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24th Mar 2023 08:58 GMT
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17th Mar 2023 13:18 GMT
Welcome to the Royal Automobile Club Bridge Circle - Pall Mall
Distortion – An Essay by Tony Scouller


One of my pet hates in bidding is distorting the responder’s hand to bid a four - card major. Dare I remind my reader (hopefully a few left) of several adages I have flogged in my columns.

  1. There is no point in bidding bad four card majors without playing strength. Jxxx useless, unless P has 4 as well and honours.
  2. If you want to know how good your suit is look at the fourth card.
  3. Queens are overvalued devalue the points.
  4. Broken suits need support opposite. They are not good to play in without it.

B5 at Woodcote threw up all these on 13/3. These were the EW hands (rotated for convenience).

                 S. Q82                     S.A1095

                 H.AKJ9632             H. void

                 D.QJ                        D.874

                 C.10                         C.QJ9542

West deals and is vulnerable. He has 13 points but 5 of those are Q,J. Stick one of them in the broken H suit! The hand is weaker than it looks. He probably opens with 1H and East must respond. He would like to bid 2C but the hand is not worth it. Should he simply pass? With gritted teeth, 1S. The opener now realises how weak his hand is and says 2H. Minimum, decent suit not forcing. East does not like this but must pass. At the table he now felt guilty about suppressing his broken clubs. Why? He bid 3C, forcing game try, shows 5S and at least 4C. West gives preference to 3S which is passed out for -300 and a bottom.

 I could not resist the hand as it combines all my hobby horses.

Last updated : 16th Mar 2023 12:17 GMT

Monday 13 March saw the return of Queens Club to the RAC for our annual friendly match.  Firstly Queens Club are just the nicest bunch of players so I was really looking forward to seeing them again.  After a small issue with finding cards to play with we managed to get going and at halftime RAC were 16imps up.  After a most convivial dinner with much laughter we managed to get back to the Bridge tables all feeling a little full and sleepy and played our next 12 hands.  In all honesty we were all feeling a bit tired by the end and I’m not saying a lovely dinner with wine had anything to do with this!  Fortunately the RAC managed to stay ahead by 10imps to win the match.  Ultimately we all had a lovely evening catching up with our friends at Queens Club and that’s what really matters!  Special thanks to Lester who arranged the Bridge movements for us and kept us going.


Last updated : 15th Mar 2023 22:37 GMT


Last updated : 15th Mar 2023 17:06 GMT

On 14th January, after 2 years suspension due to Covid,  the Hurlingham hosted their customary Swiss Teams event. In spite of the poor weather, the  District Line not running and 2 fierce peacocks guarding the entrance door, 26 teams took part.  8 RAC members decided to represent their Club. RAC Morgan, that stood first from the 3rd to the 6th round, thanks to a very un judicious bid from your truly, finished third. The other team also ran. The  atmosphere was very  friendly and sociable, old friends were met anew including the David Burn who gave us a bridge masterclass in years past.


Last updated : 10th Mar 2023 11:09 GMT
Match Calendar 2023

The following match was organised in 2022:

22nd February - Our first more testing match of the year will be held at Pall Mall against the MCC, team that we haven’t managed as yet to beat: Lester (Captain), Andrew, David G, Paul W, Marina, David Ma, Michael and Davd W.


MARCH is going to be extremely busy as we the  following games to play:

13rd March - Queen’s at home 7pm Terrace Room - Fiona (Captain) Henry, Andrea, Howard S, Howard W, Oliver, Richard and Mark,

27th March - Royal Mid Surrey awat at the Royal Mid Surrey Golf Club in Richmond, at 12.45, lunch and 24 boards.. It is with great pleasure that I can announce that our own Tony Scouller will be able to take part. The rest of the team are Pralab,  Helge, Pearse, Andrew, Brigitte, Nick and Sacha.


Also in the calendar

19th April - Woodcote Park away – lunchtime

8-9 June – ACF at home

20 June - Roehampton away – mid afternoon

20 October - NYU away in New York

22 November - House of Lords - away 


Anyone interested kindly drop me a line. I have been asking you to express your preferences as long as I can remember, please do so.


Last updated : 25th Feb 2023 16:10 GMT
A Historic Win

We had great pleasure in welcoming our friends from the MCC to the RAC on the 22nd February. Ever since we resumed our annual bilateral match a few years ago, after a hiatus, we have been unable to prevail except for the one occasion when we played against the MCC on BBO during the pandemic.


In the past I think we have either been undone by the slope in away matches and/or been unable to resist the wine on offer home and away. Our visitors generously conceded the RAC were overdue a well deserved victory and so we did by 72 Imps. The match was played in a very convivial atmosphere as one would expect among good friends - the fine meal and wine helped too! The RAC was represented by Marina and Paul, Andrew and David G, Michael and David M and Lester and David W in a scratch partnership.

Last updated : 25th Feb 2023 16:04 GMT
Triangular Cup
Triangular Cup

The Triangular Cup is competed annually between teams of 8 comprising current and past members of the Bridge Committees of Hurlingham, Roehampton and the RAC. Hurlingham won the cup in its first year in 2019 and after a gap due to the pandemic the RAC has won in 2022 and 2023.

Our 2023 team comprised:

Team Blue: Michael B, John K, Robin and John C

Team Red: Marina, Colin F, Ina and Pauli

Hurlingham took a halftime lead of 5 imps over RAC with Roehampton trailing a further 32 imps behind in third place. To our surprise we had a terrific second half, lead by the outstanding performances of John Craggs and Robin with the whole team turning out overall winners by 31 imps over Hurlingham in second and Roehampton some distance in third place.

Roger Lawson, Chair of Hurlingham Bridge, as host   gave a rousing after dinner speech congratulating the RAC on our victory and thanking everyone for making it such an enjoyable occasion, particularly Gitte who officiated as TD.

RAC to host in 2024.

Last updated : 13th Feb 2023 09:53 GMT

We now subscribe to "Pianola", a service that gives interesting analysis and stats of your results from each session, as well as showing how they have been progressing over time. To get started, please give your Email address to Victor ( and you will receive a signup link next time you play duplicate at the club. Some of you may be familiar with Pianola from other clubs, and Victor will be able to add the RAC to your profile.

Victor Lesk

Last updated : 28th Apr 2022 12:53 BST
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