Bridge Over The Rainbow

Bridge Over The Rainbow

You have most likely heard of the magical land of the Wizard of Oz, but did you know Dorothy, the Lion, the Scarecrow and Tin Man were bridge players?

Bridge Over the Rainbow is a series of gripping books published by Master Point Press, telling the adventures of this strange bridge club and its characters. The first, If I Only Had a Heart, was on the shortlist for the International Bridge Press Association world bridge book of the year, while the follow up, Bridge Over the Rainbow, was well reviewed in Britain, the USA and Australia. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble is the third and final book in the series: a real page-turner which will make you chuckle and leave you wanting for more!

The authors are two Scottish Open Team players: Alex Adamson also Captain of the Scottish Women’s Team in the Venice Cup, and Harry Smith, also captain of the Senior Scottish Team in the D’Orsi Bowl. Indeed the first book that the two of them wrote together, Scotland’s Senior Moment, was the inside story of the first ever appearance by a Scottish team on the World Championship cycle.

We have asked Alex and Harry a few questions about the book.

Q: We could consider your series akin to Victor Mollo’s popular books. How did you come up with the idea of Bridge Over the Rainbow?

HARRY: Some years ago, Alex had started some stories using these characters, but they were far from finished. After Scotland’s Senior Moment, we were looking for a new project to work on. We knew that we liked writing together and thought that between us we could develop something really novel with this idea. The joy of the characters is that everyone knows that the Lion will be cowardly, the Scarecrow will be brainless and so on. You know what you are going to get from the Wicked Witch of the West! We have taken a little liberty with the Tin Man, making him truly heartless.

ALEX: We have found that when one of us writes the first draft of a chapter then the other one can run with the ideas and improve on the original! Far from being protective with our ideas, we both look forward to getting a revised draft back, wondering what fun things the other will have added. After it has been back and forwards four or five times we have something much better than either of us could do alone, and it hardly makes sense to say that a given paragraph comes from one or other of us.

Q: Where do the hands come from?

HARRY: The hands all come from actual play. It is generally in the post-bridge analysis that we see something surprising or unusual. Sometimes we have to change a few spot cards – simply to make the point of the hand clearer.

ALEX: Some of them are hands where one of us got it right at the table. But many are ones where in looking at it later you see a defence or a line of play and think, ‘yes, I should have thought of that’, or perhaps, ‘what reason could anyone have for doing that?’

Q: And which is your favourite chapter in the new book?

ALEX: We both have to like every chapter before it was allowed to go in, but I really like the last one. It was planned well in advance, and the plot lines all had to be brought together for the grand finale.

HARRY: I really don’t have a single favourite. I love it when we find a logic for the Scarecrow to make a play that Garozzo at his best wouldn’t have found. For me the books are about the characters. Not only do the deals come from real-life, so does so much of how these characters interact. The discussions between the players is as much fun as the play itself.

Q: Your readers want more! Is this really the last book?

ALEX and HARRY: We have put a lot of work into these books over the last few years and we hope we leave the characters in good heart and without too many loose ends. We won’t say ‘never again’ but for now at least our thoughts are turning to other projects.

Donating to club

Could ?treasurer provide information about how to donate to the club please. With no petrol costs, lower table money, even cheaper tea/coffee at home I’d like to give a few shekels.
My understanding is that subs. attract gift aid, but not table money [and perhaps the government will end gift aid as its coffers dry up].
Damien has worked wonders for us all and it’s a joy to be a member of the Melville.

Alias and profile online

Why did you choose your alias? As a newbie I accepted the alias given me by BCL, MoyraF, and use the same on on BBO. However, I was intrigued to find another moyraf on BCL; it took only a few clicks to discover her club in Yorkshire and then her full name. Is security an issue for some who choose a more anonymous alias? Or fun? Or a tactical device to give the opposition minimal info.?
BCL includes quite full member profiles. At first I gave only names of preferred systems, but now give clubs, location, and details of my preferred system and conventions. This, in part, as I enjoy reading others’ profiles. But not my full name nor email address.
I do enjoy recognising other Melville members at the table on BCL, and am amazed at how often this happens.

4 down partner?

Our wonderful, long-suffering team captain always gives us an inspirational talk before a league match. One evening this season it included the words “Bid your ****** games.”
(****** = vulnerable) This lodged in my head and in the first 12 boards partner and I bid 3NT three times. It went four down each time. Twice I was the hapless, or to be more accurate, hopeless declarer and once poor partner. She is a brilliant player but even she found 20 combined points and a single stopper in the opponents suit a bridge too far. Our delightful opponents were clearly relishing these repeated failures as they contentedly entered 400 in their plus column. So much so that after the third failure I turned to the genial gentleman on my right and asked : “Why don’t you double us next time we bid 3NT?” He thought for a moment then replied : “No, because there’s just the remotest chance that you would then find the right contract!”
So now, when playing with that partner we have a routine when going 4 off (and yes it has happened at least twice since that evening) We look each other straight in the eye, say : “Four down, partner?”, then try not to giggle. We may have failed in that regard too.
P.S. Our teammates fortunately played sensible bridge in the league match and we won comfortably.

The Hay Book Festival has gone digital!

I know we all seem to be rediculously busy at present (well I seem to be, but maybe it is all a mirage!), but I know there are many bookfest fans at the Melville.

The Hay Book Festival (18-31 May) has gone digital. All events are free, and you can book up via their website and watch from the comfort of your own living room!

https://www.hayfestival.com/home

A herogram

I always knew that Damien was an asset to our club but his efforts in the past few weeks deserve this herogram. Running the club in normal times must be demanding but these times require a different and untested approach to keeping us playing bridge. Damien provides clear and detailed guidance, sets up initiatives such as this website, makes videos, liaises with other bodies to establish tournaments, helps with queries…I could go on. Many thanks.

Thanks to Damien

Just a wee public shout out to Damien for all his terrific work keeping the Melville spirit going through this dark period.

Instructions and guidance on all aspects, especially online Bridge are great — and today I even managed to update Pianola and buy some BBO credit for next week’s Comp.

Thanks Damien,

Cheers,

Hamish

Club BBO Pairs

Why not take part in our first ever Club Pairs tournament on BBO!

If you are interested in taking part in a trial BBO pairs tournament for Melville members on Monday afternoon 18 May at 1.30 then please visit the normal club website and add your name(s) to the form in the right hand column and click on submit. This will be a provisional list to see if we can get near the 20 table target required to cover our costs. It will not commit you to play if you change your mind.

We intend to play 18 boards on this first occasion and the charge will be £1.80 per person which all goes to BBO and the EBU. If we exceed 20 tables then the club will make a small profit from the event.

For preference please sign up as pairs, but single players will be accommodated if at all possible.

Please sign-up by Wednesday evening 13 May at the latest. If we get sufficient interest we will confirm this and provide more information about how to take part.