Barnet Shenkin

Till the Fat Lady Sings (part 1) by Barnet Shenkin prev/next

The Scene – Birmingham England 1982. The occasion the British Gold Cup Finals.

Nearly 700 teams had entered the event 9 months before.

Four teams were left.

The favorites the famous London team were already in the final. Flint Rose Sheehan Mahmood Silverstone Dixon were all superstars of British bridge. Their opponents had retired.

The Scottish team of Shenkin Coyle Cuthbertson Haase and Goldberg were 51 imps down with 8 boards to play their semi-final.

They had been expected to win this match before the start of the game.

It was 12 midnight the opposition a good but not great team asked if the Scots wished to throw in the towel and retire.

They politely refused and sent Goldberg to the bar to drown his sorrows.

Gerald Haase was known as the “Mad Doc“ due to his bridge eccentricities and behaviour but a good man to have 51 down.

Here is the story of those final 8 boards.

The eight boards played were played 1-4 in our room and 5-8 in our teammates Haase and Cuthbertson`s room.

We will follow the boards from our teammates point of view. So board 57 is board numbered 5 of the set. The first board played in their room of the set.

On board 57 of the 64 board match the “mad doc” showed why he had been given that name.

Niblett Haase Ellsworth Cuthbertson

The “docs” wild actions brought him 13 imps when in our room the opponents played in a normal 4 making 5. Haase now down by 38 with seven boards to play.

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