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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.

Minibridge v Mensa



I am not a great fan of Minibridge. Mainly because too many people lose interest in the game before they learn the principle of trumping.

Whilst that is not a big problem in school projects where it is ON the CURRICULUM, when it is a voluntary after-school (or lunchbreak) activity, many give up the game within two weeks of having started. For the record, it most definitely is ON the curriculum at schools in France from age 9 and Thailand at 7 years. I understand it is 8 years in Poland and in China. 

I prefer the system which gets new recruits, whatever their age, to take an immediate and lasting interest in the sport. i.e. finish the lesson wanting to practise or play as soon as they return to their homes. 

A good example can be found on the `educational benefits` page of this site: A mum and her two boys all keen to practise trying to make thirteen tricks with only 5 points in the two hands combined. And practise the play of that hand is exactly what they did. In the Malaga airport departure lounge within hours of their 20 minute introductory bridge lesson!


As for the IQ method I refer to, time constraints don`t allow me to explain that fully now either. But the clues to how it works are in the same articles about the German fanily group lesson.

Normally I can do the IQ test at the end of the first lesson, but in this case the 8 year old`s score would have been influenced by the fact that he used up as much brain power on language translation as on learning how to trump. 

If, however, all three had been English, I would have shown them the priniciples of trumping by playing a few different but straightforward hands during the lesson. I would then give them the very special hand (shown below) to take away. For them to do their own self assessment IQ test at the airport as follows:

Laying all four hands on a table in the cafeteria, the first one to work out how to make the 13 tricks (with only 5 points between him and partner) has the highest IQ. Theoretically he should be capable of becoming the best bridge player in that German family. But who would it be? And would Mum be happier if it was her who had the highest IQ? 

Of course it doesn`t matter. The point is it gives all three in the family the motivation to want to practise a fundamental of the game at such an early stage. 

Interestingly, this IQ test usually reveals who is the best at school in MATHEMATICS. Worth knowing when suggesting to a headmaster he introduce an after school bridge club. If he agree to try the experiment, tell him to get the Maths teacher to send you the four pupils who are top of the class at Maths in each school year.

At the end of the first lesson, a good ruse to capture their imagination before they do the IQ test, is to tell them you are applying the football play off system. Tell them you want to find out not only who really is the best at Maths, but who is going to end up the best bridge player. If that doesn`t motivate them to concentrate when you do the thirteen trick five point test, nothing will.

The success of the school project is thus guaranteed.

By the way, the motivation for the bridge coach is that he will always be guaranteed a job at the school. As a Maths teacher, of course.  

Trevor 23/2/19