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All comments by John Hall
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ISTR that the scene in question is available on Youtube. I thought that I had a link to it, but I seem to have mislaid it.
Sept. 17, 2018
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And there was me thinking that Sami Kehela had an eastern European accent!
Aug. 28, 2018
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Absolutely. Thank you, Shireen.

So far I've only watched episode 1, where I especially enjoyed the second hand. It's such an interesting deal, that I suspect that it was pre-prepared rather than randomly dealt at the table. Either that, or the producers got very lucky in having something so fascinating crop up so quickly.
Aug. 27, 2018
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I voted: “The Selectors should lean towards selecting the team that qualified but should bear in mind that they are aiming to select a team good enough to win a World Championship.” The women's team would surely be stronger for the inclusion of Nicola Smith, though it would be tough luck on whichever player had to make way for her.
June 18, 2018
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That's very sad. As an ordinary EBU member, I view the Olympiad as being second in importance only to the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup, and want England to be represented by the strongest possible Open and Women's teams. If that's not the majority attitude amongst EBU members, then I find it surprising and most unfortunate.
May 4, 2018
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The whole magazine is a fascinating read. I was amused by this in the editor's introductory piece, concerning the criteria for international selection: “match temperament, social polish, suavity at the table, as well as ethical conduct must come under consideration as well as technical ability”. We don't want any working-class oiks playing for Great Britain!
April 30, 2018
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I always enjoy reading your articles, and I am looking forward to the upcoming ones. On a pedantic note, shouldn't it be “Bridge magazine” to avoid any possible confusion, “Bridge Magazine” being an altogether different publication?
April 4, 2018
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This is very good news. I've duly registered. At least, I think I have, as I didn't get an automated confirmatory email like I was expecting.
Dec. 17, 2017
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That's a shame. I ceased being a subscriber a few years ago, so I feel slightly guilty for being in a small way responsible for it seemingly no longer being economically viable. What caused me to stop subscribing was their decision to cease publishing a printed version and to become solely an electronic publication. Having become something of a luddite, I have only a desktop PC, and I like to be able to read a magazine while slumped in an armchair.
Dec. 12, 2017
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If it's a penny a hundred, I think I'd bid 5H. But if it's £10 a hundred, I'd pass. :)
Oct. 4, 2017
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The dates from the London Gazette that Paul quotes are rather confusing:

On 16th April 1943 M. C. HARRISON-GRAY was reported to have been promoted to Flying Officer
On 20th August 1943 the notification of 16th April 1943 concerning M. C. HARRISON-GRAY was cancelled

2nd July 1943: M. C. H GRAY promoted from Pilot Officer to Flying Officer
1st July 1954: M. C. HARRISON-GRAY retains the rank of Flying Officer

I guess from the first three entries that the date originally reported of 16th April was incorrect and that the 2nd July was the right one. Or could the different form of his name used for the 2nd July entry be significant? Could his habit of changing the preferred form of his name from time to time have caused confusion? Or could there have been another RAF officer with a very similar name, with one being mistaken for the other?

Was it usual for RAF officers to retain their rank long after they had left the service, as the 1954 entry seems to imply? I had thought that that was purely an army thing.
May 10, 2017
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Clue 4 seemed to ring a bell, but it was only with clue 5 that light finally dawned.
May 9, 2017
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“…after leaving Haileybury School he joined the family brewing business. When the company was taken over he turned to writing, at first fiction…”

Do we know when the family business was taken over? If so, that might help in searching for his fiction.
May 8, 2017
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The third cartoon from “Punch” will always remain topical.

With the
https://archive.cartoons.ac.uk/Overview.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog link, putting in “Culbertson” as the search term turns up five cartoons by Tom Webster (no relation to the US cartoonist as far as I know) featuring Ely Culbertson.
May 3, 2017
John Hall edited this comment May 3, 2017
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I thought of him/her as a possibility after number 3, but it was only after number 4 that I was reasonably certain.

Incidentally, though “Aces All” and “Bridge at the Top” are both out of print, second-hand copies are readily available via Amazon UK.
April 27, 2017
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Where can I get one of those indestructible radios? I imagine that everyone has seen the bridge game in the Marx Brothers' film “Animal Crackers”, showing that cheating at bridge is nothing new?
April 21, 2017
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Excellent. I confess to knowing nothing about Louisa Chamberlain and George Lengyel, so I should find those articles particularly informative.
April 5, 2017
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Wow! I envy Valentine Ramsey. Simon and Stern were arguably the two most larger-than-life characters in the history of English bridge - though perhaps I ought to add Rixi Markus as a third. And to have been taught bridge by Reese!

BTW, do you have any plans to write a piece on Richard Lederer who, although he now seems to be largely forgotten, appears to have been another towering figure in the early days of the game in England?
April 5, 2017
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But for all that, it's a marvellously entertaining read.
April 5, 2017
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I've just done a search online to see what I could find. I didn't unearth a copy of the book, but I did turn up a Dutch bridge club who in 2014 ran a competition in which teams would, I think, score themselves against the results in the Holland-Austria match in 1934: http://www.delftsebridgeclub.nl/content/nieuws/spellen20141007.pdf

It's in Dutch, but Google Chrome kindly offered to translate it for me. It seems that the club used the copy of Stern's book that's in the Bridge Museum rather than having their own copy. They quote Egon Watza's comments on the Holland-Austria match (translated from German to Dutch and now to English): “The defeat of the Austrians must bid because of severe errors, which means no the opponents were affected are designated as totally righteous. Austria lost 30 MP because it failed to provide motos and 8 MP by default providing slam. Remarkably Holland 19 MP in the game gave off against the game play. The Dutchmen were playing in that game is not like the other one Clover convention. Against opponents such as Austria gave apparently preferred by the official To go through gold Smidt-system.”
Feb. 28, 2017
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