Barnet Shenkin

Paul Chemla France by Barnet Shenkin prev/next

Paul Chemla France
Paul Chemla France

Paul Chemla studied literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. Some of his friends became prime ministers and philosophers but he quickly transferred his talent into becoming one of France’s best ever bridge players and certainly the most charismatic. When I dined with him in a fine restaurant in St Germain he told me how he played bridge and Rummy for a living. He loved to eat out and ate in this restaurant just three or four times a week.

A four time world Champion he loves good food and wine and before smoking was banned at the table would puff on his large cigar to the discomfort of the opposition.

I played quite often against him and in 1984 we played the French team who had won a recent world Championship in Seattle at the Olympiad. Screens had just come into the game. I was sitting on his partner Perron’s side when he pushed the tray through. We heard an “Ouch” from the other side as it had hit Chemla in the stomach.For the remainder of the session Perron had to tap the table when the screen was coming through. Rixi Markus was spectating this match and reported for the Bulletin.