Cam French

Whole lotta Shakin’ Goin’ on

Jerry Lee Lewis – 50’s – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On 

        Click on the link for musical accompaniment.


No doubt humour, like art and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Here we see it from Eric Murray’s perspective as he himself explains.

Once again I shamelessly harvest from Canada’s Bridge Warriors by Roy Hughes. If you don’t have it – grab it. Call Ray, tell him I sent you and get my blogger discount. You will have to call him to see how much it is – you won’t believe it!

ERM recalled a hand when bidding boxes were first introduced at tournaments. It made its debut in New Orleans (possibly 2003 but not specified by the author) when Eric faced this wonderful situation. 

Holding:  653 J765 107643  7


It went three passes to him! 

Eric’s words:


It was clear to me that one of those green pass cards was an error. I peered over the tops of my cards at my opponents but neither of them seemed unduly concerned  and I could see beads of perspiration forming on Sami’s brow, so I thought I would think about this for a while. (we call that torture, CF) I started to study my cards and a waterfall was pouring onto the table. Finally I shook my head and said “Oh, I’m not going to open this – I don’t have the majors,” and put my hand back in the pocket. (driving in the stake CF)  Sami cried “I have nineteen points!” to which I responded “why would you pass with nineteen points?”  Sami exploded across the table to grab my cards. But I wouldn’t let him have


Nancy Peavler-BartonFebruary 8th, 2011 at 12:44 am

Simply a great story, Cam. Enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks for reminding us once again of the pitfalls of playing bridge.

Cam FrenchFebruary 10th, 2011 at 1:16 am

Hey Nancy,

Thank you for your kind remarks.

I prefer to imagine that this (and I am going to call it “table presence”) is a good thing.

Of course now, with screens (at high level events) and everyone more accustomed to bidding boxes the chance of a repeat is slim.

The “pitfalls of playing bridge” are perhaps many. But, and I am sure you will concur, the joys outnumber the pains, and that keeps us all coming back for more.

Most of us get the fact that we are but cannon fodder for those higher up. That is OK. We all enjoy our fleeting moments of triumph and the intricacy of the game.

Thanks for sharing.


Allan StauberFebruary 10th, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Murray’s actions are disgraceful!!! Don’t they violate Zero Tolerance or something? Altho — maybe not — as indicated in my Nauseating Quotes treatise, duplicateboarding is legal. Well, at least in the U.S., it is not classified as torture! It may depend where the incident took place.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t there when it occurred, but here’s another story that I found while plumbing the depths of bridge.

Mark Itabashi opened 2S on JTxxxx & some scattered points.

I don’t know if there were any other bids, but his partner whipped out 5NT — THE GS BLAST!!! Itabashi signed off in 6S. He thought it showed ZERO in their methods.

His partner then bid 7S!


What a mixup! He must have thought they were playing some kind of step responses such as the more you have – the more you bid, or whatever.

The lead was made, and the dummy came down w/ a bunch of goodies including the SAKQ!

His partner did it to torture him!!!

In related news:

The above story is not over.

7S was not cold. I forget the exact details, but to make it, Itabashi needed an extra entry to dummy to ruff out a suit or something. Then he could SHAKE a loser.

He had to take one of those superficially “unnecessary finesses” to get there the addl time.

However, it lost!

Down 1!

So I guess only the opponents got a good laugh out of it! (And maybe some folks who heard it later on. 🙂 )

Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy

Cam FrenchFebruary 11th, 2011 at 3:31 am


loved that story.

And I think we all need to recall back then was a different time and very different circumatances.

For example, as a new player, I found intimidation from seasoned players to be the norm.

I recall my friend Doug Fox asking the late Ron Andersen if he could borrow his lighter. (That tells you how long ago this happenned.)

Andersen’s reply?

“I don’t think someone in blue jeans should be allowed to TOUCH (empasis added by Ron) a gold lighter.”


Mark’s partner was singing from the same hymn book as ERM. As well he should.

These moments are too rare not to exploit, enjoy and relish for their glory.

Thanks for sharing.


Cam FrenchFebruary 12th, 2011 at 3:41 am

Hi Cam,

For obvious reasons I cannot post this in a public domain with my name. If you choose you may publish it anonymously.

I know Peter and Alan well and consider them friends. Why they will not give up that title remains a mystery to me, and many within the expert community. I suppose it is ego. You asked them to, called upon them to act and they respond with hostility. You are shaking the tree and more than a few coconuts have fallen out. You are good at tree-shaking, time to move on.

It is dangerous territory where you are venturing, and you are making some people very nervous.

Yes, of course they should have renounced Norfolk years ago, but when you keep calling for that, you alienate everyone. It is over. Why go back there? Let it slide. I say this to you as a friend, yes you are right, and now – let it go. They will never renounce. You have said what needed to be said.

You need to move on.



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