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DOUBLE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
DOUBLE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

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

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

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

xxxxxx

Menu 2

Tuna, mushroom, leek and red pepper tart

Roast chicken with three veg

Mixed fruit crumble

xxxxxx

Menu 3

Cheese tart

Tagliatelli puttanesca

Kiwi tart 

xxxxxx

Menu 4

Leek and potato soup with stilton

Steak and kidney pie with 3 veg

Fruit salad

xxxxxx

Menu 5

Melon and cured Iberian ham

Salmon and potato bake

Lemon tart

Menu 6

xxxxxx

Fish soup

Albondigas in tomato sauce

Apple pie and ice cream

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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.

Bridge Club SOAP

The one and only official 

BRIDGE CLUB SOAP OPERA

 

From the beginning of July when the inauguration of the new Aces Academy takes place, there will be a report each month from a club in at least six different countries. Germany, France, England, Spain, Scotland and Thailand. Anyone else who wants to join in the fun – especially the Scandinavians – is welcome to contribute. By reporting, in their native language, any incident of special interest that occurred in a tournament where they played.

I have enough reports to fill a book on my own, but I will tell just one for now. To give contributors an idea of what we would like:

About thirty years ago I was partnering a lady on a bridge weekend at the Beach Hotel in Worthing. She was a few months older than my mother. I had taught her to play golf and she subsequently became Somerset (senior) ladies golf captain. To repay me for encouraging her to start a successful and fulfilling golf career as late in life as fifty, she understandably thought it a good idea to offer me bridge lessons that I didn`t need. I understandably was forced to agree to the offer to placate her.

As is often the case with my female partners, she gave me a lesson after every hand every time we played. Raised eyebrows from my partner were not uncommon either. Especially on the innumerable occasions where I had apparently asked her to play the wrong card from dummy.

Around the same time,  I happened to play in an EBU simultaneous event at the Birchfield Hotel in Weston. With a different partner. But one who likewise tested all my virtues of patience, tact and subservience to the limit.

My couldn`t care less attitude on this occasion did at least enable us to end up somewhere in the middle of about 2000 pairs nationally. I was more than happy with that result. But my partner wasn`t. She wanted to do better next time. At this point, with the tournament over and me clearly being a much better player than my partner, I then made the mistake of suggesting to the lady that she should let someone with a modern approach to the game give her a lesson. This provoked such an outburst that nowadays it would merit at least a yellow card - if not a red card - for insulting behaviour on bridge club premises. 

 

You`ve probably guessed already.

The lady in Worthing was my mother-in-law and the one in Weston super Mare was my mum.

 

End of part one of this soap. Episode two to follow early in July.

 

Note that all the reports will be in the respective languages of the contributing countries - English, Spanish, German, etc. - as well as in English.

Trevor 15/3/19       

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Once again, one story leads to another. As I have to wait three months before putting someone else`s tale on this page, I thought I would use up the space by recounting a bridge incident that I had forgotten about until writing that article about Mum. Because I had mentioned it once when lecturing her fellow TG members on the matter of fair play.

 

Trevor`s one and only claim to fame

 

It relates to an opening bid I made that got me into the record books at the Ste Maxime club in the Var in the south of France in the Spring of 2006. When I mentioned it to Philippe Soulet a few months later whilst he was on his annual pilgrimage to the club to run competitions for his faithful fans, even he was impressed with my opening bid. If this story is good enough to interest a former double world bridge champion, it must be worth telling you about it here. Not that I would ever boast. Not when it is possibly the only decent bid I have made in the 21st century. 

So what would be your first bid with this hand containing 27 honour points:

Spades: A, K, Q, J, 10, 8

Hearts A, Q

Diamonds A

Clubs: A, K, 4, 2

More to the point, what do you think my opening bid was? The one that led me to being the only person in the tournament to arrive at 7NT. The equivalent of a 147 break at snooker, dare I boast for once. Assuming I make it, of course. Which I did.

All the others ended up in 5 or 6 spades. And all those that were in six spades went off by one.

I understand the hand is still archived in FFB records. It was dealt at the table. We were playing the first round of the afternoon. It was the second board (of two) played in the round

To help you try and work out what my opening bid might have been, here is the information upon which it was based at the time I chose the bid:

  1. It was inconceivable that it be classed as a psychic bid.
  2. All the other players in the room were of a similar standard to me and playing the same system (standard francais). All the usual weak preemptive openers plus strong 1NT, 2NT and long suited minor 3NT plus the strong 2C (22/23 points or 8 tricks), but also the strong 2 diamond as explained below. 
  3. All those with that hand would normally open 2D  (2 carreaux fort indetermines convention)= strong 2 diamonds. It is game forcing and shows either minimum 24 points or 10 playing tricks
  4. If I opened two diamonds, the only two conceivable responses from partner would have been either 2H showing less than 8 points or 2NT showing 8 points and two kings. (The other 4 conventional responses in France would be impossible because 2S, 3C, 3D show one Ace and 3NT shows two Aces)
  5. I was playing in north. Dealer was west and there had been three passes when the bidding reached me in fourth position. We were vulnerable. E/W were non vulnerable.
  6. I knew that the opponents were very good players. And that their defence would be based on their own logical thinking about the reason why I made that opening bid.   

So what do you think my opening bid was?

The one that led to all the other pairs in the room to ask me at the end how we reached the magical contract of 7NT when everyone else ended up in Spades. When I explained the logical thinking behind my opening bid, they all congratulated me. They even magnanimously conceded that an Englishman had, for the first time in two centuries, got one over on all his French foes.