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5th Nov 2022 13:10 GMT
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News Bulletin

Christmas & New Year

on the
Costa del Sol
Over the festive period I will be directing daily evening bridge commpetitions at the Barcelo Hotel in Fuengirola
Sample charges for the 7 and 14 night accommodation packages on half board  - inclusive of Christmas lunch and NYE party - at the Barcelo starting 21 December are as follows:

E1035 pp Double/Twin shared

E1380 pp Double Sole Use 14 nights

E625 pp Double/Twin shared 7 nights

£805 pp Double Sole Use 7 nights

Tel (34) 6 32 76 04 98 for full details

Trevor 5th November 2022


SKI & BRIDGE April 2023
SKI & BRIDGE April 2023

A six night holiday starting 18 April staying at the Mirasol Hotel in Pradellano

Non skiers can enjoy the walks and views in the warm Spring sunshine. 

Ski and lift passes FREE for over 70´s

(Pictures below and above both taken on the same day - 21 April 2022)

Beautiful views above Granada
Beautiful views above Granada


Christmas lunch at Barcelo
Christmas lunch at Barcelo
Intergenerational concept
The very young have the distinct advantage of actually being able to see their partners
The very young have the distinct advantage of actually being able to see their partners
World Bridge Federation (Asia Pacific) Zone President with the under 16`s
World Bridge Federation (Asia Pacific) Zone President with the under 16`s

The World Bridge federation (WBF) is sponsoring a project at Stirling University where an Intergenerational  Bridge Club has just been set up. In simple terms, it is a club where youngsters and the not-so-young learn and play the game together. The WBF website article announcing the project starts off:

"The University Bridge Club has been set up as part of a series of research projects into the health and well-being benefits of playing the card game”

And it finishes thus:

“This collaborative research project will look at what drives people to take up bridge and keep playing throughout their lives. It will also explore the role a hobby can play in friendships and personal communities, as well as how it creates a sense of belonging and collective identity within and across generations”.

Whilst I welcome this initiative by the WBF, the remit of the University means that the researchers will not be able to address the sensitive subject of why the game is haemorrhaging players.

Through the new ACES club and this website, we will be doing our best to promote the aims of the Stirling project. But we will also address the problems of intergenerational bridge where the players` ages, circumstances and expectations are so different. As a good example, I will take this opportunity to touch on one intergenerational problem right now. A problem for which the senior players must take the blame, but for which the juniors are paying the price  


The "C" word is one that has been largely taboo in the publications emanating from the WBF and National Associations. This is despite the ever increasing high profile worldwide cheating scandals. In trying now to promote the merits of intergenerational bridge without also researching and dealing with the cheats more effectively, I fear they might run up against a brick wall at Stirling, The pictures top and bottom of this page show one of the reasons why:


young children TRYING to enjoy themselves playing bridge

behind hideous screens 


Inevitably, on arrival at that venue, the 8 and 10 year old pair (pictured top left) asked why all competitors were expected to play 6 hours of bridge (48 boards) in one day behind screens. No teacher can explain the inexplicable. All one can say in avoiding the C word, is to joke that they were lucky to be so short that they could at least see each other. But that response will not be sufficient for intelligent youngsters and their parents who can work out the stark truth for themselves. And who wiill then inevitably ask themselves the question as to whether they want to participate in a sport where cheating must be so rife that it requires such absurd measures to be applied. 

Happily on this occasion, the President of the Asia Pacific Zone of the WBF, Esther Sophonpanich, made a lovely gesture by inviting us all to lunch. That memorable occasion for the girls helped banish all thoughts of our teams of world record holders giving up bridge. But, sadly, I did lose a dozen other bridge students (including adults} because of the adverse publicity those screens created back at the schools and the club.

Unfortunately, screens are increasingly becoming the norm for all generations. Not just the top players but thousands of ordinary club players who are required to play behind screens if they advance beyond the preliminary round in national competitions. Often against their friends from other local clubs - and even if it is a competition for relative beginners. i.e. for people who wouldn`t know how to cheat.

Hardly surprising that newcomers to the game then immediately decide to give up playing competitive bridge altogether. Citing the obvious reasons: Playing behind screens is both impersonal and stressful for the older generations. Clearly an anti cheating measure that has now gone too far. It is totally out of proportion to the problem. 




Thankfully all is not doom and gloom in the bridge world. Far from it. Asia has shown us that intergenerational bridge is the way forward.

As the bubbly little Thai lady (top picture) announced to her Mum shortly after taking up the game at 7 years 


”Playing bridge is such fun” 


With youngsters playing, the enthusiasm is infectious. Bridge will always therefore be fun for the not-so-young players around them 

We must all work together to try and keep it that way




Anyone who has read thus far, will probably be wondering what I am thinking in the wake of the latest bridge scandal that hit the headlines over the weekend. A question I will not shy away from. Especially when it relates to a problem that I do not want swept under the carpet. Cheating. 

My philosophy has always been that good news comes out of bad news. The bad news in this particular case is that one of the World`s "top" players has just been banned for a year. In reality he was not a top player at all. No surprise whatsoever for me that it has happened yet again. It will inevitably happen again and again. Whatever anti-cheating measures are introduced. As in all sports nowadays.

It is obvious that I knew this would happen again. Otherwise I would not have put the above article on the site a month before this story broke.  So what? For me it doesn`t matter. If the cheats want to carry on cheating, let them play their own tournaments. Cheat v cheat. They wouldn`t enjoy that very much. Too stressful for them.

Meanwhile us mere mortals can get on with doing what we enjoy most: Playing bridge together with people who all share our love for the game. Bridge will always be magical for us.

The good news is that we have reason to remain optimistic about the future of bridge because, paradoxically, there is no such thing as bad publicity. I helped prove that theory in the wake of the infamous raid on the Pattaya bridge club in Thailand four years ago. In fairness to the Thai authorities, if the truth about that affair were fully known, the Thais would come out smiling and the expats who were briefly incarcerated would admit they only had themselves to blame. 

But culpability is irrelevant four years on. What is relevant now is that the huge amount of adverse publicity given to the affair meant that 70 million Thais heard about bridge for the first time. And it also led to the Thai Bridge Federation being even more determined to prove their critics wrong. With spectacular success. Thai boys and girls are now being taught the game in schools all over the kingdom from the age of SEVEN. If you doubt my words, above is a picture of the school teams from Chiang Rai in the extreme north of Thailand. They are pictured with three girls aged 8, 10 and 11 who live one thousand five hundred kilometres away on an island in the South of the country. All gathered together for a fortnight of bridge competitons in the national championdhip. Which a Chiang Rai team won.

If the name Chiang Rai rings a bell, it is because that is where the cave boys all came from. The ones who were so dramatically rescued in 2018. With all the bridge world watching. And they came out smiling. There is a very good chance therefore that, as I write this article, those boy heroes are playing bridge with the group of champions pictured above. 

Out of respect for the courage and determination those boys showed in the face of adversity, let`s not spoil their fun by talking any more about one disgraced cheat, 

Enough said. 





In fairness to the WBF, let me quote the opening comment on the YOUTH development of their website:

"The World Bridge Federation is committed to the promotion of Youth Bridge, which we strongly believe represents the future of our wonderful sport"


I appreciate that they and the other NBO`s have made phenomenal progress in recent years in pursuit of those aims. With the FFB leading the way through a youth programme which has resulted in there being over

100,000 registered bridge players as young as nine years of age in French schools.

For that, we congratulate them. But there is always room for improvement:

"The task of the WBF Youth and Sub-Committees is to analyze the youth worldwide situation &

to propose to the WBF Executive Council improvements and future strategies in order to develop Bridge"

In providing the input for their continuing debate,

I make no excuses for being the spokesperson for the kids!!!  

Trevor. 1st February 2019

Updated 18th March

Down to business for the youngsters
Down to business for the youngsters
CHEERS! Mum, a dad, coach, a President & five cute world champions
CHEERS! Mum, a dad, coach, a President & five cute world champions