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About Club Manager

Head of IT in a large Secondary School for 17 years. IT Manager for Alzheimer Scotland for 5 years. Melville club member since 2006 Club Manager since 2013.

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.

Famous Bridge Quotes -C

• Ely Culbertson: The sum of all technical knowledge cannot make a master contract player…
• Larry Cohen: I believe the Law of Total tricks will revolutionise the way bridge players bid … I fear too many people will read this book and make the right decision the next time they sit down to play at my table.
• John Collingswood: is playing rubber bridge at a club in London. It is very hot, and all the windows are open. He cuts the weakest player in the game, and older gentleman who never passes and can’t play a lick. The idea is to lose as little as possible when playing with him. John’s partner opens 1NT and John has KQJxxxx xx xxx x. He knows that if he bids 4S his partner will bid on, so he bids 2S. Sure enough his partner bids 2NT.John bids 3S, his partner bids 3NT. John takes a chance and bids 4S. No good, his partner bids 4NT. John passes. The opening lead is made, and John goes to get a drink and glances at his partner’s hand. His partner has all four aces including Ax of spades. John can’t believe it, there are 10 top tricks. He returns to his seat with the open window to his back to watch the play. His partner wins the opening lead and leads a LOW spade at trick two blocking the suit for all eternity. John picks up his cards and throws them out the window saying: “You won’t need these anymore.”

Daily Bridge Tip 31

Bid 3 ♠

This shows either
(a) a hand with a probable 9 tricks in NT if partner can stop the opener’s suit
or
(b) a very strong one suited hand with at least game values.

Partner’s first priority is to bid 3 NT with a stop in opener’s suit.

Without a stop and with poor values, he makes the cheapest bid available, which is not 3 NT.

Any other bid shows primary values (not necessarily length) in the suit bid.

If overcaller removes 3 NT, he will have the very strong hand type.

Read more

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.

Quotes through the alphabet

Denise King has compiled a long list of famous bridge quotations, sorted alphabetically by author, which we will publish under the menu heading ‘Famous Bridge Quotes’. We have started off with quotes by ‘Anon’ and will build on these each day using a different letter of the alphabet.

Well done Denise!

Lockdown Lingo

Are you fully conversant with the new terminology?

Coronacoaster
The ups and downs of your mood during the pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one minute but suddenly weepy with anxiety the next. It truly is “an emotional coronacoaster”.

Quarantinis
Experimental cocktails mixed from whatever random ingredients you have left in the house. The boozy equivalent of a store cupboard supper. Southern Comfort and Ribena quarantini with a glacé cherry garnish, anyone? These are sipped at “locktail hour”, ie. wine o’clock during lockdown, which seems to be creeping earlier with each passing week.

Le Creuset wrist
It’s the new “avocado hand” – an aching arm after taking one’s best saucepan outside to bang during the weekly ‘Clap For Carers.’ It might be heavy but you’re keen to impress the neighbours with your high-quality kitchenware.

Coronials
As opposed to millennials, this refers to the future generation of babies conceived or born during coronavirus quarantine. They might also become known as “Generation C” or, more spookily, “Children of the Quarn”.

Furlough Merlot
Wine consumed in an attempt to relieve the frustration of not working. Also known as “bored-eaux” or “cabernet tedium”.

Coronadose
An overdose of bad news from consuming too much media during a time of crisis. Can result in a panicdemic.

The elephant in the Zoom
The glaring issue during a videoconferencing call that nobody feels able to mention. E.g. one participant has dramatically put on weight, suddenly sprouted terrible facial hair or has a worryingly messy house visible in the background.

Quentin Quarantino
An attention-seeker using their time in lockdown to make amateur films which they’re convinced are funnier and cleverer than they actually are.

Covidiot or Wuhan-ker
One who ignores public health advice or behaves with reckless disregard for the safety of others can be said to display “covidiocy” or be “covidiotic”. Also called a “lockclown” or even a “Wuhan-ker”.

Goutbreak
The sudden fear that you’ve consumed so much wine, cheese, home-made cake and Easter chocolate in lockdown that your ankles are swelling up like a medieval king’s.

Antisocial distancing
Using health precautions as an excuse for snubbing neighbours and generally ignoring people you find irritating.

Coughin’ dodger
Someone so alarmed by an innocuous splutter or throat-clear that they back away in terror.

Mask-ara
Extra make-up applied to “make one’s eyes pop” before venturing out in public wearing a face mask.

Covid-10
The 10lbs in weight that we’re all gaining from comfort-eating and comfort-drinking. Also known as “fattening the curve”.

April DIDO Winners

Congratulations to Pat Walkingshaw and Rose Simpson who have won the April competition for the most DIDO points won in the Bridge Club Live daily Drop-In-Drop-Out competition. They came first with 198 points. The full table of results can be seen on our normal website front page, right hand column.

So far 38 out of 85 registered members have played at least once in this competition. If we can increase the numbers we will award prizes every week rather than once a month. Pat and Rose will be given a free-game voucher when the club eventually re-opens.

Covid19 App

Have YOU got the App yet?

Why not do your bit to help scientists in the UK solve possibly the most important problem in modern times by downloading an App on your smartphone which you can use to report your Covid19 symptoms, or hopefully lack of them, every day. The information you provide will be added to a large database of information which will give the scientist a better understanding of how far and wide the virus has spread, and more importantly, the rate of infection amongst the population.

Click on the Covid19 page in the menu at the top of this page for more information.