullying culture has taken over from giving annoying opponents and inept partners a right good thrashing. Recriminations , accusations , insults , threats , relentless and merciless criticism are all ploys used and adopted by accomplished and serial bullies , who often boast and claim superiority of the finer points of the game.
Mind you ,  should the culprits be the more senior members in the club ,  then giving them the necessary leeway and freedom to behave like beasts seem perfectly acceptable. Committees obviously need to turn a blind eye to their antics rather than risk upsetting these long standing grandees and resident club experts , renown for their short fuses and sharp tongues. 
I do acknowledge this new bullying culture is a problem that needs to be addressed but how ?
Well at my club the answer is simple : find a scapegoat to target and implement ruthlessly effective ZTP initiatives. Instant retributive justice. This way any club committee can claim that the problem of bullying is being tackled , albeit in a controlled way where rampant double standards are maintained and upheld. 
One poor chap at my club was deemed the perfect candidate for being the next scapegoat. He was held responsible for a verbal outburst of highly toxic expletives at a table in play , which required our ZTP officers ( Ronnie and Reggie ) to intervene. Not surprisingly his mouth was immediately washed out with soap before having his head flushed down the toilet. Moreover he was given a wedgie he would never forget. Whether this is on-the-spot interrogation and subsequent implementation of punitive justice was correct who cares ?  But the fact remains that this wretched man willingly confessed to being personally responsible for everything , and was more than willing to take whatever punishment came his way. Nevertheless his confession was hard to discern given that his mouth was pumped full of water at the time .... yet the gist of it was all there.
So there you have it. One guaranteed way to keep psychological bullying under some sort of control. And as for the accusation that this man was pushed all the way down the toilet , this was a wicked lie , stemming from malicious gossip started by his bereaved family. Moreover , he was not " innocent " like so many ignorant . low born , riff raff members of the club claimed. Heavens above if the committee and I started picking on and persecuting the wrong people , then this would surely give our club and bullying a bad name ! "

Sunday, 12 June 2016


Thursday, 9 June 2016


Wednesday, 8 June 2016


Ugly rumours abound that Victor Mollo's wonderfully entertaining book " Bridge In The Menagerie " , in which players are referred to by animal names in keeping with their table behaviour , was inspired by an earlier albeit unknown literary work  by one of Sir Francis Dashwood's descendents. 
This 19th century masterpiece , entitled " Partnering Animals Is What I Love To Do Most " ,
was written by Bess T. L. Leening. This gifted writer depicted in her book of ill-repute all the club members who gave her the best time. In a doomed attempt to keep their true identities a secret , the animal names she chose completely gave the game away. Indeed , it was all easy easy to identify and name which club member she was referring to , given the fact that their sexual habits and traits had already become common knowledge through idle gossip on the club grapevine. Her top ten favourites included Mr. Ram , Bull , Donkey , Stag , Gorilla , Rabbit , Beaver , Kangaroo , Rhino and Ferret. 
Not surprisingly the book was banned for its illicit and saucy content with critics claiming there was nothing in there for the true bridge enthusiast. Indeed , churches combined their resources to buy up all the books only to burn them straightaway,  before persuading the publisher to stop printing.
Nevertheless , a few copies were secreted away and kept under lock and key by those with a love of animals. How Victor stumbled upon a copy no one knows ,but for him it was a priceless find. So captivated and enthralled by the animal characters ,  he felt compelled to write a book in a similar vein , simply as a tribute and dedication to Bess.

Monday, 6 June 2016


- Northern Pro .......WE WON......WE WON......and for once I never put a foot wrong
- Partner ! ......Might I point out that we only defended three contracts....and on each of those 
  occasions all you had to do was follow suit........which I might add you managed quite well   
- Yes.....yes......but what about my bidding and declarer play ?
- Partner !....Can I point out to you that I punted and played all the game contracts...and hogged 
  most of the bidding on the part-scores. And as I recall....... I allowed you to be declarer when it
  was obvious the hands were going to be flat boards..... being bog standard easy-to-play lay
- Oh it seems then..... I hardly made any contribution at all to our resounding success this
  evening ?
- The word is negligible ....N...E...G...L...I...G....I...B...L....E......such was the extent of my
   magnificence , visionary bidding and inspired play
- Northern Pro a humble and inept partner...... I stand here in absolute awe of your 
  greatness and genius   

Saturday, 4 June 2016


Thursday, 2 June 2016


Johnny sitting West found himself having to defend a 3NT contract carrying most of the defence's ammunition. His partner could only be holding a 6/7 card spade suit and sod all else.
On a natural spade lead he could see declarer making this contract if diamonds were to be tackled rather than clubs ( 5D, 3H ,1S and 1C). Therefore , declarer had to be persuaded to play on clubs instead. And this involved casting a spell and creating an illusion.
Declarer sensibly ducked the first spade , and the second but was forced to play his Ace at trick 3. Seconds after his spade Ace went up West calmly threw away the Ace of diamonds ! The trap had been set and declarer fell right into it.
Believing that West had performed this unblocking move simply to create an entry into East's hand with the diamond queen ,  declarer could now confidently turn to clubs knowing that he only needed one of the two finesses to work. So if West switched to a small diamond , all that was required now was for declarer to go up with the boss King . Given the suit was breaking 2-2 , West yet again would be unable to get partner in to run off his spade winners.
At the table at trick 4 , declarer crossed to dummy with queen of hearts only to take a losing queen of clubs finesse. As predicted Johnny fired back his low diamond with declarer gleefully going up with dummy's King. Then at trick seven came the second attempt to finesse a club honour, and even though East showed out in clubs , declarer's smile certainly disappeared but it at least he had taken the best line at making the contract. But when Johnny pounced on declarer's club 10 with the jack to miraculously produce the diamond queen to beat the contract declarer knew that he had been well and truly shafted by a master of deception.