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Your QUESTIONS ANSWERED

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

STOP PRESS DINNER DATES in Tenerife

Life goes on at ACES with the ever popular Bridge (or Rummikub) sessions with dinner set to resume from 18th January. Initially for 4 persons only, they will be afternoon games played outdoors starting around 3pm. Dinner will likewise be served on the terrace. The charge inclusive of competition table fee, and 3 course dinner will be E12 p.p.

Here are the most requested of the home-made recipes on offer:

Menu 1

Cream of spinach soup

Duck in orange sauce

Lemon or Chocolate Cheesecake

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Menu 2

Tuna, mushroom, leek and red pepper tart

Roast chicken with three veg

Mixed fruit crumble

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Menu 3

Cheese tart

Tagliatelli puttanesca

Kiwi tart 

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Menu 4

Leek and potato soup with stilton

Steak and kidney pie with 3 veg

Fruit salad

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Menu 5

Melon and cured Iberian ham

Salmon and potato bake

Lemon tart

Menu 6

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Fish soup

Albondigas in tomato sauce

Apple pie and ice cream

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A reminder also that these 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 23h05 on 151/21

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.

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 to host an international match. This time it was Gaby and Juergen from Hamburg honouring us with their presence.

For the record, it is only flights from the UK that are flying to Tenerife without any bridge players. The contrasting Covid politics in the EU have lead to a somewhat bizarre situation where a Ryanair flight arrived from the UK with only two passengers whereas Gaby and Juergen`s Condor flight from Germany was completely full. It has been that way for weeks. And will no doubt remain like that for the next few months. I shall refrain from further comment.

Trevor 15h00 23/2/21 .. .  

IG2 Educational benefits
Boys will be boys

SUPERBOY - SUPER CLOWN - SUPER DUPER KIDS

 

Click on link to see Youtube videos

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Part 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_XZ0DwfBs0

(1st video only)

Overcoming the initial concentration problem!

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Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_kjmGy4vvY

(first two videos only)

He had been learning French for just 2 weeks. His 5th language! Aged 6 years, 4 months.

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Part 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMF_GNQ8BXA

The ideal place to teach bridge, chess and a couple of languages: A hypermarket cafeteria!

Puzzled passers-by able to witness first hand the educational benefits of both disciplines 

1st bridge lesson for twin girls and their big sister who had simply gone shopping with dad. Until, that is,  I bumped into them and called up infant reinforcements to help give a totally unplanned lesson

On this occasion it was to help

two adorable, but mute, young ladies

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Learning and teaching bridge & chess should always be fun. Like shopping for groceries!

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SOCIAL INTERACTION & STUDYING

 

INTERGENERATIONAL

can be 

SONS & MUM

Good news travels fast and far it seems. No sooner had this site been set up than I was summoned to a dining room 30km from base camp in Fuengirola. To give a German family their first bridge lesson.

The three knew nothing about bridge whatsoever. Nor did the Polish friend who had invited them for their first visit to southern Spain. Agi had however heard that her country won the Bridge World Championships in 2015 - and that the game is now taught in Polish schools to children from the age of 8. They were curious to know why that could be.

The lesson lasted a total of just 20 minutes. Long enough nevertheless to not only illustrate many of the educational benefits, but also the social benefits as the different age groups interact and help each other to complete the challenge in a makeshift classroom.

A video of the lesson and more photos will be added to this page shortly.

Trevor 12/2/19

 

 

 

German lesson
German lesson

Improvements in

Concentration, confidence and discipline

are just three of the benefits to look out for when watching the video of the lesson.

 

But also improvements in logical reasoning and speed of solving mathematical equations. And somewhat unusually in this case, improvement in language skills: Ben had only started learning English at school just after his 8th birthday five months ago 

 

Understandably nervous but excited at the start of a lesson in an alien language, Ben soon settles into the right concentration mode as the photo shows. Able then to benefit on all counts from that short lesson. Starting in German but, towards the end after he had got used to the new foreign bridge words, conducted almost entirely in English.

 

 

Playing their 1st hand
Playing their 1st hand

It is often a good idea to get complete beginners to play this hand as soon as they start learning. In order to illustrate the fact that bridge is a game of skill. As opposed to other card games where success is largely dependent on the cards you are dealt.

This particular hand demonstrates how a pair can win all thirteen tricks with only five points between them. Bizarre that millions of experienced players do not know that is possible. Especially when 21 year old Tim can actually perform the feat after just 20 minutes of learning about the game!!!

For the curious who are sceptical of the fact that a pair can conceivably win thirteen tricks when one of the opponents holds THIRTY TWO points, the hand will be reproduced at the bottom of this page.

 

 

 

 

Although Mum and 8 year old Ben performed brilliantly, big brother was the star of the show. A short lesson was all that the young man needed to be able to go back to Berlin and teach his other brother and father the beauty of bridge! And that is precisely what he intends doing.

But before he got home, he was going to get Agi plus his young brother and mother to practise how to make those 13 tricks with five points. In the airport departure lounge!!!

Teachers might like to note that fact when reading the article on the “Pyramid” system explained on the Teaching techniques page. This case study provides an excellent example** of how that system works to bridge the gap when there are too many students and not enough qualified teachers.  

Well done Tim? The new pupil turned teacher who probably learned a lot about his own (hitherto unknown) qualities and skills that day. Which in turn, along with Ben`s sudden interest in the game, was almost certainly another nice surprise for Mum.

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FOOTNOTE

** Yet another good example of the effectiveness of my Pyramid system of teaching is the Youtube cafeteria lesson shown via the link at the top of this page. You will see there how a ten year old living 200 metres away and called in to help, is able to take over the teaching when she arrives. Watch again and see how she tunes in immediately to the speed of learning of her new 9 year old pupils. Without any advice or help from me. Yet she had never previously met them - and two of her pupils were unable to talk. 

On this occasion she was only teaching the correct pronunciation of Thai, but she was equally adept at teaching bridge basics up to and including Jacoby etc. So whenever she and her equally gifted sister (aged 11) came, I was able to go and have a cup of tea whilst they finished the lesson.

I was able to hand over the reins even when I was teaching the adults the Jacoby transfers at the club. And they did it far better than me. That`s because I don`t have their patience when it comes to teaching adults who, as we all know only too well, invariably have a concentration problem. Like me nowadays.

Trevor 6/3/19

BRIDGE for all GENERATIONS

 

Intergenerational

means

FOUR to ONE HUNDRED and FOUR

I am not joking

 

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At one end of the age scale, in the video (part 3 at top of this page) we see the

educational benefits of bridge for a 6 year old player

A little lad who started playing chess and bridge at the age of FOUR

 

and at the other end, you can read on the next page (IG health benefits) about a doyenne of bridge, Madeleine, who was 

still learning about life playing at 104 years of age!.  

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MIRACLES do HAPPEN

 

BRIDGE MIRACLES

If you have digested the entire contents of this page and noted my comments regarding child teachers in the footnote, you will  enjoy looking for a second time at the impromptu hypermarket lesson. 

This time in the knowledge that, by the end of the following week, those lovely twin girls

WERE ABLE to TALK 

to their teachers

Their teachers being the supergirl who took over my lesson that day, and her super supportive sister who was by her side as she gave it.

 

Explanation: the twins (living in Surrey) suffer from an impairment that I had never previously come across. They can speak normally with the family at home, but find it impossible to speak to anyone they don`t know extremely well. I have never heard them talk. Not one word. Which means....

Their teachers deserve medals for performing the cure in record time

after starting the course of treatment at the bridge and chess tables

in a Bophut hypermarket cafeteria

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Not wanting to take the gloss of that story, it could not be classed as a miracle due to the fact that there is clearly a rational explanation. However, in my thinking, the final bridge story I am about to tell is a miracle. To this day, I have heard no rational explanation of how I came back from the dead.

In fact it was the one and only time in my life when I actually said to myself "That`s it. That`s the end. Goodbye...." before starting to recite the names of all the people dear to me. I hadn`t got far down that list before losing consciousness. In the sea, in the pitch dark, unable to shout for help any more. 

The next thing I remember as I recovered consciousness lying on my back, was genuinely thinking I was in the after life. Until someone kneeling by my head said "Did you not see the Red Flag?" If I had not had an oxygen mask on and if I had my wits about me, I would have said something like " I suffer from colour blindness when I go for a twilight dip".

I remembered I had gone for a swim whilst waiting for the others to arrive for St Tropez bridge club`s annual dinner and dance at the restaurant on Pampellone beach.

The first miracle is that I lived to tell the tale, The second is that, the following day I was able to go with the other members of my St Tropez bridge team to play the regional finals of the Interclub comperition in Aix on Provence. Not only that, I played my best ever bridge for the two days and we qualified for the final in Paris a fortnight later. 

I am not going to tell the whole story myself. Instead I am going to wait for one of the 80 plus bridge players at St Tropez to come forward and tell their version of what happened in the middle. How and why I came back to join the bridge party and prizegiving at 11PM. In only my hospital gown!  

In the meantime I would say that the only explanation I can think of was that Buddha must have sorted it.  I say that because my next outing after the weekend in Aix was to have a chat with a delightful lady* affectionately called "Vitamin". She ran a restaurant in the Port at St. Trop. When I told her the story,  she suggested I go to Thailand to teach the kids bridge whilst I recover from the shock. Buddha will look after you, she said. So that`s what I did. To show the Thais the educational beneifts of bridge.  

Trevor 7/3/19

*Vitamin asked me to bring her back a present. I won`t tell you just yet what the present was that I bought in a Temple out there. The clue is that every Thai person knows which day of the week they were born  - and I was required to tell the monk her birth day (as opposed to her birth date) to get it.