ACES Bridge & Chess Club
Release 2.19p
0 0 0 0 0 0
Pages viewed in 2023

During the official 30 day mourning poeriod in 2017, an English polyglot decided to learn to recite and write the Thai national anthem in toto.

Did I succeed? Sceptics canwere able to come and challenge me to the ultimate test:  To see if I could write the anthem without any help - and without making a mistake. The challengers merely had to pledge a donation to one of HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha`s charitable foundations. She is King Bhumibol`s eldest grandchild and the lady who sponsored the bridge Cup competition in October that made the achievements of my Samui bridge pupils possible.

Two years on, the challenge remains open. To show Thais that foreign guests are also keen to ensure the late King's tireless`work for children is never forgotten. 


Next stop FRANCE

World Schools Championships

Fifteen Samui youngsters currently aged 7 to 13 have been officially invited by the French Bridge Federation to participate in this event. To demonstrate their skills in front of journalists and TV cameras from around the globe. Same place & same time as the World`s top bridge players compete for the famous      
Bermuda Bowl   


Tips to improve results

Do not STRAIN the BRAIN. 

Treat yourself to a carrot, and cut out the post mortems

A three hour bridge session uses up more energy than 3 hours riding a bicycle. Many studies have shown the truth of that statement. It is a proven fact that many elderly bridge players wilt towards the end of the session.  The ladies especially. Analysing your errors at the end of each round compounds the problem.

Not only does the brain need a few minutes rest, it needs oxygen. And the body needs sugar to keep the brain functioning efficiently.

Getting stressed about your own bidding mistakes - or over your partner`s repetitive errors - reduces dramatically the oxygen supply to the brain. And  stress cause us to use up limited supplies of sugar more rapidly. Between rounds you should therefore go and take a few deep breaths of fresh air and...nibble a carrot. I am not joking. A carrot is the the best non fattening source of sugar.  




Simply memorize and take advantage of the following four Rules. Applicable to situations which occur frequentlly in regular club tournament. .

Opponent leads out of turn.

Case study: The bidding has just finished and you are declarer about to play 3NT. But your right hand opponent leads. Call the Director immediately because there are many advantageous options for you as declarer. The one most of you will not know about is Rule 54(b) where declarer becomes dummy: Yes, you can accept the lead out of turn. The choice to lay down your cards is yours only. (Not your partner`s).

Insufficient bid

It happens almost every week in almost every tournament. Your partner might have opened one no trump and your right hand opponent then bids one diamond. Call the Director immediately because it might suit you to exercise your right to accept this bid under Rule 27A(1). If you do, the bidding restarts from 1D. Which means you can then bid 1H if, for example, you hold 4 hearts and minimal points. Or you can repeat what your partner said and bid 1NT yourself if you have no four card major and 6 points. If, as usually happens when there is no qualified director available, the opponent is mistakenly told he has no choice but to replace his 1D bid with 2 diamonds, you would then effectively be forced to pass in both those cases.

Unintentional bid

Case study: You have counted your points and are about to take the 2 hearts from your bidding box when you are distracted by a mobile telephone ringing at the next table. Instead of taking out the 2H bid you put 2S on the table and your left hand opponent immediately tenders the red card. You look down at the table and "Oops, what have I done?" is the question you ask yourself. Don`t panic. Rule 25A comes to your rescue. Call the Director immediately. You can change the bid to 2H with no penalty if it is clear to the Director that 2H was what you intended to bid. These unintended calls more commonly occur when the bidding box cards become worn and sticky. 

HESITATION before passing

You can ponder over a bid for three hours but, must not then PASS!

Case study: Your left hand opponent deliberates for an eternity after you have bid 4 hearts - but then he passes**. Your partner also passes but your right hand opponent then calls 4S** which is followed by three passes. If you feel that RH opponent only bid 4S by drawing the conclusion that his partner`s hesitation meant he was thinking of doing the same, then tell your opponent that you "reserve the right to summon the Director later" under rule 16B2 and explain why. If your right hand opponent disputes your claim, call the Director immediately.. What then happens is that you play the hand and, if the Director discovers that very few pairs had bid 4S, he may substitute an advantageous score for the aggrieved party.

**NB: If left hand opponent passes after a long deliberation, I hear many players telling their RH opponents they must then pass. NOT TRUE. 


In certain countries, and especially in non affiliated clubs, there are very few people directing who will know these rules. Ignorance is to a certain extent bliss - and unimportant unless members are thinking of playing in big tournaments elsewhere. In which case, they need to be aware of these rules as all their more experienced opponents will be taking legitimate advantage of them. Ignorance of these rules could mean you effectively start off with a handicap of minus 5%. If anyone would like further clarification of these or any of the WBF`s 93 Rules, send me a mail and I will do my best to help.




How often have you been in the position where you wish there was a bid in the box that said "three and a half spades". Or where you are not sure whether to pass  - or go 3NT.

Try this method to resolve the dilemna: If you are playing a PAIRS competition, look at the vulerabilty.and treat the colours as traffic lights : Red = STOP (pass), Green = GO for it (the higher bid)

But, but, but...playing a TEAM competition which.will be scored in IMPS, you should never stop at the lights when in doubt. Even if they are RED, you must keep going..


Courtesy at all times

Always Be courteous to both partner & opponents

If you are polite to everyone, then you will feel confident and relaxed - and so will your partner. Never nervous either given that partners will then feel more comfortable and more likely therefore to adopt the same attitude. Work on the principle that people`s behaviour is often a rellection of our own. The corollary of this conclusion is that aggressive behaviour will produce an equally aggressive reaction! And we all know that the partners of people who behave badly will play badly. Encourage your partner and you will invariably punch above your weight.

Back to Basics


A partership misunderstanding at the bidding stage invariably results in a zero.

Learn the basics of bidding*** - weak and strong opening bids plus the first response etc - and the rest is logic. Mental arithmetic mainly. Based on the principle that you need a minimum number of points for games and slams.

It then comes down to skill at playing the cards. And that is all about taking the logical route based on statistical probabilities.

It is not rocket science that the more complicated you make a bidding system, the greater the probability your partner will misinterpret one of your bids. Especially if you have to chop and change partners.

Whatever partner`s standard, if I play with someone for the first time, it is invariably "Back to basics". Keep it natural. Generally that means no Landi, Roudi, Mikhael, Lebensohl, Drury, no key cards et al. Usually it won`t stop us beating higher rated pairs and it won`t stop us bidding the slams as often as our peers. 

Instead of memorising the conventions, bridge students' time would be far better spent learning to do their sums. We all know that a vulnerable contract of 2 Spades + 2 scores 170 points. But I still can`t believe that the overwhelming majority of club players cannot calculate within a 30% margin of error that 2S vulnerable doubled plus two scores...1070. All very well doubling 2S to suggest you have four hearts but, if partner passes, the best card players in the world cannot avoid an unbeatable zero.


*** The BASICS to master are dealt with on the `LESSONS' page. 


Last updated : 25th Oct 2016 07:55 BST