Tuesday, 30 August 2016

WHERE DO TOPS COME FROM ?.........( Article by Carp )

Ideally, they should come from superior bidding alongside superior card play. A situation where experts manage to cleverly engineer an auction towards an ideal outcome , which creates for them golden opportunities to seize and exploit to maximum effect.
Sadly however in the world of duplicate bridge tops usually arrive as unexpected gifts , courtesy of their opponents ;
- bidding misunderstandings in the bidding 
- gross underbidding and/or bidding 
- careless or inept play of the cards
- costly breaches of the rules ( incurring penalties or damaging restrictions )  
- revokes
- mechanical errors such as pulling out or playing the wrong cards
- crucial lapses of concentration
- magical thinking
- allowing emotions to take over from sound judgement
- an alarming inability to read the cards or piece clues together
Good scores are all to often the result of unforced errors , as in a game of tennis. Too many tops are undeserved, such as  arriving at a ridiculous , impossible slam only to make it against all the odds,  because of woeful and inept defence. If winners are deemed to be the players who make the least number of mistakes , it must also be true that winners  are those who profited most from mistakes committed by opponents than any other pair in the room.

Sunday, 28 August 2016


- Northern Pro ......why are you looking so worried ?  Is it because our scores are 
  too woeful to even talk about ?
- Partner , can't you see what's going on around here ? I'm the last of the 2 percenters. All
  the others have gone.........and I might be next
- But who are these 2 percenters ?
- Members who the chairman of old declared as the enemy in the camp. Members who 
  openly objected to the decisions being made by the committee. Members who needed 
  to be disciplined and removed. Members who left because no one was willing to hear
  or accept unpalatable truths.
- So how come you're still here ?
- By keeping a low profile and pretending to be everyone's friend
- Smart thinking
- Yes.....just the same thinking that was involved in the development of my incredibly
   brilliant bidding system
-  Of course......I should have guessed that....

Monday, 22 August 2016


- Northern Pro ....that minus 1100 on the last board was shocking
- Listen muppet-head I had to sacrifice in 5C since the opponents went to game in 4S
- But you triggered them into bidding by opening 1C in fourth position ! 
- Might I point out that my incredibly brilliant bidding system and hand valuation methods 
  warranted an opening bid......so let's look at the hand analysis sheet to see what the experts
- Well....it says here.... " This hand should be passed out .....a guaranteed death trap for 
   whoever ends up as declarer "
- Oh.........but hold on.....why didn't you stop me bidding 5C by doubling them in 4S ?
- Sorry to remind you Northern Pro .....I did double them in 4S .....as well as doubling them 
   in 3S....both times for penalties
- Ah...but you failed to plant the double card on the table with sufficient force so as to get  
  the message across
- So am I to blame for this catastrophe ?
- Who else ....

Monday, 15 August 2016


- Partner........have you seen our score ?
- Indeed I have......it's bloody awful
- It's worst than awful ....it's an unmitigated disaster
- Yes....and it doesn't help you to establish your incredibly brilliant bidding system as one
   for the future
- No it doesn't
- Well , Northern Pro....why not try to see things my way and look on the bright side 
- What bright side ?
- The fact it hasn't damaged our average one iota
-  Partner ....how much do you value your life?

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


Let's face facts here. Cheating in this game is so endemic , it seems that nothing can be done to eradicate it. Half the players who cheat are oblivious to the fact that their behavioural nuances are being picked up by their alert partners as providing valuable albeit unauthorized information about their hands. Facial expressions , body posture or movements , changes in tempo , and hesitations provide real " tells " . This means that in well established regular partnerships , other channels of communication run in tandem with the bidding and play of the cards.
But wait there may be a solution after all : SEGREGATION.
All clubs ( and tournaments ) should split into two. One group of players , namely the cheats , need to play against each other in the dirty bridge section where anything goes. Then each pair can be reassured that they are playing on a level albeit filthy playing field. No one is disadvantaged because everyone is equally active in the dark art of cheating.
The remaining saints and purists will form the other group where the playing field is clean , open and transparent. Players are are more likely to play with a multitude of partners , everyone keeping to simple bidding systems , committed to making all bids in tempo and retaining a calm , still , placid posture when involved in play. 
Having two clubs under one roof should not pose any problems. As for deciding which group to join there needs to be a criteria for playing in the clean bridge section, which if unmet means players are obliged to play dirty bridge. Criteria should include a previous history of never having partnered someone more than once a month. A reputation for having a dead pan face , and always bidding in tempo with hardly any variation in body movement and gestures. A track record of always being ethical , being the first to admit or confess to having made even the slightest transgression. 
When problems can't be eradicated , then people must learn to live and manage the problems. Hells bells why the Olympic Bodies don't run an event solely for the drug taking athletes is beyond me. Doing all this drug testing is not only a waste of money ( the cheats still find ways around it ) the problem is never likely to go away. Athletes have already started to look at each other with great suspicion. So let's have clean Olympic events running alongside the drug fuelled ones, which Russia no doubt will be eager to place all its athletes.  


Saturday, 6 August 2016


- when you still rely on a sat nav to get you to your local club on time
- when you begin every bridge conversation with " In my days... "
- when you can't find partners of similar ability because everyone's game is so much better
- when your get-up-and-go depends on whether you had prunes for breakfast
- when the only hands you can recall are those you played over 30 years ago
- when having cancelled bridge with your partner he then thanks God for the repreive 
- when you confuse having a clear conscience with a poor memory
- when afternoon bridge becomes more much appealing than evening sessions
- when you seek out partners who are either GPs or pharmacists
- when your club membership number is just a single digit
- when you know from personal embarrassment and shame the meaning of the word " numpty "
- when your partner comes over to help you cross your legs
- when you join beginner groups at other bridge clubs so as not to feel out of place
- when you can't sit still at the table without falling asleep
- when you wonder why the auction is taking so long oblivious to the fact it was your turn to bid
- when bridge books you first bought are now rare, highly sought after collectibles
- when club members ring you but only to ask for your partner's telephone number
- when down as stand-by , the only unpaired player left chooses instead to go home