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It was certainly a very happy birthday yesterday for Valentina.

Despite her physical handicap, she made it to my party to celebrate her own big day. By her own admission she is a crazy Rumanian lady.

I can certainly go along with that self assessment after partnering her at the club the past two weeks. 

But, with equal certainty, I can say that she is a very good bridge player.

Trevor 1838 on 22/7/21


Online or Face to Face. Where does bridge go from here?

How can we play competitive F2F bridge NOW?

Will bridge clubs survive?

Will table fees increase when clubs reopen?

When will “clinically vulnerable players” be able to safely return to the bridge table?

In the perceived absence of any sensible and useful guidance from bridge administrators, I endeavour to reassure players via my diagnoses and prescriptiona for resolving common concerns. You can read my analyses on the “Keep Bridge Alive” page.

Trevor 22h40 on 10/1/21

Update 23/2/21.
Update 23/2/21.

The ACES mobile club - and especially the bridge school - is now in full swing. Last week it was the French connection when Irish and English were invited to join Thierry at his home in Santa Cruz. Yesterday it was the turn of our friends in Palmmar. This time it was Gaby and Juergen from Hamburg honouring us with their presence.

Trevor 15h00 23/2/21

DINNER DATES in Tenerife

Life goes on at ACES with the ever popular Bridge (or Rummikub) sessions with dinner. For 4 persons only, they are afternoon games played outdoors starting at 3pm. Dinner is likewise served on the terrace. Charge inclusive of table fee plus 3 course dinner with drinks is E12 p.p.

Here are the home-made menus available:

Menu 1

Cream of spinach soup

Duck in orange sauce

Lemon or Chocolate Cheesecake


Menu 2

Tuna, mushroom, leek and red pepper tart

Roast chicken with three veg

Mixed fruit crumble


Menu 3

Cheese tart

Tagliatelli puttanesca

Kiwi tart 


Menu 4

Leek and potato soup with stilton

Steak and kidney pie with 3 veg

Fruit salad


Menu 5

Melon and cured Iberian ham

Salmon and potato bake

Lemon tart

Menu 6


Fish soup

Albondigas in tomato sauce

Apple pie and ice cream


Dinner dates can be enjoyed as much by beginners as by experienced players in search of competitive bridge. 

You will need to provide evidence to satisfy me beyond reasonable doubt that you are not a carrier of the virus. To protect the existing members of the “ACES bubble” of which several are, like me, categorised as “clinically extremely vulnerable”. That assessment will be subjective and based on my experience over several decades of working with severely ill cystic fibrosis sufferers. They necessarily had to avoid close contact at all costs with anybody suffering from even the most innocuous of viruses (such as the common cold) which could prove fatal to CF sufferers. 

Trevor 00h05 on 20/7/21

Los GIGANTES, Tenerife
Los GIGANTES, Tenerife

An ACES bridge star finds serenity at the foot of the giant cliffs from which this coastal resort gets its name

TMW 12/2/21.

Chess corner

This page has information and news of interest to the members. For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".


Russia`s chess grandmasters


Worldwide, more people play chess than bridge. Given that millions of people play bridge in almost 200 countries affiliated to the World Bridge Federation, there must be a phenomenal number of chess players on the planet.


Yet, curiously, at the first ACES academy on a Thai island all the best players seemed to be Russian. In every age group. 


Take a look at the youtube pics. 20 children playing a chess competition at school. All aged 5 to 9 years. 16 of them are Russian. At least two of those 7 year olds are capable of beating the average adult European or transatlantic chess player like me. And they make their moves in record time. Which disproves what I previously thought: that Kasparov, Karpov, Spassky & co. were only world champions because they played more slowly to wear down the opposition. 

Watching Russian children play, it is difficult not to be impressed by their powers of concentration. Evident from the facial expressions in the pictures:


And they can play game after game without getting bored. As for their speed of play, perhaps their domestic lives means their brains are tuned to more logical thought than we English. Not sure.

One interesting statistic I stumbled across is that nearly every Russian youngster has a father and grandfather who played chess in a club. In other words, everyone was taught and encouraged to play chess in Russia.  

Perhaps then the sheer weight of numbers playing ensured that, statistically, Russia would inevitably produce more grandmasters. Or perhaps it is the fact that large numbers of players increases the numbers in competitions which raises the standards. Certainly that was the case at this school.  

When I am beaten by a 7 year old Russian boy, I ask myself whether it might have been possible for me to have reached that standard at the same tender age. The answer has to be no.

So it must surely be in their genes

Last updated : 27th Jul 2019 04:59 BST
CHESS and bridge


Why these "mindsports" go hand in hand


Both were on the shortlist for inclusion in the last Olympic Games. And, according to the pro-inclusion lobbyists, the requirements to succeed at either were similar:

concentration, logical thought, mathematics ability, discipline, mental stamina etc.


The main difference is that chess is an individual game. No partner to blame in defeat at chess. There is at the bridge table!

It certainly seems to be true that those who play chess will learn the principles of playing bridge very quickly and vice versa.

Most chess players took up the game early in life. Usually at school. Whereas the majority of registered bridge players probably only took up the game when they approached or reached retirement age.

A similar phenomenon is noticeable with ball games. If someone is good at tennis, he would invariably also excel at squash and badminton and, probably, snooker as well. That is down to brain and eye coordination I guess. 

The conclusion I drew from all the above facts and statistics was that, if I wanted to find young bridge champions, I should look for them in the nearest chess club. And that is what I did. At the school where I opened the bridge Academy.  I invited the talented seven and eight year old chess players to try playing bridge. Many of those budding chess grandmasters took to the card game like ducks to water. And, they didn`t want to give up playing either bridge or chess. Which suggests both these mindgames are equally challenging and equally enjoyable.

So why do senior citizens tend to take up bridge but not chess?

If bridge players do want to learn to play chess, the new ACES Academy is the place to try it




Last updated : 29th Jan 2019 10:36 GMT