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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.




Many bridge clubs claim to apply a `zero tolerance' policy. What is it and is it enforced?

The 93 rules of bridge apply to all tournaments run by clubs affiliated to the national Federations. They are reviewed only once every ten years. Generally very few changes are made. but the review in 2007 did give much more power to Directors. Primarily to improve discipline in clubs. If strictly applied, the club could claim to be applying a ZERO TOLERANCE policy.

The three most relevant Rules were clear and unambiguous. Those rules are there for the Director to take action when required. They are reproduced in full below to show the high standards of etiquette that are required in clubs - and what remedies are available to the director to sanction offenders. These include, ultimately, the ability to exclude a participant once the tournament has actually started. Be warned

Personally, I have never needed to go to the extreme of giving a player his marching order.** But I accept that,  if ever someone left my club never to return because of the bad behaviour of a fellow member, then questions would need to be asked of the director and the committee.

That said, this problem should not arise in the new ACES Academy because there will be an independent Ethics committe to deal with members` grievances.

Finally let me make it clear that the Director is not there to discipline players. On the contrary...


Directors are there to HELP all players.

for the long term benefit and enjoyment of all members 

Players should not hesitate to call the Director if they have any query or problem at the table.



Here then are the relevant WBF Rules. To make it more fun for you to read about what you should NOT do, dare I suggest that each reader totals the number of infractions his pair did commit in just the last club tournament they played!!! On the other hand, perhaps not a good idea. 


LAW 74 



A. Proper Attitude

1.A player should maintain a courteous attitude at all times.

2. A player should carefully avoid any remark or action that might cause annoyance or embarrassment to another player or might interfere with the enjoyment of the game.

3. Every player should follow uniform and correct procedure in calling and playing.


B) Etiquette

As a matter of courtesy a player should refrain from:

1. paying insufficient attention to the game.

2. making gratuitous comments during the auction and play.

3. detaching a card before it is his turn to play.

4. prolonging play unnecessarily (as in playing on although he knows that all the tricks are surely his) for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent.

5. summoning and addressing the Director in a manner discourteous to him or to other contestants.


C) Violations of Procedure

The following are examples of violations of procedure:

1. using different designations for the same call.

2. indicating approval or disapproval of a call or play.

3. indicating the expectation or intention of winning or losing a trick that has not been completed.

4. commenting or acting during the auction or play so as to call attention to a significant occurrence, or to the number of tricks still required for success.

5. looking intently at any other player during the auction and play, or at another player's hand as for the purpose of seeing his cards or of observing the place from which he draws a card (but it is appropriate to act on information acquired by inadvertently seeing an opponent's card).

6. showing an obvious lack of further interest in a deal (as by folding one's cards).

7. varying the normal tempo of bidding or play for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent.

8. leaving the table needlessly before the round is called.



  LAW 90


A)  Director's Authority

The Director, in addition to implementing the penalty provisions of these Laws, may also assess penalties for any offence that unduly delays or obstructs the game, inconveniences other contestants, violates correct procedure, or requires the award of an adjusted score at another table.

B)  Offences Subject to Procedural Penalty

The following are examples of offences subject to procedural penalty (but the offences are not limited to these):

1. arrival of a contestant after the specified starting time.
2. unduly slow play by a contestant.
3. discussion of the bidding, play or result of a board which may be overheard at another table.
4. unauthorized comparison of scores with another contestant.
5. touching or handling of cards belonging to another player
6. placing one or more cards in an incorrect pocket of the board.
7. errors in procedure (such as failure to count cards in one’s hand, playing the wrong board, etc.) that require an adjusted score for any contestant.
8. failure to comply promptly with tournament regulations or with instructions of the Director.



Law 91



A) Director's Power

In performing his duty to maintain order and discipline, the Director is empowered to assess disciplinary penalties in points or to suspend a contestant for the current session or any part thereof. The Director’s decision under this clause is final and may not be overruled by an appeals committee. 


B) Right to Disqualify

         The Director is specifically empowered to disqualify a contestant for cause, subject to approval by the Tournament Committee.



** Here is a tip for Directors who have problems controlling unruly behaviour:

Imagine you are a referee at a football match. 

Manchester United v Liverpool or Celtic v Rangers.


Before you kick off the session, announce to all competitors that you hold all the trumps. By telling them your Director`s bridge hand has   

30 yellow cards and 41 red cards

That will always do the trick.

PS: If players forget which Blackwood system they are playing, when partner announces 4NT you simply call the referee and ask

"how many yellow and red cards did you say there were in your pocket?"