Sadly, Geoffrey Breskal passed away on 24th Sept 2018. May he rest in peace. Our condolences to Margaret and his family.
Known to many in the bridge world as the former joint proprietor of St John’s Wood Bridge Club, Geoffrey won the Gold Cup in 1977 & 1983 (and was runner-up four times), Crockford’s Cup in 1974 & 1988, Robert Provost Cup (Spring Foursomes) in 1983 & 1986, Hubert Phillips Cup in 1989, Pachabo Cup in 1975, Eastbourne Bowl 1964 & 1972, Middlesex Cup in 1972, 1975 & 1978, many other tournaments and a great deal of money at the rubber bridge table!
Geoffrey was interviewed in Bridge Plus, August 1998:
Geoffrey and his wife Margaret have two daughters and 3 grandchildren and they live in Barnet. He is a tall, cheerful, good-looking man. He has had a successful career as the owner of a chain of betting shops and for 21 years he has been a director of one of London’s top rubber bridge clubs, St John’s Wood (known as ‘The Wood’). As a player, he has won every top event in England several times over - sometimes playing a simple rubber bridge style with no conventions at all. Highly respected amongst his peers, he has a reputation for being a sensible player with an excellent rapport with his partner at the table.
When did you start the game?
When I was about 13, I used to kibitz my father, who was a good player. During the war I served in the Army, joining the Gordon Highlanders after I left school. I was stationed in the Far East and then moved on to decoding duties at GHQ. After the war, I started playing bridge more seriously and took up tournament bridge. Ernest Senk, a close neighbour, and I played together a bit. When Margaret wanted to learn, Ernest taught her.
I hear that you and Margaret feature as characters in a Frederick Forsythe novel?
We met him on a cruise, and I am told that our characters are woven into a novel (Interviewer’s note: extreme modesty set in here and it was very difficult to find out more)
How did you come to be the proprietor of The Wood?
I had recently sold the betting shops and David Edwin was looking for a partner in the club. We got on very well together, perhaps partly because we never saw each other, as we took it in turns to be at the club. The London rubber bridge world is full of characters and we had a good time running the club. It’s now managed by Unal Durmus and still continues to be successful.
I’ve heard of rubber bridge games that go on and on. Are any particularly memorable?
There was one which started on a Friday night, the same four people playing throughout. By Monday morning two of the players had disappeared. One of the remaining players complained that there was no game for him.
Has anyone ever died at the table?
Yes, a small stake rubber player actually did. David Levitt said to him at the time “you can’t go yet, you’ve got to call last two hands”. Meanwhile, across the room someone yelled out “can’t you keep quiet there”.
Have you ever had to throw people out of the club, other than for reasons to do with bad debts?
There was an Australian fellow, high stake player, who used to break down if anyone bid a slam against him. You could see the tears running down his face. Eventually, I said to him “this game is not for you”.
Richard Sampson, known as Two-Jacks (because of what he claims is his poor card holding) was playing one day when he picked up a bad 27 count. There was a storm brewing outside. The Wood is in the basement of a large building, and suddenly the basement became completely flooded. All the players left, except for Richard. He sat there with his feet immersed in water, gripping his ‘bad’ 27 count. Eventually we persuaded him to leave.
Who were your partners at tournament bridge?
I have played with Joel Tarlo, John Collings, Gus Calderwood and Graham Cooke. Graham and I held the record as challengers in Bridge International’s Bidding Challenge for 13 months on the trot.
And finally, have you ever fallen asleep at the table at a major event?
Who told you that? Yes, its true, we were playing in the Continental Life Tournament in 1981 and the declarer took so long to play a card that I really did fall asleep.
Watch 1983 TV Series “Master Bridge” on YouTube
Master Bridge was a TV series created and produced in England. It was broadcast on Channel 4 Television in 1983. Eight top bridge international players compete in an individual tournament, changing partners each round.
They are: Omar Sharif, Rixi Markus, Martin Hoffman, Zia Mahmood, Jeremy Flint, Robert Sheehan, Jane Priday and Irving Rose.
New The EBU has created a series of videos featuring Gordon Rainsford to help club Tournament Directors deal with some of the more commonly occurring situations.
There are seven videos in the series: http://www.ebu.co.uk/laws-and-ethics/td-videos
Opening lead out of turn
Call out of turn
Please remember that if one of these situations arises, you should, as a player, always call the director, and not try to sort this out yourself.
Middlesex is keen to contact members by email. We do this using the EBU database of members records. It maybe that your record is not up to date.
You can check it and amend it by going the the EBU website. Click here.
You will need your EBU number and password. You can obtain a password by clicking the "forgot password" box from the EBU if you don't have it.
The EBU National Grading Scheme is available here
Saturday 24th November
Green Pointed Swiss Pairs
Sunday 25th November
Green Pointed Swiss Teams
Click here to Enter online
Nicola Smith (playing with Yvonne Wiseman, Paula Leslie, Solvi Remen, Katherine Bertheau & Jessica Larsson) on winning a silver medal in the McConnell Cup, the World Women's Team Championship. England's Sally Brock and Fiona Brown were on the winning team.
Alexander Allfrey and Tom Paske (playing with Andrew Robson & Ed Jones respectively) on winning a bronze medal in the Rosenblum Cup, the World Open Team Championship.
Artur Malinowski (playing with David Bakhshi) on finishing 14th in the World Open Pairs final.
Simon Cope was part of winning team for Gold Cup
Ian Pagan was part of runner up team for Gold Cup
Gary Diamond & Russell Tenzer on winning the Suffolk CBA Felixstowe Congress Championship Pairs
Nicola Smith on winning a Silver Medal in the McConnell Cup, the World Women's Team Championship
Alexander Allfrey & Tom Paske on winning a bronze medal in the Rosenblum Cup, the World Open Team Championship
Ian Pagan on winning EBU Crockford's Cup
Artur Malinowski on winning the 4 Stars Teams at the EBU Summer Festival
Artur Malinowski & Neil Rosen (NPC) on representing the England Open team at the European Championship. The team finished 7th and thereby qualified for the Bermuda Bowl World Championship in Sanya, China in 2019
Nevana Senior & David Burn (Coach) on representing the England Women's team at the European Championships. The team finished 5th and thereby qualified for the Venice Cup World Championship in Sanya, China in 2019
Shazaad Natt on winning the EBU Spring Bank Holiday Championship Pairs & Swiss Teams
Nevana Senior on winning the EBU Spring Bank Holiday Swiss Pairs
Alexander Allfrey on winning the EBU Shapiro Spring Foursomes for the third year in a row
Richard Hillman on winning the EBU London Easter Swiss Pairs
Simon Cope on winning the ACBL Silodor Pairs at the Spring North American Bridge Championships
Nevena Senior on winning selection for the England Women's team for the 2018 European Championships in Ostend in June
Waseem Naqvi & Tony Waterlow on winning the EBU Premier Grand Masters Pairs
Andrew Conway & Rob Corrie on winning the EBU Life Masters Pairs
Simon Cope & Tom Paske on winning the EBU National Point-a-Board Teams
Artur Malinowski on winning selection for the England Open team for the 2018 European Championships in Ostend in June
Gill Stock & Peter Hasenson on winning the EBU Year End Mixed Pairs
Shahzaad Natt on winning the EBU Year End Open Pairs
Alexander Allfrey on winning the EBU Premier League
Andrew McIntosh on winning the Eastbourne Bowl at the EBU Autumn Congress
Andrew McIntosh on winning the BGB Gold Cup
Martin Jones & Neil Rosen on winning the BGB Silver Cup
Simon Cope on winning EBU Crockfords Cup
Nevena Senior, Nicola Smith & David Burn (Coach) on winning a silver medal in the Venice Cup at the WBF World Championships in Lyon
Alexander Allfrey on retaining the Harold Poster Cup at the EBU Summer Congress
David Arundel & Andrew Bannock on winning the London July Swiss Pairs
Paul Walker & Frank Wharton on winning the Championship Pairs at the EBU Summer Seniors Congress
Artur Malinowski on finishing in 12th place in the Open Pairs Final at the European Open Championships. Alexander Allfrey finished in 31st place and Shireen Mohandes & Andy Bowles finished in 37th place. David Sherman won a silver medal in the EBL Cup.
Alexander Allfrey on winning the EBU Schapiro Spring Foursomes and to Gerald Haase & Victor Silverstone on winning the Punchbowl
Artur Malinowski & Marilyn Malinowska and TGRs Bridge Club on winning the EBU NICKO
Martin Jones on winning the Harrogate Spring Congress Swiss Pairs
Andrew McIntosh on winning the EBU Point-a-Board Consolation Teams
Four Star Teams: Winner Artur Mailinowski; 3rd Andrew McIntosh; 4th Simon Cope
Four Stars Teams B Final: 4th Peter Hasenson & John Vos
Swiss Teams: 3rd= Andy Bowles & Shireen Mohandes, Niall Igoe; 7th= Jerry Harouni, Waseem Naqvi, Ray Robinson & Tony Waterlow; 9th Martin Lerner & Ernest Schlesinger
Saturday Swiss Pairs: 5th= Anojan Pothalingam & Suran Velayutham
Sunday Swiss Pairs: Winner Tony Mutukisna
Point a Board Teams: Winner James Thrower, 5th= Nick Simms & John Vos, David Sherman
Mixed Pairs: Winner David Sherman
Mixed Pivot Teams: 5th Niall Igoe & Steve Root
GCH Fox Pairs: Winner Niall Igoe & Steve Root
Championship Swiss Pairs for Harold Poster Trophy: 2nd Waseen Naqvi & Tony Waterlow; 3rd Ian Pagan
Friday Open Pairs: 2nd Peter Hasenson & David Sherman
Please note that the date of the Seniors Pairs has changed from
11th November 2018
10th February 2019
Contract is 3 No Trumps by South.
West leads Spade Queen.
What is the line of play?
NOTE: TO PLAY ON VU-BRIDGE CLICK ON THE TITLE
Declarer ducked the first spade and won the spade continuation with the ace. He then had to decide how best to combine his chances in the minors to take six tricks in diamonds and clubs. As usual with combination plays, the basic idea was to cash both top honours in one suit and finesse in the other. As there were fewer diamonds out than clubs, declarer decided that diamonds was the suit in which to cash the two top honours. First though, he cashed the ace of clubs, just in case there was a singleton queen of clubs lurking in a defender’s hand. When the queen of clubs did not appear, declarer broached diamonds by playing a low diamond toward his king, in case East had a singleton queen of diamonds. (Declarer saw that a singleton queen of diamonds with West would still require his taking the club finesse for the contract.) In this case, East’s queen of diamonds appeared and declarer took it with the king. After cashing the jack of diamonds, declarer finessed the nine of diamonds to take a third trick in diamonds. The ace of diamonds, the king of clubs and the aceking of hearts gave declarer a total of nine tricks. If the queen of diamonds had not appeared after declarer had cashed the king and ace of diamonds, he would have re-entered his hand twice (if necessary) in hearts to take the club finesse.
Middlesex win the A Division of the Met Cup!
Well played Jonathan Harris (Captain) & Steve Root, Niall Igoe & Shahzaad Natt, Steve Capal & Andrew Sobell, Todor Tiholov & Petar Ivanov
Other Middlesex Team Performances @ Met Cup 2018
‘A’ Division (10 teams)
Lyn Fry (Capt.) & Ian Pagan, Harold Schogger & Frank Wharton, Waseem Naqvi & Gerald Haase, Pauline Cohen & Gail Hoffman (7th)
‘B’ Division (9 teams)
Rob Corrie (Capt.) & Anojan Pothalingam, David Arundel & Vic Martin, Trevor Morris & Vanessa Clarke, Irene Fine & Saleem Sachak (4th)
Stuart Haring (Capt.) & Judy Haring, Denise Miller & Janet Cohen, Barbara Cohen & David Hope, Kavinthan Vickneswaran & Aniket Chakravorty (8th)
‘C’ Division (9 teams)
Gary Diamond (Capt.) & Trupti Shah, Nick Bryant & Ken Kentea, Harry Ashar & Azad Husein, Ratnaverl Murugesu & Ponnampalam Yogeswaran (2nd)
Last year, to mark our 80th-anniversary, we donated all the profit from the Congress to our chosen charity Rays of Sunshine and thanks to your generosity, we sent a cheque for £2,500! Thank you to everyone who played, bought raffle tickets or made a donation.
"Rays of Sunshine is a UK registered charity that grants wishes to children, aged three to 18 years old, living with serious or life-limiting illnesses. We believe that every child deserves to experience happiness and put their illness on hold – even if it is just for one day." raysofsunshine.org.uk
Registered charity number 1102529
& Sunday 25th November
Middlesex Calendar 2018/19
Dorset Cup. Blue Pointed multiple Teams. 2 sessions starting at 12:00
2nd December 2018 at Pinner BC
Club Teams of 8. 2 sessions starting at 12:00
27th January 2019 at Pinner BC - Qualifier for the Garden Cities Trophy
Senior Pairs. Single sessions starting at 14:00
10th February 2019 at Pinner BC
Championship Pairs. 2 sessions starting at 12:00
31st March 2019 at Pinner BC - Qualifier for the Reg Corwen Trophy
Ladies and Gents Pairs. 2 sessions starting at 12:00
14th April 2019 at Pinner BC
Mixed Pairs. Blue Pointed. 2 sessions starting at 12:00
28th April 2019 at Pinner BC
Jonathan Clark & Kripa Panchagnula have won the Under 26 Championship Pairs held on 8th - 9th September 2018.
Both went to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School.
Kripa Panchagnula has been awarded Young Player of the Year for 2017
Neil Rosen, Anne Rosen, Simon Cope, Martin Jones, Keith Bennett & Richard Hillman
Winners of the 2017/18 Middlesex Cup
Uday Hegde, Jerry Harouni,
Ray Robinson, Steve Root
Winners of the 2017/18 Middlesex League Division 1
Mike Christie, Vic Washtell, Barbara Cohen, Giles Ridger
Winners of Division 2
Gary Diamond, Paul Phillips, Russell Tenzer, Joanne Waterman, Jeff Hartstone, Murray Leader
Winners of Division 3
Entries for 2018/19 now open
President: Paul Wilson
Vice Presidents: Jill Feldman & Gulab Shah
Chairman: Peter Hasenson
Vice Chairman: Harish Patel
Treasurer: Pradip Shah
Secretary: Debra Kleinman
Committee: Gary Diamond, Irene Fine, Lyn Fry, Harold Schogger,
Lewis Selby, Pankaj Shah, Jacqui Tobias, Tony Waterlow
Peter Hasenson, Harish Patel